Monday, 14 August 2017

Aromatic Chinese-Style Beef Stew

Served with simple rice and steamed broccoli , it beats a greasy takeaway on a Saturday night. As this is one of those dishes that would be even better made a day in advance, it's just perfect as entertaining recipe too. 

  • 1kg shin of beef or thereabouts, cuts into large bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 200g of spring onions, sliced thinly into matchsticks
  • 2 thumbs worth of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 3 star anise
  • 10 cloves of  garlic, sliced thinly
  • 750ml of beef stock 
  • 2tsp brown sugar
  • Peel of 2 oranges, juice of 1
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 large chilli, add more according to taste if prefer hotter
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 3 tbsp rice wine or sherry
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • Black pepper
  • Sunflower oil

Preheat oven to 150°C. Trim any large bits of fat from the beef, cut into bite sized pieces and dust in flour. 
Heat sunflower oil to fairly high. Fry off the need in batches, don't over crowded the pan. Take your time. After all the pieces are browned, set aside the beef. 
Now turn the heat down a little. Fry the ginger, chilli and 3/4 of the spring onions for a few minutes.
Add the sugar, cinnamon, star anise, 5 spice powder, orange peel to the dish and put your beef back in too. 
Add the beef stock, soy sauce, rice wine and the juice of 1 orange in to the beef. Give it a good stir and pop in the oven for 2 hours. Stir half what through. 
When 2 hours are up, add the honey, a good grinding of black pepper and a tiny amount of sesame oil. Taste and maybe add more honey or pepper.
Serve with sliced chilli, spring onions alongside some plain rice and steamed broccoli. Pok Choi would be great too 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

No-Bake Three Chocolate cakE

No-Bake Three Chocolate  Cake recipe- Made in a bundt pan, layer of white, milk and dark chocolate  and Oreo cookie crust. Topped with chocolate ganache and fresh berries. A chocolate lover's heaven!!

Here is the look on the inside. Again this is not a three chocolate mousse cake. This is three chocolate  "panna cotta"  style cake in a bundt pan. 

  • 4 cups double cream 
  • 2 cups milk
For white chocolate layer:
  • 250g white chocolate 
  • 2 1/2 tsp gelatin 
  • 2 tbsp cold water
For milk chocolate layer:
  • 250g milk chocolate 
  • 2 1/2 tsp gelatin 
  • 2 tbsp cold water
For the dark chocolate layer:
  • 250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa) 
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 21/2 tsp gelatin
  • 2 tbsp cold water
For the Oreo layer:
  • 24 Oreo cookies
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 114g melted butter
For the ganache:
  • 120g semi sweet chocolate 
  • 1/2 cup double cream
For decoration:
  • Berries for garnishing 

In a saucepan, combine milk and cream and heat over medium heat, until it starts to boil. Remove from heat, divide mixture into 3 equal parts, about 2 cups each.

For the white chocolate layer:

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small bowl, let it stand for 5 minutes, until gelatin expands then in a microwave for 30 seconds to liquify.
Place chocolate in a bowl and pour hot liquid over it. Let it stand for 2 minutes and whisk to combine. 
Add gelatin and whisk to combine.
Generously spray a bundt pan with cooking spray. Pour mixture in the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more until set.

For the milk chocolate layer:

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small bowl, let it stand for 5 minutes, until gelatin expands then in a microwave for 30 seconds to liquify.
Place chocolate in a bowl and pour hot liquid over it. Let it stand for 2 minutes and whisk to combine. 
Add gelatin and whisk to combine.
Carefully pour mixture in the pan over the white chocolate layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. 

For the dark chocolate layer:

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small bowl, let it stand for 5 minutes, until gelatin expands then in a microwave for 30 seconds to liquify.
Place chocolate in a bowl and pour hot liquid over it. Let it stand for 2 minutes and whisk to combine. 
Add gelatin and whisk to combine.
Carefully pour mixture in the pan over the milk chocolate layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. 

