I only just recently discovered the divinely delicious Frey chocolate because possibly I have been hiding underneath a rock somewhere *blush*……actually I gave up all chocolate, excepting for the 90+% range that I was using for baking, for almost 2 years so the introduction to this amazing range is very new. My absolute favourite Frey bar is the Dark Lemon and Black Pepper and I have one in my desk drawer waiting for later tonight when I will sneak just one block to satisfy my chocoholic tendency! Just that one block of this premium luxury Chocolat Frey bar is enough to transport me to my very happy place.
For all Chocolate Frey lovers like me there is wonderful news! Competition news…..Bucket list news…….I have been very fortunate to have ticked one thing off my bucket list recently and the feeling is awesome
If you’re a Pick n Pay Smart Shopper and really, who isn’t these days, you could win an amazing family trip to SWITZERLAND, an opportunity of a lifetime worth over R100,000 with Switzerland’s most loved chocolate, Chocolat Frey.
Not only will the lucky family of four win a trip to the city of Lucerne in the heart of Switzerland where they will spend five glorious nights taking in all the magnificent beauty, but they will also be taken on a tour of the Chocolat Frey factory where they can observe the amazing process of making high quality, authentic Swiss chocolate. For over 125 years, Chocolat Frey products have exclusively been made in Switzerland and sold throughout the world. Frey was founded by two brothers, Robert and Max Frey in 1887,whose passion for the finest chocolate products lives on today and is expressed in every single Chocolat Frey product. Offering unique taste experiences, the range is outstandingly delicious – look out for Frey’s Milk, 78% Dark or Dark Lemon and Black Pepper luxury chocolate.
To enter this amazing competition, simply buy any Chocolat Frey product at selected Pick n Pay stores throughout South Africa and swipe your Smart Shopper Card to stand a chance to win a trip of a lifetime. But hurry because time is marching on!
Competition for the Swiss trip closes: Sunday 26 July 2015. Terms and conditions apply. Find out more here: http://www.picknpay.co.za/frey-competition
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL…….. Chocolat Frey is participating in the upcoming exciting, luscious Winelands Chocolate Festival so………..
Courtesy of The Winelands Chocolate Festival, which is happening at Lourensford Wine Estate this weekend 25-26 July 2015, you, yes you reading this blog post, could win double tickets to the festival on Sunday. And I am also giving the lucky winner 1 set of double tickets to attend a demo by the Freys Chocolatier on Sunday at 10.00.
EDIT: This ticket giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Anthea our winner of double tickets to the festival on Sunday plus entry to the Frey Demo at 10am! We will be in touch!
Chocolate Afternoon Tea: R250 (sold out)
Family Package (Two Adults + Two Children Under 12): R85.00 each
Photographs in this post are not my own and are used courtesy of Chocolat Frey.
Disclaimer: I am attending The Winelands Chocolate Festival with a media accreditation pass. All information supplied by Wired Communications and written by me. Opinions of the product are my own.
WHAT? A Chocolate Festival you say? And in one of my favourite parts of the Western Cape – the Winelands! This is going to be a chocoholic’s dream and I wouldn’t miss it for the world…….in fact I am drooling already and dreaming of the 25th and 26th July as I close my eyes and breathe in all the amazing choccie aromas, relishing the smooth, luscious taste and texture of my favourite dark salty chocolate melting in my mouth. The idea of walking into a large chocolate emporium where the best artisan chocolatiers, chocolate artists, pastry chefs and cake designers are doing what they do best has me almost speechless. It will be like Alice disappearing into a chocolate rabbit hole and tumbling into an underground world of chocolate. BLISS!
Want to know more? Read on………
The Winelands Chocolate Festival – South Africa’s very first gourmet chocolate festival – will be a decadent culinary celebration of the best in South Africa’s chocolate industry. This amazing festival is being held indoors (hello winter!) at Lourensford Wine Estate in the Helderberg on 25-26 July 2015. SO soon…..I am wishing the days by Think gourmet bonbons, chocolate bars, chocolate smothered honey nougat and truffles and this festival will offer your sweet tooth all that it craves and inspire you to think differently about how wonderful chocolate really is; how versatile it is and how it fits into our lives so well.
