Whilst I have always been thrilled with my Crème Brûlée recipe, I am always happy to find an excuse to try a new recipe and when I saw this gloriously simple one over at Giovanna’s I knew it wouldn’t be long before I found a reason to try it.
This is also one of those wonderful desserts you can prepare the day before needed.
6 egg yolks
3 or 4 Tbsp sugar – I used 3 caster sugar
1 vanilla pod or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or natural essence
4 Tbsp brown sugar – I used caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 140°C.
Beat the yolks and sugar in a large bowl until creamy and light in colour. I used electric beaters whilst Giovanna recommended using a wooden spoon to prevent air bubbles while baking.
Heat the vanilla and cream until before boiling point. Remove from the heat and slowly add to the egg mixture, stirring continuously.
Divide the mixture between 8 ramekins (You could also strain the mixture before pouring into the ramekins to prevent excess air bubbles) and place inside a baking tray and add boiling water until it reaches half way up the ramekins.
Bake for 40 minutes until the custard sets.
Cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, sprinkle castor sugar over each custard and caramelise using a blowtorch or by placing them under the grill.
Good old fashioned comforting childhood memories wouldn’t be complete without milk tart. Fabulous – well, until I had to make 3 different variations to find what I was happy with. Childhood memories aren’t always that easy to recreate. Not that the first two attempts weren’t nice, they just weren’t what I wanted. They lacked the silky smooth texture I craved. Also, most recipes make two tarts and I only wanted to make one plus I found baking the tart higher than 180°C caused it to crack. Round three was perfect.
Milk Tart (Melktert)
For the Pastry
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs sugar
¾ cup self raising flour
¼ tsp salt
For the Tart
2 cups milk
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs well beaten
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Blitz all the pastry ingredients together in a food processor until they resemble crumbs and spread evenly and press in a 24cm pie dish.
(The crust can be refrigerated while preparing the tart but I don’t bother)
Heat the milk to just before boiling.
While the milk is heating, combine the sugar, flour and salt together.
Gradually add the heated milk to the dry ingredients and return to the heat.
Cook slowly while stirring until the mixture thickens.
Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla.
Cool the mixture slightly and stir through the beaten egg and pour into the pastry crust.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The center will still be slightly soft and wobbly.
I saw a link to these gorgeous looking morsels and just had to make them the same day. They are worth making with a couple of tweaks. I will definitely be making these again soon.
Apple Cream Cheese Rose Tarts
1 apple – I used 2
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp water
1-2 sheets puff pastry – one sheet made 6 tarts (see point 5 of method)
1/4 cup cream cheese – I used full fat softened with a ¼ tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp sugar – I combined sugar and cinnamon and recommend using more
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Prepare muffins tins with non stick spray.
Halve the apples, scoop out the core and slice thinly.
Combine the apple slices with lemon juice and water in a bowl and microwave for 3 minutes.
Roll out the puff pastry and cut into 6 even strips. Moving forward I would roll the pastry thinner to make at least 9 slices, possibly even 12.
Spread the cream cheese on each slice of pasty. Double the quantity for 12 tarts.
Liberally sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the cream cheese.
Arrange the apple slices overlapping each other on one half of the pastry with the top of the apple just above the pastry.
Fold the bottom half of the pastry up over the top and roll up.
Place in prepared muffin tins.
Bake for 40 minutes. Reduce time accordingly if you roll the pastry thinner.
I served these with homemade custard. They made a fabulous dessert.
Ever have one of those days when you not sure what flavour you feel like. This little recipe came about when I opened the cupboard and added a bit of this and a bit of that to make a marinade for chicken portions and decided it would work well with lamb, pork and beef too.
30ml brown sugar
30ml soy sauce
30ml brown spirit vinegar
30ml tomato paste
5ml lime juice
2.5ml ground ginger
1ml cayenne pepper or more if you like a kick
Combine all ingredients together.
Marinate protein for minimum 1 hour.
Braai (barbecue) or roast protein basting with the marinade.
You may remember a while ago I was on the hunt for THE vanilla recipe which works well as a cake and cupcakes, well, I finally got it right after a few attempts. These are wonderful iced or just on their own with a sprinkling of icing sugar or served with cream and berries. I have made them a few times and they get rave reviews all around.
125ml cooking oil
2 extra large eggs
250ml Greek Yogurt
5ml vanilla essence
500ml cake flour
5ml bicarbonate of soda
10ml baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
Beat the sugar and oil together.
Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the yogurt and vanilla essence.
Sift the dry ingredients together and fold into the wet mixture – don’t over mix, a few lumps is fine.
Spoon into 18 prepared muffin tins smoothing the top of the mixture.
I saw this recipe in an old edition of the Your Family magazine (April 1997) and thought it quite decadent with all the chocolate, almonds and mascarpone. It isn’t the cheapest of desserts to make and eating it cold from the fridge wasn’t that great. It was however great at room temperature. Really thought I took pics of it cut but clearly not. Oops.
