Cheese, cheese, everywhere!

Shavuot, a celebration of the day the Jewish people received the Torah. As with all Jewish celebrations, we have special food related to the holiday. For Shavuot that means dairy.

Cheese, cheesecakes, pasta with lots of cheese and cream, ice cream, and most importantly (to me anyway), cheese blintzes. Yummy crepes filled with a sweet cream cheese mix and fried. They can also be made as savoury blintzes.

I found a recipe on Tori Avey’s site and modified it slightly. They were delicious!! Recipe below. All the lovely pictures taken by Paul.

batter
batter

 

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Fold over the bottom

 

Fold sides in
Fold sides in 

 

Keep rolling up and tucking the sides in
Keep rolling up and tucking the sides in 

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Cream Cheese Blintzes
Yields 9
A yummy sweet cream cheese filling wrapped up in a delicious crepe.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Crepes
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 cup flour
  3. 1/3 cup sugar (I used cup for cup sugar replacement)
  4. 3/4 cup milk
  5. 1/4 cup water
  6. 1 tsp vanilla
  7. Pinch of salt
  8. Nonstick cooking oil spray
  9. Oil
Filling
  1. 1 package cream cheese
  2. 1/4 cup sugar (I used cup for cup sugar replacement)
  3. 1 egg yolk
  4. 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (I didnt have any and it was fine)
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. Pinch of salt
Crepes
  1. Mix all the crepe ingredients together.
  2. Make sure the batter is smooth and there are no lumps.
  3. Transfer your batter to a jug for easy pouring.
  4. Spray a non stick pan with oil spray.
  5. Pour a small amount of batter (about a third of a cup) into the pan and swirl the pan around to spread the batter.
  6. Leave for a minute or two until the crepe is set, the exposed side of the crepe will feel slightly tacky if you touch it but not completely dry.
  7. Do not flip the crepe.
  8. Set aside on a plate and separate each crepe with wax paper or paper towel.
  9. You should get about 9 thin crepes.
Filling
  1. Mix all the filling ingredients together with a fork.
  2. The mix should be thick-ish and slightly lumpy.
Put together
  1. Lay out one crepe.
  2. Place a tablespoon or so of filling onto the bottom half of the crepe.
  3. Roll the crepe up and over the filling and fold in the sides.
  4. Continue rolling (and folding in the sides) until the crepe is sitting, fold side down on your surface.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Continue this process until all the crepes are rolled.
Final Step
  1. Heat a small amount of oil in the pan.
  2. Place 2 or 3 blintzes, fold side down, in the oil and fry for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Carefully turn the blintzes and fry the other side for 30 seconds.
  4. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.
  5. Repeat this process with the remaining blintzes.
  6. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.
Notes
  1. The original recipe called for ricotta cheese as well as cream cheese. I didn't use ricotta and the filling was fine.
  2. If your batter is too thick you can add a dash more milk or water to thin it out. Your crepes should not be too thick or you wont be able to roll them up.
  3. You can leave out the sugar in the filling and add mushrooms, spinach or any other savoury filling.
  4. These are best served hot but I ate one that had cooled down and it was just as delicious.
Adapted from Tori Avey
Adapted from Tori Avey
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Dreamy Zucchini

I’ve been ordering organic veggie boxes every two weeks from Maggie’s Garden for a few months now. 

One of the things I love about the boxes is that I get to try out veggies that I wouldn’t normally buy. Like kohlrabi and zucchini. 

I’ve received zucchini a few times now and every time I’ve grilled or fried them and then thought to myself, ‘That was nice but why didn’t I make zucchini bread?’

So this time I specifically ordered a kilo of zucchini so I could make bread. I searched for a sugar free recipe so that Paul could eat it too and what I came up with was delicious!

zucc

Diabetic friendly zucchini bread
sugar free, whole wheat zucchini bread
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 eggs
  2. 1 1/4 cup canola oil
  3. 1 1/2 cup 'spoon for spoon' sweetener
  4. 1/4 cup water
  5. 1 tsp vanilla
  6. 2 cup grated unpeeled raw zucchini
  7. 2 cup whole wheat flour
  8. 2 tsp baking soda
  9. 1 tsp baking powder
  10. 1 tsp salt
  11. 1 tsp cinnamon
  12. 1 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Beat eggs, oil, sweetener, water and vanilla until light and thick.
  3. Fold zucchini, then dry ingredients, into wet batter until just blended; add nuts.
  4. Pour into greased pan(s).
  5. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Notes
  1. This was really yummy served warm with melted butter. It was equally yummy served cold.
Adapted from Just a Pinch
Adapted from Just a Pinch
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Whole wheat scones of yumminess!

