Mango Torte

I guess I should have posted this recipe in the holidays but this is a wonderful summer recipe for any occasion.

mango-torte

Sorry about the mobile phone photo

MANGO TORTE

Ingredients

100g digestive / tennis / marie biscuits crushed
50g melted butter
¼ cup sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
1 cup evaporated milk
2 egg yolks lightly beaten
1 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 mangoes sliced
Strawberries halved to decorate (optional)

Method

  1. Combine the crumbed biscuits and melted butter and press into a shallow pie dish and refrigerate.
  2. Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan.
  3. Gradually add the evaporated milk and cook over a medium heat, stirring until thick.
  4. Add a heaped tablespoon of the milk mixture to the egg yolks and combine, then place into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla essence.
  6. Place custard mixture into the pie crust and top with the mango slices forming a rose pattern from the middle outwards.
  7. Decorate with strawberries (optional).
  8. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Milk Tart (Melktert)

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

Milk Tart (Melktert)

Ingredients

For the Pastry

2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs sugar
1 egg
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
Ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. 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)
  3. Heat the milk to just before boiling.
  4. While the milk is heating, combine the sugar, flour and salt together.
  5. Gradually add the heated milk to the dry ingredients and return to the heat.
  6. Cook slowly while stirring until the mixture thickens.
  7. Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla.
  8. Cool the mixture slightly and stir through the beaten egg and pour into the pastry crust.
  9. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  The center will still be slightly soft and wobbly.
  10. Cool and try only eat one slice. 🙂

Apple Cream Cheese Rose Tarts

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-rose-puffs

Apple Cream Cheese Rose Tarts

Ingredients

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
cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Prepare muffins tins with non stick spray.
  3. Halve the apples, scoop out the core and slice thinly.
  4. Combine the apple slices with lemon juice and water in a bowl and microwave for 3 minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. Spread the cream cheese on each slice of pasty.  Double the quantity for 12 tarts.
  7. Liberally sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the cream cheese.
  8. Arrange the apple slices overlapping each other on one half of the pastry with the top of the apple just above the pastry.
  9. Fold the bottom half of the pastry up over the top and roll up.
  10. Place in prepared muffin tins.
  11. Bake for 40 minutes.  Reduce time accordingly if you roll the pastry thinner.

I served these with homemade custard.  They made a fabulous dessert.

Finally, THE Vanilla Cupcake

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.

The vanilla cupcake

Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients

125ml sugar
125ml cooking oil
2 extra large eggs
250ml Greek Yogurt
5ml vanilla essence
500ml cake flour
5ml bicarbonate of soda
10ml baking powder
2.5ml salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
  2. Beat the sugar and oil together.
  3. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Add the yogurt and vanilla essence.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients together and fold into the wet mixture – don’t over mix, a few lumps is fine.
  6. Spoon into 18 prepared muffin tins smoothing the top of the mixture.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.  Ice as desired.

Custard Cake Slices

This is a wonderful light dessert for after a heavy winters meal or lovely addition to the table at a shower or tea.

Custart Cake Slices

Custard Cake

Ingredients

4 eggs separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g butter melted
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk lukewarm
Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Grease an 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff and set aside.
  4. Beat the egg yolks & sugar until light.
  5. Add the butter and vanilla and beat for two minutes.
  6. Add the flour and incorporate.
  7. Slowly add the milk and beat in.
  8. Fold in the egg whites, a third at a time.
  9. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for ± 60 minutes or until the top is lightly golden.
  10. Once cooled, cut into slices (or rounds) and  dust with powdered sugar.

Chocolate Cheesecake

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.

Chocolate Cheese Cake

Chocolate Cheese Cake

Ingredients

Base
125g butter, melted
25g castor sugar
100g milk chocolate, melted
50g ground almonds
90g flour, sifted

Filling
500g cream cheese
125g castor sugar
125ml cream
5 XL eggs, separated
400g milk chocolate, melted

Topping
500g Mascarpone cheese
30g icing sugar
5ml vanilla essence
Extra milk chocolate for decorating

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Base – Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the remaining ingredients and press into the base of a greased 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin.
  4. Filling – Beat the cream cheese, sugar and cream until smooth.  Add the egg yolks and melted chocolate.
  5. Beat the egg whites until still peaks form and fold into the mixture and pour over the base.  Bake for 2 hours and then cool in the oven for an hour.
  6. Topping – Beat the ingredients together and spread over the cooled cheesecake.
  7. Decorate with shavings or grated chocolate.

