Death by Sugar

Last week, Faith asked if we can bake a cake, we decided on chocolate and earlier this week I found a really great, one bowl, recipe that worked a treat.

Now, when it comes to icing/frosting the cake, we usually just do a simple icing sugar and water drizzle, but I had just bought a rather large bag of mini marshmallow and I got a bee in my bonnet about making a marshmallow frosting.

I searched online and couldn’t find a simple recipe so I asked The Cupcake Lady, Angel, if she had any ideas, and she pointed me to a pretty simple recipe that came out great.

So, without further ado, here are both recipes…

chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting
One Bowl Chocolate Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, chocolate
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sugar (I used brown)
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 175C

  2. Prepare 2 9 inch round pans or 1 12 inch round pan (which is what I did)

  3. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients

  4. Add wet ingredients except the boiling water and mix well

  5. Once all ingredients have come together. add the boiling water and continue mixing until well combined

  6. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so and then remove from cake tin to cool completely

Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from All Recipes One Bowl Chocolate Cake III

cake with slice cut out
Marshmallow Frosting
Prep Time
45 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Keyword: frosting, icing, marshmallow
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1.25 cups sugar (I used brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg white
  • 18 large marshmallows (I used 180 mini marshmallows)
Instructions
  1. Boil the sugar and water together until they reach 112C or, if you dont have a candy thermometer, a small drop of the syrup forms a soft ball in ice water

  2. Remove from heat

  3. Break up the marshmallows, if you are using large ones, and add them to the syrup, dont stir

  4. Leave to melt for a few minutes

  5. While waiting for the marshmallows to melt, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form

  6. Add the syrup and marshmallows to the egg white and beat well until it is all combined to a spreadable consistency

  7. Mine was runny but if yours is not spreadable add a few drops of water at a time until its right

  8. Spread over your cake or cupcakes

Recipe Notes

Recipe taken from Happy Money Saver – Great Grandmother’s Marshmallow Frosting

A taste of autumn.

After experiencing an unseasonably warm autumn in Israel, we had highs of 29C, its finally started getting cold and rainy.

What better way to spend a cold morning than baking?

I decided that cinnamon-y stewed apples were the way to go, and it just so happened we had some vanilla ice cream in the freezer and I also had the last of my Moir’s custard powder from SA that was begging to be used. 

Apple crumble was a go!

Hot Apple Crumble
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 


Course: Dessert
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced into 2cm chunks (I used Granny Smiths, you can use any type though)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or marge
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

  2. Place the diced apple, first lot of sugar and cinnamon, and the water into a pot.

  3. Bring to the boil while stirring and then drop to a low simmer.

  4. Keep stirring until the apples have softened.

  5. Place apples and any syrup into a pie dish.

  6. To make the crumble, using your hands, mix the flour, remaining sugar, butter, and cinnamon until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.

  7. Pour the flour mixture over the apples in an even layer.

  8. Bake the pie for about 30 min.

  9. Serve hot with ice cream and custard.

Yes, another recipe.

A while back I bought sour cream and since it was on special I bought 5 pots. Then I only used one. 

Since the sour cream was about to reach its expiry date (can sour cream really expire? Does it just get more sour?) I asked around for recipes to use up the last 4 pots.

I used one pot to make a creamy nutmeg pasta sauce the other night and then last night I used another pot to make these quick and really delicious scones.

Scones my wife made

 

Sour Cream Scones
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Course: Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Servings: 6
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 envelope baking powder (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 200 ml sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons water approx/as needed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200C.

  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients.

  3. Add the sour cream and start mixing it in.

  4. The mixture will start to look like bread crumbs.

  5. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to come together.

  6. Use your hands to kneed the dough into a ball. The dough will be quite sticky.

  7. Coating your hands in flour, take small handfuls of the dough and form balls.

  8. Place on a baking tray and flatten slightly.

  9. Bake at 200C for about 15 minutes.

  10. Allow to cool slightly before breaking them open and slathering butter, jam and cream over them.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from AllRecipes here.