For the Oreo layer:

Process the cookies in a food processor until fine crumbles. Combine with sugar and butter and mix to combine. 
When the dark chocolate later is set, very gently add the crust layer, using a spoon to distribute it and then lightly press it over the dark chocolate layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

For the ganache:

In a small saucepan, heat the double cream until it just begins to boil and remove immediately. 
Place chocolate in a bowl and pour hot cream on top. Add peppermint extract (optional).
Let it sit for 1 minute then stir with a rubber spatula. Stir continuously until mixture gets smooth. Let it cool a little before you use it. It still needs to be thin so it drips down the cake 

To serve:

When ready, to remove the cake from the pan, use a hair dryer to heat the walls of the pan, or dip in a hot water for 30-60 seconds to loosen, then invert onto a serving platter. 
Pour the chocolate ganache on top and add berries for garnishing.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Chocolate Poke Cake

This Chocolate Poke Cake is out of this world. SOOO chocolatey !! So moist! Amazing !  I decided to buy a box of Devils Food Chocolate Cake Mix instead of making myself

Ingredients :

Chocolate Cake:
  • A box of Devil Chocolate Cake Mix, plus ingredients listed on the box
  • 14oz condensed milk 
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Whipped Cream Topping:
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Chocolate sauce

Bake cake according to box directions in a 9x3 cake pan.

Once cake comes out of the oven poke holes all over the top of the cake. 

Place sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, microwave for about 30 seconds to 1 minutE. Whisk chocolate and milk until smooth, microwaving more if needed to melt the chocolate. Pour chocolate mixture over the cake and spread to fill in holes. 

Set cake aside to cool, about an hour then refrigerate until completely cooled. 

To make whipped topping, whip whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add icing sugar, cocoa and vanilla extract and whip until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped topping evenly over cooled cake. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over cake and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Vegan Mango and Ginger Cheesecake

Vegan mango and ginger cheesecake is a great no bake cheesecake celebrating summer flavours. It's easy and quick to make, gluten-free and oil-free too.


Cheesecake base;
  • 125g dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water
  • 100g almonds
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • Pinch of salt
Cheesecake layer:
  • 185g raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 3tsp agar agar powder
  • 5 tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tsp finely grated ginger 
  • 1/2 cup water
Mango layer:
  • 2 cup mango puree
  • 2 tsp agar agar

Line the bottom of a 8" spring form tin with a baking paper and cut out a long rectangle to line the sides with.


Grind almonds in food processor until coarse crumb. Take it out of the food processor and set aside. 

Drain dates, squeeze excess water out and chop them roughly. Place then into the food processor and process it into a smooth paste.

In a bowl, mix date paste with enough ground almonds and desiccated coconut to obtain a dough that isn't too sticky yet still holds together well. Season with a bit of salt to taste. 

Line the sides of the spring form tin and then mould the base mixture to the bottom of the tin. Press the mixture down well with your fingers so that there are no gaps. Put a bit of baking paper on top of the base and weigh it down with something heavy. Put into the fridge while making your cheesecake mixture. 


Just before blending the cheesecake layer, put agar agar and 1/2 cup of water into a small pot. Let the mixture come to boil and simmer on low medium heat, stir frequently until agar agar dissolve and the mixture thickens (about 10 minutes). From that point onwards you need to work fast as agar agar sets as soon as it cools down. 

Put rinse cashew nuts, coconut cream, maple syrup, grated ginger, lime juice, warm agar mixture and extra 1/4 cup water into a blender. Blend, scraping the sides of the blender from time to time as the set agar likes to stay on those. You will need to work fast as agar sets as soon as it cools down. 

As soon as the cheesecake mixture is super smooth, take the spring form tin out of the fridge and pour the cheesecake mixture on top the set base. Make sure you do it very quickly to get smooth finish as agar sets very quickly. Gently tap the filled spring form tin against your work top surface a few times to get rid of air bubbles. Allow this layer to set completely (about 10 mins) before pouring on the next layer.


Put 1/4 cup of water into a small pot and add agar agar. Let the mixture come to boil and simmer on low-medium heat, stirring frequently until the agar agar dissolve. Add agar mixture to the mango puree and blend until smooth. Pour over the cheesecake layer and allow it to set before decorating.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Cookies 'N Cream Cheesecake

An over-the-top Oreo studded cheesecake that will be the highlight of an occasion ! This Cookies 'N Cream Cheesecake is total dessert bliss !

Every celebration should include cheesecake of some kind don't you think ? Cheesecake is one of my all time favourite desserts and I love trying all the different flavour combinations. 

