Tag Archives: sugar

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)
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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

Frozen Coconut Ice – only 4 ingredients!

Do you want to build a snowman?
Or make a batch of icy treats?
I think some sugar here is overdue,
I’m talking to,
The banters who hate sweets!
Frozen Coconut Ice
Once upon a time we convinced ourselves that coconut was good for us, and that it fits perfectly into the low-carb:high-fat eating regime (which it kinda does, by the way). I have taken this useful information, and placed it in a far more practical application – the beauty and simplicity that is coconut ice. All your good fats, in one beautiful place.
Elsa Coconut Ice
And if you think there is too much sugar in this recipe (which there is, by the way), you can just Let It Go… Let it go, smile as you watch your tummy grow! Just kidding. Any treat can be enjoyed in moderation. In this case, moderation means one nibble per month, followed by at least a 21.1km half marathon.
Blue Coconut Ice
Totally worth it…
Frozen Coconut Ice
Ingredients
  • 1 can of condensed milk (400g)
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 400g desiccated coconut
  • Food colouring of choice – in the case of Frozen, you may want to use blue
Method
  1. Mix the condensed milk, coconut and icing sugar together until well-combined and consistent throughout
  2. Divide the mixture in half and colour the one half to the desired colour
  3. Press the white half of the mixture into a lined pan, such as a brownie pan, and compress down
  4. Repeat with the other half for the second layer, ensuring it is smooth and even
  5. Can be enjoyed straight away, cut into squares or other desired shape, and it lasts well (which is great because it can get very sweet)

Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

I know it may sound like a cliche, but peanut butter is my life. Especially these days. I almost feel guilty because we now have the wonders of cashew nut and almond butter, but I just don’t think you can beat a good ol’ table spoon of peanut butter (or three). Granted, peanuts aren’t really touted as being as cool as the rest of the super foods, and they are nut-posers which means we shouldn’t really trust them. However, these legumes are so versatile and so affordable, that you can pretend they are as healthy as their bourgeois counterparts.
Peanut butter oatmeal cookies
I feel bad, as well, when I pack my boyfriend’s lunch for him each day (no judging – if I didn’t do this, he would live on 2-minute noodles and tinned tuna, his idea of a balanced meal), because I feel like there is no variety in his lunch, and basically every snack/meal contains peanut butter. Peanut butter smoothie, peanut butter sandwich, peanut butter-chocolate protein oats… Add these cookies to the mix, and I’m pretty sure he would turn into peanut butter. As if he wasn’t tasty enough…
Oatmeal peanut butter cookies
These soft yet crunchy cookies unfortunately don’t do much for encouraging a healthy diet, even though they have peanut butter as their base (mostly because of the sugar). Peanut butter, I believe, is a pretty controversial snack/ingredient. On the one hand, they are a natural source of healthy fats and protein, which helps keep you full, and helps to keep your bones and muscles healthy. On the other hand, eating a whole jar of deliciousness doesn’t really count as moderation. Most unfortunate.
Oatmeal peanut butter cookies
If you can manage the moderation, or if you at least have enough people to share these with that your portion is limited by default, then you should definitely give these a bake. If not, then just enjoy them because they peanut butter in its cookie form – as if you needed another way to enjoy peanut butter.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Ingredients
  • 200g wholewheat flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 125g butter
  • 200g brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 175g chunky peanut butter
  • 2 eggs

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC and line your baking trays
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and cinnamon together until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and oats
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into the wet mixture and mix well
  4. Portion out the cookie dough onto your prepared pans, and flatten the dough balls
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until desired consistency. Slightly longer for a crispy cookie, slightly shorter for a more chewy cookie. Note that they will harden a bit once removed from the oven too
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack

Condensed milk biscuits

One more day of exams left and I am still baking up a storm. There were 60 scones in my kitchen today! There are only 3 people that live in my house, and no, I am not planning a party… They are actually for a fundraiser at my old primary school.

Surprisingly, my food has all gone to fairly good causes this week. And when I say “good cause”, I mean that it didn’t get eaten by only me, my mother and my brother. I baked “healthy” choc chip banana bread which I took to a fabulous games evening. I also shared these cookies with them.

Condensed milk cookies with milk and condensed milk

Condensed milk is one of my guilty pleasures. We hardly ever have any in the house unless we actually have a recipe that requires it, and generally then the recipe will require all of it (though we don’t scrape the tin out into the recipe, we reserve that for teaspoons of sneaky deliciousness). These biscuits are incredibly delicious as they are, but they also serve as a great base for other biscuits, such as chocolate chip, or macadamia and cranberry cookies. I also made some chocolatey choc chip cookies that were amazing, and they didn’t want to be left out of the photoshoot, so you can get a sneak peak at those as well.

 

Condensed milk cookies with choc chips, macadamia nuts and cranberries, and plain goodness

Condensed milk cookies with choc chips, macadamia nuts and cranberries, and plain goodness

Condensed milk biscuits

Ingredients

  • 340g cake flour
  • 225g butter
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 200g sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp baking powder

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC
  2. Cream the butter and sugar
  3. Add the condensed milk, flour, vanilla and baking powder and mix thoroughly. Add extras at this stage
  4. Roll cookie dough into 4cm balls and place on a prepared baking tray
  5. Flatten the balls slightly with a fork
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until the biscuits are golden. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the baking sheet
These chocolate bad boys come from the recipe book I used for my bread. I had a hankering for chocolate cookies, so I went a bit wild and made all the cookies

These chocolate bad boys come from the recipe book I used for my bread. I had a hankering for chocolate cookies, so I went a bit wild and made all the cookies

3 Ingredient ratio cookies

In school we found ourselves asking: “why do we need maths? We are never going to use the gradient of a hyperbole anywhere in our lives! Who even cares what x equals, I want to be an artist/lawyer/journalist/psychologist/fireman.”

