Tag Archives | baking

peanut butter m & m cookies

peanut butter m & m cookies

For some bizarre reason we don’t get peanut butter M & M’s in South Africa. We get a few of the others but not the peanut butter ones. Well, you can occasionally find a small and hugely expensive 100g packet at Spar, but that really isn’t good enough. A note to the uninitiated, these are not the same as peanut M & M’s which come in a yellow packet. These are essentially balls of salty peanut butter, coated in chocolate and then covered in colourful candy. I mean.

My sister and nephews introduced me to this delectable confectionary last year when I travelled to the USA. They begged me to bring back as many peanut butter M & M’s that I could possibly squeeze into my bag. Since my luggage weight allowance was much bigger, I brought back a lot (thank you Shanna for driving me around Vegas to get these at the best price).

So now when I travel internationally, I can’t walk past duty-free without picking them up for the family. Continue Reading →

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decadent chocolate nutella brownies

decadent chocolate nutella brownies

These chocolate Nutella brownies should come with a health warning as they are ridiculously decadent, and I apologise for that. I know its January and we are all trying to kick off the new year on a healthier note. I made them in December for a dinner party and wanted to use up some of the Nutella I had left over from a shoot, so I’m posting this a little after the fact. Continue Reading →

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brown sugar pavlova with pears poached in spicy muscadel

brown sugar pavlova with pears poached in spicy muscadel

This Pavlova is a showstopper of a dessert and worth every bit of effort. I poached the pears in red Muscadel – the same Orange River Cellars bottle I used to make my 10 minute peach jam and it cooked down for an hour with the pears to a reduced spicy syrup.Poured over the pears and cream finished this dessert off too deliciously.

brown sugar pavlova with pears poached in spicy muscadel

My first try out with this Pavlova was using a fine unrefined brown sugar from Mauritius – Muscavado in flavour, and it was utterly delicious. The golden caramel colour and flavour were out of this world but the Pavlova turned out a little too flat. I made a big one – double these quantities, so perhaps that is why. It could also be that the molasses in the sugar added too much moister to the meringue. I’m not too sure why. It was important that I got a high enough and good-looking enough meringue to photograph. Obviously. My second attempt – and for this recipe, I used golden castor sugar. Also unrefined and also from Mauritius, its texture was looser and that of normal castor sugar. I also piled the meringue quite high as it expands during baking which helped deliver a good result. Continue Reading →

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irish soda bread with rosemary and onion

irish soda bread with romsemary and onion

The base of this Irish soda bread is from Paul Hollywood who is  pretty much the bread god of England. It’s also the easiest bread you will ever make as there is no yeast, no proving and no kneading. It’s partly whole wheat which I prefer, and I’ve added rosemary and lightly sautéed onions to give it a flavour boost. I loved it in my easy cheese and onion bread with herbs. With a bases of just 6 ingredients it’s the perfect bread to make on the week-end for a brunch, lunch or to serve with soup.

Paul Hollywoods Irish soda brea

If by chance you have any left over, you could make a delicious Welsh Rarebit. Which is what I did. I hadn’t made this in ages and craved the molten cheesy goodness. After some research on the interwebs, I discovered there are so many variations to the Welsh Rarebit. In many case beer or ale is used (yum) and some have eggs and others not. For me I decided to make this recipe based on what I had on hand and decided not to open a beer to use a few tablespoons. I think egg yolk is essential to give it unctuousness and a silky texture. Melted mature cheddar, with Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce is quite heavenly. You could add cayenne if you needed more spice or even a pinch of chili flakes. There are so many possible variations. Next time I’ll finely chop up streaky bacon for a topping to grill to a crisp. Continue Reading →

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apple and strawberry crumble

apple and strawberry crumble

apple and strawberry crumble

Winter has arrived with full force in Cape Town as our first big cold front hits. Up until now we’ve had a long and beautiful autumn and I’ve loved spending so much time in the vineyards soaking in all the beautiful colours. I decided that this apple and strawberry crumble was perfect for todays stormy weather and I’ve been dying to make it since I first tried it a couple of months back. The strawberries add so much value, and it has officially become my favourite crumble recipe.

apple and strawberry crumble

Sophie is a cousin of a friend of mine who also happens to be a qualified pastry chef and this is her recipe (more or less). It’s utterly delicious. She served it with a vanilla bean crème anglaise which finished it off perfectly and reminded me how important it is to go the extra mile with what we serve our crumble with. My preference will always be lightly whipped cream with vanilla (Chantilly cream), home-made vanilla ice cream, or crème anglaise.

autumn leaves

Continue Reading →

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