Snap, Sizzle & Cook

Sharing my love of food

Archive for the tag “Bake”

Simnel Loaf

A Simnel Cake is a rich, fruity cake made with marzipan and eaten during the Easter period. I used this recipe from Heilie Pienaar’s book, The Ultimate Book of Baking in which she makes a Simnel Loaf with a roll of Marzipan through the centre. This recipe is very straight forward and the end result is absolutely delicious. If you prefer to omit the Marzipan, you can, it won’t alter the recipe too much and also won’t affect the cooking time.
Simnel Loaf
You will need
300g dried fruit cake mix
100g whole glace cherries
60ml sherry of orange liqueur
150g butter
140g castor sugar
3 extra large eggs
500ml cake flour
5ml baking powder
45ml milk
250g marzipan (optional)
Simnel Loaf
Icing
250ml icing sugar
15ml orange juice
3ml grated orange rind
Simnel Loaf
Instructions
Combine the fruit cake mix and cherries in a bowl. Add sherry and leave to soak for about 30 minutes.
Cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Sift the flour and baking powder and add. Add the fruit and milk and mix well. Turn half the mixture into a greased 23cm loaf pan. Shape the marzipan into a sausage the length of the pan and place in the centre of the mixture already in the pan. Spoon the remaining cake mixture over the marzipan.
Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees Celsius for about 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean (Don’t pierce through the centre but rather on the side of where the marzipan is laid).
Combine all icing ingredients and drizzle over cake.
Simnel Loaf

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Homemade Hot cross buns

A hot cross bun is a spiced bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross symbolizing the crucifixion of Christ and traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_cross_bun).Hot cross buns
These buns are readily available in most stores, but why not try and make your own with this very easy recipe. They are delicious and leave your kitchen smelling warm and spicy.
Hot cross buns
You will need:
2.5 cups of cake flour
1 sachet of instant yeast
1 tsp of salt
2 Tbsp of sunflower oil
175ml warm water
5ml mixed spice
1ml nutmeg
125ml fruit cake mix
2 Tbsp smooth apricot jam (melted)
For the crosses:
45ml cake flour
25ml water
Method:
Combine flour, yeast, salt, sunflower oil, spices, nutmeg and warm water. Combine till a smooth dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky, just add a bit of flour till the consistency is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with cling wrap for about 30 minutes until it doubles in size. Remove dough from bowl and knead in the fruit cake mix until evenly distributed. Roll into balls about fist size and place next to eachother on a baking tray.
For the crosses, combine the flour and water to a paste consistency and place in a piping bag with a single holed nozzle. Pipe crosses over the top of the buns and leave to stand for about 10 minutes. Bake in a pre-heated oven of 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste with melted apricot jam. Place buns back in the oven for 10 minutes and voila! Delicious hot cross buns. Serve with butter or enjoy just as they are.
Hot cross buns
Hot cross buns

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Parmesan Cheese

Reaching up to 15cm in width, Portobello mushrooms have a big steak-like taste and texture; in fact, the huge umbrella-like caps are often eaten as vegetarian burger substitutes (http://www. realsimple.com).
Portobello Mushrooms
I’ve dressed my giant Portobello mushrooms with a drizzle of olive oil, a blog of butter, a spoonful of crushed garlic, a pinch of mixed herbs and lastly topped with a shaving of Parmesan Cheese.
Portobello Mushrooms
Portobello Mushrooms
Bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees Celsius) for 30 minutes and enjoy on its own or with any meal of your choice.
Portobello Mushrooms
Portobello Mushrooms

Black Cherry Yoghurt Cake

I got this recipe when I tuned into the popular SABC 3 Expresso Breakfast Show this morning.  It is so easy and versatile, you can use any flavoured yoghurt you wish and the easiest part is you measure all your ingredients using the 175ml yoghurt cup that your yoghurt came in.  I was so excited when I tried it myself after watching the show that I couldn’t resist sharing it with you on my blog.  You have to try it because it’s delicious, the ingredients are on hand and there’s minimal washing up.  YAY!!!  You can log on HERE to view the original recipe from the show.
Black Cherry Yoghurt Cake
You will need:
175ml yoghurt (any flavour – I used Black Cherry)
1 cup (the yoghurt cup) of oil
dash of vanilla essence
2 yoghurt cups of castor sugar
3 eggs
3 yoghurt cups of flour (I used cake flour – If you use self raising flour leave out the baking powder)
2 tsp. baking powder
Black Cherry Yoghurt Cake
Method:
Mix all ingredients together until batter is smooth. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Transfer mixture into a greased ringed baking dish or whatever cake tin you have and bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.
You can top with the same flavoured yoghurt once cooled as I did or you can make a yoghurt frosting by mixing 3 yoghurt cups of icing sugar with half a cup of flavoured yoghurt and just drizzle over the top (see original recipe). Enjoy with a lovely cup of tea.

