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Spaghetti With Bolognaise Sauce

This versatile sauce can be served as Spaghetti Bolognaise or to make Lasagne.  It is one of the most popular Italian pasta dishes.  Did you know that the Italians traditionally serve bolognaise sauce with larger pastas such as tagliatelle, tortellini or gnocchi, but never with spaghetti! The thicker pastas are able to hold the chunky sauce easier.  See the image below.

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Home-made Glazed Doughnuts

Who does not love doughnuts? These days it is popular to have a stack of douhgnuts instead of a birthday cake. Better yet, a doughnut wall to celebrate a birthday, wedding, etc.! Making doughnuts at home can easily be done with a few inexpensive ingredients. Once you’ve made these doughnuts, I guarantee your family will be requesting them on a regular basis. See the video I loaded on my Facebook page on how to glaze the doughnuts. In the video I use the dipping method. The glaze can also be drizzled over the doughnuts. Sprinkle with your favourite sprinkles or leave plain.

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Ring Doughnuts

A doughnut is a type of dough confectionery that is fried in oil. The two most common types of doughnuts are the ring doughnut, which has a hole in the center for the oil to bubble through to ensure even cooking, and the filled doughnut, which is fried and then injected with a sweet filling such as jam or cream. See my post for Home-made Glazed Doughnuts for step-by-step photo’s. I also loaded a video on how to glaze the doughnuts on my Facebook page.

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Bee-sting Pastries

The Beesting Cake (see image at the bottom of this post) has its origins in Germany.  It is said that the cake is called “bee sting” as it is thought that a bee was attracted to the honey topping on the cake, and that the baker who invented the cake was stung.   This popular German confection, aka Bienenstich Cake, can also be made as individual pastries (photo and recipe by Carolie de Koster). Also check out my recipe for Beesting Buns. They are a great alternative if you are craving Crispy Creme!

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Bee-sting Danishes

These Danish-looking pastries are another variation of the Bee-sting Cake. Just use the leftover sweet dough, custard filling and caramel and nut topping as per the recipe for Bee-sting Pastries. This shape is called Spandauer. Apparently the name comes from the fact that there was a prison located in Spandau, Berlin. Just like prisoners were trapped in the prison, the pastry rim ‘traps’ the custard on the inside.

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Tartufo (Dark Chocolate Ice-cream)

The rainy weather in Johannesburg at the moment is probably not ideal for ice-cream eating, but make it so long for when the sun comes out! It only has 4 ingredients, and you do not need an ice-cream maker to make it!   After tasting Tartufo at Bar Tre Scalini in Rome in 2005, I have been trying to recreate this delicious dark chocolate ice-cream.  Tartufo (tahr-too-foh) means “truffle” in Italian.  Not that this ice-cream tastes or smells like truffles (thank goodness!).  

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Beetroot Souffle

Souffle is one of my all time favourite dishes. Mainly due to its versatility. It can be served as a starter, light meal or a dessert. You also don’t need fancy or expensive ingredients – just use what you have at hand to whip up a variety of sweet and savoury variations. It is also great for utilizing leftovers! I used 50% milk and 50% pickled beetroot juice to get this amazing colour. See my Facebook page for a video on how to fold the egg white into the white (or should I say pink?) sauce.

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Carolié de Koster (Carolié’s Culinaire)

Carolié de Koster is a dietician, food consultant, cookery teacher and author of a variety of recipe books of which Art of Cooking is the prima donna.  She operates under the name Carolié’s Culinaire (previously Foodlink) which incorparates all activities linked to food. Her objective has always been to assist those involved with food preparation to increase skills and efficiency, build confidence and acquire knowledge. Carolié has been a source of inspiration for thousands of people for close to 40 years, whether through her cooking demonstrations, consulting services or recipe books.

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Pear & Chocolate Puff Pastry Parcel

This is one of my all time favourite desserts.  See the recipe for Chicken Puff Pastry Parcel for a savoury version of this recipe as well as step-by-step photo’s.

1 x 800 g tin pear halves, chopped
5 ml cinnamon
50 ml treacle or muscovado sugar
100 g Lindt dark couverture chocolate
500 g puff pastry, defrosted overnight
1 large egg, beaten

To serve
creme fraiche or fresh cream

  1. Combine the pears, cinnamon, sugar and chocolate in a mixing bowl and set it aside.
  2. Roll out the pastry on a Wizbake sheet to a large rectangle, about 35 cm x 25 cm.  
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 200 º C.
  4. Roll out the pastry on a large sheet of baking paper, to a large rectangle, about 30 cm x 40 cm.
  5. Use a butter knife or spatula and mark a line down the length of the pastry to get a middle line.
  6. Mark a line to the left and the right of the middle line as well.
  7. Cut the pastry sides diagonally in strips, cutting up to the lines at 2 cm intervals.  
  8. Cut away the triangles that will form in the four corners of the rectangle and set it aside. You might need it later to do patchwork!
  9. Spoon the filling onto the middle section of the pastry, leaving at least a 2 cm margin on each short side of the pastry.
  10. Fold the end pieces on the short sides of the pastry over the filling.
  11. Carefully lift the top strip of the pastry vfrom the right hand side and gently pull it across over the filling.
  12. Do the same with the top pastry strip on the left hand side.
  13. Cross the pastry strips over the filling alternating from each side so that the filling is covered with pastry.
  14. Use the leftover pastry and create a rope of sorts and place down the middle of the pastry parcel.
  15. Use a pastry brush and brush the pastry all over with the egg.
  16. Slide a baking tray under the baking paper and bake the parcel for 25 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp.
  17. Slide the parcel onto a work surface and let it cool for a few minutes.
  18. Transfer the parcel to a serving platter with the help of 2 egg lifters.
  19. erve with creme fraiche or fresh cream.

