30/04/2016

Traditional Malay Milktart

 
While this dessert looks a bit boring just standing there in the dish, it actually hides one of the best custard-like desserts ever! This milktart garnered so many compliments that I just had to get the recipe from Widaad as she entered this dish in our Bake Off for Charity Event.
 
 
It cuts into these beautiful, smooth squares that is so creamy and indulgent. It has a quick pastry and the custard type filling making it something to remember. Try making it your own by adding some spice (cinnamon always works well) or serve warm with cream and fruit.
 
What you need:
 

PASTRY

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of cake flour
  • 2 cups of self-rising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 250g of butter
  • 10ml of vanilla essence
  • Drop of egg yellow colouring
  • Pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Mix the eggs and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add butter to the eggs and sugar mixture and combine.
  3. Add the vanilla essence and egg yellow colouring. 
  4. Lastly add both flours and salt and work through to make a dough. 
  5. Put the dough in a prepared (with butter is best) dish and cover the base and sides of the dish. 
  6.  Keep it in the fridge until the filling is ready.

FILLING

Ingredients:
  • 1 litre milk
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar (to taste)
  • 10 ml vanilla essence
  • Drop of egg yellow colouring

Method:

  1. Boil the milk and leave it to cool down.
  2. Mix the eggs and 1 cup of sugar and add the milk while it is still slightly warm (it helps to dissolve the sugar).
  3. Once the sugar has dissolved add the vanilla essence and the egg yellow. 
  4. Taste the mixture to test if you would like to add a little more sugar.

TO FINISH THE TART:
  1. Pour the filling into the pastry dish.
  2. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 60 minutes at 180°C.

 

26/04/2016

Greek Chicken Bake



This is almost like a Greek cheesy bowl. The sauce is from pesto, cream and creme fraiche and added to it is cooked chicken and black olives. Hubby had pasta with his and I had a low carb pita to mop up all the juices. It was delicious!



 What you need:

  • 1 wheel feta cheese
  • 1 cup creme fraice
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tbsp basil pesto
  • 500g chicken breast diced
  • 1 small packet of olives, pitted
  • low carb pitas 

What to do:


  1. Preheat the over to 180C.
  2. On a baking tray add the diced chicken and some coconut oil and bake for 15 minutes or until just cook.
  3.  Take it out of the oven and sprinkle over the feta cheese and the olives.
  4. In a measuring jug add the rest of the sauce ingredients, mix well and pour over the chicken.
  5. Bake again for an addition 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Serve with rice, pasta or low carb pita and enjoy!



22/04/2016

Lamb Knukle Curry


This was eaten so quickly that I didn't even get to take a proper photo. We love curry in all its forms and this was so easy to prepare (only 5 minutes!) and baked away while I did other things. Sometimes you really don't need to make a big effort to give your family a delicious meal.

What you need:

  • 500g lamb knuckles
  • veggies (I used small potatoes, carrots and green beans)
  • 500ml Malay curry sauce (I buy mine from Woolworth's)

 

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180C.
  2. Add the beef and veggies and top with the sauce. Mix well.
  3. Bake for 1h30 stirring a couple of times throughout.
  4. Enjoy with rice or cauliflower rice. 

19/04/2016

Organic Cashew Nut Butter Chocolates



I love chocolate. Actually the trust is I amslightly addicted to chocolate. It is so bad, that I simply cannot end dinner without ahving something sweet, and my go-to is almost always chocolate. If I don't it is almost like I stay hungry all the time! So what to do? How about simply making you own? To much trouble I hear you say? Well if plonking 3 ingredients into a bowl, microwaving it for 30 seconds seem too much trouble then ignore this post!




This takes me about 5 minutes to make and because of all the good fats it also keeps me satiated for longer.  With the organic dark chocolate you also get an extreme chocolate kick that satisfies my sweet tooth. I am therefore happy with just 1 (instead of a whole box!)




What you need:


  • 1/2 cup cashew nut butter (or any butter you like as long as there is no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil (either neutral or natural flavour, both taste great)
  • about 100g organic chocolate (75% or higher) or Organic Chocolate Paste

 

What to do:

  •  Add everything together.
  •  Microwave for 30 second until warm and the chocolate start to melt.
  • Stir until everything is melted.
  • If the chocolate doesn't melt, microwave at 10 second intervals.
  • Pour into a chocolate mold and put in the freezer. 

These chocolates won't last outside the fridge or freezer but they never go extremely hard in any event so keeping it in the freezer is great. They melt in your mouth giving some serious satisfaction without all the sugar!


