baking

Going nuts….Coconut Tart meets Malva Pudding!

Going nuts....coconut tart meets Malva Pudding....by Yudhika Sujanani

Going nuts….coconut tart meets Malva Pudding….by Yudhika Sujanani

I have been going nuts over Malva pudding…it’s never happened to me before but lately it’s been malva this and malva that! And lashings of home-made, old-fashioned creme anglaise too! It is too hard to resist and one of the few things to look forward to when the Jozi chill sets in.

I hosted a dinner party a few weeks ago and then made a classic Malva pudding, a few days later on the Italian inspired episode of Sugar ‘n Spice, I threw in a few generous glugs of Frangelico while making a chocolate version. Sugar ‘n Spice goes live on The Home Channel in just a few days….We kick off on Monday at 2pm on DSTv’s Channel 176…so set the PVR and be sure to catch the first episode!

I was working on Ramadan sweet treats and in a complete moment of madness it was a ‘coconutty’ Malva sauce over a classic Greek tart! It is just pure decadence and dead easy to make. It can be served warm, room temperature or zapped in the microwave for a few seconds. It may be served with ice cream or custard but I had two diamonds and retreated to bed for the rest of the arvie, declaring I was in a food coma! It wasn’t just the tart, you see…it was also the other tastings that were going on this past Sunday…Persian Style Koresht with Chicken, Saffron Kebabs and and and….you can find these recipes in the Post Newspaper which is out today!

This recipe will have coconut lovers in heaven…the coconut milk in the malva sauce leaves the tart super moist and utterly decadent! I kept the batter quite simple, opting let the tart ooze with coconutty aromas but you can spice it up with lemon zest, cinnamon or ground cardamom. I used Mae Ploy Coconut milk for this recipe but you may also use a good substitute like Spar Branded Coconut Cream…it has a yellow label and costs around R24. If you love the recipes, please leave a comment and do click ‘follow’ to ensure the latest recipes are sent through to you via email…it’s lovely to hear from you, your food stories and hints and tips…it also keeps me in the writing in the right direction!

A few slices of coconut malva tart down...a few more to go!

A few slices of coconut malva tart down…a few more to go!

Greek Inspired Coconut Malva Tart

Ingredients

185g soft butter
250ml sugar
5ml vanilla essence
3 large eggs
250ml cake flour
15ml baking powder
500ml desiccated coconut
250 full cream milk, room temperature
Optional flavours: Lemon zest, 5ml cinnamon or 5ml ground cardamom can be added to the batter.

Coconut Sauce
250ml sugar
250ml water
250ml coconut milk
2,5ml vanilla essence
60g butter
Pistachio nuts, to garnish

Here’s how:
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Grease and line a 10 inch loose bottom pie tin with butter.
Using a hand held electric or free standing mixer, cream the butter until light and gradually add in the sugar.
Add the vanilla essence and continue beating until the creamed mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl regularly.
When the sugar granules should dissolve slightly, add the eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of cake flour. Beat well after each egg.
Sift the flour and baking powder and stir in the coconut.
Add the dry ingredients and milk to the creamed butter, alternating to prevent the mixture from becoming to thick.
Scoop the batter into a prepared tin and bake for 55 – 60 minutes.
The tart should be deep golden in colour and a skewer should come out clean when tested. Leave the tart in the tin to cool slightly and slice into diamonds.

Prepare the sauce: Dissolve the water and sugar in an AMC pan. Add the coconut milk, vanilla essence and butter. Bring to the boil until a thin syrup forms and lightly coats the back of a spoon. Pour the hot sauce over the warm tart while it is still in the tin.

Leave to soak and place a pistachio in the centre of each diamond.

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This is how I roll…Rocking the Roti!

Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

Roti by Yudhika Sujanani

Every culture, every society, every country has superstitions. Whether we believe them or not, they play some part in our everyday lives. Some of them are based on religion, some based on folk legends but if you are Indian, there are more than a few superstitions about roti and most of them are about finding a husband or keeping your mother in law happy.

Here are some of the roti superstitions I grew up with…

1.The roti dough always needs to be made by hand and not a mixer – shows your mother in law that you are capable and if you do use an electric mixer, you will always have hard roti, not to mention the embarrassment and shame your mother will have to live with.

2. I used to cut out my roti using an AMC pot lid to save my mother the social embarrassment of having rather odd-shaped roti served at the table. I was told that this would also make the roti hard and biscuity…how??? Is there a scientific reason? Mrs Anne Bramdeo, who is just so dear to me convinced me that I needed to break my pot lid habit and gave me some lessons. The pot lid is now used for the rightful purpose.

3. It is bad luck to take the ‘roti pan’ off the heat while you are cooking them…you should cook off the roti without commercial breaks…in today’s world that means you don’t have time for selfies!

4. The first roti should never be eaten…it is for the birds! I say it is for the Mother in Law! The first roti is much like the first pancake, it never turns out right.

