Snap, Sizzle & Cook

Sharing my love of food and everything pretty

Strawberries Romanoff

Strawberry Romanoff is a very basic dessert made from….. you guessed it, strawberries, cream and liqueur. It is a light, airy dessert which is meant to be enjoyed after a heavy meal because of the fact that it is not made with cake or biscuit. Read more HERE.
Strawberry Romanoff
Here in Durban we are privileged to have warm weather all year round which makes eating fruity, summer desserts (if the fresh fruit is available) so awesome. Even though I am more of a winter person, I love summer fruits, especially fruit salads with ice-cream…….YUM!
DSC_0007 (627x418)
Using as little as 6 ingredients, this recipe is very easy and requires little effort. It is the perfect recipe to use and make in advance for a dinner party. Just pop into the fridge once you’ve made it and leave it there for a day or two until ready to eat.
You will need:
500g strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
2 Tbsp Cointreau or any other orange flavoured liqueur
2 Tbsp strawberry yoghurt
2 tsp icing sugar
2 tsp icing sugar (extra)
175ml cream, whipped
Method:
Combine strawberries, icing sugar and liqueur in a bowl, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drain Strawberries and reserve the liquid. Divide half the strawberries among 4 dessert bowls.
Blend the remaining strawberries, extra icing sugar, reserved liquid and yoghurt until smooth. Beat the cream in a separate bowl with a hand held electric beater until soft peaks have formed. Fold in strawberry mixture and top the strawberries in the serving bowls with strawberry cream.
Strawberries Romanoff

Red Velvet Cake

I must be one of a few food bloggers who don’t have a recipe on their blog for a Red Velvet Cake. That is about to change. This delicious red coloured sponge cake actually has an origin which you can read about here.
Red Velvet Cake
A few years ago I volunteered to do a recipe review for Your Family magazine which involved me baking a Red Velvet Cake from a recipe which was emailed to me by the Food Editor and then giving my views on the cake, from the baking procedure to devouring it. The cake itself turned out to be soft, spongy and moist which is exactly how I like my cake. One of the comments I made was that you don’t have to be a “star” baker to bake this cake, or any cake for that matter. Baking is about science, what you put in (accurate measurements) is what you get out.
Red Velvet Cake
Even if you don’t really enjoy baking because you’ve had flop after flop, I urge you to try this cake, or the Hot Milk Sponge Cake (recipe HERE). The instructions are easy to follow and you’ll end up with a lovely cake that will not only impress you, but your family too.
You will need:
2 Eggs
1.5 cups canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla essence
60ml red food colouring
2.5 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups sugar
Instructions:
Beat eggs and oil together till well combined. Add buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla essence and red food colouring to the oil mixture. Mix well to form a smooth consistency. Set aside. In a separate bowl, sift cake flour, cocoa, salt, bicarb, baking powder and sugar together and add the wet ingredients. Combine using an electric hand beater until a smooth, velvety red batter has formed. Divide mixture evenly into 2 x 20cm round cake baking tins (sprayed with Spray and Cook) and bake on the middle rack of your oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) for 30 – 40 minutes or until a cake skewer comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before icing.
Icing:
I’ve used the same icing as I did for the Hot Milk Sponge Cake which is as follows:
100g butter
250g icing sugar (sifted)
10ml vanilla essence
30ml milk
Instructions:
Cream butter and icing sugar together. Add essence and just enough milk to mix to a smooth, spreadable consistency. Sandwich cake layers with half the icing. Use the remaining icing to ice top of cake.
Red Velvet Cake

Hot milk sponge cake

The fact that my son, on occasion, eats cake for breakfast has over time not only become quite a normal sight, but also a huge compliment to me. It means that the cakes I bake are good enough to surpass a healthy, wholesome and nutritious breakfast *tongue in cheek*.
Hot milk sponge cake
This specific cake “method” is relatively new to me. I’ve read about it, but never bothered trying it until I purchased the new Ultimate Snowflake  Collection recipe book. I am so NOT sorry that I bought the book. It has the most beautiful recipes and illustrations and I am excited to try my hand at some of them.
Hot milk sponge cake
The recipe is very simple and the end result is truly delicious and moist. Try it, you won’t be sorry.
Hot milk sponge cake
You will need:
4 extra large eggs
250g castor sugar
280g Snowflake cake flour
15ml baking powder
1ml salt
250ml milk
100g butter
5ml vanilla essence
Instructions:
Beat eggs and sugar till light and creamy. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to egg mixture and fold in lightly until well combined. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan. Do not boil; stir until butter is melted. Remove from heat and add essence. Add milk mixture to cake mixture and mix well. Spoon mixture into two greased 20cm round cake pans. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 25-30 minutes. eave in pans for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Sandwich cake layers with half the icing . Use remaining icing to ice top of cake.
Icing:
100g butter
250g icing sugar (sifted)
10ml vanilla essence
30ml milk
Instructions:
Cream butter and icing sugar together. Add essence and just enough milk to mix to a smooth, spreadable consistency. Sandwich cake layers with half the icing. Use the remaining icing to ice top of cake.

