Chicken and Dumplings

Good morning everyone!! Hope you’ve been having a good long weekend. I have been super busy creating some delicious recipes and taking time for some much-needed rest.

How crazy has the change in weather been, the mornings are much colder and I find myself reaching for that extra duvet every night. With the colder weather now in clear sight, I thought I’d share my family’s favourite winter dish, chicken and dumplings.

Chicken and Dumplings

Ingredients

Chicken Stew

Olive oil

6 chicken thighs, bone-in

1 large onion finely diced

500 g stew mix frozen vegetables

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup salted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes

2 sprigs fresh thyme

Dumplings

2 cups self-raising flour

2 tablespoons salted butter

milk, enough to make a smooth dough

Salt

pepper

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

Method

Heat a heavy-based pan on medium-high heat. Add in a splash of olive oil.

Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan, sear on both sides until browned. Move to a plate and set aside.

Brown onions and stew vegetables. Once browned remove from the pan and set aside.

Add butter to the pan, sprinkle in flour, and whisk, allowing it to brown, about 8-12 minutes.

Whisk in chicken stock and fresh thyme and red chilli flakes, allow it to get smooth then bring to a boil.

Add the chicken and cooked vegetables to the pot and allow to thicken on medium heat until tender. Taste for seasoning and add final salt and pepper to taste.

Dumplings

Add dry ingredients including spices to a bowl, rub in the butter. Add in milk a little at a time until the dough is soft and sticky.

Using a spoon, drop dollops of dough into the pot spaced out. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low.

Allow dumplings to cook and puff up without for about 20 minutes, then test dumpling by cutting in half. The dough shouldn’t be raw. If it needs more time, cover with the lid and allow it to cook a bit longer.

Once ready, add chopped coriander and serve.

Tiramisu Cake

I love tiramisu, then again who doesn’t?

This twist on the Italian classic is mind-blowing! Layers of chocolate cake, ladyfingers dipped in cold espresso with a dash of coffee liqueur, that rich mascarpone filling, all dusted in rich cocoa powder decorated in dark chocolate dipped ladyfingers – pure bliss!!

I know this cake may look complicated but trust me it isn’t, I made this whole cake in under 2 hours while running around my sick baby who refused to take her meds and rest – mom things!

Tiramisu Cake

Ingredients

Chocolate cake
3 eggs, yolks separated
75 grams castor sugar
75 g flour
20 g high-quality cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt

Tiramisu filling
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup castor sugar
250g mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 cup double cream
1 teaspoon gelatine

1 cup cold espresso
1/2 cup coffee liqueur
+- 25 ladyfingers
100g dark chocolate
Cocoa powder for dusting

Method

Trim 2cm of the ladyfingers, dip the tops with dark chocolate, and place on baking paper to set. Keep the cut-off bits aside.

Chocolate cake

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Prepare a cake tin with baking paper and baking spray and set it aside.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale and creamy, fold in the dry ingredients until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Set on a cooling rack.

Tiramisu filling

Place about 3 cm of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and place a bowl on top of the pan ensuring it is not touching the water.

Add the egg yolks and sugar to the bowl, whisking to mix the ingredients. Place the bowl on the small pot of simmering water. Using a whisk to mix, whip the mixture constantly for about 10 minutes. This will cook the eggs. The mixture will increase in volume as it thickens. After you have finished whipping the egg and sugar mixture, remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whip the mixture to help it cool. The mixture should be thick and yellow in colour.

Add room temperature mascarpone to the mixture, mix until well combined. Don’t overmix this can cause curdling.

In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Add a little water to the powdered gelatine and set aside to bloom (5 minutes). Place in the microwave for 5 seconds and fold it into the mixture. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the tiramisu cake.

Assembly

Using a serrated knife cut the chocolate cake making two layers. Place the first layer in a springform pan.

Place the cold espresso and coffee liqueur in a shallow bowl, dip the cut of buts of ladyfingers in the mixture, and place over the chocolate cake layer.

