For a while now I’ve wanted to do a series of recipes that use ingredients that are available at the corner buutiks across Senegal (or West Africa for that matter). The problem is that not all buutiks are stocked equally and I am aware that mine is a bit more expat-focused than some. I mean it has olive oil and Carte Noire coffee for crying out loud… So while your local buutik may not have ALL of these ingredients, they are definitely easily available in towns around Senegal and outside of Dakar.
Shall we proceed?
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s custard-based recipe.
1/3 cup sugar
2 packets vanilla sugar
11/2 Tbsp cornstarch (shown above, also available as Maïzena)
6 Tbsp milk powder
2 cups water
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups madeleine cookies or locally made beignets, torn into small pieces
1 cup water + Nescafé powder to make a strong cup of coffee (room temp is fine)
Cocoa powder or cocoa mix, about 1-2 Tbsp
Mix sugars, cornstarch, milk powder and salt in a saucepan then add water and eggs. Lots of whisking for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Stir in butter.
Make a layer of cookies/beignet pieces in an 8×8 pan. Pour half the cup of coffee over top. Sprinkle cocoa powder, dollop on half the custard. Repeat with another layer of cookies/beignets, the rest of the coffee, the rest of the custard and end with sprinkling of cocoa.
Let chill at least two hours, but preferably a full day, before eating.