Spinach Cheesecake

Mention the word “spinach”, and most people wince and make a face which suggests disgust and repulsion.
Spinach Cheesecake
What is it about “green” vegetables that send most people over the edge? I do believe the majority of people’s negative response to these vegetables and others lies in their experience of tasting badly prepared, overcooked, unseasoned, watery vegetables. I would also gag while running a mile. Vegetables if prepared well and used in baked dishes correctly as well as paired suitably with other types of food can be a mind altering experience. To give you a small example, I’m using the infamous little gem which most people hate which is Brussel Sprouts. These delightful looking veggies which resemble miniature cabbage are very bland and honestly quite aweful on their own, however, sauté them in butter with garlic and crispy bacon pieces and the entire dynamics of boring Brussel Sprouts become absolutely delicious and full of flavour. You understand the point I’m trying to make? Similarly, spinach is exactly that, boring on its own, but pair it with garlic, butter and feta and you’ve got an amazing tasting vegetable dish.
Spinach Cheesecake
When I first saw this recipe, I was hesitant because of the word “cheesecake”. To me a cheesecake is a sweet dish and positively NOT for vegetables. However, after reading the entire recipe I got a clearer understanding that it was a savoury cheesecake and not a sweet cheesecake. How could I be so ignorant!
I am so glad I tried this recipe, which I got out of the 4th Edition of the YOU Let’s Cook. Please try it and let me know what you think. I personally will be making this dish regularly, not only because it’s easy, but it’s a great “light lunch” to serve over the weekend with salads.

For the crust you will need:
70ml butter, melted
1 packet of Bacon Kips (savoury biscuits) crushed

For the filling you will need:
2 bunches of spinach, cleaned, shredded and steamed (I bought already prepared shredded spinach from Woolworths)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
250g cream cheese
250g sour cream
4 large eggs
1 round of plain feta cheese, crumbled
Cooks tip: You can add crispy bacon pieces if you wish for extra flavour

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius and grease a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin with spray and cook. Mix the butter and biscuit crumbs and press into the base and partway up the sides. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
Drain the steamed spinach and squeeze out the excess liquid. Fry the bacon (optional), onion until soft and fragrant. Set aside. In another dish, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs together. Add to the bacon and onion mixture, spinach and feta cheese and combine well. Turn the mixture into the prepared crust and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until firm and golden brown.
Makes 1 large spinach cheesecake. Serve warm or cold.
Spinach Cheesecake

Piccalilli ( A relish of chopped pickled vegetables and spices)

For me personally condiments add that extra “oomph” to most meals, whether lunch or supper.  I regularly stock up on relishes such as vegetable atchar, which my husband loves and which I am planning on making in the near future. Click Here and Here for recipes of other condiments I’ve made in the past.
Piccalilli
What would a Pastrami open sandwich be without a generous dollop of Piccalilli? I say “boring”.  When I came across this recipe in the March 2014 issue of Fresh Living, I had to try it.  I’m not disappointed and have gone as far as adding it to my list of favourite recipes.
Piccalilli
I hope you enjoy the delicious curry flavours as much as I do.
You will need:
1 onion
1 small head of cauliflower broken up into small florets
7.5ml mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp tumeric
2 Tbsp hot English mustard
125ml castor sugar
2 cloves crushed garlic
375ml white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp cornflour
Instructions
Bring seeds, spices, mustard, sugar, garlic and vinegar to the boil.  Add onion and cauliflower and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add a dash of water to cornflour to make a smooth paste.  Add paste to cauliflower mixture and cook till thickened.  Allow to cool.  Spoon into a sterilised jar and seal.   Refrigerate.

Championship Boerewors – SA’s no. 1

Champtionship Boerewors competition

Its Competition Time!

Want to taste the new 2014 Championship Boerewors and WIN a limited edition Championship Boerewors Braai Pack?

To enter, simply share your fondest braai memory in the comments section below or tweet me @inge_loker (add the campaign hashtag #sizzlesizzle and @CheckersSA) and you could get to taste the secret recipe and WIN a limited edition Championship Boerewors Braai Pack!

The winning recipe of the 2014 Championship Boerewors Competition was revealed to the world in October 2014 and it’s now available in Checkers, Checkers Hyper and Shoprite stores.

What is SA’s No.1 Boerewors?

