Discover fresh flavours from West Africa with the Observer Rising Star of Food 2017. Lopè Ariyo is currently one of the UK’s leading voices in West African cuisine. Her passion for contemporary West African food led her to enter, and win, the HarperCollins and Red Magazine African cookery competition. Hibiscus is her first cookbook.
LEMON CHIN CHIN
PREP TIME: 20 MINS PLUS CHILLING TIME
COOKING TIME: 15 MINS MAKES: 36
This is a beloved Nigerian treat with a texture somewhere between a shortbread and a biscotti biscuit. Lemon Chin Chin’s are quick to make and really deliver on flavour as Lopè puts her own spin on a traditional recipe.
300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp baking powder 4 tbsp caster sugar zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted 120ml evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
First line a baking tray with baking paper.
1. In a large bowl sift together the flour and baking powder, then add the sugar along with the lemon zest and nutmeg and mix. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil, evaporated milk, egg and vanilla extract and gently whisk until well combined. Using your hands, combine the wet mix with the dry mix until a smooth dough is formed.
2. Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and gently roll it out to 3mm thick. Cut out circles using a 9cm biscuit cutter, then cut each circle into 6 wedges using a knife. If you don’t have a cutter, try cutting the biscuits into 3cm squares.
3. Transfer the chin chin to the lined baking tray. Cover with cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4. Take the chin chin out of the fridge and remove the cling film. Bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes until golden brown.
5. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.
Lopè Ariyo is the Observer Rising Star of Food 2017 and Hibiscus is her first cookbook. Her passion for contemporary West African food lead her to enter, and win, the HarperCollins and Red Magazine African cookery competition. Lopè currently lives in Croydon, south London, and divides her time between consulting for African food brands and writing content for her blog, www.lopeariyo.com.