Despite the magnificent summery day in the Western Cape some parts of the country are starting to shiver and I have a few friends complaining of the symptoms of wintery chills, aching all over, sore throat, fever and the sniffles. Obviously time to haul out the old saucepan and make some delicious chicken soup. Do try a steaming bowl of this delicious comforting and warming soup, good for the body, good for the soul……it is packed with immune boosting ingredients and really does help to make you feel better.
According to university studies home made chicken soup reduces congestion and inflammation by limiting the movement of white blood cells that produce infection-related mucus. I do hope this will help you all over the upcoming winter months – it also works for those awful summer flu bouts too!
Browniegirl’s Cold & Flu Busting Chicken Soup
1 chicken breast or 4 drum sticks (skin on and bone in)
2 Large Onions – 1 skin on (washed well) cut in 1/4’s the other peeled & finely chopped
4 stalks Celery- washed and roughly chopped (with leaves too)
4 large Carrots – 3 roughly cup up 1 finely chopped
1 Turnip – peeled & roughly chopped
1 Large Parsnip – peeled & roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves – give 4 a thump to break slightly then peel & finely grate the other 2
Thumb sized piece of fresh Ginger – thumped to break slightly
1 tsp whole Black Peppercorns
1 tsp Whole Cloves
Few sprigs fresh Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 Chillies – seeded and finely chopped (use more if you can take the heat – it is good for the dreaded lurgy)
2 medium Tomatoes, peeled seeded and chopped
½ Lemon – juice and finely grated zest
Handful fresh Parsley – finely chopped
Handful fine pasta – alphabet pasta is good or use angel hair pasta broken up into little bits
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place chicken, unpeeled onion quarters, celery, 4 bruised garlic cloves, roughly cut carrots, turnip, parsnip, bay leaves, whole cloves, peppercorns, ginger & thyme into a large saucepan.
Fill with about 4 litres cold water. Bring to boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer 1 hour until the chicken falls off the bone and the broth has reduced by about a quarter.
Strain through a sieve, keep the chicken and broth, discard all vegetables and herbs. Keep the broth or stock aside – skim off any fat that might gather on top
Place olive oil, finely sliced onions, carrots, chilli, minced garlic and some more sprigs of thyme into a large saucepan. Saute gently until the onion is limp
Add the reserved broth and tomatoes. Bring to rolling boil then reduce heat to medium. Cook until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove skin and bones from chicken. Shred meat into bite-size pieces.
Add chicken & pasta to soup. Boil another 5 minutes until noodles are soft
Stir through the chopped parsley & lemon then turn off heat
Stir through 5ml Raw Honey
Season to taste and serve piping hot.
Stay in bed, keep yourself well hydrated and drink this soup a couple times a day.
Get better soon,
Finally! A very warm welcome to my brand new self hosted browniegirlblog site to you my fabulous reader! Thank you for finding your way over. I do hope that while you are here you will click on the Bloglovin’ link to the right of this post to sign up so that you never miss a post. A very special thank you once again to my friend and IT Ninja Fritz from Real Men Can Cook for all the hard work that he has put in to make this moment a reality! And thank you Jackie from Inspired by Food for the lovely header and the design work that you are still doing for me behind the scenes! I am deeply grateful to both these lovely people for all the fabulous help!
So to celebrate the launch of this new site I thought I would share something deliciously sweet and simple to make. No baking required, just a bit of time for setting…but not too long! This is a recipe that is part of my childhood. My mom used to make this as a special treat for us and it never lasted long. With 5 kids of course it wouldn’t! Not these delicious little morsels. My mom called these Sunburnt Fingers and my family have also always known it as Sunburnt Fingers but I have come across a couple of very similar recipes on the internet and blogs where they are called Biscuit Fudge or Chocolate Biscuit Fudge which is very descriptive of the treat.
EASY NO BAKE CHOCOLATE BISCUIT FUDGE
250g Salted Butter
1 Extra Large Free Range Egg – left whole
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pkt (200g) Biscuits – Tennis, Tea, Marie or Digestive
500g icing sugar – sifted
4 Tbs cocoa – sifted (I prefer to use NoMU brand as it is a better quality and darker than others)
Alternative flavourings – 1 tsp instant coffee or grated zest from an orange (I used one ClemenGold), 5ml Rum
Sea Salt Flakes to sprinkle
Melt the butter then whisk in the vanilla, egg then icing sugar, cocoa and whatever additional flavourings you are adding if any
Add broken up biscuits and mix together
Press into a square pie or baking dish
Sprinkle over some sea salt flakes (sparingly)
Put in the fridge to set for about an hour
Cut into squares and tuck right in!