Homemade

Recently I have been trying to make more things from scratch. Not only is it healthier but most of the time its far more cost effective than buying ready made.

I posted about my pasta sauce the other day. The total cost of that was under ₪10 (about R35). It was also sugar and preservative free and was totally delicious. 

I also want to start making my own burger patties and pizza bases.

One of the things I’ve been making myself each week is our Shabbat challah. I started off making it because I got myself a stand mixer with a dough hook and it is just so easy but now I make it because its cheaper, healthier, tastes amazing and its really special to have homemade challah on a Friday night too.

I have reduced the original recipe to make 2 small medium sized challot but the original recipe makes enough for 4 challot or 2 challot and a dozen cinnamon rolls. Here is my amended recipe.

Challah
Prep Time
1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
2 hrs
 
Course: Side Dish
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons instant/dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flour (approx)
  • 1 egg for brushing
  • sesame seeds/kosher salt/herbs for topping
Instructions
  1. Place water, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl.

  2. Leave for about 5 minutes or until it starts foaming.

  3. Add eggs, oil, salt.

  4. Add 3 cups of flour and start mixing.

  5. Slowly add the 4th cup of flour until the dough becomes smooth and not sticky.

  6. You may need more or less flour, go by feel.

  7. Either kneed by hand or with a dough hook on your mixer until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

  8. When the dough is ready, lightly oil your bowl and place the dough inside.

  9. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise for about an hour or until double in size.

  10. Kneed down and divide the dough into 2 equal parts.

  11. Form 2 challot, either by plaiting or forming rounds.

  12. Turn the oven to 180C and let the challot sit, covered until the oven is ready.

  13. Brush challot with beaten egg and top with desired topping.

  14. Bake for 30 minutes.

  15. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Recipe Notes

This recipe is adapted from Sy's Challah on AllRecipes.

Its not just banana bread

So I mentioned that I bought a stand mixer the other day. Well, it arrived and so far I have made 2 batches of challah using the dough hook (NEVER kneading dough again!) as well as a batch of cinnamon muffins and on Friday I made an apple and banana bread/muffin recipe.

I have absolutely no idea what prompted me to add apples into the mix but I’m glad I did. They were amazing!

Apple Banana Bread
Yummy fresh apple and banana bread.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 large grated or finely chopped apples (I used 2 green and 1 red and left the skin on)
  2. 3 large ripe or overripe bananas, mashed
  3. 2 cups sugar (I used sugar replacement)
  4. 3 cups flour
  5. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 2/3 cup of oil
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla (I didn't have so didn't add and it was absolutely fine)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C and grease 2 loaf pans or like I did, 1 loaf pan and 2-3 muffin trays (12-18 muffins).
  2. Add all the ingredients into a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.
  3. Mix well, ensuring all the flour is incorporated.
  4. Separate batter into the desired pans and place in the oven.
  5. For loafs, bake for about 1 hour.
  6. For muffins bake for between 30 minutes and 45 minutes.
Notes
  1. The original recipe called for half a cup chopped nuts and half a cup raisins. I had neither on hand so didn't add them and the recipe came out fine. You could also add craisins or even chocolate chips to this recipe and it would be delicious.
Adapted from Food.com
Adapted from Food.com
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Scottish oatcakes of yumminess!

As you know, Paul is diabetic, and I am always trying to find yummy sugar free food to bake or cook for him.

Paul tends to eat a bowl of oats with fresh fruit in the mornings but its getting boring. I work with a lot of UK products and last week, Scottish oatcakes kept popping up. So I googled and found a variety of recipes and yesterday I tried out a simple Scottish oatcake recipe.

These biscuits can be used in place of bread. Spread some butter, honey, jam or cheese on top or just have them plain right out the oven!

