Homemade chocolate rum truffles

Homemade chocolate rum truffles

homemade chocolate truffles

Chocolate rum truffles

These homemade chocolate truffles are not the usual very rich almost too chocolatey truffles, they have a little crunch and use cocoa not chocolate. They are absolutely sublime and can easily be made without the rum for kids and those who don’t like alcohol. The best thing about this recipe is that it is so simple and can be made your own very easily, add a few nuts or cherries, less biscuit and more coconut, you get the idea. Have fun making them!

What you need

125g butter at room temperature
250ml icing sugar
100ml cocoa powder
1 packet Marie biscuits (must be bakers Marie Biscuits)
125ml Apricot Jam
2 tablespoons rum
Dessicated coconut

The process

Take your Packet of Marie biscuits and crush them up into small pieces. I use a bottle or rolling pin to break them up.

Pop the butter into a mixing bowl and cream it with a spoon until the colour changes to a pale smooth consistency. It doesn’t take long but is really important.

Sift in the cocoa and icing sugar, add the jam and the rum and give it a mix. Now add the crushed Marie bisuits and mix to combine all of the ingredients well.

Place your coconut (you can alo use crushed nuts of some sort but coconut and rum work very well together) and place it onto a plate, them roll balls by taking a tablespoon size piece and rolling it in your palms.

Drop into the coconut and then place on a baking sheet. Repeat until there is only one piece left for the cook!

Pop the tray into the fridge for about 1/2 an hour. Store them in the fridge in a tupperware.

You don’t have to use the rum for those who want a non alcoholic version of these simply little truffles. Try some of the other choclate dessert recipes

Easy Baked Cheesecake

Easy Baked Cheesecake

Baked Cheesecake

Don’t let the few ingredients of this cheesecake recipe put you off, it is a really tasty baked cheesecake. I actually prerfer baked cheesecakes to fridge style cheesecakes, they just seem more posh and the custard powder in this one does wonders to the flavour. Cheesecake is not meant to be low fat and this one is no exception, so if you are dieting this one is not for you.

What you need

Crust

120g Flour
60g butter at room temp
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg

Cheesecake

500g smooth, full fat cream cheese
250ml full cream plain ypghurt
200g sugar
2 teaspoon custard powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 large eggs

The process

Start out by seeting your oven to 180 Celsius and have the rack on the middle shelf.

You need a 20cm round sprinform cake tin and must line the base with baking paper. Do this by removing the base, cutting a piece of baking paper the same size and then snap it back together.

Place all of the crust ingredients ingredient together into a food processor and blitz it until the dough forms a ball in the processor. You can also use one of those hand processors but you will need to knead it a little after it syarts balling.

Line the base of the tin and about 1/2 way up the sides of the tin with the dough. This can be a little tricky so try to get it as even as possible around the sides.

Clean out your processor and place all of the filling ingredients into your processor and blitz again for about 1 minute or until it is well mixed.

Pour over the pastry and then straight into the oven for 50 to 60 minutes. You will know it’s done when the top has cracked and the edges are slightly browned.

Let it cool down and then top it off with some sliced strawberries that you have covered in caster sugar and let stand for about 10 minutes.

The German baked Cheesecake is another real winner and then there is the no bake Blueberry cheesecake which you will love.

Easy Chicken pie in a pot

Easy Chicken pie in a pot

Chicken pie

This is a fantastic Chicken Pie recipe that is very easy to make and thanks to frozen puff pastry takes only minutes to prepare. It makes a large pie that can feed about 6 people but tastes so good, 4 hungry people will devour it in no time. There is something so good about the smell of pastry baking in the oven and your family will be at the door asking when it will be ready.

