Corn Bread Muffins

Corn Bread Muffins

corn bread muffins

Corn Bread Muffins

I was lucky enough to be given a fantastic recipe book called “savour” by some great friends, thank you Chris and Natheera. A bunch of us are off to Dullstroom for the weekend and what would a trip trout fishing be without something delicious to pop into your bag or pocket while out on the water so I tested a few recipes from the book and this corn bread recipe is awesome. I made them as muffins and not mini loaves but you can make the recipe as a large loaf, mini loaves or even in a pie dish. Makes about 20 muffins or 6 mini loaves

They are so easy, take about 30 minutes in total from start to eating and taste fantastic. I also added a little chili to some of the muffins for a mate who loves chili.

What you need

1 cup corn meal (maize meal/pap or even polenta if you like them very yellow)
1 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons melted butter(45ml)

1 x green chili seeded and finely sliced (optional)

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius.

Take a little butter and grease your muffin tins well.

Now add the corn meal to a large mixing bowl and sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Turn the dry mix a couple of times with a metal spoon to mix all of the dry ingredients.

Now add the melted butter, honey, egg and yoghurt and gently stir it until combined. You don’t want to mix it vigorously, it just needs to be combined.

Spoon the mixture into the tins about 80% full ( add a few slices of chili to some of the muffins for the chili lovers if you like) and pop in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes or until you are able to poke it with a tooth pick and it comes out clean. (If using a pie dish or large loaf your baking time will be 30 – 35 minutes) The tops should be beautifully browned and the smell, well the smell…

Let them cool in the pans if you can resist!

I like mine with a generous amount of butter and honey but are also great with herb butter, cheese and preserved figs. Let your taste buds guide you, you are going to love these.

Grandma’s Perfect Buttermilk Scones

Grandma’s Perfect Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk Scones recipe

Buttermilk Scones

Forget every scone recipe you’ve ever read. This is the only one you’ll need! (Makes 12 – 15 scones) Recipe by Rozanne.

When these came out of the oven I left my office and drove over to try them. It was worth every second in the traffic. They truly are fantastic, this is one of those recipes your children will be asking you to leave them in your will!

What you need

4 x 250ml cake flour
Pinch of salt
30ml baking powder
120g butter, at room temperature
100ml sugar
250ml buttermilk
1 egg
125ml water
1 egg, lightly beaten to glaze

The process

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and make sure the oven tray is in the middle of the oven. Prepare two baking trays by lining them with baking paper.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder twice into a large bowl

Cut the butter into blocks and rub into the flour mixture with your finger tips. The mixture should look just like bread crumbs. Make sure there are no lumps of butter at all.

Add the sugar and mix around with your hands

In a small bowl, lightly combine the buttermilk and 1 egg. Add this to the flour mixture and mix together with a round bladed knife. Add just enough water to make a soft dough. (Make sure the dough is not sticky and do not over-mix)

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead very gently until a ball is formed.

Pat the dough out with your fingers until it is about 3 cm thick. Cut out the scones using a round, metal cutter and place onto the baking trays (leave 2 to 3 cm between each scone).

With the remaining egg, whisk it up lightly and brush a bit on top of each scone.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Always cut one open to check if they are completely cooked through, if not, immediately put them back in the oven for another 3 minutes.

Just a few hints

A lot of people tend to replace butter with margarine when baking because it’s a lot cheaper. NEVER do this when making scones. There is a huge difference between a delicious, light and fluffy butter scone and a horrible margarine scone.

Scones are not scones if they are not made with buttermilk. It is abominable to own such recipes. Tear them up. Now!!!!

Don’t ever forget to glaze your scones with egg before you bake them. The gloriously golden top is the best part.

Always serve your scones warm with butter, jam and a generous dollop of freshly whipped cream. Scrumptious!

When warming, NEVER put them in the microwave because they will go stodgy. Rather do it in the oven. It takes a bit longer, but definitely worth the wait!

Your scones are perfectly cooked when the sound hollow if you tap the bottom.

