Here is something seriously yummy for a Friday! I came across this Red Velvet Cupcake recipe on the Yuppie Chef website this week – you can see the whole post and all the nice pics here. The recipe comes from Ma Mere Maison and (according to the comments on Yuppie Chef) is one of the best recipes out there!
I am yet to successfully pull this off – but I think a Friday afternoon is as good as any isn’t it? For extra sparkle, gold dust, edible glitter, red Maraschino cherries or crushed pecan nuts on top of the cream cheese icing will certainly go down well. Enjoy!
For the cupcakes
- 80g butter (room temperature)
- 200g white sugar
- 80g egg (2 small eggs or 1 jumbo)
- 30g cocoa powder
- 60ml water
- 2 dollops red food colouring gel
- 160ml buttermilk
- 200g flour
- 1 Tbsp spirit vinegar
- 3/4 tsp bicarb
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- A pinch of salt
For the icing
- 250g full fat cream cheese
- 80g icing sugar (sieved)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
1. Turn your oven onto 180ºC. Put the butter and sugar into a freestanding electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Turn the mixer up to high and slowly add the egg. Leave to mix until you have a smooth mixture.
2. In a small bowl, combine the water, cocoa and food colouring and mix it until a paste forms.
3. Turn the mixer down to a slow speed and incorporate the cocoa paste into the egg mixture and allow it to mix completely. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl to avoid uneven mixing.
4. Once you have a smooth mixture, slowly pour in half of the buttermilk and beat in completely. Add half of the flour and beat in completely. Pour in the remaining buttermilk and flour respectively and allow to mix to a smooth consistency.
5. Next add the bicarb, vinegar, vanilla essence and salt and beat until well mixed, turn the speed up once more and allow the mixture to really beat well making sure all the ingredients are completely combined.
6. Place 12 cupcake holders into your cupcake tin and distribute the cupcake batter evenly between them (the batter should fill 2/3 of the cup). If you are making a bigger batch and you end up with not enough to fill all the cupcake holes, fill the remaining ones with a little bit of water. This ensures that the heat distributes evenly through the pan, instead of scorching the outside of the few in that pan.
7. Put the cupcakes in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave to cool.
8. Time to make the icing. Beat the cream cheese until it has softened. For true red velvet cupcakes, you simply have to go with the fullest of full cream cheeses. You won’t regret it.
9. Beat in the icing sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, then add in the vanilla essence. Leave the icing to beat until a light and fluffy consistency has formed.
10. Put the icing into a piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Most icing bags don’t come with a handy stand so Lexi cleverly uses a Le Creuset container to prop the bag into while filling it with icing.
11. Once you’re finished icing your cupcakes you can use some red velvet crumbs to decorate the cupcake. For an extra bit of pizazz, gold dust is a fuss free trick. Just dip your finger in some and gently blow it over one side of the cupcakes.
> this recipe was taken from www.yuppichef.co.za and is originally from Ma Mere Maison.
As we start the year, many of us will have ‘lose 5 kgs’, ‘get fit’, ‘tone up!’ or something similar at the top of our resolution lists. Well to kick it off in a fun way, I found a stunning (and easy) recipe for a yummy yet healthy dessert on the Pick’nPay recipe website.
Impress your friends with this yummy dish 🙂 Have a happy & healthy day…
ROASTED NECTARINES WITH VANILLA PISTACHIO YOGHURT
- 6 nectarines, halved and pitted
- 100 ml juice and grated peel of orange
- 80 ml agave nectar, plus extra for drizzling
- 50 grams pistachio nuts, shelled and roughly chopped
- 250 ml low fat vanilla yoghurt
- Preheat oven to 200ºC.
- Toss nectarines with orange juice and place cut-side up in a roasting tray.
- Sprinkle with grated orange peel and drizzle with agave nectar.
- Roast for 12-15 minutes or until heated through and caramelised.
- Scatter with pistachio nuts, dollop with yoghurt, drizzle with extra agave nectar and serve.
More good ideas:
- Swap nectarines with apple or pear wedges.
