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Cranberry, Seed & Oat Crunchies

October 9, 2014 in Baking, Snacks, Sweet treats

Cranberry , seed and oat crunchiesEverybody needs a good recipe for crunchies (also known as flapjacks to UK folks).  This is a recipe I have been using for years and it has never failed me. These are the good old fashioned kind – sugar, butter, oats, coconut, flour and bicarb. Crunchies generally have a high sugar content like all biscuits but it has the good stuff too, low GI oats ( I love using really coarse rolled oats) and I replace plain flour with nutty wheat or whole wheat flour. In addition, I add cranberries and mixed seeds for extra nutrients and texture but these can be left out if you prefer plain ones. For extra decadence, why not melt some dark chocolate and spread onto the crunchies before slicing? Crunchies are a great on-the-go breakfast or snack. Crumble them up and add to your yoghurt for brekkers in the mornings. They are a wonderful addition to the lunchbox too. This recipe makes 32 little squares (the perfect snack size), simply keep in an airtight container or cookie jar, it can last up to a month – if you don’t gobble them all up by then :-)

Crunchies

Cranberry, Seed & Oat Crunchies
1 c (250 ml) coarse rolled oats
1 c (250 ml) coarse dessicated coconut
1 c (250 ml) nutty wheat or whole wheat flour
1 c (250 ml) brown sugar
100 g dried cranberries (or other chopped dried fruit of your choice)
1/2 c (125 ml) mixed seeds (pumpkin, linseed, sunflower and sesame)
125 g salted butter
1 T ( 15 ml) honey
1 t (5 ml) vanilla essence
1 t (5 ml) bicarbonate of soda
2 T ( 30 ml) boiling water

For the method, visit my website, www.bitsofcarey.co.za


Mid-week indulgence: Easy choc pots with mint crisp crumble

March 27, 2012 in desserts, Sweet treats

Two of my favourite chocolates have to be Lindt Mint intense
and good old Peppermint crisp. Peppermint crisp, in particular, is
my ultimate. If I cannot find my weekly(sometimes daily) bar in stores I start having a little panic
attack!

So, to illustrate my love for all things “chocolatey” and “mintalicious”,
I give you my quick and easy choc pots! These are great for dinner parties. Serve
in cute shot glasses or espresso cups and top each choc pot with a dollop of
whipped cream and finish off with crumbled peppermint crisp. And if you’re not
in the mood to whip cream for the topping, serve as is with the peppermint crisp
crumble. You don’t need an excuse to make these, I tell myself that I deserve a treat every now and then and so should you!

Here’s how:
Fills 6 shot glasses or espresso cups

100g Lindt Mint intense Dark chocolate or Cadbury’s Bournville(dark)
mint chocolate, broken into blocks
125 ml cream
1 egg yolk
2 peppermint crisp bars, blitzed in the food processor until crumbly

Place the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan. Heat gently until all the
chocolate is melted(no need for a double boiler).
Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolk until well
combined and velvety.
Pour into glasses and pop in the fridge. Allow to set for at
least 45 minutes.
Top with crumble. Enjoy!

TIPS:
These can be frozen and make a lush icecream.
Can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Try different combinations: white chocolate, chilli chocolate, plain dark choc topped with shortbread and lavender crumble….

C xx

“Blogiversary” blueberry and lemon muffins

March 8, 2012 in Baking, Sweet treats

Today, 2 years ago, I ventured into the exciting world of blogging on Food24. It feels like I have my own little family on this blogasphere with the likes of the food24 team, old bloggers, new bloggers and of course my regular readers. Words cannot express how much all of you inspire me. I learn somehting new everyday. Thank you all for your support throughout the years. P.s. Those of you that want to subscribe(or resubscribe) to my blog or follow me on twitter, see my side bar!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but every now and then I get a craving for something that is sweet but also tart. Walking past all the gorgeous punnets of bluberries at PnP, I couldn’t help but think how divine they’ll be in a soft and spongy muffin with a lemony kick. So I rushed home with bluberries in hand like it was the Olympic torch and started baking muffins for dinner – yes, you read right, dinner. Mwahahahaha! These muffins came out just as I imagined which resulted in me doing a happy dance in the kitchen(Come on, we’ve all done that!). To make them even more luxuriant, I whipped up some a cottage cheese icing and drizzled some over the muffins. Drooling? It’s amazing how much joy breaking open a freshly baked blueberry muffin can bring, I love how the berries burst and become all gooey. Enough babbling, here’s the recipe. xx
Blueberry and lemon muffins
makes 9 large or 12 standard