Spinach & Feta Muffins

Spinach & Feta Muffins

spinach and feta muffin recipe

Spinach & Feta Muffins

These muffins are awesome! Not only can they be made in advance, but they are so versatile and light that they can be served for breakfast, lunch and supper. In fact, they are the best Sunday-night supper for all you lazy buggars (like me) who couldn’t be bothered to cook after a wonderful weekend! – Recipe by Rozanne

Folks, these little guys are a must try and for a little change try adding a handful of cubed(about 1cm) a steamed butternut or even a little red pepper but probably the best of all is to add some cooked chopped bacon. They are fantastic and can be frozen and ready for you in minutes. G

What you need

200ml milk
100g baby spinach leaves
500ml flour
5ml salt
15ml baking powder
100g feta cheese
60ml oil
1 egg
12 cherry tomatoes

The process

Grease a muffin pan and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Heat up the milk in a pot and add the baby spinach. Make sure the stove is on a low heat and cook until the spinach is wilted.

Cool the spinach and milk mixture slightly and blend it until smooth. This shouldn’t take long!

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Next, Crumble up the feta cheese and add it to the dry ingredients. Mix together until the feta is evenly distributed through the dry ingredients.

Add the egg and oil the the milky-spinach mixture fold it in gently. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix until JUST combined. It’s very important that you don’t over-mix the batter to ensure light fluffy muffins.

Spoon the mixture into muffin pans and top each muffin with a fresh cherry tomato. Bake for approximately 20 mins and serve warm with lots of butter!

Just a little hint

These delicious muffins look really great if they are made in small terracotta pots (just make sure you grease them well).

Banoffee Pie Recipe

Banoffee Pie Recipe

Italian banoffee pie recipe

Italian Banoffee Pie

There are few desserts as simple as making a banoffee pie and few that get the sounds of pure delight than this recipe. It’s of Italian origin I am told and although I love Italian food, have not had so many great desserts out of Italy so far.

You may have had one from woolies or a home industry but there is nothing like a home made banoffee and as we know, the act of making it transfers the love for the people you are making it and will taste so much better. It’s banana, cream, caramel and a beautiful crunchy base, you just have to try it, you will love it. This pie should serve about 8 people, it’s rich and seriously delicious. Use a 22cm pie dish.

What you need

120g butter
1/2 packet tennis biscuits
1/2 packey Marie bisuits (you can use a packet of tennis biscuits on their own)
1 tin caramel (carnation or clover make a great caramel)
3 or 4 bananas sliced about 5mm thick
250ml fresh whipping cream (be careful when you buy cream these days, there are so many varieties and some just do not whip)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

The process

First off, take your biscuits and break them into a shopping bag, then place the shopping bag on the counter and with a rolling pin or wine bottle crush them into a fine powder. Now melt the butter in a medium size pot and add the biscuits, remove from the heat and mix the biscuit and butter mixture until all of the biscuit is evenly coated with butter.

Spoon into the pie dish about three quarters of the mixture and using a spoon spread it evenly and quite firmly over the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Try not to make the base thicker than about 3mm and press it down firmly. Using your finger tips, press the rest of the biscuit mixture into the sides of the dish closing up any holes.

Pop it into the fridge for about half an hour while you have a cuppa or a glass of wine and prepare the cream and bananas.

Slice the bananas into thin slices and set aside. Add the cream to a large bowl, add the vanilla and whip to a thick consistency.

Take your base from the fridge and place your banana slices on the bottom, then cover with the caramel using a spatula/spoon to spread evenly. Cover with the cream and give it a sprinkle with cocoa or grated chocolate or a few more banana slices, whatever you fancy really. (you can also mix the banana’s and the caramel together and then into the base)

Serve and watch the magic!!!

Devils food cake

Devils food cake

Devils food cake

This cake recipe has got it all, chocolate, cream, rich and delicious, the name says it all. It takes a while but you will you ever enjoy every slice of it when its done. I have made it with a butter cream icing as well which makes a nice change from the chocolate icing.

What you need
280g soft brown sugar
40g cocoa powder
250ml milk
90g chopped dark chocolte
125g softened, unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs, separated
185g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Filing
1 cup cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Chocolate Icing
50g dark chocolate, chopped
30g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon icing sugar

The Process
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Lightly grease two deep 20cm round cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.

Combine third of the brown sugar with the cocoa and milkin a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar and cocoa have been dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it is melted. Cool.

