Fridge Rose Water Cheesecake

Looking for a quick and easy recipe this Valentine’s day? Just add delicious to your requirements and use this recipe. This will please any cheesecake lover.

Crust:

  • 200g tennis biscuits, crushed
  • 100g butter, melted

Filling:

  • 250ml cream
  • 230g smooth cottage cheese x 2
  • 200ml castor sugar
  • 80ml water
  • 20ml lemon juice (consentrate)
  • 15ml gelatine

Jelly topping:

  • 300ml water
  • 10ml gelatine
  • 40ml rose water
  • colourant

Method:

  1. Combine the cookie crumbles and melted butter. Gently press it into a 20cm cake tin or a small  baking tray and refridgerate.
  2. Beat the cream and slowly add the cottage cheese and sugar while continuing to beat.
  3. Heat the water and lemon just before boiling point and then sprinkle the gelatine over the top. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved.
  4. Combine the gelatine and the cottage cheese mixture. Scoop the mixture into the crusted baking tin or tray. Refridgerate until set.
  5. Colour 350ml water to the correct shade. Heat a 100ml until just before it reaches boiling point. Sprinkle the gelatine on top and stir until it dissolves. Add the rest of the coloured water and rose water. Slowly pour the cooled mixture over the top of the dessert. Chill in the fridge until set.
  6. Slice and serve.

P.S. As you can see, I coloured half of the mixture light pink and layered that in first. But not everything turns out as great as imagined. I wouldn’t recommend this.

 

 

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Valentine’s Day Cookies Recipe

Looking for a fun activity this Valentine’s Day? Cookie decorating has become my go-to destressing holiday activity. My mother and I made some for Christmas and this time around I invited my bestie to decorate some hearts. They may not be winning any awards for looks, but we sure had fun decorating them. Plus if you can part with some of your better designs, they’ll make a cute gift too.

Ingredients:

For the biscuits

  • 185g butter, softened
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 2,5 cups flour
  • 1 egg

For the royal icing

  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • warm water
  • colourant

Method:

Biscuits

  1.  Preheat the oven to 180*C and prepare two baking trays.
  2. Beat the butter until smooth in a bowl.
  3. Add the sugar and beat it together.
  4. Add vanilla and beat it together.
  5. Sift the flour into the butter mixture and beat it together.
  6. Add the egg and beat the mixture.
  7. Chill in the fridge for 2 x 24 hours.
  8. Roll out the dough until approximately 0,5cm thick.
  9. Bake on a tray for approximately 7 – 10 minutes.

 

Royal icing

  1. Combine the egg whites and icing sugar until smooth.
  2. Add warm water until the consistency is right. You want it to be spreadable, but not too liquid so that it can hold its shape.
  3. Separate into three bowls or however many colours you want and colour each separately. Gel colours allow you to be more accurate.
  4. Carefully fill your piping bags and begin the fun once the biscuits have completely cooled. You can use various nozzles, but I found a plain round one worked best for simple designs and writing.

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Festive Van Der Hum Cocktail

This time of year – summer, the festive season and school holidays – is the ideal time to have friends and family over. Although our gatherings are usually fairly casual, I  love how a simple cocktail can make even a pizza party feel special. As Christmas is around the corner, you’ll likely find yourself playing host some time over the coming month. This cocktail is a staple in our house as it is so easy to scale according to party size, whether you’re solo wrapping all the gifts or hosting the extended family.

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Meatball Gyros Recipe

Meatball gyrosMy husband and I like this so much that we included this in our meal lineup almost every week during the summer and now that it has cooled down I still find myself craving it every now and again. This is the result of researching falafels before our Paris trip (can you believe we didn’t even know what they were!?) and trying to create something similar looking with what we had on hand. So not very authentic and actually much closer to Greek gyros. The best part though? One batch will serve about four adults and you might even have a little leftovers for lunch.

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Easter Chocolate Bark Recipe

Looking for something fun and easy to do this Easter? I’ve got you covered with the ultimate in sweet treats – Easter egg chocolate bark! This is a great way to use up the last bit of Easter candies or, as was the case for me, a good excuse to stock up on some of your favourites! I’d like to say that this recipe is fool proof, but unfortunately you do run the very real risk of finishing the ingredients off before they make their way into the melted chocolate! If you managed to keep your taste buds under control though, you’re good to go! I would venture to say that this is even a good one to keep the kiddo’s busy (under supervision of course!) and of course you can customise this to include some of your personal favourites, these just happen to be mine.

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Christmas Chocolate Stars

DIY Chocolate stars for Christmas

I thought between posting my gift guides I’d throw in a quick and easy DIY to gift to anyone from a host to a teacher this festive season. Although it is a small gesture, making something yourself like these chocolate stars, can mean so much to the recipient. It would also be the perfect addition to your Christmas table, serve as a great accompaniment to coffee and compliment many a dessert. So really this is an all-rounder! As an added bonus, it is really simple and affordable to make! All you need is chocolate, your favourite toppings (added bonus if they’re in festive shades) and a silicone ice or chocolate tray.

