Tag Archives: baking

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)

Edible gifts

I have been longing to bake for ages, especially since I got married, but haven’t really found the time for it. Well, I decided this holiday was going to be different. Since Nico & I aren’t going away it’s a perfect opportunity for us to embark on the great adventure of homemade edible gifts.

Firstly, what to make? Easy, plenty of magazines touting “edible gifts” articles at this time of year. Not so easy was the task of agreeing on what to make. Nico wanted to make easy stuff, I wanted to make exciting stuff I’ve never tried before. So we went shopping for the exotic ingredients required for my chosen recipes, spiced chocolate and almond macaroons, and macadamia and cranberry nougat. Suffice to say neither were close to easy, in spite of being labeled “a little effort”, and neither turned out the way they were expected to.

Then I decided to make fudge. We had been meaning to make some for quite a bit of time now, so it was high time… This really wasn’t my finest hour.

Find the recipes and lessons learnt here:

Kudos to anyone who attempts this every year – homemade gifts are hard work! Subsequent to my embarking on this journey I have discovered Beth’s variety of chocolate truffles… if only I had discovered this before! Although I am sure the heat wave we’ve been experiencing in sunny South Africa would’ve made truffles a nightmare for me… that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself ;)