Along with show-stopping premium wines, freshly-brewed coffees and tasty bistro food, the festival will allow you to experience chocolate in innovative and exciting ways, all while gaining knowledge about its history and production processes. Yes please!
Highlights to look out for at the festival on the weekend of 25-26 July will include the Chocolate Theatre, an area dedicated to demos from top chefs and master chocolatiers, a place where you will be able to pick up some great tips and recipes from professionals. Demonstrationswill be given by, among others, Master Chocolatiers Dimo Simatos from Lindt,Alan Clegg from Alexander Avery and Kees Beyers from Beyers Chocolates as well as some renowned pastry chefs, who will all show their eager audiences anything from how to temper chocolate and hand-craft truffles to creating chocolate lace and filling pastries with chocolate.Lindt will be creating the scrumptious afternoon tea to be held at the Aleit & IS Art Gallery in the afternoon on Saturday 25th July. Janine van Zyl (Cold Gold) will show you how to make real dark chocolate ice cream – as well as some interesting and creative serving suggestions; and for all the tea lovers out there, Janine Baum from The Tea Merchant will be demonstrating how tea and chocolate are made for each other. A seat at each live demo costs R50. For the full festival demo schedule click here.
Fancy yourself as a great baker? Take a chance and enter one of the many creative competitions taking place at the festival. Industry leading VIP judges will be hosting an exciting competitive showdown to showcase some of South Africa’s most talented baking artisans.Categories include, amongst others, the best looking Chocolate Cake and the most beautiful multi-tiered Wedding Cake. For more detailed information as well as the entry form, click here.
Got little children? Not a problem for the Chocolate Festival. Why not add to the family fun and let them play dress up? On Sunday 26th July, all under 12’s are free. There will be a Fancy Dress Competition at 12 midday for girls and boys between 2-6 years.The best dressed Cocoa Fairy OR Charlie the Prince of Chocolate (or Chocolate Pirate, Cowboy or Superhero) will each win a scrumptious prize. For more details and entry, click here.
There will be a show stopping chocolate inspired Fashion Show presented by the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design on both days at 11:00. Be ready to be dazzled with amazing, innovative chocolate-inspired fashion.Try something original by getting your nails done, creatively and expertly! If you are a little more daring, Mark Minnies will be on hand to adorn your body with temporary tattoos. Oh I am SO in for this :) You’ll even be able to be framed in chocolate when you have your special Freys photograph taken at the show.
An Art Exhibition will display illustrations on the topic of the ‘The Chocolate Wrapper’ while thrilling Flash Mobs by students will be adding some energized musical ambiance to the event. Talented singers and musicians from Cape Town University’s Music School will be demonstrating random skits throughout the festival. Be ready to be blown away when you least expect it.
And then, as the afternoon shadows lengthen and you’ve had your fill of chocolate and are overloaded with inspiration and information, the Chocolate Lounge (open all day with free entry) will beckon you to wind down for a little while. From 4pm on both event days you can enjoy bistro foods, tapas, cocktails, and a glass of wine or MCC while relaxing to live music and late afternoon cabaret. Sounds like a bit of heaven to me.
Not only will The Winelands Chocolate Festival be a delicious culinary celebration of the best in South Africa’s chocolate industry, it will give you an opportunity to interact with the people and the talent behind the chocolate. Like a kid in a candy store, get ready to unwrap and savour the pleasantly layered Winelands Chocolate Festival, where good flavour and exquisite chocolate designs await you. Diarise the 25th and 26th July now and go and book your tickets!
Buy tickets online at Quicket or at the door.
Chocolate Afternoon Tea: R250 (sold out)
Family Package (Two Adults + Two Children Under 12): R85.00 each
BUT WAIT! There is more……………
I have a set of double tickets to give away to a lucky couple. Just like the browniegirl facebook page, and then tell me in the comment section under the advert of this post, how you feel that moment when you pop a block of smooth dark chocolate, or a delightful chocolate truffle into your mouth. The comment that raises the most blissful image in my mind and makes me drool will win Get to it. Please note that no travelling or accommodation expenses are included in the prize!
