Thursday, 30 May 2013

South African Drumsticks

This is the first South African dish I have made (in 2010), although I have made this several time since I first made this. I won't give you an in-depth background to the recipe, as I done this with another post where I made South African Bobotie. One of the reasons why I have made this dish time and time again is the drumsticks are low fat, baked in the oven which means less work for me and there is a lovely blend of sweet and fire with each bite. I imagine that the marinade can be made with store cupboard ingredients and is a great new way of eating drumsticks. I served my African Drumsticks with cous cous and roasted butternut squash.
Here is how my South African drumsticks turned out:
South African Drumsticks
South African Drumsticks
Recipe for South African drumsticks:
30 ml Worcestershire sauce
30ml soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp English mustard
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp apricot jam
8 chicken drumsticks
15ml oil


Marinade the chicken with all the ingredients and mix to cover all the drumsticks in an oven proof dish.

Leave to marinade for 24 hours so that the flavours can be fully absorbed.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200C Gas mark 6 and place the dish in the oven for around 45minutes - 1 hour.

Once cooked, serve with cous cous or chips and a side salad.



Monday, 27 May 2013

South African Bobotie.

I only discovered South African cuisine two years ago by stumbling upon a recipe by a very famous chef who is coincidentally is not South African.   My favourite cookbook of all time, Nigella Lawson's Kitchen, had a recipe for South African drumsticks which used apricot jam as part of the marinade. I was intrigued as I never heard of apricot jam being used in a savoury dish before, especially to marinade a meat. Having made the African drumsticks, I can boldly state that African drumsticks and the use of apricot jam was delicious and I have made them several times after. I will be shortly posting the recipe for the drumsticks in the coming weeks.
The reason as to why I have gone about South African drumsticks is I was recently given a copy of Food Glorious Food and I was pleased to see a couple of South African recipes included in the book which both contained apricot jam as part of the ingredients which reminded me of my love for the drumsticks.  The first South African recipe which I thought I would try from Food, Glorious Food cook book is Bobotie and turmeric rice. I've never heard of Bobotie before this book, but having done some research it is a very popular dish in South Africa. I also like the look of turmeric rice, a vibrant yellow colour which complimented the Bobotie. My only suggestion/criticism of this dish is that it is quite involved and probably would make a better weekend meal rather than a week day meal.
Here is how my Bobotie turned out:
Baked Bobotie
I first started by frying the onions and garlic in a pan and adding the seasoning to the mixture alongside the apricot jam.
Fried seasoning
I then added the beef mince to the mixture and let this fry for around 5 minutes. I quickly seasoned the mince in the packet - I made the dish when I changed my mind about making spag bol.
Minced beef quickly seasoned.
Beef frying with seasoning.
I then placed the bread and milk in a bowl and broke the bread up with a fork. I added this to the mince mixture alongside the ground almonds and lemon juice and cooked for a further 10 minutes.

Bread broken up with milk.
I then prepared the topping and mixed together the eggs and milk and poured this over the mince mixture which I placed in a casserole dish. The recipe stated to use Greek yogurt, but as stated previously I tried to make this using store cupboard ingredients so unfortunately did not have this. I placed this in the oven for 30 minutes until baked.
Eggs and milk
Bobotie pre bake
After 30 minutes the bobotie was baked and ready to serve with the turmeric rice.
Bobotie baked

Ingredients for South African Bobotie - serves 5-6
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp medium curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ground cinnamon
2ts granulated sugar
pinch of chilli powder
pinch of nutmeg
2tbsp smooth apricot jam
2tbsp of any other fruit chutney
1 granny smith apple, peeled and grated
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
500g minced beef
2 slices white bread
4 tbp milk
juice of half a lemon
50g ground almonds.

For the turmeric rice
500ml water
250 g basmati rice, washed
75g raisins
1tsp ground cinamon
25g butter.

