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.

Versatile Marinade

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.

Chicken Marindade

Chicken Marinade

Ingredients

30ml brown sugar
30ml soy sauce
30ml brown spirit vinegar
30ml tomato paste
5ml lime juice
125ml water
2.5ml ground ginger
1ml cayenne pepper or more if you like a kick

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients together.
  2. Marinate protein for minimum 1 hour.
  3. Braai (barbecue) or roast protein basting with the marinade.
  4. Reduce marinade if necessary.

 

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.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

I saw this recipe over at Passion Fruit Garden and if Glenda says its a winner then it is a must try.  Thanks Glenda, we thoroughly enjoyed this lovely cake, although think it would be as lovely without the syrup over the top.

Lemon drizzle cake 1

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients

Cake

125g butter
Zest of 2 lemons
1¼ cups caster sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup lemon juice
¾ cup natural yogurt
1¼ cups flour
1½ tsp baking powder

Syrup

¼ cup sugar
Zest of one lemon
⅛ cup lemon juice

Optional:  Powdered sugar for decorating

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Line the bottom of a 20-22 cm cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides with butter.
  3. Cream the butter, lemon zest and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  5. Add the lemon juice and yogurt and mix well.
  6. Sift together the flour and baking powder and add to the main mixture – lightly mix together.
  7. Place batter into the prepared tin.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake is firm to touch.
  9. Meanwhile, combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and heat to dissolve the sugar.
  10. When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven, allow to sit for couple of minutes and transfer to a serving plate.
  11. Whilst the cake is still warm,  pour the syrup evenly over it.
  12. Once completely cooled, sprinkle with powered sugar.

Lemon drizzle cake 2

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.

Carrot, Apple & Date Overnight Muffins

These delicious muffins smell just like Christmas should and are prepared a day in advance.  The mixture needs to stand in the fridge overnight so this is a perfect recipe if you want something freshly baked in the morning without all the hassle of making a mess.  This is a modified version of my aunts Must Make Muffins and doubles perfectly.

Carrot, Apple & Date Overnight Muffins

Carrot, Apple & Date Muffins

Ingredients

200ml nutty wheat flour
125ml  bran
125ml oats
7.5ml bicarbonate of soda
5ml cinnamon
5ml ginger
5ml nutmeg
2.5ml salt
250ml chopped dates
250ml grated apple
125ml grated carrot
1 eggs
10ml vanilla essence
30ml oil
250ml milk

Method

  1. Combine all of the ingredients, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Stir the ingredients and divide between 12 muffin tins lined with paper cases.
  4. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Sun Dried Tomato & Ginger Dressing

This is such a flavour packed colourful dressing which keeps well for up to a week in the fridge.  Just a splash is needed per serving so goes a long way and makes for a lovely hostess gift.

Sundried tomato ginger dressing

Sun Dried Tomato & Ginger Dressing

Ingredients

80ml rice wine vinegar
5 marinated sundried tomato quarters
15ml tomato paste
5ml salt
2.5ml black pepper
45ml honey
Zest & juice of 1 orange
10ml fresh ginger grated
125ml parsley
60ml mint
180ml olive oil

Method

  1. Blend all the ingredients except the oil.
  2. Slowly add the oil until creamy and combined.
  3. Serve over roasted vegetable salad

Rosemary roasted vegetable salad

Roasted Beetroot Hummus

This recipe was in the September 2015 issue of Garden And Home magazine which we adjusted slightly.  This is great for the upcoming Christmas parties served with cucumber sticks or toasted seeded loaf fingers.

Roasted beetroot hummus

Roasted Beetroot Hummus

Ingredients

1 large beetroot peeled
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 400g tins chickpeas
3 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup water – we halved this and replaced the balance with olive oil
3 Tbsp tahini – we omitted this as we never had any
2 tsp ground cumin – we toasted and ground seed
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Cut the beetroot into quarters and place on a baking tray.  (I would suggest roasting more so as not to waste the oven on one beetroot – they are fabulous in salads)
  3. Drizzle with the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Roast for ± 20 minutes until softened.  Allow to cool.
  4. Place the remaining ingredients and beetroot in a food processor and blend.

