Sandra Boghos Letayf, a 38-year-old self-taught pastry chef and mother of three, has been developing recipes and creating content on social media under the name Sandy’s Kitchen.
After initially studying finance and obtaining an MBA, Sandra eventually decided to follow her true passion into the world of cuisine and pastry. She now shares recipes and culinary expertise with her online community from her kitchen in Dubai, where she has lived for the past decade. Recently, she has also launched her own small business selling biscuits and cookies.
Sandra’s journey into the culinary world originally sprung from her profound aversion to routine. For her, the kitchen was a sanctuary, full of surprises, where she would practice her baking skills after her working day. With each new recipe she tried, she honed her technique and later acquired her first clients who commissioned birthday cakes from her.
In time, Sandra eventually made the bold decision to bid farewell to the world of finance for good and don her apron, wholeheartedly embracing her role as a cook and pastry chef. Today, she shares her recipes and chronicles her culinary journey on her Instagram page @sandyskitchen, which has garnered around 139,000 subscribers.
“My account is a reflection of who I am,” Sandra explains. “It’s based on what I love to eat and how I nourish my family, that being primarily with healthy and balanced meals, but whilst still indulging my sweet tooth,” she tells us. “Both cooking and sharing, my recipes are equally important,” she adds. “They are two sides of the same coin. Each takes the lead at different times, depending on the moment. Sometimes, the cook in me takes over, while at other times, it’s the content creator.”
Sandra handles every aspect of the content creation herself. She films her own videos, takes the photos, edits the content and writes in both English and Arabic. She shares an array of both sweet and savory dishes and offers new recipes at least once, if not twice, a week, depending on her schedule.
“My favorite recipe is this chocolate cake that I first unveiled during lockdown in 2020,” Sandra shares. “Since then, the recipe has been viewed millions of times on Instagram and TikTok because, she reckons, it is “easy and, most importantly, delicious.”
Sandra Boghos Letayf, Sandy’s kitchen’s chocolate cake
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 12 people
Difficulty level: Easy
200g sifted flour
300g raw sugar (can be replaced with any sugar)
50g sifted cocoa powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
80 ml vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla
190 ml milk
190 ml boiling water + 1 tsp mixed coffee powder
For the sauce:
150 g milk chocolate (or dark, according to preferences)
150 ml whipping cream 35%
Tip: Do not try to reduce the amount of sugar, it does not work.
For the cake
Step 1- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Step 2- Grease a 20 cm cake pan with oil. Line the bottom with parchment paper and sprinkle the sides with cocoa. Set the pan aside.
Step 3- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Step 4- Add the liquid ingredients one by one. Start with oil, then egg, vanilla, milk and finally coffee. Mix until everything is well incorporated.
Step 5- Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.
For the sauce
Step 1- Heat the cream and chop the chocolate.
Step 2- When the cream is hot, add the chocolate and let it sit.
Step 3- Wait for 5 minutes, then stir until the mixture becomes shiny.
For the topping
Step 1- Let the cake and the sauce cool.
Step 2- Pour the sauce over the cake and serve.
This article was originally published in French in L'Orient-Le Jour.