Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Strawberry meringue crunch cake with whipped cream

This beautiful showstopper of a cake is for those times when you need to impress but simply don't have the skill or inclination to fuss about with a piping bag and frosting. The cake is what our American friends call a 'dump' cake, because everything gets dumped into a bowl and mixed. I love no washing up, don't you? And then comes the genius part, the meringue is baked on top of the cake. At the same time. So essentially the 'frosting' is already done! How cool is that?! Topped with lashings of softly-whipped cream and some beautiful summer berries - it's like a pavlova and vanilla cake had a love child. 

And if you're keen for a chocolate version ( I know right?!) here is an even more decadent Chocolate meringue crunch cake - and it's gluten-free too!


Strawberry meringue crunch cake
Serves 8-10

Cake
2 cups cake flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 ½ cups white sugar
½ cup oil
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon

Topping
4 egg whites
1 cup castor sugar
Whipped cream and strawberries, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 180C. 
Mix all the cake ingredients together and beat for 1 minute. Pour into a greased and lined 25cm springform cake tin.
Make the topping by whisking the egg whites until soft peak stage with a electric mixer, then gradually add the Selati Castor snow into the whites to form a stiff, glossy white meringue. Spoon the meringue on top of the swirled cake batter then bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or  until the meringue is crunchy and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before unmoulding. Top the cake with whipped cream and strawberries. 

Remember to hop on over to Facebook and like my page for recipes and sweet stuff. I also tweet about some cool things every now and then and Instagram my bakes (if I remember to snap them before I devour them!) 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

One cup yoghurt cake with passionfruit frosting


Cake doesn't get any easier that this. Everything is measured using the cup the yoghurt comes in, which means no measuring cups required and that means less washing up. I mean, you're only going to have to wash a bowl, people! This recipe is just all kinds of awesome. 


I was reminded of this cake while paging through my mom's old and tattered recipe book, which has so many gems in it - see this recipe for my Mother Williams' crumble. You can use any flavour yoghurt you desire so experiment with different flavours or whatever is seasonal. I chose passionfruit (or granadillas as we call them here in South Africa) because the bright purple orbs on my granadilla plant were finally ripe and ready! 

The yoghurt really gives it a lovely moist texture and throwing everything in a bowl and mixing? Well that just makes this cake a winner in my books! 


One-Cup Yoghurt cake with passionfruit frosting
Serves 10-12

1 tub (175g) passionfruit (granadilla) yoghurt
1 tub oil
2 tubs castor sugar
3 tubs self-raising flour
1 tub (3) eggs
few drops vanilla extract

ICING
1/2 tub passionfruit (granadilla) yoghurt
5 tubs icing sugar, sifted
Extra passionfruit (granadilla) pulp, for garnish

Preheat oven to 180C. Add all the ingredients into one bowl and beat well for 3 minutes. Pour into a greased ring or bundt cake tin and bake in the oven at 180C for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack.
Make the icing by stirring the yoghurt and icing sugar together to form a thick, spreadable consistency. Spread onto the cooled cake then decorate with passionfruit pulp.


Remember to hop on over to Facebook and like my page for recipes and sweet stuff. I also tweet about some cool things every now and then and Instagram my bakes (if I remember to snap them before I devour them!) 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Red Velvet Raspberry Sweetie Pies

South African's have a serious soft spot for sweetie pies (around the world they're known as cutie pies, wagon wheels, moon pies or mallow puffs). But whatever you choose to call them, their squishy marshmallowy centres covered in a thin layer of chocolate will turn anyone to mush. I don't know about you, but I love them for the fact that sharing is not an option, the treat is designed for a solo indulgence(best done in the car on the way home so you can hide the wrapper and no one will know!). I'll also add that everyone has their own technique for eating a sweetie pie - mine being to bite off a piece then use my finger to dig out all the marshmallow inside before devouring the remnants.

But now that the original has been discontinued here in South Africa (my sincerest condolences if this is news to you...) you'll now have to get your fix by making your own. I thought outside the cake box and added a red velvet spin to mine, with some bright raspberries swirled in for good measure. The red hue transforms this childhood favourite into a sexy little red number, perfect to make for your sweetie.


In the spirit of a different kind of luuuurve, my super-talented sister and I teamed up to do this very special post. Sarah-Jane from Art Strings has transformed my boring recipe text into the most beautiful illustration so feast your eyes before you feast on the sweetie pies!  


And just incase, here is the boring recipe text...

Red velvet raspberry sweetie pies
Makes 20

2 egg whites
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 tsp liquid glucose
1 tsp vanilla extract
few drops red gel food colouring
¼ cup raspberry puree
20 fresh raspberries
20 round biscuits or wafers
250g dark chocolate, melted

Whisk the egg whites in a heatproof glass or metal bowl until soft peak stage. Add the castor sugar gradually until the meringue turns glossy. Place the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water and beat the meringue on high until the mixture feels hot to the touch (or 60C on a thermometer). Then add the liquid glucose. Remove the bowl from the heat transfer to a new bowl and beat on high until cool. Fold in the vanilla, red colouring and raspberry puree then place in a piping bag. Pipe a swirl onto each biscuit, insert a raspberry into the middle then finish piping more marshmallow on top. Dip the sweetie pies in chocolate and allow to set on a wire cake rack.


TIP The marshmallow fluff can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Remember to hop on over to Facebook and like my page for recipes and sweet stuff. I also tweet about some cool things every now and then and Instagram my bakes (if I remember to snap them before I devour them!) 

If you LOVE the illustrations as much as I do and require custom creations, you can contact Sarah by emailing artstrings.creations@gmail.com 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Two-ingredient chocolate mousse with frozen berries

So you know how everyone has been telling you all along that chocolate and water are enemies and don't go together? Well, that's not true. They do. In fact, when they're combined, they can make this incredible light and airy chocolate mousse. Yes, just two ingredients; chocolate + water = magic. 


This recipe was created by the master of molecular gastronomy Herve This (pronounced 'tees') who wanted to prove that water, air and fat, when combined could create a texture similar to whipped cream. What a glorious invention this is! And the recipe couldn't be easier to follow so don't be scared off just because I mentioned a science-y word. 

The best part of this mousse has got to be it's lack of whipped cream (although you could also argue that this is a disadvantage I might add...) which makes it waistline-friendly. Use a good 70-80 % dark chocolate and top it with the berries and you have a cancer-fighting antioxidant powerhouse dessert. Jip, decadent dessert just got healthy. Like I said, MAGIC!


Two-ingredient chocolate mousse with frozen berries
Recipe adapted from HervĂ© This
Serves 4-6

180ml water
230g good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
ice cubes
4 cups fresh berries (pomegranate rubies, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries), frozen

Place the water and dark chocolate in a saucepan and heat gently while stirring until melted.
Once smooth, pour into a glass or metal bowl which fits over another bowl.
Fill the bottom bowl with ice cubes and place the other on top.
Using an electric hand mixer, beat the mixture until it starts to thicken and forms soft peaks. Pour the mousse into small bowls or glasses and allow to set in the fridge.
Serve with the frozen berries.

If you're still not convinced how easy this is, then tune into Expresso Morning Show on SABC3 on 4 February at 06h50 to watch me make it live.