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nosebear:

Steamed Cabbage Buns
A kind of Chinese themed version of the Greek dolma, these cabbage buns are full of flavour. Best enjoyed with a soy sauce, garlic and chilli dipping sauce to add a little extra bite to the rolls.
8 cabbage leaves
400g minced pork
handful of pre boiled rice
1 tsp cornflour
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
Boil a large saucepan of water and add the cabbage leaves. Blanch them for around a minute and a half, take them out and leave to dry. Mix the pork, rice, cornflour, chilli powder and the egg together. Divide into 8 parts and add one part to each of the cabbage leaves.  Wrap the cabbage leaves around the pork and place seam side down in a steamer.
Cook in a steamer for 10 minutes and serve with dipping sauce.
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Nikon COOLPIX S200
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300
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1/125th
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nosebear:

Steamed Cabbage Buns

A kind of Chinese themed version of the Greek dolma, these cabbage buns are full of flavour. Best enjoyed with a soy sauce, garlic and chilli dipping sauce to add a little extra bite to the rolls.

  • 8 cabbage leaves
  • 400g minced pork
  • handful of pre boiled rice
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Boil a large saucepan of water and add the cabbage leaves. Blanch them for around a minute and a half, take them out and leave to dry. Mix the pork, rice, cornflour, chilli powder and the egg together. Divide into 8 parts and add one part to each of the cabbage leaves.  Wrap the cabbage leaves around the pork and place seam side down in a steamer.

Cook in a steamer for 10 minutes and serve with dipping sauce.

Fall Baking: The Pumpkin Edition

mimieats:

Fall baking - especially when it includes pumpkin - is my absolute favorite, but as I’m in New York and won’t be able to do any of that this year, I decided to go through my old recipes and just reminisce. And share them with you guys, of course.

Mini Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (RECIPE)

Pumpkin Bread (RECIPE)

Pumpkin Mini Muffins (RECIPE)

Hope you guys get to try these out! I’ll just go get myself a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks as consolation…

Potato and Mushroom Bake 

There are few dishes that give you that home comfort feeling like a great potato bake and this one, which I recently served with a Prime Rib Roast andMelanzanewas such a huge hit I am being forced to make it again… very soon Just gotta love it when people enjoy your food! (makes enough for 6 people) Use an ove dish that is about 30cmx20cmx8cm high or similar

The three dishes for the meal required a bit of planning because they were all done in the oven so prepare the melanzane first and into the oven, prepare the potato bake next and then leave them in the oven until almost cooked. Then remove them and pop the prime rib in the oven high up in the oven leaving the second rack on the bottom. When you are about 1/2 an hour from serving, pop the potato bake and the melanzane back into the oven.

What you need

  • 5 Medium potatoes sliced thinly
  • 2 medium onions sliced thinly
  • 1 punnet button mushrooms sliced
  • 2 x 250ml fresh cream
  • 1 packet dry cream of mushroom soup
  • Pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 cups Good cheddar cheese for the topping

The process

  1. Place a layer of potato, then onion, then mushrooms, then about 1/3 of the mushroom soup, repeat until the dish is 3/4 full (should be 3 layers.
  2. Now pour the cream over the top and cover with a layer of cheese.
  3. Pop into the oven on 180 to 200 Celsius for 40 minutes or so and the top is golden brown and bubbling. Check that the potato is cooked through by poking with a knife.

