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Foodies We Love: Cooking With Jaz

written by Fred Mwithiga 26th March 2018

Whether you’re not that great in the Kitchen or you’re out to fine tune your skills, @CookingWithJaz has a solution for every hungry soul.

If you’re a lonely single with no kitchen experience and are quite frankly, exhausted from fast food runs, you need to sign up for one of Jasmine Macharia’s culinary classes before they sell out. The bubbly 27 year old food blogger, cookbook author, food entrepreneur and chef by profession is all about making the process easy and the product delicious. You don’t have to take my word for it, a trip to her Instagram page @cookingwithjaz, shows off her carefully prepared meals and satisfied clients brimming with joy.

Despite her love for food, it’s been a journey getting to where she is today. She first fell in love with the kitchen when she was 10 years old and taught herself how to cook by watching her mum and poring over cooking shows on T.V. Once the Internet became a sensation, the ever curious Jasmine would spend hours in a cyber café downloading recipes and trying them out for her family and friends. Soon after she graduated high school, she moved to Spain to study culinary arts and restaurant management before moving back to Kenya to help run the family business in 2010. It wasn’t long before she needed to get back to her first love. After spending over 6 years in a job that had nothing to do with her passion for food, Cooking With Jaz was born.

In the short span that she’s been active, Jasmine has accomplished more than she would have thought. Her most memorable experience? “Launching my book Breakfast with the King. A whole 250 people came out to the launch all the way in my hometown. I still can’t believe how well it was received. I also can’t forget to mention winning the Gourmand World Cookbook award for ‘Best in Kenya,’ and getting nominated in 3 more categories against 100+ countries! I can’t wait to attend the awards in May all the way in China to be honored as one of the top 3 African cuisine books in the world.” But it doesn’t stop there. She’s looking to become a household brand – something bigger than herself. This year, she releases her second cookbook, which she says is already better than the first after learning from past mistakes and victories. As much as she loves to cook, she’s never one to back down from a dinner date with her husband. In her words “Hubby and I love anywhere with a rooftop view (say Brew Bistro in Westlands) but food wise I must say we are down for Mama Rocks Burgers any day. It may not sound romantic but they are one of the few restaurants in Nairobi that have been consistent in their taste and quality which is key in us having a good night. There’s no romance when the food is whack, right?!”

Her Cocopine Pancakes is her favorite recipe which she created for her first cookbook out of the love she had for cocopine juice when she was growing up. If you would love to try fluffy pancakes topped with caramelized pineapple chunks, here’s the recipe.

COCOPINE PANCAKES

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour Coconut oil Syrup
For the topping:
  • Chopped pineapple chunks
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Crack and beat the eggs for about 30 seconds to trap the air. This helps in making the pancakes fluffy.
  2. Follow by adding the sugar and whisking with the eggs.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until the batter is smooth.
  4. Heat a tablespoon coconut oil in a pan and add one heaped spoon of the batter.
  5. Leave to cook until the top starts to form bubbles, after which you can flip and allow the other side to cook. Remove from heat and repeat the process until you have a stack of pancakes.
  6. In another pan heat the brown sugar and pineapple chunks until they begin to caramelize.
  7. Follow by adding the desiccated coconut and stir everything well together.
  8. After about 2 minutes, remove from heat and serve on top of the pancakes.
  9. Enjoy with a drizzle of syrup.

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