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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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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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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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Easter Chocolate Bark

Although bark doesn’t sound particularly appetizing, this rustic looking sweet treat is quick and easy to make and can be customised to any occasion.  It is the ultimate home made gift!  In its simplest form, it is a thin sheet of chocolate studded with anything from candy to nuts, dried fruit, seeds and even spices.  The chocolate is then broken up into uneven pieces or shards.  It is called “bark” because it resembles tree bark.

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Fried Mexican Cakes

Flattish and irregularly shaped fired cakes brushed with a honey glaze are typical in Mexico and known as bunuelos.  Serve as a sweet treat at any time of the day with coffee or Mexican Hot Chocolate.

280 g/500 ml cake flour
30 ml sugar
2.5 ml baking powder
2.5 ml salt
2.5 ml aniseed (optional)
5 ml grated lemon rind (optional)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
50 g butter, melted
60 ml milk (more or less)

For frying
2 liter sunflower or canola oil

Glaze
200 ml honey
75 g butter

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, aniseed and lemon rind in a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  2. Stir in the egg and butter and just enough of the milk to form a soft dough which can be kneaded comfortably.
  3. Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and slightly elastic. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into walnut-sized portions and roll each portion thinly on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin to a circle of about 100 mm in diameter.
  5. Cover with a cloth until all the dough has been rolled out.
  6. Pour sufficient oil in a wide, shallow heavy-based saucepan to fill it to a depth of about 50 mm and heat to moderately hot.
  7. Fry a few rounds at a time, about 30 seconds on each side, until puffed and golden.
  8. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper and arrange in a single layer on cooling racks.
  9. Heat the honey and butter until the mixture bubbles.
  10. Cool and brush over both sides of each cake.

25 to 30 cakes, depending on size.

Variation
Sprinkle lightly toasted flaked almonds over the glazed cakes.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book page 752.

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Churro’s With Chocolate Sauce

This popular Mexican dessert reminds of the French choux pastry. The main difference is that it can be made without eggs and that it is deep-fried and not baked. It is served with a chocolate dipping sauce.  You could also serve it with Mexican Hot Chocolate!

Churro’s Pastry
100 g butter
350 ml boiling water
pinch salt
45 ml sugar
250 g cake flour

Chocolate Sauce
250 g good quality milk or dark chocolate
30 g butter
30 ml golden syrup or honey
100 ml cream
pinch chilli powder (optional)

  1. To make the churro pastry combine the butter, water, salt and sugar in a saucepan.
  2. Place the saucepan on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the flour.
  4. Beat the flour into the butter mixture until a ball forms in the middle of the saucepan.
  5. Set the dough aside for 15 minutes.
  6. To make the chocolate sauce, prepare a double boiler and melt the chocolate.
  7. Add the butter, syrup, cream and chilli powder, if used to the melted chocolate and stir to combine.
  8. Set the chocolate sauce aside.
  9. To make the cinnamon sugar, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and set it aside..
  10. Fit a piping bag with a star nozzle with a 15 mm opening.
  11. Transfer the pastry to the piping bag and twist the wide side of the piping bag to enclose the pastry.
  12. Pour enough oil into a deep saucepan to come at least 5 cm up the side. Place the saucepan on the stove and heat the oil to moderately hot.
  13. Line a large plate with double layer of absorbent kitchen towel and set it next to the stove.
  14. Carefully pipe the batter into the oil. Use kitchen scissors to cut the pastry when you have piped the desired length – they can be 4 to 10 cm.
  15. Fry the churro’s until light golden brown on all sides.
  16. Lift the churro’s out of the oil with a perforated spoon and transfer to the plate.
  17. Continue in this manner until you have used up all the pastry.
  18. Transfer the churro’s to the plate and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
  19. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with the sauce.

About 20 churro’s.

Churros

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Peppermint Bites

These minty sweet treats are quick and easy to make and are great with after-dinner coffee or to give as a gift.