5. ‘Save the last roti’…I always got busted for this. Apparently, the last roti was saved to ‘save the family’ from starving but also in case God visited. Why waste a perfectly good roti? In the shloks or religious verses, it states ‘Treat your guests as God’ and if there was an unexpected guest, they should have at least one roti. I would happily cook up a batch at anytime, a fresh roti is a delicious treat.

6. If the roti puffs up, your mother in law is going to love you…I can safely say that this one is just a con to get women trying harder at roti…mine puff beautifully and I can swear there isn’t a loving mother in law in sight! I have had two, the first was never the loving type but the second….tjo tjo tjo! We all have those stories, don’t we?

7. If you don’t make good roti, you won’t find a husband…I know women who have no desire to make two minute noodles, but have found amazing husbands, women who laugh about their flying saucer style roti, wonky rotis, dry ones and maps of Africa.

I am going to be bold and brave, declaring that none of these superstitions ring true in my case, that is….I make a pretty mean roti, haven’t found lasting love, a loving mother in law or an amazing husband but I am having the time of my life! Roti superstitions were craftily conjured to keep women in the kitchen and trying harder! If you have any roti superstitions, please share them in the comments section…I am sure I missed a few!  While you are visiting this blog site, click follow to get the recipes sent to you via email.

The first attempt can always be a bit of a disaster…remember it only gets better each time you try. Every batch becomes less messy and your ‘roti lap time’ improves!

Ready to Roll...

Ready to Roll…

Here is my simple recipe, but before you get started here are 3 tips to remember!

Make sure the boiled water is not recently boiled or left to cool slightly, it needs to be bubbling when poured into the flour.

I use sunflower oil instead of butter, as this keeps the roti softer for longer. Butter gives the roti a more shortcrust like texture.

Work quickly with bringing the dough together, this makes it much easier.

Roti squiggles by Yudhika Sujanani

Roti squiggles by Yudhika Sujanani

Roti

Makes 12

Ingredients

750ml cake flour

5ml fine salt

375ml boiled water…I mean hot hot hot

90ml sunflower oil

Melted butter, to cook roti

Here’s how:

Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

Pour the boiled water over the dry ingredients.

Mix the water into the flour.

Add the sunflower oil and knead the dough until smooth.

Roll the dough into a ‘log’ and slice into 12 pieces.

Roll each piece into a length and curl up half .

Curl up the other half in the opposite direction.

Ready to Roll...part 2

Ready to Roll…part 2

Fold one curled section over the other and flatten the dough slightly.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth.

Roll each piece into a round ensuring that the work surface is dusted with flour.

Repeat until all the dough has been rolled out.

Place the roti on a hot pan, when small bubbles appear, flip the roti over.

Drizzle with melted butter, then flip the roti again, drizzle again and then flip the roti.

Brown the roti, and remove from the pan.

Yudhika’s Tips:

Pile the rotis and leave to cool before storing them away.

Store rotis in a cake tin lined with wax paper.

Reheat in a microwave for 10 – 20 seconds.

Flavor the dough with 2,5ml cumin seeds.

Life’s a peach….

Yudhika Sujanani, getting ready for a new season of Sugar 'n Spice on The Home Channel

Yudhika Sujanani, getting ready for a new season of Sugar ‘n Spice on DSTV’s The Home Channel

Life can be many things but for me it’s a peach….It isn’t always the case but sometimes we can choose for it to be! Last week, I finished shooting the last episode of ‘Sugar ‘n Spice’ which will be airing on DSTv’s Home Channel on the 29th June. The show took over three months to shoot and we have had many fabulous but long days on set…early morning kick offs and late nights! I am pinching myself…still thinking of the days when I promised myself I would get my very own show! Stay tuned for more details! This cake reminds me so much of my days in Durban and when life is a peach, I have to celebrate.

When I was a kid, our trusted Defy oven would blow a fuse and we would be left without my mom’s famous cakes for months. Tinned peaches were always on standby when we were cash flush that is…they were served with chilled dessert cream and it was simply delicious. I love the distinct flavour of dessert cream and my kids think that it is a real treat when I haul out a large tin of peaches!

I made up this recipe which takes me back in time and I hope you enjoy it! A light sponge cake topped with luscious whipped cream and syrup soaked peaches! It might even be the perfect dessert making an appearance for Father’s Day on Sunday. I found a way of working around the sub standard fresh cream that just flops or won’t whip up successfully. Pick up a tub of Woolies or Weleda Double Thick Cream…you cant whip it on it’s own because it is too thick but add fresh cream or Nestle dessert cream to create a decadent topping!

