Sago pudding

sago-pudding-bakedWould you believe that those delightful little pearls are from the crushed seeds of this palm. Sago reminds me of Grandma’s old style cooking and is best served hot with some heavy cream and a little honey.

baked Sago pudding is one of those comfort desserts like bread and butter pudding, rice pudding or malva pudding, they all make you feel like you are wrapped up in front of the fire at Grandmas place with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and a pudding. 🙂

What you need

1 cup sago pearls

600ml milk

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teasppon ground cinnamon

The process

Heat the milk until it is warm and add the sago and stir for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and butter, stir and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes stirring slowly and continuosly or until the mixture is fairly thick and the sago is beginning to go transparent.

Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into buttered moulds or an oven proof dish, sprinkle cinnamon over the top and bake in a 170 celsius oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the sago moulds stands for about 10 minutes. Tip the sago from the moulds onto your plate and spoon some thick cream or yoghurt over them with a spoon or 2 of honey.

It’s creamy and delicious!

Chocolate mint fudge

chocolate fudge

This is a creamy, melt in the mouth fudge recipe and remember, the better the chocolate the richer the taste. You will be hard pressed to keep these for longer than a day! For a really special change replace the mints with grated orange rind and 1 teaspoon of strong powdered coffee.

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Chocolate Torte

Chocolate Torte

Chocolate torte

Chocolate torte

This Chocolate Torte recipe is such a rich and satisfying recipe that is seriously chocolatey and the middle is a little sunken, moist and just incredibly delicious. You will love this recipe, excellent to have around over the weekends.

What you need

250g plain chocolate broken into pieces

125g butter

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

6 eggs seperated

125g light brown sugar

250ml plain yoghurt

The process

Grease and line a 23cm spring form baking tin with greaseproof paper and lightly grease the paper as well, then heat the oven to 160 celsius.

In a pot over a low heat melt the chocolate and the butter and stir in the vanilla essence, set aside.

Whisk the egg yolks with 100g of the sugar, then fold in the chocolate mixture.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks then gradually whisk in the remaining sugar, now fold in the yogurt. Gradually add to the chocolate mixture and fold in the egg white mixture.

Place the mixture into the tin and bake for 30 minutes at 160 celsius or until springy.

Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes before eating. The center will sink slightly and leave a rich gooey chocolate center.

You can serve this hot as a dessert with a little flavoured cream, a teatime choclate cake or as an anytime chocolate snack.

Chocolate fudge fondue

Chocolate fudge fondue

chocolate-fondue

Chocolate fondue

Sometimes the ladies(and the boys) need a chocolate fix and there is no better way and little as satisfying as listening to those sounds of pure pleasure coming from everyone around the table as they pop little chocolate covered morsels into their mouths.

What you need

160g light brown sugar

50g butter

200g plain chocolate

1 tespoon vanilla extract

100ml cream

100ml water

The process

In a saucepan place the sugar and the water and heat gently until all of the sugar is dissolved. Boil rapidly for about 4-5 minutes until the syrup looks like treacle.

Remove from the stove and emerse the post in cold water to stop cooking.

Return to the stove, add butter, chocolate and vanilla essence stirring constantly until its is beautifully smooth and silky.

Finally stir in the cream and remove from the heat.

Serve with a variety of fruit and pieces of banana bread or raisin loaf. MMMMMMMMMMM

Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee

creme-brulee

Creme brulee

Creme brulee has got to be one of the simplest yet rewarding desserts to make. It never fails to impress and and if you are a single guy you will be way up there after this one… trust me. I dont know what it is, but using the flame is just such a guy thing, I love it.

What you need

375ml cream(1 tub)
125ml milk
75ml sugar
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 vanilla pod
4 rammikins

The process

Heat the oven to 120 celsius (very important to get this right)

Mix the egg, yolks and half the sugar together in a bowl.

Place the cream, milk, vanilla pod and the remaining sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil. (If you like the balck seeds in the creme brulee, split the vanilla pod down its lenth first)

Strain the boiling mixture into the egg mixture and whisk well.

Fill the rammikins and place them in a roasting pan with enough water to reach half way up the sides of the rammikins and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove them from the oven and allow to cool, thenplace in the fridge.

