Delicious Crunchy Apple Snacks…

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Yesterday was our first taste of summer, I woke up with sunshine streaming through my window and thought about how awesome it feels putting your toes into the warm sand of Camps Bay Beach. What struck me next was the panicky feeling of oh sh*t, summer is coming, bikini time is coming, PUT DOWN THE  DELICIOUS NACHOS!

I am seriously addicted to crunchy things, the biggest offender is those insanely delicious Nacho chips, and fruit chutney Nik Naks, and Sea Salt & Black Pepper kettle chips, the list goes on. I was happily munching on one of these tasty offenders last week when the thought struck me, there is very little healthy food with crunch. Except celery but seriously, no one enjoys eating that. So when the urge for crunch comes along, my natural reaction is to grab the closest chip. This needs to change.

I was making apple pie nougat at the shop last week and I accidentally burnt the hell out of my apple rings, I let them cool before tossing them to avoid melting my dustbin and noticed when I picked them up that they broke with a serious crunch. This had to be explored.
I went home, bought a bag of apple rings, tossed them with a tablespoon of Olive Oil and sprinkled a pinch of Maldon Sea Salt over them. I then proceeded to bake them at 100 degrees for 1,5 hours. I took them out of the oven, let them cool and do you know what I discovered? The crunchiest, most delicious snack in all the land.
Ingredients:
2 packets of Apple Wedges (I use the Pink Lady ones from Woolies)
1,5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Maldon Sea Salt
Method:
Put all the ingredients into a bowl, toss them about until everything is evenly distributed and bang your apples into the oven at 100 C for about 2 hours. Let them cool completely before you eat them.

* Put the apples into an air-tight container as soon as they have cooled or they will go all chewy (which is also delicious!)

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Zucchini Noodle Pickle Extravaganza!

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Today I am bringing you part 2 of my great Pickle extravaganza. These Zucchini Noodle Pickles are super tasty, the dash of turmeric gives them a glorious, bright colour and an interesting flavour that I think you will really enjoy.

They are not just great in salads and on Sandwiches, I often tangle them up with a pile of regular old Zucchini noodles and eat them with a beautifully baked piece of Salmon. Simple and delicious.

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Many of you asked via Instagram/twitter where I got this kick ass little accessory – please click through here  and get yourself one today. I noodle everything and anything that can fit through the top of this badboy, occasionally my finger goes through there too. not kiff.

Ingredients:

1 Kg Zucchini
1 Large Onion
1.5 Cup Spirit vinegar
0. 5 Cup red wine vinegar
0.5 Cup water
1/4 Cup honey or Organic Brown Rice Syrup (click link to buy online)
1tbs coriander seeds
1tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper corns
1 Pinch celery seeds
4 Bay leaves
3 x 500ml WECK jars or other jars are fine I suppose!

– Start by either Noodling or chopping up your Zucchinis and chucking them into a bowl. Cut your onion into fine rings and add them to the pile. Cover the veg with cold water and put in the freezer for 30 min. (This will help your veggies to maintain their glorious crunch – no one likes a soggy noodle.)

– While your veg is chilling, put the remaining ingredients into a medium sized pot and bring to the boil. Watch this pot like a hawk – mine over flowed everywhere and burnt onto my stove. The smell made me sneeze for about 2 hours * Eyes are watering as I type in memory.*

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– Take your cool veg out of the freezer and drain completely.
– Distribute them evenly amongst your 3 jars (pack them in nice and tight).
– Pour your hot pickling liquid over the Zucchini ribbons until they are completely submerged. Make sure you distribute all the peppercorns, bay leaves etc amongst all the jars so that 1 jar doesn’t have all the pizzazz.
– Put the lids on and LEAVE TO COOL COMPLETELY.  it is so tempting to try them before but you have to wait until all that goodness has seeped in.
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Hello Pickle!

