Hello Monday : Eat All The Cake

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Hello Monday!

After a 500 3 week long school holiday the kids are back to school today and life will return to somewhat normal programming.

I have to say that although I did endeavour to take some time off and enjoy the holidays with my girls, it was a very busy period for me filled with many, many cakes, so I don’t really think that that they minded at all.

This Wednesday I will be posting Tip # 2/20 in my Macaron Files series (Know Your Almonds). If you missed the first tip you can find it here.

Then on Friday will be a healthy but delicious recipe from GI Jane in the Blogger Recipe series and somewhere in between I will be sharing my recipe for Gluhwein and my Chocolate Gluhwein Cake. So, stay tuned for an awesome week ahead!

Here are a few photos of my favourite bakes from the past few weeks.

If you’ve seen something that you like, you can always head over to our contact page and send us an enquiry or just leave a comment here to let us know which one you loved the most 🙂

xxx Viveshni

A Mothers Day Lunch With A Twist Hosted by Megan Deane

There are few things better than good food with good company, especially if you are a food blogger. Megan Deane ( Stuffed Feeling ) put these key elements together along with a beautiful venue to host her ‘Mother’s Day With A Twist’ lunch this past Saturday.

I, along with Inge Loker ( Snap,Sizzle,Cook), Verushka Ramasami ( SpiceGoddess), Shirley Berko ( Cuizine Durban) and Nicola Meyer (Run On Coffee) were welcomed into Megan’s home. This lunch tradition was created by Megan in honour of her Mom, who is no longer with us, but was an amazing hostess, so I think it is a definitely a beautiful way to pay tribute.

The brief was that we were to bring along a dish or 2 that had been passes down to us by our mothers. My mind swirled a bit trying to choose the perfect dish and after much deliberation I decided on my lamb breyani as well as a chocolate cake. My mothers breyani is always something that brings back happy memories of the family being together from the time that I was little ,and it’s one of the first recipes of hers that I mastered, so I think it was a fitting choice. The chocolate cake, well I chose that because my sisters and I were lucky enough to have our mother be a ‘stay at home mum ‘ aka Domestic Executive, and I remember coming home from school everyday to something new that she had baked from jam squares to cakes and scones, so the recipe that I used was a twist on the hot milk sponge passed down to her from my grandmother.

The weather was beautiful and perfect for an outdoor lunch. There is an unspoken understanding between food bloggers that you take photos before you touch the food, and boy was there a great range of food to photograph. On the menu was starters of meatballs with the most delicious dipping yoghurt, jalepenos (my fav!) stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, battered and fried (I don’t think I really need to elaborate on how Ahmazing they were) and loaded potato skins. The mains were the lamb breyani including sambals and sour milk salad that I had made, a vegetable lasagne from Nicola, butter paneer and savoury rice from Verushka, french steaks from Megan and coronation chicken from Inge. The desserts were the chocolate cake, rolly pollies ( love that name ) from Inge, cute animal shaped cookies from Nicola and a crepe dish from Shirley. Needless to say it did feel a lot like Christmas lunch and we were thoroughly stuffed by the end of it as Megan had predicted.

I was so happy and honoured to have spent an afternoon with these lovely ladies, chatting and eating (and eating some more) and a special thank you to Megan for being such a gracious hostess and putting together such a wonderful lunch.

The recipes will be up on Megan’s blog Stuffed Feeling, so I will share once they are posted.I will also finally be kicking off the Blogger Recipe Series this Friday with a most decadent and delicious recipe from Megan and I have a guest post on the cooking classes held by Knorr and J-Something in Johannesburg.

If you haven’t made your plans for Mother’s Day, there are still seats available for the Macaron Class and High Tea. Go here to book -> Classes

Have a happy week!

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My Favourite Vanilla Sponge Recipe

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When I was younger I was never into baking. I really can’t say that I was one of those people that you would always find in the kitchen with my mother, trying to help and picking up tips. This comes as a surprise to a lot of people, especially considering it’s the way I pay the bills these days, and that its such a huge part of my life.

I do have one very clear memory of being around 7 and deciding that I was going to bake cupcakes for my mother and surprise her when she got home from work. Needless to say, with a batch of ingredients that was limited to flour water and sugar and a whole lot of blue food colouring I ended up with not so yummy blobs of blue dough. My mother, being the amazing mother that she is, still took a bite and ooohed and aaahed at how delicious they were. (She still does that!)

These days my recipes are a bit more structured and my cakes and cupcakes taste a heck of a lot better. One of the recipes that I first used to bake cakes is a Vanilla Sponge Cake recipe.

The sponge is light and fluffy and tastes amazing even with a simple vanilla buttercream. I still use this recipe for my vanilla layer cakes and it’s a winner every time.