- Add a generous handful of berries for the last 5-8 minutes of baking.
- Agave nectar can be found in the health section at PnP. If it isn’t available use honey, though the GI won’t be as low.
- Want more yummy and easy to make meal ideas? Check out Pick’n Pay Featured Recipes
I am feeling SUMMER in the air! Wandering down Kloof Street at lunch time today I was accosted by singing birds, whistling painters, cute pastel & lace outfits, open-toed shoes and brilliant rays of sunshine beaming down onto people & cars. Plus, Table Mountain looked pretty amazing.
Made me long for a smoothie! Good thing that Kauai is just a few steps away to meet my craving, but got me to thinking that I need to pull out my stick blender & smoothie maker that have both been hiding away for most of winter.
Speaking of smoothies, I got this great email from YUPPICHEF today (one of the best I tell you) with a link to a great post on smoothie making – here are some of the instructions on how to use the Morphy Richards Food Fusion Stick Blender by Lisa the editor of Spatula Magazine, plus a super delicious banana & berry layered smoothie – just in time for summer!
Ingredients (for two smoothies)
For the bottom layer:
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 ripe banana
1 Tbsp honey
Pinch of cinnamon
For the top layer:
3/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup yoghurt
Tip: use frozen berries for a super-chilled smoothie.
1. First make your bottom layer. Add the bananas, yoghurt, cinnamon and honey and blitz with the stick blender.
2. Pour the smoothie into a glass and wash out the measuring jug so you can start afresh with your top layer ingredients. Your bottom layer needs to be the heavier of the two. You can put the first layer into the freezer for approximately 10 minutes as this will allow it to set a little.
3. Now blitz together the second layer ingredients.
4. Gently pour or spoon the top layer over the first and serve with a sprig of mint and some fresh blueberries.
My lovely friend Camilla – a qualified doctor, married to an Australian and living the Aussie life right now – is also a FABULOUS cook! Recently she started her new blog F E A S T – and let me tell you, there are some amazing recipes being shared!
Camilla Smith Fowler’s gorgeous new blog FEAST
Calorie-free, most of the food is not, but wowzers does it look amazing! Please pop over to her blog to have a look-see – she posts all her recipes out with pictures too. I’ve included some of my favourites below – I think the peanut butter mousse hi hat cupcakes must seriously take the proverbial ‘baking cake’.
I now vow to be a little more adventurous with my cooking & baking from now on (I have a cool 5 minute chocolate microwave cake to share) – so here goes! 🙂
Peanut Butter Mousse Hi Hat Cupcakes
Chocolate Peppermint Pudding
7-hour Pork Shoulder
Mini Coconut Cupcakes
As it’s Friday (and it’s still cold and rather mis outsides still) – this post is dedicated to the best comfort food in the world – CHOCOLATE! Whether it’s cake, biscuits, croissants, mousse, pudding, cupcakes or plain old blocks – chocolate is still one of the best ‘little pleasures’ in the world 🙂
If you’ve got any great chocolate inspired recipes you’d like to share with the Good Girls Guide readers – please post as a comment below! Always looking for more ways to spoil ourselves, our husbands & boyfriends and our friends 🙂 Have a super weekend everyone! God bless x
all photos from Pinterest.
Eek! It’s been too long all you lovely Good Girls! Having returned from an awesome holiday in Africa and in Plettenberg Bay for a bit of a beach break, I took waaaay too long to get back into work, get my training program back on track (am doing The Argus Cycle Tour, 2 Oceans Half Marathon and 10km Valentines Day Trail Run all in the next few months) …which meant that my dear blog has suffered for attention.
Apologies! To make up for it, I’m sharing the yummiest recipe I’ve come across in a long time. Thanks to my darling friend Rebecca, wedding photographer extraordinaire from Love Made Visible who sent this link this fine morning – I’m now inspired to have a Chocolate Mousse and strawberries fest. Anyone for pink bubbles?
Enjoy Girlies, some more good posts coming SOON!