Now….before you rush off to make these addictive little fudgey squares don’t forget to click on the Bloglovin link to the right and subscribe to my blog so that you won’t miss out on any posts. The link will take you directly to the page to subscribe to this blog so you don’t have to search for it among all the others.
See you all soon with something else delicious
My eldest brother and sister in law from the Free State are currently in town and on Wednesday they came to visit so I decided to get all the family around for lunch. It was an out of the ordinary occasion for us to do this in the middle of the week. Some were on holiday, some took off a long lunch and it was wonderful to just sit around and chat and laugh….a lot of laughing accompanies our family do’s, especially if all my siblings are gathered in one place, so I have to say I missed the other 3 on Wednesday! My youngest brother has the memory of an elephant…no really he does! He remembers stuff from our childhood that honestly I swear never happened! He also has the art of embellishing down pat. We do laugh at his stories. Both my brothers are wonderful story tellers, in different ways and it is thrilling to sit and listen to them. Did I tell you I am so blessed to have the family I do have? Oh yes I am…..very very blessed and I know it.
Anyway, let’s not go down that pathway…I might wander so far into my childhood that I will tell you stuff that I shouldn’t….HAHA! Stuff that probably never happened What I am here to share with you all is delicious Malva Pudding – a well-loved, traditional baked South African dessert from Dutch origins that graces the most classy plates in the classiest restaurants…….and also most homes! Everyone needs to have this particular ace up their sleeves. Talk about comfort food on a cold wintry night. It ticks all the boxes for me! And the beauty of it is that it is simple and easy to prepare. I am not sure where the name comes from (malva is Afrikaans for marshmallow but this does not have any marshmallow in it) but Wikipedia suggests that it is called Malva Pudding after Malvasia dessert wine from Madeira – apparently the two were served together after the meal in the good old days…that makes sense! My inspiration for this recipe comes from my well worn Cook With Ina Paarman – one of the doyennes of South Africa’s culinary history. This book was given to me years ago by a very good friend and it has been the inspiration for many a delicious meal. I will blog a few of them when I can. Right now I am in the midst of organizing the South African Food and Wine Blogger Indaba 2012 and it is taking up all of my time. I am in the process of discussions with a new headline sponsor so should be able to make an announcement soon. But I CAN tell you all that this event will be happening on 24 June 2012 in Cape Town once again. It will be a one day event as before….but I am hoping to add a few new twists that will make it very attractive for all those keen to attend. So do save the date and those who are planning to fly down for it, best you start making plans and booking tickets! To sweeten you all up a little bit more…..here is my Malva Pudding Recipe
(adapted from the original recipe in Cook With Ina Paarman
published by Ina’s Kitchen 1987 ISBN 0 620 11087 2)
250ml Castor Sugar
1 ¼ Cups (312ml) Cake Flour
2 XL Eggs (at room temperature)
1 ½ tsp (7ml) Bicarbonate of Soda
Pinch of Salt
Finely grated zest of 1/2 an Orange or 1 whole Clementine
½ Cup (125ml) Milk
1 Tbs (15ml) Smooth Apricot Jam
2 Tbs (30ml) Butter
1 Tbs (15ml) Vinegar
½ tsp (2.5ml) Real Vanilla Extract
1 Cup (250ml) Evaporated Milk (or fresh cream if you prefer)
½ Cup (125g) Butter
½ Cup (125ml) Sugar
½ Cup (125ml) Orange Juice (or water if you prefer)
Knife point of Vanilla bean seeds
It also works well with ½ brandy and ½ orange juice for an adult version
Preheat oven to 1800 Celcius
Grease a medium to large deep ovenproof dish and set aside
Beat the eggs and castor sugar until light and fluffy
Beat in the apricot jam and orange zest
Sift the dry ingredients together in a seperate bowl
Melt the butter and mix together with the milk and vinegar
Alternately fold some of the dry ingredients and liquid into the batter until all is folded in (I do about a third of each at a time) end with dry ingredients
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes
About 5 minutes before the end of baking time melt all the sauce ingredients together in a saucepan and boil gently for a few minutes – this can also be done in the mircrowave
As soon as the pudding comes out of the oven poke some holes into it with a fork or skewer then pour the hot sauce over and leave to be absorbed for about 15 minutes or so
(I like to keep about half the sauce aside and serve it warm with the pudding)
Serve this pudding warm with thick cream, custard, crème frâiche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream – my best way….I just love the mouth feel of hot and cold at the same time!