Never heard of the annual Championship Boerewors competition? Every year, Shoprite Checkers searches for the best boerewors recipe in the country. Thousands of people enter in the hope that they’ll become SA’s No.1 boerewors maker and the winner of the grand prize, a Toyota Hilux double cab bakkie. After numerous local and regional rounds, 10 finalists battle it out at the grand finale in Sun City. Once the Championship Boerewors winner is announced, the whole country celebrates SA’s new No.1 taste! Read more about the competition here.

Have you seen the new TV Ad featuring Nataniél and Mandoza? You can watch it here.

Competition ends 30th November 2014

Good Luck!

 

 

 

 

Chilled Cherry Soup

My friend Nicola from the blog http://running-on-coffee.blogspot.com challenged me to make a recipe from the http://www.yourfamily.co.za magazine issued in July 1989.  I was 20 then which seems a lifetime ago.  I was definitely up for the challenge as cooking and baking is my thing.  I love spending time in the kitchen cooking for my family and trying out different recipes.  My challenge was to make a delicious dessert called a Chilled Cherry Soup.  It is so easy to make and the results are an amazing, fresh, delectable dessert.

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You will need:
400g can red unpitted cherries, pitted 
75ml sweet sherry 
75ml brandy 
250ml sour cream 
125ml plain yoghurt 
60ml milk 
60ml iced water 
50g sugar 

Garnish:
Cherries 
Mint 

Method:
In a bowl, soak cherries in sherry and brandy, one hour. Drain, reserve 25ml liquid. In a food processor, blend together reserved liquid, sour cream, yoghurt, milk and water. Blend in sugar and half the cherries. Stir in remaining cherries, reserving some for garnish. Refrigerate until ice cold. Pour into chilled soup bowls, garnish with cherries and mint.

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Good Food & Wine Show 2014

Another annual Good Food and Wine show hosted in Durban has come and gone. Each year seems to get bigger and better with new food “offerings” popping up on every corner. I was blown away by the interest and support of the locals at this year’s show even on the opening Friday which is the day I attended. Durban is proving to be right up there with other major “game players” in the ever popular and rapidly growing food industry.

The chief highlight for me was attending the live food shows with executive chefs demonstrating beautiful, tasty dishes that are easy enough to make at home. Among some of the chefs that I eyeballed in action were Chef Shaun Dampies from Granny Mouse in the Natal Midlands, Chef Jacqui Brown who is the owner, founder and editor in chief of Ginja magazine, Chef Andrew Draper from Harvey’s Restaurant in Umhlanga and the awesome, “laid-back” Aussie and Masterchef contestant, Hayden Quinn.

My taste adventure started off at the Sweet Treats booth where Chef Shaun Dampies demonstrated a Sago Pudding with a difference.  Orange zest was added to the sago which gave it a delicious citrusy flavor.
Sago Pudding
Chef Shaun placed the cooked sago onto an ordinary tile (very trendy) which he dressed up with Italian Meringue, crushed Oreos, macerated strawberries, chocolate mousse and micro herbs.

Chef Shaun also wowed his audience with a beautiful deconstructed Tiramisu using Boudoir Biscuits, Black Cherry Jam, Caramel treat (tinned) mixed with Cream Cheese to soften the sweetness, fresh basil, fresh mint, Oreo crumbs, Italian Meringue and chocolate liqueur.
Deconstructed Tiramisu

Chef Andrew introduced us to a all time comforter of pan fried chicken breasts drizzled with a deglazed honey and balsamic dressing. This dish was accompanied with a delicious roasted sweet potato, ginger, bok choy and coriander mash and cherry tomatoes.
Cucumber Cream and Chicken

Chef Jacqui made a mouth-watering seared tuna served on a bed of glass noodles. A definite “meal in a hurry” for people who don’t really feel like spending hours over the stove, and it’s so easy. A tip: When making the glass noodles, don’t boil them otherwise you’ll end up with mash. Place glass noodles in a heat proof bowl and pour a cup or two of boiling water over the noodles. Allow them to stand in the boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain and plate.
Tuna
Seared Tuna served on Glass Noodles

Chef Jacqui then made a dessert which I’ve attempted at home already. Not only is it easy but its by far the best, refreshing and decadent pudding I’ve ever had. The only cheat is that I bought my own vanilla ice-cream where as Jacqui made hers. Introducing pan seared pineapple pieces served with homemade caramel sauce and vanilla icecream.
Pineapple, caramel and vanilla icecream

