Tarte au citron


Preparation for Tarte au citron

So I was asked to make a lemon tart (english for Tarte au citron, for anyone that was wondering)and even though with Kowadakowa I really want to keep things simple, I decided to take on the challenge. I’ve made a lemon tart once before for my daddy’s birthday party, but that’s it. 
Without enough experience in making it, I couldn’t really tweak it so I stuck to the original recipe from one of my cookbooks.

for the pastry…
75g chilled butter 
150g plain flour
a pinch of salt
1 tbs caster sugar 
1 egg yolk 
for the lemon filling… 
3 large lemons
5 eggs
30g melted, unsalted butter
150g caster sugar 


sifted flour and salt with chilled butter 

In a large bowl, sift- in the flour and pinch of salt then add the 75g of chilled butter

Rub the chilled butter into the flour with the tip of your fingers until you get a crumbly texture. 

Make sure the butter is really cold, otherwise the flour will absorb all the butter and  you won’t get the crumbly texture.

Mix in 1tbs caster sugar 

In a cup, stir 1 egg yolk into 1tbs cold water then add that to the mixture 
Never mind the wooden spoon


Use your hands to bind it all together then wrap it in cling film and leave it in the fridge to chill for about an hour. 
Now let’s get started on the lemon filling, shall we?
Lemon rind

        Grate the lemons to get the zesty flavour from the rind

use a good squeezer so no seeds get in

Cut the lemons and squeeze into a measuring jug. You’ll need about 180 ml of lemon juic

about 180 ml lemon juice 
Beat 5 eggs lightly into a bowl using a whisk or a fork then in  a large bowl, addd the lemon zest, 30g melted butter, 150g caster sugar and lemon juice.
large bowl with all the ingredients
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
After about an hour, the pastry is ready to be rolled out, so using baking parchment on a floured work surface, roll out the pastry. 
Line a 20 cm flan tin with the rolled- out pastry 
Never mind my ugly example

I quite like the ‘home- made/ rustic’ look. I think it makes it look a tad more edible.

                                         With a fork or skewers, perforate the pastry like such.
Place a sheet of baking parchment over the dish then scatter beans over it. This helps reduce the rising of the pastry (if any).
My flan tin came with this perforated layer so I didn’t need to scatter beans over it. 
Pop in the oven for 15 minutes.
When that’s done, remove baking parchment and beans then brush 2 teaspoons of a beaten egg over the baked pastry and pop back in the over for 5 minutes to brown the pastry further. 
brushing 2 tsp of an egg 
Reduce the oven temperature to 120 degrees C.
After 5 minutes in the oven, remove then pour filling into the pastry  and put back into the oven and allow to bake for about 40 minutes.
just before final bake 

Remove from oven after about 40 minutes and allow to cool.

just after final bake
browned crust 

When cool, finish- off with simple lemon slices round the pastry and a light layer of icing sugar dusted over the filling. 

et voila! 
rustic tarte au citron 




Side Salad- simple and versatile. 

Preparation for the salad
For the salad 
half an avocado
a large bunch of greens –baby spinach, rocket, red chard & bull blood
a bunch of black olives (with seeds)
For the dressing
2 tbs olive oil,
1 tsp lemon juice 
1/2 tbs dijon mustard 
peppercorn to crush  
parmesan shavings to garnish 
Let’s get started, shall we…
chopped avocados



Using a spoon, scoop out the avocado then chop it up into little pieces. Don’t worry about the size. Some can be bigger than others.. it really doesn’t matter. 

In a mortar, place the olives and crush with the pestle until the seeds come out. This helps release some of the olive juice trapped in the olives. You wouldn’t get this is seedless olives, which is why I choose olives with the seeds in them.
                                              Just make sure you have the same amount of seeds when crushed or someone’s going to be chewing on a hard seed and that won’t be funny.
Time for the dressing 
In a bowl, mix in the olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of the juice from the crushed olives & dijon mustard.
olive oil, lemon juice, olive juice & dijon mustard
add the crushed peppercorn and salt 
Mix lovingly with a spoon 
Mix in all the ingredients with the the dressing
Now it’s time to plate the food!!!
add the parmesan shavings 
et voila!!!
And there you have it… simple and versatile. It can be eaten as an accompaniment to steak, chicken, or it can be a filling for a sandwich. 
What I love the most about this is the play with texture and flavour. The avocados and olives are soft but then fused with the greens, you get that lovely crunch. The lemon gives a nice acidity to the dressing and the dijon mustard and peppercorn give that much- needed kick!
side salad on a bed of soft boiled eggs on toast
Hope you enjoy cooking,
bon appétit!


