Archive of ‘Food’ category
I made this lemon meringue pie last night to take along to a friend’s baby shower. These days, I’d much rather arrive at a party with something home-made in hand, instead of a store bought version. It just lends a personal touch, and lets face it – the taste is incomparable. The ladies loved it, so I thought I’d post the recipe here should anyone wish to give it a go.
1 packet of Tennis biscuits (200g)
100 g melted butter
1 can of condensed milk
125 ml (1/2 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice (equates to about 3 large lemons)
3 free range egg yolks
4 free range egg whites
150 ml castor sugar
5 ml vanilla extract
5 ml fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
- Place biscuits in a ziploc bag, and crush with a rolling pin until fine. (Much quicker using a food processor). Mix with the melted butter, and press the biscuit mixture firmly into a round pie dish.
- Whisk the condensed milk while adding the lemon juice a little bit at a time.
- Whisk the egg yolk in a separate bowl until pale yellow and frothy, then add to the condensed milk mixture. Mix well. Pour this mixture into the pie dish, and bake in oven for 10 minutes.
- While the filling is baking, use a clean, dry bowl to whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking continuously, until the mixture is thick and glossy. Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice, and fold gently into the meringue mixture. Note: For perfectly puffy egg whites, make sure that you do not get any bits of yolk caught in the whites when separating. Also make sure that your whisk apparatus is clean and completely dry. A few drops of water will cause the whites not to stiffen, and basically be a disaster.)
- After the filling has baked for 10 minutes, remove the dish from oven. Turn down the heat to 150 degrees celcius.
- Immediately top the filling with the prepared meringue mixture. Create pretty swirls or peaks on top with a pallette knife.
- Return to the oven for a further 20-30 minutes, or until the meringue has turned golden brown.
Once the pie is done, allow to cool completely before storing in the fridge if only needed the next day. I covered the pie with a piece of loose foil so as not to crush the meringue peaks. It still looked lovely the next day.
This Chocolate Olive Oil Cake recipe is taken from Nigella’s latest book, Nigellissima. Olive oil in a cake? Sounds mad, I know. But believe me – it works. I made this on new years eve, and I’m still stealing pieces of it from the fridge!
The ingredients listed is for a single cake. I repeated the process, and piled one on top of the other. Just looks more generous and beautiful. The icing recipe is borrowed from another of Nigella’s recipes and tweaked it according to what I had in my fridge.
150ml olive oil
50g cocoa powder, sifted
125ml boiling water
2 tsp good vanilla extract
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
200g castor sugar
3 free range eggs (at room temperature)
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius. Grease a 23cm round springform cake tin with some olive oil, and line the base with baking paper.
Measure and sift the cocoa powder into a bowl / jug and whisk in the bowling water and vanilla extract until you have a smooth, chocolatey (still runny) paste. Set aside to cool.
In another bowl, combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.
In yet another bowl, put the sugar, oil and eggs – beat together vigorously for 3 minutes until you have a pale primrose, aerated and thickened cream. Turn speed down a little and pour in cocoa mixture - beating as you go.
Slowly add in flour mixture and mix with spatula or electric mixer.
Pour dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre on top, still looks slightly damp.
Let cool in tin for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
(Repeat the process for the second cake).
Honey Chocolate Ganache
75g soft butter
175g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
300g icing sugar
1 tbs honey
125ml fresh cream
1tsp vanilla extract
Melt the butter and chocolate in good sized bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir lightly.
While the chocolate and butter mixture is cooling a little, sieve icing sugar into bowl.
Add the honey to cooled chocolate mixture, followed by cream and vanilla extract. Once all this is combined, whisk in the sieved icing sugar. (You may need to add a tsp or so more of icing sugar if it’s too runny).
* I’ve used some Nestlé Caramel Treat to sandwich the two cakes together (might as well go all the way!). You can spread some of the icing in the middle as well if you like.
Swirl icing along the sides and top until completely covered.
Deliciously moist and abundant, this is one chocolate marvel that is bound to impress. I recommend curling up on the couch with a big fat slice, a good book and a cup of proper coffee. Dreamy!
When it comes to comfort food, a home baked banana bread is a firm favourite. It just fills your kitchen with the aroma of what I imagine an old farm house would smell like on a Sunday morning. This loaf is from my treasured Sophie Dahl book, ‘Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights‘. The result was so perfect, I will be taking it along for tea with my mum tomorrow.
75g of soft butter, plus extra for greasing and serving
4 ripe bananas, mashed up
200g / 1 cup soft brown sugar (I use Demerera sugar, because of the treacle content – gives the bread a lovely caramelized taste)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (make sure it’s good quality extract, and not essence)
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 pinch of salt
170g (1 and a half cups of flour)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease a normal sized bread tin.