This is seriously delicious for a braai, as a vegetable with a roast or just because you want something that reminds you of home if you are in a far flung place away from home.

bellyofecuador:

MINI RED VELVET CUPCAKES I am obsessed with red velvet everything. It seems that the rest of the world is too. I’m pretty sure it has little to do with the cake itself and almost everything to do with the icing. Good thing I have perfected my cream cheese icing to something I’m really proud of. It’s probably the one thing I serve people in which I don’t have any hesitation or worry in the back of my head that they won’t like it. The time spent perfecting my icing has meant I have not always paid enough attention to the cake itself, until today. I finally decided to try out a new recipe (from Smitten Kitchen) and whew, I was rewarded with heaven. I’m bringing these to a going away party for some friends tonight, and   hopefully they’ll be a hit. They already have been one with my stomach. And A’s.  As you can see from the pictures, this recipe yields a TON of mini cupcakes. Definitely reduce the recipe if you’re not making them for a big event. This recipe can also easily be made into a full sized cake or cupcakes. This batter yields around 35 regular sized cupcakes, with the liners filled only 3/4 of the way. Bake between 20 to 25 minutes, but check in on them sooner in case your oven cooks faster. As always, the cake/cupcakes are done whenever a cake tester comes out clean, regardless of how much time a recipe instructs you to bake something. Ingredients:  
Cake:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 3 1/2 cups cake flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process) 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 cups canola oil 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar 3 large eggs 2 tablespoons of red food coloring dissolved in 4 tablespoons of water 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 1/4 cup buttermilk 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
Frosting:2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature4 tsp. vanilla extract2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Directions:
Make Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or grease cupcake pans. 2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl. 3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer or hand held mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine. 4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds. 5. Divide batter among cupcake pan, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, and cool completely before frosting.
Make Frosting:
1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. 2. Mix in the vanilla extract. 3. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Taste to see if you want more sugar. I don’t like my icing too sweet, but you might.4. Put in fridge while cake is cooking. Take out a few minutes before icing so that it softens up a little.
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bellyofecuador:

MINI RED VELVET CUPCAKES I am obsessed with red velvet everything. It seems that the rest of the world is too. I’m pretty sure it has little to do with the cake itself and almost everything to do with the icing. Good thing I have perfected my cream cheese icing to something I’m really proud of. It’s probably the one thing I serve people in which I don’t have any hesitation or worry in the back of my head that they won’t like it. The time spent perfecting my icing has meant I have not always paid enough attention to the cake itself, until today. I finally decided to try out a new recipe (from Smitten Kitchen) and whew, I was rewarded with heaven. I’m bringing these to a going away party for some friends tonight, and   hopefully they’ll be a hit. They already have been one with my stomach. And A’s.  As you can see from the pictures, this recipe yields a TON of mini cupcakes. Definitely reduce the recipe if you’re not making them for a big event. This recipe can also easily be made into a full sized cake or cupcakes. This batter yields around 35 regular sized cupcakes, with the liners filled only 3/4 of the way. Bake between 20 to 25 minutes, but check in on them sooner in case your oven cooks faster. As always, the cake/cupcakes are done whenever a cake tester comes out clean, regardless of how much time a recipe instructs you to bake something. Ingredients:  
Cake:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 3 1/2 cups cake flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process) 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 cups canola oil 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar 3 large eggs 2 tablespoons of red food coloring dissolved in 4 tablespoons of water 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 1/4 cup buttermilk 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
Frosting:2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature4 tsp. vanilla extract2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Directions:
Make Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or grease cupcake pans. 2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl. 3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer or hand held mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine. 4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds. 5. Divide batter among cupcake pan, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, and cool completely before frosting.
Make Frosting:
1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. 2. Mix in the vanilla extract. 3. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Taste to see if you want more sugar. I don’t like my icing too sweet, but you might.4. Put in fridge while cake is cooking. Take out a few minutes before icing so that it softens up a little.
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bellyofecuador:

MINI RED VELVET CUPCAKES I am obsessed with red velvet everything. It seems that the rest of the world is too. I’m pretty sure it has little to do with the cake itself and almost everything to do with the icing. Good thing I have perfected my cream cheese icing to something I’m really proud of. It’s probably the one thing I serve people in which I don’t have any hesitation or worry in the back of my head that they won’t like it. The time spent perfecting my icing has meant I have not always paid enough attention to the cake itself, until today. I finally decided to try out a new recipe (from Smitten Kitchen) and whew, I was rewarded with heaven. I’m bringing these to a going away party for some friends tonight, and   hopefully they’ll be a hit. They already have been one with my stomach. And A’s.  As you can see from the pictures, this recipe yields a TON of mini cupcakes. Definitely reduce the recipe if you’re not making them for a big event. This recipe can also easily be made into a full sized cake or cupcakes. This batter yields around 35 regular sized cupcakes, with the liners filled only 3/4 of the way. Bake between 20 to 25 minutes, but check in on them sooner in case your oven cooks faster. As always, the cake/cupcakes are done whenever a cake tester comes out clean, regardless of how much time a recipe instructs you to bake something. Ingredients:  
Cake:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 3 1/2 cups cake flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process) 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 cups canola oil 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar 3 large eggs 2 tablespoons of red food coloring dissolved in 4 tablespoons of water 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 1/4 cup buttermilk 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
Frosting:2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature4 tsp. vanilla extract2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Directions:
Make Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or grease cupcake pans. 2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl. 3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer or hand held mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine. 4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds. 5. Divide batter among cupcake pan, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, and cool completely before frosting.
Make Frosting:
1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. 2. Mix in the vanilla extract. 3. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Taste to see if you want more sugar. I don’t like my icing too sweet, but you might.4. Put in fridge while cake is cooking. Take out a few minutes before icing so that it softens up a little.
Zoom Info
bellyofecuador:

MINI RED VELVET CUPCAKES I am obsessed with red velvet everything. It seems that the rest of the world is too. I’m pretty sure it has little to do with the cake itself and almost everything to do with the icing. Good thing I have perfected my cream cheese icing to something I’m really proud of. It’s probably the one thing I serve people in which I don’t have any hesitation or worry in the back of my head that they won’t like it. The time spent perfecting my icing has meant I have not always paid enough attention to the cake itself, until today. I finally decided to try out a new recipe (from Smitten Kitchen) and whew, I was rewarded with heaven. I’m bringing these to a going away party for some friends tonight, and   hopefully they’ll be a hit. They already have been one with my stomach. And A’s.  As you can see from the pictures, this recipe yields a TON of mini cupcakes. Definitely reduce the recipe if you’re not making them for a big event. This recipe can also easily be made into a full sized cake or cupcakes. This batter yields around 35 regular sized cupcakes, with the liners filled only 3/4 of the way. Bake between 20 to 25 minutes, but check in on them sooner in case your oven cooks faster. As always, the cake/cupcakes are done whenever a cake tester comes out clean, regardless of how much time a recipe instructs you to bake something. Ingredients:  
Cake:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 3 1/2 cups cake flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process) 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 cups canola oil 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar 3 large eggs 2 tablespoons of red food coloring dissolved in 4 tablespoons of water 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 1/4 cup buttermilk 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
Frosting:2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature4 tsp. vanilla extract2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Directions:
Make Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or grease cupcake pans. 2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl. 3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer or hand held mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine. 4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds. 5. Divide batter among cupcake pan, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, and cool completely before frosting.
Make Frosting:
1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. 2. Mix in the vanilla extract. 3. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Taste to see if you want more sugar. I don’t like my icing too sweet, but you might.4. Put in fridge while cake is cooking. Take out a few minutes before icing so that it softens up a little.
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bellyofecuador:

MINI RED VELVET CUPCAKES

I am obsessed with red velvet everything. It seems that the rest of the world is too. I’m pretty sure it has little to do with the cake itself and almost everything to do with the icing. Good thing I have perfected my cream cheese icing to something I’m really proud of. It’s probably the one thing I serve people in which I don’t have any hesitation or worry in the back of my head that they won’t like it. The time spent perfecting my icing has meant I have not always paid enough attention to the cake itself, until today. I finally decided to try out a new recipe (from Smitten Kitchen) and whew, I was rewarded with heaven. I’m bringing these to a going away party for some friends tonight, and   hopefully they’ll be a hit. They already have been one with my stomach. And A’s.  

