Tag Archives: Chocolate

Hallow’s Eve Chocolate Bark

Can you all believe that the month of October is pretty much over?

Where have all the days gone?

The days just flew too quickly! I swear it was my sister’s birthday, then my uncle’s, my dad’s, and my close family friends (aka my other uncle’s) birthday just one after another. It was a “bam, bam, bam” scenario when it comes to their birthdays. Well more so for my oom (uncle in Dutch), my dad, and dear Bruce as they are within a few days of each other. But still!

And tomorrow is the eve of Halloween!

Are you all set for the festivities that come with the thirty-first?

I’m not! I still need to get more latex and other special effects for my boyfriend’s face! I’ll show you a photo of what I will be doing to him.

Two Face Harvey Dent

And if you don’t know what exactly is going to be done, here is a little instruction demo about what you can do with liquid latex. I did this to him to figure out what I am doing:

His mom called frantic!
His mom called frantic!

I don’t even have anything for my own costume! We also haven’t even carved out pumpkins!

BUT I did make a cool and spooky bark for this afternoon for work. I don’t work on Saturday so I thought I’d spice up the work day with some candy corn and black and orange sprinkles.

I got the recipe for the bark from Family Fresh Meals. The direct link to the recipe can be found here though.

I tried to follow the recipe. Well actually I did, I just couldn’t for the life of me find tiny candy eye balls! All I can think of is that Americans must be odd with their candy eyes on normal shelves in stores.

Though I am rather sad that none of our Oreo cookies have an orange or yellow filling to go with the season. They are all white and boring!

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 225g bags white chocolate chipits
  • 8 Oreo cookies, broken up into chunks
  • 1 cup (112g) pretzels, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup (1,248g) candy corn
  • 1 teaspoon black sprinkles
  • ½ teaspoon orange and black sprinkles

Instructions:

  1. Melt the white chocolate at a low heat until smooth. Stir frequently to prevent burning.

  2. While chocolate is melting, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and cover with cookie chunks, pretzels, and candy corn.

  3. Once chocolate has completely melted, pour over cookie sheet. Spread with a spatula to ensure chocolate is evenly distributed over everything.

  4. While chocolate is still sticky, scatter candy corn on chocolate, sprinkle sprinkles, and pop in refrigerator until hard.

  5. Break into chunks and enjoy!

Halloween BarkHalloween Bark

The black sprinkles are too cool for words. They have a bit of a sparkly sheen to them! I got them at a special baking store actually! The baking store is attached to a bakery that sells classic French pastries, like macarons, croissants, and éclairs! How lovely, right?

Black Sprinkles

I found out that I love lavender madeleine’s though! I even bought a mold to try and make them myself.

We’ll see if I will be able to make madeleine’s! I hope I can!

Black and Orange sprinkles

As you can see these are my other sprinkles! I have a feeling I will be decorating everything in orange and black for a good while! I may make a funfetti cake with orange and black sprinkles. That would be neat. Or a chocolate funfetti cake, you know as the orange would be the only thing sticking out? Actually do people ever do that?

Whatever! That was my masterpiece and I cannot wait to bring it into work! Even with the big boss lady coming in. I’m sure she will enjoy it!

Hope you all have a spooky Halloween!

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Bringing Canada to South Africa one treat at a time!

Ever wanted to go to Canada? I know a lot of people who have dreamt of one day exploring the vast and beautiful country of Canada and believe it or not, I was once like that myself. Although I was briefly there at an age where adults do not remember anything, but that is just the thing, I couldn’t recall it. And because I couldn’t recall it I longed to return at an older age. To explore and enjoy snow.

I only had my first pair of jeans at the age of ten or so. Before that I lived a life in shorts and skorts. So when we moved to Canada, my family and I had to get all warm clothes so we could handle the weather. Especially as it was the very peak of winter where it got up to -18C sometimes.

Anyway I know many South Africans who love the idea of going to Canada but fear the cold. Though honestly, I wouldn’t blame them.

So instead of them venturing to the icy cold country, I thought I would bring some of it to South Africa.

No, I did not get an artificial snow machine though that would have been cool. No instead I made a great Canadian treat that is often enjoyed at weddings and large parties alike. Although these are loved at parties, anyone could go to a grocery store or frozen food store such as M&M’s Meat Shops to buy these treats.

