Nutty Brittle Cookies

Nutty Brittle Cookies

Sweet, crunchy and chewy is the best way to describe these nutty brittle cookies. They’re addictive and so yummy!

Nutty Brittle Cookies. Time: 1 hr 30 min.  Makes: 40

These cookies actually ended up being a happy accident. My initial intention was to make cookies with bits of fudge in them, but I couldn’t get fudge anywhere (I failed dismally at making the fudge myself). I needed to make something different, so the only thing I could think of using was cashew nut brittle! I’m so happy that I was forced into using the brittle because these cookies are delicious. They’re sweet, nutty, crunchy and chewy all at the same time.

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They are so easy to make and make enough to feed a crowd. They are perfect with your morning (or afternoon or evening) coffee or tea!

Check out my recipe below and let me know what you think!

Nutty Brittle Cookies

  • Servings: 40 cookies
  • Time: 1 hr 30 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Nutty Brittle Cookies. Time: 1 hr 30 min.  Makes: 40

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 125g Nutella
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 300g nut brittle, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line some baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Cream the butter, sugars and Nutella in a large bowl.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Mix in the flour and bicarbonate soda, then stir in the milk and chopped brittle.
  5. Cover the bowl with cling-wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 min.
  6. Roll level tablespoons on the cookie dough into balls and place about 3cm apart on the baking trays.
  7. Bake for about 12 min and allow to cool on trays.

Comfort Food at Home

Comfort Food at Home

Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! After pigging out on WAY too many Easter eggs, I’ve decided to skip baking this week (for the sake of my waistline), so unfortunately there won’t be any new recipes this week. Fear not, I will be back with a new cookie recipe next week!

I thought I’d do a post about my favorite comfort food meals that I make for my family. Dinner is definitely the most important meal for me. I’m not a big breakfast eater (mainly just cereal or coffee & biscotti) and I’m not really that fussed about lunch, unless I’m eating out at a nice restaurant. So dinner is the biggest meal of the day in my house. I am trying to lose weight, but I can’t bring myself to eat salad or veggies every night, so I do indulge a bit in my midweek comfort food (midweek, weekend, whenever really!).

One of my absolute favorite meals is the humble burger. I love making fresh beef patties or spicing a perfectly succulent chicken breast and topping it with cheese, tomatoes, pickles, onions and homemade burger sauce. This is definitely my ultimate comfort food! To make it complete I usually add some oven baked fries or homemade onion rings.

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Another firm favorite is Italian food. Mainly pizza and pasta. I make homemade pizza every second Friday night and I usually end up making pasta once a week. I love simple pizzas and pastas. My go-to topping for pizza is Parma ham and I love any pasta in a creamy sauce topped with Parmesan cheese!

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We’ve also become rather big fish eaters. If you had told my teenage self that I would be indulging in seafood as an adult, I would have fallen on the floor laughing. I used to hate the stuff. Now, there’s nothing better than some good old fish & chips (with tartar sauce of course)!

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And last, but not least, is our love of Asian food. We get major cravings for chow mein, sweet & sour or a good Thai meal. When it comes to Asian food, the simpler the better. I love simple Asian flavors made with only a few ingredients. One of my go-to midweek Asian comfort meals is a cheat’s version of a Korean beef bowl (made with ground beef, soy sauce, sugar, spices, spring onion and rice). It’s SO simple and extremely yummy!

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Obviously, there are many, many more comfort meals that I absolutely love, but these are definitely in my top 10! I’d love to hear what your favorite comfort meals are, so please get in touch with me!

Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes

Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes

Lemon Curd filled Cupcakes Cover

Soft vanilla cupcakes. Velvety lemon curd. Fluffy marshmallow frosting. Three of my favorite things wrapped into one awesome little cupcake. I love filled cupcakes. Biting into one of these luscious treats is always fun because, even though you filled the cupcakes yourself, you still get a lovely surprise when a sweet gooey filling oozes out of it!

These filled cupcakes are a bit time consuming to put together, but all the elements are really easy to make. My lemon curd recipe is so simple, anyone can make it! The bonus about the lemon curd recipe is that there’s always enough left over to eat on some scones or just straight out of the fridge.

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First, you need to make the lemon curd, so it has enough time to cool down. Combine cornflour, caster sugar, lemon juice, water and finely chopped lemon zest in a small saucepan. Bring it to the boil and when it starts to thicken, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 minute, then remove it from the heat.

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It should look almost Vaseline-like when you’ve removed it from the heat. Now stir in the butter and egg yolks and you’ll end up with a luscious lemon curd.

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Lovely, velvety smooth lemon curd! Leave it to cool while you make the cupcakes.

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The vanilla cupcakes are very basic and easy to make. Cream butter and sugar together, add in your egg yolks & vanilla and mix well. Add in your flour & milk and finally fold in whipped egg whites. Bake for 15 min in a preheated oven.

