A birthday cake

Faith had a small family party this year and I didnt want to buy a cake, I wanted to make one.

Then I saw this post by The Cupcake Lady aka Angel on the new Pillsbury range and fell in love with the Funfetti cake mix.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find the Funfetti one when I went to the shops but I did improvise 😉

Ingredients

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  • 1 x box cake mix
  • ½ cup rainbow vermicelli (if you didnt get the Funfetti box mix)
  • Extra ingredients as per the box mix
  • Icing sugar, butter and food colouring (as needed)
  • Fondant icing (I bought lilac and pink ready made Nicoletta fondant from Yuppiechef)

Method

  • Mix cake as directed.
  • Add the vermicelli.

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  • Fill two 20cm cake tins with the batter and bake for 30 minutes.

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  • Once cooled, remove from baking tins and allow to cool down completely.
  • Once cold place one of the cakes upside down on your board or cake stand.
  • Mix your butter icing and coat a layer of icing on the flat side of the cake.
  • Carefully place the second cake, flat side down on top of the icing covered base cake.
  • Carefully spread the rest of the icing over the top and sides of the layered cake.

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  • (At this point I should have smoothed the butter icing a bit in preparation for the fondant but I forgot until it was too late).
  • Roll out your fondant and carefully place over the top of your cake, make sure the butter icing is still a bit wet, so that it sticks nicely (thanks for the tip Angel).
  • For a cake this size I would recommend two packs of Nicoletta fondant, I rolled my lilac one quite thin and it wasn’t quite enough to cover the whole cake, it could probably have been a bit thicker too.

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  • Once you have your fondant in place choose an alternative colour fondant and roll it out, cut shapes or mould pretty decorations.  It was quite easy to use and not scary at all.

cake1

 

  • Once you have your shapes or decorations use a little bit of warm water to stick them to the cake.

cake2

 

And there you have it 🙂

Lesson learned!

Always always double check your measurements!

On Friday night I decided to make the Foodiction chocolate fondants for Shabbos dinner.

I found some parev (non dairy) slabs of 70% Lindt.  100g bars.

You need 125g for the recipe.

I used just over 175g.

Why?

Because I didnt read the recipe again and check how much chocolate I actually needed.  I relied on my memory.

Silly!

The batter was very very thick and the resulting fondants were quite heavy.

Still yummy but no where near as nice as the recipe actually should be.

So.  Read your recipe and double check your measurements!!

#CookAlong with @Foodiction and @LifeologySA

Last night Wendi and I headed out to Foodiction in Bryanston to attend their very first #CookAlong.

We were kindly invited by Lifeology SA along with a bunch of other celebs, bloggers and foodies.

The evening entailed preparing a 3 course meal and from prep to cooking to eating it was a blast.

Chef Barry was fantastic, leading us through making the mouthwatering meal.

Chef

Im going to be making all the dishes we made over the next week or so and will blog them here.  I only hope they come out as well as they did last night.  Note: I made the fondant for dessert tonight but totally forgot to take pictures so I guess I will just have to make it again so I can blog it.  Its a yummy hard job but someone has to do it 😉

We made Salmon in Citrus Broth for starters, Chicken and Mushroom Risotto for the main course and a to die for Chocolate Fondant for dessert.  Needless to say I rolled home and slept on my back last night 😉

Foodiction is an awesome venue, catering (haha) to private functions tailor made to suit you as well as to group lessons and even kids cooking classes!  (I cannot wait to take Aaron for some lessons).

We had an amazing time and I certainly learnt a lot.  Also I managed not to chop off any fingers or stab anyone around me.  Bonus 😉

So, without further ado, here are some of the amazing photos taken by Pat Sloane (you can see the full FB gallery here).

Segmenting citrus for the citrus broth 

 

Olwagens

Jess

The gang!

Thank you to Jodene and Greg from Lifeology SA for inviting us to a fantastic evening of fun, food and laughter!

Contact Foodiction here.

Contact Lifeology SA here.

Banana Bread

Paul bought a bunch of bananas from Pick n Pay yesterday.  Problem was, half of them were over ripe and bruised.

So what else is one supposed to but make banana bread…

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 ripe/over ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (This was the last time I will use store bought vanilla, from now on I will be using my home made vanilla extract)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 ½ cups flour

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
  • Using a wooden spoon, mix together the mashed banana and melted butter.
  • Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla.
  • Add the dry ingredients and fold into the wet ingredients.
  • Spray a loaf tin with Spray and Cook and spoon mixture into the tin.
  • Bake for about 1 hour.

 

Peanut butter icing

The amazing Tanya made what looks like amazing icing this weekend!

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This weekend I was craving cake. But it had to be vanilla sponge cake and peanut butter icing.  I’ve never made peanut butter icing.  As luck would have it, I had a visit from a friend of mine, who is a pastry chef (check out her site which is soon to be updated: http://www.schweetemporium.co.za/) and she gave me a recipe for icing!

As for the cake… I discovered this box cake a few months ago and I am in love.  So easy (obviously) and so divine!  Just add water, oil and eggs!

So I made this delicious cake (it says to make a 2 layer cake, but I only have one springform tin, so I always just make one cake.)