I have been something of a pickle cruncher for pretty much my entire life. Seriously, I was virtually eating pickles in the womb. Well, my Mom was – it was her biggest craving while I was snugly baking in her tummy (and crab curry apparently, but that is a tale for another day). There is something about their crunch and tang that makes your tongue go all funny at the back, and your cheeks sweat a little that I just love. Because of this pickle brine that runs through my very DNA, our household goes through the tangy little suckers like nobody’s business, and let me tell you- great pickles don’t come cheap! This crunchy craving was seriously effecting our bottom line. Seriously, go to the Supermarket and see for yourself. Daylight Robbery. This is part of what makes good old fashioned Pickling so damn satisfying.  My entire stash cost me approx R40 and I came out with 6 Jars, stuffed to the rim.

I chose to store my Pickles in Weck Jars. Why?  They are the best looking jars in the business; they are used by my spirit animal – Martha Stewart; They seal brilliantly well and all it takes is one tug of the little rubber tab and the seal pops open (I have smashed bottles before just trying to get under the damn lid!). I buy my Weck online from a local company who goes through all the admin of importing them. Click through here, think seriously about clicking on the ‘Large Volumes‘ button and ordering a case of jars. They will set you back a couple of bucks but you will seriously use them for life.

Before you get completely overwhelmed with excitement, please ensure that you have the following in your possession:

3 x 500ml Glass Jars (I use the WECK Tulip Jar)
800g Radishes
2 Cups Spirit Vinegar
2 Cups Water
60ml Raw, unfiltered Honey
1 tbs Coriander Seeds
1 tbs Mustard Seeds
1 pinch celery seeds
1 tsp black pepper corns – whole
4 bay leaves


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1. Start by chucking your Radishes into a colander and giving them a good scrub. I choose not to peel them because their skin turns the Pickles a beautiful pink colour after about 24 hours. Once they are all scrubbed, use a sharp knife or a Mandoline  and cut the Radishes into thin slices (see picture below). I use a Mandoline, but very cautiously, I had an incident a while ago that haunts me, and my finger, to this day. The thickness of your slices is entirely up to you, obviously the thicker the slice, the bigger the crunch.

2. Once all the Radishes are chopped, distribute the slices amongst the 3 jars. It might seem like you have WAY too many Radish slices, this problem can be solved by simply forcing them into the jars.

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3. Once your Radishes are safely in their vessels, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as the liquid boils, and the honey is dissolved, turn off the heat and pour over the radishes until they are completely covered. Make sure you equally distribute all the little seeds and pips between the jars otherwise 1 jar will get all the Pizzazz. 
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4. As soon as your Radishes  are safely underwater and well on their way to becoming insanely delicious pickles, seal the jars and let them cool. Only once they are cool will they be ready to eat, DO NOT OPEN THE JAR until they are cool and all the delicious juices have had time to do their thing.

Enjoy your pickles with every and any food stuff or just on their own, straight out of the jar.

ExpressoShow Recipe: HoneyComb AngelFood Cake

angel_food_cake_1AngelFood Cake has to be one of my favourites. It has a super, crazy light texture (this is what gives this delicate cake its cute name) it also gives you a false sense of security that this cake won’t go straight to your ass. Today I have laden this beauty up with buttercream icing, drizzled it in honey and topped that all of with a bag of Ma Mere Maison Macadamia & Honeycomb brittle- I have really gone to town. That Said, you are welcome to cut the cake in two and simply pack it full of fresh berries, banana pieces, Fresh Mango or whatever you have available. The actual cake is not very sweet at all so it provides quite a rad canvass to really go all out on the wild toppings front. If you want to be completely outrageous, you can cut it while it is still hot and smother the inside with ice cream (don’t be scared to drizzle a little honey in there too) then put the hot top back on. The ice-cream will melt into the cake and turn it into a taste rocket that will send you straight to Heaven.

