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.

 

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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!

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

Chocolate fudge cake

Holy moly!

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

Ingredients

  • ¬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)

Method

  • 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.

 

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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.

Ingredients

  • 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)

Method

  • 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.

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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!

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¬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.

Ingredients

  • 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!

Method

  • 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…

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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

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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.

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

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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…)

Ingredients

  • ¬†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)

Method

  • 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.