Thursday, June 18, 2015

Camembert and rosemary bread with honey and walnuts

Before you express outrage at the fact that I'm featuring a savoury recipe (Shock! Gasp! Horror!), let me just say that, cheese is basically the chocolate of the savoury world. So it counts. Sort of. 

If there's one thing I love more on this earth than chocolate (and cake), it's cheese. And bread. No wait, homemade bread! 

This is a combination of both those pleasures - homemade rosemary bread wrapped around a wheel of camembert and baked. So that when it comes out the oven, you can put it on the table (and if you're a nice enough person to share) let friends and family tear off crusty chunks of bread and dip them straight into the oozy, stringy, gooey cheese... But if you bake it and sit on the kitchen floor doing that all by yourself, then hey, who am I to judge!

Camembert rosemary bread with honey and walnuts
Recipe developed and featured in Food & Home Entertaining Magazine
Serves 4-6

850 g bread flour
15ml (1 tbsp) sugar
15ml (1 tbsp) salt
55 g unsalted butter
360 ml milk, scalded
240 ml warm water
7g sachet active dried yeast
olive oil, for drizzling
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped rosemary
250g Camembert wheel
100g walnuts
30 ml (2 tbsp) honey

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Stir the flour, sugar and salt together. Stir the butter into the warm milk and allow to cool to room temperature. Place the water in a bowl and add the yeast. Wait one minute before whisking and adding the cooled milk. Stir in the flour mixture to form a rough dough. Knead the dough until perfectly smooth, either by hand or machine. 
Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Knock the dough down by kneading it gently to push out the air. Break off a fist size piece of dough and roll out into a small circle.  
Wrap the dough around the wheel of Camembert and set aside. Roll the rest of the dough out into a rectangle, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with chopped rosemary. Roll the dough up into a sausage and then cut the sausage in half lengthwise, leaving the top still attached. Twist the two pieces around each other then form into a circle around the Camembert, pressing the two ends together. 
Cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with walnuts and bake the bread at 200°C for 30-40 minutes or until golden and firm. The bread is ready when it makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Drizzle the walnuts with honey and serve immediately while still warm.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Chocolate Marshmallow Log

This is an ode to the fabulosity that is the Chocolate Log; that delicious wafer-marshmallow-chocolate bar that is so deeply intrenched into each of our childhood’s. Those not from here, they just don’t get it. They don’t understand the utter joy in biting into a super-fresh chocolate log (you know the one’s when the wafer is still crispy?) or digging out the filling with your finger before eating the chocolate coating. And of course, there’s licking the squished marshmallow off the wrapper (and hoping no one will see and judge you for it). I've also just discovered that the serious chocolate log connoisseurs out there actually freeze the bar first, taking the squishy marshmallow to even gooier heights!

 This cake is by no means a replacement for the real thing, but it is almost as delicious! The gooey marshmallow filling is there (I’ve toasted it for added oomph), so is the chocolate coating - and the wafers - all wrapped up in a flourless light-as-air chocolate swiss roll.

If making your own marshmallow is too much effort, simply melt store-bought white marshmallows with a little water then spread that over. I won’t tell if you don’t. 

Chocolate Marshmallow Log
Serves 8-10

Chocolate log:
6 eggs (separated)
150g castor sugar
50g cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cocoa powder, for dusting

Marshmallow filling:
4 egg whites
1 cup (250ml) castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate glaze:
55g dark or milk chocolate
1/4 cup (60ml) cream
2 tbsp (30ml) golden syrup or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate wafer biscuits, to garnish 

To make the Swiss roll: Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a large baking sheet with baking paper. 
In a large, clean bowl whisk the egg whites until thick and stiff, then slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of castor sugar. 
In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the remaining castor sugar until the mixture is very thick and pale (about 10 minutes). Fold in the vanilla and sifted cocoa powder.
Lightly whisk 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mix to lighten it, then fold the remaining egg whites in, taking care to knock as little air out as possible. 
Pour the cake batter into the lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until springy to the touch. 

While the sponge is baking, prepare the marshmallow frosting. Place the egg whites in a large glass or metal bowl and set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Using a hand beater, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks, then slowly start sprinkling in the sugar. 
Whisk the meringue until it is warm to the touch, then remove from the heat, add the vanilla and beat until cool. 
Remove the cake from the oven ad allow it to cool a little before turning it out onto another piece of baking parchment which has been dusted in cocoa powder.

Make the glaze by combining all the ingredients in a bowl, microwave until the chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth. Cool to room temperature before drizzling over the log. Top the chocolate log with remaining marshmallow frosting and sprinkle with chopped up wafers or chocolate wafer bars. 

