Ooey Gooey Speckled Egg Brownies to kick-start the week!

Just in case you’ve been feeling guilty about the weekend’s indulgences, here’s a great recipe to try – Speckled Egg brownies – the perfect way to start the week I’d say… {I’m saying / writing this whilst wiping the crumbs from my mouth… Chuckle chuckle…}

Ok so perhaps this is not the usual guilty-conscience-Monday-get-your-diet-back-on-track type of recipe…

Anyways, here you go: {adapted from Mikey’s in my kitchen}

1 1/4 cup flour
2tbs cocoa powder
1tsp salt
330g chocolate {2/3 dark chocolate, chopped + speckled eggs}
1cup butter, diced
1 1/2cups white granulated sugar
1/2cup brown sugar
5eggs
2tsp vanilla

Whisk together the flour, cocoa & salt and set aside. In a double boiler {heatproof bowl over simmering water}, melt the butter & chocolate. Once this has melted, turn off the heat and add the sugars. Mix it through and let it melt as much as possible, while getting to room temperature.
Once it’s room temperature, whisk in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.
Fold in the flour mixture until it’s just incorporated – it doesn’t have to be perfectly mixed, as you don’t want to over mix it.
Pour into a baking pan lined with baking paper {the batter should reach about 2cm} and bake in a pre-heated oven of 175C for 35minutes.

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Wait until it has cooled completely before lifting the brownies out of the pan and cutting them. {Resist the urge!}
The result: super ooey-gooey {very} chocolate brownies with a jelly ‘swirl’ running through it.
Have it with vanilla ice cream and a few speckled eggs scattered on top – or just as is!

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Some more recipes to look forward to this week:
Thick cut grilled rump steak with halloumi and caramelised onions & tomatoes
Classic roast chicken with garlic, rosemary & lemon
Aubergine lasagna with hidden veggies {a goodie for the kids!}
Chocolate {very chocolatey!} pavlova
Pork stir fry {when last did you actually make stir fry?!}
Pork roast with sweet potato wedges and a killer salad

X

Salted PB & choc caramel cookies

We’ve been visiting my mom-in-law {she lives on the South Coast in KZN} this past week and it’s been a week now, a week of fun in the sun, until today…
Today was one of those days that just dragged on forever!

It was dreary and grey and windy…
Normally, that would be heaven – lots of book-reading, movie-watching, etc.
Well, not with two little ones running around!
{Oh yes and my husband is off running an ultra-trail-marathon-type-event 3 hrs away… So proud of him – he did SO well today!}

So, I decided to go for a walk with Francois today, while Seb was still napping, leaving him with granny. With Faf all zipped up in his pram, safe from the nippy weather, I headed off on my walk and did about 4 laps around the block, where I know the area and would be safe…

It was quite soothing, with the wind, they grey sky and the sound of the ocean.

While I walked, I decided it’s perfect weather for baking cookies! I headed back home, popped the kids in front of the Tupperware cupboard {thank heavens for Tupperware cupboards = hours of fun!!} and raided granny’s grocery cupboard for the ingredients I needed.

Recipe adapted from My Happy Place {blog}:

You will need:
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup + 2 tbs golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 5/6 cups flour
1 tsp coarse sea salt + more for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a baking sheet.
Whisk together all the wet ingredients until smooth, then add all the dry ingredients and mix until everything is well combined.
Roll into small balls {you will get 24} and press down gently with a fork. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 10 minutes.

For the caramel:
80g butter
2 tbs cream
1 tbs golden syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp peanut butter
Bring everything, except the vanilla, to the boil in a small saucepan and then let it slowly simmer until the sugar has melted and everything is mixed. Add the vanilla. You need to stir quite vigorously to prevent it from burning.
Let it cool slightly until it’s thickened up a bit and then drop spoonfuls onto the cookies once they’ve come out of the oven.

You get a chocolatey, chewy, peanut butter cookie with just enough caramel to tie everything together nicely. Perfect comfort for a grey day!

Enjoy! X

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Spicy bacon nuts – a Life Changer

So, I joined a new gym where the goal is to guide you every step of the way through weekly assessments, personal trainers on hand and nutritional guidance…
At my assessment yesterday, I had a Daniel Lugo type character {from Pain & Gain movie} helping me and he reckons I should start off with a detox {before anyone can start their training there, they have to do a week’s detox}. I should only eat leafy dark greens and protein.
Right.
Well, it’s not far off from what we actually eat, but come on, not even a splash of milk in my coffee? Ok.
Like he said: ‘your coffee should be how you like your Nigerians – strong and black…’ Seriously.

