29.4.13

Chocolate tart delight

I have always looked at chocolate tarts at restaurants, coffee shops and birthday parties and thought to myself now hard can that really be to make. So this past weekend my sister came over to my house and we attempted to make this delicious treat. Side note: Don’t attempt this if you don't have a mixer or food processor, otherwise you will be beating the pastry for a really long time! This particular recipe is a very basic one (there are far more complicated ones to be found online). The end result was a scrumptious and oh so rich chocolate tart and I have to say that this time I think we really outdid ourselves (pats self on back).

Ingredients

For the pastry
160g saltless butter

60g frosting sugar (icing sugar)

200g flour


For the filling

200g 70% cocoa

75ml skimmed milk

125ml cream

1 egg

It fits perfectly into a 20cm flat round pie tin.

Method
Preheat your oven to 180°. 

In a large mixing bowl using a food processor or mixer combine the frosting, butter and flour. 

At first the mixture will seem like nothing but a bunch of crumbs, but the more you leave it to you mix the more dough-like it will become. Ours took approximately 15 minutes to mix properly (now you see the need for the mixer right). 

Once the mixture has set, leave it to stand for about 30 minutes.

Once the 30 minutes are up, place your dough on a flat flour coated surface and roll it out using a rolling-pin. You should roll it out in such a way that it can easily fit and be placed in your pastry tin. Careful not to roll it thinner than a ¼cm. 

Once rolled out line the inside of the pastry tin with the dough and layer beans on top of the pastry (to prevent it from rising) and allow it to cook in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes.

Now you can start preparing the filling. 

Break your chocolate into smaller pieces and place in a pot, add the milk and cream. Place the chocolate, milk and cream mixture on the stove at a medium heat and wait for the chocolate to melt. 

Once it has completely melted add the beaten egg but stir it quickly or the egg might start to scramble. 

At this point your pasty should be ready to come out the oven. 

Take  the pastry out the oven, remove the beans and pour in the chocolate filling. Place it back in the oven and allow to bake for another 20 – 25 minutes. 

When it’s done allow it to cool properly before serving.  


25.4.13

Last minute spaghetti

I recently had a craving for a delicious pasta dinner with mushrooms and bacon but none of the cooking sauces in my grocery cupboard were grabbing my fancy. So I decided to put a little something together with what I had in my fridge. I surprised myself completely with this meal because it ended up tasting way better than I could have possibly imagined. 

Ingredients:
A serving of spaghetti
Olive oil
1 teaspoon of garlic
1 packet of bacon, cut up
1 packet of mushrooms, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup cream
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Method:

 Start cooking spaghetti according to package instructions.


In a large pan heat the olive oil and garlic until fragrant, then add the bacon and sauté.


Add the mushrooms, cream, milk and allow to simmer. Stir in the flour and stir continuously. Once the sauce has started boiling add the soy sauce and black pepper.


Combine the sauce, bacon and mushrooms with the spaghetti and serve. 

23.4.13

Warm and toasty...

This past weekend here in Johannesburg was a particularly FREEZING one. You know it's cold when you go to your local supermarket and they're all sold out of soup! I had so much tea and coffee this past weekend in an effort to stay warm that I kinda lost count. Lots of hot chocolate, tea, coffee...you name it. For me these are some of the highlights of the cold winter months. Oh and getting to wear all my stylish boots of course. So this year I have decided to try something a little different. I'm going to try make all sorts of "hot drinks" other than the normal tea and coffee. 



Homemade Chai

White hot chocolate

Mexican coffee

Hot buttered rum

19.4.13

Do it with a jar

Glass jars seem to be all the rage lately when it comes to organising your crafts, pencils, pens, coming up with a creative gift or arranging some flowers. I mean who knew a glass jar could be so versatile. I do have to admit that after looking at some of these photos I feel like buying a few jars, painting them different colours and putting them to good use. OK, lets be honest thats more than likely exactly what I'll be doing this weekend...lol. I just love the flower arrangement idea.






17.4.13

The thoughts of a small person

So my Birthday is coming up, OK so it's only in eight weeks time. But the fact that it's my Birthday (soonish) got me thinking about all my birthday parties when I was younger and that got me thinking about when I was younger. So pretty much I did a lot of thinking lately and what all this thinking got me to is: Man I used to think of some random stuff when I was younger. 


I used to think that when I poured milk over my Rice Crispies the little men would appear (eventually) and perform the whole snap crackle and pop routine for me.
All cats were female and all dogs were male…lol.
My toys would come to life when I wasn’t looking!
I was going to be a famous athlete someday….OK that one is my parent’s fault because they always told me how brilliant I was.
My duvet was my protective shield from the monsters under my bed. I would get my dad to tuck it all the way around me.


Yes I had some pretty far our thoughts, but I guess most children do. Oh and don’t forget the famous one of the carpet is made of lava and the couch is the only safe area. 

15.4.13

Chilly style

Winter is fast approaching and like a typical girl, I'm already lining up a few outfit ideas in my head. These are some of the fantastic ideas I've found online and what makes them even more fantastic is that fact that I have majority of these items in my closet (score).





Do you have any winter fashion ideas of your own yet?

10.4.13

Cake angels

I never miss an episode of this show. It's one of my favourite shows to watch, I could watch for hours on end how they decorate the cakes/cupcakes, come up with the designs and have their little family moments (in a true South African humour kinda way). So when we went to Cape Town recently going to Charly's was number one on my list of places to go. So without further ado...I present to you....Charly's Bakery!





Some of the scrumptious cupcakes we bought!

Elmo

Carrot cupcake

Lemon meringue

Vanilla cupcake

Red velvet

The visit to Charly's was so surreal and the bakery surpassed my expectations. I may be just a little (ok more like a lot) obsessed with this place. The cupcakes were delicious and the whole atmosphere of the place was just so bubbly.

8.4.13

Goats, cheese and wine

I love cheese (said in a Goldmember imitation voice). Cheese with some crackers and wine, I could think of nothing better on a lazy Sunday afternoon. So it was kinda a given that Fairview would be one of our stops while we were down in the Western Cape. Oh and boy did we enjoy the wine tasting that day. 

OK, it was more a case of us making complete pigs of ourselves (hide in shame) as we tried five of their wines and an unlimited amount of cheese. They seriously shouldn't leave such delicious cheese out on a counter for you to just eat as much as you want, but at the same time... THANK YOU! I walked away a very satisfied individual and a little bit poorer as I bought some supplies of course. 







Oh and not to mention...the goats have their own tower.

5.4.13

Bubbles, marshmallows and meringue

Tastings, it's one of those things that the Cape Town surrounding area is famous for. Driving around from wine farm to wine farm and sampling all of their delicious offerings. While in the area over the Easter weekend we did a few wine and food parings. One of our tastings was at J.C. Le Roux where we paired meringues and marshmallows with five of their best Cap Classique and sparkling wines. 

Now not only was their tasting so yummy but the whole building and decor was done so beautifully. There seemed to a definite theme to it all...bubbles. The walls were decorated in white with a bubble here and there. It felt like we were in some exclusive restaurant somewhere in France. 







I highly recommend this tasting if you're ever in the Cape Town area.