Month: January 2013

Chocolatey chocolate cupcakes….Parental Guidance Advised!

Chocolately Chocolate Cake

Chocolately Chocolate Cake

Every year, I promise that I will organise my life with great care to make sure I have lots of time for parental tasks like being involved with more school activities.  This is a plan that never lasts…the one thing you can surely count on is a curve ball and it is always timed to imperfection.

Hetal, my eldest daughter, is now in Grade Seven and 2013 has kicked off to an emotional start.  Life has become serious….there are serious chats about homework, extra homework and more extra homework.  Yes, there is a monster that lives in our house and no, it’s not the Boogie Man….its a thing called Mathematics!  Fingers crossed….hope we don’t end up in family therapy soon!

 I attended the first parent teacher evening and drove home wondering if there was a box of ‘Calmettes’ lying around.  Where did all the years go…Child One is halfway through school.  I sat through the presentation, feeling quite guilty about all the things I skipped out on and decided that this year would have to be different.

My nerves were in tatters after the teachers evening when I was tasked with my first parental assignment….Cake and Candy!  It’s a fund-raiser that is hosted throughout the year and whatever I made needed to be perfect. I have been determined to do my part and not do the ‘COP OUT STORE BOUGHT CUPCAKE’! How hard could it be….twelve cupcakes…in and out the oven with some butter icing and glitter….sounded like a breeze!

Think again….12 cupcakes apparently just won’t do!  Hetal requested a rather large batch of cupcakes, errrr…about 72, that had to be ‘different’.  Butter icing is apparently for kids and being in Grade 7 means that those days are over.  I wrote of my old-time favourite, Red Velvet….that was apparently boring and so last year!

I needed chocolate and lots of it to soothe the hormone levels.  Let’s face it…chocolate is just the best thing when the hormones play up…even at my age, I still seek solace in a slab of good chocolate especially when things are not going so well.  Chocolate cupcakes with silky ganache and Belgian white chocolate shavings would hit the spot!

I have been having crazy days recently with mornings spent prepping for Broadacres Superspar and then evenings doing Curry Me Home promotions at Bellair Superspar.  There wasn’t any time for procrastination (or complaining) so I just got stuck into it.  Strapped for time, with my little helpers still at school, I opted for an almost beat and bake recipe.  With all the ingredients popped into the KitchenAid, I was free to get on with prepping the paper cases.  Ah….my KitchenAid, makes life so much easier and its like having and extra pair of hands!

Fresh out the oven....

Fresh out the oven….

I got back from work at 7.30pm and prepared the chocolate ganache.  I set up a little production…I dolloped the ganache and swirled it over the cakes.  I hauled out my secret stash of Callebaut White chocolate for added effect.  I placed the large 5kg slab on a chopping board and watched the kids out the corner of my eye as I sliced through the slab…all three of them looked like they were in some sort of decadent trance.  I was clearly on the right track.

The Chocolate Heroine!

The Chocolate Heroine!

The cupcakes were a big hit and I am clearly a heroine just for the night!  Parental guidance is advised when choosing a time to feast on these cupcakes….the kids experienced a severe ‘chocolate rush’ that lasted until 9.30pm.  I am over the moon but before I log off for the evening and start shining my gold star, I am going to share the recipe for my Chocolatey Chocolate Cupcakes…..

The production line

Chocolatey Chocolate Cupcakes


Makes 24

200g cake flour

15ml baking powder

45g cocoa powder

225g Spar sugar

100g Spar butter, room temperature!

240ml full cream milk

2 eggs

5ml vanilla essence

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.

Place the cake flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar into a mixing bowl.

Add the butter and beat until the ingredients are combined – the mixture should look quite gritty.

Gradually add the milk and vanilla essence while beating continuously.

Add the lightly beaten eggs and beat again until the batter is smooth.

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake for about twenty minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cakes are tested.

Remove the cakes from the tin and then leave on a wire rack to cook completely.

For the ganache :

100g Cadbury’s milk chocolate, chopped

50ml fresh cream

To prepare the ganache:

Heat the cream on the top of a double boiler and add chopped chocolate.

Mix well until the chocolate melts completely and then remove from the heat.

Leave the chocolate to cool.

Stir the chocolate occasionally and leave to thicken – its much easier to work with.

Spoon the chocolate over the cakes and use a teaspoon or spatula to swirl it over the top.

To garnish:

Haul out your best white chocolate and slice it with a serrated knife.

Sprinkle the pieces over the cakes and garnish with silver balls.

Better late than never….Recipes from Kasi Kitchen!

Yummy breyani tasting!

Yummy breyani tasting!

I was delighted to meet the Kasi Kitchen team at the Good Food and Wine show late last year.  Cinderella is a delight…easy to work with and blessed with a great sense of humour!  I just love her enthusiasm and see just loves her curries!  After tasting my best party trick, The Emergency Chicken Curry, she did not waste any time in setting up a shoot day to feature some of my recipes on her show.

