Tag Archives: chocolate

green + gold cake for our #proteas – #NZvSA #ProteaFire

green + gold cake for our #proteas – #NZvSA #ProteaFire
My tribute to our Proteas

My tribute to our Proteas

Are we not all proud of South Africa’s #cricket team the Proteas? According to my husband it is taboo to talk about rugby, unless of course you are talking about the Rugby 7’s. It is ok to talk about the cricket though.

The other day, a client asked me for a Protea cake – something he could show off to his Kiwi visitors after the game against the Black Caps. He was confident our boys in Green and Gold were going to take the cake with some ease and overs to spare. He was so right!

Creating the cake
I have to admit, it was a challenge for me to create something that would make our boys proud, but with a light green icing, some edible gold leaf (you can find this at art shops) and some proteas, I think I managed. Do not ask me the measurements for the green icing colour – I added drop for drop until I was happy with the colour.

I used Donna Hay’s chocolate buttermilk layer cake recipe and her frosting for between the layers. I had to double the recipe in order to attain the right height for the cake. It’s really delicious, moist and dense.


Donna Hay’s chocolate buttermilk layer cake

1 cup (250 ml) water 125 g butter, cubed
1/3 cup (35 g) cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups (300 g) flour, sifted
1 t (5 ml) baking soda, sifted (bicarbonate of soda)
2 cups (440 g) caster sugar
2 eggs ½ cup (125 ml) buttermilk
1 t (5 ml) vanilla essence/extract
Chocolate cream cheese frosting
100 g unsalted butter, softened
500 g cream cheese
2 cups (320g) icing sugar, sifted
½ cup (50g) cocoa, sifted

Pre-heat oven to 160 °C. Place water, butter and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Place flour, baking soda and sugar in a bowl, add the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine. Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk again. Divide mixture between 2 greased and lined 20cm round cake tins, then bake for 40-45 min or until baked through when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out the cakes onto wire racks and allow to cool completely. For the frosting: place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl. Using an electric mixer beat for 6-8 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for a further 6-8 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
To assemble, slice off the round tops of each cake layer to produce 2 smooth, flat layers (I use a sharp long bladed knife). Place one layer on a plate, spread with frosting, then put remaining half on top and cover with frosting.

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sweet omelette with figs and brandy chocolate sauce … for your #valentyn

sweet omelette with figs and brandy chocolate sauce … for your #valentyn

Tomorrow is the most important love day of the year… Valentine’s day. Yes, I do make my husband supper every single night, but on Valentine’s day I try and make him something he really loves. Rick loves eggs – he can have eggs for breakfast lunch and supper – in fact given the choice I think he would eat eggs for 365 days of the year. The other thing he loves is chocolate and … figs. Tomorrow, I am going to say I love you with this sweet omelette with figs and brandy chocolate sauce. It might sound strange to think of a sweet omelette but I have to admit, it is delicious. It is simple to prepare and with a glass of bubbly provides the perfect Valentine’s breakfast…lunch or light dinner.
omelet with figs and chocolate

My friend Emile Joubert also suggested the following fillings: salmon and cream cheese, bacon and cheese and chopped fresh herbs

omelet for your valentine

Sweet omelette with figs and brandy chocolate sauce
(Serves one)
Figs
3 figs, quartered
5 ml butter
5 ml sugar
15 ml brandy
Brandy chocolate sauce
25 g cream
50 g chocolate, cut into small pieces
15 ml brandy
Omelette
3 eggs
pinch of salt
15 ml sugar
10 ml butter
To serve
2 fresh figs, quartered

Figs: Fry the figs in a pan with butter and sugar until soft. Add the brandy and flambé. Set aside.
Chocolate sauce: Heat the cream and poor over the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. Add the brandy and stir well.
Omelette: Crack the eggs into a bowl, add salt and sugar and blend with a fork. Heat a 22 cm non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the butter and brush around the surface of the pan. Pour the eggs into the centre of the pan and stir vigorously with a rubber spatula for 5 seconds. As soon as a semi-solid mass begins to form, lift the pan and move it around until the excess liquid pours off into the pan. Using your spatula, move it around the edge of the egg mixture to help shape into a circle and loosen the edge. Let the omelette sit in the pan for 10 seconds without touching.
Shake the pan to loosen the eggs mixture from the pan. Add the figs and juice to the omelette. Using your spatula, fold over one-third of the omelette. Slide the omelette onto a plate and fold over the other side so that the omelette is a tri-fold. Smother with chocolate sauce and serve immediately with fresh figs and a glass of bubbles.

