Ice Cream Christmas Pudding

Ice Cream Christmas Pudding

ice cream dessert

Ice Cream Christmas dessert

Ice Cream is basically frozen custard and this ice cream christmas cake recipe is a perfect Christmas dessert for hot December Holidays. Give it a try, it is unlike anything you have had before.

What you need

50g raisins
25g sultanas
50g dried cranberries or cherries
2 tots brandy
2 tots cointreau or rum
4 tablespoons icing sugar
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
500ml Custard (Woolies custard is excellent for this), chilled
50g macadamia nuts

Amaretti biscuits/biscotti to serve

The process

Decide whether you want to make a dome or a loaf ice cream cake and choose a bowl accordingly. A glass bowl that takes about 2 liters is perfect.

Add the raisins, sultanas and cherries to the bowl, toss in the brandy and the rum, give it a mix and set aside for a few hours. Anything over 2 hours is great.

Now add the macadamia nuts, cinnamon and icing sugar and give it a good stir. If you notice a fair amount of liquid in the bottom of the dowl, drain it off.

Now add the custard and stir again. Tap the bowl on the counter to even out the top and place in the freezer for 2 hours. Remove from the freezer, whick with a fork and then back into the freezer until you are ready to serve.

Slice or scoop and serve with a biscotti or amaretti biscuit on the side.

Don’t forget the rest of the Christmas recipes

Ginger Ale Chicken Bake

Ginger Ale Chicken Bake

Ginger ale chicken casserole

Ginger Ale Chicken Casserole

Chicken in Ginger Ale has got to be the easiest, tastiest way to serve chicken pieces that is seriously delicious. The best thing about it is that you can make this for 2 people or 200 people without any problem and everyone will love it. This is the perfect holiday recipe. The sauce thicken up beautifully and over a nice pile of rice and a salad, there is no easier way to produce a delicious meal for the masses. (4 -6 people)

What you need

8- 10 chicken portions thighs, legs and breasts skin on
1 packet instant brown onion soup
1 packet instant mushroom soup
1 liter Ginger Ale

The process

Heat your oven to 130 Celsius

Take a large casserole dish that you can place a single layer of chicken pieces to cover the bottom or use more than one oven dish.

Mix together the soup powders and coat eack piece of chicken in a fine coating of the mixture, shake off the excess and the lay skin side up into the casserole dish.

Pour 3/4 of the Ginger Ale into the casserole and then pour the remaing Ginger Ale into whatever is left of the soup powders, give it a mix and then pour over the top of the chicken.

Cover your casserole and pop into the oven for 3 hours. If you don’t have a casserole dish with a lid, cover with foil.

That is that, a delicious meal without any fuss. Serve with rice and salad.

You can fancy it up a bit by adding a few mushrooms 1/2 way through the cooking process or mix in a tablespoon of apricot jam with the ginger ale and soup mix for those who like it a little sweeter.

On a side note, for those of you who make beer can roast chicken, try it with Coke or Ginger Ale for a change!

Basic Vanilla Biscuits

Basic Vanilla Biscuits

basic vanilla biscuit recipe

Vanilla biscuits

Fresh biscuits are such great things to have around the house and this basic biscuit recipe is the perfect recipe to get you going. The bottom of the recipe gives you a few ideas of how to make different flavours and style biscuits from the same recipe. They are so simple to make and from start to finish take about 25 minutes, then 15 or so minutes of baking and you are done. makes about 30 biscuits

What you need

125g butter at room temperature cubed
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 and 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup custard powder

The process

First put your shelf in the middle of the oven, heat to 210 Celsius and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

In a large bowl add the butter and the caster sugar. Beat with an electric beater for about 3 minutes until the mixture is pale and smooth and the sugar almost completely dissolved.

Now add the milk and vanilla essence and beat for another minute or so to combine well.

Now add the flour and custard powder and with a spatula or knife use a cutting motion while you rotate the bowl to combine all of the ingredients into a soft dough. Don’t be tempted to beat, your biscuits will come out tough you want all of the dry ingredients to be incorporated but not over mixed!

Now take teaspoon size portions and roll into balls in your palm, place them on the baking trays with about 5cm between each one. flatten lightly your finger and then press lightly with a fork. Now each biscuit is about 5cm in diameter and ready for the oven.

Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, checking to see that they are lightly golden. If they are very pale leave them for another 3 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to partially cool on the tray (10 minutes), then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Thats that 30 beautiful morsels.

Variations: Nut biscuits, Mix 1/2 cup finely chopped pecan nuts or walnuts into the mixture before you add the flour and then place a nut on each biscuit before going into the oven.

Orange biscuits: Leave out the vanilla and add 2 teaspoons of orange rind to the mixture. You can make a simple lemon icing by combining 2 cups icing sugar with 20g soft butter and tablespoon orange juice and mixing it together. If you want lemon biscuits, do the same with lemon.

