Tuesday, September 10

Batman Keki

Today is my hubby's 40th birthday! A milestone that we get to celebrate out here in Dodoma! In the 8 years that we've known each other, I've never once made him a keki (Swahili for cake, pronounced kay-key) ... but this year I wasn't going to let him miss out! 

It has been a family tradition since Abigail's first birthday, for me and Mark to make and decorate a fun cake together for the girls. As we now know each other's strength's in the cake decorating department, I couldn't keep his cake a surprise from him, as I needed his help to make it!

He has always been a big Batman Nut, so for this special birthday there was no question about what the cake would be. I think it turned out pretty well ... even if I do say so myself!

Obviously a lot of things we would normally just be able to 'pop down' to the supermarket to buy aren't available in Dodoma. So it did require a little forward planning!! One thing you can't buy is fondant icing but a friend in the States used to make it from scratch with marshmallows ... so for this birthday I thought I'd try it out and IT WORKED!

You can't get marshmallows here in Dodoma either ... but I ordered in 10 big bags when someone went shopping in Dar Es Salaam and they worked a treat!

Here's the recipe ... it's simple and very sticky but totally worth it ...
  • 10-12oz marshmallows
  • About 1 1/2 lbs icing/powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water

  1. Put the marshmallows in a glass bowl, add water and microwave for 30 seconds. Take it out and stir. Repeat at 30 second intervals until they're melted ... OR ... (without a microwave, as we don't have one!) boil a saucepan of water and put marshmallows and water in a mixing bowl above the boiling water, stirring occasionally until melted!
  2. Add about a quarter of the icing sugar and dump the rest out onto the counter.
  3. After stirring in the icing sugar, tip the marshmallow/sugar/water mixture onto the remaining sugar on the surface and knead it like you would bread.
  4. It is REALLY sticky ... keep going, adding more icing sugar if necessary before you know it though you will rolling it out like fondant icing!
  5. Add food colouring as required. 
It's a lot more flexible than fondant icing and doesn't seem to dry out/crack as much either. In my opinion it also tastes better ... which is just as well as it's the only way we'll get to ice keki's for the foreseeable future unless we use butter icing but I don't think it's as easy to be as creative with that!!

I'm so pleased it worked out well ... especially as that's my cake for the decade for my hubby! If my track record is anything to go by he'll be waiting till his 50th for the next one!!

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