This competition is now CLOSED! Thank you to everyone for the wonderful entries. Our winner has been notified. Enjoy the Festival
All photographs in this post used with permission from The Winelands Chocolate Festival and Wired Communications!
Disclaimer: I am attending The Winelands Chocolate Festival with a media accreditation pass. All festival information supplied by Wired Communications and written in my own words. Opinions expressed are my own.
Easter is fast approaching and chocolate is synonamous with Easter. Do I have the perfect celebration cake for you if you follow a LCHF, Keto or Paleo lifestyle. As mentioned before in a previous blog post this has been by far the most requested of all the cakes that I bake – this is definitely everybody’s favourite, be they very young or ancient. Now that my family are gluten free and following the LCHF (low carb high fat) lifestyle it is definitely a perfect cake for special occasions as we don’t do baked goods and desserts too often. However this one always stands the test of time and is always showcased at birthday parties. The ingredients are ideal for a low carb high fat lifestyle with the omission of the sugar which is replaced with xylitol or erythritol. Delicious served with fresh whipped cream or better still, creme fraiche is ideal with fresh summer berries for the perfect party treat.
Note: The recipe is flourless and grain free/gluten free so should therefore suit wheat intolerant individuals and will fit into a gluten-free diet. Being sugar free it is suitable for diabetics!
My favourite way of eating this intense chocolate cake is simply with a dusting of xylitol dust mixed with cacao powder….yes you can get this fancy product now to replace icing sugar, some freshest berries & a dollop of crème fraiche to cut through the richness of this torte
Do also note that that the texture and flavour intensifies and settles with time so plan to prepare and bake this cake 24 hours prior to consuming. It loves spending the night chilling in the fridge!!
COLLEEN’S INTENSE CHOCOLATE TORTE (DEATH BY CHOCOLATE)
100g Lindt Dark Chocolate (70%)
100g Lindt Darkest Chocolate (85 – 90%)
200g Unsalted Butter - ice cold from the fridge
250g Granulated Xylitol or Erythritol (available from health shops and some pharmacies and also The Red Basket)
6 Jumbo Free Range Eggs – separated into 2 very clean mixing bowls
2 Tbs Finely Ground Almonds or Hazelnuts – I like to roast then grind the nuts – I put a little bit of xylitol into the grinder with the nuts. It works well at grinding them finer…
1 Tbs Brandy, Cointreau or Van der Hum (optional but delicious)
Pinch Pink Himalayan Salt
¼ tsp Cream of Tartar
¼ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract or a knife point of seeds scraped from a pod
Zest of ½ Orange (optional – my son doesn’t like it so I leave it out for their cakes but I love it!)
Juice of 1 Orange (optional) Use 30ml Water instead if omitting the citrus
You can also frost this cake with chocolate ganache for special occasions. I love the rustic simplicity of it served as above but some people do prefer a celebration cake with frosting. See some example photos below of how I have used ganache to decorate this cake.
200g Dark Chocolate
125ml Fresh Cream
1 Tbs Unsalted Butter
1 Tbs Brandy or Liqueur – very optional but delicious
Hello Chocolate lover! It’s been a while since I had a marathon baking session in my kitchen and it has been on my mind a lot lately to step out of my comfort zone and bake something that is a bit of a challenge to myself. As you all know I am self taught in the kitchen, an ordinary cook and baker with a passionate love for food….and cake! I watched and learned a lot in my late mom’s huge kitchen during my childhood and then put into practice all that I learned over the years, using my lovely family as guinea pigs, mostly surprising both them and myself with my offerings. But sometimes it is good to test yourself, to challenge what you know you can do and raise the bar a little bit. Sometimes, like when you watch those divine chefs on tv and wish you could do what they do, produce what they do to knock the socks off those you love…just every once in a while………
My opportunity arose a couple of weeks ago when I got a call from Woolworths SA , one of the main sponsors of Masterchef Celebrity SA, asking if I would be willing to collaborate with them on a “You Too Can Cook Like A Celebrity ” Challenge. Of course I totally fell in line and agreed when I heard what their special ingredient was going to be for the week….CHOCOLATE! I started gleaning all the information I could about how to work with chocolate and what all you can do with it. I kind of got a general idea of what I wanted to do very early and then started building my dream cake in my mind and on paper. It was so much fun heading to the foodstore and being able to blow the contents of my purse on some of the best quality ingredients that I could find – slabs of darkest chocolate, organic eggs, beautiful Ayrshire cream, unsalted butter, raw hazelnuts!