Brown & Wild Rice Pilaf

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 rice pilaf

Brown & Wild Rice Pilaf

Ingredients

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

Method

  1. Heat the oil and fry the onions and peppers.
  2. Add the mushrooms and celery and cook until the mushrooms and celery are tender.
  3. Stir in the sprouts, soy, lentils and parsley.
  4. Add the rice and flaked almonds.

Pearl Barley

Do you ever have those days where you are looking for something satisfying and hearty to eat but don’t want a protein packed sandwich or the leftovers from the previous evening dinner isn’t what you feel like… Well, pearl barley is a perfect fit for those days and couldn’t be easier to prepare.

Pearl Barley

Pearl Barley

Ingredients

1 large onion sliced
2 large garlic cloves crushed
1 inch piece ginger grated
2 scant teaspoons of dukkah spice
1 cup pearl barley
5 cups chicken stock

Method

  1. Fry the onion in a little olive oil until tender.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and dukkah spice and fry for one minute.
  3. Add the barley and chicken stock, bring to a gentle boil and simmer for approximately 45 minutes until the barley is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.

 

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.

Grilled Sweetcorn with Sweet Chilli, Coriander & Lime (The Cake the Buddha Ate)

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.

sweet chilli coriander corn

Ready to go on the braai for 5 minutes

Grilled Sweetcorn with Sweet Chilli, Coriander & Lime

Ingredients

1kg sweetcorn ± 6
50g butter
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

Method

  1. Precook the sweetcorn in the microwave for 5 to 7 minutes until tender alternatively boil in water for ±15 minutes.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan with the oil.
  3. Add the spices and sweet chilli sauce and bring to the boil.
  4. Add the garlic and cook while stirring for 5 minutes until thick.
  5. Add the lime juice and chopped coriander and add seasoning if required.
  6. Pour the sauce over the sweetcorn and braai for 5 minutes turning while basting with the sauce.
  7. 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.

Green Bean Vinaigrette

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 Vinaigarette 1

Green Bean Vinaigrette

Ingredients

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

Method

  1. Blanch or steam the beans until tender.
  2. Mix all of the other ingredients and pour over the beans while they are still hot.
  3. Allow to marinate for an hour or more spooning the vinaigrette over the beans a couple of times.
Green Bean Vinaigarette 2

So tasty with a tender piece of steak

 

Baked Sweet Potato with Philadelphia, Dates & Coriander

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

Baked Sweet Potato with Philadelphia, Dates & Coriander

Ingredients

Sweet potatoes
Philadelphia cream cheese cut into chunks
Dates cut into pieces
Coriander chopped

Method

  1. Baked the sweet potatoes in the oven set at 180°C until soft alternatively cook them in the microwave.
  2. Slice the sweet potato lengthwise and place all the other ingredients in the opening.

Baked Sweet potato 2

Mandy’s Tempura

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.

Mandy's Tempura 1

Mandy’s Tempura

Ingredients

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

Method

  1. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add the egg yolk and club soda and mix until just combined – leaving lumps.
  3. Dunk any julienne vegetable or protein (I used chicken) and fry in medium hot oil until light golden brown on both sides.

Mandy's Tempura 2

Spicy Roasted Chicpeas

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 chick peas  1

Spicy Roasted Chicpeas

Ingredients

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

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Grind all the spices together and place in a bowl, add the oil and stir to combine.
  3. Rinse the chicpeas and mix through the oil mixture to coat.  Add salt to taste.
  4. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until crispy.

Spicy roasted chick peas  2

 

Millet and Grape Salad

I wanted to call this Millet, Grape, Coriander, Toasted Almond and Spring Onion Salad because all of the ingredients are stars but alas, it’s too long.  Millet is a great alternative to quinoa for a summer salad and is somewhat cheaper too, which is great.  If you can’t get hold of millet, couscous will be a perfect substitute.

Millet Salad

Millet Salad

Ingredients

3 cups cooked millet
1 cup red grapes halved
1 cup coriander chopped
¼ cup red spring salad onions sliced
½ cup almonds toasted

Dressing

30ml apple cider vinegar
60ml olive oil
⅛ tsp sesame oil
1tsp honey
1 small garlic clove crushed
Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad and mix through.