Snap, Sizzle & Cook

Sharing my love of food and everything pretty

Madame Macaron classes Media Launch

A media launch for a brand that is involved in confection is a happy place for me. Not only do I get to be part of the special evening, I get to eat the wares, take pictures of the produce and write about the special event. On this occasion I was invited to the launch of Madame Macaron’s macaron classes which will be held at The Dirty Fork Studio in Durban North. The event was well attended by a group of familiar faces in the foodie/blogging/media industry.

All the ladies in attendance

All the ladies in attendance

On arrival at The Dirty Fork Studio, we gathered in the “bar” area, greeted everyone, chatted and indulged in an array of delicious canapés. Wine was available too, but because I was driving, I responsibly drank refreshing lemon water.

“how Merlot can you go” – Wine in the “bar area”

delicious canapès

delicious canapès

chicken and mushroom parcels

chicken and mushroom parcels

Once all the hello’s and catching up’s were out the way, Viveshni gathered us all in the impressive Dirty Fork Studio kitchen where she officially welcomed us and explained more about what to expect during the course of the evening.

stunning kitchen at The Dirty Fork Studio

stunning kitchen at The Dirty Fork Studio

Viveshni then took us through the steps of macaron making. There were a few important details to note for the successful outcome of these delectable little meringue based sweets. Just to mention a few; the almond flour much be fresh (check expiry date when purchasing), grind again in a coffee grinder if you have one and sift again to ensure there are no lumpy bits. The egg whites must be at room temperate and “aged” – you can achieve this by leaving the egg whites to stand (lightly covered) for 24 to 48 hours. When combining all the ingredients, fold together (don’t mix) as you want to retain the air in the mixture. There are a couple of other important points to remember which I’m not going to share with you but rather encourage you to attend a class. You won’t be sorry. DSC_0064 (627x418)

folding the mixture together

folding the mixture together

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piping the mixture into 2cm rounds

piping the mixture into 2cm rounds

Because of time constraints, Viveshni had pre-baked macarons for the entire class which we had to sandwich together with butter icing and decorate. A wide variety of butter icing was ready made and pre-packed in piping bags for us to use. The flavours ranged from Cherry, caramel, cream soda, vanilla, candyfloss etc., and the list goes on. We all had so much fun decorating our own macarons. Inbetween all the fun, the eating continued. I was so full, I felt as though I was going to pop.

pre-packed butter icing in an array of colours and flavours

pre-packed butter icing in an array of colours and flavours

a variety of decorations

a variety of decorations

my creations

my creations

DSC_0071 (627x418) Our evening ended off with a small, informal prize-giving with Verushka (Spice Goddesss) winning a beautiful Madame Macaron embossed chopping board as well as a voucher for 25 macaron’s. Nicola Meyer (Run on coffee) won a stunning Macaron hamper which consisted of a huge slab of dark baking chocolate, piping bags and nozzles and a lovely silicone macaron piping mat. Faeema (Sparkling Labyrinth) won a lovely teapot, mug and Teapigs teabags.

Verushka and Viveshni

Verushka and Viveshni

Nicola and Viveshni

Nicola and Viveshni

Faeema and Viveshni

Faeema and Viveshni

If you want more information on Madame Macaron and when the classes are, please log on to the website www.madamemacaron.co.za . A lovely evening was had by all. I got home tired and very full.

Keep calm and macarON

Keep calm and macarON

Mothers Day with a twist 2015

The concept of Mothers Day with a Twist was adapted by Megan Deane from the blog Stuffed Feeling. The idea behind this thought is to honour moms who have passed on a knowledge and love of food or a special recipe to her daughter/s. This enjoyable event took root in the charming, picturesque, Tudor style complex which Megan calls home. IMG-20150502-WA0004 IMG-20150502-WA0006 Our gracious hostess invited 5 other food loving bloggers, namely Viveshni Joseph of Madame Macaron, Verushka Ramasami of Spice Goddess, Nicola Meyer of Run on Coffee, myself and Shirley Birko of Cuisine Durban. Each of us ladies had to bring along a dish that reminded her of her childhood or that her mom taught her as a little girl. The creations were truly special and mouthwatering. IMG-20150505-WA0008 Our starter which was made by our “lady in Red hostess” was the most delicious bacon stuffed jacket potatoes, jalapeno poppers as well as Greek style meatballs with a yoghurt dressing. Megan then made French style steak in a brown onion marinade served with mashed potato. IMG-20150505-WA0005 IMG-20150505-WA0004 Viveshni made a delicious lamb Biryani (my favourite) with a refreshing mint and yoghurt dressing on the side as well as a tomato and onion sambal. Verushka made a very tasty and spicy butter paneer which was a first for my taste buds. Because I love spicy food, it was right up my alley. A lovely savoury rice accompanied her dish. As I mentioned previously, Megan’s dish was French style steaks in brown onion marinade served with mashed potato. Again a first for me and definitely not the last. Its one of the dishes that I would like to try myself. IMG-20150505-WA0009 I made a Coronation Chicken salad which reminded me of an aunt of mine who would always have this salad at the ready when we visited or had a braai at her house. IMG-20150505-WA0000 Shirley made a Hungarian Crepe Cake (which she lovingly calls a Hungarian Crap Cake) that I was too full to sample and ended up in the bin. You need to read Shirley’s version of our Mothers Day Lunch to appreciate her contribution. Click HERE A very tasty Vegetable Lasagna was made by Nicola which I’ve already made for my family and which they loved. I will most definitely be making this dish again in the future. Nicola also made very pretty sugar biscuits as a gift for each lady. Beautifully wrapped and presented…….. that’s our Nicola! IMG-20150505-WA0002 Viveshni made a beautiful, rich, moist and delectable chocolate cake which I did get to sample and enjoy even though I was so full from the lunch. IMG-20150505-WA0006 Last but not least, a great childhood memory for me was learning to make a jam roly poly pudding when I started doing Home Economics (or Consumer Studies as its called today). I wasn’t particularly happy with my pudding this time round because I made it the night before and popped it in the fridge. Bad mistake. The pastry goes quite hard and the jam ends up setting. Re-heating does the pudding no justice at all. A roly poly must be eaten as soon as it comes out the oven. IMG-20150505-WA0007 IMG-20150505-WA0003 The pictures I took on my phone don’t give this lovely event and setting any glory, so I suggest you log on to Shirley’s website again HERE to view some really beautiful pictures of our stunning afternoon.
If you would like any of the recipes from our Mothers Day lunch, you can go to Megan’s blog, Stuffed Feeling and download the ones you like.

Chocolate Layer Cheesecake

Wow your guests this Easter weekend with a decadent Chocolate Layer Cheesecake which is too simple to make. Chocolate Layered Cheesecake
I’ve made this recipe before (here) but in the form of a Granadilla Cheesecake. The only change I’ve made is to divide the mixture in half before pouring into the biscuit base. Add 80ml good quality cocoa powder to half the mixture. Blend till well combined. Pour the first layer of mixture over the biscuit base and then gently (spoon if you wish) add the cocoa mixture over the top of the classic cheesecake mixture. Bake as per instructions of original recipe.
Chocolate Layered Cheesecake
Chocolate Layered Cheesecake
Chocolate Layered Cheesecake
Garnish with grated dark chocolate.

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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