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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
5ml lemon juice
3 egg whites
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.
Spread the hazelnut spread over the biscuit base or omit like I did.
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.
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).
Just before the sugar syrup is ready, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer to form soft peaks.
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.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe blobs over the chocolate mixture.
Use a blowtorch to brown the meringue or place the pie under a heated grill for a few seconds.
Kim I am proud to say we finally managed to get the video done while Pete was home for a few days last week. 🙂
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.
Click here to watch the video on how to ice (frost) cupcakes.
I was invited out for dinner a couple of evenings back and as per usual I got the proverbial suckers on my butt and sat at my computer way later than I should have before thinking about what to make to take with for dessert and seeing I am still watching what I eat (sort of), I didn’t have any fruit in the house but did manage to find a tin of peaches in the pantry cupboard which immediately made me think of a cobbler and then naturally I went straight for John’s recipe.
I was a bit concerned the peaches would be to heavy for the magic to happen so a placed the mixture over the peaches as opposed to the other way around and just as I hoped, success and yes, I did enjoy a wee portion.
Also delicious with a ball of ice cream, or custard or lightly whipped cream
My responsibilities for Christmas lunch was the starter (Smoked Salmon Terrine) and one of the 3 desserts – Chocolate Mousse. Thankfully I was able to make both dishes the day before leaving just the finishing touches and plating to be done on Christmas Day. Sadly I woke with the spider bite migraine on Christmas morning which rendered me somewhat unable to complete my dishes. Thankfully I had a few elves come to my rescue to plate the starer and prettify the individual chocolate mousses. Family is awesome! Sadly I took all of 3 photos the whole day so am unable to share my Mom’s beautiful Christmas table with you. I was however able to get a quick semi in focus shot of the mousses as they were being decorated. I made 3 times the quantity of the recipe shown below.
200g dark chocolate
4 egg separated
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water.
Beat in the egg yolks one at a time and beat until smooth and thick.
Lightly whip the cream and fold into the chocolate mixture.
Lightly beat the egg whites and fold into the mixture.
Spoon into 8 glass bowls or ramekins and refrigerate until set.
I love my daily read about Charlie’s life over at Hotly Spiced. I commend Charlie for being such an incredible mom to her 3 children who keep her on her toes 24 x 7. Do pop over for a read, Charlie always has the most wonderful stories and recipes to share.
The recipe calls for making 6 logs but I made 8. Good thing too as I can make the deliciousness stretch a wee bit further. I didn’t have any green glacé cherries on hand so sadly my logs aren’t decorated with holly and are not as elegantly covered with the chocolate as Charlie’s. No matter as they still taste fabulous.
These make for perfect Christmas gifts wrapped in clear cellophane tied with festive ribbon.
Charlie’s Mom’s Christmas Whiskey Logs
400g plain biscuits – I used Marie Biscuits
125g butter chopped
1 cup icing sugar
½ cup whiskey
100g chocolate chips
100g glacé cherries halved plus a few extra to make holly
200g dried fruit – I used bakers mix
200g dark chocolate
Crush the biscuits and set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy and mix in the egg, whiskey, biscuits, chocolate, cherries and dried fruit.
Roll into 6 evenly sized logs, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for a few hours.
Melt the chocolate using a double boiler and cover each log in chocolate. Allow to cool and set in the fridge. Note: It is easier to coat the top, sides and ends of the logs first, then place on baking paper, put in the fridge until the chocolate has set, then remove from the fridge and turn upside down to coat the under-side of the logs.
I came across this recipe while browsing through scrumity posts over at Keep Calm and Cook and decided I would have to make this and as luck would have it, I had all of the ingredients on hand – the dates were destined to be made into Date Balls but were quickly reallocated for this pud. This is a lovely easy take on a classic dessert. Next time around though, I will pour the toffee sauce over the pudding when it comes out of the oven to make it more “sticky” as opposed to serving it separately.
Rhubarb is not top of my list of things to enjoy however Pete on the other hand has the fondest memories of it from childhood but has not eaten it since then! My mom has been wanting to make Pete her world famous pie for the longest time but until recently was unable to source any – now it is everywhere! First up was the green variety which was home grown by my sister in law Karin and second up was the red variety which is much more tart in flavour. Pete enjoyed the green variety much more.
Mom’s Rhubarb Pie
½ cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
± 6cups rhubarb washed and chopped
½ cup sugar – more if needed
1tsp lemon juice
Cream the butter and sugar.
Add the egg and about 1 tablespoon of the flour and mix well.
Add the flour and combine to form a dough and roll into a sausage and cut in two.
Wrap half the sausage in cling film and store in the fridge to firm up.
Press the remaining dough into a pie dish and prick the base a few times with a fork.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice in a pot and gently simmer until soft. Once cooked check the rhubarb for sweetness and add more sugar is needed and heat through to dissolve.
Allow to cool slightly and pour into your pastry crust until just under full and grate the pastry directly from the fridge over the top.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
Enjoy with ice cream, custard (Pete’s favourite) or double cream.
I have had this recipe typed and printed for what feels an eon but for some peculiar reason have not noted (very strange for me) where I got it from! Please let me know if this recipe is yours as I would really like to give credit where credit is due. I am positive I will remember when you remind me. Update: The mystery has been solved, I originally got this from Linda over at Fired UP Cooking SA. Thanks Linda!
This cake is perfect served with a scoop of ice cream or custard and a nice strong cup of coffee and makes for the easiest dessert for after dinner with family and friends. The crumb is lovely and light and super soft and spongy. I do not enjoy raw honey so was a little sceptical about enjoying this – well, it is scrumptious! It may have something to do with heating the honey or I might just be growing out of not being able to eat raw honey – either way, I could comfortably enjoy two servings for pudding.