What you need

250g frozen puff pastry that is thawed
1 beaten egg

1 tablespoon butter
2 medium onions grated or finely chopped
1 tin corn kernels drained
100g sliced button mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas
1 whole cooked chicken chopped or shredded depending on how you like it

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
500ml chicken stock
250ml fresh cream

The process

Before you start this recipe, pop your frozen pastry in the fridge for about 2 hours to thaw. It is best to thaw it out in the freezer than on the counter or microwave, just seems to stay intact better.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan on a medium heat and fry the onions until they are soft, add the mushrooms and fry for about another 3 minutes stirring occasionally.

Now add the corn, frozen peas and chicken and cook for a few minutes to mix in all of the ingredients. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In another pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Stir or whisk well to cook the flour a little, be careful not to burn it, you want it to be better yellow not brown. Now remove it from the heat and add the chicken stock in a slow stream, whisk very well while adding the stock until all of the flour is mixed in and you have no lumps.

Pop it back on the stove and bring to the boil while you stir continuously, then reduce the heat to low, add the cream and stir until you feel it starting to thicken up. Remove from the heat, toss in the chicken mixture and give it a good mix.

Pour the mixture into a casserole dish that is about 20cm x 20cm x 10cm or a shallower one that is about 30cm x 20cm x 6cm and then place the pastry over the top. Tuck it in and fold any overlaps back onto the top. Cut 2 x 4cm slits in the pastry, wash the top with the beaten egg and place in a 180 Celsius oven for about 30 mins or until the pastry is crisp and browned.

It’s a fantastic meal folks, try it.

Take a look at the other easy chicken recipes.

Shrimp and smoked salmon pasta

Shrimp and smoked salmon pasta

Shrimp salmon pasta

Folks, this is a great meal when you feel you need to spoil someone and with Valentines day just around the corner, you may want to print this one. It is really easy to make so you can spoil that special someone without fretting. This is one of the few occasions where frozen shrimp is OK to use. By the way, if you need a few ideas of what to give a man as gift, check out MensGifts.co.za (good for 2 people)

What you need

Cooked pasta – enough for 2 people
1 medium onion finely chopped or grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
100g shrimp
100g smoked salmon
small bunch chopped fresh chives
Zest of 1/3 a lemon
150ml fresh cream
splash of white wine or about 30ml
1 teaspoon fresh chopped Thyme
Salt and pepper

The process

Heat the oilve oil in a pan on a medium heat and toss in the onions. Let them cook for about 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are nice and soft.

Now add the shrimp (thawed and dried if you used frozen) and cook for about another 3 or 4 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through.

Toss in the chives, lemon zest, salmon, cream and then the wine. Allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes or until warmed through.

Pour the sauce into your cooked pasta which you have left in the pot and mix to coat the pasta with the sauce.

Serve with a side salad and some crisp warm bread. It is yummy I tell you. Take a look through the other pasta recipes

Lancashire hotpot recipe

Lancashire hotpot recipe

Lancashire hotpot

A traditional Lancashire hotpot uses lamb kidneys but I am not a big fan of offal so have left them out and made it more like a really great lamb casserole that has a crunchy potato topping. There is a really great hotpot version made with Chicken which you should also try.  Chicken hotpot, Chinese Chicken hotpot. Serves about 5 or 6 people.

What you need

650g lamb meat cubed (leg of lamb is best)
4 medium onions sliced
1 tablespoon flour with a pinch of salt in it
approx 600g potatoes thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme (1 teaspoon if you use dried thyme)
200g thickly sliced button mushrooms
Salt and pepper
about 6x 1cm square cubes of butter
1 1/2 cups chicken stock

The process

In a large pot on a medium to high heat, add the oil and onions and cook for about four or five minutes stirring from time to time. Add the meat that has been sprinkled with the seasoned flour and brown nicely on all sides. They should have a beautiful nutty brown colour on the outside.

Remove the meat and onions from the pot and place into the bottom of a casserole dish that is about 20cm square and about 10cm high.

Now add the mushrooms in a layer, sprinkle over the thyme and toss in the bay leaf and give it a season with salt and ground pepper.

