• Chocolate on Chocolate on Chocolate muffins

    I’ve had a few packets of various mini chocolates in my stash, from Crunchies to mini Mars bites, Milky Bar Buttons to Caramel Nibbles, etc. Naturally I’ve been itching to bake with them and last night this need to bake … Continue reading

  • Mini Passion Fruit and Chocolate Marble Cakes

    The increased time at home has created a deep need for daily tea time treats, am I right? Something quick and easy that when in the oven just fills your home with the best chocolatey aroma and hits the spot … Continue reading

  • Smore’s Streusel Chocolate Muffins

    After making a few variations of muffins over the years, I’ve learnt that a winning secret ingredient for a moist crumb (which is what we live for in muffins!) is yoghurt. When I got my hands on the new Nutriday … Continue reading

  • Millionaire Shortbread Cookies

    Growing up, one of my absolute favourite bakes to tuck into was Millionaire Shortbread, or Scotblock Candy Bars as we used to call them. I mean biting into it is just such a party from cracking the layer of chocolate … Continue reading

  • Carrot Cake

    This week, we had a ray of light, among all the alarming news, celebrating a special colleague and friend’s baby-shower. She requested a carrot cake and this finally forced me to attempt making one! I’m not a fan of nuts, … Continue reading

  • Flourless Chocolate Cake

    I seriously need to get over my obsession with chocolate and raspberries… For now however, here’s another perfect opportunity to combine this epic flavour combination! This fudgey decadent flourless chocolate cake is super simple to make and most of all … Continue reading

  • Chocolate Fondant

    Just in time for the weekend, ready to impress your guests or just your tummy! Because you deserve it, you made it through January and February! 🙂 How manic have these first two months been? With all that’s happening in … Continue reading

  • Gingerbread Muffins

    Oh my goodness it’s festive season! Aside from Ramadaan, this is my absolute favourite time of year, of course because you get to switch off and have pure, quality time with the loved ones, chucking routine aside. Yaaaassss! This is … Continue reading

  • Banana Choc and Cinnamon Chip Muffins

    Yesterday I celebrated a milestone birthday and this was definitely the first of I can only imagine many, if not every birthday, where I felt like I really am getting old…er. It was an amazing birthday surrounded by loved ones … Continue reading

  • Funfetti Cookies

    With the mid-year holidays on our doorstep, we parents are seeking fun activities for our kids. Well here’s my suggestion – get them to make these really simple and delicious funfetti cookies, and best yet…you’ll get some cookies out of … Continue reading

Chocolate on Chocolate on Chocolate muffins

I’ve had a few packets of various mini chocolates in my stash, from Crunchies to mini Mars bites, Milky Bar Buttons to Caramel Nibbles, etc. Naturally I’ve been itching to bake with them and last night this need to bake with them, sweetly coupled with an indulgent craving had me making the most chocolatey chocolate muffins just after 10pm.

Trying to think of what to name them and the only thing that could really describe it was:

Chocolate on Chocolate on Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar (Natura Sugars Golden Caster Sugar)
  • 125ml oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence / extract
  • 200g flour
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 250ml buttermilk (can be substituted with sour cream or yoghurt)
  • 2 cups of your favourite chocolates, roughly chopped (I opted for Milky Bar Buttons, Caramel Nibbles, Mars Bites and mini Rolos)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Biscoff, melted

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a muffin tray with muffin liners
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until pale a fluffy. While continuing to whisk, gradually add the oil and the vanilla essence until incorporated.
  • Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and slowly add it to the mixture, alternating with the buttermilk and gently fold into the batter (do not over mix).
  • Add your selected chocolates and stir to distribute them in the batter.
  • Fill the muffins liners 3/4 way, ensuring there are chocolate chunks in each.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, then remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pans before transferring to a wire rack to completely cool. Drizzle with melted Biscoff or more more chocolate for an extra touch of decadence.
  • Store in an airtight container once completely cool.
  • Enjoy!