Vanilla Sponge Cake

480g flour (4 cups)
2tsp Baking Powder
1.5 tsp Baking Soda (Bicarb)
Pinch of Salt
225g of Unsalted Butter
400g (2 cups) Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Essence
4 Large Eggs
2 Cups of Buttermilk

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
In an electric mixer or using a hand mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until smooth, light and fluffy.
Add in the vanilla essence and mix
Add in the eggs one at a time, making sure that you scape down the bowl properly after each egg is beaten in
Add the buttermilk. Don’t be alarmed if the mixture looks curdled, it’s meant to 🙂
Add the flour in 3 batches, mixing until it’s just combined. Be careful not to overmix. The batter does not need to be perfectly smooth.

Empty the batter into 2 10″ lined cake tins and bake for 40 minutes.

The cakes are done when a skewer comes out clean or the sponge springs back when gently pressed in the centre.

Leave the cakes to cool before removing from the cake tins.

Frost as you like or enjoy like I do, with some ice cream !

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What The Bundt!

I seem to be seeing a lot of bundt cakes on my social media feed of late and I have a feeling that these old school cakes are making a very welcomed come back.

There is no set Bundt cake recipe, so the cake is rather identified by its shape. To put it simply, a big, beautiful doughnut with ridged or fluted edges. These cakes can incorporate so many different flavours and range from simple chocolate or lemon cakes to the more traditional bundts, made at Easter or Christmas, that incorporate nuts and fruit into them. ( I choose chocolate! )

The idea behind the bundt cake and the bundt cake tin is that the central tube in the tin causes the hole in the centre of the cake, more of the batter makes contact with the cake tin and the cake therefore bakes more evenly. Who doesn’t love an evenly baked cake.

As you can imagine, frosting a ring shaped cake is not the easiest thing to attempt, so the cakes are usually dusted with icing sugar, drizzled with glaze or just served in their naked glory.

The name Bundt is trademarked by a company called Nordic Ware, so if you are out looking for a pan to make one of these cakes, and it’s not a Nordic Ware baking pan you’re after, you will find them labelled as fluted tube pans.

The market on bundt tins has expanded to include, not only the classic fluted rings, but designs that include cathedrals and even and octopus. I mean really, how cool is that.

What’s your favourite type of bundt cake?

Be sure, if you haven’t already, to follow MadamemMacaronSA on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram

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Image credits: http://www.10thkitchen.com ; http://www.listal.com ; http://www.bundtcakepans.com ;fengshuifoodie.comrealfilmcareer.comwww.elizabethcooks.com

Add some sweet inspiration to your Christmas lunch

No Christmas lunch is complete without dessert! ( At least in my home 🙂 ) The staple dessert at our family Christmas lunch has always been trifle. Layers of cake, custard, jelly, fresh cream, nuts, berries and shaved chocolate. Yummeh!

However, as they say, change is good, so I’ve been looking around for the perfect  alternative to the traditional trifle to round off Christmas lunch. These are the 3 yummiest ones that I found on the YuppieChef Online Magazine – Spatula.

Super easy and definitely super delicious!

What’s your go to Christmas dessert?

(Click on the pictures to link to the recipes)

The most decadent and boozy chocolate mousse ever

The most decadent and boozy chocolate mousse ever!

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The ultimate Christmas panettone trifle.

Christmas cake

Chocolate spiced Christmas cake

 

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Photo Credit : YuppieChef – Spatula Magazine

Humpday Help : Buttermilk Cheat

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There are many recipes that call for buttermilk as one of their ingredients. Now the average person doesn’t (I’m assuming ) have a carton of buttermilk hanging out in their fridge, and if the urge to bake strikes and you are using a recipe that needs buttermilk I’m sure that a trip to the store just for one ingredient may cause some of us to put our baking off for another day.

I’ve been in the situation many times and with some research I found that there is a cheat that you can use AND it’s so simple.

For every cup of buttermilk you need : 1 cup of milk + 1 Tbsp of vinegar                                    Let the vinegar sit in the milk for a few minutes so that it can work it’s magic and you’re good to go.

You may ask why you cant just add the milk. Well my guess is that your recipe also asks for baking soda/ bicarbonate of soda and like I explained in my post about baking powder vs baking soda , you need an acid for the baking soda to react with. The milk alone is neutral, so that alone will not work and your cake won’t rise as it should, hence you need the vinegar as well.

I’ve used this countless times and it’s worked great for me.I hope this hint helps and if you try it, please leave me a comment about how it worked for you.

xxx Viveshni

Pics of the week: Polkadots and Jellytots

This past weekend I had a great time working on an order for Polkadots And Jellytots.

This party planning and candy buffet styling company is run by Nicky Abrahams and she definitely has a talent for putting things together in the most beautiful way.

The request was for everything is white and and yellow. Not too bright but not too pale either 🙂 I think it all came together beautifully.

She sent me some pictures from the event. I don’t think my products have ever looked this beautifully presented.

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Macaron Smash Cake

I had a whole lot of left over macarons and this is what we got 🙂 You either love the look or hate it, but it was quite yummy if I do say so myself.
Vanilla sponge with vanilla buttercream and smushed chai, raspberry, almond and vanilla macarons. I think there may have been a few lamington macarons in there also.

A nice Father’s Day treat 🙂

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