Chocolate Brownies

I have found the perfect brownie recipe. It is made with cocoa and oil so it is dairy free (parev) and oh so good. I make the recipe as is and depending which way my mood takes me I fold through pecan nuts or swirl peanut butter through. They are also wonderful when poured into the pan and a third is swirled with peanut butter, a third with chocolate chips and the other third left plain or pecans dotted over.

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INGREDIENTS
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup cocoa

METHOD
1. Pre-heat the oven to oven to 160C/325F
2. Place eggs and sugar in a mix-master and beat well together.
3. Add oil and vanilla and mix.
4. Sift flour and cocoa together in a separate mixing bowl and add slowly beating all the time.
5. Grease a large baking tray. I use a 36×28 cm pan.
6. Pour the mixture in and bake for 25 minutes.
7. Leave to cool in the pan before cutting into squares and place on a serving platter.

Adjustments:
1. Add 1 cup chocolate chips and fold in before baking.
2. Add 100g broken pecan nuts and fold through before baking.
3. Swirl a few tbls of peanut butter through before baking (pictured)
4. Once the brownies come out the oven and cool you can spread melted chocolate over. Leave to set before removing from the pan.

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Milk tart (Melktert)

Melktert is a South African custard tart. It does not require any baking.

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INGREDIENTS
1 pkt tennis biscuits or graham crackers. Tennis biscuits have coconut in them so I would add some dessicated coconut if you are using graham crackers
4 tbls butter or margarine.

1. Crush the biscuits/crackers till powdery.
2. Add the melted butter/marg and mix well.
3. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a large pyrex rectangular dish until the entire dish is coated with an even layer.

FILLING
4 cups milk
2 1/2 tbls flour
2 1/2 tbls cornflour
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
5 ml vanilla extract
1 tbls butter/margarine
cinnamon

1. Pour the milk and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Mix the eggs, flour, cornflour & vanilla together in a separate mixing bowl.
3. Remove the boiling milk from the heat and slowly add to the egg mixture stirring all the time.
4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and put it back on the heat, stir until the mixture thickens to a thick custard (coats the back of the spoon).
5. Add the butter/margarine and beat in.
6. Pour into the biscuit/cracker shell.
7. Sprinkle with cinnamon to coat the surface.
8. Allow to cool and refrigerate before serving.
9. Remove from the fridge 10 minutes before serving.

Ginger Cake

When it is cold and you want something warm for tea there is nothing like a slice of warm ginger cake with butter. I bake mine in a bundt tin. The smell of ginger fills the house. I also serve the cake with warmed custard for dessert.

Ingredients
3 cups flour
3/4 cup castor sugar
3 tsp powdered ginger
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup oil
1 cup syrup
1 cup warm water
3 eggs, well beaten
2 tsp bicarb of soda

Method
Oven 190C 400F
Sift spices, flour, sugar and baking powder. Make a well in the centre and fold in the oil, syrup, warm water, beaten egg and lastly the bicarb which has been dissolved in a little warm water. Beat in a mix master at low speed for 8 minutes. Pour into a well greased bundt tin or a large well greased tube tin. Bake for 55-60 minutes till a skewer inserted into cake comes out clean.

This is really good served with stewed apples.

Kichel

IMG_4383Kichel are a sweet baked cracker cookie that is served with chopped herring. There are two types of kichel, I make the biscuit/cookie kichel which have baking powder in them. The other kind are very flat with no raising agent. My family always fight over the more golden pieces so over the years I’ve started to leave a batch in the oven a little longer to get them extra golden, this keeps my darling hubby and kids more than happy.

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INGREDIENTS
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
pinch salt
2 cups + 3 tbls cake flour
3 tsp baking powder
Extra sugar for sprinkling

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C / 450°F
2. Beat eggs, sugar, oil and salt very well together.
3. Sift flour and baking powder together.
4. Add flour mixture gradually, while beating all the time until a dough is formed.
5. Roll out thinly in batches.
6. Sprinkle with sugar and lightly press down with a rolling pin so that the sugar sticks to the dough when moved.
7. Cut into diamond shapes.
8. Place on a wire cooling rack, that has small squares, which has been sprayed with non stick spray to avoid sticking.

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9. Bake in oven for a few minutes until pale golden, keep an eye on them as the kichel will burn very quickly. Oven may be opened to judge if kichel are ready.
10. Remove from oven and turn tray over and gently nudge off cake cooling rack.