Scottish Oatcakes
Yields 16
A quick to make, yummy biscuit. Can be served with butter, cheese, jam or as is.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 250g oats, whizzed in the blender until they become a flour consistency
  2. 25g butter, melted (I used margarine so they are dairy free, you could also use oil)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 150ml hot (not boiling) water
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  2. Set aside a bit of the oatmeal flour for later.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together until you have a rough dough ball.
  4. If its too sticky add some more oats, if its too dry add a dash of water.
  5. Dust your surface with the oatmeal flour you set aside earlier.
  6. Roll out the dough about 2-3mm thick.
  7. Take a clean glass and cut out rounds.
  8. You can re-roll the scraps until there is nothing left.
  9. Place rounds on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
Notes
  1. These were delicious fresh out the oven with a bit of butter.
  2. If you are not using them right away you can warm them up in the oven for a few minutes before serving although they are just as delicious cold.
  3. Store them in an airtight container.
Adapted from Penny's Recipes
Adapted from Penny's Recipes
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Pumpkin!

My mommy in law sent me a recipe for pumpkin bread and last night I finally managed to make it.

The original recipe called for 3 cups of sugar and white flour. Since Paul is diabetic I switched things around a bit so he could also enjoy it.

When I started writing up this post I realised that I had only taken a quick picture of the breads before going into the oven.

bread

The loaf I brought to work went so quickly I didn’t have a chance to take a picture either. So I asked Paul to take a quick picture and send it to me.

Why I was surprised when he didn’t just send a quick cell phone pic is beyond me. I know better.

What follows is the gorgeous styled photo shoot he did.

Baked pumpkin bread 

Baked pumpkin bread 

Baked pumpkin bread 

Baked pumpkin bread 

Baked pumpkin bread 

And now for the recipe.

Pumpkin Bread
Yields 2
Yummy, sweet pumpkin bread
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
  2. 2 cups sugar replacement (original recipe calls for 3 cups sugar)
  3. 1 cup oil
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 2/3 cup water
  6. 1 and 1/3 cup white flour
  7. 2 cups wholewheat flour (original recipe was all white flour)
  8. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  9. 1 teaspoon nutmeg (I didn't have so I left it out)
  10. 1 teaspoon cinnamon (I didn't actually measure, I just poured a whole lot in)
  11. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  12. 1 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds since that's what I had on hand)
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 180C.
  2. Prepare 2 bread tins.
  3. Cook your pumpkin and then drain and mash it.
  4. Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  5. Split the mixture between the 2 tins.
  6. I kept a little back and used my 4 teeny tiny little miniature bread tins, just for fun.
  7. Bake for between 45 minutes to an hour. I stuck with Hilary's suggestion of an hour (I put the mini tins in for the last 20 minutes).
Notes
  1. Enjoy hot out the oven with melted butter.
  2. Its equally as good, cold the next day.
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/

No knead wholewheat artisanal bread

The #BestBossEver sent me a link on Facebook to this recipe and I knew I had to try it for Shabbat tonight. 

Although the actual preparation takes all of 5 minutes, you do need to prepare your dough a minimum of 8 hours before you want to bake it. 

So I made my dough last night before I went to bed. It literally took 5 minutes. This afternoon I baked it, which took about 20 minutes to heat the oven and let the dough rest after shaping and a further 45 minutes to bake. 

image

Here’s the recipe. 

No knead wholewheat artisanal bread
Easy peasy bread
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup white flour
  2. 2 cups wholewheat flour
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  5. 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl mix all ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
  2. Mixture will be shaggy looking.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap not too tightly (I then covered the bowl with a towel).
  4. Leave at room temperature for a minimum of 8 hours but up to 24 hours.
  5. The dough will have doubled in size and look bubbly.
  6. Turn oven to 180C and place a high sided dish into the oven to get warm.
  7. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and shape into a round.
  8. Set aside until the oven is ready.
  9. Once ready, cut an 'x' into the bread and gently transfer to the hot dish.
  10. Do NOT burn yourself!
  11. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes covered.
  12. Uncover the dish and bake for a further 15 minutes.
  13. Let cool before slicing.
Adapted from It's Always Autumn
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/