Peaches and Cream Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Peaches and Cream Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Peaches and Cream Cake

Ingredients
4 eggs
200ml sugar
5ml vanilla essence
250ml cake flour
10ml baking powder
Pinch of salt
65ml cold water
125ml sunflower oil

For the cream topping:

250ml double thick cream
150ml Nestle dessert cream
60ml icing sugar
Drop of vanilla essence

400g tinned peach slices
Fresh mint sprigs, to garnish

Here’s how:
Preheat oven to 170°C.
Grease and line 1 x 10 inch round cake tin.
Beat the eggs in an electric mixer and gradually add sugar.
Continue beating until thick and creamy – the mixture should leave a trail on the surface for 3 seconds.
Fold the flour, baking powder and salt into the egg mixture.
Add the water and oil, fold mixture again.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

For the topping:
Place the double thick cream, dessert cream, sugar and vanilla essence into a mixing bowl.
Whip until the cream thickens.
Scoop the cream onto the top of the cake and use a spatula to make little peaks.
Drain the peaches and discard the syrup.
Chop the peach slices into little pieces and sprinkle over the cake.
Garnish with mint leaves.

Yudhika’s Tips:
Make sure the mixing bowl is oil and grease free before whisking the eggs – oil prevents the eggs from incorporating air.

Burfee Bliss…an eggless cupcake!

Yudhika's Eggless Burfee Cupcakes...

Yudhika’s Eggless Burfee Cupcakes…

No matter how much time you spend in a kitchen, there are always some things that are not your forte. For me eggless baking has never come easy…perhaps my attempts are sabotaged by some of my first attempts which were always disastrous. From cakes that looked like rubber to cupcakes that felt like tennis balls…my earlier attempts made me cringe with embarrassment. Thankfully, much to the encouragement and constant requests from my readers and Facebook family, I come up with a cracker every now and then…don’t get me wrong, there are more disasters than victories.

When it comes to eggless cakes and bakes, I often find beautifully decorated cakes that can set you up for disappointment. One bite and the cake is either too dry, heavy and the bicarby bitterness overwhelming. I have been playing with a recipe for an eggless cupcake for a while and why not make a celebration cupcake? Last week, I did a feature in the Post Newspaper and featured my Eggless Burfee Cupcake creation. The recipe has been tested for a while and each time I made a batch, I thought of ways to improve the texture and flavour. Taking inspiration from an Indian speciality fudge, I added Klim and dessert cream to the recipe…it was one of those recipes that go something like this….a few tablespoons of that, let’s add a little cream, stir and check consistency, then a few pinches of cardamom….lick the spoon and, ‘Aha, it needs more sugar!’ For a quick and easy flop proof burfee recipe, click here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/31/idiot-proof-burfee/ and check out my latest competition to win a 30cm skillet valued at R3200 from AMC Cookware here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/05/04/cookware-for-queens-and-a-few-kings-too-the-amc-cookware-competition/

The baked burfee cupcakes...a little scone like on the surface!

The baked burfee cupcakes…a little scone like on the surface!

I develop recipes over the weekend and get my kids to take notes on my ramblings and document the recipe changes. I took a peek at these cupcakes while they were in the oven. They looked like scones and my heart sank momentarily. It’s a case of not judging a book by it’s cover…the scone like appearance masked the deliciously light, moist cakes. I topped them with a generous slathering of cream cheese frosting but you could use butter cream or whipped cream if you prefer.

Eggless Burfee Cupcakes....deliciously light and moreish!

Eggless Burfee Cupcakes….deliciously light and moreish!

Eggless Burfee Cupcakes

Makes 18

125g soft butter

125g sugar

100g Klim milk powder

100ml dessert cream

200ml full cream milk

5ml vanilla essence

210g cake flour

7,5ml baking powder

5ml bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

2,5ml ground cardamom

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.

In a free standing mixer or with a hand held beater, ream the butter until light in colour.

Add the sugar gradually and continue creaming until fluffly.

Stir the mix powder into the mixture and continue creaming

Gradually add the dessert cream.

Combine the full cream milk and vanilla essence.

Sift the dry ingredients.

Add half the sifted flour to the mixing bowl and beat until smooth.

Add half the milk and mix well, followed by the remaining flour.

Pour the remaining milk and beat until smooth.

Divide the mixture into a cupcake pan, lined with paper cases.

Bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cakes are tested.

Remove the cakes from the tin immediately and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Cream cheese frosting


120g soft butter


375ml icing sugar


230g plain cream cheese 


5ml Vanilla paste or extract

Tinted almonds, to decorate

For the frosting:

Cream butter and gradually add the icing sugar until light in colour.
Add the cream cheese and continue beating.
Add vanilla essence.
Continue beating until smooth – do not over-beat as the frosting can split.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost them using a spatula and decorate with tinted almonds.

The Crumpet Controversy…

The Crumpet Controversy by Yudhika Sujanani

The Crumpet Controversy by Yudhika Sujanani

With Mother’s Day just a few days away, it got me thinking about delicious recipes that my mom and gran would prepare! My gran always made fabulous crumpets and they are so good that she has to make them everyday when she comes to visit. I did watch her a few times and with most experienced Indian ladies, they cook and bake without measurements and my Nan is no different. They make everything look so easy and effortless. And it’s because they make it look so easy, that I did try to whip up a batch as an after school treat. Most of them were welded to the pan and scraping them off just led to lots of burning and trauma! The ones that did make it were hard and rubbery! I just had to pay more attention to Nan to get these right!