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup Cake flour
1 1/4 cups castor sugar
a pinch of salt
12 egg whites
1 tsp cream of tar tar
1 tsp vanilla seeds
Pre-heat the oven to 180

METHOD:

  • Sift together the flour, 1/4 cup of sugar and the salt in a big bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites up, once they are foamy, sprinkle in the cream of tar tar (this will stabilise the egg whites and keep them nice and fluffy ). Once you have soft peaks, gradually add in the remaining cup of castor sugar table spoon at a time. Make sure to beat until the sugar has dissolved before adding more. (if you add it all at once, your meringue will become watery and gross) Continue to beat until stiff peaks form then add in the Vanilla Seeds and beat until they are well dispersed.
  • Fold 1/3 of the Meringue into the dry ingredients. Once fully incorporated, fold in the remaining 2/3 and gently fold in until just combined.

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  • Pour the cake batter into a un-greased, 25cm cake tin and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Take the cake out of the oven and cool, upside down, until totally cool.

While the cake is cooling, make your BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:

INGREDIENTS:
250g softened butter
3-4 cups icing sugar, SIFTED
1 teaspoon vanilla seeds
2 tablespoons honey
1 bag Honeycomb (crushed)

METHOD:

  • Beat the butter in your KitchenAid on High with the whisk attachment. I beat mine for a minimum of 5 minutes until I have a light, fluffy texture. Then, slowly add in the icing sugar until you have a smooth consistency.
  • Beat in the vanilla seeds and the honey and continue to whip until all the ingredients are nicely combined.

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Once the cake is cooled and plated, use a piece of fishing gut to cut the cake into thirds, horizontally. Fill each layer with a generous layer of Buttercream, a drizzle of honey and some crushed HoneyComb.


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Try not to eat it all at once!

ExpressoShow: Chocolate & Sweet Potato Cake Recipe.

Leigh-Anne and I made a seriously delicious Chocolate & Sweet Potato Cake on Expresso Show yesterday morning. This cake is really delicious, the addition of Sweet Potato gives the cake a seriously rich flavour as well as a very moist texture. I have done it in a big cake tin, the cake also works very well as cupcakes so feel free to bake it in any size, or shape you are feeling. Watch the vid above that will show you a step by step guide on making this great cake, otherwise see the recipe below. Either way, I hope you enjoy it.

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Ingredients

½ cup coconut or vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk (low fat)
½ tsp vanilla
2/3 cup cooked, mashed and cooled sweet potato
1 ¼ cup cake flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb
pinch of salt

 

Icing

2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp sour cream
1 ½ cups icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
a few drops vanilla
Crystallized pecan nuts, to decorate

Method:
1. Begin by pre-heating your oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm Cake tin.
2. Put the whisk attachment on your Kitchen-Aid and beat the oil, sugar and eggs together until you have a nice, smooth mixture (be sure to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl down  now and then to make sure all your ingredients are well incorporated), continue beating on a medium speed for about 5 minutes.
3. Mix in half the sweet potato, then half the buttermilk, then the other half sweet potato and the other half buttermilk. Chuck in the Vanilla essence.
4. Sift your dry ingredients together and pour them into the Kitchen Aid bowl. Mix on a slow speed until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. (Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl)
5. Pour the cake batter into your lined cake tin and bake for approx 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
6. While your scrumptious cake is cooling, make the icing.
7. Using the whisk attachment, beat together the butter and sour cream until you have a light fluffy texture (about 4 minutes). Add the icing sugar and cocoa powder and beat until combined, add your vanilla essence and beat until you have a beautiful, smooth consistency.
8. Once your cake has cooled completely, turn the cake out onto a pretty plate, smother the top with your icing and garnish with candied Pecan Nuts.

Red Velvet & White Choc Chip Cookies.