Anyways, back to the point – so detox it is – and armed with these yummy nuts I’m ready to go!
{From Real Meal Revolution cookbook – totally Banting and totally Paleo! All protein.}

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You will need:
250g streaky bacon
4 cups of assorted nuts {macadamia, Brazil nuts, pecans, almonds}
2 tsp butter
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of nutmeg

Grill the bacon in the oven until nice and crispy. Place onto paper towel and keep the fat.
Next, dry roast the nuts in a large pan until golden. Add the butter and bacon fat. Add spices and toast until fragrant and dark brown.
Remove from heat, add the chopped bacon and a few drops of water.
‘Dry’ in the oven for 5 minutes at 160C.
Let it cool and keep in an airtight container.

Perfect for daytime snacking or adding to a salad or veggies.

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Here’s my version:

Heidi has 12 strips of bacon, she grills them and eats 2. She adds 4 cups of spiced nuts.
What does Heidi have now?
Happiness, Heidi has happiness! 😉

10th Birthday Monster Cupcakes

This weekend was quite a busy one – with last-minute Christmas cake orders, a tenth-birthday cupcake order, as well as a few social events! Thank goodness for long-weekends, right?
I received a request for birthday cupcakes for a boy turning ten – the cupcakes had to be strawberry flavour, so at first I was a bit stumped as to how to make these strawberry cupcakes boyish… I scoured the internet for recipe and theme ideas and eventually I decided on monster-themed strawberry cupcakes. {I know my son loves monsters!}
I created two types of monsters – one a strawberry monster {my own creation} and the other just a generic monster {quite like the Monster Inc fellas – thanks Pinterest!} to adorn these yummy strawberry cupcakes.
These scrummy cupcakes are oh-so-moist and fluffy, with swirls of strawberry coulis inside and a strawberry butter icing. {Yum!}

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{To order cakes or cupcakes, send me an e-mail to pinkpoppadom@gmail.com}

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Ice Cream

After those delicious little winning pumpkin cupcakes, I decided to turn them into ice cream. {Currently obsessed with ice cream, remember??}

I found an amazing-looking recipe for red velvet ice cream {which I plan on making next} that I adapted for this pumpkin cheesecake swirl ice cream.

The result – a creamy and rich pumpkin cheesecake ice cream with a cake swirl running through it – AB FAB!

Pumpkin swirl ice cream

 

You will need:

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup cream

1 1/2 cup full cream milk

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes {with frosting – see my recipe for these cupcakes}

1 tsp yellow food colouring gel

Beat the sugar and eggs together until they are light and frothy, for about 5 minutes. Add the milk and cream and mix.

Add the vanilla, the colouring and 2 of the cupcakes. Mix well and freeze.

I froze it for 4 and a half hours, removing it every hour to whisk. After repeating this 4 times, add the last cupcake, stir and transfer to a suitable container for freezing until you’re ready to enjoy! x

Pumpkin Season in the Vissers household…

Yes – it’s pumpkin season! Well, in the US in any case, but also here at our house in the Southern Hemisphere. {And seeing as half my family lives in the States, I think it’s quite appropriate that we have our own little pumpkin season to celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving.}

The Jack-o-lanterns from Halloween have not suffered in vain – no, they have been up-cycled into baby food, Moroccan meatloaf {yesterday} and scrummy cheesecake-stuffed cupcakes {today}.  But don’t fear – there will be plenty more pumpkin dishes popping up over the next few days, as I have a LOT of pumpkin purée!

I found a really yummy recipe for pumpkin cupcakes on Pinterest at:

http://www.silvanaskitchen.com/gluten-free-cheesecake-filled-pumpkin-cupcakes/

{Mine are not gluten-free; if you’re going to have a cupcake, have it properly with all the gluten in tact! Unless of course you are gluten-intolerant and the only way to have your treat is to substitute with a GF option…}

Anyways – drifting off topic again – here is the recipe:

For the cream cheese mixture:

1 tub of cream cheese {230g at room temperature}

1/2 a cup of icing sugar

1 egg white

1/2 a tsp of vanilla

Whisk the cream cheese and sugar and add the egg white. Whisk until fluffy and add the vanilla. Whisk some more until everything is mixed.

For the pumpkin batter:

1 1/2 cups of flour {normal, gluten-free, whatever you prefer}

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice {use equal parts cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg}

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup of puréed pumpkin

2 eggs

1 cup of sugar

1/2 a cup of melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

Mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, egg, sugar, butter and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake cases.

Fill the cases: one spoonful pumpkin batter, one spoonful cheesecake mix, another spoonful pumpkin batter. The cases should be almost full, but not quite to the top.

Bake for 25 minutes until cooked. A toothpick will come out clean.

For the frosting:

1 cup yellow sugar {or brown, but the yellow adds some nice colour.}

4 egg whites

1/4 tsp salt

230g butter {chilled and cubed}

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Mix the egg whites, sugar and salt and whisk over a pot of simmering water until the sugar has melted. Remove from the water and continue to whisk at high speed until it reaches room temperature.

