Pancake a, b, c

Pancake a, b, c

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After getting my Facebook Page sorted and Instagram account linked to this website, I am feeling confident about posting more recipes.

Jamie Oliver posted a pancake video on Instagram which only requires 3 ingredients and I was longing to give it a try. This was my First pancake attempt ever! I jazzed it up with a layer of Nutella, strawberries drizzled in honey, a lick of icing sugar and a dash of cream… It was F A B U L O U S!

Pancake Ingredients:

  • 125 grams flour
  • 3 x eggs
  • 250 ml milk

Mix until smooth, and voila! You have pancake batter! I used a ladle to pour the batter into a buttered pan on a medium to high heat. Tilt the pan to allow the mixture to spread out and allow it to cook – about 3 minutes if not less. Once the underside is golden you can then flip it and cook for another minute, once done remove from the pan and set aside.

And so you continue ladle after ladle…

A pancake can be a base for anything; savoury or sweet or even stacked high and dressed as a cake. Let me know how you like yours in the comments below 🙂

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Love

M

Easiest Dessert ever!!

Easiest Dessert ever!!

As promised, I have another Nigella inspired recipe and this one is REAL simple to make.

It’s a chocolate cheesecake and requires only 6 ingredients. British folk or I assume it’s only British folk because of all the Come Dine with Me shows I watch use “digestive biscuits” as a base for their cheesecakes but I am unsure what would be the equivalent for us so I used tennis biscuits.

To be honest I would use Oreos or another biscuit next time as I didn’t like the coconut flavour in the tennis biscuits however the topping is still tasty AF… so here goes:

Ingredients

250 grams biscuits

75 grams butter

400 grams Nutella

500 grams plain cream cheese

60 grams icing sugar

100 grams hazelnuts (optional)

Method

You can either go old school and crush all the biscuits in a plastic bag with a rolling pin (a wine bottle works too) or simply put it in the food processor. Melt the butter and add to the crushed biscuits, the texture of the biscuit / butter mixture, as Nigella puts it should be sandy. Press the mixture into your cake tin and refrigerate.

In another bowl mix the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth, add the Nutella until all is combined.

Remove the biscuit base from the fridge and top with the Nutella mixture. You can toast some hazel nuts, blitz them in the processor and sprinkle over your cheesecake. It looks pretty, adds texture and flavour.

The cake needs to set in the fridge for a minimum of four hours. And Voila! Done and dusted.

I don’t have a picture of a single slice but it looks real good and professional.

Let me know if you give it try, until later!

x

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Helooooooooooooooo!! It feels like it’s been a while but it really hasn’t been thaaaat long. Friday is my FAVORITE day of the week so Friday past, after work and some red wine I decided to make chocolate chip cookies for the week ahead.

I bought the chocolate chips quite a while back as I had this idea in mind for a while. I’m not a GREAT lover of biscuits, just feels like so much work – hard on the teeth. Cookies are different to biscuits as they are softer in texture .

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1¼ cups light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup castor sugar
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • Flaky sea salt

Method:

Mix together flour, salt and baking soda – set aside.

Combine the brown sugar and icing sugar in another bowl, make sure all the lumps are broken up. Add the melted butter and whisk vigorously.

Add the first egg to the sugar & butter mixture and mix thoroughly, add vanilla essence, whisk again then finally add the 2nd egg and whisk thoroughly.

Add the dry ingredients to this sugar – butter –egg mixture and mix well. There should be no traces of the dry ingredients in the mixture.

Once thoroughly mixed add the chocolate chips and mix well to ensure the chocolate chips are evenly spread.

The batter is quite wet – don’t worry

Allow it to set in the fridge for about 10 minutes or as long as you can, overnight even.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees

Line a baking tray with parchment paper (whatever that is! I used wax paper and sprayed some cooking spray on it and it worked fine)

After your batter has rested in the fridge the ideal tool to use is an ice cream scoop to scoop individual portions on the baking tray and sprinkle a tiny amount of flaky sea salt on the top.

I know it seems big / high but it works as the cookies flatten while baking.

Don’t add too many portions on the tray as the biscuits do expand while baking – I made about 6 at a time.

Bake for 10 – 15 mins –watch them! Once you get a golden top and the edges are baked – they will be done.

My 1st attempt was a FAIL!

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1st attempt 😦

 

2nd attempt my friend suggested I make them smaller as I was using 2 tablespoons to sort of get the ice cream scoop look. This worked but the bottoms were burnt :-/

My oven gave me A LOT of grief, the top element was NOT on when doing an inspection after attempt 1 so I fiddled with the heat and the settings – my third attempt was a success 😀

The cookies tasted amazing even though Claud called it “vetkoek biscuits”

It is important to let the cookies rest for about 5 minutes once you remove them from the oven as it comes off the wax / parchment paper MUCH easier – learnt this on the second attempt.

