Making Fat Cakes
The okakuki, or in English fat cake, is one of the most sought after snacks during the school tea break each day. The kids scramble to buy them from the memes (women) selling them out of colorful plastic tubs under trees for one Namibian dollar. They wrap them up in pieces of newspaper or paper bag, so you can see all the grease that makes them delicious. Fat cakes are so popular that 4 to 5 memes come to school each day and sell out. What is a fat cake, you ask? Simply put, fried pieces of slightly sweetened dough. They can be eaten with fried fish, kapana meat or alone. I personally enjoy them with Nutella or peanut butter.
Fat cakes are cheap and simple to make. I asked my neighbors Penny and Penny (you read right, two Pennys in one house) to teach me how to make them. It was funny and sticky. Watch the video of us making fat cakes and then try making your own with the recipe below!
Fat Cakes Recipe
2 cups lukewarm water
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
7 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups oil for frying
Mix lukewarm water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Let stand until yeast softens and begins to bubble slightly, about 5 minutes.
Sift flour and salt together in a large bowl.
Pour water mixture over flour mixture and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. Cover bowl with clean cloth and let dough rise until until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
Pinch off a piece of dough about the size of a tennis ball; roll until smooth. Flatten ball of dough until it is the size of palm; set aside on a floured work surface. Repeat with remaining dough.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Fry flattened pieces of dough in the hot oil, 2 to 3 pieces at a time, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.