Tag Archives: delicious

Milktart

Dairy… It’s a love hate relationship for me. I love it, it hates me. In fact, I think it love-hates me, and can’t actually make up its mind. Either way, I am of the moderately informed opinion that dairy isn’t really ideal for human consumption at all, but chances are, unless you are hugely intolerant/allergic to the stuff, you won’t really care about a little bit of discomfort for the sake of the dairy!

Mini milk tart
Take, for example, the classic South African Milktart: 71% milk (excluding the crust, which can be omitted for the grain/gluten-free). I could honestly eat the whole thing. And yes, I would over-dramatically hate my life afterwards, and yes, I will possibly go into some form of hyperglycemic shock (from the 12 teaspoons of sugar), and yes, I would insist on running 10km every day for the next month, to try work it off and make myself feel less guilty for the gluttony, but this little local tart can be so worth it… (I say this as if I haven’t eaten a whole milk tart by myself before… This is a judgment free space people!)
I’ve been on a quest to find a recipe that doesn’t involve either condensed milk or custard powder. This one fails in that quest, but succeeds in every other tasty way. Of course, my search will continue, and many milktarts will be quality tested on the way, so it can’t be all that bad.
Melk tert

Milktart

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 10ml flour
  • 10ml custard powder
  • 20ml cornflour
  • 60ml sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5ml vanilla essence
  • 565ml milk
  • 30g butter
  • 1 baked pastry case or biscuit crust
  • A little cinnamon

Method:

  1. Beat the eggs, then add the dry ingredients (flour, custard powder, cornflour, sugar and salt) and vanilla, and beat well
  2. Heat milk and butter until just boiling, then turn down to a slight simmer and gradually add the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Make sure not to let anything stick to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Cook, stirring continuously, until mixture thickens
  4. Pour mixture it a pie shell (biscuit crust or pre-baked), and sprinkle with cinnamon
  5. Leave to cool (or scald your tongue on the better version of warm homemade custard)

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

Healthified Millionaire’s “Shortbread”

These are so good that if I didn’t have my healthy blog, I would definitely pop them straight onto this blog. They are best served cold, and can be enjoyed as a “whenever you feel like chocolate” snack, or as an energy boosting bar that satisfies your sweet tooth when you are attempting to be healthy.

IMG_0942

These are full of good fats (coconut oil, nuts, nut butter), which is both great, and deadly. The trick with healthy foods, is generally that moderation is still important. The high-protein, high-fat nature of these means they are very filling. Any more than one or two, and you’re definitely not enjoying them out of hunger, rather sheer enjoyment of the creamy, chocolatey, caramely goodness.

Check out the recipe here.

Quick Loaf

Summer is not merely upon us, rather, it is downright smothering us! This oppressive heat is… wonderful. I love it. Yay summer, yay shorts, and yay baking. Oh wait, not yay baking… It’s far too hot to have the oven on! That’s a real shame…

Quick loaf 1

I made this bread a while ago… Back when I was allowed to eat bread… While I am not meant to be eating bread at the moment, if I did actually make it again, I would definitely break my bread rule. I would just need to make sure I had someone to share it with, otherwise I would eat the whole thing! And that’s really not good for the whole “bikini body” thing everyone is on about…

Quick loaf 2

Ingredients

  • 400g white bread flour
  • 125g wholewheat flour
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • 25g butter
  • 250ml warm water
  • 175g raw, grated potato
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 5 tsp instant yeast
  • Oil for kneading

Method

  1. Mix the flours and the salt together and rub the butter through the flour mixture
  2. Stir together the warm water, potato, vinegar and yeast, and then add to the flour mixture, using it to bring the dough together
  3. Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes, then remove from the bowl onto an oiled surface for kneading. Knead well
  4. Return to the bowl and leave to prove for 20 minutes
  5. Remove from the bowl, shape (ball or traditional free-form oblong loaf shape), and place on a floured tray. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220°C while waiting
  6. Dust the loaf with flour, slash it down the middle, and place into the oven, on the middle rack, for 40-50 minutes. You may want to include a bit of steam in the oven by filling a small metal roasting tin with boiling water, and placing it on the lowest shelf (personally I have found that I end up with a soggy bottom when I do this, so I’m not really a fan – the loaf works with and without this step)

Maybe I do like carrot cake

Obviously, as a chocolate and sweet-things lover, I am not particularly fond of adding healthy things like vegetables to my delicious treats, not even cupcakes. It’s part of the reason I struggle so much with trying to be healthy: Zucchini brownies? No thanks! So this was my first experiment with vegetables in a not-vegetable thing. And it wasn’t half bad (actually, they were amazing!). I do have to admit, though, that these cupcakes are really not any healthier than a regular cupcakes (maybe just because they have some extra vitamins, but as far as Macros go, these are just as bad as any other).

