Spesh Ginger Tea

I haven’t posted the last couple days, I was driving back from the hypnotic coast back to the cavernous city. There isn’t much WiFi between the winding passes and great expanses of veld. I think the majority of people will be back from holiday by now, I think I was one of the lucky few to have dragged it out for longer than expected.

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Roadtriiiiiiip

 

We all have this tiny sadness in our bellies and the end of December after family, friends, feasts just wishing we could drag it out a little longer. I find mine disappears after I have my first cup of tea after my very first proper night sleep back home. Currently I’m enjoying some tea I made myself and scrubbing out my belly sads.

I do have teabags before you ask but I felt like something different. I found some wrinkly old ginger and I love ginger tea, and ginger gives you such a wonderful boost and we all need that little boost after our beautiful holidays. Read More

Choux for my Boo

I know, what a terrible title. It does leave me open to a variety of options though, eclairs, profiteroles, flavour profiles the choices are endless. I am aiming to dedicate this post to my very significant other who is currently 13247,7 km away from me. He has been an avid taste tester of mine when we are in the same country. See we are currently embroiled in a visa battle to be together, how unfortunate it is when you fall for a foreigner.

He’s tried most a my favourites like my Eggs Benedict, Chicken & Prawn Curry (recipe from my mother), Fancy Macaroni Cheese, Caramel Panna Cotta, Moist Chocolate Cake and many other things, but I haven’t made any choux for him as yet, and he really fancies an eclair.

A week or so ago I made some profiteroles and eclairs for some plated desserts I was doing I’m going to go through my choux process and then how to put together an eclair. Read More

Chocolate Honey Cheesecake

I made this cake today and I’m quite proud of it. It has two layers of chocolate honey cake which sandwich a layer of cheesecake and the whole thing is covered in cream cheese icing. It has really fancy flavours and who doesn’t just love cheesecake/cake combo? It’s pretty much a win win.

It started this morning with a request from my mom asking that I use all the cream cheese in the fridge.See we’re leaving soon to go back to our normal non-holiday lives and we’ve got use all the perishable food up before we go. So I’m trying to bake all of it into some form of edible deliciousness. So today the challenge was cream cheese, and I found the last of the cream, some honey, purposeless lemon and some prechopped couverture.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 100 g good quality dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 270 g brown sugar
  • 230 g soft butter
  • 150 ml honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g cake flour
  • 5 ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 15 ml cocoa
  • 200 ml boiling water

Filling

  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 80 g castor sugar
  • 45 ml lemon juice
  • 30 ml warm water
  • 8 ml gelatin powder
  • 300 ml cream
  • 60 ml honey

Icing

  • 150 g cream cheese
  • 100 g butter soft
  • 5 ml vanilla paste
  • 250 ml icing sugar (use more if necessary for a thicker icing)
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 60 ml honey

Soundtrack: A jazzy electro-swing playlist including Parov Stelar -Clap Your Hands, Lone Digger – Caravan Palace, Istanbul – Bart&Baker.

 

Method:

  • Okay firstly you’re going to want to preheat your oven to 170Âșc, and line 2 X 24 cm cake tins. For chocolate cakes I like to butter then and dust with cocoa instead or paper lining. It works just as well but adds another depth of chocolateyness.
  • Then take your chopped chocolate in a little heat proof bowl and melt it either in the microwave or over a double boiler. Leave to cool.
  • In a mixer, beat together your sugar and butter until creamy, then add your honey.
  • Add your eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • Sieve your dry ingredients together.
  • Fold your chocolate into your egg mix, then your dry ingredients.
  • Beat in your hot water until incorporated. Don’t over beat.
  • Divide mix evenly between your two cake tins and place in the oven.
  • Bake for 45 minutes ish.
  • Be sure to check your cake with a skewer.
  • Let your cakes cool. You can put them in the fridge if your super impatient, I am and I did.

For the filling:

  • Beat your cream cheese, sugar and lemon until smooth.
  • Add your gelatin to your warm water to dissolve. If you’re having trouble fill a cup with boiling water and place your container with your gelatin in, in the cup for a minute.
  • Add your honey to the mixture and beat till combined, then beat in your gelatin.
  • Whip your cream till soft peaks and fold into your mixture.

