Festive Black Forest Trifle


Christmas Trifle is somewhat traditional in South Africa. However I feel it has become a bit boring and predictable. I found this recipe on BBC Good Food by James Martin. I made it for a Christmas workshop and it went down brilliantly. I made 50 little ‘tasters’ for the people who came, but they looked so pretty as individual servings that I think it would be such a lovely idea to make these in a wine glass or similar and make individual trifles for your Christmas guests or dinner party guests. The brownie base adds an incredible decadence and the cherries and creme fraiche ensure that it is not sickly sweet. The good news is, that if you have made your brownies before hand, this recipe is seriously quick and ridiculously easy!

Here are the little tasters I made:


The original recipe calls for you to whip the double cream and creme fraiche until soft peaks form and then pile onto the top. Which you can absolutely do, but I took the cream mixture a little further and then used a piping bag with a 1M nozzle and piped beautiful little roses on top which looked gorgeous. The choice is yours! ENJOY!


500ml tub ready made chilled custard (I used the Woolworths fresh custard which was gorgeous)

100g plain dark chocolate, broken into pieces

400g chocolate brownies

2 x 390g jars cherries in kirsch or similar (I used Morello Cherries that you can get at Pick ‘n Pay)

300g tub double cream

200ml tub créme Fraiche

25g icing sugar

Grated chocolate, to decorate, and fresh cherries (optional)


  • Put the custard into a pan with the chocolate pieces. Gently heat, stirring, until the chocolate has melted into the custard. Cover with cling film and cool.
  • Arrange the brownies in the base of a trifle bowl. Drain the jars of cherries, reserving the liquid, and scatter over the brownies. Drizzle over 100ml reserved liquid. Spoon the cooled chocolate custard over and chill while you make the topping.
  • Lightly whip the cream with the creme fraiche and icing sugar until soft peaks form. chill until ready to serve, then pile on top of the trifle and decorate with grated chocolate and fresh cherries.

Recipe by James Martin


Key Lime Pie

Keylime Pie

I have wanted to taste and try out a recipe for Key Lime Pie since I heard of its existence!  It just sounded like something that I would enjoy. I love cooking with lime and I really enjoy the freshness and colour of it. I found this recipe in the Garden and Home Magazine and decided to give it a bash yesterday.  The lime juice and zest added a really great refreshing touch. I had made steak and chips with a mushroom sauce for lunch so it followed on well from such a heavy meal because it was so zesty fresh! I served it with ice cream and raspberries so the colours on the plate were beautiful. It was a hit!

For the base:

150g tennis biscuits

150g ginger biscuits

150g butter – melted

For the filling

8 limes, finely grated zest and juice

375ml fresh cream

1 tin condense milk

3 egg yolks

To serve:

Fresh lime zest

Icing sugar


Vanilla ice cream (optional)

  • To make the base, put the biscuits into a food processor and crush the biscuits. When they are crushed, add the melted butter and mix until combined.
  • Press the mixture into the base and up the sides of a tart or flan case. Chill the tart shell until required.
  • Preheat the oven to 150 C
  • To make the filling, place all of the filling ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for 30 – 40 minutes until just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Dust with icing sugar and serve topped with fresh lime zest, raspberries and vanilla ice cream.

Photo and recipe from the Garden and Home Mag

Red Velvet Flan

Red velvet flan

This is an incredible take on the red velvet classic. It has a beautiful dense, moist base, filled with a cheese cake filling that compliments the cake so well. I topped mine with strawberries only, but this recipe from Moirs suggests chopped meringues as well. It’s something different and quite special! A great option to make for a dessert as you can do it the day before!

For the Cake:

312 ml (180 g) cake fl our

187 ml (150 g) sugar

5 ml Moir’s Bicarbonate of Soda

10 ml cocoa powder

2.5 ml salt

125 ml buttermilk

1 extra large egg

165 ml oil

5 ml vinegar

15 ml Moir’s Red Food Colouring

2.5 ml Moir’s Vanilla Essence


230 g cream cheese

1 x 397 g can condensed milk

80 ml fresh lemon juice

5 ml Moir’s Vanilla Essence

4 meringues, chopped

250 g strawberries, hulled and halved

Icing sugar for dusting


1. Sift the dry ingredients together. Do this TWICE.

2. Beat the buttermilk, egg, oil, vinegar, colouring and essence together.

3. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix.

4. Pour into a greased 25 cm flan tin. (I used 2 smaller disposable tart tins)

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 30 -35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

6. Cool in the pan. Once cooled, press the centre down a bit and using your fingers around the edges shape the cake into a ‘pie crust’ shape to make space for the filling.