Over the last few months, Paul’s blood sugar has started acting up. He’s now on a new medication and I’ve renewed my efforts to cook and bake healthier, more diabetic friendly options.

On Saturday we decided to watch a movie with the kids and I wanted to make a snack of some sort that we could all enjoy.

I cant really remember what made me think of scones but I bought some organic whole wheat flour and decided to do a google search.

scone2

The results were divine. The kids went back for 3rds and 4ths and Paul said the scones were excellent.

Sugar free whole wheat scones
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 3 tablespoons 'spoon for spoon' sugar substitute
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (I totally forgot to add this and it came out just fine)
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/3 cup butter
  9. 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  10. 1/3 cup buttermilk (I didn't have buttermilk so I used a mixture of 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar and then used the required amount)
  11. 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  12. Buttermilk for brushing
  13. Rolled oats to sprinkle on top of the dough
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar substitute, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Using a pastry blender (or your fingers), cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, beat egg slightly; stir in the 1/3 cup buttermilk and cranberries.
  6. Add buttermilk mixture all at once to flour mixture.
  7. Stir just until moistened (some of the dough may look dry).
  8. Turn out onto a floured surface.
  9. Knead dough for 10 to 12 strokes or until nearly smooth.
  10. Pat dough to an 8-inch circle about 3/4 inch thick.
  11. Brush top with additional buttermilk; sprinkle with oats, pressing gently into dough.
  12. Cut into 12 wedges. (I used circle and heart shaped cookie cutters, I then took the left over dough and smooched it into 'rounds')
  13. Place dough wedges 1 inch apart on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  14. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until edges are light browned.
  15. Serve warm.
Adapted from Diabetic Living
Adapted from Diabetic Living
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Diabetic Friendly Apple Crumble

Laura-Kim from Harassed Mom inspired me with her recipe for a Quick Apple Crumble.

I found what I thought was a tin of diabetic apple slices in the store and bought it only to discover it was a tin of diabetic friendly apple puree. Oh well, we made a plan and modified Laura-Kim’s recipe.

Diabetic Friendly Apple Crumble
We adapted this recipe from Harassed Mom to be diabetic friendly. For the original recipe click through to Laura-Kim's site above.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 175g flour
  2. Half a cup 'spoon for spoon' sugar replacement
  3. 110g butter or marge for a milk free option
  4. 1 tin diabetic friendly apple puree (we used the יכין brand)
  5. 2 green apples, peeled and sliced thinly
  6. Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine flour and sugar replacement in a bowl
  2. Rub the butter/marge into the flour and sugar replacement mixture until it resembles crumbs
  3. In a greased pie dish spread the apple puree and layer the apple slices over it
  4. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon
  5. Cover the apples with the flour and butter mixture
  6. Sprinkle additional cinnamon over the top
  7. Bake at 180C for 35 minutes
Adapted from Harassed Mom
Adapted from Harassed Mom
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Peppermint Crisp Heaven

My mom brought a veritable sweet shop with her when she arrived in Israel, Chomps, Tex, Smarties and of course Peppermint Crisp.

1024px-Peppermint-Crisp-Split

I remember biting off the ends of the Peppermint Crisp and sucking milk through it like a straw as a kid. Good times.

So while mom is here we decided to make a Peppermint Crisp Tart for pudding.

Peppermint Crisp Tart
A traditional South African dessert made with cream, caramel and Peppermint Crisp chocolate
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tub whipping cream
  2. 1 can caramel (or make your own by boiling a can of condensed milk. In Israel I used a tub of ready made dulce de leche)
  3. 1 packet of coconut biscuits (Tennis biscuits in SA, in Israel I used vanilla petit biscuits)
  4. Milk for soaking biscuits
  5. 1 large slab of Peppermint Crisp,crumbled. (Any peppermint flavoured chocolate would do)
Instructions
  1. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks
  2. Dip the biscuits briefly in the milk and place in a single layer on the bottom of a large square/rectangular dish
  3. Cover the biscuits with a layer of caramel
  4. Sprinkle half the crumbled Peppermint Crisp over the caramel layer
  5. Add another layer of dipped biscuits
  6. Add another layer of caramel
  7. Cover with a thick layer of whipped cream
  8. Sprinkle the remaining Peppermint Crisp over the top of the cream
  9. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve
Notes
  1. You can mix a bit of the caramel into some of the cream and include a layer of caramel cream in the middle of the tart.
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Chocolate Ganache

Before I start let me just say, YUMMY! The ganache almost didn’t land up on the cake, I almost ate the whole thing straight out the pot!

