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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  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)
  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.
  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

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 ūüėČ

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
  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
  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¬įC 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.
  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

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

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
  1. 250g dark parve chocolate
  2. 1 large egg, beaten
  3. 1 cup potato flour
  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 ‚Äėdough‚Äô into a small, low sided pan.
  6. Bake for 12- 15 minutes at 180¬įC.
  1. Serve with cold custard or vanilla ice cream.
A Bit of This A Bit of That

Chocolate fudge cake

Holy moly!

This is the second time I have made this cake and it is phenomonawesome!


  • ¬Ĺ cup margerine, softened
  • 2 cups sugar (I used a sugar replacement so this is supposedly diabetic friendly)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¬Ĺ cup cocoa
  • 2¬†¬ľ cups flour
  • 1¬†¬ľ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon salt
  • 1¬†¬Ĺ cups water
  • 1 box chocolate chips (the original recipe didnt have this but I thought, what the hell, I have them, lets see what happens)


  • Heat oven to 180¬įC.
  • Cream marge and sugar.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
  • Add cocoa and baking powder and salt, mix.
  • Add half a cup of water, mix.
  • Add 1 cup flour, mix.
  • Add half a cup water, mix.
  • Add 1 cup flour, mix.
  • Add remaining water and flour and mix well.
  • Add in the choc chips and combine gently.
  • Pour into a greased large springform tin.
  • Bake for 30 – 40 minutes. ¬†The longer you bake the less gooey the middle will be.




Peanut Butter, Nutella, Choc Chip, Fudge!

Ok, once you have stopped drooling over the title of this post, take a look at the recipe below!

I found the original over here.


  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup Nutella – I used the Pick n Pay Hazelnut Chocolate Spread (Its the closest one to Nutella I have ever tasted and its about a third of the price)

choc spread


  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed (I used light brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used my home made extract)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 170 grams dark chocolate, chopped (I used about half a box of dark chocolate chips)


  • Using a hand beater (or stand mixer) combine the egg, Nutella, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla and beat to cream ingredients for about 5 minutes.¬†
  • Add the flour, baking soda and salt.
  • Mix until combined.
  • Add the chocolate chips and using a wooden spoon mic until just combined.
  • Scoop out batter roughly the diameter of a R5 coin and using your hands squeeze into balls. They will be very oily!
  • Place on a sprayed baking tray. ¬†About 5cm apart or about 6/8 balls per tray.
  • Place your trays in the fridge for no less than 2 hours.
  • Once chilled, set you oven to 180¬įC and bake each tray for 10 minutes.

iphone pics 116

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or a glass of cold milk!

Chocolate, coffee, chocolate, coffee, chocolate, coffee, bliss!

The other day I was invited to attend the very first 2Beans Chocolate and Coffee event.

There was no way I was passing up the opportunity to learn about two of my favourite vices.

Held at the Wanderers Club, I met up with Laura and in we went.

Oh my, coffee everywhere!

Jacobs, Nespresso, House of Coffees, Chay.wa just to name a few.

We found our table and then went to get a cuppa.

Our table was covered with yummy chocolaty goodness too.

Soon Laura and  I were joined by Nicki and Bron

The first part of the morning was a panel discussion moderated by Jeremy Maggs.

The panelist were:

They discussed marketing and trends in the coffee and chocolate industries.  There were two things that stuck with me. One, the coffee that we have in South Africa is all very good coffee, so there should be no excuse for receiving bad coffee at a restaurant, if you do receive a bad cup you must send it back, the barrista needs to know that it wasnt good so that he/she can learn and know that the next cup needs to be made properly.  The other thing I learned is that no matter what the trends, no matter how wild or out there they are, they will always come back to basics, coffee and chocolate or luxurious treats, especially plain and simple, just like you had when you were younger.

The next part of the morning was such a treat, Callum Hann, runner up in Master Chef Australia Season 2 gave us a cooking demo.  He made a flour-less chocolate cake and a 5 minute chocolate mousse that only has 2 ingredients.  You can find the recipes here.

Our very own Nicki¬†got called up to assist with some egg beating and got herself a copy of Callum’s new book The Starter Kitchen, which looks amazing.

Im so glad I got to go to this amazing event, I certainly learned a lot and had fun to boot!


Chocolate toffee biscuit. Oh my!

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

OMG! That is all!


  • 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



  • Preheat oven to 180¬įC.
  • 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!

Vanilla Sponge Cake

I have never ever made a proper ‘from scratch’ sponge cake but I decided that for mothers day that is what I would be making.

I scoured the web and found this recipe from the Clover site.

I adapted it ever so slightly.