INSTANT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE (CHOCOLATE CHANTILLY)
Recipe by Herve This & Heston Blumenthal
- 9.35 ounces (265 grams) bittersweet (%70 cocoa solids) chocolate, chopped (preferably Valrhona Guanaja)
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- 4 tbsp sugar, optional
- Place a large mixing bowl on top of another slightly smaller one, filled with ice and cold water (the bottom of the large bowl should touch the ice). Set aside.
- Put chocolate and water (also sugar and/or liquor if you’re using) in a medium-sized pan and melt the chocolate over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the mixing bowl sitting on top of ice and water, and start whisking with a wire whisk (or an electrical hand-held mixer) until thick. Watch the texture as you whip and make sure not to over-whip as it will make the mousse grainy. If the mousse becomes grainy (which is possible at your first try), transfer it back into the pan, reheat until half of it is melted, pour it back to the mixing bowl and whisk again briefly.
- Divide into four serving cups and serve immediately.
Ooh, Nigella Lawson – the Chef with the big ladle of cream, butter, sugar and yummy goodness. Now while it’s not a great idea to eat like that on a daily (ha, or weekly!) basis, it’s good to have a treat every now and then. I’m a firm believer that chocolate is good for the soul, body and mind.
Soul – you feel comforted, comfortable and happy
Body – you feel energized by the natural cocoa (ok, I just made that up)
Mind – you know that a gym class is just a drive away…
So today’s post on The Good Girls Guide is about a decadent little Nigella special – one of her chocolate brownies. FLOURLESS no less! Serve with ice-cream for more delishishshsness….
FOR THE BROWNIE:
- 225g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
- 225g butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 150g ground almonds
- 100g chopped walnuts
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 75g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
- 125ml double cream
- 2 x 15ml tablespoons
- Camp coffee or 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
- 1 x 15ml tablespoon golden syrup
Serves: Makes 16 squares
- For the brownie:
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Melt the chocolate and butter gently over a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan.
- Take the pan off the heat, mix in the vanilla and sugar, and let it cool a little.
- Beat the eggs into the pan along with the ground almonds and chopped walnuts. Turn into a 24cm square baking tin or, most sensibly, use a foil one.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, by which time the top will have set but the mixture will still be gooey. Once cooler, cut carefully, four down, four across, into 16 squidgybellied squares.
- For the sauce:
- Break up the chocolate and put into a heavy-based saucepan.
- Add the remaining ingredients, then place the pan over a gentle heat and let everything melt together.
- Once everything has melted, stir well, take off the heat and pour into a jug to serve.
See Nigella’s recipe here.
As it’s chilly, wet and cold today in Cape Town, I’d thought I’d share a delicious easy to prepare and WARM recipe that I used last week – to great acclaim from my husband – and it tasted amazing! If you’re a pasta fan – then read on 🙂
Pasta Carbonara (this recipe taken from Pick’nPay.com) is a classic Italian dish, and one thing I did find interesting is that they say to use pecorino cheese (not parmesan) as it’s the traditional way of making it. Pecorino is a bit more expensive however, so feel free to use freshly grated parmesan (not the finely ground pre-done one) if you like.
So, from The Good Girls Guide – enjoy this awesome tummy warmer this weekend:
Pasta Carbonara with Baby Marrows | source here.
- 1 packet spaghetti
- 6 baby marrows, cut into thin strips
- 1 dash olive oil, for frying
- 1 packet back bacon, cut into strips
- 2 cloves of garlic, or 3, finely chopped
- 4 large free range eggs, beaten
- 125 ml pecorino cheese, finely grated
- 1 pinch salt and milled pepper
- Cook pasta according to packet instructions. Add baby marrows 2 – 3 minutes before the end of cooking. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a glug of oil in a large pan and fry bacon until crispy.
- Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
- Drain excess fat from pan and fry garlic for a minute.
- Add pasta, baby marrows and bacon to pan and toss well.
- Remove pan from heat. Quickly stir through the eggs, mixing until they begin to thicken, but not scramble.
- Add cheese, season and serve.
- ** Pecorino is a hard rind cheese similar to parmesan, originally made from sheep’s milk.
Enjoy with love and have a super weekend 🙂