So… I made a chocolate cake and didnt have any icing sugar. What I did have was cream and chocolate so I made a ganache.

 

Chocolate Ganache
All the recipes I found were pretty easy, a basic ganach recipe calls for a 1:1 ratio of chocolate and cream. For a more liquid ganache add more cream, for a thicker ganache add more chocolate.
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Ingredients
  1. 200g heavy cream (I used a 250ml box of 32% cream)
  2. 200g dark chocolate (you can use pretty much any chocolate, I think white chocolate would be amazing)
Instructions
  1. Heat the cream until it is steaming but not boiling.
  2. While the cream is heating, chop the chocolate into small pieces, the smaller the easier and quicker it is to melt.
  3. Remove the cream from the heat and add the chocolate.
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon until the cream and chocolate are combined.
  5. Allow to cool and thicken and then pour over your cake.
  6. Start at the centre of the cake and allow the ganache to run over the sides.
  7. I placed my cake in the fridge so the ganache set a bit.
Notes
  1. Apparently, if you have patience, you can let the ganache cool and then you can whip it and then spread it on the cake.
  2. Also, if you want to make chocolate truffles, increase the amount of chocolate to cream ratio, allow the mixture to cool and thicken and then roll into balls and coat in cocoa.
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

I have to say thank you to The Cupcake Lady, Angel for answering all my questions on Twitter when I was so impatient to ice and eat the cake 😉

Seriously decadent chocolate brownies

I asked a foodie group on FB to suggest a dessert that would travel easily as we were going to my brother in Tel Aviv via the train.

One of the suggestions was Nigella Lawson brownies.

I googled and found this recipe.

Now, I have to admit, I have never made regular* ‘from scratch’ brownies. I’ve always used a box mix. Never again! I am never ever buying box mix brownies again. These were so easy and so amazingly yummy! Will definitely be making them again and again. And again!

Seriously decadent chocolate brownies
Yields 32
I used slightly different quantities, mainly because they are the amounts I had available. And it turned out ok, so I am giving you what I used. If you prefer, click on the link above for the original recipe.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 250g softened margerine (I used marge since I wanted my dessert to be dairy free)
  2. 300g dark, milk free chocolate
  3. 6 large eggs
  4. splash of vanilla extract
  5. 500g caster sugar (I used brown sugar that I whizzed in the blender to make it fine like caster sugar)
  6. 225g flour
  7. pinch of salt
  8. 300g chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. In a large pan, over a low heat or in a double boiler, melt the margarine and chocolate (break the chocolate into squares so it melts evenly).
  2. While that is melting mix your eggs, sugar and vanilla in a separate bowl.
  3. Check on your butter and chocolate and give it a stir to make sure that it is melting properly.
  4. Measure out your flour and add the pinch of salt.
  5. Once your marge and chocolate are melted remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  6. While it is cooling, throw the walnuts into the blender and whiz until they are mostly chopped finely, leaving a few larger chunks if you like.
  7. Now, add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture while beating with a hand held beater or in your mixer, the reason you are beating while pouring is so that the eggs don’t scramble in the hot chocolate.
  8. Once that is mixed together well, add the flour a bit at a time until it is completely mixed in.
  9. Lastly mix or fold in the walnuts.
  10. In a deep pan lined with baking paper, pour in your mixture.
  11. There will be mixture that doesn’t fit in the pan (regardless of how big the pan is, there WILL be left over mixture), make sure your kids are not around and using a spoon or spatula, scoop all that left over mixture into your mouth, thank me later!
  12. Bake the brownies at 180°C for about 25 minutes. The top of the brownies will look pale and slightly bubbly.
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for an hour or so.
  14. Slice the brownies straight in the pan, you should get about 32 pieces.
  15. Serve with whipped dairy free cream and enjoy.
Notes
  1. Oh! These are even better the next day, if any of them survive that long!
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

*I have made ‘from scratch’ Pesach brownies but thats not really the same…

The Melktert Saga

If you follow me on Facebook you would have seen that for Shavuot I was going to make a melktert (this one from FB). Well I did, except it did not set. The custard part is supposed to set enough that you can cut the tart into slices. Mine was still liquid enough that you had to eat it with a spoon in a bowl.

So I was chatting to some friends about it and they suggested that I freeze it and make ice cream, so I popped it into the churner and a yummy melktert ice cream was born.

Below is the recipe I used, I’m not sure if it was the recipe itself, the fact that I did it on the stove top and not the microwave or if it was the ingredients (Israeli not South African) I used that caused it not to set, so if you want to try it out as a traditional melktert give it a go, if it does not set then carry on with the freezing/churning part and make it into an ice cream like I did.

