Sunday, May 30, 2010

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes With Buttercream Icing

This is the first of what will hopefully be many cupcake recipes. This one is great because they are super chocolaty and also really easy to make. 

Essential skills: none 

Essential equipment: electric beater (or a very strong arm) 

(makes 18 large / 30 small) 

1/2 cup cocoa

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1tsp bicarb

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract  


Preheat oven to 180 and line cupcake trays with cupcake liners.

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.

Add the egg, water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract and mix with electric beater for 3 minutes.

Scoop mixture into prepared cupcake trays (fill about 1/3 of the way).

Bake for 20 minutes.

Dark Chocolate Buttercream Icing

175g icing sugar

50g cocoa

45ml cold water

115g soft unsalted butter

Sift the cocoa together with icing sugar.

Beat the butter to a cream.

Add water and icing/cocoa, mixing together gradually while beating.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Butternut soup

Here is a great recipe for butternut soup. It is lovely and warming on a cold day. 

Essential skills: none
Essential equipment: stick blender 

1 butternut peeled and diced
2 onions chopped
2 cloves garlic diced
2cm piece of ginger peeled and grated
1 potato peeled and diced
1 ½ stock cubes (dissolved in 750ml boiling water)
10ml oil

1.     Heat oil
2.     Add onions, fry till soft
3.     Add ginger and garlic
4.     Add butternut and potato
5.     Add stock
6.     Add enough water so that everything is covered and simmer for aprox 1 hour till all ingredients are soft.
7.     Blend thoroughly
8.     Enjoy!

For an added treat add a dash of cream before serving.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Peppermint crisp delight

Peppermint crisp delight is a truly South African dessert that everyone enjoys. The original recipe is supposed to use orley whip (in fact I think they invented it) but I like to use cream, because who doesn't like excessive amounts of cream?

Essential skills: none

Essential equipment: Electric beater (or a very strong arm for whipping all the cream)


1 large peppermint crisp

500ml cream

1 tin Nestle caramel treat

1 or 2 packets of tennis biscuits


Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks
stir in the tin of caramel
crush or grate the peppermint crisp and add most of it (leave some to sprinkle on top)
place a layer of tennis biscuits at the bottom of a large dish (some people crush the biscuits but I prefer them whole
cover with a layer of cream mixture
add another layer of biscuits
add another layer of mixture
repeat as necessary until dish is full/mixture is gone
sprinkle remaining peppermint crisp

This can be served immediately after you have assembled it but I find it is a lot nicer if you do it in advance and refrigerate it overnight as it gives the biscuits a chance to soften. Sooo good...