7. Beat cream cheese and condensed milk together until smooth.

8. Add the lemon juice and the vanilla and beat for 2 minutes.

9. Pour into the prepared flan casing.

10. Refrigerate for about 3 hours or until set.

11. Sprinkle the crushed meringues on top and press gently into filling.

12. Arrange strawberries on top and dust with icing sugar just before serving.

Recipe by Moirs

Photo 2013-08-20 10 40 23 PM

Decadent Chocolate Mousse


I have searched high and low for a decent chocolate mousse recipe. Some of them I found had great ingredients, but a terrible method. Some had a great method but the ingredients lacked something. Again, I did what I do best and scrambled up a few recipes to come up with this one. It works beautifully and tastes SO good! You do have to let it set overnight though, which I think is great for dinner parties as you can get a whole course sorted the day before. Don’t take shortcuts, this one needs that time in the fridge! You can decorate with some icing sugar and berries or strawberries. This one is a winner!!


200g dark chocolate, chopped

20g butter

3 eggs, separated

1 tablespoon caster sugar

1 cup (250ml) pouring cream

120g raspberries


  • Place the chocolate and butter in a small glass bowl that fits snugly on top of a small saucepan with boiling water in the saucepan, one third full. Over a low heat and stir until melted and smooth.
  • Meanwhile whip the cream until soft peaks form and then place in the fridge to keep cool.
  • Put the egg yolks into a bowl and give them a light whisk with the castor sugar. Once the chocolate is melted, add a little to the egg yolks to temper the yolks and then mix. Then add the rest of the chocolate. Pour everything into the same bowl that you melted the chocolate in and then return the bowl to the bain-marie sauce pan and stir continuously over the boiling water for about a minute or 2 until slightly thickened. Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold through the chocolate mixture and the whipped the cream.
  • Spoon into serving glasses and refrigerate overnight until set.
  • Top with the raspberries to serve.

Serves 4



Trifle 1 pic

Trifle = childhood happiness. The End.

This is a great dessert that you can make look absolutely gorgeous and let your creativity run wild. It’s very versatile too. This recipe calls for strawberries but you can use any other fruit that you enjoy – bananas are good. So are tinned peaches or fresh mango. Raspberries and kiwi also make it look gorgeous. Another nice and more contemporary way of doing this dessert would be to make individual trifles in pretty glasses to serve to guests at a dinner party. It will always go down well!

1 large jam Swiss Roll (or any plain sponge cake – available at your local grocery store or bakery)

1 packet of instant jelly (raspberry or strawberry flavour)

75ml sweet or medium sherry (you can substitute with rum or brandy)

2 punnets of fresh strawberries, sliced +- 500ml Home-made custard (You can use store bought custard, but its better home made – see recipe below)

100g chopped walnuts or pecan nuts

1 cup fresh cream, whipped with a teaspoon of castor sugar

Grated chocolate or strawberries and nuts to decorate

– Make the jelly according to packet instructions and allow to set in the fridge.

– Make the custard and set aside to cool.

– Slice the Swiss Roll or sponge cake and place the slices at the bottom of a glass bowl (round and deep is good).

– Pour the alcohol over the swiss roll or sponge to moisten it. Refrigerate until the Jelly is set.

– Once the Jelly is set, cut it into pieces and place on top of the sponge / swiss roll.

– Add the strawberries (and other fruit if you are using other fruit)

– Cover with the custard and then sprinkle the nuts on top.

– Finally, top with the whipped cream and decorate with the chocolate, nuts and a few strawberries.

– Refrigerate (overnight is best as the flavours will develop)

– Serve cold

Home Made Custard:


250mls whole milk

250mls double cream

50g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, split

6 large free range egg yolks

– Put the milk, double cream and 1 tbsp of the sugar into a heavy based saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the pan. Heat until almost simmering. Then take off the heat.

– Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until creamy.

– Gradually pour the hot creamy milk onto the sugary yolks, whisking as you do so. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean pan.

– Stir the mixture over a low heat until the custard thickens enough to thinly coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil as it will curdle.

– Remove from the heat and strain the custard again through a fine sieve into a cold bowl (unless you are serving it hot right away). Leave to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.