After a rocky start to the day with the make up artist bailing on us at the last moment, we got going a little later than expected.  I have not seen the show yet but hoping that I did a good job with the hair and make-up.  I must confess that this was the first and a bit like being dumped in the deep end since I am a lip gloss and mascara only kind of person!

hmmmm...fingers crossed on the make up!

hmmmm…fingers crossed on the make up!

Before we get to the recipes, I must apologise for not posting this sooner!  Better late than never is what I always say….my facebook page lit up two days ago after the show was re-broadcasted with requests for recipes….without further delays…here are the star recipes from the show!

And here it is favourite favourite...Lamb Breyani!

And here it is ….my favourite favourite…Lamb Breyani!

Layered Lamb Breyani

Serves 4 – 6



1kg lamb knuckles

4 medium sized potatoes

2 onions, finely sliced

Spar sunflower oil, for frying

60ml sunflower oil

1 large cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

4 cardamom pods

5ml cumin seeds

1 large onion, finely chopped

7,5ml coarse salt

15ml crushed garlic

20ml crushed ginger

30ml red chilli powder

10ml ground coriander

10ml ground cumin

7,5ml garam masala

2,5ml turmeric

100ml fresh cream

2 x 400g Spar tinned lentils, drained

1250ml par cooked Spar basmati rice

60g Spar butter

15ml Curry Me Home Magic Masala

200ml boiling water

Few drops of egg yellow food colouring

Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how:

Peel the potatoes and slice them into thick rounds.

Heat the sunflower oil in a pan and fry the potatoes until tender.

Remove from the oil and leave to drain.

Gently dab the excess oil with absorbent paper towel.

Fry the onion slices until light golden brown.

Remove the onion from the oil and leave in a colander to drain.

Spread the onion slices over absorbent paper towel.

Heat 60ml sunflower oil in a large thick bottomed pot.

Fry the cinnamon stick and bay leaves until fragrant.

Add the cardamom pods and cumin seeds.

When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add the onion and salt.

Saute until the onion is light golden brown.

Add crushed garlic and ginger.

Stir for a few seconds and then add the red chilli powder.

Stir well and add the lamb knuckles.

Mix the knuckles in the chilli paste and continue stirring until the meat begins to stick.

Lower the hear and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.

Add the ground coriander, cumin, garam masala and turmeric.

When the spices on the bottom of the pot start to brown, pour in boiling water to cover the knuckles.

Simmer the knuckles on a low heat, adding more water if necessary.

When the knuckles are tender and the sauce has reduced, layer the fried potatoes over the lamb.

Pour in the fresh cream over and then layer half the lentils over the potatoes.

Layer the cooked basmati rice over the lentils and scatter the remaining lentils on top.

Dot the rice with chopped pieces of butter and sprinkle the Magic Masala over.

Pour the boiling water into the pot and pour a few drops of egg yellow food colouring over the rice.

Sprinkle the fried onion slices over the rice and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.

Simmer the breyani on the lowest heat setting until the rice has steamed through.

Gently toss the breyani and garnish with fresh coriander.

Yudhika’s tips:

Always use cold rice when making breyani as this prevents the rice from getting sticky.

The rice should be par boiled and seasoned in this recipe.

The potatoes can be par-cooked by boiling.

Chicken pieces can be used instead of lamb in this recipe.

I prefer using fresh cream but low fat yoghurt can be used instead.

Adjust the red chilli powder if you would like to make this dish milder or hotter.

Curry Me Home spices are available at select SuperSpars.

Chocolate Sponge cake

Chocolate Sponge cake

And for the Chocolate Ganache Cake….


4 eggs
185ml sugar
5ml vanilla essence
200ml cake flour sifted with 10ml baking powder

Pinch of salt

85ml cocoa powder
100ml boiling water
125ml sunflower oil

To serve:
30ml apricot jam
15ml water
200g milk chocolate, chopped
75ml fresh cream

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Grease and line a 25cm cake tin.
Dissolve cocoa in boiling water and leave aside to cool.
Sift the cake flour and baking powder.
Add the salt to the sifted dry ingredients.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a hand-held beater.
Gradually add the sugar while beating continuously.
Continue beating until the mixture is thick and pale in colour.
When the beaten egg mixture leaves a trail on the surface for three seconds, add the vanilla essence and sifted dry ingredients.
Fold the flour into the egg mixture.
Pour the cold cocoa mixture and sunflower oil into the mixing bowl.
Gently fold the ingredients together.
Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes.
Turn out the cake onto a wire rack.
Heat the apricot jam with water.
Glaze the cake with the hot jam.
Leave the cake to cool.
Boil the cream and then add the chopped chocolate.
Whisk the cream until the chocolate dissolves.
Continue whisking until the chocolate is thick and shiny.
Pour the chocolate over the cake and serve immediately.

Yudhika’s tips:
Make sure the mixing bowl is oil free before whisking the eggs.  Oil prevents the eggs from incorporating air.
Slice the cake before pouring the chocolate sauce over as this makes it easier to serve.
This cake can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
You can also serve this cake with whipped cream and fresh berries.