Category Archives: Tea-time treats

South African crumpets recipe

south african crumpets recipe

Crumpets are essentially similar to small pancakes or what the Americans call flapjacks. While it was a British invention, we all grew up having crumpets for a special weekend or holiday breakfast here in South Africa.

South African crumpets generally don’t contain yeast like the British or American flapjacks, which makes this less “bread-like”.

It is generally served with butter and syrup for breakfast, or with ice cream and chocolate sauce as a dessert.

Ingredients:
2 cups cake flour
4 t baking powder
½ t salt
2 eggs
4 T sugar
2 ½ cups milk
1 T melted butter

Method
Melt butter
Beat the eggs and sugar together. Add the melted butter and 1 cup of milk.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the egg mixture.
Whisk together and add the remaining milk to form a smooth batter.
Drop 30 ml of sunflower oil in a non-stick frying pan and heat on medium (I generally regulate the stove between mark 3 and 4 out of 6)
Once the pan is hot drop spoonfuls of the batter into the pan.
You don’t want to make them too big as they take longer to cook through. About 2 tablespoonfuls at a time should be perfect.
Cook on one side and when air bubbles appear, turn and cook on the other side until golden brown.

The recipe makes about 25 to 30 crumpets.

We served ours with slices of melon and banana. The kids also liked it a bit of grated cheese and golden syrup. Some berry compote and a dollop of fresh cream would also be amazing.

Gingerbreads

ginger biscuits

I had a craving for some ginger biscuits this morning and while Victoire popped out, I decided to rustle up a quick batch of these ginger tea-time treats.

Ingredients

  • 100g softened butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1tsp ground ginger

Method
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C.

Cream the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Sift in the flour and ginger.

Mix well to bind it all together and form into small balls, about a tablespoon of the mix. This is a fairly dry mix so don’t be alarmed when it’s not too sticky.

Place the balls on a baking sheet (about 15 per tray). The balls flatten out in the cooking process, so space them well apart.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes till lightly browned. They will come out slightly soft to the touch, but will harden when cooling on a wire rack.

Serving suggestion
I did mention that these were a tea-time treat, so get that big pot of tea going, because once you’ve had one of these you’ll be dunking them by the handfulls.

Cheese and herb muffins

Savoury tea treats
Roasted vegetable tart (left) & Cheese and herb muffins (right)

I have a new “go to” recipe for a savoury option for tea! These muffins are moist, full of flavour and super easy. What a pleasure. I made them for my birthday tea party last weekend, but they could also be a wonderful accompaniment to a hot soup on the suddenly cold winter days we’re having. The recipe has been adapted from the “Cook and Enjoy” (“Kook en Geniet”) recipe book.

Ingredients:

  • 500 ml (2 cups) cake flour
  • 20 ml (4 tsp) baking powder
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) cayenne pepper (or a little less if you prefer less of a “bite”)
  • 500 ml – 750 ml (2 – 3 cups) grated cheese
  • handful fresh chopped herbs, such as thyme, origanum, chives, rosemary, parsley
  • sprinkle dried mixed herbs (optional)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 120 ml (8 Tbsp) + “a bit” melted butter
  • 1 egg, well beaten

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and grease a muffin pan with 12 large hollows
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients
  3. Add the cheese and herbs to the dry ingredients
  4. Blend the milk, butter and egg
  5. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients. Do not stir, but mix by folding in the liquid until the flour is just moistened. The mixture will look lumpy
  6. Drop uniform spoonfuls of the dough into the muffin pan hollows and bake for 10 – 15 minutes (I usually bake for 20 minutes, but insert a skewer to check for done-ness at 15 minutes)

Chocolate fudge cake

Our Mothers’ Day tea on Sunday turned into lunch at short notice, and I was tasked with bringing dessert! I’m one of those people who prefer to bake something homemade than buy, but I’m not ashamed to resort to a Woolies alternative if pressed! And believe me, it does not take much to foil my well-intentioned baking plans, being four months pregnant and with an active one year old running around. So I had to come up with a good, easy, recipe quickly. Thankfully I had spotted a delicious-looking recipe on one of my favourite foodie blogs, The Gorgeous Gourmet, a few days previously, so this was a great excuse to try it!

I made the Chocolate fudge cake with caramel icing, go check out the recipe and bookmark it, you’ll thank me later :)  The only adaptations I made were to use Decaf plunger coffee (for the kids’ and my sake), and I added halved strawberries in addition to the chopped Rolo, who can argue with strawberries and chocolate?

I will spare you the drama I went through in baking this cake, too much to mention! None of it relating to the recipe at least! I will say that when using spring form cake tins you should make sure they are airtight, or line with baking paper for good measure, and nothing will change the flavour of even slightly rancid butter, so always make sure you have enough fresh butter and check the butter before you start, especially for the icing… :) Yip, I had to make the icing twice…

Here’s the end result:

Chocolate fudge cake with caramel icing

The cake was moist and gooey around the outside, pure bliss. The caramel icing, however, was not a hit. It was very sugary-sweet and not caramel-y at all – perhaps it was something I did, I’m not sure… Thankfully Candice has promised to have a look at the recipe to make it more caramel-y for me, if so, this will be my go-to cake for a very long time.

If you would like to try out other icings you could do a chocolate ganache or sandwich the layers with white chocolate mousse and dust the top with cocoa powder/icing sugar. Let me know if you find a winning combination!

Beta Test: Rolo Brownie Bites with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been a huge fan of The Cupcake Lady‘s cupcakes ever since I tried a couple at Gina‘s birthday party last year. They really are “heaven in paper cups”! Imagine my joy when I saw that there was an opportunity to be a beta tester for one of her new creations… Doubly so since Nico’s birthday was approaching and I had not yet thought of a birthday gift, nor had the time to bake anything for his office. Perfect.

The inspiration for this beta test was chocolate, how divine. It was not easy to choose just one item, but those were the rules so…

Here’s the list of chocolate temptations:

  • Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Butter Icing
  • Dark Chocolate Cherry Fudge
  • Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies
  • Perfect chocolate chip cookies
  • Rolo Brownie Bites with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

ALL of the goodies sounded delicious, but since Nico and I have been on a quest for the perfect chocolate brownie I knew I had to go with that one.

I received 18 brownie bites, and tasted about 3 or 4 of them for this review, the rest went to Nico’s office.

Ok, so on to the review of the brownie bites…

These brownies are delicious, and ultra sweet. They are very close to the “perfect” brownie Nico and I have been looking for with a fudgy consistency rather than a cakey one. The brownie is nicely chocolatey, a little crumbly, and contains nuts – walnuts and pecan I think. Add to that a gooey Rolo caramel center, yum. The cream cheese frosting adds a hint of sour to balance the sweet of the brownie, however I’m not sure it adds enough contrast to justify its presence. These bites could easily be served without it. Being bites they are quite tiny, I felt that I had hardly savoured the full flavour of the bite before it was gone. I would suggest making them slightly bigger, perhaps a mini-bar instead.

Similar feedback was received from Nico’s colleagues. The bites were described as “fantastic”, “a foodgasm”, “very rich rather than sweet”, and “it is absolutely awful that there are so few of them”. As for the size, the general consensus was that the brownie should be bigger – about three bites in the shape of a bar.

So there you have it! What a treat to be able to trial these delicious desserts. I really hope that I’ll get another chance to try some more of The Cupcake Lady’s creations in the future.