Chocolate Pistachio Meringue Brownies

Fudgy brownies topped with a chewy, nutty meringue – Absolute heaven!

Chocolate Pistachio Meringue Brownies

Ingredients

150g unsalted butter, 

210g Dark chocolate, 

150g sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

75g cake flour

30ml cocoa powder

Meringue

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

190g caster sugar

5ml vanilla essence or extract

5ml cornflour

5ml instant coffee powder

60g cocoa powder

200g toasted pistachios, ground (replace with toasted almonds or hazelnuts)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Prepare a 20cm cake tin by lining it with baking paper at the bottom and around the sides.

Brownies

Add chocolate and butter to a bowl, microwave at 30-second increments until melted, set aside to cool. 

Mix in the sugar, and beat in the eggs. 

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, and coffee powder, fold in until combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin.

In a large, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks whilst slowly adding in the sugar a little at a time.

Add the vanilla extract. Fold in the cocoa powder, cornflour, coffee. 

Dollop the meringue over the brownie batter.

Bake for 35 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy!

The Best Blueberry Muffins

Delicious blueberry muffins with a soft crumb and crackling sugar crust!

Hey everyone!!

I hope you are keeping safe and sanitising, we are too!
We just got the news that our kids’ aftercare has to be closed for 2 weeks because someone caught the virus – I’m pretty angry about it because apparently this person had flu symptoms but still rocked up for work.
Why aren’t people not taking this seriously!!

With the numbers rising every day, the number of people I know who’ve lost loved ones to this virus – it’s very heartbreaking, to say the least.

Please wear a mask, please sanitise and if you are experiencing any symptoms please stay home and isolate yourself – let’s keep everyone around us safe during this third wave.

I’ve been working from home for the past 3 weeks now, I am very fortunate for this I know not everyone has this opportunity. I’ve been scared to go shopping for groceries and even debate sending my kids to school every morning – all we can do is pray and protect ourselves by taking every precaution known to us.

I baked the blueberry muffins as lunch box snacks for the kids, I would usually get crackers from the shops, but that just goes back to not going out as often as I usually would.

These muffins reminded me of back when I was a single gal, working at a Bank and going to the Vida E Cafe in our building – they made the best blueberry muffins with white chocolate chips and a delish crackling sugar top – It was glorious!

I hope you enjoy this recipe, I used frozen bluebs for this and it worked out brilliantly

Blueberry Muffins
Ingredients

115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon extract
240g cake flour
114g milk, at room temperature
350g blueberries, fresh or frozen – both work well in this recipe
50g sugar, for topping

Method
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Prepare your muffin pan with baking spray, or line with muffin wrappers.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until combined.
Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl and beating well after each addition.
Fold in the baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract.
Add the flour alternately with the milk, beating gently just until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Add the berries to the batter, stirring just to combine.
Scoop 1/4-cupful of the batter into the prepared muffin tin
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar on top of each muffin.
Bake the muffins for about 25-30 minutes, until they’re light golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
Remove the muffins from the oven, after 10 minutes transfer them to a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Strawberry Bundt Cakes

I love bundt cakes, I know they’re a bit old-fashioned but I love them!
They’re so cute, especially these mini bundts – then again, isn’t anything miniature regarded as cute?

I used frozen strawbs for this recipe, along with strawberry yogurt and strawberry jam – They are packed with that delicious berry flavour I love so much!
They’re also extremely fluffy and moist – and just so darn good!

I usually use this recipe to make cupcakes and decided to dust of my old bundt moulds because I rarely ever use them – even though I promised myself I would if I got them!

Here’s how you can make them!

Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup strawberry yogurt, or plain yogurt
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup strawberries, cut into chunks
1/3 cup strawberry jam

Method
Preheat the oven to 180° C.
Prepare a mini bundt pan or 12-cup muffin pan with baking spray and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, yogurt, egg, vanilla, and sugar until combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, bicarb, and salt, mixing until just combined.
Fold in the strawberries. Dollop spoonfuls of the jam around the batter, swirling it into the batter.
Spoon the batter into the mini bundt pan, filling 1/2 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
If using a muffin pan, fill 2/3 the way full and bake 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Invert the bundt cakes onto a cooling rack.
For the glaze, whisk together 1/2 cup of sifted icing sugar together with a tablespoon of milk and whisk until you get a thick, smooth paste.
Drizzle over cooled cakes and enjoy!

Dhal Gosht

A hearty meaty dish, perfect for winter

Dhal Gosht is the perfect hearty Indian-inspired dish, I made this yesterday and unashamedly had more for breakfast this morning 😁.

Made with a delicious blend of freshly ground spices, this dish is an absolute favourite with my little family.

I have the recipe up on my YouTube Channel which I’ve neglected for most of the year – editing is exhausting 😞 but I promise to put more effort into it.
What is your go-to winter meal?

Ingredients

Dhal

1 ½ – 2 cups oil dhal or pea dhal
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt

Curry

1 onion, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon whole jeera seeds
500g mutton, lamb or chicken
1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
1 teaspoon dhania powder
1 teaspoon jeera powder
3 teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole elachi
3 whole cloves
½ cup chopped or grated tomatoes
1 cup dhania
A few sprigs curry leaves

Vagaar

2 tablespoons ghee
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon whole jeera seeds
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 green chillies

Method

Dhal

Wash and drain the dhal (lentils), boil in salted water in a pressure cooker until soft (30 minutes).
Use an immersion blender to make this extra smooth.

Vagaar

Add ghee to a pan, add onions and jeera and fry till golden brown.
Add garlic and chilli. Fry for a minute before adding to the cooked dhal gosht.

Curry

Add ghee to a large pot, braise onion with jeera seeds until golden brown.
Add ginger and garlic paste and cook for a minute.
Add meat and all the spices. Coat meat in the spices and allow to cook on low heat until the meat has browned.
Add tomatoes and allow to cook a further 10 minutes.
Add the cooked dhal and allow to simmer on low heat for 1 hour, stir often.
Add the vagaar and fresh dhania

Savoury Dutch Baby Pancake

A sweet and savoury dutch baby pancake filled with fresh herbs, cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and custard…?

Err Landi, what the hell?

Relax guys, this is one of those weird but wonderful creations that you’re going to thank me for. I used store-bought custard to make my pancake mixture and I have to say the sweet, savoury, and salty thing works!
You get a light and puffy pancake that is filled with delicious fresh ingredients which you can top with almost anything your heart desires – think crispy bacon and feta, or pancetta and Parmigiano

Ingredients

4 tbsp First Choice Salted Butter, plus additional butter for serving
160 g First Choice Custard, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature
80 g cake flour, sifted
black pepper
pinch of salt
3 tbsp First Choice White Cheddar Cheese
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
salad herbs, for serving
2 tbsp lemon juice
60 g crispy fried bacon

Method

Preheat the oven to 230 degrees C. Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a 20 cm cast iron skillet or 20 cm cake tin. Place the skillet or cake tin in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, First Choice Custard, flour, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Whisk until the batter is smooth.

In a small bowl, combine the First Choice Cheese, thyme and chives. Remove the hot skillet/cake tin from the oven and pour the batter into the skillet/cake tin.

Sprinkle the cheese/herb mix evenly over the batter. Place the skillet in the centre of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pancake is fully puffed and browned on top.

Meanwhile, toss the salad herbs with lemon juice and season with salt. Remove the Dutch Baby from the oven and top with a small pat of First Choice Butter.

Finish with crispy bacon, salad greens, and a pinch of black pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Mini Baked Cheesecakes

These creamy morsels were incredible to make and by that I mean they are really easy to whip up and so delicious.
This recipe makes the perfect base, I topped mine with lemon zest and sweetened whipped cream. Let your imagination run wild by topping the cheesecakes with salted caramel, cookie butter, Nutella, or whatever your heart desires!