125 ml (1/2 c) vegetable oil
125 ml (1/2 c) sugar
2 eggs
1 small tub (+ – 175 ml) plain yoghurt
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
500 ml (2 c) cake flour
2.5 ml (1/2 t) bicarb
15 ml ( 1 T) baking powder
pinch of salt
125 g fresh bluberries

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius(conventional) or 180(convection).
Beat the oil and sugar together. Add the eggs and beat until light and creamy.
Stir in the yoghurt, juice and zest.
Sift dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the berries and coat well with the flour mixture(this allows them to be more evenly dispersed into the mixture).
Fold the dry mixture into the egg mixture until well combined. Try not to over mix.
Spoon into a well greased muffin tin (fill them just over 3/4 full)
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
Best served slightly warm.
Lasts up to 5 days in an airtight container.
TIP: you can use thawed frozen berries.

For the icing (optional):
85 g butter, softened
500 ml icing sugar
+- 100 ml smooth cottage cheese
2 ml vanilla essence
15 ml lemon zest

Beat the softened butter and sugar together, add the cottage cheese bit by bit beating all the while until it’s reached the consistency you desire. Stir in the essence and zest.

Lemon and Blueberry Tart

November 19, 2010 in Baking, Sweet treats, tarts

I must be honest, I don’t really have a sweet tooth, however when it comes to lemon tart, I cannot resist! My first encounter with this delectable eye-watering, jaw-locking creation was at Olympia Café in Kalk Bay a few years ago, and to this day, I still go for my fix every month! I made my version of a perfect lemon tart recently (with the help of my boss, colleague and friend, Kelly. Thanks for the recipe K! I know you are reading this! Ha ha!). I added some blue berries to the mixture, it just added another dimension to the tart and we all know lemon and blueberries are a match made in heaven!

 

 

I love this recipe, the pastry is so quick and easy and by whipping the cream, the tart filling is as light as air!

 

You will need:

 

Pastry:

250 ml cake flour

Pinch salt

45 ml castor sugar

50 g butter

Zest of 1 lemon

1 egg yolk

30 ml iced water

 

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz until the dough forms a ball. Wrap up and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Grease a 24 cm quiche tin. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and line the tin.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and nutty brown.

Reduce oven temp to 160 °C

 

Filling:

3 eggs, lightly beaten

200 ml castor sugar

Zest and juice of 4 lemons (or 3 large lemons)

250 ml cream

250 ml blue berries

Icing sugar for dusting

Some blueberries to serve

 

Whisk the eggs, sugar and zest together until thick and foamy. Stir in the lemon juice.

Whip cream to soft peaks and fold in together with the blueberries. Pour the cold filling into the hot pastry and bake for +- 35 minutes or until set.

Serve chilled and even better the next day!

When ready to serve, dust with icing sugar caramelize the sugar with a blow torch or pop under the grill briefly.

I just dusted with icing sugar and topped with fresh blueberries. YUM!

Serve with whipped cream( unsweetened)

 

OR try my quick filling:

4 egg yolks

150 ml castor sugar

Zest and juice of 3 lemons

250 ml reduced fat cream

 

Whisk all the above ingredients together and pour over hot pastry.

 

Thanks to  Aletta at Food 24 and Kalahari.net, I was given the opportunity to review Bill Granger’s new book, “Bill’s Basics”. I have been lapping up every word and pic since I received it and will be cooking and photographing some of the recipes over the weekend! So watch this space on Monday!

 

Have a great weekend all!

 

Here’s to cooking and eating and a bit of drinking!

C xx

 

 

Fruit and seed crunchies

October 16, 2010 in Baking, Snacks, Sweet treats

Last week I had to develop a low fat and low GI snack. I pondered long and hard and eventually came up with these bikkies. They are packed with cranberries, dried apricots, mixed seeds and oats. The fat and sugar content is low in comparison to many other biscuit recipes I have seen. They are delicious and you don’t feel bad eating 2 or 3 of these with your tea. I can guarentee you won’t eat more than that because it is no.10 on the satiety scale, with all the slow energy release oats, high fibre dried fruit and omega fatty acid rich seeds. These will be great crumbled up and sprinkled onto your yoghurt in the morning. What great timing, Inspiration set a biscuit challenge last week, so I thought why not share with you all!

