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Cakes & Cupcakes, Recipes / 01.08.2017

The arrival of naartjies in the supermarket signals that winter has arrived.  A firm favourite among South Africans, naartjies are known as mandarins or tangerines in other parts of the world.  Considering their abundance at this time of year, I felt it would be unthinkable not to create a delicious recipe using them. It was not hard to do so. I mean, what's not to love about their bright, glossy peel and juicy, sweet flesh? Keeping with a South African theme, I incorporated the fruity notes of Rooibos tea. The resulting cake is dense, citrusy and utterly "lekker". Baking it in a...

Recipes, Sweets & Treats / 27.07.2017

Sweet, juicy pears are in season and are so versatile to bake with. I especially love the combination of pears with vanilla. This week I felt like trying my hand at a bit of confectionery. The French term for these deliciously soft sweets is "pâté de fruit", which means "fruit paste".  Unlike jelly sweets set with gelatine, these are softer in texture and not quite as chewy or jelly-like. The secret to achieving this texture is using pectin. Pectin is a soluble fibre naturally found in the cell walls of plants. Citrus fruits and apples contain high amounts and are used to produce...

Brownies & Bars, Recipes / 04.07.2017

Raw Vegan Brownies. Not what you were expecting from me, was it?  It's true, I usually aim for decadence at all costs without much consideration for health or dietary requirements. But isn't it time our vegan friends got to enjoy some decadent treats too? These "brownies" have a dense and fudgy texture, with a lovely bit of crunch from the nuts. Fresh Medjool dates (currently in season) provide just enough sticky sweetness, and the cacao nibs impart the rich chocolate flavour. Cacao nibs are a very pure, unsweetened form of chocolate made by crushing cacao beans. If you are sceptical about trying these, rest assured that I would not put my...

Cakes & Cupcakes, Recipes / 23.06.2017

I used to love ginger loaf as a child, and discovered that my husband did too. I think the last time I baked one was a good 15 years ago! So it was high time I baked it again. Making it was thoroughly enjoyable - there is something very satisfying about mixing up the dark and spicy molasses-rich batter. Being quite a dense texture, I used to spread a generous amount of butter on my slice of ginger loaf. Not this one though - it comes with its own creamy icing that negates the need for any buttering! The rich, citrusy cream cheese icing really breathes...