Cutesie little carrot cupcakes with the world's greatest cream cheese frosting

Cutesie little carrot cupcakes with the world’s greatest cream cheese frosting

I was pretty impressed with these babies, but I won’t be making them again any time soon. The  cream cheese frosting on the other hand… Now those I am absolutely making for Merry Unbirthday Party on Saturday! It’s going to be a treat (or much more!) and I will share the frosting recipe with you once I’ve got some other exciting photos. You know, keeping you in suspense and stuff! Trust me, it’s worth the wait – and I never even liked cream cheese frosting before I had this.

Maybe I got a little bit overenthusiastic when I used my new piping bags... Doesn't it remind you of a huuuuuuge ice cream? One day I'll show you just how much I thought it did...

Maybe I got a little bit overenthusiastic when I used my new piping bags… Doesn’t it remind you of a huuuuuuge ice cream? One day I’ll show you just how much I thought it did…

Carrot Cupcakes

makes 24

Ingredients

  • 6 medium (±12cm) carrots, grated
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups caster sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups cooking oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Prepare your cupcake liners
  2. Sift and mix together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg (save the sugars). Add your grated carrot and mix together until carrots are evenly distributed
  3. Mix the eggs and sugars together until they start to foam, then add the oil and mix well
  4. Add the wet mixture to the carrot-flour mix, and mix until there are no dry patches
  5. Distribute the mixture evenly between the cupcake liners
  6. Place the cupcakes in the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 15-20 minutes
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before frosting

“Kendra” brownies

That is, “Kendra” after me, not the Playboy bunny, in which case these brownies might be more appropriate..

Just: chocolate <3

Just: chocolate ❤

These brownies are SO me – can you say 4 (FOUR!) different types of chocolate in these babies?! It’s no wonder they came out tops at my brownie bake-off last year, even though they got a bit burnt in a dodgy oven (thankfully, Pam has since had that fixed).

White chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. And of course, a whole load of cocoa powder.

White chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. And of course, a whole load of cocoa powder.

I made these for my classmates because I promised I’d make them these peanut butter brownies from Yammie’s Gluten Freedom. They looked incredible in the photo, but in all honesty, they are not to everyone’s taste, since they have basically no sugar in them. They are healthy (well, healthier) though, so I want to rework the recipe a bit, then I’ll be sharing it away with them. In the meantime, I had kept them waiting far too long, and it was time to deliver some baked goods to my class of Biokineticists (people who are supposed to promote health and wellbeing… Good job, guys!).

This recipe is from BBC Good Food, but their instructions are so detailed, it’s a bit difficult to follow. So I have simplified it for you, because everyone needs this much chocolate overload every now and then (/as often as possible).

 

Best Chocolate Brownies ever! 

Ingredients

  • 185g dark chocolate (Bournville works pretty well
  • 185g salted butter
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 85g flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 50g milk chocolate chunks
  • 50g white chocolate chunks

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (or 160 degrees in a fan-assisted oven)
  2. Melt butter and dark chocolate together in the microwave (stirring often) or over a pot of simmering water. Leave to cool.
  3. Sift flour and cocoa powder together into a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat sugar and eggs together until thick and creamy – mixture must be pale and will have doubled in volume.
  5. Fold the chocolate-butter mixture into the egg-sugar mixture, until it the two become a mottled brown colour. Careful not to over-mix and lose the air you just beat into the eggs.
  6. Resift the flour-cocoa mix into the wet ingredients mixture, and fold in until just combined with no dry patches.
  7. Stir in the milk and white chocolate chunks.
  8. Spread mixture out evenly into a 20cm square tin that has been prepared with non-stick spray or baking parchment.
  9. Set on middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes. If the brownies wobble in the middle when you try take them out, put them back in for a few minutes, though take care not to overdo them.
  10. Once removed, leave to cool for as long as you can bear it, and then devour them as gracefully as you can manage (that’s a challenge!)

Grahamstown’s special blend

Hand Made Coffees in Grahamstown is hands down the best coffee shop in town. It is probably the smallest, but they have the best staff, a cute and convenient location, and they focus on what’s important: the coffee.Garvey McConnell, the owner, explained how his addiction to coffee has benefited the students and citizens of Grahamstown, and much of the rest of the Eastern Cape.

cap art .jpg

Garvey himself has travelled the world, living and working in big cities from America to Europe, to Hong Kong, and finally decided to settle down in the small dorp of Hamburg. The assumption that the nearby city of East London would be able to the coffee needs he developed in his First World life, was futile, as many may have guessed – it is better to never expect Slummies to have much, that way you can be pleasantly surprised when they do.