Assemble:

  • Take a loose bottom cake tin the same size as the one you used to bake your cake.
  • Line it with cling wrap enough that it hangs over the sides. You want it so that when you have all your bits in the cling wraps will be covering everything even on the top.
  • Place one cake layer at the bottom, then spoon your cheese cake filling into the tin, I used all of mine to make a nice fat layer, you need a good cheesecake to cake ratio you know. when you’ve smoothed it out place you last piece of cake on top then wrap your cling-wrap up and place your tin parcel in the fridge. Keep this guy refrigerated for like 4-5 hours then make your icing and ice that beauty.

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Icing:

  • Place butter, cream cheese and honey in a mixer with a whisk attachment beat until smooth.
  • Add your vanilla paste and lemon juice and mix in.
  • Add your sifted icing sugar one spoon at a time until incorporated.
  • Ice your cold cake and drizzle with some warmed honey.
  • Serve to your bestie.

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Cheers! Thanks for reading 🙂

 

xxN

A long walk and eventually a salted caramel sauce.

The other day I went on this walk with my brother in law. It’ s bloody awesome, 2 hour walk first through the forest and up a mountain round the top and down back the other side. I felt energetic this morning so I decided to tackle it again. kwtu9573The forest is full of these huge yellowwoods that are old as your mum, I’m playing I bet she’s aged well. You also walk along these semi-dry riverbeds it’s like a fairy tale. The forest bit is magic but the stairs up to the top are a nightmare on the glutes.

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It’s just stairs for days, around every corner you think you’re near the top but then you see the stairs, and it’s like “think again dumbo”. One hundred bazillion steps later I reached the summit, congratulated myself with a hearty back pat, and continued down the other side. kapv7043

So on the way down I’m thinking about ice-cream, well also about not standing on snakes, but mainly how I really fancy an ice-cream. I had one in the freezer waiting. The snag is that that’s not baking and I’m supposed to have a recipe! So the whole way home I thought about how I’d give you my salted caramel sauce recipe which is really good on ice-cream, and is incredibly easy.

My journey ended with an orgasmic resting of the feet and some real majestic ice-cream. What a ramble! I guess let’s get this recipe down then.

Salted caramel sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar (white granulated)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 80 g butter cubed
  • Flakey sea salt (like Maldon) to taste

Method:

  • Okay you’re going to need a deepish saucepan for this because of splattering and bubbling.
  • Place your sugar in the pan and heat until all the sugar has dissolved and it has turned a lovely golden colour. Do not stir it or it will go chunky, just leave it to go all molten like. Keep a close eye though! Sugar can burn quickly.
  • When your sugar is caramel add your cream, add it at a long arms length and stir once you’ve added it. Keep stirring until combined and smooth. I like to used a whisk.
  • Leave it to bubble for 5-10 minutes until thickened slightly, stirring occasionally.
  • Take off the heat to cool, add your blocks of butter in while whisking. Add your salt to taste. Decant into a fancy jug or just a bowl if you feel lazy, cover and put in the fridge until use.

 

Well I know that was a crazy ramble! But I got to the point eventually…

 

Thanks for reading!

 

xx

N

 

 

 

Dirty Buttermilk Rusks

My Ouma used to make incredible seed rusks, we’d have them every year for Christmas and they’d be finished the first week in. You could always catch people sneaking into their rooms with cups of tea and bowls of rusks. This recipe is not Ouma’s rusks because I don’t have the recipe. But I made my own rusks this year and I had to make three batches because people kept finishing them. So I’m guessing my rusks are a very good runner up, but let’s be honest, nothing beats Ouma’s rusks.

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Why are they dirty? Well I call them dirty because usually buttermilk rusks are clean cut rusks, my ones are whole wheat grizzly BAMFs. They are tasty, always there for you when you need them, won’t judge you in your fat pants and always think you look gorgeous.

What you need:

  • 800 g whole wheat flour
  • 450 g cake flour
  • 300 g brown sugar
  • 10 ml baking powder
  • 10 ml cream of tartar
  • 10 ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 15 ml salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 500 g butter cubed
  • 500 ml buttermilk

How to do it:

  • Firstly you’re going to want to grease a loaf tin  for your rusk bread, or you can use a rectangular baking tin. Then preheat your over to 180°c.
  • Sift all your dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make sure it’s a big ass bowl, because all of your ingredients are going in here at some point.
  • Take your cubed butter and rub it into your dry ingredients until it’s crumby.
  • Mix your buttermilk and eggs together until combined.
  • Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour your buttermilk mixture into the center, work your dry ingredients in slowly until you get a nice soft dough.
  • Squish your dough into your greased tin of choice. Brush the top with a little melted butter.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes until it’s cooked through. Test with a cake skewer.
  • Tip it out onto a wire wrack to cool. When it has cut it with a bread knife into rusk sized pieces and place them to dry on baking trays.
  • Your oven should be at 70°c-80°c for drying out, and you should keep the oven door slightly ajar. I like to stick a wooden spoon in the door.
  • Dry the rusk out for about 5 hours or until done. Your house will smell amazing, also the rusk bread off cuts are the best snacks all hot with a bit of melty butter… yum!