Then, onto the icing… obviously my friend makes this in bulk, so she halved the recipe for me, and I still had WAY too much – but you can freeze it!! Which I did…

This is the recipe I used, But I may just halve it again when I need more… I had enough for 3 cakes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 375g Wooden Spoon White Margarine (it is apparently important to use this brand)
  • 900g icing sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Vanilla essence

… this is where her regular recipe ends – but as I wanted peanut better icing, she said to just add as much as I wanted until it tasted good. I ended using about

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter.

METHOD:

  • With an electric mixer, blend chopped up butter, icing sugar and eggs. Blend, blend, blend for a long time, until light and fluffy and white.
  • Leave icing for 15-30 minutes.
  • Add peanut butter until you are happy with the taste… blending as you go along.

And that’s it!

My icing:

Once the cake (or cupcakes!) are cooled, ice as desired! My icing skills are non-existant and this doesn’t look like much – but my tummy loves it!

Eat and enjoy… this really hit the spot! This box cake is light and fluffy and moist and has such a deliciously delicate vanilla taste – I love it!

As for the frozen icing… according to my chef friend, you just microwave it for 10 seconds or so, until it is back to the normal consistency!

Chocolate toffee biscuit. Oh my!

I found a recipe on Pinterest and decided to try it out tonight.

OMG! That is all!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips (I used a Pick n Pay Finest ganache which was really really yummy and decadent but I would like to try with the choc chips to see what its like)
  • Enough salty cracker (I used Tuk biscuits but next time I will definitely use a ‘stronger’ cracker) to cover the bottom of a baking tray or jelly roll pan

 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Line the baking tray with foil and spray/grease the foil.
  • Place crackers over the foil in a single layer.

  • Melt butter and sugar and bring to a boil.

 

  • Turn down the heat and allow the mixture to simmer and thicken.  Keep stirring the whole time so it doesnt burn.

 

  • Pour the mixture over the crackers and bake for 10 min.

 

  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

 

  • Sprinkle chocolate chips over the toffee and allow to melt, spread in an even layer. (or pour the ganache and spread it around to cover the toffee layer)

 

  • Refrigerate until set.
  • Peal the foil of and break into pieces.

P.s. Try not to go into a sugar coma!

Hamantaschen

Its Purim!

My favourite part of Purim is eating hamantaschen with mon (poppy seeds) but since not everyone likes poppy seeds I decided to try my hand at making a Nutella hamantaschen.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter or margerine
  • Your choice of filling (you can use a poppy seed mixture, chocolate spread, jam or nuts)

 

Method

  • Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  • Mix in eggs and butter (I melted the butter slightly in the microwave).
  • Mix until a dough forms.
  • Roll out the dough and cut out large rounds.
  • Transfer the rounds to a greased baking tray and place a teaspoon of your filling in the middle.
  • Fold  your circle on three ‘sides’ and pinch together to create a triangular parcel, leaving the  middle open so you can see the filling.
  • Bake for 15 – 20min or until golden brown in a 180°C oven.

 

Enjoy!

Plum Pie

A day or two ago I bought a box of plums from the fruit seller at the intersection down the road from me.

I never buy fruit from the side of the road but we chat every day and I always promise to buy.

Well the plums are delicious but there were too many of them for us to eat before they get over ripe.

At first I thought about making a plum jam but then I thought it was too complicated.  So I found a recipe for a plum pie instead…

First things first was the pastry, I usually keep some store bought stuff in my freezer but we were out, so I found this easy homemade recipe.

Next was putting the pie together…

Ingredients

Filling

  • 4 cups sliced plums (I left the skins on)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (I didnt have any and it was too dark to go pick lemons off the tree so I left this out)
  • Unbaked pie pastry to line a standard size pie dish

Topping

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I didnt have so put a bit extra cinnamon)
  • 3 tablespoons cold marge

Method

  • Roll out pie pastry to desired size and line the pie dish.
  • In a bowl combine the plums, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon and lemon juice (first 6 ingredients).
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Pour filling into the pastry lined dish.
  • In a new bowl combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Cut in the marge until course.
  • Sprinkle the topping over the plums.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180° for 60 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

 

Enjoy with ice cream or pouring cream!

Pie Pastry

I usually keep store bought pastry in my freezer but I didn’t have any so went searching for a simple pie pastry recipe, this is what I found…

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar (I only have brown so thats what I used)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup lard (I only have milk free marge in my house…)
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Method

  • Mix together flour, salt, sugar and baking powder.
  • Cut in the lard until the mixture looks like course meal.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together water, egg yolk, vanilla and vinegar.
  • Stir into flour and knead very briefly until just smooth.
  • Allow to rest for 15 minutes before rolling out.
  • Pastry is easier to work with when cold so I popped mine in the fridge for the 15 minutes.
  • When rested, flour your work surface lightly and roll out to desired shape and size.

 

 

Peppermint Aero Pudding

So this can work with Peppermint Crisps too but the shop didnt have any so I went with Aeros 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 x packet tennis biscuits
  • 1 x 500ml cream
  • 1 x tin caramel
  • 2 x peppermint crisp/areo
  • 1 x pyrex dish (preferable square or oblong)

Meathod

  • Whip cream until very stiff
  • Add caramel to cream and beat until mixed through.
  • Layer biscuits to cover the bottom of the dish.
  • Add a layer of cream mixture.
  • crumble one chocolate over the cream.
  • Repeat one more layer of biscuits, cream and chocolate.
  • Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  • Eat and enjoy!