Month: March 2013

Sugar ‘n Spice’s first winner is……

AMC Paella Pot

AMC Paella Pot

Thanks to everyone for entering the competition – The Sugar ‘n Spice show has received such heartwarming feedback and I particularly enjoyed reading the comments posted.


I am delighted to announce that Hemantha Ramdhani has won the AMC paella pan – I would like to wish Hemantha everything of the best for the future and also many happy memories from AMC cookware and The Sugary Spicy Saffron Team!!!


I would also like to thank AMC cookware – Kaye Cox, Chris Koekemoer and Dion – they always keep me cooking in the most fashionable cookware while sharing that special AMC love!



Lots of Love,



Lindt Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns

Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns

Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns

There are just some aromas that make me go fuzzy in the head…and the aroma of freshly baked hot cross buns is one of them!  How can I describe it….it is spicy, fruity and most of all it has a certain warmth that is comforting.

I love this time of year and my annual hot cross bun tasting is one of the highlights.  I have to say that there is nothing that can beat a home-made one….after many rock hard buns, I have perfected my recipe.  There are so many different recipes and debates….strong bread flour vs cake flour….dried yeast or fresh yeast…..cinnamon or nutmeg…or maybe even both!

I love the traditional buns, extra spicy of course but much to my disappointment….my kids hate raisins so it was back to the mixing bowl with a few new ideas.  A few very expensive experiments led to my own creation….Choc Chip and Cranberry Hot Cross Buns!  Life is too short to scrimp on chocolate – I used Lindt 70% in this recipe.

My kids are delighted with this creation and so are the grown ups!  I have been asked by Mr Ainley, the headmaster of my kid’s school, to make a few batches of these for break up day which I am sure will be a treat for the teachers.

Hot Cross buns on break up day!

Hot Cross buns on break up day!

Here is the recipe:

Picture perfect Hot Cross Buns

Picture perfect Hot Cross Buns

Cranberry and Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
Makes 24 buns

60g fresh yeast

250ml warm water
2000ml cake flour

Pinch of salt

40ml mixed spice
10ml ground cinnamon
5ml ground nutmeg
120ml sugar
80g butter
200g dried cranberries
200g Lindt dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
Paste for crosses

120ml cake flour

5ml sugar
75 – 80ml cold water
Apricot jam, to glaze

Here’s how:  

Place the yeast, 20ml flour, 10ml sugar and the warm water in a small bowl and stir until the yeast dissolves.  Leave in a warm place until bubbles appear and the mixture looks frothy.  If the yeast does not foam and form bubbles, throw out the mixture as the yeast is not active.  
Sift the flour and spices into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles crumbs.  
Add the cranberries and chopped chocolate.  
Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture and 450ml warm water to make a soft dough.  
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.  Add a little flour if the dough is too sticky.  
Roll the dough into a ball and return to the mixing bowl.  Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap.  Leave in a warm place for 35 – 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.  
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius.  Knead the dough lightly to deflate and divide into 24 equal portions.  
Roll each portion into a smooth ball and place on a lined baking tray.  Place the balls close together so they are just touching the next.  
Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non stick spray and cover the baking tray to prevent the dough from drying out.  Cover the buns loosely so they have room to once again double in size.
Mix the cake flour, sugar and cold water to make a thick paste.  Place the paste mix in a piping bag and pipe crosses on the buns.  

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.


Warm apricot jam with a little hot water in an AMC taster pan to make the glaze.  Brush the warm hot cross buns with the glaze.  Leave to cool on a wire rack.  

Yudhika’s Chocolate Volcanoes….

Yudhika's Chocolate volcanoes aka fondants

Yudhika’s Chocolate volcanoes aka fondants




Sugar ‘n Spice is my first very own tv show….I loved every moment of shooting the show and the production team were amazing. I was terribly spoilt on shoot days – my hair and make up was done by Alexa Wilson, I was terrible spoilt with a flash new wardrobe from Jo Borkett and her team, and I got to cook in my AMC cookware all day dressed to the nines while sipping on G & T’s!




Thirteen episodes seemed daunting and I was in a complete tizz about which recipes to choose….just twenty six recipes from my whole love affair with food… was a tough choice.




On this weekend’s Sugar ‘n Spice menu is Chocolate Volcanoes – they are actually chocolate fondants but my kids prefer calling them volcanoes…they are wickedly decadent for kids and adults too!  Think of a moist sponge that has melted Lindt chocolate centres….dolloped with cream and served with fresh cherries.  Chilli butter prawns are the main course and this is another decadent treat….you could have this menu done in minutes and it certainly is impressive.


A word on the volcanoes – I would suggest baking them for 12 – 14 minutes in Johannesburg.  The altitude does affect the cooking time….the higher you go, the longer it takes to bake….If you are baking at sea level, please reduce the cooking time.  I would recommend you check the volcanoes after 10 minutes.  The measurements for this recipe are in GRAMS!

Chilli Butter Prawns

Chilli Butter Prawns


Chilli Butter Prawns


Serves 6


2kg frozen prawns (16/20), shell on

Salt to season

50ml Spar sunflower oil

8 cloves garlic, crushed

10ml red chilli powder

65g Spar butter

1 lemon, juiced

200ml chopped coriander



Defrost the prawns.

Use a sharp kitchen scissors to cut from the head through to the tail.

Use the tip of a knife to remove the dark vein.

Gently rinse under cold running water and drain.

Season the prawns with salt.

Heat a large AMC chef’s pan and when it is smoking hot pour in the sunflower oil.

Place the prawns in a single layer and turn them when they are light golden brown.

Add the garlic and red chilli powder.

Stir for a few seconds before adding the butter.

Simmer for a minute.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice.

Sprinkle the chopped coriander in and toss lightly.

Serve immediately with fresh crusty bread.



Picture perfect volcanoes!

Picture perfect volcanoes!



Chocolate volcanoes (fondants)  – makes 6 – 8 depending on the size of the ramekin





200g soft Spar butter, not melted

240g Spar icing sugar

200g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa – I used Lindt!

4 large eggs

4 egg yolks

60g cake flour

30g cocoa powder


Whipped cream, to serve

Fresh berries, to garnish



Volcanoes with melted chocolate centres...served with a dollop of cream!

Volcanoes with melted chocolate centres…served with a dollop of cream!

Here’s how:


Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over gentle simmering water.

Leave the chocolate to cool.

Grease the ramekins with butter and dust with cake flour.

Shake off excess flour.

Cream butter and gradually add the icing sugar.

Continue creaming the mixture until light in colour and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of the cake flour to prevent curdling.

Add the egg yolks and continue beating until well combined.

Pour in the cool melted chocolate and gently fold into the creamed mixture.

Sift the cocoa powder and flour in and fold again.

Spoon the mixture into prepared ramekins and place on a baking tray.


Bake for 12 – 14 minutes – the chocolate centres should be wobbly and the molten chocolate centres hot when tested with a skewer.

Leave to rest for a minute before un-moulding.


Serve with a scoop of whipped cream and fresh berries.