Cherry tops: cut a glace cherry into quarters and pop a piece on top of each one beofre going into the oven. Check the Cookie recipes section for more great cookie recipes.

Quick Chicken liver Pate

Quick Chicken liver Pate

Easy chicken liver pate recipe

chicken liver pate on french bread

I am a big fan of chicken liver pate and of all the recipes I have tried, this has got to be the easiest of the lot. It’s not quite a baked chicken liver pate which is really fancy but well worth it, but it tastes fabulous and is always on call to feed the masses.

What you need

2 heaped tablespoons butter (about 100g)
Pinch of dried Thyme
Pinch of dried marjoram
1 medium onion grated or finely chopped
500g chicken livers cleaned and cut in half

1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves crushed garlic
pinch of nutmeg
25ml brandy
50ml sherry

The process

Put a pan on medium to low heat and add butter, herbs and onion. Cook until the onions are soft and transparent. It should take about 15 minutes.

Now add the chicken livers and cook until they cooked through.

Now toss the whole lot, straight from the pan into a blender along with the salt, garlic, nutmeg, brandy and sherry and blend until smooth.

Place in a bowl and pop into the fridge to chill. Serve with a selection of sliced pickles, crusty french loaf sliced thin, melba toast, fresh whole wheat bread and pita bread that has been crisped up in the oven and cut into triangles.

Thats that, fantastic chicken liver pate that will last 2 or 3 days in the fridge.

Smoked Snoek or Trout pate

Smoked Snoek or Trout pate

Smoked snoek pate

Snoek pate is really a favourite of mine that I make whenever I am in the Cape. This is a really easy smoked fish pate recipe that works well with smoked trout or snoek. Don’t confuse smoked snoek with the dried and smoked version, you want a freshly smoked snoek that still has some moisture in it, it is not a stiff pate but an easy spreading pate.

What you need

250g smoke fish
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons full fat double cream

Ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

The process

Remove the skin and flake the fish making sure there are no bones.

Add the fish and the butter to a blender and give it a quick blitz until combined and fairly smooth.

Now add the olive oil and lemon juice and blitz again for a few seconds to combine, it should be light and creamy at this stage.

Add the cream and give it another qfew seconds of blitzing to combine. Taste and season with cayenne pepper and black pepper. You may also want to add a little more lemon juice.

Place in a bowl, chill and serve with fresh finely chopped chives or parsley and crisp toast, brown bread or pita bread. Yuuuummmmy.

Alternatives: To make something really fancy, make the pate with smoked trout and then line little domes with smoked salmon (rub the inside of the dome with a little oil first), fill with the pate and pop into the fridge to set for a few hours, then turn them out. Simple and decadent.

Bringal and Red pepper pate

Bringal and Red pepper pate

brinjal pate

Brinjal pate

There are so many brinjals at the moment and they cost next to nothing so this is a great recipe to use them. It is vegetarian and a real winner that takes no time at all to make. It is a creamy delicious pate that I always slosh a good amount of olive over before serving. It’s a bit like Baba Ghanoush with fewer ingredients that has a wonderful fresh taste.

What you need

1 large brinjal
1 large red pepper seeds removed
1 large clove garlic
1 medium grated onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

The process

Cut the brinjal the red pepper(remove seeds from the pepper) in half.

Heat your oven to 200 Celsius, place the brinjal and red pepper into an oven proof dish with the oil, cover and bake until the brinjal is tender and soft.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Pull the skin off the red pepper and scoop the inside of the brinjal leaving the skin behind.

Pop it all into a blender and blitz until smooth.

Thats that, place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, top off with some fresh roughly chopped parsley and serve with melba toast, hot pita breads or whole wheat bread.

Cajun style lemon Chicken

Cajun style lemon Chicken

Cajun lemon chicken

This is a great chicken dish that is great hot and cold the next day. The cajun spices with the lemon and crunchy quick stir fried veg are a treat. For a salad version of the recipe all you have to do is drape your cooled cajun chicken and peppers over your favourite leaves, give it another squeeze of fresh lemon and perhaps add a some freshly cut melon. This one is very easy and very versatile, fresh and a treat in the heat. (Serves 4 or 6 as a salad)

What you need

750g chicken breast meat
2 tablespoons cajun seasoning (available in supermarkets)
1 medium onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 tablespoons maizena (corn flour)
125ml lemon juice
175ml water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
Oil for frying

The process

Slice your chicken breasts into strips that are about 1cm thick and pop them into a bowl with the cajun spice. Give them a good mix about to distribute the cajun spice evenly over the sliced chicken.

Put a wok or large pan on a high heat with a little sunflower oil and fast fry the chicken pieces in batches until nicely browned in parts. Don’t fuss if the pieces seem partly uncooked, they will keep cooking once removed and still have more cooking to come. What you are looking for is little browned patches on the strips. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Now in the same wok quickly stir fry the onions and peppers until they are just beginning to soften, you still want them crunchy.

Mix together the maizena and the lemon juice.