Now pour over the chicken stock and place a layer of thinly sliced potatoes over the entire top. Overlap them a bit to use all or most of the potatoes and then place the butter cubes randomly over the top.

Put it into a 190 Celsius oven for about 2 hours, check after 1 1/2 hours and if the potatoes are browned and looking crisp, you are done. If not, leave it for another 1/2 hour.

Enjoy it folks and serve it with the best dessert on the planet, an Eaton Mess.

Easy healthy pan fried chicken

Easy healthy pan fried chicken

healthy chicken recipe

Healthy chicken recipe

After the pan fried chicken in creamy mushroom sauce I thought I had better add a healthy and light alternative for the more health conscious readers so here you go.

This recipe is really simple and the most important part is not to overcook the chicken. The butterflied chicken breasts cook very quickly and you don’t have a sauce, so it is very important that they are succulent. (4 people)

What you need

4 – 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts butterflied (see instructions at the mushroom version)
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper

Topping

1 red pepper finely diced
1 tablespoon Green peppercorns in brine
2 large cloces garlic finely sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley

The process

Mix all of the topping ingredients together, give a light stir and set aside.

Flatten out your chicken breasts(see the mushroom recipe) or simply slice them into miniature steaks about 2cm thick.

Season the flour with salt and pepper and flop the pieces in the flour for to get a little flour on the outside. (don’t put them in milk or egg, you want a very light covering of flour)

Heat the oil over a medium heat, add the butter and then cook the chicken slices until lightly golden on both sides.

Cover each piece with a little of the topping and serve with a salad.

There are a whole lot of easy chicken recipes in the cookbook, give them a try.

Pan fried chicken with mushroom sauce

Pan fried chicken with mushroom sauce

pan fried chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

Pan Fried Chicken

If you are dieting this one is not for you. By flattening out your chicken breasts as if you were making a chicken schnitzel they cook a lot quicker, are beautifully tender and smothered in a rich and creamy mushroom sauce, well what can I say, they are seriously good.(4 people)

What you need

4 – 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts butterflied
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons oil

Mushroom sauce

2 tablespoons butter
4 cups chopped mushrooms
1 medium onion grated
100ml dry white wine (or chicken stock)
200ml fresh cream

Tagliatelle pasta cooked

The process

Butterfly your chicken breasts by slicing them almost through, opening them out, placing a piece of cling film over them and giving them a pound with a rolling pin or wine bottle.

If you have a meat mallet, be gentle, you don’t want to break them.

Season with salt and pepper and cook in a pan on a medium to hot heat with the oil until browned on the outside. Be careful not to overcook them, they really do take just a few minutes.

Place the cooked chicken in a serving dish that has been warmed in the oven.

Now reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and butter to the same pan and cook for about 2 minutes, add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Pour in the white wine, bring the heat up to high and allow to simmer allowing the liquid to reduce by about half. Add in the cream and stir, stir, stir until it has reduced again by about half.

Place some pasta on a plate, cover with a little sauce, then a chicken piece and top with a generous amount of the mushroom sauce.

I like it with a salad, veg just seems wrong!

Try some of the other chicken recipes, or a healthy chicken recipe.

Baked chicken Parmigiana

Baked chicken Parmigiana

baked italian chicken

Baked Parmagiana

This is a real treat, it’s a variation of Chicken parmigiana that is rustic and very morish. I never mess with it too much and serve it with either a green salad or a pasta on the side that has also been tossed in a little marinara sauce.

It takes a little longer than some of the other Italian recipes but is worth every second.

What you need

1 egg well beaten (or half a cup of milk)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
marinara sauce
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius and have a non stick oven tray ready.

Take your chicken breasts and slice them so that you can open them and flatten them out like a Chicken Schnitzel. Give them a light pounding with a rolling pin or wine bottle to flatten a bit.

Have your beaten egg in a bowl and your bread crumbs on a plate. I recommend the corn flake bread crumbs from Kellogs.