Melktert (Ice Cream)
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 20 min
Base
  1. 125g
  2. 85g melted butter
Filling
  1. 1 can condensed milk
  2. 1 can milk
  3. 2 cans hot water
  4. 2 tablespoons butter
  5. 4 eggs
  6. 6 tablespoons corn starch
  7. pinch of salt
  8. cinnamon
Base
  1. Crush the biscuits either by placing in a zip lock bag and smashing with a rolling pin or by pulsing in a blender until the biscuits are crumbs.
  2. Mix the melted butter into the biscuits.
  3. Press the mixture into a greased dish and either bake for 8 min on 180°C or chill in the fridge for an hour.
Filling
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a microwave proof bowl.
  2. Place in microwave on high for 7 minutes, remove and beat.
  3. Microwave for 5 minutes, remove and beat.
  4. Microwave for 3 minutes, remove and beat.
  5. This could be where I went wrong, I didn’t have a microwaveable bowl so I heated the custard on the stove, stirring continuously for about 25 minutes. It did thicken quite a bit.
  6. Let the custard cool down, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t form a skin, alternatively cover the custard with cling wrap on the surface so the skin cant form.
  7. Once cool, pour into the dish over the back of a spoon so you don’t break the biscuit base.
  8. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours so the custard sets.
Ice Cream (If your custard didn’t set this is the point where you turn it into ice cream)
  1. Pour the unset custard into your churner and churn as per instructions.
  2. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer proof bowl,cover and freeze until hard.
  3. If you don’t have a churner you can place the custard into a freezer proof bowl, cover and freeze for at least three hours, remove every hour or so and mix well so ice crystals don’t form.
  4. I scraped the biscuit base into the churner at the very beginning, you can leave out the base and crumble it on top after the ice cream is made or you can add half to the churner and half over the top later, totally up to you.
Notes
  1. I am going to attempt a new recipe for the melktert so watch this space!
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Pesach Chocolate Brownie Cake

Pesach Chocolate Brownie Cake
Pure decadence! This cake comes out with a soft gooey centre and a thin crispy top. It is very very rich and very very delicious.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 250g dark parve chocolate
  2. 1 large egg, beaten
  3. 1 cup potato flour
Instructions
  1. Break the chocolate into pieces and slowly melt it over a low heat.
  2. Once the chocolate is almost completely melted, take it off the heat.
  3. While continuously, briskly, stirring the chocolate, add the beaten egg. Make sure to stir fast so that the egg doesn’t cook!
  4. Add the potato flour and combine.
  5. Transfer the ‘dough’ into a small, low sided pan.
  6. Bake for 12- 15 minutes at 180°C.
Notes
  1. Serve with cold custard or vanilla ice cream.
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I got a hankering to bake dessert for tonight and to make something I had never done before.

I found a tin of diabetic friendly pineapple pieces and voila! Pineapple upside down cake was googled.

I found a really really easy recipe on Nigella Lawson‘s site.  You can see the original recipe over here.

I adjusted the recipe a little since I wanted it to be totally diabetic friendly (and also milk free).

Ingredients

  • Butter (for greasing) – I used spray and cook
  • 2 tablespoons sugar – I used Simply Delish Suki Sweetener that I bought at Dischem
  • 6 slices canned pineapple in juice (plus 3 tablespoons of the juice) – I had the tin of diabetic friendly pieces.
  • 11 glace cherries – I just used enough to make it look nice
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g soft butter – I used dairy free margerine
  • 100g caster sugar – again, I used the Suki sweetener
  • 2 large eggs

IMG_2380

Method

  • Heat the oven to 200°C and coat a 23cm cake tin with the butter or Spray & Cook.  Nigella says not to use a springform or loose base tin.  I only had a larger silicone ‘tin’.  Next time I will use a smaller tin.
  • Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of sugar or Suki on the greased base, I sprinkled it around then swooshed the tin around so it was spread evenly.

IMG_2379

  • Arrange your pineapple slices on top of the sugar and place a cherry inside each piece and in between slices.  I mosaic-ed the pieces of pineapple and dropped cherries randomly between them.
  • Place flour, baking powder, bicarb, butter, remaining sugar/Suki and eggs into a bowl and beat until smooth.
  • Add the 3 tablespoons of pineapple juice to the batter and mix well.
  • Gently pour the batter over the pineapples and cherries, it really will only juuuuust cover them so be gently when you spread it around.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and immediately ease a knife or spatula around the edge of the cake, place a plate or cake stand on top and quickly turn it upside down.

IMG_2381

Enjoy!