BECAUSE SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO CREATE YOUR OWN SUNSHINE
I have just spent the entire weekend in my apartment baking and cooking Christmassy meals for the boyfriend. As usual there was the occasional call to mum who was rescuing me with cooking tips. I needed a quick and simple recipe for dessert so she gave me her recipe for a delicious snack which she would always make for me as a child during my time in Zimbabwe.
The recipe was for ‘FAT COOKS’ but formerly known as African drop scones. Shona (one of Zimbabwe’s main languages) is quite literal so I assume that the ‘FAT’ part comes from the fact that the mixture is shallow fried in sunflower oil and the ‘COOK’ part – well… they are cooked in fat. Fat cooks are similar to donuts and make perfect snacks especially with a nice cup of tea. When serving them for dessert I would recommend eating them with ice-cream or with jam and clotted cream on the side. They are not too sweet, extremely moreish, simple and delicious. They are also very easy to make.
Here is the recipe for anyone who wants to try something new. I hope you enjoy a simple but sweet taste from my homeland.
One and a half cups of self-raising flour
A pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 table spoon of maple syrup
Cinnamon (add liberally according to taste preference; I add half a teaspoon.)
A splash of vanilla extract (try to use vanilla pods)
Vegetable oil to shallow fry with
1. Sift the flour and then add the salt, sugar, cinnamon and egg.
2. Add milk to the flour slowly with small pours until a sloppy sticky batter mix forms. The mixture cannot be too runny but soft enough to scoop and drop it from a tablespoon and into the pot.
3. Heat a pan or saucepan with oil which is filled about half an inch deep. Once heated scoop and slowly drop a tablespoon of the mix into oil. Add a few more scoops into pot as appropriate. Do not over fill with spoonfuls.
4. Fry both sides until golden brown, remove the fried fat cooks from the pan and they lay them on grease proof paper or kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
5. Repeat the process until the mix is complete.
6. Serve or just shove them in your mouth and enjoy!