Photo courtesy of google.com

May’s Pancakes


This is a very special recipe. It belongs to my friend Ali’s late mom. She had quite a reputation with these pancakes and used to sell them at the markets in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa on weekends. I have only ever used this recipe. It is honestly fool proof! It also has no sugar in it which means you can use them in savoury dishes as well. I have made these MANY times. They are great served with Nutella and Strawberries or Caramel, Banana and ice cream or cinnamon, sugar and lime juice…. or as mentioned before, savoury mince or any other savoury sauce. This recipe is a mix and go too! You don’t have to let  it stand for half an hour which is just one of the things I love about it! Thanks for letting me share this one Ali! 🙂

In a large bowl, mix together the following ingredients.  You can literally just put them in the bowl as is (the beauty of this recipe!)

2 Cups Cake Flour

2.5 Cups water

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp white vinegar

1/2 Cup oil

25mls extra water

– Put all the ingredients into a bowl and then with a hand mixer on high speed beat everything together for about 2 – 3 minutes.

– Rub a pancake pan with a touch of oil so that it gets absorbed into the pan. Then heat the pan on medium  / high heat and add the batter onto the pan so that it coats the pan thinly, cook for a minute or two and then flip and cook the other side until done. You won’t need to add oil to the pan as there is enough oil in the batter.

– Transfer onto a warm plate, covered with a lid to keep the pancakes soft and warm.

Recipe by Mavis Ross

Mango Rice Pudding with Palm Sugar and Lemongrass Syrup


This gorgeous pudding is so different with some beautiful Thai flavours that are light and summery.

For the rice pudding

1 cup (200g) arborio or risotto rice

3 cups (750ml) water

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

2 cups (500ml) coconut milk

¼ cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar

4 mango cheeks, halved

For the palm sugar and lemongrass syrup

1 cup (250ml) water

½ cup (60g) grated palm sugar

2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and bruised

–       To make the lemongrass syrup, place the water, palm sugar and lemongrass in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15–20 minutes or until syrup has thickened. Remove lemongrass and set aside.

–       Place the rice, water and vanilla in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed.

–       Add the coconut milk and sugar and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for a further 5–8 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Top pudding with syrup and serve with mango halves.

Serves 4.

Recipe by Donna Hay

Spiced, Roasted Figs with Camembert and Walnuts

2013-03-16 15.37.42

Sometimes you need to switch up dessert a little bit and give people something different, something to remember you by 🙂 This dessert is so decadent and different and it will have you licking your fingers and battling to share. And….its easy!

8 – 10 ripe figs

200g walnuts

60ml (1/4 cup) honey

2.5 mls (1/2 tsp) each of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger and allspice. All mixed together.

2 -3 camembert rounds

– Preheat oven to 180 C

– Slice a cross on the tops of the figs and push them down a bit and place them on a baking tray lined with tinfoil.

– Add the walnuts to the baking tray, drizzle with honey and add the spice mixture, sprinkled all over the figs and walnuts.

– Bake until the figs become slightly sticky, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

– Place the Camembert rounds on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake until they start to soften. about 5 minutes.

– Remove from the oven and serve immediately, topped with figs and sticky walnuts.

Recipe from the Food and Home Magazine.

Nicola’s Easy Home Made Vanilla Ice Cream


Weekend family braai’s are where I get so much inspiration as the women in my family are culinary geniuses! 🙂  My sister in-law whipped up this home made ice cream for us and it was so delicious. She then went onto explain how easy it was and that you DON’T need an ice cream maker to make this one. What a win!  So here you go, thanks Nicola for this great recipe! 🙂

You can double or triple this recipe if you need to!

4 egg whites

250ml fresh cream

1 tin condense milk

5 mls vanilla essence (or vanilla extract if you want the vanilla seeds to come through)

– Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form

– Add the cream and beat until stiff peaks form

– Add the condense milk and mix and then add the vanilla essence at the end and mix.

– Place in a sealed container and put it in the freezer overnight (or for at least 5 – 6 hours)

Coconut Cakes with Dark Chocolate Glaze

coconut cake small

You just have to love the simplicity of this one and yet, it looks and tastes incredible!

125g butter, melted
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 2/3 cups (270g) icing sugar, sifted
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
5 egg whites

Dark chocolate glaze
150g dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup cream

– Preheat oven to 180C.
– Place butter, coconut, sugar, flour, baking powder and egg whites in a bowl and whisk to combine.
– Divide mixture into well-greased 12 hole muffin tin.
– Bake for 15 mins or until cooked in centre when tested with a skewer.
– Stand cakes for two minutes in tin then remove from tin and cool on wire rack.

– For the dark chocolate glaze bring the cream to the boil in a small sauce pan. Remove from the heat and mix in chocolate until smooth.
– Let the mixture cool slightly so that it thickens to an icing consistency.

– Spoon over cakes and serve.

Recipe by Donna Hay