Preheat the oven to 18-C/350F/Gas mark 4
Heat the oil in large saucepan and fry the onions and garlic until almost caramelised, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, garam marsala, turmeric, cinnamon, sugar, chilli powder, nutmeg, bay leaves, apricot jam, chutney, apple, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the head and add the mince stirring well to coat.
Put the bread and milk in a bowl, then break up the bread with a fork. Add the mixture to the mince and mix together. Stir in the lemon juice and ground almonds. Return to a medium heat and stir until heated through. Reduce the heat to low and stir constantly for 10 minutes, or until the meat is cooked Taste for seasoning and ajust if necessary. Transfer to a casserole dish.
To prepare the topping, mix together the eggs, yoghurt, milk, salt and pepper, then pour over the curried mince in the casserole dish. Put the bay leaves on top for decoraton and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice. Bring the water to the boil with the salt and turmeric, then add the rice and stir once to seperate the grains. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to its lowest settinf and cook for 15 minutes. Drain in a colander, then add the raisings, cinnamon and butter, stirring them through with a fork.

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Pink Cake

This months chosen cake from the Cake Slicers, the online baking group that I am part of, is entitled "The Pink Cake". This cake has been described as a rich, moist chocolate cake with a raspberry puree buttercream frosting. I cheated a bit with the buttercream and used pink flavouring to get my pink colour. I will however make the raspberry buttercream in the future as like the idea of this as a topping, unfortunately I did not have the time to do this, hence the food colouring. One thing that I really like about Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson is that the cakes are always big, full of flavour, and full of delicious full fat ingredients which makes the cake taste so delicious.
Here is how my pink cake turned out:
The Pink Cake

Inside my Pink Cake

Slice of the Pink Cake
I first started by combining the coco, chocolate and hot water together, although I suggest to use a bigger bowl than I did, as it can become tricky when stirring, when trying to add the sour cream.
Chocolate and coco.

Sour cream 
I then creamed the butter and sugar together until light and then drizzled the oil into the mixture.
Butter and sugar mixed.

I then sifted the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and began to add the eggs one at a time.


Flour, eggs and chocolate.
Once the eggs was in cooperated into the mixture I placed into three baking tins.
Cake Mixture.

Pre baking.
Once the cakes were baked, I left to cool and began to make the buttercream which is my usual method of 125g butter and 425 icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk and pink food colouring. I whisked the butter first and gradually added the icing sugar until I had a smooth buttercream.
Butter for buttercream.

Icing sugar added

When making a layer cake I usually place each cake alongside each other and spread a similar amount of buttercream on each cake as previously I would go sparingly on the first two layers and when cut I could hardly see the buttercream.

I then spread buttercream around the cake to create a crumb layer.
Crumb layer
Unfortunately the crumb layer did not quite set, but I added chocolate curls to decorate My Pink Cake. My family really enjoyed this cake, which is the most important thing.

Have a look at my fellow Cake Slicers their blog pages can be found when you click on the picture beneath.

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped.
1/4 cup, 1 ounce coco
3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup 6 3/4 ounces full fat sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
2 cups (10 ounces) self-raising flour
4 ounces unsalted butter
13 ounces caster sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
5 eggs

For the raspberry buttercream
6 egg whites
8 3/4 ounces sugar
1 pound unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounces of raspberries fresh or frozen.

Preheat the oven to 350F or gas mark 4
Put the unsweetened chocolate and the cocoa into a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and allow it to steep for 1 minute. Whisk the mixture together. Whisk in the sour cream and vanilla. Set aside.
Sift  the flour in a separate bowl. In a bowl cream the butter and the sugar together on medium-high speed until light, about 3 minutes. On low speed, drizzle the oil into the mixture until blended. Turn the mixture up to a medium-high speed and best until the batter is fluffy, about 3 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time, adding the next one as soon as the previous one has disappeared into the batter. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the chocolate mixture in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixer before the last of the flour has been Incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a spatula to ensure you do not over beat the batter.
Divide the thick batter equally among the prepared tins. Smooth the tops and tap the pans on the counter to settle the batter and eliminate any large bubbles. Bake in the middle of the oven until the centres spring back when lightly touched, 22 - 25 minutes. Let the cake rest for 30 minutes on a wire rack.
To assemble the cake, lay one of the cakes top side up on a cake plate. Using a metal spatula, frost the top with 3/4 buttercream, spreading it out to the edge of the cake. Stack the second cake top side up on the frosted cake and spread another 3/4 buttercream. Stack the last layer of cake top side up on top. Apply a thin layer of the frosting all over the cake to create a crumb layer. Place the cake in the fridge for 10 minutes then reapply the remaining buttercream over the cake.