I use an AMC Chef’s Pan to cook these and grease it lightly with a mist of non-stick spray. Once the batter is in you could add a little melted butter to the pan but the spray on its own worked well enough. You can also use a AMC Cookware Skillet for this…and luckily enough, it’s the prize AMC are giving away…click here for more details on how to enter, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2015/05/04/cookware-for-queens-and-a-few-kings-too-the-amc-cookware-competition/

I posted a pic of the crumpets on Facebook. My English Champagne drinking friend, Carole Tate, declared that it wasn’t a crumpet after all! I was completely confused and decided to do a little investigating. English crumpets are different to Scottish ones, and there is much confusion over flapjacks, English muffins and Crumpets.

So let’s settle on calling these South African Crumpets which, by the way, are much like American flapjacks. They can be served dusted with cinnamon sugar, drizzled with syrup, and served in a stack topped with crispy bacon. Crumpets can also be served plain and smeared with a heavy dose of butter! It’s all good…it’s all delicious! These are easy enough for kids to make on Mother’s Day and here are a few other recipe ideas from my previous blog posts…For a meringue frosted cake and delicious scones click here – https://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/05/09/mothers-day-blues/

For those of you who are die hard English crumpet fans, apologies for calling this a crumpet. It’s what I have know it as my entire life. Let’s put the controversy aside, and bang out a batch…they are delicious by any name!

Since blogging is still ‘quite new’, I would love to hear from you so leave a message in the comments section when you drop by! And if you love the recipe, feel free to share it!

The crumpet stack - perfect for Mother's Day

The crumpet stack – perfect for Mother’s Day

Crumpets

Makes 24

Ingredients

500ml self raising flour
10ml baking powder
Pinch of salt
75ml sugar
250ml milk
250ml cold water
2 eggs
60ml melted butter

Cinnamon sugar, to dust
Butter and golden syrup, to serve

Here’s how:

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.
Add the sugar.
Lightly whisk the milk, water and eggs to combine.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
Whisk the mixture until smooth, then pour in the butter.
Whisk once again to incorporate.
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and leave the batter to rest for an hour.
Heat an AMC 28cm Chef’s Pan and grease with non stick spray.
Cook spoonfuls of the batter in the pan – I use an egg ring to keep them even in size.
When the crumpets bubble on the surface and are golden brown, turn then over and cook on the opposite side.
Grease the pan again with non-stick spray and repeat.
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Serve with butter and golden syrup.

Hope, Happiness and Hummingbirds…a visit to the Hummingbird Bakery

The black forest style cupcake by Yudhika Sujanani

The black forest style cupcake by Yudhika Sujanani

We grow up being mesmerized by fascinating creatures and when I was little, hummingbirds fascinated me the most. My mom once told me that this tiny little bird could even fly backwards. She described the way it would hover and draw out the nectar from flowers and it captured my attention forever. I have yet to see one but there is also another hummingbird that caught my attention while I was eating my way through London..The Hummingbird Bakery! I will come back to the bakery just now but first I want to share a few special messages that come from the mystical world of this bird. Ancient folk law has many myths about hummingbirds but mostly they remind us of how to live a happier life.

It’s called ‘the bird of the impossible’ – it can fly backwards which not only means that you can achieve the impossible, but it also symbolizes that we should re-visit our past but not dwell in it. While we fight to move forward in our lives, sometimes the answers can be found in our past. Take the lessons from the past, learn from the mistakes so you can move forward joyfully. Far too often we are encouraged to sweep things under the rug, box them and move on without processing it. We are pushed into believing that it is what we must do, but surely not what we should be doing? When the past remains unresolved, we carry the baggage forever, and forever is such a long time!

These tiny birds are able to fly thousands of kilometers during migration. They have the tiniest wings that make no aerodynamic sense at all! Take a closer look at your life and chose how you wish to spend your energy. We have limited resources and places and goals we wish to reach. Are we making the right choices or wasting our energy on things and people that don’t matter? From my own experiences, most of my energy was spent on fearing the unknown, worrying about issues and the worst of it is the people that seem to drain positivity out of your life. What will be, will be and the reality is that you will have to face it. The impending dread of dealing with a problem is far more agonizing than the problem itself. Take a beat, catch your breath and deal with the issue in your own time.

The hummingbird hovers over flowers for most of the day, tirelessly gathering up the nectar, but it never damages the plant. Sharing is not the issue, but we live in a society that takes until there is nothing left and too much damage is done. If you want something, do you need to harm the giver to get it? Do we take until there is nothing left? The greed that consumes us is what destroys our lives and the people around us. The hummingbird takes what it needs, not more! I have come across givers and takers, and things do swing in roundabouts…sometimes there are more givers, sometimes more takers but I changed so much about my life to ensure that although my circle is smaller, it is occupied by precious people. We experience joy in different ways and there is no right or wrong…so whether you are closing huge deals worth millions or collecting books for kids, it makes no difference. It’s your happiness! For many years one of my ways of experiencing joy is by sharing my generosity and love for food with my friends and family. I have learnt that not everyone values this gift. True generosity of spirit is my way of celebrating the successes and failures in my life.