Ingredients :

  • 20 Oreo cookies 
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 675g cream cheese, softened
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 240g sour cream or plain full-fat yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 18 Oreo cookies, crumbled
  • Whipped cream, for topping

Preheat oven to 175°C/155°C for fan oven. Place 9 inch springform in the centre of a large sheet of heavy duty aluminium foil. Carefully wrap foil around sides of the cheesecake pan. Spray inside of springform pan with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

For the crust:

In a food processor pulse 20 Oreos to fine crumbs. In a medium mixing bowl stir together the Oreos crumbs and melted butter until well combined. Press into an even layer in bottom of prepared springform pan. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes. Allow to cool as you prepared the filling. 

For the filling:

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in the sour cream or yoghurt and the vanilla extract and mix well. Add eggs one at a time and mix on low speed just until combined. Gently fold in 13 crumbled Oreo cookies. Do not over mix. Pour the filling into the cooked crust. Place the springform pan into a large roasting pan and place in the oven. Fill the roasting pan up with hot water until wate level comes halfway up the outside of the cheesecake pan. 

Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the center is almost set. Turn the oven off and open the door slightly. Let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Loosen the cheesecake from the rim of the pan and remove the rim. Top with whipped cream, crumble remaining 5 Oreos and sprinkle over cheesecake. Cut into slices and serve chilled. Cover the cheesecake and store in fridge up to 4 days. 

Friday, 16 June 2017

Mini Bundts Banana Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze


Banana cakes comes in many form, from banana bread to layered with cream and sliced banana. These little Banana Cakes are soft buttery banana sponge cake formed in mini Bundts cake pans, and topped with easy vanilla caramel glaze. 


  • 115g butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 ripe banana 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
For the glaze:
  • 30g butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180°C /160°C for fan oven.  Grease and flour the mini-bundt pan or silicone mini-bundt.

Cream together the butter, sugar and salt until mix well. Mash banana well and beat with eggs, add to butter mixture along with the vanilla and milk. Beat well.

Stir in the baking powder and cinnamon into the flour, to ensure even distribution, then add the flour into the banana butter mixture. Beat until the mixture is creamy in consistency. It will be a little thicker than standard cake batter but smooth and silky.

Dollop into the mini bundt pan. Fill 3/4 full and smooth tops with back of a spoon.  Bake for 20-24 minutes. Toothpick will pull out clean and tops will be light golden brown. 


Add the ingredients to a small non-stick pan over med-high heat. Keep stirring, the sugar will melt quick. The glaze will start to bubble up. Remove from heat once it has thickened a little but still seems a little thin to use. It will thicken as it cools. 

Allow it to cool a couple of minutes before glazing the banana cakes. It should be thick enough to slowly roll down sides of the cake but not stiff. 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Peanut Butter Banana Cake With Whipped Ganache

Moist and dense banana cake is filled and frosted with peanut butter buttercream and decorated with whipped chocolate ganache making this Peanut Butter Banana Cake with Whipped Ganache a seriously delicious indulgence. 

Ingredients :
  • 3 cups plain flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup bananas, mashed (about 4 medium banana)
  • 115g butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
Peanut Butter Buttercream
  • 227g butter, softened
  • 227g shortening
  • 450g peanut butter 
  • 5 cups icing sugar
Whipped ganache:
  • 340g semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup double cream 

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C for fan assist oven.

Line the bottom of 2 x 9" cake pans with parchment paper and grease the pans, set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. 

In a bowl cream together butter, oil, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, combining well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and bananas until combined. 
Starting with flour alternate adding the flour and buttermilk into the wet mixture until everything is combined. 

Piur batter even,y into baking pans and bake for about 50 minutes or until centre is set.

Remove from oven and let cool in pans for about 10 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile to make the buttercream, in a large bowl mix together butter and shortening until fluffy. Add peanut butter and continue to mix until blended and creamy. Add 1 cup at a time the icing sugar until you reach your desired consistency. 

To assemble the cake: split each cake in half using cake leveller or serrated knife, add the bottom later to a turntable and top with about 3/4 cup buttercream and smooth out the edges. Repeat for all layers. 

Once you place the top layer on pipe remaining frosting onto sides with a long flat ribbon tip and smooth out over sides and top. Place in refrigerator to chill.

Meanwhile to make the ganache, place your chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Place double cream in a pan and heat until about to boil, then remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Cover for 5 minutes. Stir the cream and chocolate until all melted and blended. Let it cool for a few minutes to thicken a bit