Mini Passion Fruit and Chocolate Marble Cakes

The increased time at home has created a deep need for daily tea time treats, am I right? Something quick and easy that when in the oven just fills your home with the best chocolatey aroma and hits the spot when you need to put your feet up after a manic day of juggling many hats.

Well, I’ve got the perfect tea-time treat which you could easily adapt the flavours to your preference or craving. These mini marble cakes have a delightful flavour combination of indulgent chocolate and tart passion fruit to cut through the sweetness. If passion fruit is not your vibe, you could easily omit it for a vanilla and chocolate marble cake, etc.

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter, melted and cooled
  • 125g good quality chocolate
  • 5 eggs
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon passion fruit extract
  • juice of a half passion fruit

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a mini loaf pan.
  2. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and then set aside to cool slightly
  3. Separate the eggs then using an electric mixer, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale. Pour in the cooled, melted butter and continue mixing until combined.
  4. In the egg butter mixture, sift the flour and baking powder, folding to combine, then split the mixture in two bowls.
  5. In the one bowl, add the melted chocolate to the mixture and fold to combine. In the second bowl, fold in the bicarbonate of soda, the vanilla and passion fruit extracts as well as the passion fruit juice.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks.
  7. Split the fluffy egg whites between the two bowls (chocolate mixture and the passion fruit mixture) then gently fold to combine.
  8. Alternating between the two mixtures, spoon them into the greased mini loafs pans and once they’ve filled the tins, take a skewer and swirl them from one end to the other to create the marble effect.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer come s out clean.
  10. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. To garnish, top with more melted chocolate and serve with passion fruit curd.

No Bake Biscoff, Chocolate & Mascarpone Tart

My love for Biscoff continues 🙂 I do admit that I am totally overdoing it and need to lay off the jars of Biscoff, but I just love how easy it is to work with, the flavour, the versatility – its a mildly spiced dream! 🙂

This recipe was meant to be two mousse like layers but through the recipe testing it eventually turned into this…a buttery Biscoff biscuit shell, filled with a layer of silky smooth mascarpone chocolate followed by a layer of light & airy Biscoff mascarpone mousse which can be topped with more Biscoff and chocolate 🙂 Depending on the chocolate you use, you can totally control how sweet or rich your tart is and the effort is minimal 🙂

No Bake Biscoff, Chocolate and Mascarpone Tart

Ingredients:

Base:

  • 300g Biscoff biscuits, crushed
  • 100g butter, melted

Chocolate Layer:

  • 200g chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 125g mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon Natura Sugars golden caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 300ml cream

Biscoff Mousse Layer

  • 1 cup Biscoff Spread
  • 125g mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon Natura Sugars golden caster sugar
  • 300ml cream

Method:

For the base, grease a 25cm tart pan. Mix the crushed biscuits and melted butter then add this to and press down to line the tart pan. once neatly lined, place in the fridge while preparing the fillings.

For the chocolate layer, in a double boiler, melt the chocolate then add the remaining ingredients and gently whisk until combined. Pour the chocolate mixture into the lined tart pan and place it back into the fridge for an hour, allowing the chocolate layer to firm up.

For the Biscoff mousse layer, heat the Biscoff spread in the microwave for 20 seconds to allow it to mix easily. In a separate bowl, whip the cream and sugar until it forms soft peaks. In another mixing bowl, whisk the Biscoff spread and the mascarpone until combined then fold in the whipped cream, being carefully not to overmix. Once the chocolate layer has firmed up, spoon and spread the Biscoff mousse over the chocolate layer then pop it back into the fridge for at least six hours, allowing it to set.

Top as desired with crushed Biscoff, melted chocolate and/or more Biscoff spread.

