May 16, 2018

Almond and Chocolate Chip Biscotti

When you are looking for something a little more glamorous and rusks don't quite fit the bill, these hot beverage dippers are just the thing.  Actually, they were traditionally dipped in dessert wine or sweet wine, for example, Vin Santo, which is a style of Italian dessert wine.  The nutty almond or hazelnut flavours are an ideal compliment to sweeter wines that have aged a while

Oct 10, 2012

Carrot cake cupcakes with ginger cream cheese frosting

On Saturday, a bride-to-be and her fiancé came for a cake tasting.  The two of them are very keen on carrot cake, and they also wanted me to incorporate some ginger in the cake in whatever way i can.  So, with a bit of time on my hands, i experimented with a few different combinations....

AMAZING Diabetic-Friendly Cream Cheese Frosting

On Wednesday, we had our monthly book club session - highlight of my month!! I made a red velvet cake for the dessert, but had a few restrictions to adhere to.  Three of the ladies are gluten-intolerant and one of the ladies is a diabetic.  The gluten-free part has become a breeze these days, with gluten-free pre-mixes readily available.  The sugar-free part, when it comes to cake, and especially icing, is  a little more challenging.  I have been fortunate enough to come across this site and have subsequently ordered a 20 kg bag of agave sugar for any 'sugar-free' baking that needs to be done!  

Oct 4, 2012

Ham and Pea Soup

Yesterday, in celebration of this beautiful season of Spring starting, i made garishly bright iced sugar biscuits, but today all i can think about is soup.  It is cloudy and raining, raining, raining.  It feels like the middle of July, not the beginning of October!  So, to warm the cockles of my heart... well, my stomach really... the prior is the responsibility of my husband, and my cat... i made pea and ham soup, or ham and pea soup.  Being of the rather carnivorous variety of homo sapiens, we like our meat, so when i make a soup like this, it is HAM and pea soup!

It is a super easy recipe, but not really one for making on a whim as one needs to soak the peas for six hours before getting the soup cooking.

Sep 17, 2012

Lingerie Cupcakes

 Bachelorette Cupcake Toppers

These vanilla cupcakes with amarula and white chocolate ganache are perfect for a bachelorette party when topped with these cute and fun lingerie toppers.  Here is
 the how-to: 

Sep 11, 2012

Experiments in Shortbread

I've never made shortbread and have always been a little hesitant to try as it seems to be one of those things that have got to perfectly meet with the expectations of the person consuming it or else you might as well not bother.  Coming from a German and Dutch background, my childhood memories are somewhat void of shortbread experiences.  Ask me about zimtsterne or baumkuchen and i can wax lyrical for hours... shortbread not so much...

Jul 10, 2012

Rosewater Marshmallows

These sweet treats are actually quite easy to make and sooo satisfying.  The flavour and texture is better than anything that you can buy in the shops... and, despite being a sweetie, loaded in sugar, a much healthier version than what you will buy because it doesn't have any strange flavourants, colourants or preservatives in it.  If you want to be super healthy, you can replace the castor sugar with agave sugar (a sugar made from the Blue Agave Americana plant).  I am still working on a completely diabetic-friendly version (i.e. a winner for sugar-phobic toddler mums)!

This recipe is courtesy of my wonderful friend, Alicia.  For our Christmas in July party last year, she made cinnamon-flavoured marshmallows and cut them out with a star-shaped cookie cutter.  We served it with the coffees at the end of the meal.  Not only did they look fab, they tasted yummy too.  One could make any number of different flavours, colours and shapes of marshmallows.  I want to try coffee-flavoured marshmallows next, but have ideas for choc chip peppermint marshies and several others... watch this space!

500 g granulated sugar
15 ml liquid glucose
380 ml water
30 ml powdered gelatine
2 egg whites (approx 65 g)
2.5 ml rose water
125 ml icing sugar combined with 125 ml cornflour

1. In a heavy based saucepan, gently heat the sugar, liquid glucose and 190 ml water to dissolve the sugar.  
2. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil without stirring (so as to prevent the re-formation of any crystals).  Heat to soft-ball stage, or 121 ˚C on a sugar thermometer.  
3. Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatine over 190 ml water in a small heat proof bowl.  Allow to stand for 10 minutes.  Gently heat in the microwave until the gelatine just melts/dissolves.
4.  Add the dissolved gelatine to the sugar syrup, taking care as the mixture will splutter.
5.  Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  
6.  With the motor running, gently pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl in a thin, steady stream.  
7.  Add flavouring and colouring (if using and according to preference).  Whisk until the mixture is thick and holds its shape.
8.  Dust a lightly oiled 3 x 30 x 20 cm tin with 30 ml of icing sugar-cornflour combination.  Pour the mixture in and smooth the top with a spatula.  Allow to stand for 2 hours.
9.  Dust a work surface with half the remaining icing sugar mix and turn out the set marshmallows.  Using a knife dipped in hot water, cut into 2.5 cm cubes and toss to coat in the remaining icing sugar mixture.

The marshmallows will keep, at room temperature, for up to 2 months in a well-sealed plastic container or glass jar.

Makes approximately 96