Layer with half the tiramisu filling, use the back of a spoon or offset spatula to spread the mixture evenly.

Add the 2nd layer of chocolate cake and place in the fridge to set (preferably overnight) Cover the extra tiramisu filling and refrigerate.

Once set place the cake on a serving plate or cake stand. Decorate with the chocolate-dipped ladyfinger, pipe the extra tiramisu filling on top of the chocolate cake layer. Dust with cocoa powder and serve.

Keep refrigerated.

Oreo Mousse Chocolate Eggs

Mousse but make it trendy!

These are oreo mousse filled chocolate eggs!! And no it really does not get any better than this!!

Not to mention it is a genius way to serve dessert this weekend!

Oreo Mousse filled Chocolate Eggs

Ingredients

8 oreo cookies, crushed
360 ml whipping cream, chilled
1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted
2 medium sized hollow chocolate eggs

Method

Whip the cream and icing sugar together until thick and frothy, fold in the crushed oreo cookies.

Seperate the chocolate hollow eggs and spoon in the mousse mixture.

Place on a serving plate and drizzle with chocolate, extra crushed oreo cookies and serve!

Hot Cross Bagels

Happy Sunday everyone!
The weather is changing, it is getting colder and I found myself digging up my winter jammies during the week. I spend most of my weekends getting up early – not by choice, my kids wake me up (GRRR!) – I shower and put on a fresh pair of jammies to start my day.

I posted my recipe for hot cross buns a few weeks ago which was incredible, however, I’ve been craving for something a little different. I turned a 2 ingredient dough recipe into spicy hot cross bagels and boy oh boy were they amazing!

We enjoyed them with some salted butter while they were still warm – that means I had to once again rush taking photos to satisfy everyone lol. I enjoy it though, how their faces light up when I try something new and especially when they get to take the first bite, the joy I tell ya!

Here is the recipe, I hope you guys give it a try.

Hot Cross Bagels

Ingredients

Bagels

1 1/2 cup self-raising flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

2 teaspoons mixed spice

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup fruit mix

1 cup double cream yogurt

Crosses

2 tablespoons cake flour

water to make a paste

Glaze

Apricot jam

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celcius, prepare a baking tray with baking paper, and set aside.
  2. Add all your dry ingredients to a bowl, add the yogurt, and mix with a wooden spoon or by hand until combined.
  3. Knead the dough for 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
  4. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a log and shape into a bagel, ensuring to secure each end.
  5. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Mix the cake flour and enough water to make a thick paste. Pipe crosses onto the bagels and bake for 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  6. Brush the bagels with apricot jam as soon as they come out of the oven.
  7. Serve warm with lashings of salted butter.

Masala French Toast

Good morning lovelies, I am quite excited about this short week we have ahead of us as I really am looking forward to creating some exciting new Easter content. I have been wrecking my brain on how to take incredible videos. I’ve done tons of research and can’t wait to put everything I’ve learnt to action.

Now I’m not much of a breakfast person, and if you ever do see me eating breakfast it is usually some sort of curry or breyani – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

However this version of french toast is an absolute favourite especially when I am in need of a spoil. It is fragrant, fresh and filled with cheese – it’s so good we even ended up making them for dinner that evening!

Give this version of french toast a try and let me know what you think – have a lovely week!

Masala French Toast

Ingredients

6 large eggs

salt

pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dhania

1/2 teaspoon jeera powder

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes

6 slices of white bread

2 cups of cheddar cheese, grated

Method

  1. Add the eggs, spices, and dhania to a bowl. Whisk until combined.
  2. Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add vegetable oil to the pan.
  3. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture and toast on the pan until each side is cooked through. Do this with the remaining slices of bread,
  4. Place cheese on 3 slices and sandwich with the remaining 3 slices and return to the frying pan until the cheese has melted.
  5. Serve immediately. 

Victoria Sponge Cake

Simple, elegant and darn delicious!