Enjoy! xx

Smore’s Streusel Chocolate Muffins

After making a few variations of muffins over the years, I’ve learnt that a winning secret ingredient for a moist crumb (which is what we live for in muffins!) is yoghurt. When I got my hands on the new Nutriday Double Cream Plain Yoghurt, I just HAD to concoct an absolutely decadent muffin and on that note, I introduce you to the Smore’s Streusel Chocolate Muffin!

It’s  eye-rolling divine moist chocolate muffin, filled with pools of chocolate and to complement it with the Smore’s elements is a crunchy streusel topping made up of crushed biscuit, cinnamon,  brown sugar and chocolate chips, finally topped with toasted marshmallow. To even out the sweetness, it’s best served with dollops of Nutriday Double Cream Plain Yoghurt  which is a total game changer!

Smore’s Streusel Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients:

Chocolate Muffins:

  • 130g roughly chopped, good quality chocolate
  • 115g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 90g Nutriday Double Cream Plain Yoghurt, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 60g flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 big pinch of salt
  • An extra cup of roughly chopped, good quality chocolate

Streusel:

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50g crushed biscuit (I used Lotus biscuits)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped chocolate/chocolate chips

Topping:

  • Marshmallows (mini marshmallows or cut the bigger marshmallows in quarters like I did)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 220C and prepare a muffin pan with muffin wrappers.
  • To make the muffins: In a bain marie or in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate and allow to cool slightly
  • In a separate bowl mix the sugar, yoghurt, eggs and vanilla then pour in the slightly cooled chocolate butter mixture and combine.
  • In a larger bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarb and salt. Gently fold in the wet ingredients, careful to not over mix.
  • To make the streusel: Combine all the streusel ingredients in a small bowl
  • Fill the muffin 3/4 way with the batter and top each with the prepared streusel.
  • Bake for 5min in the 220C preheated oven (this will allow them to rise nicely) then reduce the temperature to 175C and bake for another 17 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for a few minutes before popping them on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Finally, top with some marshmallows and either blow torch them or pop them for a few minutes in the oven on a preheated oven on grill until they’re golden.
  • Serve with a dollop of Nutriday Double Cream Plain Yoghurt or as is 🙂

Millionaire Shortbread Cookies

Growing up, one of my absolute favourite bakes to tuck into was Millionaire Shortbread, or Scotblock Candy Bars as we used to call them. I mean biting into it is just such a party from cracking the layer of chocolate to the smooth layer of fudge to finally that buttery melt-in-your-mouth shortbread – it’s a killer combination!

As years went by and my palate started to evolve, they now seem a bit overwhelming sweet, but I still absolutely love the combination. I therefore had to put a bit of a twist on it and create mini cookie versions, where you can easily control and vary the ratio of these amazing layers. I toned down each layer quite a bit so it’s not overwhelming, but rather just bite-fulls of sweet bliss!

It’s a bit time consuming to assemble, but this is where you can involve the kids and really have fun.

Millionaire Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

Caramel:

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 90g butter
  • 230ml cream, warmed slightly

Shortbread:

  • 230g softened butter
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 280g flour

Chocolate:

  • 60g good quality chocolate, melted (adjust according to your preference)

Method:

Start off by making your caramel (I would suggest making it a day before and refrigerating once cooled to give you a nice spreadable texture when assembling the cookie).

