RAISIN ROCK CAKES

teanscones

RAISIN ROCK CAKES

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup caster sugar
90g butter chopped
1 cup RAISINS
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
Caster sugar extra for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 180 Degrees C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Sift flour, cinnamon and sugar into medium bowl. Rub in butter into mixture.

Stir in raisins, egg and milk. Don’t over mix.
Spoon a tablespoon of mixture into round shape onto tray and bake for 15 minutes or till golden.
Take out of oven and sprinkle extra sugar on top and allow to cool. Serve with fresh home brewed tea or coffee or just on their own.

Enjoy!!

 

 

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KIDNEY BEAN MASALA CURRY

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BEANS MASALA CURRY:
INGREDIENTS :
1 cup kidney beans (any variety)
1 large onion finely chopped
3 medium finely chopped tomatoes
3-4 medium garlic + 1 inch ginger + 1 to 2 green chilies – crushed to a paste in a mortar-pestle,To make about 1 tbsp ginger-garlic-green chili paste.
1 tsp coriander powder or dhania powder
¼ to ½ tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp to ½ tsp garam masala powder
½ tsp cumin seeds
Oil for cooking
3.5 to 4 cups water for pressure cooking
1.5 to 2 cups of bean stock (the water which is used to cook the beans) or plain water for the gravy or curry
salt as required
DIRECTIONS:
Rinse and soak the kidney beans in enough water overnight or for 8-9 hours.
Next day, discard the water and rinse the beans again in fresh water.( Please rinse well)
In a pressure cooker, add the beans and 4 cups water.
Pressure cook on a medium to high flame for 15-20 minutes.
When the beans are cooking, you can chop the onions, tomatoes etc.
When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid,
Check if the beans are well cooked by taking a bite or pressing a bean. If they are not cooked completely, then pressure cook again adding some water if required for some minutes.
Heat oil in another pot or pan. Add cumin seeds first and let them crackle & get browned.(Don’t burn!)
Then add onions and sauté them till they are caramelized or golden browned-take care not to burn them as this will impart bitter tones in the curry. Lightly browning the onions is also alright.
Keep on stirring the onions while sautéing them, for uniform cooking and also so that they don’t get burnt.
Add the ginger-garlic-chili paste. Stir and sauté for 5-10 seconds on a low flame.
Add the tomatoes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes till the tomatoes become soft.
Add all the spice powders one by one – turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder.
Stir and sauté the whole masala mixture till the oil separates from the masala
Use a slotted spoon or a strainer and remove the beans and add them to the masala.
Save the stock. Stir and sauté for a minute longer.
Take 1.5 to 2 cups from the stock and add to the beans.
Add salt and stir the whole curry mixture.
Simmer without a lid for 10-12 minutes or more till the curry thickens slightly. it should not be watery.
Mash a few beans with the spoon-This helps to thicken the curry.
When the masala has thickened and comes to the right consistency which is neither too thick nor thin, you may add 2 tablespoons of cream for a luxurious creamy masala (Optional)
Stir & simmer for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Turn off the fire.

NOTES:
If cooking beans in a pot or pan:
First soak them as usual for 8-9 hours. Drain and rinse them with fresh water. In a huge pot, boil enough water first. Add the beans and salt. Cook for about 1.5 – 2hrs or more if required. Then proceed with the other steps

 

EGG & BACON BREAKFAST PIE/QUICHE

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This is a hearty,delicious substantial pie, filled with all the goodness of life. Really.

What is better for a Saturday breakfast or as part of a brunch repertoire? What beats nice crispy bacon and perectly seasoned eggs combined with the buttery,flaky goodness that is puff pastry?…. What? You can’t answer that can you? Now imagine the aforementioned all in one single bite. Bliss. Heaven. Nirvana.

Okay,let’s stop imagining and let’s get cooking so we can experience this petit mort, immediatement ….non?

 

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Start by rolling out your Puff pastry. you can use thawed out ready bought pastry or you can use this Perfect Puff Pastry recipe.

 

 

 

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Drape it over your pie dish as shown. I like to use the disposable foil pans when I can as they easily go from microwave to freezer to table.

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Trim off the excess and use the tines of a fork to lovingly pierce the base of the pie..we shall be baking this blind, so that once we put in the liquid filling it doesn’t go all soggy and eeeww.

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Cover with foil or use baking beans and bake. Meanwhile,prepare the filling ingredients; Season the eggs with salt,pepper and garlic powder/paste. and beat together with cream,add in the bacon. You may add herbs, if you so wish, I kept mine simple.

There, now this is ready for the oven.

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Et Voilá.