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three ingredient #banana crumpets with #rum ganache

three ingredient #banana crumpets with #rum ganache

three ingredient banana crumpets

I came across this three ingredient banana crumpet recipe the other day and just had to try it. It so easy – you take two ripe bananas, mash them using the back of the fork, then you add two eggs and 2.5ml of baking powder. The recipe has no flour in it so you have to fry them over low-medium heat in a non-stick pan and turn them very carefully. They also do not have the height of a normal crumpet but let me tell you there is nothing wrong with the taste! It is delicious. And what goes better with bananas than chocolate and rum? Well I decided to quickly make a chocolate & rum ganache and voila! The easiest and most delicious sweet dish I have made this year!

If you like, you can add some cinnamon for extra flavour.

three ingredient banana crumpets

Three ingredient banana crumpets with rum ganache
Makes 15 mini crumpets
2 large ripe bananas, 200g
2 large eggs
2.5 ml baking powder
Mash the banana in a bowl using a fork; add eggs, baking powder and mix the batter. Heat butter in a non-stick pan over low to medium heat. Spoon the batter into the hot butter and cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry, about 2 minutes. Turn very carefully and cook until browned on the other side, 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Rum ganache
75 ml cream
100 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
15 ml rum
Place chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place cream in a small pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour the chocolate into the bowl and let stand until chocolate has softened, about 3 minutes. Stir until the ganache has a smooth and silky texture. Lastly, add the rum.

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cheats cacao cake

cheats cacao cake

cacao cake
These days I often find that I do not have the time to spend hours in the kitchen to bake and decorate a cake for a special occasion. I have to confess I cheat … but in my defence, many of the ready-baked options end up being just as delicious and beautiful as home-baked versions.

The cake layers
In this instance, I visited CAB Foods Factory shop and tried out their ready baked cacao sponge cakes. You can buy these frozen at about R23 per cake! Yes, not too bad. I did not know what it tasted like so I defrosted one and was I surprised? I do not think it would be possible for me to bake it any better – nor cheaper. Just to note…you will need to defrost these cakes properly for at least a few hours –make sure they are not cold in the centre.
cacao cake 2
Decorating
Outside: The icing was no problem. My friend Mari-Louis Guy introduced me to Pillsbury’s Ready-to-Spread Chocolate Fudge Flavoured Frosting. People this is dangerously delicious. You can of course make your own icing, but why would you do that if you have a frosting that is so velvety and chocolatey.
Layer 1: I opted for the Pillsbury Vanilla Frosting
Layer 2: You cannot go wrong with caramel. You will only use about ½ tin – of course I got stuck in with the teaspoon into the leftover caramel – and that was that!

And did anyone notice that I cheated? Nope, they thought the cake was scrumptious, moist and delicious … and yes, I took all the credit!

cacoa cake sliced
What you need
3 x layers cacao sponge cakes
1 x tin caramel
2 x Pillsbury’s Ready-to-Spread Chocolate Fudge Flavoured Frosting
1 x Pillsbury Vanilla Frosting

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my chocolate + orange cake

my chocolate + orange cake

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This coming Saturday it is the Chocolate and Orange Festival at the Stellenbosch Slow Market and yours truly is very excited! It will also be the very first public launch of Human & Rousseau’s new Koekedoor 2 baking book and enthusiasts can look forward to rubbing shoulders with the television stars, taking a selfie with the celebs and brag with an autograph or two! Yippy-dee-doo-dah!

My interpretation of chocolate and orange
So I decided to try my hand on the chocolate and orange theme and sommer bought two chocolate mousse cakes. After I carefully iced the two cakes together I decorated the outside with my mom’s chocolate icing. Nothing fancy – just butter, icing and cacao. For two days I was looking for anything orange – I did not want to go for oranges or nectarines … then I saw some beautiful strelitzias and my orange scissors :-). As they say … the rest is history.

Details for cake decorating competition
On Saturday young and old are invited to come show off their creativity when it comes to cakes. The emphasis of the competition will be on decorating and those who want to showcase their expertise when it comes to cake creations can do so by sending an email to chocolateandorangecake@gmail.com Participants (of any age) have to remain true to the chocolate and orange theme. Entries are R50 per person – and all proceeds raised will be donated to the Cupcakes 4 Kids with Cancer charity. Great prizes are also up for grabs – including an autographed Koekedoor 2 book, a shopping voucher of R1000 and more.