6 servings.

Notes

  • I crumbled the leftovers of the No-bake Brownies and added it to the filling before enclosing it in the pastry (see the photo below).
  • Substitute the pear with tinned apple.
  • Substitute the pear with about 4 medium pears or apples that has been peeled, chopped and cooked in 125 ml water until soft.
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2019 Do-It-Yourself Gingerbread Kits

The Festive Season is around the corner, so it is time to stock up on gifts for the special people in your life … from family and friends, to colleagues and clients. Cooking Up A Storm’s Do-It-Yourself Gingerbread Kits make great gifts and will really get those creative juices flowing this Festive Season. It is the perfect activity to keep kids entertained during the long school holidays.

Since it was launched in 2017, hundreds of children (and adults!) have been assembling and decorating our gingerbread items with family, friends, colleagues and clients.  Our gingerbread kits are very popular because:
– they are baked to order, i.e. guaranteed freshness
– they have no added preservatives
– they are made by hand with quality ingredients
– they are 100% South African!

Each kit is packed in a sturdy box – ready to either be placed under the Christmas Tree or to pack on holiday. Our 2019 Do-It-Yourself Gingerbread items for 2019 are:

3D Gingerbread Santa’s Sleigh Kit

This kit consists of everything you need to decorate and build a jumbo size Santa’s Sleigh:

  • 5 x pre-baked gingerbread cookies, royal icing, black and red food colouring, disposable piping bags, comprehensive easy-to-follow instructions, etc. The assembled sleigh measures 13 cm in height.
  • Please note: candy not included.

3D Gingerbread North Pole Express Train Kit

This kit consists of everything you need to decorate and build a North Pole Express Train:

  • 20 x pre-baked gingerbread cookies, royal icing, black, red, yellow, green and blue food colouring, disposable piping bags, comprehensive easy-to-follow instructions, etc. The train consists of a locomotive and three wagons.
  • Please note: candy not included.

2D Gingerbread Nativity Scene Kit

This kit consists of everything you need to decorate and build a Nativity Scene:

  • 30 x pre-baked gingerbread cookies, royal icing, black, red, yellow, green and blue food colouring, disposable piping bags, comprehensive easy-to-follow instructions, etc. The kit consists of 11 characters: Jesus in the crib, Joseph, Mary, three wise men, a shepherd, four sheep, a donkey, a camel, an angel and a stable. The details are stamped onto the character cookies before it is baked, which makes decorating easy. There is also support piece(s) for each of the characters.

3D Large Gingerbread House Kit

This kit consists of everything you need to decorate and build a large gingerbread house:

  • 6 x pre-baked gingerbread house panels, royal icing, green and red food colouring, disposable piping bags, quality candy & sprinkles, comprehensive easy-to-follow instructions and a 25 cm x 25 cm cake board. The assembled house measures 16 cm in height.

This kit is also available in a “Bake It Yourself” kit. If you prefer to also bake the house panels from scratch, this is the kit for you! This kit includes the dry ingredients needed to prepare the gingerbread cookie dough from scratch, templates for the panels of a large gingerbread house, a variety of quality candy, royal icing, disposable piping bags and a comprehensive instructions.

Jumbo Gingerbread Man Kit

This kit consists of everything you need to decorate two jumbo gingerbread cookies:

  • two pre-baked gingerbread cookies, royal icing, green and red food colouring, a variety of candy, comprehensive easy-to-follow instructions, etc.

Please visit our online shop to place your order. Please note that the cookies are baked to order. The kits can either be collected in Linden (JHB) or couriered (Postnet to Postnet) in South Africa. Please note that it takes 3 to 5 working days for a kit to be couriered from one Postnet to another.  Please take this into account in your planning when your order.


Want to turn the activity into a group workshop?

  • If you prefer to decorate and assemble our gingerbread kits with our assistance, be sure to book a space at one of our Cookie Decorating Workshops. We will be announcing workshop dates on our Facebook page soon. It is also possible to book a Gingerbread Cookie decorating workshop for a private group on a date of your choice.  The workshop can take place at your house or at one of Cooking Up A Storm’s approved venue’s in Gauteng. Please contact us as soon as possible to secure a date as our diary is filling up fast! Please make contact for more information.

Looking for a special gift for a special person?

Are you looking for a gingerbread cookie sleigh, train, Nativity Scene or house that is already assembled and decorated to give as a gift or to use as part of your Festive Season decor?  Please make contact for a quote if you would like us to deliver it to your house or office.