Here is how you can make them.

Here is how you can make them.

Mini Baked Cheesecakes

Ingredients

Biscuit base

70g biscuit crumbs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon sugar

Cheesecake

225g full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature

55g sugar

60g sour cream, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 large egg, at room temperature

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a muffin pan with 9 cupcake liners and set aside.

Biscuit crust

Combine all of the crust ingredients in a bowl. Press a tablespoon of the mixture into each liner and set aside.

Cheesecake filling

Beat the cream cheese and sugar together in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Add sour cream, vanilla essence, and lemon juice then beat until combined. 

Add the egg and beat just until combined. The batter will be thick.

Divide the batter between all the cupcake liners.

It’s about 1.5 tablespoons per cheesecake.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow cheesecakes to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, before transferring to the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours.

Once chilled, add toppings and serve. Cover and store leftover cheesecakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

The Perfect Scones

Happy Mother’s Day weekend ladies!!

I usually stress myself out during celebrations like these, focusing more on blog content than actually taking a moment to enjoy the festivities. This year I decided to just put my phone down and live, and it’s been working out great!

I’ve been indulging in cake – That I didn’t have to make and I can proudly say that I’m having the best time!

I highly recommend trying this out – yesterday I craved scones and decided to make a small batch since it was my baby’s birthday party she we love scones with a little cream and strawberry jam – so good!

These scones are flakey, butter, light and delicious, serve with cheese or jam – sweet or savoury these scones are incredible.

Here’s how you can make them.

The Perfect Scones

Ingredients
350g self-raising flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
85g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 tbsp caster sugar
175ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
beaten egg, to glaze

Method
Heat the oven to 220C. Whisk the self-raising flour into a large bowl with ¼ tsp salt and the baking powder.

Add the butter and rub it in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Stir in the caster sugar.

Make a well in the dry mix, then add the buttermilk and combine it quickly with a spoon.

Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and tip the dough out. Fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Shape into a disc. Take a 5cm cutter and dip it into some flour. Cut out the scones and place them on a baking tray.

Brush the tops with a beaten egg and bake for 10 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat just warm with butter or cheese or like my family prefers generously topped with jam and cream.

Burnt Honey and Rooibos Loaf

My goodness!! This delicious loaf is my most favourite bake right now.


Burnt honey has a slightly nutty and caramel flavour that just brings this entire loaf to life!!


I love that isn’t too sweet, and together with rooibos, they make quite a match as my tea lovers would agree.



Rooibos and Burnt Honey Loaf

Ingredients


3 rooibos teabags

210g full cream milk

170g unsalted butter, room temperature

100g granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

255g burnt honey (recipe below)

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

270g cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 tsp salt


Method


Burnt honey

Place honey in a saucepan, and set over high heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium.

Cook the honey, stirring occasionally with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon until it the color darkens and turns to dark amber; about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and carefully add 1/4 cup water. Allow the honey to splutter until it stops bubbling, then mix to combine. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and set aside to cool.


Snip open the rooibos tea bags and add the leaves to the milk in a small saucepan on medium-high heat.


Bring to a simmer then remove the saucepan from the heat. Leave the ground tea leaves in the milk and let steep while cooling down to room temperature.


Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Prepare a loaf pan with baking spray and baking paper, set aside.


Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, approximately 8 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat it into the creamed butter mixture.


Then add 1/3 cup of the cooled burnt honey and vanilla essence, beat until combined.


Mix the flour mixture and the milk tea alternatively into the creamed butter. Mix each step until just smooth.


Pour the batter into the pan, swirl the remaining burnt honey onto the batter. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean from the center of the loaf.

Smore Cookies

Smore chocolate cookies

Happy Saturday everyone!!

It is such a beautiful day in Johannesburg. We plan on spending some time outside today, I’m thinking maybe having a lovely picnic, we’ll see.