Pear and Almond Cake with Almond Crunch Topping

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 Almond Cake 3

Pear and Almond Cake with Almond Crunch Topping

Ingredients

  • 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 butter
  • 50g Billington’s Light Muscovado Sugar – I used demerara sugar
  • 2 tbsp double cream – I used normal cream
  • 75g flaked or slivered almonds

Pear Almond Cake 4

 Method

  1. Line a 20cm springform tin with non-stick baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Meanwhile, make the almond topping. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the sugar and cream, then stir in the almonds.
  5. 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.

Apple Crumble (The Cake the Buddha Ate)

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.

Buddha apple crumble

Apple Crumble

Ingredients

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

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare a pie dish.
  2. Gently work the flour, spices, salt and butter together between your thumbs and fingertips to form crumbs.
  3. Add the sugar and blend with your fingers to retain the consistency of breadcrumbs.
  4. 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.
  5. Sprinkle over the remaining crumbs and then the chopped nuts.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes until golden.
  7. Serve warm with custard or cream or possibly even ice cream if it isn’t too much of a wintry night.

International Scone Week 2014 – Afternoon Tea Scones

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.

Last year my mom was visiting and I remember us enjoying the rustic olive oil scones for our lunch.

Afternoon Tea Scones 1

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.

Afternoon Tea Scones 2

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

Ingredients

125g flour
30g butter
1 tbsp castor sugar
½ tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg lightly beaten
±30ml cold water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. In a bowl, lightly rub the butter into the flour.
  3. Add the remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Stir in the egg and water to form a soft dough.
  5. Gently pat the dough out on a floured surface to approximately ¼ inch thick and cut out 8 small rounds.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.

Afternoon Tea Scones 3

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Dad always keeps interesting recipes aside which he finds in his Star newspaper for me to try when he and mom are visiting.  Angela Day runs a series of recipes with chocolate being the theme for Thursday 17 April 2014.

First on the agenda with the latest batch of recipes was a chocolate meringue pie which came in as winner with a unanimous vote.  Instead of making one pie, I opted for 4 smaller ones which worked very well for halving to share amongst 8 people.

Personally I would have preferred a softer centre and would add a minimum of 50ml extra cream – possibly even 100ml.  Overall though it is a lovely decadent pudding to share.

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Ingredients

200g chocolate digestive biscuits crushed
80g butter melted
125ml chocolate hazelnut spread – (I omitted this)
300g dark chocolate
150ml cream – (I would definitely increase this)
125ml sugar
30ml water
5ml lemon juice
3 egg whites

Method

  1. Combine the crushed biscuits and melted butter and press into a 22cm pie plate or loose bottomed quiche tin (I used 4 smaller loose bottomed tins) and place in the freezer (I think the fridge is sufficient) to harden.
  2. Spread the hazelnut spread over the biscuit base or omit like I did.
  3. Combine the chocolate and cream in a bowl and microwave on a low setting for 1 to 2 minutes until melted and smooth.  (I melted the chocolate over a double boiler and stirred in the cream until combined once melted).  Pour over the base and refrigerate until set.
  4. Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Turn up the heat and boil until the mixture reaches 115°C on a sugar thermometer or test by dropping a little mixture into ice water.  If it forms a brittle thread, it is ready. (I took the saucepan off the heat just as the mixture started to colour).
  5. Just before the sugar syrup is ready, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer to form soft peaks.
  6. Once your syrup is ready turn up the speed on the mixer and beat the egg whites, slowly pouring in the hot sugar syrup and beat until the mixture is cool.
  7. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe blobs over the chocolate mixture.
  8. Use a blowtorch to brown the meringue or place the pie under a heated grill for a few seconds.

