Sunday, December 10, 2017

What's under your Christmas tree this year: also sankofa and gye nyame tea biscuits

What's under your holiday tree this year? Consider The Ghana Cookbook.




On another front:  I'm finally also almost (~11 tries later) there on the development of a Ghana-friendly gluten-free tea biscuit using only cassava flour, brown rice flour, tigernut flour, tapioca starch, corn starch, sugar,  salt, vanilla, ripe plantain, and coconut oil (plus a little xantham gum). Hope to share soon. Plus, I'm finalizing  3-D printing of those cookie stamps of adinkra symbols. Very excited! The rating are going up and up with my taste testers. Really getting in the holiday mood.



 




Wednesday, November 22, 2017

If you're looking for an idea for a good international cookbook this holiday, here are some of  Hippocrene's suggestions







Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving, and more attempts at Ghana biscuits and designs

As we head into a week of remembering all we have to be thankful for, I'm grateful for all of you who have become friends and colleagues in the effort to help African cuisines take their rightful places at the global table. Well done, but the battle is no where near over.

On another note, my two latest efforts with Ghana gluten-free biscuits/cookies, and my current prototype of a cookie cutter, can be seen below. The cookies on the right use a gluten-free multi-flour base and a little mashed ripe plantain. The one on the left is my first effort at blending cassava and tiger nut flours with coconut oil and sugar. Still working on getting it right. Any suggestions welcome. Working on flour combinations, thickness of dough, baking temperature, sugars, chilling, oils, etc.




Saturday, September 30, 2017

2nd, 3rd, and 4th attempts . . .little by little

As you may remember, I'm trying to develop a Ghana-style gluten-free shortbread cookie recipe.

I first tried using a couple of recipes from gluten-free friends/sites, but substituting coconut oil for the butter, and various blends of rice/millet/tapioca flours, etc. first for the main replacement of wheat flour and adding proportions of various gluten-free flours as indicated. Won't go into the specifics here, just say that the sugar didn't blend the way it does with butter, and the "tapioca flour," being tapioca starch, turned the dough either into a solid brick that I had to throw away and couldn't even roll out, or the cookies/biscuits were so gritty and crumbly they were not worth keeping.  I tried once with xantham gum and that still didn't work. Also, I was mixing the dough with a wooden spoon.

Yesterday, I tried substituting half powdered sugar for the sugar, and used a mixer, plus just cassava flour from Brazil (not the tapioca starch), and chilled the dough before rolling it out on parchment paper. This was the best yet, but according to Kwadwo, my reliable tester (and to myself, too), they still tasted gritty, and dry, and still were very fragile.

I'm going to keep experimenting and will keep you in the loop, but I'm wide open to suggestions: just remember I don't want to use things that aren't easily and cheaply available in Ghana. I'd like shortbread, because it uses only flour, sugar, butter substitute (like coconut oil--please no margarine), a little salt, and possibly a little flavoring like vanilla. If I can perfect this, I'll next try a gluten-free sugar cookie.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Waiting , . .

I began about a month ago to launch a new, updated site, but I've run into some snags moving to a different platform without losing all my archived material, so please be patient for a few more weeks. I plan to share soon my latest work on gluten-free cookie recipes,  moringa, and Ghana chocolate, as well as a news about a network of African food writers.

Hint: version 1 below was a disaster. The cookies fell apart as soon as you touched them, and they tasted gritty. Ugh! Using a different flour blend next.

Monday, July 10, 2017

We're back! Calling all African food writers, bloggers, videographers and other professionals


Special Alert July 11, 2017! Don't miss this:TODAY ONLY The Ghana Cookbook  is an Amazon Prime Special of $5 off. Use code PRIMEBOOKS17 See https://www.amazon.com/The-Ghana-Cookbook-Fran-Osseo-Asare/dp/0781813433. Only $11.95 with code. World Gourmand 1st Place winner 2016.



It's been months since February and the trip to Ghana to the African Diaspora Homecoming Conference in Accra. That was a fruitful trip, and there is more to come about that, especially emerging Ghana chocolate-makers and the growing moringa market.

However, in January I mentioned over a million visits to betumiblog, and floated the idea of forming some kind of association/ network/alliance/
affiliation/organization for Pan-African (African?) culinary professionals. Several people expressed interest and there have been preliminary talks. I was able to meet up recently with Nigerian Ozoz Sokoh (of Kitchen Butterfly) in NYC, and we had further discussions. We want to propose to you, our fellow African food writers, bloggers, and others serious about promoting and preserving the culinary legacy and innovations of Africans, to join us. This would not be the same as a chefs association. Are there already similar organizations we do not know about? Let us know.

The official name? To be decided. Send your suggestions by commenting here, and letting us know you support the idea. Tell us what would be most helpful.  

Just think what it could mean to have our own industry voice and support groups. Please help us spread the word. Let others know via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Eventually we may grow into something more official, but right now we're interested in establishing  a base.

Looking forward to hearing from you.