Garvey needed freshly roasted beans in order to get his true fix. Anything less was a waste of his time. He started his little private roastary in his home, sourcing small bags of beans that he could prepare as he needed. Locals heard (smelled too, perhaps?) of his amazing blends, and he became the supplier for the area. This put a lot of pressure on his personal roaster, which eventually gave in, and Garvey was permitted (by the missus) to invest in a commercial roaster to support his booming business.

***

Hand Made Coffees was started because Garvey believes there is no point in having a roastary if you don’t get to taste the product you are buying, an error that other roastaries in the Eastern Cape have apparently made. The Grahamstown branch is located in a nook under the arch in front of the clock tower on Rhodes campus, which makes it perfectly situated for the students, and also easily accessible to the rest of the Grahamstown community.

Rhodes clocktower .jpg

They offer a good selection of brewed beverages, from cappuccinos to mochas, but their ultimate has got to be their iced coffee. They use a “secret ingredient” – which Sisa, the barista, unfortunately refused to divulge with me – and it makes for a refreshing Grahamstown Summer caffeine hit.

Sisa the barista.jpg

The coffee itself is also always an experience. Garvey likes to experiment with different flavours and bean combinations (blends) in his roasting, and if you’re a real coffee fundi, you will be able to taste the subtle differences. Incredibly, Garvey always gets that flavour right, so you will always get an incredible coffee flavour. He bases his coffee flavour on what he likes to drink. Most of his patrons would agree that he has good taste.

clock hmc.jpg

On a good day, and if you’re nice enough to Sisa, you will be able to buy chocolate croissants (pain au chocolat), hot out of the oven. If you’re mean, you may only be able to buy a normal croissant (which is delicious too, but if you know me, you know you can’t EVER beat chocolate…)

hand made coffee.jpg

Hand Made Coffees is a real character in Grahamstown, and it takes after the character that is Garvey. If you don’t like coffee, they offer hot chocolate too. If you still feel like being difficult, go to Hand Made Coffees just for the awesome company and interesting conversation – you might be inspired to travel the big cities of the world, or it may make you fall in love with Grahamstown and develop an even deeper fondness for small towns.

Darren clock hmc.jpg

A bright idea – Revelations Grahamstown

It’s amazing what new management can do. In my first year at Grahamstown there was this random little coffee shop at the only shopping centre in town. Sometimes you’d hear of people going there, but mostly it felt like walking past some long-forgotten church, or the University library at the start of the New Year (when people have forgotten how much work they could actually be getting done in there). Now, Revelations Café is a go-to food-spot, especially if you like your cakes.

eat coffee tea signageThey had a great revamp and gained popularity again in 2012, with all sorts of wonderful specials to draw in the crowds. Not only were the prices reasonable and competitive, but also the quality of the food was really above the common Grahamstown standard.

Cake

Their cakes would be one of their major draw factors: they are made perfectly every time and they have a really nice wide variety. I was disappointed to learn that they don’t actually make these on site, however. The cakes are supplied by Chateaux Gateaux. Since learning this, it appears that a huge number of coffee shops have their cakes supplied by them too. So Revelations’ cakes aren’t all that special, though they are really delicious (and you can’t beat mass-produced consistency sometimes, can you?).

Breakfast specials are great on a student budget, but a real omelette is a nice and wholesome break away from res food

Breakfast specials are great on a student budget, but a real omelette is a nice and wholesome break away from res food

Their breakfasts are definitely winners. Sometimes they offer a breakfast special, though their breakfast menu options are worth spending the extra money on. They are generous with their portions, particularly in their omelettes.

Waffles are good for breakfast too... Revelations knows how to maximise on the Bar One too, which is great!

Waffles are good for breakfast too… Revelations knows how to maximise on the Bar One too, which is great!

Revelations offers lunch and dinner options as well. On a student budget a lot of the dinner choices are a bit excessive, though they are around the same price as you would expect to pay in other larger towns and cities, and the quality is good (think café burgers rather than steakhouse burgers though). Their wide range can cater for a number of dietary requirements (healthier options and vegetarian options, for example), but it does make decisions really hard.

Chicken and bacon wrap with a berry smoothie, a wholesome healthy lunch (that is also delicious)

Chicken and bacon wrap with a berry smoothie, a wholesome healthy lunch (that is also delicious)

Chicken , bacon, apple and blue cheese salad with a Mango smoothie. This was a half portion too, so they are really generous

Chicken , bacon, apple and blue cheese salad with a Mango smoothie. This was a half portion too, so they are really generous

You can enjoy their delicious smoothies out under the trees or you can cuddle up under cover on the couch with a decadent hot chocolate (complete with marshmallows, whipped cream and a flake), which makes it ideal for summer or winter treats.