For a yummy extra South African twist I like to sometimes half whip some cream, add a tot of amarula liqueur and 10ml Icing Sugar to it and then whip until stiff peaks form and serve this with the warm pudding….yummy!
The beautiful thing about this dessert is that it is one of those dishes that improve with age and maturity So it is always a good thing to make more than enough for left overs. Oh and you can safely make it a day or two before you need it and leave it sealed with foil or cling film in the fridge, just warming it up before you need to serve it.
Have a beautiful Easter weekend
Easter – a time of year when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on Good Friday and a celebration of His resurrection to life on Easter Sunday. On Good Friday it is traditional to eat hot cross buns. Easter Sunday is the day of feasting and celebration, the day when kiddies all go on their Easter egg hunts and overdose on sugar and chocolate. For many families it is a tradition to bake and enjoy a Simnel Cake, a light fruit cake that has a layer of marzipan (almond paste) baked into the middle of the cake and another layer to decorate it when it is cold. It is also decorated with 11 little marzipan balls – these symbolize the eleven disciples of Christ (Judas Iscariot who betrayed Christ is not included).
Recently my friend Michael Olivier called and asked me if I would be interested in baking his Granny’s Simnel Cake for him to include in the Easter edition of Crush! Online Magazine. I was delighted in his faith in my abilities to recreate some childhood memories for him and set about preparing the ingredients and baking the cake according to the recipe supplied by Michael. What a delightful cake! And one that I will adopt for my own families Easter celebrations from now on!
GRANNY’S SIMNEL CAKE (courtesy of Michael Olivier)
For the almond paste
250g castor sugar
250g ground almonds
2 free-range eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence [some like to use almond essence]
For the cake
180g butter [don’t even be tempted to use margarine or vegetable fat]
180g soft brown or Moscovado sugar
180g cake flour
¼ tsp each ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves and fine salt
3 extra large eggs
150g Orange River Raisins
150g Orange River Golden Sultanas
60g chopped mixed peel
grated rind of 1 lemon and one orange
2 Tbs smooth apricot jam (for brushing on cake before the applying the almond paste topping)
1 egg – for brushing over the cake before grilling.
Prepare a 20cm cake tin by lining it, bottom and sides, with greaseproof or silicone paper.
In a large glass bowl mix the sugar and the finely ground almonds.
Whisk the eggs until frothy and add only enough, a bit at a time, to give the paste a soft texture.
Flavour with the vanilla essence and knead gently for about a minute.
Divide the almond paste into three portions. Roll out one third to make a circle 18cm in diameter which will go into the centre of the cake. Wrap the remainder tightly in double cling film and set aside. One half will be used for the 11 balls and the other to roll out another circle to place on top of the cake once completely cooled.
Preheat oven to 140C.
Using your mixer cream the butter until light and fluffy and then add the sugar and beat together until pale in colour and light in texture.
Sift together the flour, spices and salt in a separate bowl.
Add the eggs one at a time and add about a third of the flour mixture with each egg as this helps to prevent curdling.
Add the fruits, the mixed peel the grated rinds and stir together with a wooden spoon to mix well.
Spoon half of the batter into the prepared cake tin. Level it off with an off set spatula and then put the circle of marzipan on top.
Spoon the rest of the batter on top and smooth over allowing a little bit of a dent in the middle to ensure that the cake ends up baked with a nice flat top.
Bake for 1hour 45 minutes, insert metal skewer into the middle to test. If it comes out clean, the cake is baked. If not test after a further ten minutes baking. Remove the cake from the oven.
Allow to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cake is completely cooled remove it from the greaseproof or silicone paper. If it is slightly domed, put it upside down on a baking tray.
Set your oven’s grill on high.
Heat the apricot jam and brush over the top of the cake. Roll out one half of the remaining marzipan into a thickish circle the exact diameter of the cake (use the pan to measure) and place it carefully on top of the cake.
With the remaining marzipan, roll out 11 small round shaped balls and place them around the edge of the cake.
Brush the marzipan and the balls with beaten egg and set in the oven to brown gently, watching all the time for about 1 – 2 minutes, depending on the heat of your grill. Otherwise use a blow torch to brown it.
