Choc nut energy balls (refined sugar free)

Chocolate balls with nuts and coconut.

 

As the mom of two rapidly sprouting munchkins I feel like I hear the words “I’m hungry” constantly. And it’s not as though they are not eating well at meal times, they just seem to burn it all off in no time and before I know it they are back for more. I also have to say that I am getting rather bored of our regular snack repertoire, so I wanted to come up with a delicious nibble that would taste great but also keep them powered up for a while. Enter the energy ball! Continue reading “Choc nut energy balls (refined sugar free)”

Double chocolate cookie dough nice cream

Double chocolate cookie dough ice cream.

Summer is well on its way and with it the promise of plenty of sunshine… and plenty of ice cream! If you are looking for a healthier ice cream alternative or avoiding dairy then may I present my double chocolate cookie dough “nice” cream. This ice cream recipe is easy to whip together and even comes kiddie approved, my littlies loved it!

Continue reading “Double chocolate cookie dough nice cream”

Dark chocolate cupcakes with whipped whiskey ganache

Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate and whiskey ganache.

This week’s recipe comes from a feature I put together for Cheers Magazine last month in which whiskey and sherry were the heroes. I have to be honest and say that sipping spirits has never been my thing, I am more of a wine gal myself! But I do keep a small stash of tipple tucked away for culinary purposes. A splash of brandy here, a dash of sherry there… they certainly add a deep richness to the dishes they are added to. These easy dark chocolate cupcakes are proof that whiskey is not only good for sipping but also has its place in the kitchen (and that cupcakes aren’t just for the kiddies!).

Continue reading “Dark chocolate cupcakes with whipped whiskey ganache”

No-bake chocolate mousse tart (gluten free)

No bake chocolate mousse tart.
Credit for this heavenly recipe goes to my lovely mum. A light and creamy no-bake chocolate tart – it is one of our favourites and always a hit at family shindigs. If I had to imagine biting into a chocolate cloud I think it would be like eating a slice of this! 

Continue reading “No-bake chocolate mousse tart (gluten free)”

Chocolate, honey and hazelnut fridge fudge

Chocolate fudge with honey and hazelnuts.

I was not quite sure what to call this recipe. It is not really like fudge in the traditional, crystalline sense but something in between fudge and chocolate. The reason for this is that I have sweetened it with honey instead of sugar, giving it a silky smooth, melt in your mouth texture – delicious!

Continue reading “Chocolate, honey and hazelnut fridge fudge”

Chocolate energy squares (gluten and refined sugar free)

Gluten free chocolate squares
There is a fantastic meme doing the rounds on social media at the moment, you might have seen it. Two women are having coffee together and one says “I feel like March flew by so fast” to which her friend replies “It’s May”. *insert comical shocked face here* Judging from many of the conversations I have had in the last week it seems as though a lot of us are feeling that way right now. And look out, because tomorrow it will be June! Other than wondering where the year has gone I have also been looking out for healthier recipes to make at home. We are very fortunate not to have any food allergies in our family but lately I have been inspired to try new ingredients and find healthier alternatives to use at home everyday. This recipe was the result of some playing around I did a few weeks ago.

Continue reading “Chocolate energy squares (gluten and refined sugar free)”

Dark chocolate and amaretti semifreddo

 Dark chocolate semifreddo with amaretti biscuits.
The unusual holiday heatwaves seem to be well and truly behind us here in Cape Town, and all of a sudden the dark, chilly mornings and early sunsets are more obvious and a reminder of the cold (and hopefully very rainy) months ahead. As I sit here I am wearing two jerseys and clutching a hot cup of tea and I had second thoughts about posting this recipe given the shift in seasons and the fact that this is a frozen dessert. Then I laughed at this silliness because frankly any time of the year is appropriate for a chocolate dessert, frozen or not. Who’s with me?

Continue reading “Dark chocolate and amaretti semifreddo”

How to make easy rainbow meringues (and a rainbow cake!)

Chocolate cake topped with meringues.


Crisp, white meringues are one my favourite things to make, but a few weeks ago I tried something a little different by adding some colours to the mix! The reason? I wanted to top my daughter’s rainbow birthday cake with rainbow meringues. I had so many party guests (well, the parents) asking me for the recipe that I have decided to pop it on the blog this week along with my go-to meringue recipe. I am also sharing a few tips for making your own rainbow cake. 



How to make rainbow meringues.



Firstly, rainbows – I think this has been my favourite kiddie party theme so far! There is just so much you can do. To be honest I was completely swamped in the run up to the party, but thanks to a few simple ideas from Pinterest I was able to pull it all together in a short amount of time. In terms of decor I made colourful paper chains (too easy), tissue paper pom-poms in various colours and popped glasses filled with colourful water and sunflowers on the table. Some of the food also took on the rainbow theme, with the most popular snack by far being pretzel sticks that were dipped in white chocolate and then 100’s and 1000’s. Rather than going for a sugar laden party bag each little guest received a rainbow ribbon wand as a thank you gift. 



Rainbow birthday party ideas.



You can’t have a rainbow party without a rainbow cake right? This cake took an entire day to bake and assemble, but I think it was worth it. Six layers of vanilla cake in all the colours of the rainbow all covered in vanilla buttercream and chocolate ganache and topped with rainbow meringues, flowers and glitter. Here are a few tips if you are thinking of making one too:

  • I mixed a few drops of gel food colouring into vanilla cake batter to make the rainbow layers. I find these give a brighter colour than the supermarket liquid colours. 
  • I baked the layers separately (yes, it took ages!) in a 20cm straight sided cake tin.
  • When icing the cake I started with a very thin, smooth layer of icing all over the cake, often called the crumb coat. I then popped the entire cake in the deep freeze for about thirty minutes to set and harden before icing it. This made it much easier and neater! 
  • I used this chocolate ganache recipe to go on top of the vanilla buttercream icing. Remember to let it cool before pouring it over the cake. 


How to make a rainbow birthday cake.
Birthday cake with rainbow layers.


Drip cake topped with meringues.



I will be taking a little break next week while the kids are still on holiday but will be back in May with some lip smackingly delicious Italian inspired recipes, don’t miss those! 

Cook’s notes for the meringues:

  • I used a plastic disposable piping bag for this messy meringue mixture. I have also included a picture below of the nozzle that I used. 

Meringue piping nozzle.
  • You can use as many colours as you like but I would use 2-4. I used red, yellow and blue for the meringues on top of the birthday cake.
  • Use 2 drops of gel food colouring per colour for bold, bright meringues or a single drop per colour for a lighter more subtle colour. I used two drops for the meringues in these pictures.


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RAINBOW MERINGUES


Makes 15 medium sized meringues


Rainbow meringue tutorial.



2 large egg whites, room temperature
100g castor sugar
small pinch of fine salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
gel food colouring

Step 1.) Preheat your oven to 120°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. 

Step 2.) Place the egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk until stiff peaks form when the beater is lifted. Add the castor sugar one tablespoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition. The mixture should have a smooth texture, not grainy. Whisk in the salt and vanilla extract

Step 3.) Place a drop or two (see cook’s notes above) of gel food colouring inside the piping bag near the nozzle. Use a skewer to scrape the drop up the side of the piping bag, i.e. the bag should have streaks of colour running up the sides. Spoon the meringue into the bag. 

Step 4.) Pipe the meringues onto the tray, allowing some space between for spreading. Bake for 1 hour. Switch the oven off, keep the oven closed and leave the meringues for a further hour. 

Step 5.) Allow the meringues to cool. Store in an airtight container. 





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