Yudhika at Notting Hill's Hummingbird Bakery

Yudhika at Notting Hill’s Hummingbird Bakery

On a recent visit to London, I just had to stop in at the Hummingbird Bakery for a cupcake quick fix. I had first come across this amazing bakery while indulging in my penchant for recipe books. The first cook book was a collection of delicious, easy to make, home style cupcakes but it was the pictures that got my attention first. You see, I read my recipe books at bed time just as any person would read a novel. I pore over the pictures taking in every last bit of deliciousness. Most of the time, it’s this sort of food watching that leads to me raiding the refrigerator for midnight snacks. Life is full of little pleasures, isn’t it?

Yudhika at Notting Hill's Hummingbird Bakery

Yudhika at Notting Hill’s Hummingbird Bakery

What's in the box...Yudhika takes a  closer look!

What’s in the box…Yudhika takes a closer look!

I popped in at the store while visiting the Portobello Market in Notting Hill…yes, I had the whole Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts moment! Well, a short corny moment anyway. The store is tiny by South African standards…and the cupcakes delicious. I would be fibbing if I said I remembered how much the cupcakes cost, but a slice of cake is about 4 to 5 pounds….I was trying not to convert, it was way too depressing! I have been planning to write this blog for a while and thinking of a great cupcake recipe I can share with you….so here is my black forest cupcake recipe! There are a few steps to it but they are super delicious and worth the effort! A word on these…it’s my version – it is not authentic but being tired of commercial black forest cake with mass produced pie filling. This is a great way to use up strawberries that are over-ripe…remember the riper they are, the better the flavour. You can make up the jam or use a good quality store bought version to cut out a few steps.

The Hummingbird Bakery does not disappoint...Yudhika's visit to London

The Hummingbird Bakery does not disappoint…Yudhika’s visit to London

While I was in London, I was much like the hummingbird….hovering from one deliciously happy experience to the other…enjoying every moment…savouring every experience! Thanks to my lovelies that entertained me and spoilt me rotten! Before I launch into the recipe, I urge you to become the hummingbird…stay joyful, take all of life’s nectar with out hurting or destroying and most importantly to spend your time wisely with people that really matter! Wishing you all of life’s sweetness and joy!

Another London inspired cupcake by Yudhika

Another London inspired cupcake by Yudhika

Black Forest Style Cupcakes

Makes 16 – 18

Ingredients

100g soft butter
200g sugar
200g flour
50g cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
15ml baking powder
2 eggs
7ml vanilla essence
250ml full cream milk, at room temperature

The strawberry and cherry filling.....in an AMC pan.

The strawberry and cherry filling…..in an AMC pan.

For the filling:

300g strawberries, hulled and quartered
200g sugar
Juice of 1 lime
5ml vanilla paste
1 cinnamon stick
1 x 400g tinned black cherries, drained and chopped

45ml kirsch

250ml double thick cream
125ml single cream
15ml sugar
Drop of vanilla essence

20g chocolate, grated
Maraschino cherries, to garnish

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Line a cupcake pan with cases.
Place the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Process the ingredients on a low speed until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
Combine the eggs, vanilla essence and milk – beat lightly and gradually pour this into the mixer.
Beat until the mixture is smooth and lump free – do not over mix the batter.
Scoop the mixture into the paper cases.
Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cakes are tested.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the filling….this can be prepared a few hours in advance.

Leave the sliced strawberries in the refrigerator to dry out.
Place the strawberries in an 28cm AMC Chef’s Pan and add the sugar.
Stir well to coat the strawberries in the sugar – the sugar crystals start to turn pink.
Gently heat the pan, stirring from time time while the sugar melts.
Once the sugar melts, add the vanilla, cinnamon stick and lime juice.
When the mixture starts to boil, skim the surface to remove the foam.
Simmer the strawberries until they break down and the mixture thickens.
Add the chopped cherries, water and kirsch.
Simmer again until the cherries break down and thicken the jam like filling.
Pour the filling into a sterilized glass jar and leave to cool – this can be kept in the refrigerator and also used as a topping for crumpets etc.

For the cream…
Place the double thick cream and single cream into a mixing bowl, add the sugar and vanilla essence and whip until soft peaks form. Leave in the refrigerator until needed.

To assemble…
Use a paring knife to hollow out about 2 teaspoons of each cupcake, taking care not to cut through them.
Fill each cupcake with the strawberry and cherry filling.
Top the cupcakes with a scoop of cream and grate over a little dark chocolate.
Decorate with a maraschino cherry and enjoy!

Christmas countdown…cake!

