It’s been a while I did one of these food posts. I was craving chin chin the other day and I decided to make some (my very first time ever). Let me rewind: Igwe and I attended a Nigerian-Cameroonian wedding on Thursday, July 2nd in Columbia, Maryland. I did not eat any food there, but I did eat the chin chin like it was going out of style. It was sweet and soft but crunchy, just the way I like it. It was not the kind of crunchy that would give you a surprise root canal. So I ate and ate with reckless abandon. I really think it’s been years since I last ate some chin chin.
So the other day, I still had visions of me eating this chin chin, so on my way back from a meeting, I stopped at the grocery store to get some ingredients. I had never, ever made chin chin before, but I figured it was nothing Google couldn’t assist me with. I ended up using this recipe from 9ja Foodie. It seemed simple enough. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at the scarcity of ingredients and how simple making chin chin seemed.
I came home, donned my apron and went to work. I wanted the chin chin to be soft like the one I ate at the wedding, and I had it in my head that the person at 9ja Foodie clearly does not know what chin chin texture I was going for. Therefore, I, the Virgin Chin Chin Maker, took it upon myself to tweak the recipe.
Recipe called for 3 cups of flour, but I used 2 instead. Recipe called for 1/2 cup of melted butter, but I used a whole cup instead. How else will it be soft??? Recipe called for 1/2 cup of milk, but Vera used a whole cup [of evaporated milk]. Recipe called for 1 egg, but Vera chose to use 2. The recipe called for baking powder, but Vera didn’t have any. She had baking soda, so she googled to see how she could replace one for the other. She came across a site that said you can substitute baking soda for baking powder, but you’d have to use less baking soda than the recipe called for baking powder AND you’ll have to add a teaspoon of base like lemon juice. Well, the recipe called for 1 teaspoon of baking powder, so Vera used 1/2 teaspoon and she added a teaspoon of lime juice as base. Yes, the article called for lemon juice, but Vera only had lime, so she figured, kini big deal? They’re all in the same family. Lime. Lemon. Same thing! Also, the recipe did not call for vanilla, but Vera thought, hmm, this would make it smell good, so she added a few drops.
I knew something was wrong when I was done mixing it and could not flatten it with a dough roller because it was so soft that it was sticking to the dough roller. So I just used a table knife to cut out little pieces that I fried. The result?
Big-big chin chin that tasted like chin chin, but had the texture of bons. No crunch whatsoever. I was heartbroken. Igwe ate a few and said they weren’t so bad. Bless his heart, I think he was trying to console me on my epic fail. I did not bother frying everything, and I was too disappointed to take a picture of the dough, but this is what my chin chin looked like. I don’t suppose anyone will be hiring me any time soon to make chin chin for them. The fault isn’t from the 9ja Foodie recipe; apparently, recipes are made to be followed. Who knew?
For my consolation, however, the chin chin did smell good! Jury is still out on whether or not I’ll be trying this chin chin thing again. Everyone should know their strength. Maybe I should just look for someone to make me some.
P.S. I just realized I could have added more flour when I saw that the dough was too soft and sticky. Well, now I know. Must attempt again! This time, I’ll have baking powder. Don’t believe me, just watch. *beats chest, drops the mic*
P.P.S. My mom is into baking and stuff. She makes cakes, cookies, bread, meat pie, chin chin, bons, etc. I, on the other hand, can only make pancakes. Chin chin, here I come!