1 cup self raising flour
½ cup sugar – I used brown
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk
3 tbsp butter melted
3 tbsp honey
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Grease a small pie dish.
Place all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together with a wire whisk for 20 seconds until thick and creamy.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pie dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.
While the cake is baking, melt the sauce ingredients together.
It was my dad’s birthday the other week and we were lucky enough that he and my mom were still visiting so we were able to share in his birthday celebrations. My aunty Christine made her famous roly poly for pudding – this version was minus the raisins which I know quite a few of my fellow bloggers will appreciate. The recipe is super easy and super versatile – you can swap out the apples for pears; you can add nuts or cherries, ginger and mixed spice. Enjoy it on it’s own or serve it with custard, cream or ice cream.
The result of scheduled posts - this photo is not taken with my "real" camera
Apple Cinnamon Roly Poly
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
½ cup butter
2 cups flour
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cup milk
6 apples peeled
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved switch off the heat. Retain one cup of sauce.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Rub the butter into the flour, salt and sugar.
Add the baking powder and milk.
Roll out to approximately 30cm x 40cm.
Grate the apples over the pastry and sprinkle with the cinnamon.
Roll up like you would a swiss roll and slice into 2.5cm thick slices.
Place into a prepared oven proof dish and pour over the sauce. Retain one cup of sauce.
Sprinkle over a little extra cinnamon before placing in the oven.
Bake for 40 minutes or until baked through.
Pour over the retained cup of sauce over the hot dish.
Serve warm with custard or lightly whipped cream or ice cream.
We are still being spoilt by my Mom who is cooking us the most wonderful meals and desserts. Pete was away on business last week and Dad had returned home to Johannesburg so it was just Mom and I. I was having my normal day of doing a 101 things and had left the decision of what we were going to eat up to Mom. After a long day and a warm soothing bath, I popped over to Mom for supper. What a fabulous treat! Firstly, I was handed a gin and tonic at the door. Talk about service! 🙂 How can you have a bad night when it starts like that? Then the smell – the most wonderful full bodied pork/bacon heaven hit my nasal passages. Mom was roasting a pork fillet wrapped in smokey bacon (think it’s called an armadillo) which she served with creamy mashed potatoes, buttery steamed brussel sprouts, roasted pears and gravy and if that wasn’t enough, keeping with the pears portion of the theme, presented me with a oh so yummy pudding of vanilla poached pears with orange zest (and just for good measure) some cream on the side. 😀 F A B U L O U S !
Vanilla poached pears with orange zest
4 pears peeled and halved lengthways
¾ cup water
10ml vanilla extract
5ml orange zest
Cream for serving
Place the pears, sugar, water and vanilla extract in a pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the pears are tender.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Remove the pears and plate 2 per portion.
Stir through the orange zest into the syrup and pour over the pears.
I am a little behind with Tandy’s Regional and Seasonal challenge which was to cook with pears. Thankfully I was able to find some and set to work on making Pears in Red Wine. I used my Mom’s fabulously easy recipe which I would not alter at all but if you like, you can add a stick of cinnamon while poaching the pears and a teaspoon or two of lemon juice. You can serve these delicious pears hot or cold with cream or ice cream or just on their own with the syrup. My friend Moira was kind enough to take photographs for me again.
Pears in Red Wine
1 bottle red wine – I used a Pinotage
20ml vanilla essence
6 to 8 pears peeled
Pour the wine, sugar and vanilla essence into a saucepan and stir to combine all the ingredients.
Add the pears and bring to the boil.
Simmer slowly until the pears are tender. Mine took an hour.
Remove the pears and reduce the the liquid to form a syrup.
A short while back I made a Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding dinner for a friends birthday dinner, which we finished with a Pecan Nut Pie and ice cream. The pie was delicious and will become a regular on our desserts menu.
Pecan Nut Pie
140g cake flour
80g cold butter cut into small cubes
10ml castor sugar
1 large egg yolk
10 ml iced water
2.5ml lemon juice
60g butter melted
225ml brown sugar
80ml golden syrup
5 ml vanilla essence
125g unbroken pecan halves
Sift the cake flour and salt together.
Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the castor sugar to the flour mixture.
Mix the egg yolk, water and lemon juice together and add sufficient to the dry ingredients to make a stiff dough and knead the dough well.
Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 170 °C.
Roll out the pastry and line a greased 23 cm pie dish. I think mine was a little smaller.
Prick the base a few times with a fork.
Bake blind for 10 minutes.
Lightly beat the eggs.
Continue beating and add the butter and brown sugar.
Add the golden syrup and continue to beat until the mixture is foamy.
Add the vanilla essence.
Arrange the nuts in the pastry case and pour the egg mixture on top. The nuts will float to the top – you can add a few extra at this point to fill in any gaps.
As promised, here is the second Cheese Cake recipe. This has to be the ultimate unbaked cheese cake and I have yet to find somebody who doesn’t like. If you want to take it up a notch, grate your favourite chocolate over the top. Either way, it’s perfection with every mouthful.
Base 30ml castor sugar ½ packet Marie biscuits crushed 50ml butter
Filling 397g tin condensed milk 125ml lemon juice 250ml creamed cottage cheese Chocolate for grating over the top – optional
Mix the castor sugar with the biscuits.
Melt the butter and add to the biscuits and mix until the biscuits are well coated.
Press into a greased pie dish and refrigerate.
Combine the condensed milk with the lemon juice and beat until thick.
This fabulous comfort pudding is for those of you who are going into the colder weather, although don’t let that stop you if you are in the warmer climates – this Apple Bake is equally as nice served warm or cold with some lightly whipped cream.
4 apples peeled and thinly sliced
5ml lemon juice
200ml cake flour
5ml baking powder
10ml vanilla essence