Makes +- 25 biscuits

You will need:

125 g soft margarine(e.g Flora)

250 ml brown sugar

5 ml vanilla essence

4 egg whites

250 ml cake flour

5 ml baking powder

125 ml nutty wheat flour

750 ml rolled oats

250 ml mixed seeds(sunflower, pumpkin ans sesame)

250 ml dried cranberries

125 ml chopped apricots

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

In a large bowl, cream the marg and sugar until light and fluffy, add the vanilla and then pour the egg whites bit by bit beating continuously until combined.

Add all the remaining ingredients into the bowl and stir until well combined, damp and sticky.

Squash into small balls and place onto a greased baking tray.

Press the balls down with fork.

Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 170 degrees and bake for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

 

OTHER IDEAS:

Replace seeds with 250 ml of dessicated coconut(this will increase the fat content though).

Add some cinnamon or all spice to the mixture if you like.

Replace the cranberries with any other dried fruit, eg. sultanas, raisins, chopped dates etc.

 

Now look at that! Bursting with goodness!

 

Citrus Inspired Desserts

July 28, 2010 in Sweet treats, tarts

Since it is winter, gone are the weird and wonderful tropical fruits. However, one does forget about good old faithful citrus fruit that only flourishes in winter really.  In summer, I long for winter when you can buy a pocket of oranges for R 10 and look forward to making a huge batch of freshly squeezed OJ (however, you never actually manage to do it and you are stuck with 30 + oranges!).

We had the family around on Sunday for my mom’s birthday, and I decided to make one of her favourite desserts – Lemon Meringue Pie, and while I was at it, why not milk tart too! To my disappointment, I had no vanilla essence in the cupboard!! NO!! What to do? I glanced at my pile of oranges and thought an orange infused Milk tart would suffice. So that is what I did. We had Citrus inspired desserts.  Lemon Meringue pie and Citrus Milk tart.

 

Lemon Meringue Pie

This dessert reminds me of my childhood, my gran would walk through the front door like a ray of sunshine every Sunday with a Lemon meringue in her hands… we never grew tired of it!

A few years before she passed away, I watched her make one and she said with her bubbly voice (almost like Meryl Streep as Julia Child), “…the trick is to stir the condensed milk mixture gently, never whisk and it will come out smooth and velvety everytime!”. And it is so true, so everytime I make lemon meringue I think of my beloved Oma Pat.

 

What you will need:

 

1 packet tennis biscuits or digestive (if you do not like coconut)

50 g melted butter

a bit of hot water

 

3 eggs yolks

1 can full cream condensed milk

juice and zest of 2 lemons

 

3 egg whites

3 T castor sugar

1 t lemon juice or vinegar

1 t vanilla essence or 1 T lemon zest

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

In a food processor, blits the biscuits, then add the butter, blend until the crumbs clump together, add some hot water if it does not. Press into a greased pie dish.

Gently stir the yolks, condensed milk, juice and zest until well combined. Pour over the crumb base.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, Beat the egg whites, castor sugar and lemon juice until soft peaks form. fold in some extra lemon zest or vanilla essence.

Reduce the oven temperature to 170 degrees.

Gently spread onto the cooled filling and bake for a further 10 – 15 minutes or until golden.

 

Citrus milk tart

 

 

I used the Milk tart recipe I posted last month, just replaced the vanilla essence with the zest of 2 oranges.

 

Go to http://blogs.food24.com/BITSOFCAREY/ol-fashioned-milk-tart for the recipe.

 

 

These went down well with freshly brewed coffee!

 

 

So don’t you just love citrus fruit?

 

What would we do without oranges and lemons?

 

C xx

 

 

 

Cranberry and almond fudge

July 23, 2010 in Sweet treats

I am obsessed with fudge. I make it every month or two, but this time I experimented a bit by adding cranberries and almonds. yummy! It lasted 2 days in our house!

 

 

So, all you do is make basic fudge. See my post “Oh my fudge” http://blogs.food24.com/BITSOFCAREY/oh-my-fudge

  Before beating it to thicken, add 100g cranberries and 100g flaked toasted almonds, beat until thick and spread out into a rectangular dish. Cut into squares before it hardens.

 

Who knows that combination I will do next…

 

Maybe a coffee chocolate flavour…mmm

 

I think a cheese platter and a good bottle of red wine or two is in order this weekend!

Have a good one all!