For Kim – Cupcake Icing (Frosting) video

Kim I am proud to say we finally managed to get the video done while Pete was home for a few days last week. 🙂

Dairy free cupcakes

No points to me though as Pete did all the work – the video, editing, music (all though I did chose the song) oh and iced the cupcakes.

I very excitedly started this post to upload the video but alas I have to purchase a video upgrade so Pete suggested I upload it to YouTube instead and place the link in this post. I have such a clever husband.

dairy free chocolate cupbake 1

Click here to watch the video on how to ice (frost) cupcakes.

Quick No-Knead Bread

One of my favourite no-knead breads is the Crusty Artisan Bread, a fuss free recipe where you leave the dough to rise for between 8 and 24 hours before baking.  I have made this very moreish bread on a number of occasions to rave reviews and most everybody says it’s the best ciabatta they have eaten.

I then read about a no-knead bread which is ready to go in 2 hours or less over at Eat, Play, Love, which Kristy originally read about over at Five Euro Food and naturally I had to give it a go.

quick no knead bread 1This is a lovely loaf of bread which is a more traditional loaf than the artisan bread.  I made a second round of dough and baked it in 8 mini loaf tins which we enjoyed with friends.  They did however say they thought a bit more salt was needed.  I am very tempted to bake this super easy recipe in a Dutch oven as with the artisan bread and see what the difference is.

Quick no-knead-2

I couldn’t wait so I cut the bread while it was too hot -oops

 Quick No-Knead Bread

As seen on Eat, Play, Love

Ingredients

8g dried yeast – I used instant – it’s all I can get
50ml warm water
400g plain flour – I used unbleached stone ground bread flour
3tsp sugar – I used brown
1tsp salt
250ml warm water

 Method

  1. Place the yeast into a small bowl and pour over the 50ml water. Set aside and allow the yeast to activate for approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.  Pour in the activated yeast and the remaining water and mix well until the flour is completely combined. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm spot to prove for approximately 60 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Dust the dough with a little flour and fold over a few times.  Form the dough and place in a prepared loaf tin. Make cuts into the top of the loaf  and sprinkle on some flour before setting aside in a warm place to rise for approximately 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  5. Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
  6. Remove the bread from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Must Make Rusks

It has been forever since I shared a recipe.  Sorry about that.

Must make rusks

I know I have said this about this recipe before BUT seriously if there is one rusk recipe you have to try, this is it.  It has to be the most versatile recipe as you can mix and match or change the dry ingredients each time you bake them and every time the result will be a perfect rusk, promise. 🙂

Below is what I did this time around and they are fabulous!

MUST MAKE RUSKS

Ingredients

2 cups oats
2 cups wholewheat pronutro
1 cup nuttywheat flour
1 cup cornflakes
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup bakers mix – dried saltanas, raisins and currents
2 tbsp baking powder
5ml salt
¼ cup oil
1½ cups plain yoghurt
250g butter melted
2 extra large eggs lightly beaten

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease two large loaf tins with butter.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients and add the sugars, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the oil, yoghurt and eggs to the melted butter and mix well.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Place the mixture into the tins and bake for approximately 45 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  7. Once the loaves are cool, cut them into fingers and arrange on a baking sheet and dry in the oven for 3 to 4 hours at 100°C.

Hot Milk Chocolate Cake

I was browsing through a pile of my old recipe books the other day looking for some inspiration and out fell a handwritten page with a few shopping items written in Afrikaans; first clue this wasn’t mine, secondly I write in all capital letters and this was all in lower case.  The recipe portion of the page was in English though and the ingredients were written in such an odd order with a couple of corrections along the way – I list my ingredients in the order in which they get used so further proof that this recipe was not written down by me.  I also write the name of the person I get a recipe from or where I have copied it from.

Sadly I have no idea who’s it is but loved the idea of a hot milk cake so put all the books aside and preheated the oven while I got all the ingredients together.

Hot milk chocolate cake 3

The cake itself was lovely and spongy and moist but the flavour was somewhat insipid- I would at a minimum double the quantity of cocoa called for to get the desired result of a chocolate cake – also by using the stated amount of cocoa made the cake look like coffee cake.