I spent a few day working on my recipe and then working out how best to carry it out. Although the missive was “it can be as simple as you want it to be or it can be as elaborate and fancy as you would like” I decided to go with elaborate. So bear with me…….the recipe is longish and involved but if you plan it all as I did and you can do some of it ahead of time it really isn’t all that difficult to assemble to parts.
CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT MERINGUE AND MOUSSE CAKE (made over 3 days)
(Serves 16 as it is a very rich dessert)
Moderately difficult as it involves a number of techniques but a delicious challenge and very satisfying when you see your guests faces and hear the oohs and aahs of delight!
CHOCOLATE MIRROR GLAZE (can be made up to 3 days in advance)
6g (3) Gelatin Leaves – soaked in 1 liter cold water until soft about 20 minutes
250g Granulated Sugar
50g Dark Cocoa Powder – sifted (I use NoMU)
100ml Woolworths Ayrshire Whipping Cream
50g 85% Lindt Dark Chocolate
Combine the sugar, cocoa powder, cream and water in a saucepan and heat over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and it comes to the boil
Remove from the heat, stir in the chocolate pieces until melted
Squeeze most of the water out of the gelatin leaves then drop them into the hot chocolate glaze and stir until dissolved
Pass the glaze through a rough sieve and stir gently then allow to cool for about 15 minutes
Pass the glaze through a fine sieve so that it has no bubbles or tiny lumps in it. I hold the sieve close to the bowl so that no little bubbles form when it pours through
Set aside to cool enough to glaze the cake (if making beforehand seal once cooled and place in the fridge until required. You would have to warm it slightly to make it pourable before use if refrigerated)
HAZELNUT MERINGUE LAYERS:
4 XL egg whites
2.5ml cream of tartar
200 ml granulated sugar
125 ml Raw Hazelnuts – roasted in a dry pan until lightly browned then ground finely
1ml vanilla seeds
Pinch Maldon Salt flakes
Preheat oven to 110deg C and place rack on bottom shelf of oven
Line 2 30x20cm (ungreased) cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using the same springform pan bottom as a template trace a circle onto each sheet of paper then turn the paper over on the cookie sheets so that the pencil mark is on the underside
In a very clean metal mixing bowl using a very clean whisk beat the egg whites with vanilla seeds and cream of tartar until soft peaks form
Beat in the sugar gradually – 1 tablespoon at a time – until glossy stiff peaks form.
Fold in the ground hazelnuts gently using a metal spoon
Divide in half and spoon the meringue onto the paper using an offset spatula to spread it evenly inside the circles and smoothing the tops
Place both pans on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for about 1 hour until crisp and dry. Check it after 45 minutes as they are thin disks and ovens vary
Turn off oven and allow to cool for an hour before removing and cooling completely in the pan. Turn out onto wire racks and peel off the paper backing
Store in an airtight container until required. Can be made 2 or 3 days ahead of use
(You could make one thick meringue layer, baking for about 1 ½ hours and cooling for 2 hours in the oven if preferred but I wanted a 4 layer cake at the end of the process)
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE FILLING
100g 85% Chocolate – chopped
200g dark chocolate 70% – chopped
6 XL Egg Yolks – at room temperature
250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese – at room temperature
500ml Woolworths Ayrshire Whipping cream
6g Gelatin leaves – softened in 1 liter cold water for 20 minutes
120g Castor sugar
5ml Vanilla Extract
Place the egg yolks, cream cheese, vanilla extract and 100g of the sugar into a bowl and beat until pale and thick
Place the chopped chocolate in a glass bowl. Pour 200ml cream into a jug and micro on high until the cream just comes to the boil. Squeeze most of the water from the gelatin then whisk the leaves into the hot cream mixture. Pour this over the chopped chocolate and leave to melt then whisk gently until all the chocolate has melted
Pour the still hot chocolate mixture slowly over the beaten egg yolk mixture while the mixer is running on low and whisk until all mixed in. Set aside to cool for about 15 minutes before adding the whipped cream
Beat the rest of the cream and 20g sugar until stiff peaks form then add 2 tablespoons to the egg mixture to loosen and fold in. Fold in half of the remaining whipped cream gently and then fold the rest of it into the egg mixture until evenly distributed
Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge to set for a few hours
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE LAYERS: (repeat recipe for 2 layers)
4 XL eggs – separated (room temperature)
1 Egg Yolk only
200g Castor Sugar
130g 85% Chocolate (this amounts to 1 slab plus 3 blocks of Lindt)
50g Unsalted Butter
2,5ml Maldon Salt
1ml Vanilla seeds
Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave on low for 2 minutes – whisk after each minute then set aside to cool a bit once smooth
Preheat oven to 160deg C
Brush bottom and sides of a swissroll tin 30x25cm with melted butter then line with parchment paper. Brush paper with butter as well
Place egg whites into a very clean mixing bowl and beat on high with a very clean whisk or blades until frothy. Add half the sugar, 1 Tbs at a time, beating all the time until medium stiff glossy peaks form (not dry stiff peaks) Set aside
Place egg yolks, salt, vanilla and sugar into a second large mixing bowl and using the same blade or whisk beat on high speed until pale and thick – about 3 or 4 minutes
Beat the slightly cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture
Fold the egg whites gently into the chocolate mixture with a metal spoon until evenly distributed then pour the mixture into the prepared pan
Bake for 15 minutes then remove and cool
Repeat recipe for the second layer
Once cooled cut into 2 circles using a 23cm Springform pan as a template
Turn over onto a wire rack and place a warm wet tea towel over the base of the pan for just a few seconds to loosen the cake.
Remove the pan, peel off the paper, remove the offcut bits of cake and wrap the 2 circles gently in clingfilm (I use a piece of cardboard as a base as these cakes are delicate and light) and store in an airtight container.
Brush base and sides of a 23cm springform pan with melted butter. Line the base with a circle of parchment paper and brush paper with butter as well
Place the first chocolate circle into the base and drizzle 20ml of hazelnut liqueur over the cake
Place one third of the chocolate mousse filling on top and smooth with a spoon or spatula. Tap the pan gently on your counter top to fill up any gaps
Place a layer of hazelnut meringue onto the smoothed and straightened mousse in the pan, and fill with half the remaining mousse. Give another tap on the counter top to settle it all into place
Repeat with the second meringue layer and pour the remaining mousse over the top. Tap on the counter top again once or twice then smooth the top with an offset spatula until it is even and very smooth
Place the final chocolate cake layer on top and press down gently so that it is level with the top of the sides of the pan. Drizzle 20ml hazelnut liqueur over the cake then cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight before coating with the mirror glaze
UNMOULDING THE CAKE AND COVERING WITH THE MIRROR GLAZE:
Remove prepared mousse cake from the fridge and wrap a warm towel around it to loosen from the sides and bottom of the pan. Unclip and remove the sides of the springform pan and place cake on a wire rack over a clean baking tray (I left it on the base of the springform pan because it was easier and you don’t see the base at all once glazed)
Warm the mirror glaze in the microwave for 30 seconds, give it a gentle stir to mix then pour the glaze onto the centre top of the cold cake. Using an offset spatula level and spread it outwards and allow it to run over the sides of the cake, covering it completely. You can use the spatula to smooth the sides a bit if you like but the rippled patterns look quite good
Allow to stand for 15 minutes or so until it has set a bit then gently lift the cake and place it on a serving plate or board and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour to set completely
(the extra glaze that dripped into the baking tray can be lifted with a spatula and poured through a fine sieve to remove any cake crumbs and kept for dessert or ice cream topping (yummy with some chopped toasted hazelnuts swirled through it)
CANDIED HAZELNUTS (Prepare while the cake is cooling in the fridge)
20 Hazelnuts – lightly toasted (this will ensure you have extra to allow for breakages)
20 thin cocktail sticks with sharp ends
5ml lemon juice
Pack of Prestik or Blu-tack
Prepare a dripping space for the candied hazelnuts – underside of a cupboard hung over your counter top is ideal. Line the surface directly below with newspaper. Stick 20 balls of prestik (tick-tack or Blu-tack) evenly apart in a row on the underside of the cupboard (I did this the night before!)