For the raspberry buttercream
Using a hand whisk, whisk together the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the clean bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. The egg white mixture will be gloppy and thick, but as the mixture begins to warm up it will become more fluid. Continue to gently whisk the mixture until it is very hot to the touch.
Move the bowl to the stand mixer and, using the whisk attachment, whip the whites on medium-high speed until they tripled in volume and are thick and glossy and hold stiff peaks (like meringue), 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed until the mixing bowl is just cool to the touch, 1 to 2 minutes. Kick the mixer back up to medium-high speed and add the butter one piece at a time, adding the next piece just as the previous one has been in cooperated. Stop the mixer every so often to scape down the escaping buttercream from the sides of the bowl. At some point, the buttercream will take on a curdled appearance; don't worry, this is normal. Just keep on mixing until it comes together. Once all the butter is in cooperated and the frosting is fluff and creamy, blend in the vanilla and salt until fully combined.
Covered with plastic wrap, buttercream will last 2 days at room temperature.
Mash and strain 4 cups (10 ounces) of raspberries fresh or frozen through a fine sieve to catch the seeds. Discard the seeds and set aside the puree while you follow the method for basic buttercream. Add the berry puree at the end of the recipe  with the vanilla and salt.


Thursday, 16 May 2013

My favourite Sunday breakfast.

For all my fellow bloggers who follow my Facebook page, you will be aware that I have a favourite breakfast, which commonly appears under my Weekend Breafast folder. Being of Jamaican heritage, I love nothing more than eating the traditional Jamaican Sunday breakfast which is fried fish (my favourite is Hake), fried plantin and roasted breadfruit. I'll begin by saying my favourtie traditional Jamaican (breakfast) dish is not the national dish, which is ackee and saltfish (I have been corrected on my Facebook page). I love the flavouring of a juicy piece of fish, fried in spices and "cooked up", with peppers  or escovitched in a lovely vinegarette sauce. To accompany my fish, I love nothing better than fried plantin, plantin looks similar to bananas but is a savoury dish, which is commonly eaten in the Africa, Caribbean and Latin America. Fried plantin is delicious, and it's quite difficult to try and describe how it tastes, as it is a very unique delicious taste. Another addition I like with my fried Hake, is roasted breadfruit. Again, breadfruit is found in Africa, Caribbean and Latin America, and has a lovely smooth texture when roasted and eaten.

Here a few of my favourite Sunday breakfast snaps:

Saltfish, roasted breadfruit and fried plantin.

Saltfish, fried dumplings and fried plantins.
Escovitch fish
Fried hake, roasted breadfruit and plantin
Benito fish, roasted breadfruit and bammi.

I have previously shared a recipe for fried dumplings and escovitch fish which can be found here. I have also shared recipes for saltfish fritters. The recipe which I will share today is my favourite accompaniment to fried dumplings, escovitch fish and saltfish fritters, which is fried plantin. Plantin is widely available in Caribbean food shops and resembles a bannana but has a different texture and a savoury taste when fried. If you want to see what a whole plantin looks like, there is a fantastic guide given over at bbc food website.

3 ripe plantins, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/4 thick slices
200ml vegetable oil

Drizzle oil into a frying just enough to coat the bottom of the pan and place on a medium heat.
When the oil becomes hot, add the plantin pieces, in batches and fry for around 2 minutes on one side and 1 1/2 on the other side.
Remove the fried plantins and leave to rest on kitchen paper towels to absorb the oil whilst the remaainding plantins are fried.
Serve immediately

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Turkey club burgers

I must have been living under a rock the whole of my life, for I have not heard nor have come across a turkey club sandwich prior to buying my latest favourite book, The Burger, published by Love Food. Perhaps Club sandwiches which contain turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomato are more common in America than in the UK. The closest sandwich I can think of to the turkey club is the BLT, bacon lettuce tomato, which I will probably in-cooperate into a burger some time soon.
The turkey club burgers are extremely easier to make, and I prefer to make burgers using chicken or turkey mince as there is not the risk of over kneading. I think the addition of the bacon added a crispiness and the lettuce and tomato must have contributed towards 1 out of my 5 a day so it was a winner all around.
Here is how my Turkey Club burgers turned out:
Turkey club burgers.

