Lindt chocolate

Let them eat cake….

Double Choc Marble Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Double Choc Marble Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

I find it difficult to get my head around Women’s Day or Women’s Month…you see, I do believe that women are just phenomenal all year round! My Women’s Month kickstarted when my friend and colleague, Yogas Nair, was appointed as editor of the ‘Post Newspaper’. She is one of the real go getters I know that has kept climbing life’s mountains. Yogas and I go way back and she gave me my first ‘newspaper break’ by featuring my recipes in the Post many years ago. Looking back, it was one of those big career moments in my career and it gave me the platform to learn so much more. I went on to write for ‘The Star’, ‘Daily News’ and the ‘Sunday Times Extra’. However, all roads do seem to lead back to the Post and I am pleased that my recipes will be featured once again!

To be honest, I had not given much thought to Women’s month….I was still reeling from preparing ‘Burfee Cakes’ at Holi Cow for the Eid celebration but also just keeping up with the cooking classes and catering orders. Speaking of cooking classes, here is the updated schedule:

Cooking Class Update: The Curry Trail – learn how to use your spices to make curries from around Asia….Lamb Vindaloo, Sri Lankan Chicken Curry, Thai Green Prawn, Paneer in Almond Sauce, Rotis and Coconut Creme Brulees. The duration of the class is two hours and is followed by a sit down lunch. Bookings essential.

Date: Saturday, 23rd August 2014
Time: 10 for 10.30am
Cost: R375 per person

Cooking Class Update: Spice Spice Baby…learn how to add spices to your everyday meals to cook up quick and easy fuss free meals. Traditional Lamb Jalfrezie, Creamy Chicken Curry, Mushroom Mattar, Balti Prawn Curry, Samosas and Boozy Cream Cake. The duration of the class is two hours long and is followed by a sit down dinner. Bookings essential.

Date: Wednesday, 27th August 2014
Time: 6 for 6.30pm
Cost: R375 per person

Cooking Class Update: Curry 101 Hands on Class – learn how to use spices to make delicious spicy meals in a flash….Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Korma, Coconut Prawn, Mushroom and Chickpea Curry, Rotis and Chocolate Ganache Cake. The duration of the class is two hours and is followed by a delicious lunch. Bookings essential.

Date: Saturday, 30th August 2014
Time: 10 for 10.30am
Cost: R375 per person

Please email us at hetals@iafrica.com to book or call 011 – 4672661 to book your spot. All ingredients are provided.

The Post Women’s Day edition was a special one with a real cause for celebration as Yogas not only took on the role as editor but it marked the first female editor in 60 years! AMC cookware also joined in our celebration by sponsoring a R5000 prize for Women’s month!

Women's Month Prize....30cm Gourmet Roaster from AMC cookware!

Women’s Month Prize….30cm Gourmet Roaster from AMC cookware!

For more details on the competition, don’t forget to get your copy of the Post Newspaper on Wednesdays!

What better way to celebrate Women’s Month than a feature on cakes in the Post Newspaper? Here is one of the recipes featured in the Women’s Day edition….

Double Chocolate Marble Cake

This is a delicious buttery cake with a delicate crumb. It can be frosted but I chose to drizzle milk chocolate over instead for a lighter version.

Ingredients
300g soft butter
250g sugar
Pinch of salt
6 eggs
150ml milk, room temperature
280g self-raising flour
5ml baking powder
5ml vanilla essence
100g Lindt dark chocolate, chopped
20g cocoa powder

For the Chocolate Drizzle
100g milk chocolate, chopped
25g butter
60ml milk

Grease a 22 – 25cm bundt tin with butter and then dust the tin with flour. Shake off the excess flour.
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric beater until very light in colour.
Add the salt and add the eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition.
Pour the milk into the creamed mixture – the mixture may look curdled but will come together at the next stage.
Divide the flour into two bowls. Add the chocolate chips to one bowl and the cocoa powder to the other. Divide the baking powder between the two bowls.
Divide the creamed mixture into the two bowls with flour and mix well to ensure the ingredients are well combined and form a soft thick batter.
Spoon the chocolate mixture into the bundt tin and use a spoon to creating a trough for the chocolate chip mixture. Scoop the second batch of batter into the tin.
Use the back of the spoon to smooth the top.
Bake the cake for 45 – 50 minutes depending on the size of the tin. A skewer should come out clean when the cake is tested.
Leave to cool in the tin for 15 – 20 minutes and then turn out onto cake platter.
To make the chocolate drizzle:
Heat the milk and butter. Add the chopped milk chocolate and then stir until smooth. If the mixture appears lumpy, heat the chocolate for 10 second intervals in the microwave, stirring well after each time.
Spoon the melted chocolate over the cake, letting some of the drizzle run down the sides of the cake.

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.

IMG_3059

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.