Cream remaining brown sugar with the butter with electric beaters until light and fluffly. Beat in the vanilla, egg yolks and cooled chocolate mixture. Stir in the sifted flour and bicarbonate of soda.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture.

Divide the mixture evenly into the two cake tins and bake for 35 minutes. Leave in tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool.

For the icing, put the butter and chocolate into a heatproofbowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure it does not touch the water, and stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar and stir until smooth.

For the filling, whip the cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a small bowl with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Spread over one of the cold cakes, top with the second cake and spread with icing, over the top. You may not be able to contain yourself but you should use a peeler and shave some milk choclate over the top.

Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole

traditional english toad in the hole recipe

Toad in the hole

Don’t let the few ingredients fool you on this Toad in the hole recipe, it is fantastic. The batter will rise and rise and you will be tempted to open the oven, but resist and you will be rewarded with a puffed up Yorkshire pud that is hard to beat. If the areas below the sausages are a little wet don’t fret, this is exactly what you are meant to have. (for 3-4 people)

What you need

6-8 pork/beef sausages
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
225g plain flour (it is important to measure it)
4 large eggs
250ml full cream milk

The process

Heat your oven to 200 Celsius while you prepare, it is very important to place the dish in a hot oven.

You can use a metal roasting pan or an oven proof dish for this recipe that should be something close to 30cm x 20cm and have sides at least 7cm high.

Add the oil to your dish or pan and arrange the sausages in the base, place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes to cook the sausages while you prepare the Yorkshire pudding recipe. I cannot emphasis enough how important it is to get good quality sausages, some sausages have way too much fat in them and shrink down to these little tiddlers.

In a mixing bowl, add the flour, 3/4 of the milk and eggs, whisk it to a smooth consistency and then add the last of the milk in 2 portions mixing well between each addition. You will have a nice smooth, quite runny consistency. Season with a little salt and white pepper, give it a final whisk and transfer to a jug.

Take the sausage out of the oven and with tongs or a fork, move them around a bit so that none of the sausages are stuck to the bottom and try to leave equal spaces between the sausages. Now slowly pour the mixture in between the sausages so that they are almost covered.

Return to the oven for about 40 minutes and watch the Yorkshire pudding rise. It will rise above the edge of the dish. Check after 35 minutes or so to ensure that it does not burn. The Yorkshire pud should be a deep brown. puffed up and the sausages should be partly visible.

Serve straight away with a nice gravy. There is no reason why you could not use chicken sausages if you are averse to meat!

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.

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.

Buttermilk and bacon Cornbread

Buttermilk and bacon Cornbread

Buttermilk bacon Cornbread

Buttermilk bacon Cornbread

I reckon cornbread is about as South African as you can get but seldom see it anywhere. Just as an aside, when you next make pap for the braai, add a tin of sweetcorn about 20 minutes before you serve it, it’s really great.

back to the cornbread. This cornbread recipe uses whole kernels which I like as a sweet pop in the mouth as you are munching your way through it. The buttermilk makes a huge difference so don’t be tempted to substitute and if you are a bacon fan like me, put a few strips of bacon over the top… YUM. It’s been so hot lately and is definitely braai time, but try it with a stew like the  tomato Bredie or as a side with the Greek style Lamb shanks, it’s a real winner. Makes a large loaf, I use a 23x23x9cm (approximate) tin

What you need

2 cups cake flour
1 cup white corn meal (mielie meal)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
100ml vegetable/sunflower oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup corn kernels (not sweetcorn0
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 packet (125g) streaky bacon cut into pieces (optional)

 

The process

Heat your oven to 200 Celsius and grease your tin well with butter, don’t be shy with the butter.

In a large bowl add the flour, mealie meal, salt and baking powder, make a well in the center.

In another bowl add the buttermilk, oil and egg, give it a really good whisk and then pour into the well in the dry ingredients and mix well to combine everything.

Now add the corn kernels and the cheese and use a folding motion to distribute the corn and cheese evenly.

Pour the mixture into the greased tin, cover the top with the bits of bacon(if you are using bacon) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is beautifully browned and the bacon sizzling.

Let it cool for about 10 minutes in the tin (if you can) before you remove it or you can serve it straight from the tin.