People are going pretty bananas for red-velvet at the moment. Red-velvet cupcake, red-velvet whoopie pies, red-velvet fudge, red-velvet velvet, hell, you name it, there is a red-velvet for it! Today I am posting a recipe for some scrummy Red Velvet Cookies I recently made. Its was cold out and I don’t like the whole eat a cup cake and feel guilty for the whole day thing. this way you can have your red-velvet cake and eat it… in cookie form:)

Start by turning your oven on to 180C and line 2 big baking trays with silicone baking paper and put them aside.(This recipe makes approx 50 3,5cm cookies)

250 g flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Bicarb
1/2 teaspoon salt
110g butter at room temperature
250 g sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp buttermilk
60g white chocolate disks
1 tsp red gel food coloring

Sift together your Flour, Cocoa powder, Baking powder and Salt. Put your Butter and sugar into your Kitchen Aid and, using the whisk attachment, cream them together until you have a beautiful, light and fluffy texture.
redvelvet2Next, crack in the eggs, one by one, and continue to beat the mixture until you have a pale and light texture. (scrape down the sides of your Kitchen Aid Bowl so you don’t end up with blotchy cookies)

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Chuck in the food colouring and Buttermilk and mix until they are well incorporated.

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Turn off the Kitchen Aid and pour all the sifted dry ingredients into the bowl. On a low speed, beat until the dry ingredients are JUST blended.

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Take the bowl off the Kitchen Aid, cover it in Cling Film and put it in the fridge for a good 40 minutes to cool. This will prevent your cookies from spreading into thin, oddly shaped blotch cookies in the oven. When your cookie dough has cooled, grab a piping bag, a 14mm nozzle (or what ever nozzle you have lying around) and fill your piping bag with Cookie dough. You probably think I’m crazy, but I find that piping cookie dough is the best way to get a uniform size and a neat finish. If you do not have a piping bag, you are more than welcome to just spoon dollops of cookie dough onto your baking sheet.
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Back to the piping, I have a little template that I drew up (I traced the circle from the lid of a tomato sauce bottle) that I slide underneath the baking paper. This is awesome if you are looking for exactly the same size cookies. Pipe your cookies into about 1,5cm high domes spaced about 4cm apart.  Break up the white chocolate disks and spike bits of chocolate into the cookies.

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Put your cookies into the oven (on the middle rack) and bake for 12 – 15 minutes. Leave them to cool on a wire cooling rack before you munch them. They are ridiculous when coupled with a big glass of milk.

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Home Made Energy Bars.


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These bars are so delicious, they may not look like an oil painting but let me assure you that they are beautiful on the inside. Each bar is basically a bomb of anti-oxidants, omega 3 and 6s, vitamin b, anti  inflammatorys, iron, magnesium, fibre, energy, good fats, good juju, virtually all the good stuff for your bod. Your doctor will high five you for eating this. In fact, you should email Discovery Health and tell them you ate these, they will probable bump you up to diamond status immediately.ingredients

The recipe is super simple, in a nutshell, put all the below ingredients into a blender (save about 1/3 cup nuts, they will go in at the end) Blend together until everything starts to stick together. If your mixture is a little dry, you are welcome to add another tablespoon of coconut oil, chuck in some honey, what ever you are favouring at the time. Pour your blended mixture into a bowl, add the left over Macadamia nuts abd mush everything together until you have a well incorporated mass.    Push your sporty mush into a baking tray lined with paper. You are welcome to use what ever size container you like, I personally like my bars to be about 2cm thick so I spread the mixture into a big, shallow baking tin and use my rolling pin to flatten it all out neatly. Refrigerate your Sports Bars for about a hour or until they are nice and firm. Remove your bar from the fridge, turn it out onto a dry work surface and cut into 4cm x 6cm bars. (I find this size to be just right- it is about 2 bites ) Wrap your sports bar in a piece of baking paper and pop each bar individually into a small zip lock bag (this is the easiest way to transport them on any adventure you wish to let them take you on). These bars will keep in an airtight container, refrigerated, for about 2 weeks. Please note that these ingredients are not set in stone. You can jazz it up with cinnamon and vanilla, change the type of nut, use sultanas instead of raising, chuck in some cranberries, just chuck in what every you have in your pantry cupboard that sounds delicious to you!