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mini-chocolate-crumpet-caramel-cakes

mini-chocolate-crumpet-caramel-cakes

SONY DSC

I have some wonderful memories of warm crumpets with melting butter and golden syrup dripping down the side. I used to scoff these up as a kid – so the other day I felt like baking a cake but when it came to it, I did not have the energy to go through all that kind of “baking” trouble – you know you get those days sometime 🙂 . Instead I decided to build a crumpet cake stack with caramel in between – you very well know by now that caramel is my downfall and is my ultimate sweet treat. To change the normal crumpet, I added some cocoa and a little vanilla essence.

So without baking for hours I presented my guests with these mini-chocolate-pancake-caramel-cakes and well … It was the best “bake” yet … sweet temptation at its best!

Watch me make this by clicking here.

SONY DSC

choc crumpet

SONY DSC

choc crumpet

 

mini-chocolate-crumpet-caramel-cakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 Egg
  • 30ml Sugar
  • 5ml Vanilla essence
  • 125ml Milk
  • 15ml Melted butter
  • 250 ml Flour
  • 2.5ml Salt
  • 15ml Cocoa powder
  • 10ml Baking powder
  • ½ Tin of caramel
  • Ice cream or cream to serve
Instructions
  1. Beat the egg, sugar and vanilla essence together.
  2. Add half the amount of milk and melted butter.
  3. Add the sifted flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder to the egg mixture. Mix through.
  4. Gradually stir in the remaining milk to form a smooth batter.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a hot greased pan.
  6. Cook on one side and when air bubbles appear, turn with a spatula and cook on the other side until golden brown.
  7. Stack with caramel generously smeared in-between the layers of crumpet and serve with ice cream or cream.
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banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds

banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds

banana 1 800

Ever since I started writing my blog my husband has been pestering me to bake a banana bread. He is just crazy about the flavour, sweetness and cake like texture. It’s such an easy thing to bake and we always have a few overripe bananas loitering in our fruit bowl. What I do like about banana bread is that it is a no fuss thing – and very easy to put together. Once you have the basic recipe you can always add raisins, nuts, chocolate chips – actually just about anything you fancy to make it your own.

Watch me make this by clicking here.
banana bread

The way I made this a lifeisazoobsicuit banana flan bread was by:
#1 changing the shape – I decided to bake it in a flan pan and serve it in a tart of sorts instead of a loaf and then
#2 I added three components that work extremely well together with bananas – white chocolate buttons, amaretto biscuits and almond flakes
#3 I was not keen to serve it with the traditional icing – so I opted to serve it with the crème fraiche instead.

My hubby, Rick had three helpings … Need I say more?

banana 3 800

A few banana facts or fiction I found on the www 🙂

1. Bananas float in water, as do apples and watermelons.
2. More than 100 billion bananas are eaten every year in the world, making them the fourth most popular agricultural product.
3. A cluster of bananas is called a hand, and a single banana is called a finger. Each banana hand has about 10 to 20 fingers.
4. Thanks to its oil, rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite – will help keep it from itching and getting inflamed.
5. To whiten teeth naturally, rub the inside of a banana peel on your teeth for about two minutes every night. If you gargle with salt water, this will heighten the effect. Expect results in about two weeks. It works because of the effect of the potassium, magnesium, and manganese in the banana peel.
6. If you peel a banana from the bottom up (holding on to the stem like a handle), you will avoid the stringy bits that cling to the fruit inside.
7. Bananas are low in calories and have no fat, no sodium, and no cholesterol. They contain vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6.
8. More songs have been written about bananas than about any other fruit.
9. Bananas are the only fruit that contains the amino acid tryptophan plus vitamin B6. They help your body produce serotonin—a natural substance that alleviates depression.
10. If you put a banana in the refrigerator, the peel will turn dark brown or black, but it won’t affect the fruit inside.

source: thebananapolice.com

banana bread

 

 

banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 60ml Butter at room temperature
  • 125ml Castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Bananas smashed
  • 1t Vanilla essence
  • 250ml Cake flour
  • 1t Baking powder
  • ¼t Salt
  • 50g White chocolate buttons
  • 50g Amaretto biscuits – broken into pieces
  • 40g Almond flakes
  • Crème Fraiche for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Butter a medium loose bottom flan pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Then add the egg and mix it in with the butter and sugar mix.
  3. Mix the bananas and vanilla essence into the mixture.
  4. Add all the dry ingredients gently – be careful not to over mix – and pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with a sprinkling of icing sugar and a few dollops of crème fraiche

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ice cream cake = delightful christmas dessert

ice cream cake = delightful christmas dessert
ice cream cake

#chicksthatchow version

Christmas is just around the corner …can you believe it? Every year we seem to be spammed with images of a white Christmas, with Santa Claus and reindeers all dressed up in their winter woollies. Of course this is what a European winter Christmas is all about but a few thousand miles to the south in the southern part of Africa, we always find ourselves in the middle of a scorching summer!

