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!
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 🙂
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:
250 grams biscuits
75 grams butter
400 grams Nutella
500 grams plain cream cheese
60 grams icing sugar
100 grams hazelnuts (optional)
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.
A chocolate at ours lasts five minutes and if I’m not quick enough I’ll get none. Sunday past I decided to make a big batch of chocolate brownies with the hopes of it lasting the week to fulfill our chocolate cravings instead of buying them all the time. I couldn’t have been more WRONG! It’s Tuesday today and I managed to bring the last piece with me to work. Luckily I could share some with friends who came to visit over these 3 days.
The recipe is real easy and I made sure to use good quality chocolate for extra indulgence.
Here goes the recipe:
1 cup butter
1 slab Lindt chocolate – I used 70% cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips – I used the milk chocolate chips from Woolworths (BEST)
1 can Nestle caramel treat
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Grease your baking tin with butter or cooking spray.
Chop the chocolate slab into bits.
Melt the butter in the microwave and add the chocolate bits stirring continuously for it to melt and combine. Set aside to cool slightly.
Stir the sugar and eggs into the chocolate/butter mixture. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add in the chocolate chips.
Once the mixture is combined, pour into your greased baking tin and bake for about 30 – 35 mins. Use a toothpick to check if it’s ready, it should come out clean-ish. (I’ll take a pic next time)
Allow it to cool completely and then spread the caramel on top. I added some coarse salt on top of some of the slices for a salted caramel option – real good!
Trying to find time to blog has become tough… I recently got a puppy so my evenings are spent cleaning up, training and tummy rubs. I felt really bad about not posting anything for a while so made it my mission to visit this cake shop which I have been meaning to pop into for a really long time.
Today was the ultimate cheat day which started with a lamb burger special (a steal at R 45.00!) which totally rocked my world… but we not here for that.
I’m lucky to be working in the CBD so there are tons of great food places to check out and new ones popping up literally every day. I walked past The Velvet Cake Co a couple of months back and was genuinely intrigued by the décor; bright colours popping through the windows and picture perfect cupcakes eyeing you as you pass by.
After building the courage to go inside the shop and take pics (I still feel really awkward doing this) I ordered a sweetie pie cupcake for Claud which is a cupcake with marshmallow on the top, coated with chocolate on a chocolate cupcake base – can you say heaven? I ordered a vanilla caramel cupcake for myself which I probably devoured in 60 seconds flat. Eating this cupcake made my year fo sure, it was everything you want in a cupcake, melt-in-your-mouth buttercream, pillowy soft cupcake with caramel on the inside and sprinkles on the top! Wait, What?! DEAD DEAD DEAD – it was real good, you might think I’m over exaggerating but it was REALLY that good. Promise.
I got my colleague a red velvet meringue cupcake which he tore apart in 10 seconds and ended up with meringue on his cheeks, pity I didn’t get a pic of that J
If you ever looking for THE BEST cake for a birthday party, special event or simply cause YOLO I would give these guys a try… Check their website, these master pieces are worth every cent!
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 .
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
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!
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.
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
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
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
For the Ganache –
Dark / Milk chocolate drops or chips
For the ganache you simply heat the cream, pour over the chocolate and whisk until its all silky and beautiful.
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 heat 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 combined 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 –
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
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 🙂
My SO and I have recently moved into our own apartment and having never lived on my own, actual cooking has not really been something I would think about daily.
I was lucky enough to have DSTV for a few years and the cooking shows (looooved BBC lifestyle) sparked an interest in flavour, texture n all of those things we are now familiar with, however, apart from admiring the ooohs and aaahs, colours and imagining the taste I hadn’t tried cooking anything by myself apart from the occasional Saturday morning boiled egg and toast maybe adding some rocket for that creative flair lol!
Now; having to be domesticated in the kitchen (meaning lots of dishes) and wanting to impress my SO I have made quite a few meals since September and even received compliments!
I have been thinking about doing a blog about my first time cooking / baking something new and will post about how it went and if I would change anything… It more than likely will not be perfect on the first go, but hey, this is what my blog is about. So bear with me as we experience my challenges, successes and failures
I turned 30 on 09 May 2016 and trying to be all adult like I attempted to make a chocolate cake for friends or family who may come over and whoa! how great did it turn out!!
The below image is all the ingredients and utensils you will require, I forgot to add the cream in this pic, hence another below:
The measurements are as follows:
For the cake –
1 cup sugar (I used brown sugar, only because it was all that was available in our cupboard)
About 170 ml full fat yoghurt – as per the recipe I found it says not to use fat-free or low-fat yoghurt
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil (a cup is about 250 ml I’ve learnt)
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1/2 cup coffee – when using the coffee please ensure it has completely cooled down because if too hot when added to the mixture it will scramble the egg yuk!
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour (not self – raising as we are going to be adding baking powder or try it and leave out the baking powder let me know how it turned out 🙂 )
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 x Cake bowl / holder / tin
For the chocolate ganache –
Approx 250 g dark chocolate or milk chocolate
3/4 cup double cream
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Line your cake tin with foil, spray with non stick cooking spray and set aside
In your mixing bowl (make sure its big enough), combine the egg, sugar, yoghurt, oil, vanilla and whisk until smooth
Add coffee and cocoa powder and whisk vigorously until combined and lump free
Next add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and whisk until combined
Pour the now fairly runny batter into your cake tin, and place in the oven for approximately 25 mins. I used a toothpick after 25 mins to check if it is done – the toothpick should come out clean after inserted in the middle of the cake
Once done, allow the cake completely before adding the ganache (about 30 – 40 mins, yes I know it’s a looong time before we get the delicious goodness)
For the ganache –
Place your chocolate pieces in a big enough bowl – as we still need to add the cream
Heat the cream in the microwave for about 1 min or until it starts to boil
Pour heated cream over the chocolate pieces and whisk quite vigorously until the mixture is smooth and velvety hmm,
Allow the ganache to cool and once ready pour over the now cooled cake
At this point you get to lick the whisk and bowl 🙂
Allow the ganache to set on top of the cake for about 30 mins or if you absolutely cannot wait anymore place the cake in the fridge or freezer briefly.
Taaadaaaa!! You left with a beautiful, shiny chocolate cake ready for all to enjoy! and believe me you WILL get all the praise… start charging if peeps want more haha!
Things I’ve learnt while making this beauty:
Wear an apron!
Take pics of your chocolate child, I should of taken a pic of the first slice also but didn’t get that far
Because I used dark chocolate I served it with vanilla ice cream to balance the bitterness of the chocolate, however if you using milk chocolate I don’t think this is necessary. I am a dark chocolate lover and because it was my birthday I only thought about myself 🙂