Tag Archives: caramel

Courtney’s Gran’s Fudge

Nothing compares to a good fudge recipe – one that doesn’t crack and crumble and break your teeth, but also one that is so soft that it practically didn’t set. No, there has to be the perfect balance of stability and melt in your mouth softness. And this old family recipe gets that just right.
Fudge
This is one of those “handwritten-in-pencil-and-covered-in-coffee-stains-and-who-knows-what-else-from-the-kitchen” recipes. I got it from my bestie’s grandmother’s recipe book. It was the treat she would bring to school for those of us who are lucky to be her friend. She doesn’t make me fudge anymore, but I am still blessed beyond measure that I still get to count her as one of my closest. I promise not all my relationships are based on whether or not you feed me. It is a factor though…
Courtney's Gran's fudge

Gran’s Fudge

Ingredients

  • 1 large can of condensed milk
  • 400g sugar
  • 35ml golden syrup
  • 75ml water
  • 60g butter
  • 5ml vanilla essence

Method:

  1. Put sugar and water into a heavy saucepan. Stir over low heat until dissolved
  2. Add butter and syrup, stir until melted
  3. Pour in the condensed milk and stir until boiling
  4. Simmer slowly for 20-25 minutes, stirring continuously
  5. Remove from stove and stir in the vanilla essence
  6. Pour into a greased pan. Leave to cool. Cut into squares
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Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Ganache filling

I love having a family with good taste. It means I get to spoil them with experiments and I get to enjoy the benefits, both of actually putting together something delicious, and of enjoying it (I am still trying to figure out which one I enjoy more… thankfully it’s not important to figure out, otherwise I would be in a major quandary and dilemma and I would probably end up not doing either of them. I’m weird like that).

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I have a problem with reading, and I have lost my excuse since finishing University. While at school and while studying at University, I got a bit lazy to read. I absolutely love reading though, I always have, every since my Great Gran taught me how to read the children’s bible when I was 5! I got a Dictionary for my 6th birthday. Which I decided I would try and read when I was 11. Thankfully I didn’t get very far, that would have been a waste of time!

But that is my problem with reading: I feel that it is such a luxury past-time, that if I have something more “important” to be doing (such as assignments, studying, thesis, etc.), then how could I allow myself to indulge in reading? As a result I didn’t do my reading at Uni. Which isn’t to say that I got much of the other important stuff done in that time instead though, I would actually end up not doing either activity. So it really was a terrible excuse.

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Now, I can’t even use that excuse because I am no longer studying! I have free time which is actually free, and it is beautiful. You could say that the free time actually adds up to the endless holidays that students get. Or at least I can tell myself that so that I don’t feel so jealous about all their time to travel and explore…

The beautiful birthday girl

The beautiful birthday girl

I suppose what I do do instead of reading or studying now is bake. I am ok with that. Sometimes baking requires planning and organisation and grown up things like that, so for this cake for my cousin’s 18th, I had to make a practice version of the cake. You know, to make sure it worked out alright (nothing to do with sampling or ensuring that we had our own personal “leftovers”…

 practice cake
For the cake

Ingredients

  • 230g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 240g flour
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 250ml milk
  • 125g butter
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla essence

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Prepare two round baking tins.
  2. Place eggs and sugar into a bowl and whisk on high until lighter in colour, thick and frothy
  3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt together and fold into the egg mixture until all ingredients are just wet
  4. Melt down the butter into the milk in a pot on low heat. Add the vanilla essence once mixed together
  5. Add butter-milk mixture to the batter and stir until it reaches a smooth consistency. Mix carefully so as to not lose any of the air in the whipped eggs
  6. Divide batter equally between the two cake tins and place in the preheated oven. Leave to bake for 30 minutes
  7. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.

Note: for this cake, I completely flattened off both tops using a bread knife. This was so the strawberries could sit safely

For the Salted Caramel

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup caster sugar
  • 100g butter (cubes)
  • 60ml cream

Method

  1. Place the sugar in a pot on a medium-high heat and allow it to melt. Do not stir. Shake the pot to mix the sugar and allow the top dry sugar to get to the heat under the molten sugar
  2. Once a golden colour is reached and all the sugar is dissolved, add the butter and stir until melted and mixed in
  3. Remove from heat and add the cream, stirring vigorously until all is incorporated
  4. Place in a bowl/container and allow to cool before using in this cake
For the Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

  • 120g dark chocolate (I used Bournville)
  • 80ml cream (pouring or heavy cream)
  • 30g butter

Method 1:

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring regularly. Just before all the bits are melted, remove and keep stirring until the heat of the melted chocolate melts the remaining chocolate
  2. Add the butter and allow it to melt into the chocolate
  3. Mix in the cream until a smooth and consistent glossy chocolate mixture forms. Allow to cool slightly before use

Method 2: 

  1. Heat the cream on a stove top. Once simmering, remove from heat and pour over chocolate and butter. Ensure the chocolate has been chopped into small pieces so that it melts easier.

 

caramel ganache layer

For the Chocolate Buttercream frosting

Ingredients

  • 110g butter softened
  • 220g icing sugar
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 40ml cream (or until desired texture is reached)

Method

  1. Cream the butter (electric whisk on low)
  2. Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder together, and cream together with the butter
  3. Add the cream in small doses to help the mixture come together and continue to do so until desired consistency is reached
  4. Only frost cake once cake is coooled

Rolo-stuffed milk chocolate chip cookies

Now, I don’t want to toot my own horn or anything, but these were literally the most amazing cookies I have ever made and ever eaten. The slutty brownies were pretty good as far as taste goes, but these cookies are definitely the most delicious things that I have EVER baked.