As you can see from the pictures, this recipe yields a TON of mini cupcakes. Definitely reduce the recipe if you’re not making them for a big event. This recipe can also easily be made into a full sized cake or cupcakes. This batter yields around 35 regular sized cupcakes, with the liners filled only 3/4 of the way. Bake between 20 to 25 minutes, but check in on them sooner in case your oven cooks faster. As always, the cake/cupcakes are done whenever a cake tester comes out clean, regardless of how much time a recipe instructs you to bake something.

Ingredients:  

Cake:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons of red food coloring dissolved in 4 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

Frosting:

2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:

Make Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or grease cupcake pans.
2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.
3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer or hand held mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.
4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.
5. Divide batter among cupcake pan, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, and cool completely before frosting.

Make Frosting:

1. Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. 
2. Mix in the vanilla extract. 
3. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Taste to see if you want more sugar. I don’t like my icing too sweet, but you might.
4. Put in fridge while cake is cooking. Take out a few minutes before icing so that it softens up a little.

Quick Cheese Muffins 

Man these are so easy and so delicious you will not be able to wait for them to cool. The great thing about these is that they take just 10 minutes in the oven so if you are having people over just pop them in the oven a few minutes before they arrive and you will treat them to warm fresh cheese muffins. (makes 12)

I also like these with plenty of butter and a something sweet so you will usually find them smothered in marmalade or a jam of some description if they are on my plate. Give these a try, the family will love you no matter what…

What you need

  • 120g sifted flour (1 cup sifted flour)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 150g grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder (don’t leave this out)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 185ml milk

The process

  1. Heat your oven to 200 Celsius and butter a muffin tin.
  2. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and mustard powder together into a bowl and then add the cheese and give it a quick turn with a spoon.
  3. Whisk the egg lightly with a fork to break it up and add to the milk, then add it to the flour mixture and give it a good mix to distribute the cheese evenly and make a consistent batter.
  4. Spoon into the muffin tin and bake for 10 minutes.

TIPS: It really doesn’t get much simpler than that folks and they are very delicious. They will also keep in the fridge for a few days ready for work or school. Try the banana bread as well if you are in baking mode.

Chocolate mousse

In the past I have had a few chocolate mousse disasters but this recipe from a 1995 Bryanston high school recipe book I came across in the market some time ago turned out beautifully.  It’s really simple and needs to be made at least 2 hours before serving.. perfect. I made the chocolate mousse without alcohol but you can add you favorite liqueur to fancy it up a bit. (makes 6-8 ramekins)

What you need

  • 3 eggs separated
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 125ml fresh cream
  • pinch of salt
  • (Optional 1 tablespoon of kahlua, brandy, amaretto or Baileys)

The process

  1. Place a small pot of water on the stove to boil then place a glass bowl over the water but not touching it and melt the chocolate.
  2. In a large bowl add the catser sugar and the egg yolks then use an electric beater to beat the mixture until it is thick and creamy.
  3. Add the melted chocolate ensuring you get it all by using a baking spatula to clean the bowl. Beat again until well blended.
  4. In a separate bowl whip the cream until stiff, add to the chocolate mixture and fold in using a metal spoon. Don’t mix it, just fold it in gently until evenly distributed.
  5. Now take another bowl and add the egg whites and pinch of salt. Beat with your electric beater (be sure to clean the beaters) until stiff.
  6. Add to the chocolate mixture and fold in with a metal spoon until colour is uniform. If you are using alcohol, this is the stage you add it, together with the beaten egg whites.
  7. Spoon into cups or ramekins and chill in the fridge for a few hours. It will need at least 2 hours to set well.

TIPs : You can grate over a bit more chocolate or add a mint sprig, a dollop of cream… you get the idea. Truly one of the easiest and nicest tasting chocolate mousse recipes I have tried.