30 g butter, softened
45 ml light corn syrup
500 ml icing sugar, sifted
a few drops peppermint essence
food colouring of your choice

To decorate (optional)
100 g dark chocolate, melted

  1. Combine the butter and corn syrup in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 250 ml of the icing sugar and mix until well combined.
  3. Add the essence a few drops at a time until you have the desired flavor.
  4. Mix in the rest of the icing sugar.
  5. Turn the mixture out onto a Wizbake baking sheet sprinkled with icing sugar and knead the mixture until all the icing sugar is absorbed and the mixture is completely smooth.  Add additional icing sugar if needed.
  6. Divide the dough into two equal portions.
  7. Leave one portion white.  Add green food colouring to the other portion a few drops at a time until you have the desired colour.
  8. Shape the mixtures into 2 cm balls and flatten gently with a fork.
  9. Let the patties stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 1 day.
  10. Store in an airtight container.

24 to 36 patties

Variation

  • Dip the patties halfway in melted chocolate or drizzle melted chocolate over the patties.  Set aside to set.
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Almond Praline

This praline recipe is for French pralines which is a combination of almonds and caramelized sugar.  It is harder than American praline which is a combination of syrup, milk or cream and pecans, hazlenuts or almonds.  American praline resembles fudge. See the Creamy Crunchy Sponge Cake Roll for an idea to use the Almond Praline.  Or just stir it into or sprinkle on top vanilla ice-cream.

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Marvelous Meringues

Meringue, also known as “forgotten cookies” due to the fact that it is baked at a very low heat for a long time, is a type of dessert associated with French, Swiss and Italian cuisine.  It is made from whipped egg whites and sugar as well as some form of acid, such as lemon, vinegar or cream of tartar.  A binding agent such as salt, corn starch or gelatine may also be added to the eggs.  

French meringue is sometimes referred to as ordinary meringue at it is the most basic and the least stable until baked of all the meringues. Egg whites are beaten until they coagulate and form soft peaks, at which point sugar is slowly incorporated until the mixture has attained full volume; is soft, airy, and light; and stands at attention when the whip is lifted. French meringue is customarily spooned or piped into different forms, including dessert shells (such as vacherins) and cake layers (as in a dacquoise), and baked, later to be topped with fruit, mousse, or whipped cream. It is also often folded into batters (for lady fingers, sponge cakes, soufflés, and the like) and baked.

There are actually three basic techniques for making meringue and they are differentiated by the extent to which the egg white foam is heated and the resulting stability of the meringue.  The three styles are known as French, Swiss, and Italian meringues.

Meringue can be used as the basis for various desserts including Baked Alaska, Eton Mess, Floating Islands (aka snow eggs), Pavlova, as a topping for Lemon Meringue Pie, and many more.

Swiss meringue is prepared by gently beating egg whites and sugar in a pan that sits above boiling water, without touching it. When the mixture reaches 50°C and the sugar is completely dissolved, the mixture is pulled off the heat and beaten vigorously to increase and attain full volume and then at a lower speed until cool and very stiff. Swiss meringue is smoother, silkier, and somewhat denser than French meringue and is often used as a base for buttercream frostings.

Italian meringue is made with boiling sugar syrup, instead of caster sugar. This leads to a much more stable soft meringue which can be used in various pastries without collapsing. In an Italian meringue, a hot sugar syrup (115°C) is whipped into softly whipped egg whites till stiff. This type of meringue is safe to use without cooking. It will not deflate for a long while and can be either used on pies and Baked Alaska, or spread on a sheet and baked for meringues.