Hot milk chocolate cake 1

Hot Milk Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

4 eggs
1½ cups sugar – I am sure this could be reduced to 1 cup
2 cups cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa – I would increase this to 5 tbsp
2 tbsp butter – I would substitute this with oil
1 cup milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Spray two 20cm baking tins with non stick spray.
  3. Beat the eggs well.
  4. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add the butter to the milk and heat to boiling point.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and fold in.
  8. Add the milk and mix well.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and lightly tap the tins to expel any air bubbles and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Once cooled ice as desired.

Hot milk chocolate cake 2

Choc Chip Oat Biscuits

These biscuits smell like what my granny’s kitchen smelt like – such a beautiful warm welcoming smell that wraps you up in a delicate warm and fuzzy feeling.  What more could you ask for!  These are so good that even my ever loving Pete who isn’t a biscuit person kept saying how fabulous they are.

Choc Chip Oat Biscuits 1

Choc Chip Oat Biscuits

Ingredients

115g all purpose flour
½tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼tsp baking powder
¼tsp salt
115g butter
115g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla essence
85g oats
170g chocolate chips

Choc Chip Oat Biscuits 6

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugars together.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the flour mixture and beat until thoroughly blended.
  6. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
  7. Place teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, spacing the dough about 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake for approximately 12 minutes until just firm around the edges.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Choc Chip Oat Biscuits 3

International Scone Week 2013 – Rustic Olive Oil Scones

Our dear friend Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial hosts our International Scone Week which has become a firm annual favourite amongst a lot of us and seems I have just made the deadline for this year.

Last year I made yoghurt scones and this year I wanted to try something a little different and I was impressed with the result.  These lovely rustic scones were delicious with strawberry jam and lightly whipped cream as well as some grated Gouda cheese and made for a lovely lunch with a cup of tea which I enjoyed with my mom. 🙂

Rustric olive oil scones

Rustic Olive Oil Scones

Ingredients

500ml cake flour
20ml baking powder
2.5ml salt
15ml white sugar
100ml mild olive oil
1 egg
±125ml buttermilk – yoghurt and milk would also work well

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Measure the oil in a 250ml measuring cup, add the egg and fill to the 250ml mark with the buttermilk.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix to form a rough dough using a knife.  Don’t over mix.
  5. Divide the mixture into 12 and place in muffin tins sprayed with non stick spray, alternatively divide the mixture into 12 and place on a prepared baking tray and bake for approximately 10 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown on top.

No need to brush the top of the scones with an egg wash before baking.

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

These lovely light flavoured muffins are perfect for with tea and come together in just a couple of minutes.  The longest part of this recipe is grating the orange zest and waiting for them to bake.  I was tempted to add a glacé (royal) icing drizzled over the top but thought they were nice enough just as is.

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins 1

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

Ingredients

½ cup sunflower oil
¾ cup caster sugar
2 extra large eggs
¾ cup milk
5 tsp orange  zest
2 cups self raising flour
½ tsp salt
7 tsp poppy seeds

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Line 12 muffins pans with paper cases.
  3. Beat the oil and sugar together.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat in.
  5. Add the milk and lemon zest.
  6. Fold in the flour, salt and poppy seeds.
  7. Divide the mixture between the 12 muffins pans and bake for 15  minutes.

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins 2

Olive Oil Chocolate Chiffon Cake

And yes I turned it into cupcakes! 🙂

My mom gave me this Angela Day recipe which she saw in the Monday 03 June 2013 issue of The Star’s Verve.  Angela was running a series for using olive oil in baking as a healthier alternative to other oils.

I love the idea of healthier baking, just wish it worked out more cost effective though as olive oil isn’t a particularly cheap product to use.   I would also stick to using a mild flavoured olive oil as the more robust oils may alter the taste of the cake.

The original recipe called for a chocolate glaze, which would have been lovely but sadly I didn’t have any dark chocolate on hand so made my standard icing.

The cupcakes turned out beautifully and I enjoyed lots of compliments when I served them for dessert with friends.