Just before you serve the, sprinkle the tops with sugar and caremalise with a blowtorch. if you don’t have a blowtorch, putthe oven on grill and plave them under the grill until caremalised. (Its very quick so watch them)

Serve immediately with a few strawberries or other fruit and dust with some castor sugar.

Creme brulee to finish off after lamb shanks is a real treat fit for a king

Malva pudding

Malva pudding

malva pudding recipe

Malva pudding

This is soooo good and one of my all time favourite dessert recipes. Malva pudding is more of a winter dessert but if you have family that love food as much as we do and rich, hot, tasty desserts(not for weight watchers) that will take weeks of exercise to work off are appreciated not feared then this is for you. (6 people)

What you need

1 cup castor sugar
2 eggs (room temp)
1 tablespoon smooth apricot jam
1 ¼ cups cake flour
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda (5ml)
pinch salt
2 tablespoons butter (30ml)
1 tablespoon vinegar (15ml)
125ml milk

The Sauce

250ml Cream
125ml butter
125ml sugar
125ml water/Orange juice/Sherry/Brandy

The process

Heat your oven to 190 Celsius.

Beat castor sugar and eggs until fluffy then beat in apricot jam until you have a nice creamy consistency

Sift dry ingredients into separate bowl.

Melt butter in a small pot on a medium heat and add vinegar and milk, then add to the sifted ingredients to the milk mixture and give it a good mix. Now mix in the eggs mix one at a time until you you have well combined mixture.

Pour into ovenproof casserole dish that takes about 2 liters.

Bake at 190 celsius for 45 mins until the top is nicely browned and your kitchen smells fantastic.

Melt all the sauce ingredients together in a small pot over a medium heat and pour over the pudding before serving, preferably while its still hot.

Serve it with whipped cream or custard or both. Enjoy!

For a really tasty, homey and economical meal try it with the recession proof lamb casserole

Lemon Meringue pie

Lemon Meringue pie

lemon meringue pie recipe

Lemon Meringue pie

This lemon meringue pie recipe is a great old recipe from a school recipe book! Never fails and well worth it. I am all about easy recipes and lemon meringue pie made this way is both easy and delicious and will even impress your mother in law!

Lemon meringue pies have been known to make me susceptible to all sorts of persuasion, so if you need to persuade someone to do something for you, it’s quite simple make them a lemon meringue pie! 🙂

What you need

¾ packet tennis biscuits
75 mls melted butter
1 tin of condensed milk
Zest of 2 lemons
100 ml lemon juice
4 egg yolks
2 egg whites
75 ml castor sugar

The process

Crush the biscuits, melt the butter in a mixing jug in the microwave (just makes it a little quicker and less messy)
Add the biscuit crumbs to the butter and mix well.

Line the bottom of the pie dish with the biscuit crumbs and chill in the fridge.

Mix the condensed milk, juice and rind of lemon and egg yolks together and pour onto the pie shell.

Beat the egg whites until stiff add the castor sugar slowly and mix and when thick and full spread on top of the filling.
Bake for 20-30 mins at 160C until meringue is light brown.

Don’t wait until its cool, leave it for a few minutes if you can and dig in, Its really great.

For something really simple and special as a cold dessert try the easy lemon flan recipe. It’s from a famous Johannesburg restaurant and takes just 15 minutes to make.

Quick cassata

Quick cassata

cassata ice creamThis is a wonderful dessert which can be used as an impressive end to a very important dinner, a kids birthday party or as a dessert for the family.

All it really is, is ice cream with all sorts of goodies in it, sometimes in layers sometimes not, sometimes with different flavors in layers or the same flavor with layers of different goodies.

I really love it with a little raspberry coolie or any fruit coolie really.
How to make it.

Impressive

Buy a tub of your favorite ice cream, leave it out to soften a little. Soft enough for you to be able to mix with a wooden spoon. (Always buy a good full cream ice cream, this is not for weight watchers)

Chop up dried fruit like glace cherries and raisins into small pieces. If you like nuts, add chopped almonds and a few biscuits cut into small pieces, shortbread is great and add turkish delight for a little mystery. Add to the softened ice cream and mix well.