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Don’t let the humble unassuming look fool you. Lemme tell you a story about my ex.  he had this juvenile game he liked to play,where when he was mad for whatever reason he would give the silent treatment…that ish drives me up the wall!! GRRRR!

So anywho I made him this pie one time when he was having one of his cold war moments…and the weirdest thing happened after he had taken a bite.

He smiled.

And amid moaning and groaning and swallowing..he asked ”What is this?” Needless to say this individual who had been cold and unassuming and emotionally closed off for over a fortnight,thawed considerably…

What I am saying folks is that this Quiche can bridge gaps and stop wars and bring about World Peace.

Enjoy.

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CARDAMOM MANDAZI AND CHEESY SPINACH & FISH PIES

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YUM!

That’s the only apt preface to this post.

These were yesterday’s after school snack for my Little People. If you know my little clan,then you know they are a tough crowd. But those pastries up there are Little People approved- that means alot in these here parts.

So with their worthy endorsement i can share these little gems with you my friends.

Soothe after school hunger with nutritious but tasty snacks, I like to vary what I offer from day to day because we all know the little ones get easily bored plus we don’t want to ply them with only sweets daily.

I am in love with pastries and I am always trying out new flavour combinations in my beloved pastries. Let’s talk about the mandazi -with a hint of cinnamon and ginger combined with cardamom, add in some yoghurt and you know you know you are in for a transcendant experience.

So without further ado, the recipe:

CARDAMOM MANDAZI:

INGREDIENTS:

500g SF Flour

½ tsp Cinnamon

½ tsp Ground Ginger

1 ½ tsp Cardamom powder

½ tsp Salt

1tsp Vanilla Extract

2 TBSp Margarine or Butter

3 TBSp Plain Yoghurt or Mala(Vanilla flavoured can also work)

1 ½ cup Sugar

1 egg

250ml milk plus water (Milk is optional you can use all water)

DIRECTIONS:

Sift the dry ingredients together and rub in the margarine using your fingertips.

Mix with the yoghurt,then beat the egg,vanilla extract and add 250ml milk and mix it with the dry ingredients.

Keep adding water if the dough is too thick, stiff or cracked. Knead the dough until bubbly and soft and then leave it under a damp cloth for about an hour.

Knead thoroughly for about 10 minutes, cover with a damp cloth and allow it to stand for an hour

Roll to a thickness of 1cm and cut into desired shapes

Fry in hot deep oil until done and golden brown.

Drain on absorbent paper.

Now let’s get to the Pies, I used a quick shortcrust pastry as I didn’t have time for a Puff pastry and it worked really well, I shall certainly use it again
SPINACH,CHEESE AND FISH PIE:
INGREDIENTS: (Makes 6-8 pies)
2 pieces Tilapia fillet
200g cream cheese, softened
1 bunch of spinach, shredded
60g grated cheddar cheese
1 onion diced
1 tsp garlic
250ml milk
DIRECTIONS:
Poach the fish in milk, then drain and reserve the milk for spinach
Blanch the spinach then rinse in cold water
Sweat the onions in butter, add garlic and cook till fragrant.
Add the spinach, then add the reserved milk and simmer till well cooked
Use a fork to flake the fish then add to the spinach together with the cheeses
Season with salt and pepper then set aside to cool
QUICK SHORT CRUST PASTRY:
INGREDIENTS:
200g All Purpose flour
Pinch of salt
110g butter, cubed
2-3 tbsp very cold water
DIRECTIONS:
Place the flour, butter and salt into a large clean bowl.
Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the dough becoming warm.
Add the water to the mixture and using a cold knife stir until the dough binds together; add more cold water a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too dry.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 160C
Flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough into 6-inch circles and place 2 tablespoons of the cooled filling onto half of each round of dough. Brush the edges of the dough with egg wash. Fold dough over the filling to make a half-moon shape. Press edge with tines of a fork to seal.Or you can roll it up to make a decorative edge.
Set pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until dough is golden brown and cooked through, about for 25 to 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

In closing I say YUM!

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COCONUT AND RUM CAKE

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So I am gonna risk being thought a looney and admit that I bake my vanilla sponge without precisely measuring out  ingredients. YEP! that’s right, I eyeball my cake ingredients and still manage to whip out what in my very biased and valuable opinion is a perfect sponge… I have been doing it for years now that I can literally do it with my eyes closed…true story.

This is my go-to, no-fail sponge that I use a base for alot of my layered frosted cakes, but trust me this is good to eat as is.

I will not subject you to throwing away cake batter by letting you experiment my madness, so I  am sharing a recipe that I give to everyone who asks about my vanilla sponge and that works great.

I really need you to make this cake because the frosting is a must try- light,sweet,airy and witha hint of rum…the coconut just takes it to a whole new level and if you haven’t lived until you have entered this realm. Trust me you don’t want to miss out.