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Once the cupcakes and lemon curd have cooled, make the marshmallow fluff and put it in a piping bag.

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Core your cupcakes (with a cupcake corer or a small sharp knife). You can eat the cupcake centers as you go (that’s what I do, haha), or keep them for later.

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Fill your cupcakes with the luscious lemon curd (I also eat some of the curd as I go along!).

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Pipe lovely little swirls of fluffy marshmallow frosting on top of your filled cupcakes and they’re ready to serve!

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Gorgeous little luscious lemon curd filled vanilla cupcakes with fluffy marshmallow frosting are the perfect weekend treat. Please check out the full, printable recipe below.

Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 3 hrs
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients:

Lemon curd:

  • 1/3 cup cornflour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 3 egg yolks (reserve egg whites for marshmallow fluff)

Vanilla cupcakes:

  • 62.5g butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Marshmallow fluff frosting:

  • 3 egg whites (reserved egg whites from lemon curd)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Make lemon curd: Combine sugar & cornflour in a small saucepan & gradually stir in juice, zest and water until it’s smooth. Cook until the mixture boils and thickens. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1 min. Remove from the heat and stir in butter & egg yolks. Allow to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole cupcake pan with cupcake cases.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together, add in egg yolks and vanilla. Beat well.
  4. Add milk, a little at a time, alternating with the sifted flour, baking powder & salt, mix well.
  5. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks & fold into your batter.
  6. Pour batter into prepared cupcake pan and bake for 15 min. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan.
  7. Make the marshmallow fluff: Put all the ingredients into a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Beat with a hand mixer until it all combines and becomes white & fluffy. Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer and beat on high for 10 min, until it becomes light & fluffy.

Assembly:

  1. Core the cupcakes with a cupcake corer or a small sharp knife.
  2. Fill your cupcakes with the lemon curd.
  3. Pipe swirls of marshmallow fluff frosting on top of your filled cupcakes.

Notes: Store your left over lemon curd in an airtight container in the fridge. The lemon curd works great on scones or just eat a spoonful straight out of the tub!

Simple Supper – Ultimate Chicken Burger

Simple Supper – Ultimate Chicken Burger

  
Every second Friday night is burger night in our house (every other Friday is pizza night). I love a good burger and I love making them at home. This turned out to be my fiancé’s favorite burger so far. It’s easy to make and the whole family will love it!

Ultimate Chicken Burgers

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 25 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  
Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 hamburger rolls
  • Lettuce
  • 4 large tomato slices
  • 4 large gherkins, sliced lengthways
  • 8 rashers bacon, cooked
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 slices cheese
  • 4 slices pineapple
  • Burger relish
  • Burger sauce (mix 2 tbsp mayo with 1 tbsp ketchup, 1 tbsp mustard and 4 tsp gherkin juice)

Directions:

  1. Butterfly your chicken breasts and season with desired seasoning (I use some soy sauce and steak seasoning).
  2. Cook chicken breasts in preheated, oiled frying pan for about 5 min a side.
  3. Place cheese on top of chicken breasts, cover pan and allow the chicken to steam and the cheese to melt, about 3 -5 min. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
  4. Grill pineapple in the same pan until you get a golden color on each side.
  5. Cut burger buns in half, butter the bottom half of the bun, add lettuce, burger relish, tomato slice, pineapple and gherkins.
  6. Place cooked chicken breasts on top of gherkins, top with slices of cooked bacon.
  7. Spread burger sauce on top half of bun and add onion slices.
  8. Serve with fries or just enjoy it on its own!

    Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

    Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

    Chocolate Cupcakes

    Moist, gooey chocolate cupcakes smothered in feather light marshmallow frosting. Absolute heaven!

    As I get older, I’ve found that I can’t quite handle super sweet buttercream anymore (the exact same buttercream that I used to adore when I was a kid). I find myself craving a more balanced cupcake-to-frosting sugar ratio and this recipe delivers just that. The cupcake packs a rich chocolate punch and the frosting is a lovely, subtle addition that doesn’t overwhelm your sweet tooth!

    These chocolate cupcakes are easy to make and always come out perfect.

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    The heart of these chocolate cupcakes is the melted butter, water, cocoa and oil mix.

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    The cupcake batter is quite runny and it can get a bit messy when you fill your cupcake cases.

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    After about 15 min in the oven, the cupcakes are perfectly puffed up.

    The marshmallow fluff is quick and delicious (I just end up eating it straight out of the mixer).

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    The first step in the 2 step process to make marshmallow fluff is to whisk all your ingredients in a bain marie (bowl over a pot of simmering hot water), until they are white and fluffy. You then transfer the mixture to a stand mixer and let it go for 10 min!