18/04/2016

Braai (BBQ) Pizza

Sometimes a treat is placed on a table during a braai (South African BBQ) that delights absolutely everyone. I am happy to share this treat that takes less than 5 minutes to create. It was so good that I literally had to fight to take a photo before everything was gone. As this little gem will be made again and again I have no fear that I will be able to add a more comprehensive post to the collection but for now I had to share this secret!
 



I call it a "braai pizza" as you do it on the coals until the base is crispy and the cheese is melted. It is just too easy to make! take two store bought pizza, place one on top of the other. BBQ one side until the base is crispy to the touch, flip it over and do the same on the other side. Serve cut into squares and then get out of the way!



 
This one is made from a pulled pork pizza and a Mexican pizza, meaning you have some juicy shredded meat, jalapeno peppers and double the cheese. This would make an amazing lunch as well. Just serve with a side salad. We are going away for a few days in a couple of weeks and we will make this again (I will take better photos and step by step info) and we will also try a veggie one. Stay posted!
 


14/04/2016

Low Carb Flapjack Pancake or Muffins

  

I had eggs but no bacon and had a craving for something sweet. I then remembered I had some over-ripe bananas and I decided to try the 2-ingredient pancake (just eggs and bananas). Well it wasn't turning out great so I added some almond and coconut flour and they were so much better. 


Almost cake-like with some frozen berries, topped with double cream yoghurt (and some honey for the Little One) and it tasted amazing! And it was a proper substantial enough batter so I added the leftovers to a couple of muffin wrappers, added some berries and baked it, turned out great (I just forgot to spray the wrappers so they got stuck - but they still tasted great!).




What you need:

  • 2 over ripe bananas
  • 3-4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp rice malt syrup or honey
  • frozen berries (I used blueberries and raspberries.
  • double thick yoghurt (to serve)

 

To make the batter:

  1.  Mash the bananas really well with a fork.
  2.  Add the eggs and syrup and using a hand held blender, blend until everything is smooth.
  3. With a whisk, slowly add the flours. 

 

To make flapjacks:

  1.  Melt some butter in a small frying pan (the batter will run if you use a big pan).
  2.  Add the batter and top with some berries.
  3. Melt some butter and fry until bubbles appear.
  4. Gently flip over, fry for another minute or until cooked through.
  5. Enjoy with some double thick yoghurt and some malt syrup of honey on top.

 

To make muffins:


  1. Prepare a muffin pan by very generously spreading with butter, if using wrappers spray very generously with Cook-and-spray.
  2. Fill the hole about half way and add some berries.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven of 180degrees Celsius for 25 minutes or until baked through depending on the size of the muffin pan.



12/04/2016

Red Velvet Cake with Berries, Marscapone Cream and Ganache



Our indestructible Sharon Brink, baker extraordinaire hit very close to home with this beautiful cake. Everyone is well aware of my love for a proper Red Velvet Cake. I had one at our wedding and later at the Little One's Christening. I am always on the lookout for a proper tasty recipe and Sharon adopted this one from The Cake Boss' very own recipe. What adds to this cake is the beautiful decoration, making it look like a professional baker prepared this just for you!




Please don't get a fright when having a look at the steps, it may seem daunting but it is really easy. And you know what, if you have a reliable box cake, then use that and decorate as instructed! Just try it. And according to Sharon if you have done it once, it is even easier the next time!
What you need -

For cakes:


  • 8 tbsps unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups sugar (plain or castor)
  • 2 tbsps of good quality cocoa powder
  • 4 tsps red food colouring gel (super red works best and you can add as much as you prefer)
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 1/4 tsps salt
  • 1 1/4 tsps vanilla extract / essence
  • 1 1/4 tsps bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/4 tsps distilled white vinegar
  • 3 extra-large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (at room temperature)

For marscapone cream:

  • 200g marscapone
  • 125ml beaten cream
  • 80g sifted icing sugar
  • Vanilla (amount to your taste)


For the ganache:

  • 50ml cream
  • 100g chocolate


What to do -

The cakes:

  1. Sift flour, cocoa, and salt into a bowl.
  2. In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter at low speed until creamy. Add sugar; blend on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each. Scrape bowl; add food colouring and vanilla.
  4. On low speed, beat in flour mixture in thirds, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  5. In small bowl, stir together vinegar and baking soda. Stir into batter.
  6. Divide batter between prepared pans; spread evenly. Grease 2 round cake tins and line with wax paper.
  7. Bake at 180 degrees in the middle of the oven until a cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges and turn layers out onto racks. Remove paper and flip cakes; cool completely. Freeze for 30 minutes.