Banana and almond smoothie and a vanilla milkshake. The smoothie was delicious, but it could have done well with a bigger straw because the nuts were not too finely chopped

Banana and almond smoothie and a vanilla milkshake. The smoothie was delicious, but it could have done well with a bigger straw because the nuts were not too finely chopped

Generally their service is very friendly, though relaxed enough that you remember you are not in a large town where waiters are there to pander immediately to your every whim.

They have a larger than average tea selection, and great options for teatime accompaniments

They have a larger than average tea selection, and great options for teatime accompaniments

This café is definitely worth a visit when in Grahamstown, and also good for regular treats with friends (just not on a Sunday, unfortunately).

Added bonus: they have free wifi.

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

3-Ingredient Bar One Cupcakes

Note: this definitely classifies as one of my “Sweet Experiments”, but it is more of an adaptation of another recipe rather than being made according to an actual recipe. It is based on a recipe for 3-ingredient Nutella brownies that I found on Pinterest, but I am not sure on the actual origin, so I can only direct you here. So I bring to you 3-Ingredient Bar One Cupcakes.

Teddy awaits a gorgeous Bar One Cupcake

Teddy awaits a gorgeous Bar One Cupcake. He needed some new love…

I followed the same recipe of 1 cup of chocolate-y-ness, 10tbsp flour, and two eggs, but this time it was more challenging. The bar one has to be melted down first, in order for it to be mixed into batter form.

Melty melty Bar Ones. I id it as a Bain-Marie, but with the milk you could probably get away with using a microwave, just don't burn that delicious chocolate

Melty melty Bar Ones. I id it as a Bain-Marie, but with the milk you could probably get away with using a microwave, just don’t burn that delicious chocolate

Some milk is also added so that it keeps its more liquid consistency, which makes the stirring in of the other ingredients easier. Then the flour is added while the melted Bar Ones are still quite warm and runny. This also gives the mixture an opportunity for the mixture to cool down a bit before adding the eggs, to avoid a scrambled egg effect.

This is the chocolate that you must make sure you do not eat. You need it for the recipe. Just keep reminding yourself of that. Trust me, I understand the temptation. This is basically the colour of the completed batter as well

This is the chocolate that you must make sure you do not eat. You need it for the recipe. Just keep reminding yourself of that. Trust me, I understand the temptation. This is basically the colour of the completed batter as well

They rise in quite an interesting way as well. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn, and make sure your pan is well-prepared for all that melted chocolate

They rise in quite an interesting way as well. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn, and make sure your pan is well-prepared for all that melted chocolate

They turned out quite nice, but not as sweet and moist as I had expected. Bearing this in mind, I had a similar outcome when attempting the Nutella version: the muffin/brownie is kind of dry. The end outcome is a subtle chocolate muffin, nothing too special about the flavour, apart from the obvious Bar One undertones in the chocolate flavour of the muffin, which was nice, obviously. It’s a good thing that the muffin itself is not too sweet though…

Check out those sexy muffin-bottoms! Quite an interesting and unintentional effect

Check out those sexy muffin-bottoms! Quite an interesting and unintentional effect

The real star of the show is the Bar One sauce/”frosting”. It’s very sweet, which offsets the subtle muffin and gives the whole thing a really great taste experience. It also adds some texture to the cupcake, and a lot stickier than your conventional frosting. It’s absolutely amazing, in fact.

A simple cupcake with the best sauce-y frosting you could ask for. No wonder Rainbow Teddy has a smile on his face

A simple cupcake with the best sauce-y frosting you could ask for. No wonder Rainbow Teddy has a smile on his face

Please note though, that this recipe makes a humble 6 cupcakes, which is fine if you’re baking for yourself to eat, right? So be sure to double the recipe if it is meant for sharing.

3-Ingredient Bar One Cupcakes 

Makes 6 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 250 g Melted Bar Ones
  • 30 ml Milk
  • 10 tbsp flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50 g melted Bar Ones with dash of milk for the icing

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius, and line a muffin tray
  2. Melt the Bar Ones to a very runny consistency, adding the milk as the mixture requires (it helps to have the milk in early so that stirring is easier)
  3. Remove the melted chocolate and add the flour, mixing until all the flour is well mixed (should not have any white bits visible – a nice smooth consistency). Let mixture cool slightly (must still be runny)
  4. Add the eggs and stir vigorously until ingredients are thoroughly mixed together
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared tray, and bake for 15-20 minutes (be sure not to let muffin edges brown – this will produce a very dry muffin)
  6. Remove muffins and let them cool
  7. Melt remaining 50g of Bar One with a dash of milk (about a tablespoon), stirring continuously to get a smooth mixture
  8. Pour Bar One sauce over muffins. Don’t be too generous as the sauce runs eagerly to the sides of the muffin