Dip your flattened chicken breast into the egg(or milk), shake off the excess and then into the bread crumbs to coat well.

Place onto the oven tray and place into the oven for 20 minutes.

Once they are done, get a baking dish, pour a 1 cm deep layer of Marinara sauce into the bottom of the dish, place the cooked chicken on top and then cover with more of the Marinara sauce.

Sprinkle the Mozzarella over the top and then the Parmesan.

pop it back into the oven for another 15 minutes or so until the cheese has melted.

It’s rich, and seriously delicious.

You should always have Marinara sauce in the freezer, but if you don’t and you want a quick alternative, take a tin of chopped tomatoes and onion with basil in it, heat it up and use a potato masher to mash it up a bit.

Bangers and mash

Bangers and mash

bangers and mash recipe

Bangers and mash

Bangers and mash with a tomato and onion gravy is the easiest and tastiest recipe thanks to tinned tomato and onion mix. You can use pork or beef sausages, tastes just as good. You really must give this a try, it will become a regular in your household, simple tasty home style food.

Lets call it African Bangers and Mash, the British bangers and mash uses a brown gravy, here we are giving it some real flavour. This, along with the Scotch egg recipe need good quality sausages and the Woolies porkers or the Escort sausages are the ones you need. Over December I got some porkers from Checkers in Seapoint and they were truly terrible. (3 or 4 people)

What you need

8 pork or beef sausages
1 tin tomato and onion mix or chopped tomatoes
6 strips bacon chopped

5 or 6 large potatoes
butter (1 or 2 tablespoons)
milk (approx 100ml)
Salt and pepper

The process

Start by peeling your potatoes and cutting them into 8ths, place them in boiling water to cook while you prepare the sausages.

Cook your sausages in a pan on a medium to high heat until nicely browned. When you are half way through cooking the sausages, add the bacon and cook through.

Turn you stove to low and add the tomato mix to the pan and allow to simmer for about 4 or 5 minutes. You want the tomato gravy to reduce a little.

Drain off the potatoes when they are nice and soft and mash very well adding about 100ml milk and a heaped tablespoon of butter and seasoning to the mash. The secret to light and fluffy mash is quite simple, mash, mash mash and stir stir stir. Get someone else involved in the mashing if need be, there is something really good about smooth light mashed potatoes.

This is a really good and economical meal that you will love. It’s weekday cooking at it’s best, easy, economical and quick.

Another great pub style recipe is the rare beef with dipping sauce, try it!

Green peppercorn chicken casserole

Green peppercorn chicken casserole

chicken casserole with green peppercorns

Peppercorn chicken casserole

I had a green peppercorn sauce at a restaurant in Cape Town over December and it really hit the mark, not to hot and peppery but a little spicy with a fresh aftertaste. Green peppercorns are sold in small bottles and pickled in brine, it also uses yoghurt as well which makes it everything you could ask for.

Try this for a change from your regular chicken casseroles, it is a real winner and you will be amazed at the flavour. It takes virtually no effort unless you want to remove the skins from the chicken. (4 people)

What you need

12 chicken drumsticks or small thighs
1 medium onion finely chopped (grate if you can)
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons drained green peppercorns
1 cup hot water
2 Chicken stock cubes
2 Tablespoons Maizena(Cornflour)
200ml plain yoghurt
Black pepper

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius.

Take a large casserole dish with a lid and place the chicken pieces in the bottom. Add the onion, green peppercorns and crumble the two stock cubes over the top.

Now toss in the bay leaf and pour over the hot water, then cover and into the oven for 45 minutes.

Mix together the yoghurt and the Maizena, give it a good season with black pepper and then pour over the mixture. Stir it about a bit to combine, cover and then back into the oven for another 15 minutes.

It’s as simple as that, done and delicious. Serve with rice.

The Tuscan Chicken Casserole is also a great Chicken Casserole or take a look at all of the Chicken recipes.