Add all of the onions and peppers back to the pan, add the lemon juice and mazena mixture, water, sugar and butter, stir and bring to the boil. Now add the chicken and stir about for another minute or two until the chicken is coated in the delicious sauce.

Serve over some egg noodles or cold over your favourite leaves

Sweetcorn Fritters

Sweetcorn Fritters

Sweetcorn Fritters

I am a big time fritter fan with pumpkin fritters being a favourite of mine but I have to tell you these sweetcorn fritters are just fantastic. I had them as a breakfast after being tired of eggs and bacon/french toast and smothered them in maple syrup but they are generally used as a bed for smoked salmon with a little cream cheese instead of a rosti which makes a great starter or add a bit of parsley and chilli for  great savoury any time snack. Either way, try these. (makes 8-10 sweetcorn fritters)

The inspiration for this recipe came from one of my favourite recipe books which is Lannice Snymans Tortoises and Tumbleweeds

What you need

1 tin creamed sweetcorn (340g tin)
1 egg
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

The process

In a large mixing bowl, add the egg and give it a light whisk, add the sweetcorn and give it a mix.

Sift in the flour and baking powder with a pinch of salt. Mix it all together and you are ready to fry them.

Heat a pan on a medium heat with about 1/2cm of oil in it and take heaped dessert spoon size blobs of the mixture fro each fritter. Fry the fritters until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Simple as that.

Smother in syrup and devour immediately or try one of these variations.

Variations

Savoury: Add a teaspoon of mustard to the egg mix, a grind of black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg to the flour for a perfect bed for smoked salmon, prosciutto or even an egg.

Hot: Add the above ingredients along with a handful of chopped parsley and a sliced red chili.

Delicious Honey cake

Delicious Honey cake

Honey cake

Sometimes you want a cake that is a simple yet delicious and easy to make cake that anyone, no matter who they are will love. This is an extremely versatile cake which can be an anytime cake or a hot dessert ideal for winter or when you need something hot with whipped cream… you know what I mean. (20cm pie dish or spring form cake tin) I like to use a pie dish because it is usually served hot straight from the oven as a dessert, a bit like a honey version of the all time favourite Malva pudding.

What You Need

The Cake

1 cup of cake flour
Half a cup of sugar
1 egg
4 tablespoons of butter (melted)
125 ml milk
4 teaspoons of baking powder
2 ml of salt

The Syrup

50 ml melted butter
20 ml honey

The Process

The Cake

Preheat oven t o 180⁰C.

Grease a 20cm pie dish with a little butter and leave it to one side.

Sift all of  the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.

Heat the milk with the butter until the butter has melted, this should leave the milk warm but not boiling, remove from the stove.

Beat the egg in a separate bowl, and then add the warm milk mixture.

Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix very well.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

So many people tell me baking is difficult, come on what could be easier than that.

The Syrup

When your cake is about to come out of the oven, melt the honey with the butter until very liquid but not boiling.

Pour the syrup over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven and serve warm with cream or ice cream or let it cool and serve when you are ready to make someone verrrry happy.

There is a chocolate cake that also uses hot milk in the recipe that is truly decadent, try it you won’t regret it.

Chocolate layer cake

Chocolate layer cake

Chocolate cake

This chocolate cake uses hot milk and (I can’t tell you scientifically why it works out better, it just does, take it from me) in the recipe and just to add a little decadence to the cake I used both a chocolate icing on the outside and a meringue filling on the inside… It tastes just like melted marshmallow and who could not like that! If it is the last thing you do in the kitchen this year, make this fantastic chocolate cake. (2 x 19 or 20cm diameter cake tins)

What You Need

2 cups of cake flour
2 tablespoons of butter
1.5 cups sugar
4 eggs
4 teaspoons of baking powder
250 ml hot milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ml of salt

Meringue Filling

Use this easy Meringue recipe. I mean it there is nothing to it.

You will have some left over so once you are done, make a small batch of meringues.

The Process

Preheat oven to 180⁰C.

Grease the cake tins with a little butter and make sure you get it into every little nook and cranny. Move the separator thingy(not sure what you call it) if you are using older cake tins and set them aside.

Crack the eggs into a small mixing bowl and give them a good beat with your electric mixer.

Add in the sugar and beat the hell out of them until they are light and fluffy, set aside.

Take a large mixing bowl and sift the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder and cocoa, together into a large bowl and set aside. You are almost ready to finish off.

In a pot on a medium heat, add the butter and milk and heat until you see bubbles forming around the edges. Let it bubble away for about 30 seconds.

Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a metal spoon until well combined.

Add the hot milk and butter to the mixture and mix well.

Now you are ready to finish. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the tins a few minutes then onto a rack to cool.

Sandwich the cakes with the meringue mixture (seen here), fresh whipped cream and Raspberry jam(done it and it’s delicious) or caramel(done and very sweet but seriously delicious) and ice with a rich chocolate frosting.