Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Peppermint crisp tart milkshake

You may have noticed that I LOVE taking traditional South African recipes and giving them a fresh new twist. There isn't a South African worth their slip slops that will refuse a scoop of peppermint crisp tart at a braai and when I tried to explain this to Italian boyfriend his reaction was 'What is peppermint crisp?' All of my outrage aside, I had not realised until this moment, that the rest of the earth lives in a world without this glorious confection! Can you just imagine? Shame. 
But don't sympathise too long because what this means, is that there's more for us. Yay. 

 I was given this sexy-looking Zoku Slush & Shake maker in September and have been patiently waiting for the perfect scorcher of a day to take it for a spin. This weekend, it finally happened. Thirty degree heat and I was happy, 'cos I could make my decadent milkshake (which is my take on the peppermint crisp tart) and has been in the back of my mind all along. 

The best part of this milkshake, is that it takes forever to melt because it's made in this clever little gadget. You freeze the core of the Zoku (I just keep it in my freezer so when the urge arises, I can whip up a slushie or milkshake) then just pore in your milk mixture or fruit juice and in minutes, it freezes in front of your eyes. You can even add a little bit of booze... I'll just let that sink in while your mind whirls with all the delicious icy possibilities it can create. Magic stuff. And such a great Christmas gift *hint hint*.

Peppermint crisp tart shakes
Serves 2

1 cup vanilla ice cream
180ml milk
1-2 tbsp caramel
1 peppermint crisp bar, crushed plus extra for garnish
Crushed coconut biscuits, to garnish

Blend the ice cream, milk and caramel until smooth then stir in the crushed peppermint crisp. Pour into the Zoku Slush & Shake and stir until thick. Serve garnished with peppermint crisp pieces and coconut biscuits.

*This post has been sponsored by the awesome people at Zoku who make an array of gadgets to whip up icy delights! Visit their website here or like the Facebook page for more yummy recipes. You can find the Slush & Shake makers at Boardmans, @Home and CNA stores or at Yuppiechef.com

Friday, November 22, 2013

Chocolate millionaire shortbread cake

This is one of those 'I've had a horrific week and I need to eat my body weight in copious amounts of chocolate and sugar to make it better' cakes. The cake itself is my absolute favourite and ticks all the boxes of the perfect chocolate cake: moist, not too sweet and easy. It has an absurd amount of water in the batter but rest assured, this is the secret to a deliciously moist cake as the flour absorbs all the liquid when you give it a chance and that's exactly what stops the batter from being dry. It's perfect for tray-bakes for church bazaars or even as cupcakes. 

As if the cake wasn't good enough on it's own, I've piled it with layers of chocolate, caramel and shortbread, inspired by my favourite millionaire treat. If this cake doesn't have the wow factor then I dunno. 

Chocolate millionaire shortbread cake
Recipe created for October issue of Food and Home Entertaining Magazine
Serves 8-10

Chocolate cake
1/2L water
240g vegetable oil
450g brown sugar
200g dark chocolate, chopped
115g cocoa powder
4 large eggs
325g cake flour
5g baking powder
2g salt
10g bicarbonate of soda

500g butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup castor sugar
200ml maizena or cornstarch
2 cups cake flour

Chocolate topping
450g dark chocolate
1 cup cream

Salted caramel sauce, for drizzling
Chocolate shortbread biscuits, to garnish

Preheat oven to 160C.
Boil water then add oil and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and then pour over the chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth. Whisk eggs lightly then stir in the chocolate mixture. Fold in the combined dry ingredients. Let mix stand covered for 1 hour. Place the batter into 2 x 24cm springform cake tins lined with baking paper and bake at 160C for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
For the shortbread, cream the butter or margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the combined dry ingredients to form a soft dough.  Roll out the dough and cut into a 24cm disc. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until crisp and golden. 
Assemble the cake by starting with a shortbread layer, spread some salted caramel on the bottom then place the chocolate cake on top followed by the chocolate topping. Repeat this process finishing with chocolate and a drizzling of salted caramel. Decorate with the leftover crushed shortbread.

TIP: Take a shortcut by buying ready-made caramel and chocolate spread instead of making your own!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Double stuffed chocolate chip cookies

What's better than a chocolate chip cookie? A chocolate chip cookie 
with another cookie inside. Duh. 
The moment my little cousin posted a pic of this concoction that she 
created on Facebook, I fell in love. 
Why has no one thought of this before I ask?! It's just genius. 
A cookie inside of a cookie? Get out. 

Photograph by Gunther Schubert of Vorsprung Studio

To fast-forward to the eating part, I used a super easy chocolate chip cookie mix 'cos incase you needed permission, it doesn't matter how you get there, people. I'm here to tell you that sometimes, cheating is okay. Especially when there is eating involved. Now, excuse me while I go figure out what else I can stuff into the middle of a chocolate chip cookie...

Double stuffed chocolate chip cookies
Makes 24

1 x 500g Sasko Quick Treats Cookie Mix
140g butter
1 extra large egg
1 cup chocolate chips
24 chocolate sandwich cookies

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line 2 baking trays.Place the cookie mix into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.Whisk the egg then mix into the flour to form a soft dough. Stir in the chocolate chips.Form the dough into golf-sized balls then press flat in your hand, insert a cookie into the middle and wrap the dough around it. Place on the lined baking trays and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

TIP: For chewy cookies, remove them from the oven before they turn golden brown then cool on a cooling rack. If you prefer your cookies crunchy then bake a little longer and cool them on the baking tray.