The Slap

The Slap

Friday 28 June 2019 • No comments

Have you ever been in a situation where your child was hit by a stranger? In this part of the world, in some schools, teachers are allowed to beat children if they are out of line(in their opinion). That's how it was when i was growing up, i'm sure things might have changed a bit now. When i say stranger, i'm not referring just to teachers, it could also be a nanny, friend or even a family member. I feel like everyone has a different meter for discipline. The way i choose to raise my child is different from anyone else's way so ultimately, discipline should be left to the parents of the child. 

Maya Angelou was mute for a few years as a child after going through a horrible sexual violence. It's incredible how extremely our bodies can react to trauma. One day, a teacher at school insisted that she spoke in class and wasn't backing down. The teacher kept pushing and pushing but she didn't speak and so she got landed a hot slap. This story reminded me of a book i read a few years ago called 'The Slap' about a three year old boy getting slapped across the face at a barbeque by a man because he was misbehaving without any intervention by his parents. Whatever the case, i feel it is no ones responsibility but the parents to discipline a child especially in this way. It doesn't matter if you think they are bad at parenting, it's simply not your place to hit someone else's child. All you can do is bring your concerns to them and hope they do the right thing. Some people believe that it is necessary to beat a growing child to keep them in check and others think it's cruel to do so. No one is right or wrong. These are just different ways of parenting. It's most important to make sure your child feels loved, heard and doesn't feel unsafe or scared around you. If there is an alternative means of discipline that works then that's fine too! Beating is not always necessary or the only way to raise a child contrary to popular african beliefs. Every child is different, every parent is different. Stay in your lane and don't judge. I occasionally spank my daughter when i feel it's necessary but sometimes, i consider a few factors and decide not to. Parenting is not easy. If it takes me a little contemplation to decide whether or not i would spank my child, i would absolutely be outraged if a stranger hit my child in my absence or even in my presence. Please don't slap my child or you'll be in hot sugar! I think that's a worse threat than hot water. Boiling water gets up to 100 degrees celcius but sugar can gets up to 180 degrees celcius. After she heard, Maya Angelou's grandmother marched down to the school and returned the slap to the teacher. She wasn't having it.

Caramel is basically burnt sugar. Sugar is such a versatile ingredient, even burnt, it offers such a deep, rich flavour. To make caramel, all you need is sugar and a saucepan. On low heat, the sugar will melt slowly. When it starts to bubble and burn, take it off the heat and add boiling water to make caramel syrup to add to the cake batter once it's cooled.

In a big bowl I mixed butter and sugar the old school way, with an 'Omorogun' (a wooden cooking spoon that sometimes serves as a discipline stick in Africa). I can't remember the last time i made a cake like this, without a mixer. I'm a professional baker but since i started this project, I've come to realize I'm lacking so many tools at home. This one took me all the way back to basics and i got a proper arm workout.

After several minutes of butter and sugar beating, it was much lighter. I stirred in the caramel syrup and the color changed instantly. It changed from a pale off white, to a rich brown and it already began to look delicious. I mixed in the flour and milk then lastly had another workout session whisking the eggs till they were foamy. The eggs were folded in and the cake was baked for about 30 minutes.

Caramel Syrup

The caramel icing was interesting. I've never browned butter before. In true caramel fashion, the butter was heated in a saucepan over low heat till in got brown. You don't want this to burn the way the sugar did. I don't think  this was mean to happen but i left it unattended for a few second and little black specs formed at the bottom of the saucepan. When i mixed the cooled browned butter into the icing sugar and cream, it reminded me of specs of vanilla seeds straight from the pod. 

Browning butter
It was a little too sweet but overall, it had an amazing flavour and  i loved it. I'm enjoying baking from start to finish with just my hands and basic home utensils. I covered this cake with a table knife and spoon. and drizzled with some left over caramel syrup.

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