Coffee and chocolate froth
This has got to be one of the easiest desserts to make and is so versatile you just have to try it. Make it with Enrista’s 3 in 1 coffee of chocolate for Coffee froth or chocolate froth or a combination of the two. You can have it as it is or dress it up with whipped cream and fruit and a few chocolate shavings but the froth is awesome. Imagine an aerated creamy jelly, just try it you will love it. Makes enough for 8-10 people depending on how you dress it up.
What you need
1 380g tin Evaporated milk
2 sachets clear unflavoured gelatine (look in the jelly section for Sheridans)
2 strong Enrista 3 in one coffee
2 Enrista hot chocolate
The process
The first thing you need to do is pop the tin of evaporated milk into the fridge to chill. Pop it in, in the morning for when you are ready, you want it to be nice and cold.
Get 2 serving bowls for the 2 different flavours.
Take 2 small mixing bowls and add 200ml hot water from the kettle and melt the 2 coffee sachets in one and the two chocolate sachets in the other. Mix it up with a spoon to ensure that the contents are completely dissolved. Then add a sachet of the gelatine to each and mix to dissolve.
Now place the two bowls in a cool place to cool. Don’t put them in the fridge, we don’t want the jelatine to set, we want it to cool. In winter it takes about 10 minutes.
Once it’s cooled add the cold evaporated milk to a large bowl and with your electric beater, beat the hell out of it for about 5 minutes until it has increased in volume about 4 times and is fairly thick.
Now put half of the cold cream into another mixing bowl and add the cooled chocolate mixture, beat it well for another minute or so and then transfer into a serving bowl, do the same with the coffee and then pop them into the fridge for about 10 minutes to set.
That’s it, simple and delicious, not too sweet and a texture unlike anything you have tried.
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Camera
BlackBerry 8520

Coffee and chocolate froth

This has got to be one of the easiest desserts to make and is so versatile you just have to try it. Make it with Enrista’s 3 in 1 coffee of chocolate for Coffee froth or chocolate froth or a combination of the two. You can have it as it is or dress it up with whipped cream and fruit and a few chocolate shavings but the froth is awesome. Imagine an aerated creamy jelly, just try it you will love it. Makes enough for 8-10 people depending on how you dress it up.

What you need

  • 1 380g tin Evaporated milk
  • 2 sachets clear unflavoured gelatine (look in the jelly section for Sheridans)
  • 2 strong Enrista 3 in one coffee
  • 2 Enrista hot chocolate

The process

  1. The first thing you need to do is pop the tin of evaporated milk into the fridge to chill. Pop it in, in the morning for when you are ready, you want it to be nice and cold.
  2. Get 2 serving bowls for the 2 different flavours.
  3. Take 2 small mixing bowls and add 200ml hot water from the kettle and melt the 2 coffee sachets in one and the two chocolate sachets in the other. Mix it up with a spoon to ensure that the contents are completely dissolved. Then add a sachet of the gelatine to each and mix to dissolve.
  4. Now place the two bowls in a cool place to cool. Don’t put them in the fridge, we don’t want the jelatine to set, we want it to cool. In winter it takes about 10 minutes.
  5. Once it’s cooled add the cold evaporated milk to a large bowl and with your electric beater, beat the hell out of it for about 5 minutes until it has increased in volume about 4 times and is fairly thick.
  6. Now put half of the cold cream into another mixing bowl and add the cooled chocolate mixture, beat it well for another minute or so and then transfer into a serving bowl, do the same with the coffee and then pop them into the fridge for about 10 minutes to set.

That’s it, simple and delicious, not too sweet and a texture unlike anything you have tried.