We live in Africa and its kinda 30°C hot. It is a time of sun, surf and sunscreen … So I decided to share my decadent ice-cream-christmas-cake-dessert with you. Believe me this is a showstopper. It is also the easiest thing to prepare – the kids and adults will just LOVE it.

I read about this recipe in Sarie Kos a few years ago and since then I have tweaked it to become one of my own favourite dessert delights. I have made it for a variety of different occasions, just a couple of weeks ago I made it for our #chicksthatchow summer soiree at my friend Errieda’s house and you will also see it featured in the latest Get It Magazine.

ice cream cake

#christmas version

The best thing about this decadent dessert is that you can easily prepare it a few days before Christmas – then put it in the freezer and decorate just before serving. This two-layered-ice-cream-dream is so versatile because you can decide on which sweet fillings you may want to hide inside this ice-cream-beehive … whether you want fruit, nuts, chocolate or even a few Christmas “tikkies”, the choice is yours. Remember the good old days when your mom or gran used to serve the Christmas dessert with the coins hidden inside the pudding?

cherries

#cherries

For my Christmas delight, I am going to add some cranberries, peanut brittle and some of those melt-in-your-mouth chocolate balls. All these ingredients are going to be locked into our ice-cream-igloo – so let your imagination run wild. Take your frozen cake out of the fridge, pour some chocolate ganache over the top and decorate the cake with strawberries, cherries, red roses or whatever you think will add that Christmas feel. Merry Christmas everyone!

Peanut Brittle

#peanut brittle

cranberries

#cranberries

ice cream cake = delightful christmas dessert
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • For the ice cream cake
  • 2 L Full-cream vanilla ice cream
  • ½ L Chocolate ice cream
  • 2 Peanut brittle (200g) – broken into small pieces
  • 6 Lindt chocolate balls (whatever flavour you fancy)
  • 150g Dried cranberries
  • A shopping bag or cling wrap
  • For the Chocolate Ganache
  • 100g Dark chocolate
  • 80 ml Cream (I use less cream – as I like a thick ganache)
  • ¼t Vanilla essence
  • For decorating
  • Fresh cherries
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Red roses
  • Lindt chocolate balls
Instructions
  1. For ice cream cake - Take a mixing or serving bowl that is be large enough to contain all the ice cream. Line your bowl with a shopping bag or cling wrap. The plastic shopping bag just seems to give the finished ice-cream igloo a really authentic Alpine look!
  2. Now take ¾ of the vanilla ice cream, put it into a mixing bowl and stir until the the ice-cream becomes a little softer. Do not let it melt or become to fluid. Put the rest of the ice-cream back in the freezer as we are going to use it a little later for the last layer of our cake
  3. Scoop the stirred ice-cream into the lined plastic bag bowl and make sure scooping out a fairly sizeable round hollow in the centre. Put the ice-cream filled bowl into the freezer for about 20 minutes to let it harden somewhat.
  4. Now, take the chocolate ice cream, scoop into bowl and stir this until it is softer as well. Add the peanut brittle, chocolate balls and cranberries – whatever you prefer.
  5. Take the bowl with the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer and scoop the chocolate ice cream and peanut brittle mix into the hole you made in the vanilla ice cream. Put in freezer to harden for about 15 minutes.
  6. Lastly, put the last layer of vanilla ice cream over the chocolate ice cream and put in freezer to set.
  7. For chocolate ganache - Break some good quality chocolate into blocks put in glass bowl. Heat the cream in a little pot till nearly boiling. Then pour the hot milk over the chocolate blocks - stir until the chocolate is melted to form a thick chocolate ganache. Add the vanilla essence and set aside to cool down.
  8. To serve - Take the ice cream out of the bag and place on a lovely serving dish. Pour the chocolate ganache over it and then I always decorate with fresh roses, cherries, strawberries and Lindt balls.

 

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frozen grapes + dark chocolate + grappa

frozen grapes + dark chocolate + grappa

Frozen grapes and grappa

Well it seems that summer could very soon be slipping away from us and before we know it, we will all be creeping away into hibernation but before the North Wester starts to blow and the rains come, why not get out into the sunshine and share this delicious Tuscan treat with your friends (recipe from www.jamieoliver.com) … just freeze some grapes for about 24 hours, put on a plate with the best dark chocolate (www.honestchocolate.co.za) and serve with some good grappa … sunshine, good friends, love and frozen grapes + dark chocolate + grappa does wonderful things for the soul.

 

 

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