The name alone caught my attention when I saw this recipe from the online Delicious Magazine, and then the use of sour cream and nutmeg. When friends invited us over for dinner I offered to bring dessert so I could try this delicious cake. I was quite skeptical once I read the length of baking time but it was absolutely perfect and so very moreish. I will definitely serve this regularly and is the perfect Christmas dinner dessert.
Pear and Almond Cake with Almond Crunch Topping
175g softened butter
150g Billington’s Golden Caster Sugar – I used regular caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract – I used essence
2 medium eggs – I used extra large
220g self-raising flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp grated nutmeg
140ml soured cream
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
50g ground almonds
2 firm pears, such as Comice
A little lemon juice
For the almond crunch topping
50g Billington’s Light Muscovado Sugar – I used demerara sugar
2 tbsp double cream – I used normal cream
75g flaked or slivered almonds
Line a 20cm springform tin with non-stick baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4.
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour with the second egg. Sift the remaining flour, a pinch of salt, bicarbonate of soda and the nutmeg together. Fold half the flour into the creamed mixture. Fold in the soured cream, zest and almonds, then the remaining flour.
Peel, core and slice the pears. Toss with lemon juice to prevent discolouration. Spread half of the cake mixture over the base of the tin, cover with the pears, then the remaining cake mixture. Bake for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the almond topping. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the sugar and cream, then stir in the almonds.
Remove the cake from the oven and pour the almond mixture evenly over the top. Bake for a further 20-25 minutes, or until the topping is toffee-coloured and a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake. Remove and serve warm or cold.
I got great new vegetarian recipes from my sister-in-law Karin while she and my brother were here visiting. Fabulous flavourful healthy and very moreish meals. It’s wonderful to see Greg and Karin’s kids enjoy these wonderful meals too.
Brown & Wild Rice Pilaf
1 cup of brown wild rice cooked according the package instructions
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large onion chopped
1 large red pepper chopped
500g brown mushrooms chopped
2 stalks celery sliced
¼ cup soy sauce
410g tin lentils rinsed
½ cup chopped parsley
1 small punnet sprouts
Toasted flaked almonds
Heat the oil and fry the onions and peppers.
Add the mushrooms and celery and cook until the mushrooms and celery are tender.
Nothing like a comforting piece of apple crumble hot from the oven with some custard or cream to warm the cockles of your heart on a cold wintry evening with aromas from the spices which are beautifully intoxicating.
I adjusted the recipe slightly by increasing the spice quantities and placing the entire crumble on top of the apples instead of mixing a portion of it in with the apples as with the original recipe in the book, The Cake the Buddha Ate.
500g self-raising flour
½ tsp cinnamon – I used 1 tsp
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp cardamom – I omitted this as I only have pods
⅛ nutmeg – I used almost ½ tsp
½ tsp salt
250g butter, soft
2 cups brown sugar – I only used 1¼ cups
500g apples, cooked or 1 x 725 g tin – I cooked 4 large red apples in a about 2 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp brown sugar
½ cup raisins – I omitted these because I was plum out of raisins
½ cup chopped nuts – I omitted these because I was plum out of nuts
Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare a pie dish.
Gently work the flour, spices, salt and butter together between your thumbs and fingertips to form crumbs.
Add the sugar and blend with your fingers to retain the consistency of breadcrumbs.
Combine half the mixtures with the apples and raisins, and place in a dish, alternatively just place the apples and raisins in the bottom of the dish followed by the entire crumble mixture on top.
Sprinkle over the remaining crumbs and then the chopped nuts.
Bake for 45 minutes until golden.
Serve warm with custard or cream or possibly even ice cream if it isn’t too much of a wintry night.
This is the first recipe I tried from my by birthday book, The Cake the Buddha Ate and it is divine! An absolute must make! Pete and I did the corn on the braai but you could easily grill them in the oven too.
Ready to go on the braai for 5 minutes
Grilled Sweetcorn with Sweet Chilli, Coriander & Lime
1kg sweetcorn ± 6
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp cumin seeds, bruised, crushed
½ tsp coriander seeds
¼ cup sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp garlic, crushed
1 tbsp lime juice – you could substitute with lemon
½ cup fresh coriander, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Precook the sweetcorn in the microwave for 5 to 7 minutes until tender alternatively boil in water for ±15 minutes.
Melt the butter in a saucepan with the oil.
Add the spices and sweet chilli sauce and bring to the boil.
Add the garlic and cook while stirring for 5 minutes until thick.
Add the lime juice and chopped coriander and add seasoning if required.
Pour the sauce over the sweetcorn and braai for 5 minutes turning while basting with the sauce.
Alternatively place in a preheated oven at 220°C and place on the highest rack in the oven. Turn the mielies when they turn brown and grill to finish off.