Spicy Fruit Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Spicy Fruit Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

I have never made a Christmas cake ahead of time and followed the ritual of pouring brandy over it every week….the cake just gets gobbled up by the gremlins in my family…and when they are tired of cake…they pull of the almonds on the cake!  Some things run in the family!  I used to do just that when I was a kid and it’s a little like karma coming back to bite!

 

Most families have a traditional fruit cake recipe that is served at Christmas.  I love the aromas of Christmas cake…the brandy with spices fill a home with festive cheer!

 

Tried and tested sometimes or should I say almost always works best…I do sometimes feel that I should try a new recipe which generally ends up in a disaster.  I can bake…I am mean I can REALLY bake…..a few years ago I tried a recipe from a really flash cookbook….and it was one of those really expensive one too….the cake looked like a rather large over-baked Ouma rusk!  I was devastated and got teased about it for months!

 

I find following a recipe pretty difficult and my mom was the queen of fruit cakes…this is her recipe with a few tweaks here and there…I love spicing up a fruit cake and have added cardamom to my recipe as well!

 

I sometimes also use a good glug of Jack Daniels to this recipe instead of the brandy!  You can serve this cake with brandy butter or custard.  I just have a large slice with a good cup of coffee! Oh and I make this cake a few times during the year…so calling it a Christmas cake doesn’t come easily!

 

A big congratulations to Lalisha Singh on winning the KitchenAid stand mixer competition!  She joins our Tania Joy Fredericks, Renuka Lallbahadur and Natasha Ramlugan as well as Kay Straightfill and Krivani Pillay in our winners hall of hame!!! Stay tuned for more competitions on the blog with great prizes from AMC cookware, KitchenAid and Spar!

 

Light Christmas Fruit Cake

 

Ingredients

375g soft butter

300ml brown sugar

6 eggs

500g Safari Cake Mix

250ml mixed nuts (I love pecans)

750ml cake flour

15ml baking powder

10ml cinnamon

10ml mixed spice

5ml cardamom

2ml nutmeg

2ml salt

125ml milk

75ml brandy or whisky

100g whole almonds, blanched

 

 

Here’s how

Pre-heat oven to 170°C.

Grease and line a 10 inch round cake tin with baking paper. Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add the spices. Place dried fruit and nuts in a mixing bowl. Toss together 30ml cake flour and the dried fruit and nuts. The dried fruit should be lightly dusted with flour to prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

Mix together the milk and brandy. Sift the dry ingredients.

Cream butter and gradually add brown sugar until light and fluffy. The sugar crystals should also dissolve slightly – I used the KitchenAid mixer for this!

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

Add half the flour to the butter and egg mixture followed by half the liquid. Repeat this process and lastly fold in the dried fruit and nuts.

Arrange the blanched almonds on top of the cake and press them into the batter gently.

Bake for 70 – 75 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. Turn out on a wire rack and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Cherry Chocolate Cake

Yudhika's Cherry Chocolate Cake....

Yudhika’s Cherry Chocolate Cake….

Is there any better way to celebrate the start of a beautiful weekend than with a slice of cake? I was out shopping and there are berries absolutely everywhere!  Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and my favourite….cherries!

 

Cherries and Chocolate are a match made in heaven….and here a recipe that will add a sparkle to your weekend!

 

Speaking of sparkles….enter the KitchenAid Stand Mixer competition on….leave a comment and stand a chance of winning this ‘must have’ kitchen appliance!  It’s what I call a dream machine!

Click here for more information….https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/blog-party-kitchenaid-giveaway/

For more Christmas recipes, pick up your copy of the Post Newspaper on Wednesday…and also check out the AMC Cookware competition!

 

Love the recipe?  Leave a comment!

 

Cherry Chocolate Cake

 

Ingredients

200g cake flour
45g cocoa powder
250g castor sugar
15ml baking powder
Pinch of salt
80g butter
250ml full cream milk
2 eggs
5ml vanilla essence


The Frosting Ingredients

100g butter
200g sifted icing sugar
45g cocoa powder
230g cream cheese
30ml full cream milk, optional

Punnet of fresh strawberries or cherries, to garnish




Here’s how

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius.  Grease and line 3 x 20cm (8 inch) round cake tins.

Sift the cake, salt, baking powder and cocoa into a large mixing bowl.  Add the castor sugar and butter to the sifted dry ingredients. Use a hand held beater or a stand mixer and beat the ingredients until they have a sandy consistency.  Ensure that there are no lumps in the mixture and that the butter is broken down.  

Lightly beat the eggs, vanilla essence and full cream milk together.  Pour half the egg mixture into the mixing bowl and beat slowly.  Pour in the other half of the milk mixture and beat for a minute.  Turn up the speed on the beater and beat until the cake mixture is smooth.  There should not be any lumps in the mixture.  Do not over beat as this will result in a heavy textured cake.  

Divide the mixture into the greased tins and bake for 20 minutes or until the cake shrinks away from the side of the tin.  A skewer should come out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.  

Leave the cakes in the tin for a few minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack.   Allow the cakes to cool completely before assembling them.  