What are they called? Nanaimo bars!

Look at the layers!
Look at the layers!

Nanaimo bars are these extremely sweet treats with a bottom layer of a chocolate cookie base, a middle layer of a vanilla custard, and an upper layer of chocolate and these beautiful things come from the town of Nanaimo in British Columbia. I believe the woman who made these treats entered a competition and won with these things making them the hit of the country! Now they are enjoyed nationwide by everyone.

And this week they were enjoyed worldwide as I made them for my friends and family to enjoy.

Nanaimo Bars

I got the recipe from this adorable blog called I Wash You Dry – how cute is that name? There are a bunch of great recipes on there! The direct link to the recipe can be found here. I did follow everything to a T though I wish I didn’t when it came to the upper level of the Nanaimo Bars. I just struggled like crazy when it came to the chocolate layer. You’ll see later in photos. However below is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Bottom layer

  • ½ cup (115g) margarine, softened
  • 5 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ cups (150g) Digestive cookies
  • ½ cup (64g) walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup (75g) coconut flakes

Middle layer

  • ½ cup (115g) margarine, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla custard powder
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream (I used a vegetarian cream substitute)
  • 2 cups (280g) powder sugar

Upper layer

  • 1 cup (200g) chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons margarine
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Instructions:

For crust:

  1. Line tin with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In an oven safe bowl, melt margarine until turned into a complete liquid. In a larger bowl add cocoa, sugar, and vanilla extract. Once margarine is melted, add to cocoa and sugar in bowl and mix well. Whisk in egg and mix until incorporated. Once egg is mixed add crushed cookies, walnuts, and coconut flakes.
  3. Scoop mixture into prepared tin and flatten out. Pop into refrigerator to allow to set.

For custard:

  1. In a large bowl whisk together softened butter, custard powder, and cream until light and fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar to custard mixture bit by bit until custard is light and fluffy.
  3. Remove tin from refrigerator and spread custard on crust layer and smooth out. Return tin to fridge to prepare upper layer of Nanaimo bars.

For chocolate:

  1. Melt chocolate, butter, and cream in an oven safe bowl until chocolate is soft. Whisk until melted and smooth. Let cool for 10-15 minutes.

  2. Pour on top of bars and smooth out, chill in fridge until set and cut into small squares.

  3. Store in fridge and enjoy!

So I really hate this top layer. Really really.

Why? Well for some reason the chocolate formed a gross oiliness to it. Like when you are making a soup and the upper layer has an oily layer? The only word I can think of is “vet” this being the Dutch word for fat. Well the upper layer of the Nanaimo bars retained a lot of fat. To the point where after applying the chocolate to the custard layer I had to pat THREE paper towels on the chocolate to absorb all the oil.

Paper towel grooves in chocolate
Paper towel grooves in chocolate
Oil from butter in chocolate
Oil from butter in chocolate

I think the worst thing is that it wasn’t the margarine that did it. I made two Nanaimo bar recipes, one with margarine and the other with unsalted butter. The SAME thing happened with both recipes. I’m not sure what I did differently from the original recipe, but my Nanaimo bars looked gross when not patted down.

Regardless of this issue I had, my Nanaimo bars came out perfectly. I brought them to tea after Pilates this morning and they were thoroughly enjoyed by all. I even got my one friends son to give in to my treats. He who is VERY strict about his diet and exercising. I am very chuffed about that.

If you all are interested in visiting Canada but cannot handle the cold, these Nanaimo bars are the way to handle all! I hope you all enjoy them!

Happy eating!

Sweet Craving Cured with a Mugcake!

I hate getting cravings for something sweet! And it is usually when there is nothing in your household!

I had that craving last night. Luckily I recently bought a carton of eggs so I had an egg to produce a masterpiece. Though my masterpiece tasted more the part than it looked. If I had powdered sugar it would have made my cake look better!

 Chocolate Coconut Flour Mugcake

I realized that for those times when I crave something sweet, I should always have coconut flour on hand. It makes the best tasting sweets! Plus coconut flour smells amazing! It is like a powdered Caribbean goodness! Kind of like sunscreen, but edible!

So I got the recipe from here and pretty much followed it to a T except that I keep my sweetener of choice as vegan as possible. AKA: my sweetener of choice is always agave nectar!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk

Directions:

  1. In a medium coffee mug mix all dry ingredients together until a light brown color.

  2. Crack the shell of your egg and add it to the dry ingredients and mix well (make sure all dry ingredients are no longer at the bottom of the mug).