Turkey club burgers
Turkey club burgers

As you can see, I added a sprinkle of mature cheddar cheese and a leafy salad. I placed my burgers on toasted ciabbata bread, as per usual for a turkey club sandwich. This is yet another burger recipe which I will make again and again, and I thoroughly recommend this cook book for all the burger lovers out there.

Recipe for turkey club burgers
Makes 4
450g fresh turkey mince
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
6 bacon rashers
8 slices farmhouse/ciabatta bread, toasted
2-3 tbsp ranch - style dressing
lettuce leaves
tomato slices
(I always add 55g cooked long grain rice to the burger mixture as this prevents the burger falling apart when cooking).

1) Combine the turkey mince with the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a bowl. Divide the mixture into four equal-sized portions and shape each portion into a thick patty.
2) Cook the bacon under a grill for about 8 minutes, or until crisp.
3) Spread each slice of bread with about 1/2 a teaspoon of the ranch-style dressing.
4) Heat a frying pan, and fry the burgers on around 8 minutes each side.
5) Place each burger on a slice of the toasted bread, add the bacon, lettuce leaves and tomato slices, drizzle with a little more dressing and top with the remaining toasted bread. Serve immediately.


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Breakfast quiche.

I love Jo Wheatley, she won The Great The British Off Series 2 and has gone from strength to strength and has released her second baking book recently, Home Baking, available exclusively from Sainsburys. I have blogged many times about my favourite quiche and tart recipes such as  Lorraine Pascale's version and Jo Wheatley's version, I have also made variations of my favourite quiche recipes, and can be viewed on my Facebook page.
Jo's breakfast quiche recipe contains all the lovely ingredients that you would expect in a  full English; breakfast, bacon, mushrooms and eggs. I added sausages to my breakfast quiche which made it more colourful and hearty. I used ready made shortcrust pastry as did not fancy making shortcrust pastry on a Saturday morning, and this works quite well
Here is how my breakfast quiche turned out:

Breakfast quiche
You can see all the sausages rising to the top giving it a lovely texture and appearance.
Breakfast quiche

I blind baked the pastry for around 18 minutes and whilst this was baking I fried the bacon, mushrooms and grilled the sausages. Once my ingredients were cooked I made the filling, mixed the double cream, 3 eggs and pepper together and placed the bacon, mushrooms and sausages on the pastry base and topped with the filling.
Filling for quiche 

Quiche pre baked
I baked the quiche for 35 minutes and served with crusty bread and mixed leaves, the perfect brunch dish.
Quiche with crust bread

Recipe for breakfast quiche.
1 packet of shortcrust pastry

10-20g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
100g mushrooms, sliced
240g bacon rashers
400ml double cream (I used half fat creme fraiche)
3 large eggs
50g cheddar
freshly ground pepper
6 sausages

You will need a 21-23cm loose bottomed tin

Dust the work surface with flour and roll the pastry out to a thickness of a 2-3mm. Carefully line the tart tin with the pastry, trim off any excess and prick the base with a fork. Line the tart shell with baking parchment and baking beans and place on a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the beans and parchment and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until pale golden.
Turn the oven to down to 160C/320F/gas mark 3.
Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan, add the sliced mushrooms and gently saute until tender and all the mushroomy juice has evaporated. Remove the pan and out to one side. Chop each of the bacon rashers into three pieces and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the frying pan. Add the bacon and cook over a medium heat until crisp and golden.
Beat the cream, or creme fraiche, eggs and cheese into a bowl until thoroughly combined.
Spread the bacon and mushrooms in an even layer in the bottom of the cooked pastry. Pour in the cream mixture and bake the quiche for 35 minutes or until just wobbly in the centre.
Remove from the oven to stand and firm up in the tin for 10 minutes.