Perfection!

Perfection!

Check out that PERFECT sponge. Perfection, I tell you! Nuff said…

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BASIC VANILLA SPONGE:
INGREDIENTS:

450g SR Flour
450g caster sugar
500g unsalted butter
9  free range eggs (you can use normal..I just love what the yellow yolk does for the sponge, plus the taste)
3 TBSp cold water 

1tsp vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS:

Pre heat oven 140C

In a mixer, whisk the butter until silky.

Add caster sugar and cream together until pale and light.
In a separate bowl,beat the eggs with cold water.

Gradually add a little egg then a little flour to the creamed mix, fold in with a spatula.

Continue alternating the egg and flour, whilst folding-until all the ingredients are combined and then add the vanilla extract.

Grease then line your tin with parchment paper and sit the baking tin  on the middle shelf.

Bake for about 1hour 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean

Cool on a wire rack and proceed to frosting once cool enough, but this is also great as is.

 

SWISS MERINGUE RUM BUTTERCREAM:

INGREDIENTS:

5 Egg whites (approximately 5 large or 6 medium eggs)

200g sugar

225g butter

5ml Rum Essence or 2TBSp Rum

2 cups desiccated or shredded coconut

 

DIRECTIONS:

You will need a double boiler or to make one; you need a larger pot to boil water in and a smaller one that fits into it well without touching the boiling water. If you have a metallic mixing bowl it’s even better  but a plastic one will do as well.

Make sure butter is room temperature and cut into small pieces

Combine egg whites and sugar in bowl. Boil some water in a pot and place bowl like a double boiler. (Make sure bottom of bowl does not touch boiling water).

Continuously whisk the egg white + sugar mixture on top of simmering water for 4 minutes. Check that all sugar is dissolved (not grainy to touch). Mixture shouldn’t be fluffy just yet. Remove bowl from double boiler.

Begin to mix on high-speed. At first, there will be steam. Continue and it will fluff up. Don’t stop just yet, don’t worry about over-beating. Continue to mix until bottom of bowl does not feel hot or even slightly warm. It should feel almost cool to the touch.  If in doubt, continue mixing.

This Proper beating of egg whites will assure you that the cream stays firm. This should take 10-15 minutes. The cue for me was the temperature of the bottom of the metal bowl.

Now begin to add butter. Do this ever so patiently. Each cube should be completely incorporated before continuing with the next cube, 15 seconds each addition.

After halfway through, cream should look a little curdled. Stay calm. Continue adding the butter. By the end, it will look smooth.  Really any curdling will smoothen out with continued beating..this is a true labour of love and not for the faint hearted.

LAYERING THE CAKE:

Trim the cake if need be, it will look better when frosted. Eat away to your heart’s content all the trimmings 😉 you know you want to.

Tort the cake…My 10 inch cake was 3 inches high so I was able to tort it into 3 even layers. I use toothpicks to mark out then use dental floss to tort.

Place as equal an amount of cream as possible in between each layer.

Crumb coat. Chill cake. If you have time, it’s even better to freeze after the crumb coat

Frost with a clean batch of cream.

Use shredded or desiccated coconut to sprinkle evenly on the sides and top of the cake.

Enjoy.

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WHOLE TIKKA ROAST CHICKEN

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INGREDIENTS:

For  marinating and basting:

2TBSp lemon juice

100g PLAIN(NATURAL) yoghurt

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

1 TBSp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

5 garlic cloves, crushed

¼ tsp red  food colouring (optional)

whole chicken

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix the yoghurt, lemon juice, spices, ginger, garlic and food colouring, if using, in a large, deep bowl. Using a sharp knife, carefully make gashes across the chicken a few times through the thickest parts of the breast and legs.

Slather the marinade all over the breasts and legs. Then place it breast-side down in the bowl, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours but overnight preferably.

When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 180C. Take the chicken out of the marinade and place it breast-side up in a roasting tin. Smear any marinade remaining in the bowl over the chicken, season with salt and pepper and cover loosely with aluminium foil.

Roast in the oven for 1½ hours, basting every so often and removing the foil after an hour.( I had to cover the legs with foil though as it was burning)

After 1.5 hours, remove it from the oven and test to see if it is cooked by inserting a small sharp knife into the thickest part of the bird. I do it around the groin area of the chicken and then press down a bit – the juices should run clear. If the juices are not running clear, then return to the oven, testing it again every 5 minutes or so, until fully cooked. Once cooked, cover with tin foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes. This will allow the chicken to become more juicy and the temperature in the bird to even out.

Once it has rested, remove the tin foil and serve with roast potatoes, rice or naan, salad and minted yoghurt

 

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