 

To make the mascarpone cream:


  1. To make the marscapone cream beat the cream to fairly thick and add the marscapone and beat together.
  2. Add the sifted icing sugar and vanilla. If the cream is too thick, add more cream. The mixture must be thick enough to spread.

 

Sharon makes 3 different ganaches' one with milk chocolate, one with white chocolate and one with dark chocolate, all as follows:


  1. Heat the cream and remove from the stove.
  2. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted.
  3. You can refrigerate to set it a bit.

 

Assembling the cake:


  1. To assemble the cake, cut layers in half horizontally with a serrated knife.
  2. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate; spread with marscapone cream.
  3. Layer your choice of berries. She used raspberries, gooseberries and strawberries.
  4. Drizzle a bit of each ganache over it. Repeat twice.
  5. Add last layer, top side up. You can put the left over marscapone on top but she used it all inside the layers and simply pour ganache over the top and then place various berries on top and then drizzle more ganache.
  6. Enjoy!
Her tip: use cherries with the stalks as it adds to the overall look.
Go and make this beauty for yourself!

08/04/2016

Nutella Cheesecake with Ferrero Rocher and Peanut Brittle Topping



We had a very successful charity bake off competition and this beauty was one of the front runners! Sharon Brink, the very talented baker, has shared her successful recipe which she calls "foolproof" to enjoy with your next function! This is so quick that I had to get the recipe.


 
A decadent and luxuriously creamy vanilla cheesecake, which is indulgent on its own, but this one is then infused and topped with Nutella (the fancy chocolate spread!) and just to go completely over the top – it is decorated with the beautifully golden Ferrero Rocher balls. I dare you not to salivate!

This is so decadent and impressive while being so easy to prepare. She has adapted this recipe to create this wonderful cheesecake for us to enjoy;


Ingredients:


 

Biscuit Base –


  • 2 boxes Romany Creams or digestive biscuits
  • 140g unsalted butter

Cheesecake Filling –


  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 500g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 heaped tablespoons Nutella
  • 85g icing sugar, sifted
  • 5 Ferrero Rocher chocolates, cut into small pieces

Decoration –


  • 4-5 (heaped) tablespoons  Nutella, for spreading or drizzling
  • Peanut Brittle, broken into pieces or 25g chopped hazelnuts
  • Ferrero Rocher chocolates

Method:


  1. To make the cheesecake base: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor to a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined. Tip the biscuit crumbs into a 23cm springform cake tin and press down until firm. Use the back of a spoon or glass to smooth over, place in the refrigerator to chill whilst you make the filling.
  2. To make the cheesecake filling: In a medium mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese with the icing sugar until softened. In another mixing bowl whisk together the cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the cream cheese mix. Finally, fold through the chopped chocolates.
  3. Spoon over the biscuit base and smooth over with a spatula or palette knife. Cover and leave to chill for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  4. Once the cheesecake has set, place the chocolate hazelnut spread in a small saucepan and melt over a low heat for 3-4 minutes until runny – be careful not to boil the Nutella or get it too hot.
  5. Allow the Nutella to cool slightly before spreading or drizzling over the top of the cheesecake. Finish by decorating with the remaining chocolates and some peanut brittle.
  6. Serve chilled. Enjoy!

 

05/04/2016

Bake Off for Charity!

We, at work, support the Tygerberg Children's Hospital whereby we hold monthly socials in the form of a domino competition and selling some food. This however means a small amount of profit is made which very slowly increases the amount we have for charity. We decided to do a local bake off competition between the 6 offices. We had hoped that we have at least one cake form each office but the enthusiasm was so great that we had 14 cakes entered!

 
 
Initially we were to taste all the cakes, vote on the best cakes for points to presentation and taste and then have a small prize, but with so many cakes we decide to also have an auction. We would select 5 cakes for auction leaving 9 cakes to taste. We obviously have some serious hidden talents as these were the contenders (some even baked 2 cakes):
 


 
 
The X-factor was a gluten free and sugar free berry cheesecake baked by Widaad while the Good S.I.R was a delicious chocolaty cheesecake baked by Sanet.
 