Cxx

 

 

 

 

 

“Poffertjies” with Rooibos Syrup

July 9, 2010 in Snacks, Sweet treats

South African Style Doughnuts drizzled with homemade Rooibos syrup. Little mouthfuls of heaven. I got the rooibos syrup idea from a lovely cookbook called “A touch of Rooibos”.  If you have any syrup left over, use it drizzled over your french toast or an alternative syrup for baklava. So delicious and easy to make.

 

 

“Poffertjies” with Rooibos Syrup       

 Makes 30-40

 

What you will need:

600 g (4 x 250 ml) cake flour

15 g (1 1/2 pkts) instant yeast or fresh or dry equivalent

125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar

5 ml (1 t) salt

 

90 g melted butter

2 eggs, beaten

± 250 ml buttermilk

 

 Sift all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.

Beat the butter, eggs and buttermilk into a separate bowl.

Add the liquid and mix to form soft dough (add a little extra flour if the dough is too wet or a little extra buttermilk if the dough is too dry).

Turn it out onto a well-floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Cover and leave in a warm place rise (to double in size).

Take two teaspoons to form little balls with the batter.

Spoon batter into hot oil and deep fry until golden, turning once. The “poffertjies” will float to the surface.

Drain cooked poffertjies on absorbent paper towel. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve with Rooibos syrup.

 

 

For the Rooibos Syrup:

125 ml(1/2 cup)  brown sugar

125 ml(1/2 cup)  strong Rooibos tea

5 ml (1 t) corn flour

 

Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Boil until syrupy.

 

 

 

Enjoy the Soccer final all!

 

Here’s to another blessed weekend! :-)

 

C xx

 

 

 

Please note: Copyright:  All pics and recipes belong to Bitsofcarey and cannot be re-used with out permission.

 

 

There’s nothing better than a freshly baked scone!

July 7, 2010 in Snacks, Sweet treats

Most scone recipes contain ridiculous amounts of butter! Not this one…and you cant even tell. I personally don’t believe in using soft margerine in scone dough. You need COLD butter and it MUST be rubbed in – this creates that amazingly soft texture that we all love so much. The trick is also not to overwork the dough, as this makes the gluten in the flour tough. Scones are so cheap, easy and versatile! The perfect option to bake on the fly!

 

We polished these beauties off during the Netherlands vs Uruguay game…what a pleasure!

 

You will need:

2 cups self raising flour

1 t baking powder

pinch of salt

1 T castor sugar

50 g COLD butter

+ – 3/4 cup milk, yoghurt or buttermilk

 

To serve: Freshly whipped cream and strawberry jam

 

Put a pot of coffee on, by the the time it’s finished brewing, the scones will be ready to come out of the oven!

 

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl.

Grate or break the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour to form fine “breadcrumbs”.

Pour the milk into the mixture and mix together with a knife until it all clumps together.

Pat onto a floured surface (about 3 cm thick) and cut into +- 6 rounds.

Place onto a baking tray and dust with flour.

Bake for +- 8 minutes depending on the size of your scones.

Break open and serve with cream and strawberry jam!

 

Ol’ Fashioned Milk Tart

June 23, 2010 in Pies, Sweet treats, tarts

 This baked milk tart is a classic SA favourite! Homemade melt your mouth pastry, smooth and velvety filling with a generous sprinkle of heart warming cinnamon… Picture this with a freshly brewed pot of coffee…mmm…heaven!

 

 

What you’ll need:

 

For the pastry

2 T butter – please not margerine!

2 T sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup self raising flour

pinch of salt

 

Blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor or with an electric beater until it all clumps together to form a dough.

Press into a lightly greased 24 cm tart dish. Chill in the fridge while preparing the filling.

 

For the Filling

2 cups milk

2 eggs, separated

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cake flour

1/4 cup corn flour

pinch of salt

2 T butter

1 t vanilla essence

Ground cinnamon

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Heat the milk in a medium pot(do not boil).

Beat the yolks and sugar until creamy and light then add the flours and salt – the mixture will be quite thick.

Add some warm milk to the egg mixture and then return all of it to the pot. Bring to the boil and whisk constantly until thickened.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until soft peaks form and fold into the custard.

Pour into the chilled pastry case and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake for +- 30 minutes.

 

*Try with frozen puff pastry

 

Well done to Bafana last night, although we didn’t get through, we played with heart and that’s all that matters!

 

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