Pour the mashed bananas into a mixing bowl. Mix in the butter (blitz in the microwave for a few seconds to soften), sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Add the bicarbonate of soda and salt, and mix in the flour last. You don’t really have to sift the flour, but I always do. Pour into the prepared tin. Lick leftover batter from wooden spoon (optional!). Bake for 1 hour, remove and cool, then serve in slices with a little butter, or even cream cheese if you’re feeling adventurous.
This is my food bible. Almost every Nigella recipe you’ve ever salivated over, you’ll find in here.
If you own the Feast DVD series, then you will adore this beautifully put together book. Which include some of my favourites – Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake (page 269), Chocolate Cherry Trifle (page 406), Spaghetti Alla Carbonara (page 411) and Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies (page 82).
I love how she cooks with absolute abandon! Every dish more decandant than the last. And most importantly, the recipes are homely, which makes one feel comfortable to experiment in your own kitchen.
Available from Kalahari.com for R450.
A carrot cake recipe that surpasses even Nigella’s expectations! This cake is no run of the mill, granny type cake. It is an explosion of flavours that transports you to a land of sticky fruits and creamy delights!
And here is the clincher, it is guaranteed to be flop proof even for the baking handicapped. For ease of reference, I have color coded the ingredients. Remember – and I quote from the Greats…Sophie Dahl and Jamie Oliver - ‘Baking is a science’. You need to follow the amounts and the recipe to get the perfect result. You can add more nuts if you like, but try and keep the core ingredients as accurate as possible.
I also go a bit wild with the decorations! Add sugar roses and glitter and everything pretty and sparkling. And most importantly, ENJOY!
The Pink Mermaid
It’s quite ironic that I’ve decided to become a ‘domestic goddess’ now that I’m single. The wonderful thing however, is that I don’t cook, bake or decorate because I have to…but because I want to!
I have come to love paging through a gorgeously illustrated recipe book, and virtually be transported to a lazy little town in Tuscany or an old English country house with a rose-filled garden. Slowly but surely… I am shying away from today’s instant gratification and fast food lifestyle. There is great pleasure in taking your time to prepare a meal…using wholesome ingredients and watching it all come together. Even when I’m just cooking for myself, I see no reason to put in any less effort or care.
So this weekend, I brought home the magical ‘How to be a domestic goddess‘ by the legendary Miss Nigella Lawson. If you have only one baking guide, let this be it. Every recipe is more special than the last and you will be spoilt for choice. I was having my parents over for Sunday lunch so I decided to go with the Damp Lemon & Almond Cake. Very simple, but was enticed by the thought of a sharp lemony dessert following my Sophie Dahl chicken curry (will post the recipe later).
225g soft unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
4 large (free range) eggs
50g plain flour
225g ground almonds (I used 2 x 100g flaked almonds, and ground it in a blender)
1/2 teaspoon almond essence
grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
21-23cm Springform cake tin, lined with baking paper on the bottom
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.
Cream together the butter and sugar until almost white. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a quarter of the flour after each addition. When all the eggs and flour have been incorporated, gently stir in the ground almonds, then the almond essence, lemon zest and juice. (I’ve always wanted to ‘zest’ a lemon, the freshness is amazing!). Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for about 1 hour. After 30 minutes or so, remove the tin from the oven and cover loosely with foil, so as not to burn the top of the cake. It’s ready when the top is firm and a skewer inserted, comes out cleanish. You want dampness, but no battery goo. Take the cake out and let it stand for 5 minutes in the tin. Then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
I made this cake the night before, and wrapped it in some foil overnight. Nigella suggested fresh raspberries on the top to decorate, but I wanted a kind of syrupy glaze. So I used half a packet of frozen raspberries from Woolies, covered with water (to which I added about 6 tablespoons of sugar), and brought to the boil. Once it’s cooked and reduced to a crimson and sweet smelling syrup, remove from the heat and place in a glass bowl to cool.
When ready to serve, spread cake with the raspberry mixture and dust with icing sugar (or the other way round if you prefer). Don’t be alarmed at the texture, it is supposed to be broody, damp and dense. Enjoy with a steaming cup of filter coffee!
Winter or summer…there is nothing I love more than a warm and comforting pudding. Bread and butter in particular. Takes all of 10 minutes to prepare and fills your home with a sweet, cinnamony fragrance. This is my version of a classic.
What you’ll need:
6 slices of fresh white bread
500ml full cream milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp sugar
What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
2. Make sandwiches with the bread – spreading generously with butter and jam. Remove the crusts. Cut diagonally to form triangles. Arrange the six sandwiches in a baking dish, slightly over-lapping eachother.
3. Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla essence together in a bowl to form a custardy mixture. Pour over the waiting bread and let it soak through.
4. Sprinkle with the dessicated coconut and lastly…some cinnamon.
Pop into the oven, bake for 45 minutes until puffy and golden brown. Enjoy!
PS: Serve with cream if you dare. xx