To assemble, place the cake with the short side closest to you, then spread with the marshmallow, leaving a border at the end furthest from you. 
If you want, you can toast the marshmallow using a blow torch (or place under a very hot grill) until golden brown. 
Roll the cake up tightly, trim off the ends if necessary and dust with cocoa powder. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

How to make your own condensed milk

 If you buy (and eat) as much condensed milk as I do, you start thinking of ways to cut out the middleman. Luckily I didn't have to think too hard, because my mother had the idea first and penned a recipe for her own condensed milk in our family cookbook. Bless her soul! 

Making your own will not only cost you 1/3 of the price of a store-bought tin, but it will also save you in those moments when you open the cupboard and (horror!) someone has beaten you to that tin. Because is there anything worse than planning a recipe only to realize you're missing that crucial ingredient?! 
Thank goodness making your own uses just 5 ingredients (3 if you're in a serious pinch). 

Did I mention how easy it is? It's embarrassingly easy. 
So easy I almost considered not even posting it at all. Almost. 

If you bake a lot of fudge (who doesn't?!) then it will save you a stack of money and you don't even have to use castor sugar - just blend up the normal granulated white sugar until it's fine and use that. All you're looking for is a finer texture so that it dissolves quickly so icing sugar will do the trick as well. 

Now I know I don't need to tell you that I have a STACK of recipes using condensed milk so I've included the links below the recipe because once you've made your own, you'll want to use it in a gajillion things, that's if you're left with any! 

Homemade Condensed Milk
Makes 400g (equivalent to 1 tin)

1 ¼ cups (310ml) powdered milk
¾ cup (180ml) castor sugar
60g butter, softened
1/3 cup (80ml) boiling water
A drop of vanilla essence (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, thick and the sugar and milk powder are dissolved. 
Pour into a jar and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Almost forgot, here's a video of me making the condensed milk too ->


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Quadruple Chocolate Cake

A melt 'n mix white chocolate cake sandwiched together with whipped dark chocolate ganache and drizzled with THREE kinds of chocolate sauce. Why? Because I can. And because 4 types of chocolate exist and I couldn't choose my favourite (it's like choosing a favourite child!) so I used them all. And because it's International No Diet Day. Yes, I know every day on TheKateTin is no diet day... 

I once heard a dietician say (bet you NEVER thought I'd be quoting a dietician - ha!) that if you're going to cheat while on a diet, then do it properly! Half cheating just results in more cheating. But don't fear, there is no half cheating with this cake. I didn't call it a quadruple (bypass?) cake for nothing! 

The melt 'n mix white chocolate sponge is a revelation - it's so delicious and tastes just like a milky bar. YUUUUM! It's quite sweet so I balanced it out with a whipped dark chocolate ganache so there's a bit of bitterness. But all that balance kinda jumped out the window when I got to the top of the cake and decided to go all Jackson Pollock on it with white, milk and caramel chocolate. Oh well. My intentions were good! Does that count?

As for those of you who are feeling any sort of guilt at eating said cake? I'll leave you with this sweet quote from Jeanne Ray: 

"A slice of cake never made anyone fat. You don't eat the WHOLE cake... You have a slice and what it reminds you of is someplace that's safe, uncomplicated, without stress. A cake is a party, a birthday, a wedding. A cake is what is served on the happiest days of your life"

Quadruple chocolate cake
Because just 3 types of chocolate isn’t enough. A super-easy melt ‘n mix white chocolate cake topped with whipped dark chocolate ganache and caramel-chocolate sauce.
Serves 12

Recipe by Katelyn Williams

Melt ‘n Mix White chocolate cake
185g butter
1 cup (250ml) milk
1 cup (250ml) castor sugar
150g white chocolate, chopped
2 cups (500ml) cake flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 large eggs

Whipped ganache
100ml cream
200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped

50g milk chocolate, melted
50g white chocolate, melted
50g caramelized white chocolate, melted (see TIP)

Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line 2 x 15cm cake tins.
For the cake, combine the butter, milk, sugar and chocolate in a saucepan and melt over low heat.
In a separate bowl, mix the cake flour and baking powder.
Add the chocolate mix to the dry ingredients and whisk well, then whisk in the eggs.
Divide the batter between the two cake tins and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean.
Turn the cake out of the tins and allow to cool completely, then slice each cake in half horizontally.
For the whipped ganache, heat the cream until boiling then pour over the chopped chocolate. Allow to stand for a few minutes then stir until melted.
Allow to set completely then using a hand mixer, whip the ganache until light and fluffy (careful not to overwhip or it will split!)
Assemble the cake by layering the white chocolate cake alternately with whipped chocolate ganache.
Decorate the cake by drizzling with the 3 different types of chocolate.