French Meringue

4 large egg whites
750 ml cups icing sugar
5 ml vanilla extract
Pink Gel Food Coloring
150 ml Nutella

  1. Preheat oven to 120°C and line baking trays with Wizbake sheets and set it aside.
  2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or use hand mixer and place in a large bowl.
  3. Beat until light and foamy on low speed. Turn off the mixer and add the vanilla extract.
  4. Carefully, add the powdered sugar and beat on medium speed for 20 minutes. The meringue will get thick.
  5. Add some pink food gel and fold the gel through to create a marbled effect.
  6. Spoon the meringue into a silicone piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
  7. Pipe the meringues in circles starting in the center and swirling outward in a circular motion.  Repeat until all meringue is used.
  8. Turn the oven down to 100 °C and bake the meringues for 10 minutes.
  9. Switch the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven overnight to dry out or at the lowest setting for 3 to 4 hours until completely dry.
  10. Remove the meringues from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
  11. Spread 15 ml Nutella on the flat bottom of one meringue and cover with a 2nd meringue to make a sandwich.
  12. Transfer to a serving plate or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
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Home-made Chocolate Covered Coconut Bars

These coconut bars taste better than the real McCoy and are quick and easy to make!

4 x 250 ml icing sugar
4 x 250 ml desiccated coconut
2.5 ml cream of tartar
1 ml salt
2.5 ml coconut essence (optional)
1 x 397 g tin condensed milk

Chocolate
200 g dark chocolate, e.g. Lindt Excellence Extra Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa, finely chopped

  1. Combine the icing sugar, coconut, cream of tartar, salt, coconut essence, if used, and condensed milk in a large mixing bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add a few drops of water if the mixture is too stiff.  It should have the consistency of play dough.
  3. Line a  20 x 20 cm baking pan or dish with plastic wrap, leaving plenty of extra to hang over the sides.
  4. Press the coconut mixture firmly into the pan or dish and cover the coconut mixture completely with the plastic wrap before placing it in the freezer to firm up – at least 30 minutes.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water).  Set the chocolate aside.
  6. Place a Wizbake baking sheet underneath a cooling rack and set it aside.
  7. Remove the coconut mixture from the freezer, unwrap and cut into 12 bars of equal size.
  8. Work with one coconut bar at a time and slip it into the melted chocolate. Turn it over with a a fork to coat it on all sides with the chocolate.
  9. Remove the bar with a fork, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl, then place it on the cooling rack so that the excess chocolate can drip off onto the Wizbake sheet.
  10. Do the same with the rest of the bars.
  11. Place the rack in the freezer for about 15 minutes so that the chocolate can harden.
  12. Remove the rack from freezer and repeat the dipping process, i.e. give each bar another coat of chocolate.
  13. Return the rack with the bars to the freezer to firm up completely – at least one hour.
  14. Remove the bars from the rack and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months.

Makes 12 bars.

BountyBars

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Coconut & Almond Chocolate

Take a dark slab of chocolate to another level by adding toasted coconut, almonds and cinnamon.  The perfect treat if you are Banting as it is virtually sugar-free!

3 x 100 g Lindt Excellence Extra Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa, finely chopped
30 ml coconut oil
150 ml desiccated coconut, toasted
150 ml flaked almonds, toasted
15 ml to 30 ml ground cinnamon (optional)

  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water).  Set the chocolate aside.
  2. Add the coconut oil to the chocolate and mix well.
  3. Combine the desiccated coconut and almonds in a dry frying pan and toast it until golden. Be careful not to let it burn!
  4. Transfer the coconut and almond mixture to a food processor and process it with the pulse action until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  5. Add the coconut and almond mixture to the melted chocolate and mix well.
  6. Add the cinnamon and mix well.
  7. Pour the chocolate mixture onto a baking tray lined with clingwrap or baking paper and set it aside to cool.
  8. Refrigerate the chocolate until firm.
  9. Transfer the chocolate to a chopping board and cut it into blocks or fingers.
  10. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

IMG_1538

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Coconut Flour Crumpets

Coconut flour is a soft flour produced from dried coconut meat.  It is grain-free, gluten-free and nut free which means those with Celiac or gluten intolerance can enjoy it too. Coconut flour also has many health benefits you won’t find in wheat flour products.  It is:

  • High in fibre – nearly twice the amount of fibre found in wheat bran. Great for improving digestion, reducing the amount of sugar your body absorbs and lowering cholesterol.
  • High in protein – it is higher in protein and essential amino acids than rye or cornmeal flour.
  • Low in carbohydrates – the low-carb alternative to ordinary flours.
  • It has a low glycaemic index.
  • Suitable for diabetics.