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Maple syrup chicken and ribs.

I have seen this recipe crop up on several occassions over at and pencilled this recipe of my to cook a while bake. I have made quite a few of Nigella's ribs recipes from her Forever Summer, Feast and Kitchen cook books. What intrigued me about this recipe is the use of maple syrup in the marinade and I wondered how well would this would work on a savoury dish. I usually use dark brown sugar as part of the marinade for sticky ribs. I marianded the chicken and ribs overnight with 5 tbsp of maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, apple juice, star anise and salt and pepper. I teamed my maple syrup with turmeric rice, which I first discovered after making South African Bobotie which I teamed with turmeric rice.
Here is how my maple syrup and chicken ribs turned out:
Maple syrup chicken and ribs.

Maple syrup chicken and ribs

Chicken and ribs in all of it's glory.

Maple syrup chicken and ribs

Maple syrup chicken and ribs.

The recipe for chicken and ribs can be found here.


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Rocky Road cake

Am very pleased to share that my Rocky Road Cake was voted third in a chocolate competition by Gourmadize. Here is the link As it is one of my favourite cakes, thought i'd re-post the blog for you all to enjoy :-)

It was recently my birthday and I am another year older. I'm all for celebrating birthdays, especially my own with a delicious, over the top chocolate cake. I decided on making a three layered rocky road chocolate cake and each layer to be topped with chocolate ganache and the cake to be decorated by various chocolate and sweets. I  was in an extravagant mood so decided to add dessicated coconuts for extra texture and flavour, although this did not come through as the chocolate flavour took over.
Here is how my birthday cake turned out:
Inside my Rocky Road cake

I topped the cake with mini eggs, marshmellows, coconut and Jamaican rum truffles, the perfect chocoholic treat.

My cake complete

Slice of my cake.
The marshmellows expanded and melted during the bake which left a lovely brown coloured tint within each layer.
Cake with coconut topping.

Ingredients for cake

Mixture for Rocky Road cake
Mixture for Rocky Road cake stirred

For the Cake

240g butter
240g sugar
240g self raising flour
5 eggs
110 mascaporne
55g coco
1tsp baking powder
85g digestive biscuits
75g chocolate honeycomb balls
2 bounty bars
75g marshmellows

For the decoration
30g marshmellows
a packet of mini chocolate eggs
a packet of rum truffles
3 packets of chocolate fingers


Preheat the oven to 180c, Gas Mark 4. Oil the base of the tins with a little oil and line with grease proof paper or baking parchment.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Add the mascarpone and stir through a little, then add half the flour and beat well for a couple of minutes until well combined. Fold in the marshmallows, maltesers, crushed biscuits and chocolate chips. If the mixture looks a little stiff, add the milk or water and mix together.

Divide the cake mixture between the tins and bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes are cooked and spongy to the touch when pressed lightly with a finger.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Put the butter in a large bowl and beat very well, then add the icing sugar and milk and mix well. Gradually add the melted chocolate, stirring all the time, then fold in the creme fraiche until well combined. Set aside.

Once the cakes are ready, take the tins out the oven and leave to cool. When completely cool, take them out of the tins. Put a blob of the icing onto a serving plate and place the cake on top of the icing. Now spread some icing over the cake and place the other sponge on top. Spread the rest of the icing over the whole cake to cover. Scatter the extra marshmallows, malted chocolate balls and chocolate chips over the top and sides of the cake and serve.

I am sharing this fabulous cake to a number of challenges in April 2015. The first is Tea Time Treats hosted by Karen from Lavendar and Lovage and Janie from The Hedge Combers. This months theme is chocolate and as you can see my cake certainly qualifies.

Dom from Belleau Kitchen is hosting a new blogging challenge Simply Eggcellent, this is the second month of the challenge and this months theme is chocolate. My rocky road cake is a chocolicious treat for anyone.

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