Spooky Halloween Cupcakes

Halloween Cupcakes

Halloween isn’t much of a big deal here in South Africa, but let’s be honest – I don’t really need an occasion to make cupcakes.  These Halloween cupcakes are super creepy looking, but still taste delicious. They’re so simple to make – I based them on Nigella’s basic vanilla cupcake recipe with some cinnamon, nutmeg and almond additions for some extra pumpkiny (without any actual pumpkin) spice flavour. Orange buttercream and some ghoulish eyes complete the look. (more…)

Plain Ol’ Vanilla Cookies

Vanilla Cookies

I’ve been yearning for good old fashioned, plain vanilla cookies for a while now. Ever since I got my grubby paws on a Yuppiechef Letterpress Cookie Set at the Good Food and Wine Show earlier this year, I’ve been wanting to bake biscuits. The first recipe I tried was a bit of a flop and the dough ended up being too soft and sticky for the letters to stand out. Lucky for me, the October issue of Food & Home mag has a whole bunch of cookie recipes – including this one for “The Ultimate Vanilla Cookie Dough”. (more…)

Half a Springbok Pie

Springbok Pie

Let’s be honest – it’s not everyday you’re strolling trough the meat section at Pick n Pay or Woolies and think to yourself “I think I fancy some springbok for supper tonight!” In fact, it’s not a meat that’s readily available in shops, or at many restaurants for that matter.  Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading about lower cholesterol meats. As much as I love beef, lamb and BACON SWEET BACON every now and again, I’m not 17 anymore, and judging by the results of my last cholesterol test –  it’s time I took it down a notch. (more…)

Red Velvet Cupcakes and the Very Best Cream Cheese Icing

Red Velvet Cupcakes

About a year ago, while happily losing track of time browsing through Drizzle and Dip (as one does) I came across a recipe, claiming to be ‘The Very Best Red Velvet Cupcakes’. I was suspicious to say the least… I’d never made Red Velvet Cupcakes that I was really happy with – they were either too chocolatey, too buttermilky, or just not red enough for me. And the icing, oh lord, the icing – any Red Velvet aficionado will tell you – it all comes down to the cream cheese icing. So, in short, to find a recipe that ticks all the Red Velvet boxes is no easy thing. (more…)

Baby Marrow Spaghetti (minus the pasta)

Baby Marrow Spaghetti

Confusing title – I know! That’s because the ‘pasta’ in this dish is not actually pasta. The ‘spaghetti’ component is made using grated baby marrows (zucchini / courgettes / whatever else you want to call them) ). I spotted this on one of my fave local blogs iwantthat – the recipe is from the gorgeous foodie blog Top With Cinnamon by Londoner Izy. Her recipe uses a medium zucchini, which isn’t the easiest thing to get hold of in Cape Town, so I substituted with lots of baby marrows, as they seem to be more abundant. (more…)

Basic Chocolate Cupcakes

Basic Chocolate Cupcakes

Adding coffee to chocolate cupcakes does something –  I’m not really sure what – but it definitely makes a difference. They take on a rich, almost nutty, taste. This recipe comes from London baker Lily Vanilli who I first heard of when I received one of her books, A Zombie Ate My Cupcake!, as a gift a few years ago. Her cupcakes are quite simply REDONKULOUS and are a source of much inspiration for me.


Lindt Chocolate Buttercream Icing

Lindt Chocolate Buttercream Icing

I firmly believe that chocolate icing should have real chocolate in – none of this cocoa nonsense. Not only does it taste a whole lot better, but the consistency is smoother and much easier to pipe. This Lindt Chocolate Buttercream Icing is my staple chocolate icing recipe. It’s quick and easy and never flops. There’s nothing worst than split icing, and the chocolate helps prevent this and hold everything together. (more…)

Quinoa Veggie Salad

Quinoa Veggie Salad

Quinoa is incredible. Although it’s often confused for a grain or even mistaken for couscous, it is in fact a seed. I love it because it’s like eating a hearty bowl of oats. It’s also amazingly good for you. It’s a great protein and fibre source, while vegans love it because of its high calcium content. It’s also gluten free. You can do pretty much anything with it, combine it with any variety of vegetables to make a filling salad. It seems to be rather trendy lately and I’ve noticed it popping up all over the place. The Sidewalk Café in Vredehoek does an amazing quinoa and puy lentil salad with feta, tomato and a mint and honey dressing. (more…)

Dark Chocolate Fondants

Dark Chocolate FondantChocolate fondant has to be one of my favourite desserts. If it’s on the menu at a restaurant, there is a 99.9% chance I will order it.  This one is a chocoholic’s dream. It’s very dark as there is no added sugar, only the sugar in the chocolate. If you use a good quality dark chocolate (like Lindt) it will be bittersweet and oh-so-rich. Just the way it should be! (more…)