A few weeks ago I laid down on the grass in our garden, just looking up at the sky, it felt so incredible and peaceful. It still shocks me that something as simple as that brought me so much of clarity.

I finally understand why people are crazy over camping trips, I can’t wait to go on one with my family.

These smore cookies are going to be at our picnic today, this was a recipe I struggled with recently and I’m so glad it worked out – FINALLY!

These cookies have crispy edges, soft centre’s, toasted marshmellows and loads of chocolate! It is absolutely divine and one for the cookie jar!

Also these images are just my favourite thing over, Iove how comfortable I’m getting with my camera, shooting in manual mode gave me serious anxiety! But I’m glad I never gave up and trust me there were many times I wanted too!

Let me know what you think of these photos and what you enjoy doing to relax 😌 and keep sane of course 😉.

Loads of chocolate
Sooo gooey!

Smore Cookies

Ingredients

130g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

100g granulated sugar

100g packed light or dark brown sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

130g cake flour

55g cocoa powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

1 cup dark chocolate chips, plus extra for topping

1 cup mini marshmallows

Blow torch, optional

Method

Beat the butter, and sugars together until fluffy and light in color.

Beat in the egg and vanilla essence.

In a separate bowl, whisk in the cake flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together.

Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Beat until combined.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using a tablespoon, scoop 2-3 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll into balls and place in a baking tray prepared with baking paper. Do this with the remaining dough

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hour.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Arrange cookies onto the baking tray 5 cm apart. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add on mini marshmellows and extra chocolate chips.

If you have a blow torch you can use it to roast the marshmellows.

Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

Lamb Seekh Kebabs

Lamb seekh kebabs with garlic naan bread and chips

Ingredients:

For the Lamb Seekh Kebabs:

 500 g lamb mince

 ½ red onion

 2 green chilli

 10 g fresh coriander

 2 tsp ginger and garlic paste

 1 tsp ground coriander

 1 tsp ground cumin

 1 tsp red chilli flakes

 salt to taste

 ½ tsp ground black pepper

 wooden skewers

 50 g First Choice Butter

For the mint and coriander raita:

 250 ml First Choice Plain Low Fat Yoghurt

 30 g fresh coriander

 30 g fresh mint

 1 tsp ground cumin

 salt to taste

For the naan breads:

 3 ⅓ cups self-raising flour

 1 ½ cups First Choice Double Cream Yoghurt

 20 g First Choice Butter, melted (optional)

 fresh minced garlic (optional)

Directions:

For the Lamb Seekh Kebabs

Place the lamb mince in a mixing bowl.

Add the red onion, green chilli, and fresh coriander to a food processor and pulse till it forms a paste.

Add this to the mince along with the rest of the spices and mix till combined.

When all the ingredients are nicely mixed in, begin pressing down on the meat as you knead it.

A quick tip to ensure your kebabs are well seasoned is to fry a teaspoon of the kebab mixture, once cooked taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Once it is all ready, form the meat into kebab shapes. Squeeze the meat onto the skewers (preferable large skewers).

Place the seekh kebabs over hot coals and grill, turning regularly until the meat is cooked through – 5 minutes on each side.

Alternatively, melt the First Choice Butter in a grill pan and grill on medium-high heat till cooked through.

For the mint and coriander raita:

Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth. Serve chilled.

For the naan breads:

Combine the self-raising flour and the First Choice Yoghurt in a bowl.

Mix the 2 ingredients until the dough starts to form. If the dough is dry, add 1 tablespoon of yoghurt.

Continue to knead and bring the dough together.

Knead the dough on a large, lightly floured surface. Work the dough out into a large disc.

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece out until it is about 1 cm in thickness and has a 15 cm diameter.

Place a griddle pan on high heat and let it get very hot. Cook the naan on each side for 2 minutes.

If desired, brush each side with the melted butter and minced garlic and a small pinch of sea salt.