  3. Add agave nectar, vanilla extract, and almond milk to mixture and mix until smooth.

  4. Place in microwave for three minutes and enjoy!

I then drizzled some extra agave nectar over the top of the mugcake. It was truly delicious!

Though again I know how my presentation sucked! Next time I’ll have to use some fresh berries and frozen yoghurt to enhance the presentation of my mugcake!

And the next time I do this, I will most likely be feeding the likes of my mom! So some ice cream would work best for that moment. 

Anyway, enjoy your sweet craving cake making!

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

I feel like I haven’t baked in a very long time. And it is probably because I haven’t! But I always keep a box of cocoa powder in my cupboard that I thought needed to be utilized this week, which is exactly what I went about doing! I was thinking of making this last weekend for a friend, but some events caused our meet-up not to occur. Good thing though, because she told me only to bring a single slice. If she tasted this masterpiece I think she would have told me to bring more!

IMG_3723

This is a spectacularly moist and delicious cake. I am pretty sure I outdid myself. I was going to share with my sister if she ever came over, but by the looks of the mini plate I placed the Bundt cake on, it’ll be gone before the night is over. Thanks mom, you’ve given me your freshly baked goods-loving genes!

I got the recipe from here, but I have tweaked it some.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups (250g) light brown sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups (218g) self-rising flour
  • ¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup (244g) applesauce
  • 2 chia seed “eggs”
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (350g) grated zucchini
  • 1 cup (175g) semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 175ᵒC (350ᵒF) and in a large bowl begin to mix dry ingredients together. That includes sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon.

  2. In a little bowl mix chia seed “eggs” together – let stand. Add applesauce, vanilla extract, and zucchini to dry ingredients. Then add chia seed mixture and mix until smooth.

  3. Add chocolate chips to mixture and mix well.

  4. Pour batter into a greased Bundt cake mold or a bread loaf tin (as originally requested) and bake for 35-40 minutes.

  5. Once ready, poke a toothpick in to check if cake is cooked thoroughly. Once ready remove and allow to cool.

  6. Then enjoy!

Making of CakeWhile I was pouring my cake into the Bundt tin I became distracted by something thus making it a very messy tin. But I cleaned it up and popped it straight into the microwave oven.

Finished Product

I baked my cake for 35 minutes originally, but had to place it back in for about 25 minutes in total before my toothpick finally came out bare. That means this little cake baked for 60 minutes in total, geez!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

As you can see here, my cake looks VERY moist. But again, also VERY delicious.

I will definitely have to make this again once I move. Don’t you think mom? The perks about my moving is that I can finally bake a lot of gems in the kitchen and I won’t be the only one eating them! Mom and all her new friends can enjoy my baked goods again!

Anyway, that was my Saturday! Hope you all enjoy this recipe!

Eet smakelijk!

Peanut Butter and Banana “Quesadilla”

I feel fat. Full but fat.

I made an interesting breakfast today. Something that I may never make again for myself, but maybe one day when I have children this could be a “treat” for my children just as pancakes and waffles were for my sister and I when we were children.

I haven’t a clue where I got this recipe originally but when I looked for an attractive photo I found the recipe on here.

Peanut Butter Banana Quesadilla

The recipe is super straight forward as there are only 4 ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • ½ Banana, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Lay out whole wheat tortilla and evenly spread peanut butter on tortilla.

  2. Place sliced bananas on 1 half of the peanut butter covered tortilla.

  3. Sprinkle chocolate chips over bananas and fold tortilla in half.

  4. Grab a frying pan and sprinkle the pan with sunflower oil (or butter) and turn heat to medium.

  5. Fry each side of tortilla until brown and then remove to cool.

  6. Slice “quesadilla” into thirds and enjoy.

Very very sweet. Yes, I like to bake and yes baking means sweet things, but I do not like über sweet things.

So the next time I make this will be maybe for my little sister or for my potential kids as a treat when they are… four or so. So that may be about ten years from now! Because I am too young to have a child at the age of twenty-one.

Plus, before children are had I think it is more ideal to be married first. I guess I am old fashioned like that.

Anyway, if you end up making this I hope you enjoy!

Bon apetito!