Poke a wooden cocktail stick into the bottom of each hazelnut and set aside
Place a large pan of iced water close to the stove to stop cooking once the sugar is at the correct level of cooking (pan must be big enough to hold the saucepan)
Place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Don’t stir but you can swirl the pan gently to ensure all the sugar has dissolved. You can wash down the sides of the saucepan with a brush dipped in cold water if needed to avoid crystals forming in the candy
Bring it to the boil over moderate heat then watch it carefully as it boils and allow it to turn a light to medium amber colour – no darker otherwise it goes bitter
Remove from heat once the desired colour has been reached and plunge the saucepan into the icy water bath to stop the cooking process and to cool the candy down for about 10 minutes. It is cool enough when you can dip the back of a wooden spoon into it and it forms a long slow droplet when you remove it. The shard of candy should be able to snap cleanly when cold
Gently dip and swirl the prepared hazelnuts into the candy then remove and stick the back ends of each cocktail stick into the prepared prestik balls, working from the ball furthest from you and allow to drip in long strands and cool and harden completely before removing the wooden sticks gently and breaking the beautiful candy spikes about 10cm or so from the hazelnuts (it was a damp humid day when I made mine so the spikes would not stand up. I remedied it by breaking the candy off close to the hazelnuts…not the same visual effect I was looking for but it worked well)
Remove cake from the fridge, decorate with the candied hazelnuts around the outer edge and some roughly chopped hazelnuts in the centre then cut into wedges and serve. We ate ours as is but you could cut the richness with a few fresh or frozen raspberries and a dollop of creme fraiche
Take a look at their beautiful page and get loads of new ideas of how you too can cook like a Celebrity Chef!
Thank you Woolworths SA for this lovely opportunity and challenge. I really enjoyed it.
Follow me on Instagram for more of my food pics
Have you ever been invited to pledge to bake bake for someone special? I am sure you have baked for someone before, and witnessed the joy that something that you made with love and your own hands brought to someone else. I love doing that. As you all know my signature recipe is brownies….with a name like browniegirl it HAS to be! It gives me so much joy to see someone happy and uplifted because I have actually made something for them, with love. It is far more meaningful really than going to buy an “its the thought that counts” gift. That is why, when I Love Baking SA (proudly sponsored by Stork) sent me the challenge to make a pledge to bake for someone special for World Baking Day 2014 I accepted straight away. I signed up and was sent a pledge pack, which arrived via courier in a beautiful aqua polka dot box.
When I opened up the box I knew we were in business. It contained everything from the brick of Stork Bake to the baking parchment, to the Le Creuset silicon spatula to mix it all together with. Eggs neatly wrapped in straw in little plastic tubes, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, flour, walnuts, vanilla, baking powder. Even the recipe I was to bake. I was now without excuse. My day had arrived and I was going to bake!
I just didn’t know who to bake for yet. I bake for my family all the time and they are so used to getting sweet treats so it had to be someone outside of my family circle. That was when I had a lightbulb moment and thought about a small group that I had only fairly recently become aware of……a group of elderly ladies living below the breadline in a building in the midst of our little town. Almost a year ago now, 17 July to be exact, a care group was formed, under the leadership of a young man who has a hearts desire to assist these women with their plight. This man is Tone Alexander and the group was named The Pauline Loots Care Group in honour of one of the ladies who tragically took her life just the day before. I knew Pauline, as well I guess as Pauline would allow anyone to know her, but I never knew about her situation. Her death was an absolute tragedy and yet something so good has come out of that tragedy. The Pauline Loots Care Group, made up of Tone and a group of caring local people have taken these women, and the place where they live, under their collective wing. They have painted, renovated, begged for second hand fridges, stoves etc to make their living spaces homely and functional. Every second week someone cooks a meal for the ladies and this is served to them in the dining room and lounge that have been renovated out of storeroom space so that they have a little meeting place, a place where they can socialize and interact with one another, watch television and chat or read. A place where they don’t have to be lonely. Loneliness kills. Over and above all that the women cannot afford to buy all the monthly essentials for themselves so these are bought by members of the care group and delivered on the last Thursday of the month to a collection point. They are then made up into hampers to be handed out to each resident at dinner that night. These hampers would include stuff like toilet rolls, essential toiletries, cereal, tea, coffee, sugar, milk, cup a soup, tinned goods like tuna, sweetcorn, tomato and onion mix etc. marmite, bovril (dare one mention those two in the same sentence haha) peanut butter and other things that they would use. One other item needed is R50 electricity vouchers to help them get through the last few days of the month.