Warm cherry sauce

Cherry sauce came to mind when recentlybeing asked for some suggestions for a birthday party. This is fantastic and really simple dessert idea that is a winner every time and is so simple to prepare for just a few people or a huge crowd. It can also be used as an accompaniment with duck or pork by simply leaving out the cinnamon and letting the sauce reduce further. (for 4 desserts)

What you need

  • 1 400g tin cherries
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon/ 1 cinnamon stick
  • Good ice cream

The process

  1. Add the cherries with all of their juices straight from the tin into a pot on a high heat.
  2. Bring the sauce to almost boiling, reduce the heat, add cinnamon and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or so to warm through thoroughly.
  3. If you like a thick sauce for your dessert or are serving with duck or pork, just let it simmer for a few more minutes to reduce slightly and thicken.
  4. Spoon over the ice cream and you are done.
  5. Remember to go out and buy really good ice cream, it makes such a massive difference. Another tip is to take the ice cream out of thye frezzer and put it in the fridge about an hour before you serve, this lets it soften up ever so slightly.
  6. If you like this you will love the Eton Mess recipe
  7. Served with the roast pork belly it is amazing. It is also really good if you add tinned pineapple pieces to it for a dessert sauce.

Creamy chicken lasagna 

Lasagna has become one of my favorite dishes this winter and this is a really nice variation. You can add cream for a really rich sauce. (Good for 6 people)

What you need

  • Olive oil and butter for frying
  • 750g cooked and sliced chicken breasts
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 cup pasta marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar grated cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 boxes par cooked lasagna sheets
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The process

  1. In a frying pan with some olive oil and a little butter, cook the onions until soft and add the garlic.
  2. Add the cooked chicken and salt and pepper to taste. You can add the chicken breasts uncooked at this stage and cook until white.
  3. Now add the pasta marinara sauce or similar tomato sauce of your choice and about 125ml cream if you need real comfort food.
  4. Your pasta should be boiled for about 7 minutes before you begin constructing the lasagna.
  5. Butter a baking dish well and put 1 layer of pasta on the bottom, then a layer of the chicken sauce mixture and sprinkle over a layer of cheese.
  6. Repeat until you reach the top of the dish and finish with a layer of pasta, Top with the remaining cheese and set in a 180 Celsius oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned in places.

YUM!

Eggplant parmigiana

Eggplant has always been a favorite of mine, whether as an extra layer in lasagna, as a vegetable or as a meal like this great recipe. You can serve with grilled chicken breast or steak or as a starter to one of the pasta recipes to complete an Italian table.

What you need

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 tin chopped peeled tomatoes
  • Palm full of chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • Parmesan for the topping (tablespoon or so)
  • Olive oil
  • Sugar

The process

  1. Cut the eggplant length ways about 1 cm thick.
  2. Stab each piece with a fork all over and rub olive oil onto both sides and place under the grill until slightly browned and soft on both sides. While these are cooking..
  3. In a pot over a medium heat, add the garlic, tomatoes, basil and sugar and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
  4. Top each piece of eggplant with some of the tomato sauce, cover with mozzarella and grate a little parmesan over the top.
  5. Place under the grill again until cheese has melted.
  6. Done and delicious.

Marinated chicken skewers

This recipe for marinated chicken skewers was sent by a reader who had won a competition with the recipe and was kind enough to share it with us. Thank you Christine. I gave it a try and well, it is going to be on my braai menu from now on for sure. It turns out beautifully garlicy with a sweet and fiery aftertaste that is quite amazing. You just have to try it and best of all it’s so simple. (makes 6-8 skewers) I didn’t do it exactly as Christine did, I prefer to thread then marinade but you can marinade then thread if you like.

What you need

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot English mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 4 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into thin strips
  • salt and pepper to taste

The process

  1. Soak bamboo skewers in water while you prepare.
  2. Mix together all of the marinade ingredients with a whisk and set aside.
  3. Slice your chicken breasts through the center to butterfly them and then cut into 4 thin slices. Thread them onto a soaked skewer and place in a flat dish.
  4. Pour the marinade over the skewers, roll them around a bit to ensure that they are completely covered with the marinade, cover with cling film and place in the fridge over night to marinade.

They were fabulous and as she suggests, the marinade can be used for wings or drumsticks as well. This along with the marinated pork ribssosaties and potato bake makes for a great braai.

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