    I decided to amp up the chocolate flavor by decorating these bad boys with grated chocolate, but they would be equally as good topped with nuts, sprinkles or just more marshmallow fluff!

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    Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

    • Servings: 12
    • Time: 2hr 30mins
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Print

    Chocolate Cupcakes

    Ingredients:

    Chocolate Cupcakes:

    • 250ml self-raising flour
    • 250ml sugar
    • 2.5ml baking powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 62.5g butter
    • 125ml water
    • 1/4 cup cocoa
    • 1/4 cup oil
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/4 cup buttermilk

    Marshmallow Frosting:

    • 3 large egg whites
    • 150g caster sugar
    • 2 tbsp golden syrup
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole muffin pan with cupcake cases.
    2. Heat butter, water, cocoa and oil in a small saucepan, over medium heat until everything is melted and starts to boil. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 min.
    3. Meanwhile, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
    4. Mix the buttermilk and egg in a jug.
    5. Add the chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well.
    6. Add the buttermilk mixture to the chocolate mix and stir until it’s well-combined.
    7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 15 min.
    8. Remove from oven and cool, in the pan, for 1 hour.

    To make the frosting:

    1. Put all of the ingredients into a bowl over a pot of simmering water.
    2. Beat with an electric hand mixer until all of the ingredients combine and the mixture becomes white and thickened.
    3. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on high for 10 min, until it becomes fluffy and doubles in size.

    Assembly:

    1. Once your cupcakes have cooled, fill a piping bag with your marshmallow frosting and pipe swirls onto each of your cupcakes.
    2. Top with grated chocolate, nuts or sprinkles.

     

    My Week in Dinners

    My Week in Dinners

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    Easy mushroom and bacon Alfredo sauce. It’s such a simple and delicious sauce to make for any pasta (I used penne). Cream cheese and a bit of cream make up the base of this yummy sauce.

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    Angelfish fish fingers with oven fries and a side salad. I love Angelfish because it’s a very meaty fish and is cheaper than Hake (in SA). I just sliced the Angelfish up and coated it in cornflake crumbs, then shallow fried it and finished it in the oven for about 10 min. I also made a quick tartar sauce (mayo, dijon mustard, diced onion & gherkin, pepper, lemon juice and gherkin juice).

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    I love my chicken pot pie. It’s creamy and comforting. I use diced chicken breast because it cooks quicker and is a bit leaner. The gravy is just made up of white wine, chicken stock, whole grain mustard, thyme and some cream. Delicious!

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    Quick and easy chicken and guacamole tacos. I do cheat a bit and use Old El Paso crunchy taco shells and their taco seasoning. It’s a quick dinner that requires minimal cooking and time (only have to grill the chicken strips). It’s satisfying and budget friendly.

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    Every 2nd Friday night is burger night in our house. I usually alternate between chicken and beef. This week we had a cheeseburger topped with awesome onion rings. The onion rings turned out great (I could have eaten a whole bowl of them). I just soaked the onions in buttermilk and dredged them in seasoned flour, then shallow fried them (I don’t want to buy a deep fryer because I’m scared I might try to deep fry everything!). The burger was scrumptious.

    Simple Supper – Bacon and Pea Pasta

    Simple Supper – Bacon and Pea Pasta

    This is the first short post in a weekly “Simple Supper” recipe segment that I’ll be doing. All the recipes will be easy to make and budget friendly (Bonus!).

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    This bacon & pea pasta recipe is so simple and delicious that it’s become a firm family favorite in my home. It only takes about 30 min to make and you end up with a light pasta dish that’s comforting & filling! Check out the recipe below 🙂

    Simple Bacon and Pea Pasta

    • Servings: 4
    • Time: 30 mins
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Print

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    Ingredients:

    • 350 – 400g pasta (I used Penne)
    • 200g streaky bacon, cooked
    • 1 cup frozen peas
    • Half an onion, chopped
    • 100ml white wine
    • 2 tbsp butter
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 125g cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • Salt, pepper & paprika, to taste

    Directions:

    1. Cook pasta in boiling water, until al dente, about 15 mins.
    2. Drain pasta and reserve 4 tbsp of the pasta water.
    3. Cook bacon until crispy (I cook it in the microwave, on high, 4-5 pieces at a time for about 30 sec – 1 min per piece, but you can cook it anyway you like).
    4. While your bacon is cooking, melt butter in a large frying pan, over medium heat.
    5. Add peas, onion and garlic to butter and cook for 5 mins.
    6. Add wine and saute for an additional 5 mins.
    7. Add cream cheese and stir until melted.
    8. Season your sauce with salt, pepper and paprika, to taste.
    9. Add your reserved pasta water and pasta to your sauce and toss until coated.
    10. Serve, topped with grated Parmesan.