In keeping with my tradition of quick and easy recipes, this is another qualifier. I can quite comfortably polish off all the beans by myself in one sitting. It does help that Pete says they are squeaky and steers clear of them. 🙂 If you want to get fancy, you could throw a few toasted flaked almonds over the top.
Green Bean Vinaigrette
350g fresh green beans
45ml olive oil
30ml red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove crushed
¼ tsp brown sugar
Ground salt and pepper to taste
Blanch or steam the beans until tender.
Mix all of the other ingredients and pour over the beans while they are still hot.
Allow to marinate for an hour or more spooning the vinaigrette over the beans a couple of times.
Quite frankly this is a meal all on it’s own and I have been known to enjoy it more than once for lunch and is another fabulous recipe I inherited from my sister-in-law Karin. I am also hooked on serving these for guests and they accompany everything from a braai to a roast dinner, well I think so. If I bake the sweet potato in the oven, I brush them with olive oil before baking but when I do them in the microwave I don’t bother. There are no real quantities as you can stuff in as much or as little of the cheese, dates and coriander as you like.
Baked Sweet Potato with Philadelphia, Dates & Coriander
Philadelphia cream cheese cut into chunks
Dates cut into pieces
Baked the sweet potatoes in the oven set at 180°C until soft alternatively cook them in the microwave.
Slice the sweet potato lengthwise and place all the other ingredients in the opening.
Finally! I am back in the swing of things, well, sort of, I am getting there. I have missed you all so much and feel I have missed out on so much news. Please do fill me in if there is something I should know. 🙂
Sorry to all you lovely folk in the northern hemisphere, its going to be a while before you can enjoy this lovely salad but can tell you it is well worth the wait. Simplicity at its best.
Our summer dining is often enjoyed al fresco with not much time at all spent in the kitchen which makes this super easy three ingredient salad the perfect accompaniment for a braai (barbecue) and actually fits nicely into my un-recipe category.
The festive season is well under way so you may have noticed my lack of visiting your blogs – sorry about that. Things may be higgledy piggledy until the new year before I am back in the swing of things – I will pop in periodically though just to keep up to speed with you all as I hate missing out on things. 🙂
I love when I can put something together that really works, especially the first time and this tempura is one that has jumped right to the top of my favourite list. I call it Mandy’s tempura as I am sure it is not a traditional recipe and has a slightly thicker consistency, although you could thin it a little by adding more club soda. This recipe doubles very well too which works well for sharing these light crispy morsels with family and friends.
½ cup flour
1 tbsp cornflour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt or season of choice
1 egg yolk
½ cup ice cold club soda
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add the egg yolk and club soda and mix until just combined – leaving lumps.
Dunk any julienne vegetable or protein (I used chicken) and fry in medium hot oil until light golden brown on both sides.
With the festive season here and all the extra eating and celebrating we do, a healthy tasty snack is always welcome. Even if you aren’t a chicpea fan, I urge you to try this easy recipe, the crispy light nutty result is well worth the time in the oven. I would suggest doubling or even tripling this recipe and use any combination of spice you would prefer.
Spicy Roasted Chicpeas
1 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tin chicpeas – drained and rinsed
Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Grind all the spices together and place in a bowl, add the oil and stir to combine.
Rinse the chicpeas and mix through the oil mixture to coat. Add salt to taste.
The lovely Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial hosts our International Scone Week each year. It started back in 2011 when Celia and her friends Heidi, and Joanna decided it would be a great thing to do annually and I agree.
I turned to the old books my aunt lent me for this years recipe. I decided on the recipe with the least amount of converting – it was only after the fact I found out a ‘gill’ is equivalent to half a cup so may have used another recipe.
These are small scones and baked with a slightly raised dome. They have a lovely light crumb and are delicious with strawberry jam and lightly whipped cream.
Afternoon Tea Scones
from Mrs Beeton’s Family Cookery book
1 tbsp castor sugar
½ tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg lightly beaten
±30ml cold water
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
In a bowl, lightly rub the butter into the flour.
Add the remaining dry ingredients.
Stir in the egg and water to form a soft dough.
Gently pat the dough out on a floured surface to approximately ¼ inch thick and cut out 8 small rounds.
This is the ideal week night meal when you want a quick, tasty and satisfying meal. It may seem like a long list of ingredients but it all comes together and ready for the table in the amount of time it takes your rice to cook.
Quick Coconut Chicken Curry
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander seed bruised
½ tsp cumin seed bruised
½ tsp chilli flakes – more if you like it hotter
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp turmeric
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 inch piece of ginger grated
Zest of half a lemon
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp brown sugar
400g tin coconut cream
4 chicken breasts sliced
Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the spices and gently fry for one minute.
Add the ginger, garlic, zest, stock powder and sugar and fry for one minute.
Add the coconut cream and allow to reduce by one third.
Add the chicken and simmer until chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.