 See my post Nuts About Coconuts for more info on coconut products.

Batter
25 g butter or coconut oil, melted
250 ml coconut or almond flour
2 large eggs, beaten
60 ml sparkling water, coconut, coconut milk or milk
30 ml mascarpone or creamed cottage cheese
1 ml salt

To serve
honey
plain or flavoured yoghurt
fresh fruit

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and set it aside.
  2. Heat the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, electric frying pan or griddle to moderately hot.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of the batter, well apart to allow for spreading, onto the hot surface.
  4. Cook the crumpets over moderate heat until bubbles appear on the surface.
  5. Turn over with a lifter and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  6. Place onto a cooling rack and cover with a cloth to prevent the crumpets from drying out.
  7. Serve with honey, yoghurt and/or fresh fruit.

AlmondFlourFlapjacks

 

 

 

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Luxurious Scones

The cream and buttermilk combination is responsible for the delicate, moist texture, rich flavour and excellent keeping quality while the method used minimises the mixing time. This scone recipe was invented by Marianne Palmer of the Cranemere Farm in the Karoo.

420 g/750 ml cake flour
25 ml baking powder
2,5 ml salt
15 ml sugar
2 large eggs
250 ml cream
250 ml buttermilk
water to dilute glaze

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C and grease a medium sized baking tray with margarine.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir thoroughly until evenly blended. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
  3. Beat together the eggs, cream and buttermilk and reserve 30 ml for glazing.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the well in the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until the dough holds together.
  5. Turn out the soft, sticky dough onto a well-floured surface and knead lightly with floured hands, no longer than 2 minutes.
  6. Add a little more flour if necessary to form a very soft pliable yet smooth dough.
  7. Roll out the dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of about 25 mm and cut out neat rounds with a scone cutter, between 50 – 80 mm in diameter.
  8. Place the scones slightly apart onto the greased baking tray.
  9. Dilute the reserved egg mixture with a little water and brush over the scones to glaze.
  10. Bake the scones 10 – 15 minutes depending on size until well-risen and golden.
  11. Break open one scone to determine doneness. Lift onto a cooling rack and serve while still slightly warm or allow to cool.

15 to 20 scones depending on size.

VARIATIONS WITH SCONE DOUGH

The same variations will apply to any scone dough unless otherwise specified.

WHOLEWHEAT SCONES
Substitute 1/3 – 2/3 of the cake flour with whole wheat flour and continue as explained for each recipe.

CHEESE SCONES
Add 125 ml finely grated, well-flavoured cheese, 5 ml mustard powder, a grinding of black pepper or a good pinch of cayenne pepper to the dry ingredients after rubbing in the butter or margarine.  Dust the glazed scones lightly with red sprinkle mix (1/3 cayenne pepper + 2/3 paprika) or garlic and herb seasoning.

HERBED SCONES
Add 20 ml mixed fresh herbs or 5 ml mixed dried herbs and 20 ml each of freshly chopped parsley and green ends of spring onion to the dry ingredients.

DILL SCONES
Substitute 30 ml chopped fresh dill for the herbs above.  Delicious with soup such as potato soup or tomato soup.

SAVOURY SCONES
Add 500 ml finely grated well-flavoured cheese, 50 ml chopped cooked bacon or ham, 10 ml mustard powder, 30 ml finely chopped onion and 15 ml freshly chopped parsley to the dry ingredients.  Increase the liquid slightly if necessary to create a soft scone dough.  Dust the glazed scones lightly with red sprinkle mix (1/3 cayenne pepper + 2/3 paprika) or garlic and herb seasoning.

FRUIT SCONES
Add 125 – 250 ml sultanas, raisins or other dried fruit to the dry ingredients after rubbing in the butter or margarine.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book p. 669.

scones-with-jam-and-cream-6705_l