 

Yay that was fun, good luck!

 

xx

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Mousse with Milk Tart Macarons

This post I’m going to write as I do it. I don’t really know why I’m just testing the waters. I have my laptop set up here in the kitchen and I’m doing a relay thing. I’ve just finished the mousse (mousses, meese?) and I’ll be doing the macarons shortly.

It is macarons though, I know a generous amount of people say macaroon but the proper name for the delicious morsels you are about to create is a macaron. A macaroon is a coconut biscuit of sorts. Someone may prove me wrong but I do stand by this, a very good chef friend taught me this and I’ll probably go to my grave fighting the good macaron fight.

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Skeleton Crew – Ben

It’s been a tad quiet around our holiday house today, the bulk of our family and visitors have all gone home, what remains is the skeleton crew. We are having a couple around tonight to bolster the noise rating slightly to make us feel slightly more at home, I have been told they are foodies so I have to make something worth while. I had a scavenge this morning to see what I had to work with and came up with 3/4 carton of cream, a good chunk of dark couverture, a baby packet of almond flour, cinnamon sticks (maybe old but I’ll risk it) and some eggs. Mousse and macarons it is. I’m hoping I get a thumbs up tonight because word spreads you know.

 

Okay well lets get down to it.

Dark Chocolate Mousse (5 servings) Read More

Salmon Cups

There is this amazing deli near where we settle for the December holiday. You can pick up really tasty meat and magical cheese, all sorts of goodness. We bought a few packs of really sweet salmon trout to use for a starter for our family Christmas dinner.

I used canelĂ©s molds to set out some lovely little salmon cups for our starter. It’s so hot around December we didn’t want anything to filling or stodgy. This little dish is small and tasty and refreshing for a nice summer starter. Read More

Sweetcorn Muffins

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Hello Beautiful. Fancy a muffin?

This morning we had a really great breakfast and I was tasked to make breakfast muffins to accompany our repast. So the thing is with a muffin recipe, you can fiddle with it to a certain extent, add something you like instead of something else you dig. But you have to make sure the balance of liquids and dry ingredients are right.

These little muffs accompanied my mothers amazing scrambled eggs, some really majestic salmon trout we purchased and eight hungry taste testers with super personalities to boot.

I love a little morning muffin. You can also freeze the batter. But why would you want to? Just make them and eat them they’re good. Read More

Magic Meringues

So I figured first post, lets do something simple. Testing the waters as it were. Last night for New Years Eve I made a really gorgeous dessert with fig macrons and honeyed cashews and other wonderful things, I’ll recipe the whole dish at some point, but one component was also these really great nuggets of happiness.

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Meringues of Happiness

Now I know quite a lot of people struggle with meringues whether its having the come out burnt or weird and hollow or too runny or not whipping at all or other weird problems. I have too at one point or another. This is my little fail safe recipe and some basic tips for not screwing up meringues.

This recipe is solid and pretty great for piping baskets for fruit and cream, so beautiful! Or just mini meringues for snacks or why not just full sized meringues for big snacks! (no one is judging you.)

Read More

Your face is a blog.

Blog face

Okay so, everyone has a blog now a days and everyone has been pestering me to write a blog for quite sometime. So this is me acquiescing. Sitting here I am rather taken with the idea. I’m not sure if I’ll be good at blogging, I’m slightly foul mouthed, I’ve always been a little stubborn, but if I can figure it out this blog will be majestic AF.

I’ve always craved that feeling of productive happiness. Something that you can work on that you love, that you can create and bring joy to other people, something you can make a living from and something you can do (preferably) without having to answer to anyone but yourself. I tried a few different careers none actually stuck until I found baking. Which is weird because since I was wee bairn my mother used to say I was meant to be a baker. Just shows how obstinate a child can be (and stubbornness noted in paragraph below!). I muddled through a few wedding cake courses and chef school to find myself an actual chef. Now I have a bit of work experience, a decent knowledge of what I enjoy, what flavours go well together, and how to make a fucking great choux pastry.

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Paint and My Mat

Yoga Art and Self Growth