This cake is to celebrate my husband and I getting through this week, we never thought we’d actually get there given the homework, spelling tests and everything else that was thrown at us during the week – we did it, we made it baby!

You know how some things are just a classic, like the LBD well so is a Victoria Sponge Cake, it looks prettier than the ones my Grandma used to buy us when I was little but the taste is exactly the same. That gorgeous, airy vanilla sponge, strawberry jam – not homemade because really who has time for that – and slightly sweetened fresh cream.

Did we feel guilty for having 3 slices each at breakfast? Hell Nah!! It was like a reward 😅.

Hope you had a better week than we did.

Victoria Sponge Cake

Ingredients

160g unsalted butter, softened

160g self-raising flour

160g caster sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp vanilla essence

200ml fresh cream

100g strawberry jam

2 tbsp icing sugar, extra for dusting

250g fresh strawberries, optional

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C. Prepare 2 20 cm round baking tins with baking paper and non stick baking spray and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vanilla essence and castor sugar using an electric hand held whisk until light and fluffy, about 6-8 minutes.

Add the lightly beaten egg a 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well between additions, until fully incorporated.

Carefully fold in the flour. Spoon equal amounts of the batter evenly into the two prepared cake tins.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cakes. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out and peeling away the baking paper.

Whip the cream and 1 tablespoon of icing sugar to medium peaks. Then spread the bottom half of the cooled cake with half of the cream in an even layer. Spread the strawberry jam evenly and carefully on top of the cream, add in diced strawberries (optional).

Sandwich the cake with the other half and transfer it carefully to a serving plate. Dust with the icing sugar and spread the remaining cream over and top with whole strawberries and serve.

Keep cake refrigerated.

Snowballs

Felt extremely nostalgic whilst baking these snowballs, reminded me so much of my childhood growing up in Durban. I remember my late Grandfather would always feed me my body weight in wareings snowballs. They were so good!

He would always surprise us with a huge batch of these, whether he was popping by to say hello, or hoarding us all in his car for a drive to the beach. There was always snowballs no matter what the occasion.

Not sure if Wareings still exist, but I am very grateful for the good memories they’ve given me. Here is a family recipe for snowballs, sanwiched in a simple icing, glazed in syrup made with starwberry jam, and my favourite part is that it is coated in delicious coconut.

Snowballs

For the coconut coating:
300g desiccated coconut
Pink food colouring

Syrup:
200ml sugar
200ml water
250ml strawberry jam

Cake:
280g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup white sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
800ml self-raising flour

Icing/filling:
2 cup icing sugar
35mk water

Method:

Syrup:
Add the water, sugar and jam into a saucepan and boil until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup has thickened. Set aside to cool.

Icing/filling:
Mix the icing sugar and warer together until you form a spreadable paste and set aside.

Cake:
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in one egg at a time until combined. Add the vanilla essence.

Add in the flour and mix using a wooden spoon or spatula until a soft dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky add in a tablespoon of flour until the dough reaches the right consistency.

Divide the dough into 24 parts ( I weighed mine) and roll into balls.

Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, leave enough space between.

Bake for 15 mins at 170°C. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Spread equal amounts of icing on the six halves of the snowballs and sandwich with the other six. Allow the icing to set.

Dip each one into the syrup for a few seconds on each side until its well coated with the syrup, then roll each snowball in the coconut.

Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

Durban Lamb Curry

The best kind of food!

The dish of my childhood summed up in one casserole. I love my curries pungent and spicy, like spicy, spicy! This is one of those dishes anyone can make, the first bite will immediately remind you of home.

A typical Durban curry, spicy and pungent that it will have your neighbours asking for the recipe – true story by the way!

Durban Lamb Curry

Ingredients

1.5 kg lamb, cut into pieces

1/4 cup ghee

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ginger and garlic paste

4 teaspoons kashmiri chilli powder

3 teaspoons masala

1.5 teaspoon dhania powder

1.5 teaspoon jeera powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

3 jam tomatoes, grated or finely chopped

4 UTD potatoes, cut into quarters

3 green chillies

1 sprig curry leaves

Dhania to garnish

Method

1. Add ghee to a large heavy-based casserole, add onion, chilli, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and fry until golden brown, add in the ginger and garlic paste and allow to cook with the onion for half a minute.