  1. Place the sugar in a saucepan on medium heat and allow to melt, stirring occasionally to distribute the heat evenly. Once the sugar has completed melted and the liquid turns an amber colour, remove from the stove and add the butter, whisking to combine.
  2. Add the slightly warmed cream and whisk until completely combined, then pour into a container and allow to cool before refrigerating for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Once the caramel has thickened in the fridge, it is time to make the shortbread.
  4. Preheat your oven to 165C and prepare your baking trays with baking paper.
  5. In a stand mixer, start by beating the butter for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars (caster and brown) and beat for approximately 1-2 minutes until light and creamy.
  6. On low speed, add the vanilla and once combined, add the salt and flour and mix until combined (careful not to over-mix at this point).
  7. Transfer the dough to a surface sprinkled with cornflour (to avoid it sticking to the work surface). Either place a sheet of baking paper or sprinkle cornflour on top of the dough to make it easier to roll out. Roll out the dough to your desired thickness then cut out into your desired shapes either with a cookie cutter or a knife.
  8. Place on a baking tray and bake the shortbread cookies until lightly golden on the top and around the edges, the duration will vary depending on the thickness of your cookie.
  9. Once baked, remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool in the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. Once the cookies have cooled off, it’s time to assemble. Simply spoon the desired amount of caramel (it should be a spreadable consistency) onto the shortbread and neatly spread to create the layer of caramel on the cookie. Finally, drizzle the desired amount of melted chocolate on top of the caramel layer and store in the fridge, in an airtight container.
  11. Enjoy!!

Carrot Cake

This week, we had a ray of light, among all the alarming news, celebrating a special colleague and friend’s baby-shower. She requested a carrot cake and this finally forced me to attempt making one! I’m not a fan of nuts, especially pecan nuts, so this was really made with so much selfless love 🙂

Happy to report that this is lovely moist cake, easy enough to whip up, no fancy equipment needed and you can make it in advance, can I get a whoop-whoop!

Ingredients:

  • 260g chopped toasted pecans (keep half for decorating)
  • 300g brown sugar (I used the Natura Sugars Light Demerera sugar)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 240ml oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup crushed pineapple (drain most of the sauce)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or essence
  • 312g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp’s ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups carrots, grated

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 177°C. Prepare either two or three round cake pans, by greasing them then lining with baking paper, finally greasing the baking paper too.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the sugars, oil, eggs, crushed pineapple and vanilla together in a large bowl until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, bicarb, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together until just combined. Finally fold in the carrots and half of the pecans.
  3. Pour the batter into the cake pans evenly and if utilising three cake pans then bake for 20-24 minutes and if using two pans, bake for 30-35 minutes. Test the cake by inserting a skewer, if it does not come out clean, continue to bake until it does and be sure not to over bake the cake. Do not over-bake. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans before transferring to a cooling rack.
  4. Assemble the cake by layering with cream cheese frosting. You can find my legit, no short cut cream cheese frosting recipe here 🙂 Top the cake with the leftover toasted pecans. To keep the cake nice and firm, pop it into the fridge for about 30mins before cutting and serving. Enjoy 🙂

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I seriously need to get over my obsession with chocolate and raspberries…

For now however, here’s another perfect opportunity to combine this epic flavour combination! This fudgey decadent flourless chocolate cake is super simple to make and most of all just needs one bowl! Yay!

Important tip when making this, is to follow the recipe exactly – the digital scale is your bestie!

Ingredients:

  • 115g butter
  • 170g great quality chocolate (I used 55% Lindt choc), roughly chopped
  • 135g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp instant coffee
  • 1.5 tsp’s vanilla extract or essence (depending on your preference)
  • 4 eggs
  • 28g cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 177°C. Prepare your cake pan by greasing it fully, inserting a round disc of baking paper then greasing above the baking paper to ensure it will not stick.
  • Using a bain marie or double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the sugar, coffee and vanilla and whisk into the chocolate mixture. Whisk in the eggs until incorporated then whisk in the cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • Place a large roasting pan, filled 2/3rds with boiling water on the bottom rack of the oven. Then place the cake pan on the middle rack of the oven and shut the door. Trust me this will make it so moist and delish!
  • Bake for 30 minutes and test with a toothpick (should come out clean with just a few most crumbs).
  • Once it comes out of the oven, allow it to cool for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely. Thereafter you can pop it into the fridge or store in a airtight container.
  • Top with a sprinkling of cocoa powder and anything else you wish really. I just added some whipped cream and raspberries. Yum!