For the frosting:

Beat together icing sugar and butter until well combined.  Sift in the cocoa powder and continue beating until smooth.  Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined.  Beat until the mixture is fluffy. This should take 2 – 3 minutes.  Add full cream milk if the frosting is too thick.  

To assemble:

Spread the frosting over each cake.  Sandwich the cakes together and use the remaining frosting to ice the sides of the cake.  Garnish with fresh cherries or strawberries.  

Yudhika’s Tips

You can make cupcakes using the same recipe.  This should give you 24 cupcakes.  
When assembling the cake, leave the greaseproof lining on until the cake is being sandwiched.  This makes handling the cake easier and less messy.  
I add fresh cream instead of full cream milk to the frosting for a little more decadence.  
Peppermint essence can be added instead of vanilla.
All ingredients for this recipe must be at room temperature.  

Mela’s Diwali Episode…..

 

Behind the scenes....Yudhika Sujanani on Mela SABC 2

Behind the scenes….Yudhika Sujanani on Mela SABC 2

Eggless baking can be quite stressful…some of my attempts have led to my worst cooking disasters…so embarrassing that I could not bear to share the pics…red velvet cakes that look like melted plastic, cakes that look like biscuits and horrid tasting ‘bicarby’ ones too.

This recipe is one of my best…..quick, easy and simple to prepare…it will have you baking like a star!

I added this recipe to my Diwali episode on Mela….play around with it….spice it up with cinnamon or nutmeg…or add a little leftover burfee crumbs to zhoosh it up!

 

Just a thought….I do get quite a few questions about my big red dot….well, I just got tired of those fancy ones and thought I would go back to the dots or ‘botus’ that my gran used to wear…I love them and yes, they are traditional and some say ‘old fashioned’!  Some say it is a brave choice of dot…well, I like them and will keep wearing them!

 

Mela lights up my Sunday….don’t forget to tune in next week and in the meanwhile enter the KitchenAid competition here….https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/blog-party-kitchenaid-giveaway/ to win a KitchenAid stand mixer worth R6990 and then click here if you love love love AMC cookware as much as I do to win a 24cm Gourmet roaster worth over R3000, https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/…..

 

While we were working on the chana magaj shoot, our pan with the cooked chickpea flour vanished…turns out the lovely Mark Corlett left the pan in the prep kitchen and the cleaner ‘chucked’ out the mixture…so it was back to square one for us on the prep….it was quite a giggle!  There are always fun times with the Mela team….if you missed the Diwali episode, click here….https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-diwali-chana-magaj-and-eggless-cake/ – as you can see from my little clips…I love AMC cookware and for a recipe like magaj a good pot is a must!

 

 

For the Chana Magaj recipe, click here… https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/11/01/pecan-chana-magaj/

 

 

 

The Eggless Coconut Cake....by Yudhika

 

Eggless Coconut Cake

Ingredients

125g butter, at room temperature…please!

125g sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

125ml desiccated coconut

60ml Double Thick Greek Yoghurt

250ml full cream milk, at room temperature

375ml cake flour

10ml baking powder

5ml bicarbonate of soda

5ml vanilla paste

For the Lemon Frosting:

125g butter – at room temperature

375ml icing Sugar

45ml fresh cream

30ml fresh lemon juice

Strawberry jam, to sandwich cakes

Strawberries, to garnish

 

Some KitchenAid love....with Yudhika Sujanani

 

Here’s how:

Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees celsius.

Grease and line a 2 x tins with paper cases.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Scrape down the bowl often and then add the lemon zest.

Add the coconut and beat for a few seconds.

Combine the yoghurt, full cream milk and vanilla paste in a jug.

Sift the dry ingredients and add them to the creamed butter.

Pour in half the milk and yoghurt and beat on low, gradually adding the remaining liquid.

Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula and continue beating until the ingredients are well combined.

Divide the batter into the 2 prepared tins.

Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when the cakes are tested.

Leave to cool slightly before placing the cakes on a wire rack.

Prepare the frosting:

Cream the butter and add the icing sugar gradually.

When the butter is very light in colour, add the fresh cream.

Continue beating for a few seconds, then add the fresh lemon juice.

Beat until the frosting is fluffy.

Sandwich the cakes with jam and then frost the top and sides using a palette knife.

Garnish with strawberries and coconut shaving

The big Diwali Bake off…..

 

Yudhika Diwali 2014...made beautiful by Lyn Kennedy and Photographed by Vanessa Lewis

Yudhika Diwali 2014…made beautiful by Lyn Kennedy and Photographed by Vanessa Lewis

While the controversy over the date  Diwali will be celebrated rages and the confusion grows, it is time to start planning the feast!

 

It’s a time of year for family, friends and feasting but also a time to pull out all the stops….I have been asked about recipes flat out and it is phenomenal that with the world changing so much, there are still people out there hosting traditional Diwali parties!