 
 
The Caffe Latte cake had a vanilla coffee layer and a chocolate layer with a chocolate filled centre baked by Jabu while the beautifully and light Flan had a sponge base filled with proper caramel and topped with cream, baked by Lucas (the only man to enter the competition!).
 

 
 
We also had a sour cream and pecan cake that doesn't require any icing and is enjoyed with fresh cream baked by Lucas as well (some people are just too industrious!)
 
 
 
 
The chocolate overload cake was this huge chocolate monster with a hidden chocolate sauce centre topped with more chocolate and having 4 layers, baked by Aziza. The traditional carrot cake was moist and sweet topped with some of the best cream cheese icing ever, baked by Barbara.
 

 
 
The Dark and Moist Chocolate cake was filled with cream and a ganache topping while also having a chocolate mural on top, baked by Nina. The Naughty Naked Rainbow Cake was a 5 layer, gluten free experiment by Telana topped with a bright selection of sweets.
 

 
 
We did not only have chocolate as we also tasted this fresh butter and orange cake that was refreshing and tart enough to cut through all the sweetness. This beauty was baked by Noleen.
 

 
 
The Nutella and Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake was also topped with peanut brittle and was one I was most interested in tasting. I might be able to share this recipe with you if I get permission form the baker - Sharon. The Hawaiian Wedding cake is similar to a carrot cake except it has pineapple and coconut mixed in. This was baked by Nicole.
 

 
 
Sharon also baked this beautiful red velvet cake which is layered with ganache, mascarpone and berries to add to the beautiful red colours.
 



While Widaad bakes the gluten free sugar free X-factor she also baked a tradition Malay Milk Tart  that was so good and creamy that people still talk about it.

We auctioned off the Red Velvet, the Nutella Cheesecake, the X-factor, the Chocolate Overload and the Dark and Moist cake. But the spirits were so high we also auctioned off all the leftovers!

We had three prizes and they were awarded by voting on a ballot as follows:

Best looking cake:

1st prize - Chocolate Overload Cake
2nd - Dark and Moist Cake
 

Best Tasting cake:

1st prize - The Good S.I.R
2nd - caffe latte chocolate cake
 

The prize for the highest cake on auction:

1st prize - Chocolate Overload Cake
2nd - Red Velvet.


We ended up reaching more than double our goal! What a great day and for such a good cause!.




Mother Daughter Lunches


 
Doing a grown-up (low carb) and a toddler (reduced carb/sugar) lunch shouldn't be an issue or too much of an effort. I do a weekly shop of the following staples: yoghurt (always full cream sometimes even double cream and plain), fruit (berries and bananas), cheeses and a selection of meatballs or sausages. Then I add leftovers from the night before, for a selection of protein and veggies. This means I make quick lunches that takes a bout 5 minutes while still allowing me to the vary the content so the Little One doesn't get bored.
 


 
My and Hubby's lunches (when we get them) are almost exclusively leftovers. It is so versatile and if it is good enough to enjoy for dinner, then why waste any? This one is steak with a side salad of celery, peppers, cheese and avocado with some mayonnaise (nothing that can go soft). I make the lunch box while dishing up supper, meaning I slice the steak and leave to cool, add the salad to the container and after dinner I add the steak to the lunch box and refrigerate. Ready to grab the next morning.
 



Breakfast is another quick option. I buy organic double thick yoghurt or the plain double cream yoghurt from Woolworth's that also taste great and add my own goodies. For me it is a few berries only. If you mix it through the night before you end up with a beautiful rosy-pink yoghurt without all the added artificial stuff. For the Little One I add pure honey (about 1/2 a teaspoon) only or some honey and a mixture of berries. Quick and easy and because you are buying a big tub it also works out cheaper.
 


This is a variation on the Little One's daily lunch. She get a cooked meal at school as well so this, so it is more of a snack in between and so far she hasn't gotten bored yet. In every lunch box I add a protein, sometimes chicken nuggets, meatballs or pork sausages or a combination thereof. Here we have homemade meatballs and Woolworth's mini pork bangers. I added some of the yellow peppers from our salad last night. Then for fruit, we have strawberries and raspberries. For the cheese part I added 3 little Laughing Cow squares. I also sometimes use the big Laughing Cow triangles, Kiri cheese squares, small cheese or just cubes.

This combination usually excludes carbs as she gets a sandwich in the afternoon and usually pasta or some other form of cab with the cooked meal. So too for dinner. She also has half an apple cut into slices which she snacks on, on her way to school early in the morning.
 
There you go, quick low carb and healthy lunches that takes only 5 minutes each!