Olive oil chocolate chiffon cupcakes

Olive Oil Chocolate Chiffon Cake (Cupcakes)

The mixture made 18 muffin sized cupcakes

Ingredients

80ml cocoa powder
125ml hot water
250ml flour
10ml baking powder
125ml castor sugar
3ml salt
4 eggs separated
125ml olive oil
80ml extra castor sugar

Chocolate glaze
100g dark chocolate chopped
100ml cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Mix together the cocoa and hot water and set aside to cool.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a bowl.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the egg yolks, olive oil and cooled cocoa mixture and mix until smooth.
  5. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then beat in the extra castor sugar.
  6. Fold this mixture into the cocoa mixture.
  7. Pour into an ungreased chiffon cake tin alternatively divide the mixture amongst 18 muffin tins lined with paper cases.
  8. Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean alternatively if baking the cupcakes, bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Combine the chocolate and cream in a bowl and microwave on 50% power for 2 minutes and stir well until smooth.
  10. Refrigerate until thickened then pour over the cake or cupcakes. (The glaze is thinner than a ganache).

No-Knead Crusty Artisan Bread

I have to open this post by saying, I think Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial will be proud of my first attempt at this lovely recipe which I saw over at Georgia’s, The Comfort of Cooking.  For some strange reason I have not been receiving Georgia’s updates for a while (sorted now) so missed this wonderful recipe.  I have never seen a recipe for a loaf of bread where you leave the dough to rise for between 8 and 24 hours; a novel and interesting idea I thought, plus being baked in a Dutch oven was also a new concept to me.  This is guaranteed to be a winner of a recipe in any home and highly recommend you bake a loaf.


No knead crusty bread  2

I left my dough to rise for 18 hours before baking.

No knead crusty bread  1

This loaf is guaranteed to take your low-carb, low fat eating habit and throw it right out of the window.  I enjoyed slice after slice of this warm from the oven with lashings of cold butter, cut thick like cheese!  The crumb is moist and slightly chewy like a ciabatta with a fabulous crispy crust and base.  Not sure if the chewiness was due to the flour I used.  All the same, I would enjoy it again, exactly the same way.

No-Knead Crusty Artisan Bread

Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour
2-3 teaspoon kosher salt – I found 2 tsps way too salty so reduced this to 1 tsp
½ tsp dry yeast – I used instant yeast
1½ cups lukewarm water – I used approximately 1¼ cups

Method

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast.
  2. Add the water and stir using a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy but cohesive dough.  You may not need the full amount of water so start with 1 cup and slowly add more until you have a nice soft dough.
  3. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the dough sit at room temperature for 8-24 hours.
  4. After dough is ready, preheat the oven to 230°C.
  5. Place a Dutch oven or casserole dish uncovered into the oven for 30 minutes.  I left my casserole dish in for 15 minutes.
  6. While your dish preheats, turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and with floured hands form the dough into a ball. Cover the dough loosely with cling film and allow to rest.
  7. After the 30 (15) minutes remove your dish from the oven and place the dough into it and place the lid on.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes covered then remove the cover and bake for an additional 7-15 minutes.  The loaf is ready when it is golden brown and crispy.

No knead crusty bread  4

Nutty Wheat Banana Muffins

These moreish muffins are perfect for last minute tea time guests or a tasty breakfast when everything else breakfasty just isn’t quite cutting the mustard – simply throw a few ingredients at a bowel et voila, a taste bud tantalizing muffin in 20 minutes.  You could add some texture with chocolate chips or something healthier like seeds or nuts – these variations only came to me when I was taking them out of the oven so mine are just plain.  No matter as they are delicious as is with a light moist crumb.

Nutty wheat banana muffins 1

Nutty Wheat Banana Muffins

Ingredients

500ml nutty wheat flour – you could substitute with any flour
200ml brown sugar
5ml salt
5ml baking powder
5ml bicarbonate of soda
2 bananas mashed
80ml oil
10ml vanilla essence
250ml plain yoghurt
1egg lightly beaten

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Prepare 12 muffins tins with paper cases.
  3. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix through.
  5. Divide into the 12 muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.

Nutty wheat banana muffins 2