2. Add in the spices and fry for 2-3 minutes, add in the meat pieces and toss to coat in the spices. Allow the meat to cook for 10 minutes, turning every 2-3 minutes to brown the meat.

3. Add the grated jam tomatoes and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the potatoes, and a cup of water, close the pot lid and allow the curry to simmer on medium heat until the potatoes are soft and meat tender (30-45 minutes).

Serve with roti, rice, and salad. Enjoy!

Aloo Fry

Aloo Fry is better than fries!

Like if I had to live on just one vegetarian dish for the rest of my life, this would be it, with fresh roti or bread – it’s so good!

I found a bag of up to date potatoes and decided to make a quick dinner with them. They did not disappoint. I usually give up on getting good potatoes because they have been so very hard to find. The other half will be used to make gnocchi which is my absolute favourite thing to eat as of recently -I’ll share the recipe for that with you soon I promise.

Right now though this aloo Fry brings a much needed balance with all the bakes I’ve been sharing recently.

Which savoury dishes would you like to see more off on my blog? Let me know in the comments ❤

Ingredients
4 large up to date potatoes, cut into cubes
Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger/garlic
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon jeera seeds
1/4 teaspoon methi seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
3 green chillies, chopped finely
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 cup fresh coriander

Method
On medium high heat, heat oil in a large frying pan. Add cinnamon stick, jeera, mustard seeds and methi seeds. Fry until aromatic (3-4 minutes)

Mix in the ginger and garlic paste and green chillies, fry for half a minute.

Add potato cubes, salt, chilli flakes and turmeric powder.  Mix well until all the potatoes are coated well, add a 1/4 cup of water to the pot and 1 sprig of curry leaves. Lower the heat and cover the pan and allow to simmer until potatoes are cooked through and all water has evaporated. 

Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with rice, roti or fresh bread. Enjoy!

Hot Cross Buns

So this recipe says cool before serving but if I’m being honest I ripped the first batch apart the minute I brushed on the glaze and if we’re doing the whole honesty thing I didn’t even wait for the butter to form a little pool in the centre – I know I’m not alone on this hot cross buns are crazy addictive.

Hot cross buns

Ingredients
9g instant yeast
110g caster sugar
375ml lukewarm milk
640g bread flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
2 teaspoons mixed Spice
1/2 tsp salt
200g fruit cake mix
50g  unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg , at room temperature

Crosses
75g flour, any kind will do
Just enough water to make a thick paste

Glaze
1 tbsp apricot jam
2 tsp water

Method
Place flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk till combined.

Add melted butter, milk, egg and fruit mix to the dry ingredients.

Standmixer
On medium speed, knead until a smooth elastic dough forms . Add extra flour if required (just a tablespoon at a time), just enough so dough comes away from side of bowl when kneading.

Hand kneading
Alternatively, dust a work surface with flour and knead by hand for 10 minutes. Dough is kneaded enough when it’s smooth and does not break when stretched.

Leave dough in the bowl, cover with cling wrap and place in a warm, draft free place to rise until doubled in size. This will take anywhere between 60 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on how warm it is.

Line a 31.5 x 23.5 cm baking tray with baking paper and set aside.

Remove cling wrap and punch dough to deflate.

Weigh out the dough and roll into 12 balls.

Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Line them up 3 x 4.

Cover loosely with cling wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To make the Crosses mix flour and water until a thick paste forms.

Spoon into a piping bag or small ziplock bag then snip corner.

Remove the cling wrap and pipe crosses onto the buns.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the surface is a deep golden brown.

Meanwhile, place jam and water in a bowl, microwave for 30 seconds. Mix to combine.

Remove the buns from oven.

Brush with jam glazr while warm. Allow to cool to warm before serving.