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Coffee Cake

 

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INGREDIENTS

250 g (1/2lb) Butter
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 cups Flour
5ml (1tsp) Ginger
5ml (1tsp) Cinnamon
5ml (1tsp) Baking Powder
5ml 1(1tsp) Bicarb
250ml (1 cup) Sour Cream
80g (1/2cup) Chopped Pecan Nuts
100g Handful of Raisins.

TOPPING

2 tbls Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup Pecan Nuts

METHOD

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C (350F)
2. Cream butter and sugar very well.
3. Add eggs and vanilla and beat till very smooth.
4. In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients.
5. Add the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the wet mixture alternating between the two.
6. Fold in the pecans and raisins.
7. Pour into a large buttered glass dish or baking tray.
8. Mix the ingredients for the toppings in a small bowl.
9. Cover batter with the mixed topping.
10. Bake for 35 minutes till golden.
11. Serve with a steaming cup of coffee

Ginger Bread Men

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Makes about 80
INGREDIENTS

125 grams Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
3 Eggs
4 tsp Ginger
2 tsp Mixed Spice
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Syrup
2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda mixed with 1/4 cup boiling water
4 cups Flour (plus a little extra to get the correct consistency)

METHOD

Oven 180 C (350F)

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add eggs one at a time beating all the time.
3. Add ginger, mixed spice and cinnamon and mix.
4. Add syrup and bi-carb mixture.
5. Gradually add flour beating all the time.
6. At this stage chill the dough. Do not add more flour until the dough is well chilled.
7. Roll out and cut into shapes.
8. Bake for about 10-15 minutes

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This mixture holds well for a ginger bread house.

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

The recipe below can also be made dairy free by substituting dairy free butter (my favorite brands are Fleishmann’s and Blue Bonnet lactose free)

Ingredients

2¼ cups flour (add 2 tbls for high altitude)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (or dairy free substitute)
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups dairy free semi sweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli has a dairy free option)

Method

Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl. With either an electric had mixer or a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until pale yellow, light and fluffy. Once combined slowly add eggs, one at a time making sure to beat well after each egg. Gradually add the flour mixture, spoonful at a time until everything is well combined. Mix in the chocolate chips by hand.

Place ¼ cup mounds evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and make for 9-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Cool on wire racks and serve with a glass of milk (for a dairy free option I like to serve Almond Coconut sweetened milk)

Boulkas and Babkas

 INGREDIENTS
5 cups Cake or all purpose flour
1 pkt (10grams) instant yeast
1/2 cup Sugar
1 1/4 cups Milk or Soya Milk
125grams (1/4lb) Butter or Parev Margarine
2 Eggs – beaten

Filling
Apricot Jam – Jelly
1 cup Sugar mixed with 2 tbls Cinnamon
1/4 cup melted Butter or Margarine.

Topping

1 egg beaten
A Streusel made with 1/4 cup Butter or Margarine, 1/4 cup Flour & 1/4 cup sugar mixed to a crumble.

METHOD

Oven 180°C / 350°F

1. Using a mixmaster place sifted flour, sugar and yeast in the bowl.
2. Heat the milk and butter/Marge in the microwave till warm and butter melted. Do not bring to the boil as the hot liquid will kill the yeast.
3. Pour the warm liquid and the eggs over the flour mixture and using the dough hook knead the mixture. You may need extra flour if the dough looks sticky and does not leave the sides.
4. Let it knead for 12 minutes.
5. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic. Cover with a blanket and leave to rise until doubled in size about an hour.
6. Punch down and divide mixture in half.
7. Roll out into a large rectangle.
8. Melt the butter for the filling and paint over the dough then paint with apricot jam/jelly. Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar. Roll up tightly.

For BOULKAS:

1. Cut into 1 inch slices.
2. Spray a muffin pan with non stick spray and place cut side up in muffin pan.
3. Bake BOULKAS for 20 minutes or till golden.
4. Once golden remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

BOULKAS

For BABKA:

1. Paint the roll with butter and fold in half and twist together.
2. Spray a long loaf pan with non stick spray, place layer of baking paper in pan and respray.
3. Place Babka in pan. Cover and leave to rise until double in size. About an hour.
4. Carefully paint with egg and sprinkle with either cinnamon sugar or streusel mixture.
5. Bake Babka for 40 minutes till golden.
6. Once golden remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.

BOULKAS AND BABKE