Big Rolo-stuffed milk chocolate chip cookies - the best I have ever had

Big Rolo-stuffed milk chocolate chip cookies – the best I have ever had

I had something else planned and ready to make for quite a while, but a craving for buttery cookies interfered with that, and so the Rolo-cookies were born! It took a while for me to make them because I kept eating all the Rolos… Oops…

I managed to perfect the chocolate chip cookie recipe that I initially had, although this time I used milk chocolate chips to complement the milk chocolate in the Rolos. It worked out quite nicely, as it was a nice draw away from my traditional Bournville.

The cookies are chewy, but not too much, and they don’t taste like butter (although the craving was most certainly satisfied). They are best enjoyed warm when the caramel inside the Rolos is still all melty and bursting with flavour, but cold Rolos are just as delicious, are they not?

I had to use the big Rolo slabs as my initial Rolo supply because they didn't have any rolls the first time I went. This meant massive cookies, but that's not a legitimate problem, is it?

I had to use the big Rolo slabs as my initial Rolo supply because they didn’t have any rolls the first time I went. This meant massive cookies, but that’s not a legitimate problem, is it?

Rearing to go - those beautiful mounds waiting to be transformed from delicious cookie dough into chewy, Rolo-stuffed, melted perfection

Rearing to go – those beautiful mounds waiting to be transformed from delicious cookie dough into chewy, Rolo-stuffed, melted perfection

Ready and large. Give those babies just a few minutes to cool, then grab one while it's still warm with a melted caramel and chocolate centre

Ready and large. Give those babies just a few minutes to cool, then grab one while it’s still warm with a melted caramel and chocolate centre

They are still delicious once cooled. And once you've started eating them, you don't worry about how pretty they are anymore.

They are still delicious once cooled. And once you’ve started eating them, you don’t worry about how pretty they are anymore

I even attempted to make caramel for the first time - it needs some work, but definitely on the way to success

I even attempted to make caramel for the first time – it needs some work, but definitely on the way to success

Caramel-filled heart - now that's true love indeed <3

Caramel-filled heart – now that’s true love indeed ❤ (and true love is always messy, particularly if you rush it)

Rolo-stuffed milk chocolate chip cookies

Makes 18 smaller cookies, 12 large ones (with big Rolo bits)

Ingredients

  • 150g salted butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips (130g chopped up Cadbury Dairy Milk)
  • 2 rolls of Rolos

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius, and line your baking tray
  2. Cream the butter
  3. Add the sugar to the creamed butter, and beat until well-mixed
  4. Add the two eggs and beat until well-combined
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix until you have a consistent dough. This dough is not too dry and holds its form fairly well
  6. Add in your chocolate chips and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture
  7. Prepare bottom cookie layer, making sure there is enough flattened out cookie dough that when there is a Rolo sitting neatly on there, it has a fair amount of dough surrounding it. This helps in step  8. Place Rolo on each cookie base
  8. Place your top cookie layer on top of the Rolo, and press down the sides, tucking that Rolo neatly and comfortably in there, ready for a cosy nap
  9. Place tray on middle rack and bake for 15 minutes (depending on the oven)
  10. Remove from oven and let cool. After 10 minutes, eat one, and marvel at its greatness, then let the others cool and save them for later

I need to get home…

I am seriously looking forward to returning home. I am so hungry to cook more, and I am full of inspiration and baking ouvre that I really need to get back in the kitchen. It doesn’t help that I spend every procrastinating moment on Pinterest.

In the meantime, however, perhaps you would like to see some of my Sweet Experiments that I will be attempting and sharing with you?

Homemade Graham Crackers S’mores from Perry’s Plate

Everywhere online is this “S’mores” craze, and clearly they look delicious, but just about every recipe calls for Graham Crackers, and you just don’t get those in South Africa. I’m going to give them a go, just to see what they’re like, but I do like to make my melty-marshmallow sandwiches with our local Marie Biscuit, which is absolutely fabulous, crumbly and buttery, even though it’s a fairly plain biscuit.

Slutty Brownies from the Novice Housewife

I am very keen to hop on this “Slutty Brownie” bandwagon as well. One of the most exciting things about going home for this holiday, is that I have a whole lot of family coming from around the world, so I won’t eat all the food by myself, which is a comfort to my skinny jeans which have already taken strain lately.

(Healthy) Banana bread from 8 Weeks to a Better You

 

 

 

 

My gran makes fantastic banana bread. Hopefully she will share this recipe with me when she visits. I literally eat banana bread by the loaf in a day.

Chocolate caramel tart from Cooking Recipes

 

 

 

 

I want to caramel. I have a stunning jar of the stuff back at home, but making it from scratch just seems… I would say healthier, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense, as it is caramel after all. Salted caramel seems rather trendy as well, so, here’s to broadening the horizons (even though it sounds completely NOT how caramel is supposed to be enjoyed).

Macarons from Brave Tart

Macarons are the coolest things ever. I have found they are really difficult to describe to other people though, so I want to try and make them. I found a recipe for a locally-inspired Milk Tart Macaron, which makes me go a-jelly inside, because it sounds so fantastic. 

I really want to go home now. I am bored of writing exams (yes, I know I’ve only written one, but still…). I just want to get back into my kitchen, make delicious breakfasts and dinners for myself and my family, and bake for them all day. This holiday is going to be wonderful, and I am impatiently counting the days until I get to start enjoying it.