Thursday, 19 January 2012

A Perfect Date – Sticky Toffee Pudding with Homemade Toffee Sauce

There’s truly is no sexier desert than sticky toffee pudding – a very moist . Whilst I was folding the chopped up dates into the batter and whipping a generous batter of our homemade toffee sauce – I started thinking about how much this cake reminded me of what a perfect male date (I’m referring to the person now not the fruit) should be.  The cake is moist with a rich, full-bodied, almost overpowering taste– the sort of cake that has presence and demands your complete attention (think Boris Kojoe + a simple white tee + the Obama-swag – the wife, of course). The muscavado sugar that is used in the batter transforms into a rich sticky toffee upon baking and melts slowly and flirtatiously in your mouth with each bite.

The toffee sauce has this smooth velvety texture that would be no less than George Clooney if textures corresponded to men and its rich sweetness is akin to the sort of guy who knows that chivalry didn’t die in the Middle Ages. Yumz..

We’re definitely keeping this recipe – just in case Apple designs an app that can make men out of cakes. But then again would we really give up the cake … doubtful.


The team at Hans and Rene

Monday, 16 January 2012

A Multi-Layered Cake for a Multi-Cultural Country

“Black notes, white notes and you need the two to make a harmony, folks!” – Spike Milligan

There really is nothing as sweet and tasty as multiculturalism and this beautifully layered cake is our very own tribute to that fact.

Indeed making a cake in which the careful layering of vanilla, chocolate and red velvet sponge – each with its own very distinct flavour – produces a wickedly delicious whole should be particularly relevant in a country such as ours.

We live in a country where the word tribalism plays way too prominent role. The Hausas apparently don’t like Ibo people, the Muslims don’t like the Christians and the Yorubas always seems to be fighting amongst themselves. Then there’s this confusing issue of the south south vs. the south east vs. the south west vs. the North vs. whichever geographical region you can makeup using the various points on a compass.

I’ve got a suggestion – lets play the metaphor game and see if we can learn  about pressing social issues through cake. Lets say that the Yorubas are the red velvet sponge or, as I like to call it, the owambe sponge – festive, fun and full of pizazz. The Ibos then would be the vanilla sponge; there are well-established Ibo communities dotted all over Nigeria and so like vanilla cake they seem to blend well with everything. The chocolate base would be the Hausas – luxurious, dense (in population for the Hausas and in texture for the cake) and perhaps darkened a touch by that south Saharan sun. So now we’re left with the minority tribes – like the frosting in between each layer – the glue that holds the various parts together. It may not be the most prominent part of the cake but trust me a cake without icing would be pretty dull.

So you see its really easy to visualize our entire country in a slice of our delicious multi-layered cake with each part being very different yet coming together to make a pretty awesome whole. The removal of one part whether it be the chocolate, vanilla or red velvet sponge or the critical cream cheese frosting would be disaster, and leave the cake lacking a certain je ne sais quoi.

So whilst you all might be out on the streets protesting, we’re gonna be hanging in the kitchen hoping we can teach our fellow Nigerians a little something-something with our sumptuous baked goods. Don’t ever say that baking can’t be deep and profound.


Hans and Rene

Saturday, 14 January 2012

It’s gonna be a Rocky Road …

Anyone who’s ever driven in Nigeria (barring, of course, residents of Abj with their awkwardly tush roads *eye roll*) will understand what I mean by a Rocky Road: the sort of road that terrifies anyone who drives a non 4x4 car.

However, at Hans and Rene we’re in the business of making even the more unpleasant facets of Nigeria living a little bit more bearable so we created these delicious Rocky Road cupcakes: they’ve chocolate sponge base and are topped off with marshmallows, fudge pieces and a little drizzle of chocolate sauce. Now hopefully next time you’re navigating your car over the potholes and bumps of Nigeria’s roads you’ll think about our yummy little treats and feel a little bit calmer. Better yet maybe you’ll be the sort of far-sighted, sensible individual who will already have ordered your Hans and Rene cupcakes, have them sitting in your car and can therefore have a bit of a munch as you surf the road-waves.


The team at Hans’n’Rene

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Vive La Revolucion!!

There’s been a revolutionary air permeating the streets of Lagos these days. People are out in the streets ostensibly protesting the removal of subsidies but we all know that these demonstrations have become about much more than whether petrol of N65/ litre or N140/litre.

We at Hans and Rene like to keep our ears to the street and so created these Cuban-themed cupcakes to echo these revolutionary sentiments. We hope you enjoy our little taste Havana. The cupcakes are a mix of our standard flavours – vanilla, red velvet and chocolate – and also our yummy mojito cuptails (that’s how the cool kidz refer to our cupcake-cocktails). Make sure you pay close attentions to our hand moulded and completely edible Cohiba cigars --- finally cigars without the threat of mouth cancer – don’t say we don’t care about you health!


Hans and Rene

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Brown Paper Packages tied up with string …

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
brown paper packages tied up with strings,
these are a few of my favorite things.

Yes…. We’re taking you waaaaaay back. Everyone who’s a member of the BFB (before facebook), BBB (before blackberries) or BC (Before Computers) will know exactly where this verse comes from.

But for all you young’uns let me school you real quick. This magical verse is from that EPIC movie The Sound of Music  - that movie that made us wish that our nanny was not a Fresh of the (village) Bus girl called Bose or Happiness or whatever but was instead a white ex-nun trainee with curiously boyish hair called Maria.

SO how about you make a toast to nostalgia, order a box of Hans and Rene cupcakes and finally get that brown paper package tied up with strings. Heck why not even dust off that old VCR player and enjoy The Sound of Music whilst munching on our delicious cupcakes.


The team at Hans and Rene

Thursday, 1 December 2011


Hans and Rene is
(get info on start date - what is hans and rene - what do we do differently - etc etc)