Pour into a Clingfilm lined bread tin or a loaf shaped dish that can be put into the freezer. Smooth over the top, and if you want to, add a layer of a different flavor plain ice cream and cover with Clingfilm. Place into the freezer until hard again.

Each slice is so impressive and when you drizzle with a little fruit coolie you will have them all mightily impressed.
FUN

For a kids party add Astros, smarties, chopped up crunchie, chopped up chocolate of any kind and you will have the kids and the adults coming back for more.

Chocolate truffles

chocolate truffles

Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate truffles have got to be the simplest, most delicious and imoressive little balls of bliss you could ever make for anyone. Valentines day will never be the same again once you can convince who you made them for, that you actually made them yourself.

You need:

225 grams 70% cocoa dark chocolate, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons butter

Thats it, then you can flavour them, if you want to with – 2 tablespoons of your favorite alcohol (Cognac, brandy, Grand Marnier, kirsch, rum, bourbon, or Kahlua to name a few)

And also use different coatings if you want to – Cocoa Powder, icing sugar, chopped nuts or coconut are really good.

The process

Chop up the chocolate into small pieces and place in a glass or stainless stell mixing bowl(not plastic, you are going to need something that can handle heat)
Heat the cream and butter in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and stir very gently until the chocolate is all melted. If you choose to flavour your truffles, this is the time to add the flavouring.
Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge until the truffle mixture is firm (a few hours) Make double the portion if you are inclined to taste while its cooling!

Now for the fun partgodiva chocolate

Place whatever coatings you chose for the truffles on a plate.
Remove the truffle mixture from the fridge.
With your hands, melon baller or small spoon form the chocolate into round or mis-shaped bite-sized balls.
Immediately roll the truffle in the coating and place on baking tray or plate covered with wax paper. Cover your truffles with another layer of wax paper and put them back, less one or two, in the refrigerator until they are firm.
Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months.
Bring to room temperature before you hand them over and watch all resistance melt away.

Decadent chocolate cheesecake

Decadent chocolate cheesecake

Chocolate cheesecake

Chocolate cheesecake

This cheesecake is certainly not for those who count calories or are even slightly health concious. We have no idea how much fat or how many calories are in it but we do know how you will feel while eating it, Grrrrrrreat.

Crust

1-1 1/2 cups – chocolate biscuits, chocolate wafers or a combination that you like best. they must not have chocolate chips in them.
75 ml melted butter

Cheesecake

350g dark chocolate (70% cocoa) chopped
2 x 350g tubs of smooth cream cheese (full fat)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs (large)
pinch of salt
125ml strong hot coffee like expresso
2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Before you start

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

Springform baking tin – remove bottom of tin and cover with tin foil, reassemble tin.

Preparation

break up the biscuits by knocking them with a rolling pin or squeezing them between you fingers and mix together with the melted butter, then press quite firmly into the bottom of the baking tin and pop it into the fridge.

Melt chocolate in a bowl above a pot of simmering water until soft. Remove from the pot and stir until all the chocolate is melted and it is velvety smooth.

Take another bowl and empty both tubs of cream cheese into the bowl, beat on low for a few minutes or until soft, add sugar gradually beating all the time. Then add the eggs and beat well.  Add the vanilla essence, coffee and salt and beat on a slow speed  until beautifully combined. Add melted chocolate and beat for a few more minutes. Dont taste too frequently at this stage… theres a cake to make.

Get the cold crust from the fridge and pour the chocolatey heavenly mixture over the crust. Give it a little shake to even it out. Put it into a roasting pan with water an inch or 2 up the side.

Bake for 1 hour or until center is firm and switch off the oven. DO NOT REMOVE FROM THE OVEN just open the door and let it cool inside the oven. Don’t poke it or taste it – You can do it!

Once completely cooled put it in the fridge overnight (while I’m writing this I’m thinking that what we have to resist before we get to taste gives us the right to load on the calories – the stress of temptation must cost at least 1000 calories)

The next day

It’s finally time.

Loosen the edges with a knife, remove the sides of the tin and dive in!!!!! NO not yet. Take a vegetable peeler and shave some chocolate over the top, add some whipped cream if you like and then DIVE IN.

YES, YES, YES (Only eat out of earshot of the neighbours)