So then, to get back to the baking thing……. On Wednesday afternoon I got into brownie baking mode. I baked two batches of the brownies as I knew one batch would not be sufficient for the group. I used the recipe given to me and I was very happy when the brownies came out of the oven just perfectly…..crackly on the top and fudgy soft in the middle. A winner of a recipe!
Late Thursday afternoon Donald and I delivered the chocolate brownies that I baked to the Pauline Loots Care Group in Fish Hoek because I believe they deserve to have a little bit of love and sweetness in their lives. Donald bought a tub of ice cream on the way home from work and this, together with the delicious brownies, was served for dessert after the homecooked dinner. We were deeply touched to meet the residents of Clifton Parade in Fish Hoek. We were touched by their plight at this stage of their lives, and we were deeply touched by the amazing work that is being done by Tone Alexander and his amazing team who help these elderly women to live a more comfortable, dignified and happy life. It was wonderful to participate and interact and to meet these lovely old folk and to see the delight on their faces as they saw what was for dinner and for puds. Thank you Stork and I Love Baking SA for the opportunity to bake for someone else in need. It brought both Donald and I great pleasure to play a small part in bringing a bit of joy and sweetness on a cold, blustery very wet winters night into the lives of these deserving souls.
For a while those lives have been made a little easier, a little happier, a little warmer, their bellies a little fuller, their hearts a little lighter….it is not a lot to ask and it is always good to remember that there, but by the grace of God, go I. It can happen in any of our lives that, for some reason, we are left destitute, with nothing and nowhere to turn to…..this team of caring people are making a MASSIVE difference in the lives of these people right here in our midst in our little village. Local folk can get involved by committing to donate the essentials mentioned once a month, or if you live further afield donations for electricity and other incidentals would be gratefully accepted. Or join the team and cook a meal for them every once in a while. You would be making a huge difference in the lives of beautiful women who have fallen on hard times for various reasons. It was such an honour to be there helping in a small way and we will definitely go back……
Here is the recipe for Chocolate Brownies as given to me by Stork SA
Makes 12 (I managed to get 16 adequate squares out of each batch)
140g Milk Chocolate – broken into small pieces (I used dark chocolate)
130g Stork Bake – cut into cubes
5ml Vanilla Essence
25g Cocoa Powder
Pinch (about 2 1/2 ml) Salt
5ml Baking Powder
Preheat oven to 160deg Celcius
Spray the base and sides of a square ovenproof dish and dust with flour. Line the base and sides with baking parchment and set aside
Melt the Stork Bake and the chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water or in a microwave (60% power for about 1 minute then stir until smooth) then set aside
In the bowl of an electric mixer whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla until the eggs are thick and pale
Pour in the still warm/hot melted chocolate mixture while whisking
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt over the mixture and fold in gently with the spatula – dont overbeat!
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes until the top looks crackly. A skewer inserted will come out with a few crumbs attached indicating that it is still a bit moist in the middle. That is as it should be!
Allow to cool in the pan for about half an hour before cutting into 16 squares, cool completely on a wire rack and store in an airtight container
I dusted the tops with icing sugar and served each square with a scoop of ice cream but they are equally delicious with a spoonful of creme fraiche or mascarpone!
WHO ARE YOU GOING TO #PLEDGETOBAKE FOR? World Baking Day is on Sunday so haul out those baking ingredients and turn the oven on! Pop over here now and fill in the pledge form which will enable you to post a little card, tagging the one you want to shower with some love and sweetness, onto social media.
Go out and make a difference in a life….make someone smile! Give them something to look forward to! It really is the easiest thing to do.
Have a great weekend,