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Get in ma belly!

What I learnt –

  • Maybe don’t have too much red wine
  • Know your oven – the temperature of recipes especially when baking plays a big role
  • Use decent chocolate chips – Woolworths has the good, melt in your mouth kind
  • Invest in a cookie jar
  • Improvise J
Walking on air Eclair

Walking on air Eclair

Sundays are usually set aside for chilling HARD, eating LOADS and also mostly recovering from Friday and Saturday night. While watching the regular show (its really everything!) my partner suggested I make chocolate eclairs – his childhood fav. Now his mother is a master baker so the pressure was ON.

I’ve attempted making bread dough before -epic fail! But learnt that when making pastry even when its gooey and looks like a sticky situation you never getting out of – simply persevere and knead that dough girl.

Now he knows I’m only an amateur cook but also knows that for anything to work you gotta be consistent so here goes…

There are 3 elements to these eclairs namely; the custard (yes we will be making this from scratch just to be classy AF), the choux pastry and the ganache – which is the same as my previous post Dark chocolate ganache cake

Ingredients:

For the custard –

1 cup milk (full cream)

2/3 cup heavy / double cream – I used whipping cream and this worked fine

1/2 cup sugar

A pinch of salt

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup of flour

For the choux pastry –

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 cup flour

4 eggs

For the Ganache –

Dark / Milk chocolate drops or chips

Double cream

For the ganache you simply heat the cream, pour over the chocolate and whisk until its all silky and beautiful.

Method:

First we will make the custard, you need to prepare this quite well in advance about 2 – 4 hours or overnight. I did not do this and it worked out OK but I can see how the custard developed hour after hour.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, salt and sugar until completely combined. Add flour, whisk well and set aside, at this point you can start heating the milk, cream, butter and vanilla essence. Once the mixture starts to simmer slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture, whisking slowly and continuously.

Once all the mixture is added, transfer back to the heat20160529_153819 and continue to stir. The mixture will start to thicken and once thick enough – see pic (that’s the consistency I went for) set aside. Once cooled transfer to the fridge in a container with a lid.

Now we move to the choux pastry – don’t be alarmed I was quite nervous attempting this but it was easy – get your dad or someone to assist – you will need some muscle.

Preheat the oven to 190 °C, line a baking tray with wax paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray – set aside.

In a small pot on a medium – ish heat add the water, butter, sugar and vanilla and stir with a wooden spoon ( i don’t know why a wooden spoon is used but almost all recipes say to use one) until all is combined and melted.

Add the flour to the mixture and stir until the ingredients become one – almost like play dough and no longer sticks to the pot. Once you get this consistency you can transfer the dough to another bowl.

We will now add the eggs one at a time to the dough – it is a tough job as once each egg is combined20160529_155747 the dough is quite stiff, luckily I had a muscl-ey assistant 🙂 Each time you add an egg the mixture is almost slippery and once the egg is combined the mixture is stiff so that’s how I knew when to add the next egg.

OK – well done!!! We made choux pastry!!! Now if you have a piping bag, transfer the dough to the bag. I didn’t have a piping bag  (getting there) so used an oven roasting bag and cut the tip off on one end.

So, as you know my blog is not about perfection, its about FIRST tries and please hold your laugh at the size of my first batch of eclairs which you will see further down. From this experience I learnt to make them quite high and wide to get the best size for filling with the custard. I thought I was making them big enough initially but clearly…

My FIRST batch –

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Ta daaaa!

They were a bit burnt at the bottom but its didn’t affect the taste, coz the custard is sooo delish. I think its because 190 degrees is too hot, my bf reminded me I don’t have a Smeg oven so adjust accordingly. For the second batch i started on 190 degrees and ended on 150 degrees.

I couldn’t cut them open and fill with the custard, if I had a little syringe or piping bag I could’ve  stuffed them with custard. We ended up eating two on top of each other with custard in between 😀

While the pastries are cooling down you can start with the ganache. Once cooled you then dip the tops of the pastries in the chocolate and leave them to harden, or don’t wait and dig in immediately!

Second batch – piped these higher, longer and thicker, hence the choux on steriods look

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End result…

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Get in my mouth!!!!

This recipe was scary at first but really fun to make in the end, lots of laughs which is always a plus. I hope you guys enjoy this and let me know if you try it yourself 🙂

Peace!

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