 

 

So today, I have decided to put together a quick reference list….so scroll down the list to find your favourite recipes….Praise God for my AMC cookware and KitchenAid mixer…my pots and pans have been working overtime just trying to keep up with the recipe requests!!!

 

Diwali would not be complete without a slice of Pecan Chana Magaj: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/11/01/pecan-chana-magaj/ – you could also use flaked almonds on the top if you prefer…the great thing is that this one can be made in advance and it stores beautifully in the refrigerator!  Always serve this at room temperature!

 

Idiot's Burfee.....

I have to constantly think up new burfee ideas and here are some of them!  I love coconut and it adds an extra special flavour to this Coconut Burfee: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/07/24/the-eid-burfee-challenge/ .  For something a little more subtle and exotic, try this recipe…Rose and Pistachio Burfee: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/29/rose-and-pistachio-burfee/ – Just remember to go easy on the food colouring – it should be very lightly coloured!  Now, for a bit of a higher grade burfee recipe try this one…..Fresh Cream Burfee: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/07/29/sugar-n-spice-recipes-fresh-cream-almond-burfee-by-yudhika/ – this is a very very soft burfee…take care when simmering the liquid to prevent scorching but it should resemble thick custard when added to the milk powder….or the burfee will be too soft….if the burfee does turn out too soft, try popping them into the freezer as this dries out the excess moisture.  Watch the how to video from my stint on Sugar ‘n Spice here….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWFDoAJuQXI

 

For me…this is my best flop proof burfee….it doesn’t have a long list of ingredients but it works beautifully every time….I refer to it as the Idiot Proof Burfee….because it is so so quick and  easy! https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/31/idiot-proof-burfee/ but if it is something a little out of the ordinary that you are looking for try this one….it is an adaptation of the Idiot Burfee but I love the hint of citrus and the colour of course…..Orange Cardamom and Pistachio Burfee: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/10/13/burfee/

 

I love Gulab jamuns and I always get my kids to set up an assembly line to prepare these…it’s a great way to get kids to work with you in the kitchen…they also help with the sampling….Gulab Jamun: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/11/08/troubled-by-diwali-gluttony/ or you could try this Indian Gulab Jamun recipe….please use Nespray for this one…Klim just doesn’t work…click here to watch the video from Sugar n Spice…there is a little trick in making these, so dont forget to watch this….https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/31/gulab-jamun-sugar-n-spice/

 

Biscuits are popular around Diwali and a biscuit with a nut is a memorable biscuit….try this….Eggless pecan biscuits: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/29/eggless-faker-pecan-shortbread/ or the Naan Khatay – I don’t feel territorial about these….whether they originated from India or Pakistan…they are delicious…what bothers me the most is that I got a few hidings for stealing the nuts of the top!  It always embarrasses my mom terribly when I remind her about this!  Watch the video from Season Two of Sugar n Spice….it’s around the second half of the clip…https://yudhikayumyum.com/new-videos/sugar-n-spice-season-2-videos/

Home made hot jalebis are an absolute treat….give this instant jalebi a bash….Jalebi: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/11/08/jackie-jalebi-out-on-parole-for-diwali and here is a quick and easy Laddoo recipe: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2012/11/12/laddoooooommmmaaaa-scoring-a-diwali-goal/

 

For a higher grade day when you have lots of energy…try this Banana Puri: https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/23/banana-less-banana-puri/ – this takes time…rest the dough..its the secret to making great banana puri!  I still wonder why they call it banana puri!

 

For the classic buttery Soji, click here for the recipe, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/10/30/soji-i-remember-i-remember/ …this will take you back decades….it’s rich, buttery and delicious…this is not for the calorie counters and faint hearted…and yes the recipe is correct….it is 400g butter and 375g semolina…not like someone suggested that its 500g semolina! Stick to the recipe…..this makes about 1,6kg soji…you could halve the recipe if you like!

 

Now, there are many great giveaways on this blog and also in the Post Newspaper….you have to enter it to win it…so get entering….check out the AMC competition details in the Post or you could click here to find out how you can win a KitchenAid….https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/blog-party-kitchenaid-giveaway/ – you must be a follower on the blog and on twitter to win and don’t forget to leave your comment about the Mela food segment, you can watch here…https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/  – this is a fab prize and a must have for any ardent baker!  Worth R6990, it is a Rolls Royce Kitchen Stand Mixer!

 

For the AMC competition….I don’t have to tell you again how important it is to have  great cookware….and for me, AMC is the best….you can win a 24cm Gourmet Roaster worth R3350 by entering on this link…..https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/ ….this is one of the units that I use the most….and it has gourmet handles that means you can pop the pot into the oven…on this Sundays episode of Mela, I will be preparing a breyani that is oven baked in an AMC pot….don’t forget to tune in!  AMC aren’t kidding when they say, ‘AMC for life’!

 

Phew….this has felt like a marathon post….I think I may need to put together a list of recipes for the Diwali Cook Off….I need a coffee and cake right now….maybe you should check back later for the list!