Paul asked me if I could make him some sugar free crunchie biscuits and I found this recipe online. As usual, I’ve made some changes because of the ingredients I had on hand differed slightly. They don’t look as pretty as the originals but they are yummy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ground quick oats
  • 1 cup unground quick oats
  • 50g ground walnuts
  • 100g chopped raisins
  • 50ml canola oil (if I had coconut oil I would definitely have used that rather)
  • 6 tablespoons honey

Method

  • Mix both cups of oats, walnuts and raisins together.
  • In a pan or microwave, melt the oil and honey on low heat.
  • Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Spread into a greased tray and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Cut into squares (I only had a round tray so mine will be a bit non-squarish) and enjoy with a cuppa.

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Chocolate Ganache

June 29, 2015

Before I start let me just say, YUMMY! The ganache almost didn’t land up on the cake, I almost ate the whole thing straight out the pot!

So… I made a chocolate cake and didnt have any icing sugar. What I did have was cream and chocolate so I made a ganache.

All the recipes I found were pretty easy, a basic ganach recipe calls for a 1:1 ratio of chocolate and cream. For a more liquid ganache add more cream, for a thicker ganache add more chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 200g heavy cream (I used a 250ml box of 32% cream)
  • 200g dark chocolate (you can use pretty much any chocolate, I think white chocolate would be amazing)

Method

  • Heat the cream until it is steaming but not boiling.
  • While the cream is heating, chop the chocolate into small pieces, the smaller the easier and quicker it is to melt.
  • Remove the cream from the heat and add the chocolate.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon until the cream and chocolate are combined.
  • Allow to cool and thicken and then pour over your cake.
  • Start at the centre of the cake and allow the ganache to run over the sides.
  • I placed my cake in the fridge so the ganache set a bit.

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Apparently, if you have patience, you can let the ganache cool and then you can whip it and then spread it on the cake.

Also, if you want to make chocolate truffles, increase the amount of chocolate to cream ratio, allow the mixture to cool and thicken and then roll into balls and coat in cocoa.

I have to say thank you to The Cupcake Lady, Angel for answering all my questions on Twitter when I was so impatient to ice and eat the cake 😉

I asked a foodie group on FB to suggest a dessert that would travel easily as we were going to my brother in Tel Aviv via the train.

One of the suggestions was Nigella Lawson brownies.

I googled and found this recipe.

Now, I have to admit, I have never made regular* ‘from scratch’ brownies. I’ve always used a box mix. Never again! I am never ever buying box mix brownies again. These were so easy and so amazingly yummy! Will definitely be making them again and again. And again!

I used slightly different quantities, mainly because they are the amounts I had available. And it turned out ok, so I am giving you what I used. If you prefer, click on the link above for the original recipe.

Ingredients

  • 250g softened margerine (I used marge since I wanted my dessert to be dairy free)
  • 300g dark, milk free chocolate
  • 6 large eggs
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 500g caster sugar (I used brown sugar that I whizzed in the blender to make it fine like caster sugar)
  • 225g flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 300g chopped walnuts

Method

  • In a large pan, over a low heat or in a double boiler, melt the margarine and chocolate (break the chocolate into squares so it melts evenly).
  • While that is melting mix your eggs, sugar and vanilla in a separate bowl.
  • Check on your butter and chocolate and give it a stir to make sure that it is melting properly.
  • Measure out your flour and add the pinch of salt.
  • Once your marge and chocolate are melted remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  • While it is cooling, throw the walnuts into the blender and whiz until they are mostly chopped finely, leaving a few larger chunks if you like.
  • Now, add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture while beating with a hand held beater or in your mixer, the reason you are beating while pouring is so that the eggs don’t scramble in the hot chocolate.
  • Once that is mixed together well, add the flour a bit at a time until it is completely mixed in.
  • Lastly mix or fold in the walnuts.
  • In a deep pan lined with baking paper, pour in your mixture.
  • There will be mixture that doesn’t fit in the pan (regardless of how big the pan is, there WILL be left over mixture), make sure your kids are not around and using a spoon or spatula, scoop all that left over mixture into your mouth, thank me later!

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  • Bake the brownies at 180°C for about 25 minutes. The top of the brownies will look pale and slightly bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for an hour or so.
  • Slice the brownies straight in the pan, you should get about 32 pieces.
  • Serve with whipped dairy free cream and enjoy.

Oh! These are even better the next day, if any of them survive that long!

*I have made ‘from scratch’ Pesach brownies but thats not really the same…

Pesach Rolls

April 19, 2014

Pesach, a time of matza, horseradish and lots of yummy food.

We decided to have cold meat for lunch today but the kids wanted rolls.

So I grabbed some matzo meal and made the yummiest rolls.

Ingredients

2 x cups matzo meal
1/2 x cup oil
1 and 1/2 cup boiling water
Teaspoon salt
Teaspoon sugar
4 x eggs, beaten

Method

Heat oven to 190C and grease a baking tray.
Add all dry ingredients to a mixing bowl.
Add the boiling water and the oil and mix.
Allow to cool.
Once cool add the eggs and mix.
Divide into six portions and place on baking tray.
Bake for 40 minutes.