DIY Chocolate stars ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 200g milk or dark chocolate
  • 40g pistachios, chopped
  • 40g cranberries, chopped
  • Spray and Cook
  • Gold dust

DIY Chocolate stars for Christmas

Method:

  1. Break up the chocolate in a microwavable bowl and put to the side.
  2. Chop up the pistachios and cranberries and keep at the ready.
  3. Give a festive ice or chocolate silicone tray a light spray with Spray and Cook. If you are working with an ice tray, see whether you need to fill the whole shape or whether filling it half-way would be better. My stars turned out quite thick and it might have been better to only fill the shapes halfway.
  4. Take the bowl of chocolate and melt it in the microwave. I usually put it in for 30 seconds at a time at full power. I take care to stir it in between microwaving it and often stop it shortly before everything is completely melted, knowing the final small lumps will melt as I stir. Each microwave is different and your melting times might be different to mine. I know this isn’t conventional or the best method, but it is by far the most convenient! I always microwave my chocolate to melt it (a double-cooker is the correct tool) and rarely use bakers chocolate, but know that if you use regular milk chocolate it will only melt once. So you have to work quick, before it sets.
  5. Fill your tray with chocolate, stopping two milimeters before you get to the top.
  6. Sprinkle the tray with the nuts and cranberries and lightly press each star to ensure that the toppings will set in the chocolate.
  7. Leave the chocolate to fully set.
  8. Once it is set, turn out the stars and dust the top of each chocolate with gold dust.
  9. Store in a cool spot in an air-tight container.

 

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Chocolate chip banana bread

I was never the biggest fan of banana bread, or bananas for that matter, until I found this recipe. I’ve made a few changes to it over the years, but now I think it is perfect!

It is fair to say that I have a few hang-ups regarding bananas, as I love artificial banana flavoured things (Beacon’s Fruit Salad sweets come to mind) but I don’t love bananas themselves and the idea of a warm banana freaks me out! They’re okay when eaten slightly green, but after that they just become a slimy mess with an overpowering taste. So I made this recipe with two ripe bananas, not overripe, and I the end result just has a hint of banana.

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Lemon Drizzle Cake

Dressed mini lemon drizzle cakes

This lemon drizzle cake has been a massive success in our house, so much so that I’ve received numerous requests to bake this again soon! I have never actually had a lemon drizzle cake before, so maybe I’m not the best judge, but from my husband feedback I’ll chalk this up as a big success. This is one of those super quick recipes that you could easily whip up on a whim, likely from ingredients already in your pantry. 

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Cheats Carbonara

cheats carbonara 1

I love all things Italian, especially food. Crusty breads, warm pizzas and creamy pastas are just a few of many things that I dream about. Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with a traditional carbonara, I love this lighter varient that was born when I combined two of my faves (alfredo and carbonara) with some fresh herbs. I think some of the best recipes can be born out of need. In this instance I simply didn’t have enough cream left over for a alfredo sauce and since then I’ve purposefully recreated this recipe a few times as we love the intense flavours and lighter sauce. If the raw egg in a traditional carbonara worries you, then read on to see how I make myself feel better about it.

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3 Ways with Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream

As summer gets into full swing, we’re entertaining more often and frequently invite friends over at the last minute. I’m always on the lookout for last-minute entertaining ideas that I can whip up with items already in pantry. Vanilla ice cream is our default, but serving ice cream and berries or chocolate sauce gets boring after a while.  As ice cream is somewhat of a summer staple, I thought it would be a good idea to share three of my favourite ways to serve the classic in a less predictable way.

Affogato

Affogato with biscotti

This simple Italian drink is the dessert we serve most often as it is so simple to recreate and we usually have some fresh coffee beans to recreate this with. Simply add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to a single or double shot espresso. We serve it with biscotti when we have (get my recipe here), but it is just as enjoyable served on its own.

It works best if you have an espresso machine that can create some crema, but moka pot coffee could also work. You probably won’t be able to achieve the necessary espresso strength with a french press.

Affogato with biscotti

 

Dom Pedro

Dom Pedro

Dom pedros are kinda like the dessert of cocktails, combining the best of both. I personally don’t like a traditional dom pedro with whiskey, but luckily things like Amaretto, Frangelico, Kahlua and Baileys also work well.

Simply blend two scoops of ice cream, 25 ml of chosen alcohol and 100 ml milk per serving. You might want to adjust this according to your taste and the strength of your alcohol (you might need more of somethings creamy like Baileys or Frangelico to detect the flavour). Serve with a sprinkle of cocoa.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Ice Cream Sandwich

I think out of all three options, this is the Chanel handbag of vanilla ice cream desserts. I just went with plain vanilla ice cream sandwiched between the two biscuits, but you could get very creative by sprinkling things on the side. It does however make it more complicated. The combination of a slightly chewy-buttery cookie with the melted ice cream is just as dreamy a combo as you’d imagine.

For this sandwich I used some of the ahhmazing chocolate chip cookies I made (recipe here), but you could use any other chocolate chip cookies you might have in your pantry. Things like Chips Ahoy and FOX would make great alternatives.

For my South African readers, I try to always buy vanilla ice cream that reads “ice cream” and steer clear of anything that says “frozen dessert”  as I am looking for something creamy and not watery. Although something fancy with detectable vanilla seeds would be the best, it isn’t something we usually spring for. Brands that create good vanilla ice cream at reasonable prices are Country Fresh, Ola and Woolworths.

Would love to know if you’re giving any of these a try!

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