Fruit Squares

My friend Barbara bakes the most beautiful, tasty goodies and when I ask, she never hesitates to share her wonderful recipes with me. This is one of those treats that I just can’t resist no matter what and its one of the most popular pleasures that I keep filling my cake tins with. They are so easy to make and if you feel its too much, you can always halve the recipe.
Fruit Squares
You will need:
2 cups coconut
2 cups fruit cake mix
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
250g melted butter
2 eggs beaten
Fruit Squares
Method:
Combine all the dry ingredients. Mix in the melted butter and THEN the eggs.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden
Cut when cool ……. and voila! You have delicious tea time treats
Fruit Squares

Cheese and Marmite Sponge Cake

When I saw this cake for the first time my reaction was pretty much the same as yours is probably now. I couldn’t for the life of me imagine it tasting remotely delicious. Seeing as I’m quite a free spirit, I love to try new flavours and flavour combinations so this was right up my alley and without hesitation took my first bite. It kind of reminded me of when my daughter was young and asked me to taste her toast one morning. It looked like mud but hey, the things we do for our kids. Her concoction was fabulous. She combined peanut butter and Bovril on her toast and this cake reminded me of that. It has a sweet, salty, savoury flavour and I just love it. By the way, my one bite when I first tried it turned out to be 3 pieces of cake later; No kidding! I tasted this cake first at one of our Bible Study meetings so thanks Julie for the inspiration!
Cheese and Marmite Sponge Cake
For the Sponge Cake you will need:
1.5 cups of cake flour
1 cup of castor sugar
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of Bicarb of soda
2 eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup milk
1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
25 – 30ml marmite
Method
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb in a bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix well with an electric hand beater ensuring no lumps. Transfer into a square baking tin (23 x 23cm) and bake in a preheated oven of 165 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Once the cake is baked and cooled completely, spead with a thin layer of marmite or Bovril and sprinkle finely grated cheese ontop.
Cheese and Marmite Sponge Cake

Cheese and Marmite Sponge Cake

Fruit mince pies

Impress your guests this festive season with home-made fruit mince pies. A friend of mine recently shared her “melt-in-the-mouth” pastry with me after I was completely blown away by the deliciousness of her pies. They are easy to make and the pastry can conveniently be made in advance and placed in the freezer until needed.
DSC_0029 (640x427)
You will need:
300g flour
125g sugar
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. brandy
1tsp baking powder
175g butter
1 egg
Rind of 1 lemon
1tsp vanilla essence
Half a bottle of store bought fruit mince (any brand)
DSC_0031 (640x427)
Method:
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy and add egg. Mix well. Add brandy and vanilla essence. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add to mixture and combine until all comes together to form a lovely dough. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll out onto a floured board and cut into rounds with a scone cutter, place in greased patty pan holes and blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each round with fruit mince. Cover with a smaller round (or any other shape) of pastry on top.
Bake at 180*C for about 20 – 30 minutes. Once done and cooled, sprinkle with some icing sugar.
Christmas Fruit mince pies

Love to Bake Workshop

On Wednesday 4th September I was super lucky and I guess privileged to occupy the very last available seat at the Good Housekeeping/Love to Bake Workshop.  This well attended and “delicious” workshop was held at The Benjamin which is a beautiful little boutique hotel situation on a very trendy and vibey strip of Florida Road in Durban.

The guests were treated to a variety of fruit juices, tea or coffee on arrival.  We were spoilt with the most delicious hors d’oeuvres which were served by a group of lovely ladies walking around with platters making sure we didn’t go hungry.

The purpose of the workshop was to celebrate the Year of the Tart (2013) with Moir’s and their range of delicious baking products as well as demonstrations by our very own Queen of Tarts, Tina Bester.  Tina also endorses the colourful range of Love to Bake cookware from Clicks which was used throughout her demonstrations.

Carmen Clegg (Senior Advertising) from Good Housekeeping Magazine as well as Snowy Kruger from Moir’s were our very gracious hosts who got the “taste buds going” by explaining the concept behind “Celebrating Tarts” and The Year of the Tart”.

Tina Bester got demonstrating on 2 beautiful tarts as well as THE most yummylicious (if that’s even a word) red velvet cupcakes.  The tarts that our very talented Tina made were Chocolate and Pear tart, Apple, ginger and caramel tart and then last but not least Red velvet cream cheese cupcakes.   Click here to get the recipes.

We all had a fabulous afternoon and were thoroughly spoilt with delicious food and goodie bags. At the end of the afternoon, Carmen Clegg did a lucky draw giving away some seriously fabulous gifts and I was extremely lucky to get a Moir’s gift bag full to the brim of lovely baking ingredients.  An afternoon that I look forward to repeating again next year!