Garnish with some little candy or small chocolate Easter eggs. And do place a little fluffy chicken on top.
As I sit here writing up this post my skin is being caressed by the most beautiful cool sea breeze blowing gently in the window. It has been so many months since I last felt that and my whole body is cheering on the advent of Autumn. This is MY time of year…the season that I delight in the most! In previous years by the time Easter came upon us autumn had all but disappeared and winter was already making her presence felt with wicked north westerly gales and driving rain. I remember well that my daughter, who has her birthday at the end of March, throughout her childhood years bemoaned the fact that she could never have a swimming party around the pool! Instead all her little friends arrived dressed up warmly in coats and boots and they had to play indoors! This year for the first time sweet daughter was able to have her wish……for her 33rd birthday!
If you are on this roads at this time of year do drive safely and have a wonderful time with family and friends. We remain home at this time of year as brownieboy has to work. Usually our Good Friday is quiet with those who want to going off to church to commemorate the crucifixion. In true Cape style I always enjoy some pickled fish for my lunch on this day! YUM! On Easter Sunday the family gathers at daughter and son in laws home to participate in the excited hunt for Easter Eggs. Then we all head to church as a family to celebrate Christs resurrection. After church we gather around the table at our home to feast!
Now it is time for a nice cup of soothing rooibos tea before bedtime…… and a slice of this delightful Simnel cake would do very nicely too thank you!
I wish you all a Blessed and Happy Easter.
This recipe was first published in the 17th issue of Crush! Online Magazine and also on Michael Olivier’s website Crush is available globally and provides very interesting reading with interactive pages. Just supply your email address to subscribe and your issue will drop into your mailbox once a month – absolutely free of charge!
Are you self-confident, innovative, brave, impulsive, compassionate and a perfectionist who is strong and decisive? Do you not care to listen to the advice of others? Like being in command? Then you were most likely born during the Year of the Dragon, the mightiest of all the Chinese Zodiac signs.
The Chinese year 4710 began on the 23rd of January 2012, and of course this is The Year of the Dragon. The Year of the Dragon comes around every 12th year . Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth day, when the moon is brightest. So, much is being celebrated all over the world by Chinese and non Chinese alike.
To enter into the mood I decided to make a dessert. My inspiration for this recipe came from Amy at she wears many hats My eye caught her photograph that had been pinned onto Pinterest so I followed the link and found her recipe. I pimped it a bit to suit my ingredients that I had to hand
CLEMENGOLD MASCARPONE WONTONS
4 ClemenGolds – canned mandarins will also do)
2.5ml Chinese 5 Spice Powder
15ml Brown Sugar
Wonton Wrappers (I couldn’t find any around here so settled for phyllo pastry)
Peanut Oil and Vegetable Oil – enough to cover about 2.5cm of your saucepan base
Peel and segment the fruit (catching the juice that runs out in a bowl as you do so)
Place in the bowl with the juice and add the 5 spice powder, cornflour and sugar. Mix well and set aside
Open up Wonton Wrappers (if using the phyllo pastry as I did brush melted butter on sheets and layer 2 or 3 on top of each other. Cut them out into squares
Place a small dollop (about half a teaspoon) of Mascarpone Cheese into the centre of each square or wrapper, add a teaspoon of the ClemenGold mixture then wet the edges of the pastry, fold the one corner over to the opposite corner to form half a triangle then fold over the other corners all to meet in the middle. Fix with a bit of water
Repeat with all the wrappers.
Heat up some oil (I used half and half peanut and vegetable oil) in your wok or saucepan and add the wontons a couple at a time and fry until golden brown all over
Set aside on paper towel to drain while you complete the rest of them
When cool dust liberally with icing sugar and serve as is or with some vanilla ice cream.
I made a yummy dipping sauce to dip my wontons into:
Mix together until dissolved :
50g Dark Brown or Muscovado Sugar
1 teaspoon Lime Juice
¼ teaspoon Five Spice Powder
Few drops Kikkomans Soy Sauce
20ml Hot Water
Serve alongside the Wontons or pour over ice cream as I did and enjoy!
Oh….and seeing as this is the month of luuuuurve………
Dragons will give in to love, but won’t give up their independence. Because they have quick, sometimes vengeful, tempers their partners need to be tough-skinned. Dragons enjoy others who are intriguing, and when they find the right partners, they’ll usually commit to that person for life. If you would like to read more about the Year of the Dragon you can go here
Happy Chinese New Year to all my readers,
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