Curried Mussel Pot Pies

For all seafood fanatics like myself, what could be more enticing than mussels smothered in a velvety, mild, curry flavoured cream topped with a buttery, crispy, light pastry? Enter the Curried Mussel Pie! I adapted this recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks, The Pie Book which is written by Caroline Bretherton. What I love about pies (besides the 10 million calories) is their versatility. They can be bought anywhere, from your corner café to your more elaborate supermarket, they are ideal for filling the hunger gap, can be made in advance and they freeze beautifully for up to 1 month.
For this delicious pie filling, you will need:
800g Mussel meat (cleaned)
1 tbsp. olive oil
25g butter
1 onion roughly chopped
1 bunch of parsley
120ml dry white wine
120ml fish stock
4 baby leeks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 tsp medium curry powder
2 tsp fresh chilli (very finely chopped)
1 punnet fresh cream
2 tbsp. chopped coriander
For the Pastry:
1 roll of already made Puff pastry
Method:
In a heavy based saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil together. Add the onion, leeks, carrots, parsley, curry powder and chilli and simmer for 5 minutes.
Onions, carrots, leaks
Add the white wine and fish stock, turn stove on low and allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes.
Fresh Mussel meat
Finally, add the mussel meat, fresh coriander and cream, mix through and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Divide Mussel mixture between 6 – 8 10cm round pie dishes.
Curried Mussel Pot Pies
Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface and cut into 6 – 8 “lids” to fit the top of the pie dishes. Moisten the rim of each dish with water and press the lids on firmly to seal. Brush with a beaten egg and cut a hole in the centre of each lid to allow steam to escape.
Pies ready for the oven
Place the pies on a baking tray and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes until browned.
Curried Mussel pies
Curried Mussel pies

Beverly Hills “then and now” experience

What better way to spend a Thursday afternoon than at the beautiful, tranquil setting of the Beverly Hills.  This landmark Hotel in Umhlanga, KZN is known for her gracious hospitality, beauty and exceptional service from friendly, forthcoming staff.

Breathtaking view from the balcony

Breathtaking view from the balcony

This year, 2014, marks the hotels 50th birthday and for reasons unknown, I was one of the “chosen ones” invited to enjoy a taster lunch at the Beverly Hills eminent restaurant, The Sugar Club.
The Beverly Hills
The concept behind the lunch which was named “Then and Now” for nostalgic reasons was to taste familiar, memorable dishes from the 70’s and compare how they are prepared today in 2014. Being a reminiscent and nostalgic kind of person, my favourite dishes were from the “then” side of the plate with the exception of the Crayfish Thermidore only because I’m a bacon freak.
The food was deliciously and lovingly prepared by Head Chef, Tony Kocke who explained each dish to us as it arrived at the table.

Our "then and now" menu for the afternoon

Our “then and now” menu for the afternoon

Below are pics of the dishes we ate which I’ve captioned directly from the menu. The left hand side of the plate with the exception of the dessert dishes is the “then” and the right hand side, which is quite obvious because of the plating techniques is the “now”

The "then" on the left is sliced ripe avocado served with a tiger prawn tail topped with Marie Rose sauce and garnished with a lemon wedge.  The "now" on the right is avocado ice cream surrounded by poached Atlantic prawns served with tears of aioli sauce and pearls of tomato and spicy cognac sauce garnished with micro herbs

The “then” on the left is sliced ripe avocado served with a tiger prawn tail topped with Marie Rose sauce and garnished with a lemon wedge. The “now” on the right is avocado ice cream surrounded by poached Atlantic prawns served with tears of aioli sauce and pearls of tomato and spicy cognac sauce garnished with micro herbs

The classic "then" crayfish is served in a mustard mushroom sauce topped with parmesan cheese and sprinkled with paprika powder.  The "now" which was my favourite because of the bacon is slightly grilled scallops of crayfish tail topped with brandy flambéed exotic mushroom, mustard beurre blanc and flame parmesan foam

The classic “then” crayfish is served in a mustard mushroom sauce topped with parmesan cheese and sprinkled with paprika powder. The “now” which was my favourite because of the bacon is slightly grilled scallops of crayfish tail topped with brandy flambéed exotic mushroom, mustard beurre blanc and flame parmesan foam

On the left is the "then" Beef fillet surrounded with mushroom mousse baked in golden puff pastry served with béarnaise sauce and on the right of the dish is the "now" Fillet of Midland Beef presented with puff pastry coins filled with mushroom mousse served with tarragon infused egg jelly

On the left is the “then” Beef fillet surrounded with mushroom mousse baked in golden puff pastry served with béarnaise sauce and on the right of the dish is the “now” Fillet of Midland Beef presented with puff pastry coins filled with mushroom mousse served with tarragon infused egg jelly

Table side prep of the "then" Crepes Suzette

Table side prep of the “then” Crepes Suzette

"Now" is a Suzette mousse in pancake cone with orange liquid jelly and vanilla pod ice cream drops

“Now” is a Suzette mousse in pancake cone with orange liquid jelly and vanilla pod ice cream drops

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