  • 4 eggs
  • 300ml (250g) castor sugar
  • 500ml (280g) cake flour
  • 15ml baking powder
  • 250ml milk
  • 100g margerine
  • 5ml vanilla essence

Note: I measured everything out precisely using my kitchen scale, something I have never really done before.  It must have worked because the cake was delicious!


  • Preheat your oven to 180¬įC.
  • Beat eggs and caster sugar together (I used a hand held electric beater for about 3 minutes).
  • Sift flour and baking powder and fold into egg mixture.
  • On the stove, melt the marge in the milk on a medium heat, do not let the mixture boil.
  • Add the vanilla essence to the flour and egg mixture and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture into a pre-greased springform tin and bake for 30 minutes.
This was the only photo I had, it was gone before I could get a photo of the whole cake!


I covered my cake in a Pick n Pay Finest chocolate ganache.  Let me stop here and  just say O.M.G!  You have to get your hands on this stuff, its divine!

Fairtrade chocolate? Yes please!

I stopped in at Melrose Arch earlier with my mom and the kids and we came¬†across¬†a sight that made us pay attention…


You see Cadbury had set up a stand in the square to promote it Fairtrade chocolate.

What is Fairtrade you may ask? Well from the Fairtrade Label South Africa website:

Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade and a global movement that stands for sustainability and development through trade.

Dating back to the 1960s, Fairtrade started with small initiatives by individuals or groups (usually faith-based organisations or social entrepreneurs) that wanted to make a difference in developing countries by buying their products in an ethical manner. This included paying fairer prices and establishing direct trading partnerships with producers, thereby sharing knowledge and information on production and market and quality requirements.

You can read a more in depth description here.

The stand at Melrose Arch involved moving from station to station learning about what Cadbury and Fairtrade are all about. ¬†Justice, Cocoa and Joy each gave a brief and informative talk as we moved to each station and then Aaron got to make his very own Cadbury Faircrow ūüôā




Fairtrade Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bars are for sale in store as we speak and I for one am very excited to be able to buy them.


I think the whole Fairtrade organisation is a wonderful example in empowerment and in alleviating poverty.


Unfortunately Cadbury South Africa doesnt seem to have their own Facebook or Twitter profiles but you can follow Fairtrade Label SA on Facebook and Twitter if you like.


Note: Neither Cadbury nor Fairtrade Label SA asked me to write about this, I stumbled upon the entire thing by accident and it has struck a deep chord with me.

Chocolate covered peanut butter balls

I have a weakness for the chocolate covered peanut butter balls from Moo-z Bros.

I also have no money at the moment because UIF are pusswanks!

What I do have are the ingredients to make peanut butter balls…

I googled recipes and found this one on the Rice Krispies site.

Of course I didnt really stick to it 100% but I think they came out pretty well.

Here is my recipe (I once again forgot to take pics of the process…)


  • ¬†1 cup ( I used half a jar) smooth peanut butter (they use crunchy but smooth works well)
  • ¬ľ cup marge
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 cups rice krispies
  • 1¬†¬Ĺ cups semi sweet chocolate morsels (I used 1 85gms bar of bitter sweet chocolate, I should have used 2)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening/Holsum¬†(thanks¬†@Saaleha) ( I didnt have any so I used margerine)
  • 54 mini paper cups (I used 2 baking trays covered with wax paper)


  • Beat peanut butter, marge and sugar with an electric beater until well mixed. ¬†I used a fork and elbow grease as I didnt want to wake the kids up, next time I will use an electric beater!
  • Add rice krispies, mixing well. ¬†At this point I want to say that I would have crushed the rice krispies a bit before adding them in but I think if you use the electric beaters it might just crush them for you as you mix, I will definitely try this next time.
  • Taking a teaspoon scoop up a small dollop of the mixture and shape into a ball, they then say to place the ball into the paper cup, I just plopped them onto the wax paper baking trays.
  • Refrigerate.
  • Melt chocolate and shortening in microwave or on double boiler.
  • Spoon one teaspoon of chocolate mixture over each ball. ¬†My mixture was a bit thick, perhaps with shortening it would have been thinner, and it didnt pour very easily. ¬†Also, if you dont use the paper cups I would suggest dipping the balls into the chocolate to coat them (which I didnt do).
  • Refrigerate until firm.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

All in all they came out quite well.  I cant stop stuffing my face!

I would definitely prefer the krispies to be a little finer and less ‘lumpy’ in the mixture and I will either use the paper cups or dip the whole ball into chocolate next time. ¬†I will also be getting some Holsum as I think the texture will be better for the chocolate.