TIP: To make the caramelized white chocolate, place broken up good-quality white chocolate on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil. Place in an oven preheated to 150C for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes until a rich caramel colour is achieved. If the chocolate is lumpy, simply blend it in a food processor or pass it through a sieve. If it’s too thick, add a little more oil.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Caramel Choc Chip Hot Cross Chelsea Buns

I LOVE hot cross buns - especially when they're toasty and dripping with salted butter. They're just heavenly! But the worst thing about making them is waiting for that pesky yeast to rise - which can take anything from half an hour to half a day! And when you have a craving that is literally forever! So I've cut straight to the chase with this recipe - it's one that comes all the way from my standard 6 Home Economics class when we first made Chelsea Buns using a scone dough recipe. It's so simple, quick and delicious! With no proving, knocking down and what have you. 

My buns (snigger snigger) have swirls of sticky caramel in them along with pockets of chocolate chips, candied zest and flaked almonds - which can easily be tailored to whatever your heart desires! Oooo white chocolate! Chopped Turkish apricots! Pistachios! 

Although all of our focus this week is on Easter, just a reminder that it is also Fairtrade Fortnight. So the Fairtrade SA team challenged me to make a recipe using their Fairtrade chocolate, rooibos tea and a yummy energy drink. Boy, what a challenge! But coincidentally they all fitted quite easily into this recipe - chocolate chips in the buns and rooibos and the drink in the glaze. My favourite part of buying Fairtrade, is that it takes a lot of the guilt out of enjoying a slab of chocolate :) Okay fine, maybe two slabs. Point is, we can make a big difference by making a small choice. 

Caramel Hot Cross Chelsea Buns

3 cups (360g) cake flour
2 tbsp (30ml) white sugar
1 tbsp (15ml) baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
120g butter, cubed
300ml buttermilk 
1 large egg

½ tin (200g) caramel spread (like dulce de leche)
½ cup (50g) flaked almonds
2 tbsp mixed candied peel
1 cup (150g) chopped good-quality dark chocolate (I used Fairtrade)
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup (180g) honey, warmed
1/4 cup strong rooibos tea (optional)
1/4 cup water (I used a Fairtrade drink because of the Fairtrade challenge)
1 cup (130g) icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp (approx.) buttermilk

Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Combine the flour, white sugar, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and mix well.
Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Combine the buttermilk and egg separately then add to the dry ingredients. Use a knife and cutting movements to incorporate everything until it forms a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead roughly 10 times or until a smooth dough forms.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 20cm wide on a lightly floured surface.
Spread caramel over the dough then sprinkle with almonds, peel, chocolate and spices.
Carefully roll your dough up to form a long sauasage and pinch the edges to seal.  Using a sharp serrated knife, cut slices roughly 4-cm thick and pack them together into your lined baking tin. Make sure to pack the buns together quite snugly.
Bake at 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until risen and golden. Combine the honey, rooibos tea (if using) and water and simmer until  and brush over the warm buns. 
To make the crosses, mix the icing sugar and buttermilk and place in a piping bag. Pipe crosses over the tops of the buns. 



Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Rocky Road brownies

Why eat your Easter eggs one at a time, when you can devour them all 
at the SAME time in one convenient block? 
These dark chocolate brownies are topped with an Easter egg rocky road which I’ve crammed all my favourites into – those moreish white candy-coated chocolate eggs, marshmallow eggs, and my absolute favourite; mini speckled eggs (which I should seriously consider purchasing shares in). I’ve also added some oreo’s for biscuity crunch but you can add your own favourites and turn them into your own Easter fantasy bars. Whether you’re making these FOR Easter to wow the kids (they'll love you forever!) or AFTER Easter as a way to use up your leftover stash of chocolate (what does 'leftover chocolate' even MEAN?!), these brownies are so darn swoon-worthy they’ll become a family favourite. Put simply, they're an Easter explosion of chocolate happiness in your mouth and you need to make them now! 

Happy Easter!

Side note - imagine these bars crumbled up into vanilla ice cream?! Oh em geeee.

Easter Rocky Road Brownies
Makes 12

200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
150g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
150g castor sugar
3 eggs, beaten
75g plain flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt

Rocky road topping
50g butter
150g dark chocolate, 
100g biscuits, crushed
50g marshmallow easter eggs, chopped
50g mini speckled eggs
50g White candy-coated chocolate eggs, cracked into pieces

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 20cm square baking tin and line the base with baking paper.
Melt the chopped chocolate, butter and vanilla together in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl.
Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, then leave to cool for a few minutes. 
Beat in the eggs, then sift in the flour, cocoa and salt and fold in until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the top starts to crack but the centre remains gooey. 
Turn off the oven and leave the brownies inside for a further 5 minutes before removing. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

Make the topping by melting the butter then add the dark chocolate and melt until smooth. Allow to cool then stir in the biscuits, marshmallows, speckled eggs and white eggs.