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Hot Cross Buns

Fill your kitchen and your home during this Easter time with the spicy aroma of the very best home made Hot cross buns, made with real ground spices and baked with love for your family and friends!   One of the highlights on the calendar of worldwide annual baking traditions are these buns. A feeling of expectation arises when the pervasive spicy aroma of flavourful yeast-risen buns fill the air in many home kitchens.   Be sure to also try the recipe for Hot Cross Hybrid (Pain Au Chocolat), an Easter-themed pastry.

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Hot Cross Hybrid

This recipe is a cross (excuse the pun!) between a Hot Cross Bun and the popular French pastry, pain au chocolat, which is made with yeast-leavened dough and filled with chocolate.  “Pain au chocolat” literally means chocolate bread.

Be sure to also try the traditional recipes for traditional Croissants and Hot Cross Buns.

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Choc-chip Chocolate Cupcakes

These double chocolate cupcakes were requested by my daughter Mia for Valentines Day.  Thank goodness I baked and decorated them yesterday morning!  With the frequency of load shedding these days it would not have been possible to make them today!

125 ml sugar
2 large eggs
140 g/250 ml cake flour
60 ml cocoa powder
5 ml baking powder
pinch salt
30 ml oil
5 ml vanilla extract
50 g chocolate chips (optional)

Buttercream Icing
100 g butter
500 ml icing sugar
60 ml cocoa powder
2 ml vanilla extract

To decorate
heart-shaped sprinkles

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
  2. Line a medium muffin tin with paper cupcake wrappers and grease them with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Beat the sugar and eggs together in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour the batter into the cupcake wrappers and bake the cupcakes for about 15 minutes or until the cupcake are firm to the touch and thoroughly baked if tested with a skewer.
  6. Remove the muffin tin from the oven and cool the cupcakes in the tin for 5 minutes.
  7. Beat the butter with an electric hand mixer until fluffy.
  8. Add the icing sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract and beat well.
  9. Transfer the buttercream icing to a piping bag fitter with a star nozzle and pipe the icing decoratively onto the cupcakes.
  10. Sprinkle the cupcakes with heart-shaped sprinkles.
  11. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

12 servings.

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Authentic Panna Cotta

This classic Italian dessert Panna cotta is made of sweetened cream which is thickened with gelatin and usually moulded. The cream may be flavoured with vanilla, coffee, rum, etc. Although the name does not sound appetizing at all (it means ‘cooked cream’ in Italian), panna cotta is silky smooth with a melt-in-the-mouth texture and is as close to perfection as it gets!

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Biscuit Cream Tarts

Biscuit Cream Tarts, also known as Number or Alphabet Cakes, are still all the rage!  These popular tarts were created by the Israeli pastry chef Adi Klinghofer and consists of layers of cookie, pastry or cake with a creamy filling between the layers and topped with anything from fresh flowers, to fruit, macarons, meringues, candy, etc.

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Gingerbread House Workshops 2018

What better way to kick off the Festive Season than with assembling and decorating your own Gingerbread House?   It is a great culinary activity for kids and adults alike!   We will provide everything you will need to assemble and decorate your very own Gingerbread House: pre-baked house panels, a cake board, royal icing, variety of candy, step-by-step instructions, etc.

If you prefer to assemble and decorate your Gingerbread House in the comfort of your own home or while on holiday, we also have Do-It-Yourself Gingerbread House Kits in a variety of sizes. They are great to give as a gift or for a fun culinary activity for the holidays.  In our kit you’ll find everything you need to assemble and decorate a gingerbread house – from pre-baked gingerbread house panels, to royal icing, a variety of quality candy, easy-to-follow instructions, etc.   Each kit is packed in a sturdy box and wrapped in gift wrap with a gift tag – i.e. ready to either be placed under the Christmas Tree or to pack on holiday!

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Do-It-Yourself Gingerbread Kits

The tradition of decorating Gingerbread Houses is over 1,000 years old! If you haven’t done it before, it is not too late to start a gingerbread house decorating tradition in your family or circle of friends. It is the perfect activity to spend quality time with your loved ones during the Festive Season while creating a Gingerbread House masterpiece!  You can even turn it into a gingerbread house building contest if you prefer!  It’s the perfect activity to keep kids and adults alike entertained during the long December holiday’s!

Get the creative juices flowing this Festive Season with Cooking Up A Storm’s DIY Gingerbread House Kits.  Since it was launched in 2017, hundreds of children (and adults!) have been assembling and decorating our gingerbread houses with family, friends and colleagues.  Our houses are so popular because they are freshly baked and have no added preservatives. They are also 100%  South African!  In our kit you’ll find everything you need to assemble and decorate a gingerbread house – from pre-baked gingerbread house panels, to royal icing, a variety of quality candy, easy-to-follow instructions, etc.   Each kit is packed in a sturdy box and wrapped in gift wrap with a gift tag – i.e. ready to either be placed under the Christmas Tree or to pack on holiday.

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National Braai Day 2018

Today is Heritage Day, also known as National Braai Day.  South Africans country-wide are celebrating their cultural heritage by spending time with friends and love ones around a braai!. There are of course no rules when choosing what you are going to braai – whether it is tjops, wors, chicken, ribs, fish or fillet!.  You can braai whatever lights your fire!  

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Raw Fish Is Delish!

If you are worried about embarrassing yourself in front of your date, or even worse, a client, because you do not know the difference between the terms carpacchio, ceviche or crudo on a restaurant menu, don’t fear, the answers are here.  Included in this post is basic info on some of the most popular restaurant options containing raw or partially cooked fish or seafood.  After reading this, you will be able to navigate a restaurant menu like a pro.  Not to mention using foodie lingo in conversations. Recipes containing raw fish or seafood can be prepared at home with great success, as long as the freshest and highest quality fish or shellfish is used. Be sure to read the post How To Handle Raw Fish before trying these recipes at home.

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How To Handle Raw Fish

While raw fish may seem like a strange dinner choice for some, chefs around the world are constantly experimenting with new ways to include raw fish and seafood on restaurant menu’s. Read the post Raw Fish Is Delish! for basic info on the most popular recipes where raw or partially cooked fish is used. The photo’s are guaranteed to convince you to try it at least once!

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