Add the butter, one cube at a time while whisking, until the mixture is thick and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.

Transfer to a piping bag with a large round nozzle and pipe large swirls onto the cooled cupcakes.

{I think I will bake these a lot just to get that ‘American’ smell wafting through the house! It’s just the best smell and so typically ‘American Holiday’, it will always fill me with nostalgia.}

A must-bake – enjoy!

Halloween lanterns Cheesecake pumpkin cupcakes Cheesecake pumpkin cupcakes

Nectarine {custard} Ice Cream

Another successful ice cream – this time a custard-based nectarine one.  The flavour-possibilities are just endless and I have so many ideas for yummy new flavours! Perhaps I need to get that ice cream maker soon…

I decided to make a nectarine ice cream, well, because I had lots of nectarines and didn’t want them to go bad – but also, it’s such a great and refreshing summer taste!

For the custard base, you will need:

4 large egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups full cream milk

Whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, but don’t let it boil – you should be able to stick your finger in it without burning. Next, slowly add the warm milk to the egg mixture while whisking. When all the milk has been added to the eggs, transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and whisk over medium heat. Don’t let it boil; just continue to whisk until it has thickened and can coat the back of a spoon.

For the nectarine part, you will need:

6 ripe nectarines, stones removed

1 cup of cream

1 tsp vanilla essence

Blitz the nectarines into a pulp with a food processor or blender. Add the vanilla essence and the cream and blend until you have a smooth and creamy mixture.

Strain the cooled custard through a sieve and add to the creamy nectarine slush. Refrigerate for an hour or so and then transfer to freezer {in a large plastic container with a lid}. I did the whole 40min, whisk, 40min, whisk thing again. Basically, you keep the ice cream mixture in the freezer for 40minutes, take it out and whisk. Freeze again for 40minutes, take it out and whisk. Freeze once more for 40minutes, whisk and then it can stay in the freezer.

Yummylicious – enjoy! X

Nectarine ice cream Nectarine ice cream

A scoop of yumminess

I’ve been wanting to try and make my own ice cream, but I don’t have an ice cream maker and just assumed that it would be too complicated to try and tackle without one…

But then I thought – just do it! And so I did…

I had heaps of very ripe bananas after a visit to a local farm shop last weekend and so I decided to make banana ice cream. I found a very nice local KZN recipe in my East Coast Tables cookbook.

I must say, it turned out great and it was really very easy to make. Not too sweet and not at all lumpy or icy – just perfect. I am definitely going to make heaps more ice cream!

You will need:

4 medium, ripe bananas

3/4 cup milk (I always use full cream)

1/2 a cup of castor sugar

1/2 a tsp cinnamon (I might have used just a tad more…)

2 cups cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

Blitz the banana with a hand blender and set aside. Whisk together everything else, except the cream and stir in the bananas. Refrigerate for an hour.

Whip the cream until quite stiff and fold into the banana mixture. Pour into a wide, flat plastic container with a lid and freeze for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, whisk with an electric mixer and return to freezer. Do this 3 times.

I left mine in the freezer overnight after the whole freeze, whisk, freeze procedure to freeze completely. I took it out about 20 minutes before serving, just so that it it would be nice and soft (but still frozen!) to dish up.

Seriously yummy and very creamy!

Enjoy! X

Banana Ice Cream

Ouma’s vetkoek

My gran (or Ouma in Afrikaans) used to make these yummy little vetkoeks (a traditional type of dough dumpling, like a savoury doughnut) when we were younger and visiting her and Oupa (grandpa). She would just whip up a whole batch and us kids would gobble them up before they even made it to the table! She always made them with tinned sweet corn and some with viennas (like hotdog sausages).

We’ve had the most glorious rain today – it lasted for pretty much the entire day – and it just reminded me of my childhood days in the Cape with Ouma & Oupa.

I decided to whip up a batch of these yummy little vetkoeks {why am I always so hungry when the weather is all grey and dreary?!} and they went down a treat! Hubby just loved it and so did little Seb.

For the vetkoek:

1 cup of flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 egg, lightly beaten

a pinch of salt

1/2 a cup of milk

sunflower oil for frying

Sift together the dry ingredients and mix in the egg. Add the milk to form a wet batter.

I used Russian sausage cut into small pieces and half the batter for the sausage vetkoeks. Use a spoon to coat sausage pieces in the batter and drop into a pan of hot oil. Cook until they are golden and slightly puffed.

Use the other half of the batter and mix in half a tin of corn. Drop spoonfuls into the pan with hot oil and cook.

Serve with a chili dipping sauce. {No, I did not make my own dipping sauce, I just used a medium hot one from the store..!}

Enjoy! X

Ouma's vetkoek