Pam's jar

I am pleased to let you know, that I have found a use for maths that goes beyond simple addition and subtraction – we all knew that was important, how else would we be able to count our pieces of cake or get sad as people eat all your chocolates, one by one? Maths is beyond useful in these Ratio Butter Cookies, where all you have to remember is 3 little numbers. It’s so easy, you’ll quickly forget that it’s based on mathematical principles.

Mom's dayThese 3:2:1 cookies are my go-to biscuits when I am bored, craving cookies, or when I want to make a gift for someone. As a baker, I think that giving baked goods is like giving a little part of myself to the person, so it’s a personal gift, which is my favourite type of gift. As you can see from the photos, my skills with the biscuits definitely improved the more I made them, but that’s what this blog is about: learning.

Pre and post-bake

I used these fabulous cookie cutters I got from Yuppiechef, which imprint your chosen letters and words onto the cookies. Trouble is, someone has since hidden my pack of letters, so now I have to be creative when choosing my messages, because I only have the letters that were used in past messages. How many different ways can you use the letters: T. H. E. K. E. N. D. Z.? For those of you who are good with anagrams, there’s a challenge for you.

The Kendz cookies

Ratio butter cookies – dark chocolate and orange butter cookies

Ingredients

  • 300g cake/plain flour
  • 200g salted butter (or unsalted, with a pinch of salt added later)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp orange zest (or lemon zest, but this doesn’t go as well with the dark chocolate)
  • melted dark chocolate (about 1 slab, depending on how much of the cookie you want to cover in chocolate)

Method

  1. Cream the softened butter and the sugar with the orange zest until smooth, light and creamy, almost fluffy
  2. Add the flour mix together until well-combined. You may want to get your hands in there to make sure it all comes together nicely
  3. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. It can also be frozen in a sausage shape to be cut into discs whenever you want it
  4. Heat the oven to 180ºC, and line a baking tray
  5. Roll out the cookies and cut into the desired shapes. Make sure they are all of even thickness or they will cook at different speeds
  6. Place on the prepared baking tray and place in the oven
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until light golden and they no longer look wet. Depending on how crispy you like your cookies of course…
  8. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely
  9. Melt the dark chocolate (double boiler or in the microwave, but be careful not to let it burn), and dip cookies as desired, placing them on baking parchment to set.

Be mine

Peanut butter granola bars #healthynothealthy

So I’ve decided I want to be healthy. But not really. I like the idea of being healthy, all the wonderful benefits you get from it, and those Insta-fit-foodies make their #healthy food look so damn delicious! It almost makes you want to live off fruits and veggies and protein brownies made from zucchini or chocolate mousse made from avocado. I type that and I cringe inside. Being healthy /sounds/ awful.

As a result, I am trying to weed out the delicious recipes from the ones who are trying too hard. I’ve been working on some granola bars, and they’ve turned out ok, but they’re not quite right yet. I experimented with other granola bar recipes, and, surprise surprise, it’s the unhealthy ones that work out the greatest! They are a dream to make, and they taste fabulous. I made them once, and by the end of the same weekend, I had to make a few extra batches for my brother to take to school and the household supply was finished. These things are like little bars of heaven.

They’re not all bad: they do have oats in them, which is a nice substitute for flour. But there is also flour. And a lot of (brown) sugar. But there’s dark chocolate, so that should counteract the sugar, I rate. And of course the star of these bars: peanut butter. Peanut butter just makes everything healthy. Even if it is the whole jar – in one sitting. Totally healthy, I swear! Trust me, I’m a biokineticist (with no scope for nutritional advice just by the way; make of that what you will).

Granola bars aren't exactly a pretty thing. But they are super delicious bars filled with goodness, and if they make you feel healthy, maybe you'll be motivated to do some exercise too! Even I had to move some weights to take this photo. #liftingbru

Granola bars aren’t exactly a pretty thing. But they are super delicious bars filled with goodness, and if they make you feel healthy, maybe you’ll be motivated to do some exercise too! Even I had to move some weights to take this photo. #liftingbru

I’ve adapted (South Africanised) this recipe from my favourite blogger. Her food is amazing.

 

Peanut butter granola bars

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 Coats
  • 1 C Rice Krispies
  • 1/3 C flour
  • 1 C desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1/4 tspn cinnamon
  • 2/3 C brown sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla
  • 1/2 C melted butter
  • 2/3 C crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped up Bournville works beautifully too

Method

  1. Mix all your ingredients together (don’t use a mixer, this will break up the Rice Krispies and you’ll lose all your texture)
  2. Press the ‘batter’ into a dish lined with baking parchment (or foil would work too). Make sure you press it all together quite well, or it can crumble a bit a lot when you cut it
  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180  degrees for 30 minutes or until the edges start to go brown (cooked brown, not burnt!)
  4. Remove from oven and leave to cool. Maybe go for a run while you wait – see: healthy granola bars!