Chocolate Fondant

Just in time for the weekend, ready to impress your guests or just your tummy! Because you deserve it, you made it through January and February! 🙂 How manic have these first two months been? With all that’s happening in the world and the jam-packed kick start to the year, we need a moment. This Chocolate Fondant recipe is quick and easy and oh-so-lusciously-delicious!

If you do whip them up, please do send or tag me in the pics and let me know what you think?

Ingredients:

  • 125g butter (have some extra for greasing)
  • 1 Tblsp cocoa powder (have some extra for dusting)
  • 125g good quality chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 60g caster sugar (Natura Sugars golden caster sugar is great!)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 100g flour, sifted

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Prepare your ramekins (or ovenprood moulds if you want to pop them out when plating) by greasing them with the extra butter and lightly dust them with the additional cocoa powder.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a bain marie or create your own bain marie by placing them in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (make sure the base does not touch the simmering water).
  • Using an electric whisk, beat the sugar, eggs and egg yolks until they’re pale and fluffy.
  • Pour the melted butter/chocolate mixture over the egg mix and gently fold in the sifted flour and cocoa, using a metal spoon.
  • Place the ramekins/moulds on a baking tray. Fill the prepared ramekins with the batter and bake in the preheated oven for roughly 8 minutes.
  • Once removed from the oven, they are ready to devour! The centre should be soft with a silky chocolate sauce. Serve with a scoop of your favourite ice cream, whipped cream or creme fraiche and a dusting of cocoa powder. Yum!

Gingerbread Muffins

Oh my goodness it’s festive season! Aside from Ramadaan, this is my absolute favourite time of year, of course because you get to switch off and have pure, quality time with the loved ones, chucking routine aside. Yaaaassss!

This is totally the time of year where indulgence is on the incline and quick and easy ticks absolutely every box. On that note, I introduce to you, the Gingerbread Muffins. So easy to make and such a delicious snack, perfect for breakfast, brunch or just a tea-time treat. Don’t worry, it’s a subtle and warm ginger flavour, much like gingerbread cookies and totally controllable to your preference.

Aaaand here they are…

Ingredients:

Gingerbread Muffins

  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 234g dark muscovado (Natura Sugar)
  • 375g flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp bicarb
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon (ground)
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp ginger (ground)
  • 100g brown sugar (Natura Sugar)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 120g plain yoghurt
  • 120ml milk

Vanilla Glaze

  • 120g icing sugar (Natura Sugar)
  • 1 Tblspn fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or essence
  • 1 Tblspn (15ml) milk

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 218°C and line a muffin tray with muffin liners.
  2. Either in a saucepan or in a large microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter and muscovado sugar together for about 1 minute. Stir until thoroughly mixed together. Set aside to slightly cool as you prepare the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, bicarb, salt, cinnamon and ginger together.
  4. Into the muscovado/butter mixture, whisk the brown sugar, egg, yoghurt and milk until all wet ingredients are combined. Pour the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined, be careful not to over-mix.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling all the way to the top of the muffin liners. Optional: Sprinkle some extra sugar on the tops for a delicious crunch
  6. Bake at 218°C for 5 minutes, then immediately reduce the oven temperature to 177°C and continue to bake for 15-16 minutes until the tops are cracked and centers are set. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes in pan before glazing and devouring.
  7. Prepare the vanilla glaze by mixing all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Depending on your preference, add more icing sugar to thicken or more milk to thin out. Drizzle on top of warm muffins and the glaze will set as the muffins cool.
  8. ENJOY!!

Banana Choc and Cinnamon Chip Muffins

Yesterday I celebrated a milestone birthday and this was definitely the first of I can only imagine many, if not every birthday, where I felt like I really am getting old…er. It was an amazing birthday surrounded by loved ones who truly made me feel incredibly special and hey, we all want that feeling on our birthday’s right?!

During my recent trip to Dubai, I raided a Waitrose store, bought a bunch of chocolate chips and other items we can’t find in SA. One of these items was the Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips – yip can’t find them anywhere over here – if someone has a contact please do let me know!

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