   I had the most fun over the last weekend than I have in the longest time!
 Friday was cut short because I had errands to run so I worked half the day and then ventured off into the chaos that is Lagos. (I love the city. It can be fun, it just is a bit of a handful). 
I got home at about 16:00 hrs with a throbbing headache because it took me about 2½ hours to get home thanks to yours truly, President Jonathan- who had flown in for the day to do sod all, leaving the metropolis at a complete stand still. How inconsiderate!

overcast sky on the 3rd mainland bridge

 I got home and headed straight for the swimming pool, regardless of the overcast sky. I quite like gloomy days, weather-wise because they remind me of London- also I’m not particularly fond of the idea of the scorching sun all year round so friday was quite nice. 

inspiration search 

  I posted this photo on Instagram with the same caption and a friend of mine couldn’t get over it. He found it most amusing for some strange reason, but that’s alright because he’s a cool kid.

 The Fusion of Ben Howard’s ‘Every Kingdom’ album and the sensation of my feet dipped into the pool and me laying on the pool’s edge sent me fast to la la land. 

Cinnamon crunch & cocopops with my staple- lemon infused water woke me up nice and early on saturday while flickering through GQ and the Condé Nast Traveller for inspiration. I have to admit that I haven’t spent much time on the interior design side of my brain but last weekend made up for all the time lost. 
You might think me silly but I think I  invented a stroke after breakfast. It’s a cross between the butterfly and breaststroke.  A Fast forward to about 13:00 hours and I was at my little brother’s prep. school- it was an eye- opener. the mixture of spoilt children and even worse nannies- WOW! Kids kicking and screaming when told to get off bouncy castles, running away from their nannies, nannies running after kids- a mess!
succulent BBQ chicken at LPS

oooh and they took up all the space on the food queues because of their indecision and what not but I managed to get some barbecued chicken which was just lovely. The love gone into the marination was evident throughout each bite. The prefect amount of time spent on the charcoal  grill was worth much more than three tokens per piece. 

#KowaIdeas #kowaInspiration

There was this stall on the side that no one seemed to pay much attention to. It was a young Hausa gentleman selling woven baskets and interesting art pieces. I found myself, more often than not, gawking at the level of detail that many of them had. Hopefully you’ll see the african fusion in some more of my stuff over the christmas period. 

The big whopper, however, was my amazing bump into ASA at the Wheatbaker during the opening night of the ‘Eko Moves’ photography exhibition by Yetunde Ayeni Babaeko!!! I was lost for words… anyway we were introduced, started chatting and couldn’t stop. 


 As she walked into the room in a black short- sleeved mid-length dress, her signature yellow céline satchel and dior trainers, she spread, through her petite physique a mien of humility with her calm tone and poise.
 She seemed chuffed when I told her about the time I missed  her London concert at Union Chapel and how I instagramed a picture to ‘apologise’ for my absence (even though she had no idea who I was at the time). We scrolled through a few pictures on my #kowadakowa instagram page, spoke about my plans to develop kowadakowa, looked at a few photos by the wonderful photographer Yetunde Ayeni Babaeko.

we obviously had to take a selfie 

      My favourite pieces from the exhibition were ‘Makoko’ and ‘Sandfill Area’

Makoko by Yetunde Ayeni Babaeko
Sandfill Area (if I remember correctly) by YAB

It was such an amazing exhibition because although the excellent quality of the photography was evident through the use of shade, light and print on different mediums like aluminium (slight twist front the norm), the exhibition told an amazing story. It fused the work of the first ever performing arts school in Nigeria- SPAN and derelict/ neglected Lagos. 
 There was a lovely dance performance by the dance students mid- show and then videos of the run- up to each shot during the photo shoot which I thought was very creative. 

After church the following morning, I had brunch, well I say brunch, it was more of a snack, to be honest, at the Art café. 
Over some some light jazz as background music I decided to play it simple (after several flutes of champagne last night) with an iced soya mocha and an oatmeal and chocolate chip cookie.

oatmeal and chocolate cookie & Iced soya mocha 
alfresco brunch at the Art café

The place has just got this easy- going vibe to it. No fuss. Great coffee, simple food like a cafe should offer, but if you manage to venture downstairs, be sure to be wowed by the wonderfully curated pieces in their art gallery.