See picture gallery below.

Moir's - Once upon a Tea time entrance

Moir’s – Once upon a Tea time entrance

Seating arrangement with goodie bags

Seating arrangement with goodie bags

The demonstration workstation

The demonstration workstation

Lovely little garden setting

Lovely little garden setting

friendly waitress

friendly waitress

Tina has written 5 cookbooks and these were for sale at the workshop

Tina has written 5 cookbooks and these were for sale at the workshop

Queen of Tarts banner

Queen of Tarts banner

The Love to Bake range available exclusively at Clicks stores

The Love to Bake range available exclusively at Clicks stores

Lucky me to have a pic with the Queen of Tarts herself

Lucky me to have a pic with the Queen of Tarts herself

Meeting up with lifestyle bloggers and friends, Nicola Meyer from the blog http://www.runoncoffee.blogspot.com and Faeema from the blog http://thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com

Meeting up with lifestyle bloggers and friends, Nicola Meyer from the blog http://www.runoncoffee.blogspot.com and Faeema from the blog http://thesparklinglabyrinth.wordpress.com

I also met Shirley from  http://cuizine.co.za/ who is also a food blogger

I also met Shirley from http://cuizine.co.za/ who is also a food blogger

Carmen Clegg from Good Housekeeping Magazine welcoming us all to the workshop

Carmen Clegg from Good Housekeeping Magazine welcoming us all to the workshop

Snowy Meyer from Moir's  explaining the celebration of The Year of the Tart

Snowy Kruger from Moir’s explaining the celebration of The Year of the Tart

Tina in action

Tina in action

Apple, ginger and caramel tart

Apple, ginger and caramel tart

Chocolate and Pear tart

Chocolate and Pear tart

Red Velvet cupcakes

Red Velvet cupcakes

The entrance to The Benjamin Hotel

The entrance to The Benjamin Hotel

beautiful little hotel

beautiful little hotel

Contents of the goodie bag

Contents of the goodie bag

The Moir's hamper that I won (yay me!)

The Moir’s hamper that I won (yay me!)

Meatballs with Napolitana Sauce

I consider myself to be a relatively organised person.  I like to plan and prepare ahead of time so that I’m not left to rush at the last minute.   I plan my meals in such a way that by the time I wake up in the morning I know what I’m cooking for dinner.  Sometimes I’ll have my dinner ideas drawn up for a few nights depending on my work load and how my week ahead looks.

This recipe however is slightly different.  It was a Thursday afternoon last minute decision.  I decided to make meatballs in tribute to Sanet of Masterchef Season 2 who was eliminated because of her choice of dish, which was meatballs or in her case one giant big meatball. The challenged was to use any cut of beef as a main ingredient and be as creative as possible in producing any dish of your choice.  Sanet’s dish was unfortunately not adequate based on the task and requirements set forth by the judges.  I really liked Sanet (tears and all) and was really sad to see her go.

These meatballs (in my view) are rather creative as they are versatile in every way.  They can transform into a burger patty or meatloaf using all the same ingredients.  I served my meatballs with home-made tomato based sauce (Napolitana Sauce) which I served on a bed of creamy, buttery mash.

For the meatballs you will need:
500g beef mince
1 onion (finely chopped)
Splash of olive oil
Cumin and Coriander (5ml each)
Half a bunch of fresh coriander finely chopped
2 slices of crustless white bread soaked in milk
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
Seasoning

Fry the onion in the olive oil till translucent, remove from stove and allow to cool.  In a bowl combine all other ingredients and make sure to squeeze as much milk from the bread as possible before adding to the mince.  Add onions, combine well and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
While the mince is resting in the fridge, start preparing the Napolitano Sauce.

You will need:
60g salted butter
1 Onion (finely chopped)
2 Leeks (sliced)
2 Carrots (diced)
2 Tbsp crushed garlic
1 Tsp crushed chilli
50ml tomato paste
1 cup white wine
2 tins of chopped tomato
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
Seasoning

Method:
Fry onion, leeks and carrots in the salted butter till the onions are translucent.  Reduce heat and add garlic and chilli.  Add tomato paste stirring continuously and ensuring paste does not burn.  Remove pot from heat if necessary.  Add in cup of white wine and allow flavours to mingle for about 5 minutes.  Return pot to stove and add the remaining ingredients.  Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Taste as you go along and adjust to suite your own tastebuds – nothing wrong with that!

Remove meatballs from the fridge.  Roll into balls and lay out on a baking tray.  You should get about 20 small meatballs from the batch.  Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.  Add meatballs to the Napolitano sauce and allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes.  Serve on a bed of mash potatoes or rice.

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