And that’s it. They were very light and fluffy and went well with the cold meat and horseradish.

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Babke

October 21, 2013

Babke is a traditional Eastern European Jewish cinnamon bread.

Since it is a cold and miserable Jozi afternoon I thought a slight of warm babke, slathered in butter and a cup of tea would go down nicely.

And it did 😉

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 125g butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • 4 blobs of butter

Method

  • Set oven to 190°C and grease a loaf tin.
  • Mix the half cup brown sugar and the cinnamon together and set aside.
  • Beat eggs, sugar and salt until thick.
  • Heat butter and milk and add to the egg mixture.
  • Add flour and baking powder one cup and teaspoon at a time and mix well.
  • Pour half the mixture into the greased tin and then layer half the cinnamon and sugar mix over.
  • Pour the remainder of the mixture into the tin and sprinkle the remainder of the cinnamon and sugar mix over the top.
  • Press 4 blobs of butter into the top of the babke.
  • Bake for 45min.

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Peanut butter icing

July 9, 2012

The amazing Tanya made what looks like amazing icing this weekend!

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This weekend I was craving cake. But it had to be vanilla sponge cake and peanut butter icing.  I’ve never made peanut butter icing.  As luck would have it, I had a visit from a friend of mine, who is a pastry chef (check out her site which is soon to be updated: http://www.schweetemporium.co.za/) and she gave me a recipe for icing!

As for the cake… I discovered this box cake a few months ago and I am in love.  So easy (obviously) and so divine!  Just add water, oil and eggs!

So I made this delicious cake (it says to make a 2 layer cake, but I only have one springform tin, so I always just make one cake.)

Then, onto the icing… obviously my friend makes this in bulk, so she halved the recipe for me, and I still had WAY too much – but you can freeze it!! Which I did…

This is the recipe I used, But I may just halve it again when I need more… I had enough for 3 cakes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 375g Wooden Spoon White Margarine (it is apparently important to use this brand)
  • 900g icing sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Vanilla essence

… this is where her regular recipe ends – but as I wanted peanut better icing, she said to just add as much as I wanted until it tasted good. I ended using about

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter.

METHOD:

  • With an electric mixer, blend chopped up butter, icing sugar and eggs. Blend, blend, blend for a long time, until light and fluffy and white.
  • Leave icing for 15-30 minutes.
  • Add peanut butter until you are happy with the taste… blending as you go along.

And that’s it!

My icing:

Once the cake (or cupcakes!) are cooled, ice as desired! My icing skills are non-existant and this doesn’t look like much – but my tummy loves it!

Eat and enjoy… this really hit the spot! This box cake is light and fluffy and moist and has such a deliciously delicate vanilla taste – I love it!

As for the frozen icing… according to my chef friend, you just microwave it for 10 seconds or so, until it is back to the normal consistency!

Today is World Baking Day.  I came across World Baking Day on Twitter and thought that I would participate 🙂

Unfortunately I am out of baking stuffs so I thought I would do something baking related.

Last December I saw a picture on Tania‘s blog of her home made vanilla essence.  A few weeks ago I came across a post on Pinterest about making home made vanilla essence/extract and voila an idea was born.

I decided to make some home made vanilla essence that I can give as gifts.

Ingredients

  • Vanilla pods
  • Vodka
  • Glass containers

I found the sweetest little glass bottles at the Consol store in Woodmead, 20 bottles cost me R25!

Method

  • Wash your bottles in warm soapy water and rinse well.
  • Slice your vanilla pods length wise and then slice each half length wise again.  The vanilla ‘caviar’ or seeds may come out of the pods when you cut them, just scrape them up with your knife and pop them in the bottles.

  • If your bottles are short then cut the pieces in half.
  • Place 2-3 pieces (depending on bottle size) of vanilla pod in each bottle.

  • Pour vodka into each bottle.  It would be ideal to use a funnel* but if, like me you dont have one then just pour really carefully and slowly.
  • Place the lid on the bottle and store the bottles at the back of a cupboard for 3-4 months before using them.

See how the colour has changed, thats after an hour or so, just imagine how rich it will be after a few months!

So, Im going to leave these in my pantry for a few months and then I will tie a pretty ribbon around the neck of the bottle and maybe a home made card and give them as gifts 🙂

*Ruby gave me the great idea of turning a piece of tin foil into a make shift funnel, great thing about this idea is that you can make the funnel as small or as large as you need 🙂

Note: All the photos in this post were taken by my amazing husband!

Welcome

May 15, 2011

More and more I find myself experimenting with baking and cooking and then sharing the successes on my blog.

So much so that I decided to create a separate space for those successes.

I will be adding all my current posts here and I will try take as many pictures of the process and finished products too, something I have been a bit slack with.

Im also going to be having guest contributers so if you want to add a recipe please leave a comment and I will be in touch.

Happy cooking!