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Moist One Layer Chocolate Cake with a drop or two of Brandy Essence

Just the mere sight of chocolate makes me feel better and seeing that I was a little under the weather for a week or two, what better medicine is there than a moist chocolate cake covered in more and more and more chocolate. I really enjoyed the cake and the brandy essence really gave it a lovely flavour. Chris on the other hand said that, although the cake was good and rates fine, he found it a little dense and heavy and think it must be because the recipe does not call for any eggs. I am posting the recipe in any case, leave out the chocolates and replace the butter with sunflower oil and you have the perfect Vegan Cake 🙂

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients:

1 ½  cups (195 grams) All-purpose Flour1 cup (200 grams) granulated white Sugar

Ÿ  cup (25 grams) unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted

1 teaspoon (5ml) Baking Powder

1 teaspoon (5ml) Baking Soda

Ÿ  (1ml) teaspoon Salt

1/3 cup (75 grams) unsalted Butter , melted

1 cup (240 ml) warm Water

1 tablespoon (15ml) Vinegar

1 teaspoon (5ml) Vanilla Essence

Âź (1ml) teaspoon Brandy Essence

 

Method for Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C ( 350 degrees F).
  2. Stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the melted butter, water, vinegar, vanilla essence and brandy essence.
  4. Mix all the ingredients together until well blended.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool in wire rack for about 10 minutes before taking out of the cake tin and decorating.

Ingredients for the glaze:

300g Milk Chocolate, melted

200g White Chocolate, melted

Method:

1. Melt the white and milk chocolate separately over a low heat and stir constantly until smooth.

2. Let cool down slightly.

3. Cover the whole cake with the Milk chocolate .

4. Using a teaspoon, spoon the white chocolate onto the middle of the cake and using a toothpick, start decorating in your own design.

 

Pineapple and Coconut Upside Down Cake

All our belongings, my whole kitchen included, were packed last week for shipping to the UK, that will happen this week.

Now although that is really exciting news for us, meaning a new adventure awaits, it also means that I will be without

everything I need to bake yummy cakes and puddings and sweets and.. and.. and.. for a long time. I will not survive if I

can’t cook AND bake. The next best thing was to buy a “survival baking kit” from the One Price Store. I could bake this cake,

although I did forget to buy a really cheap sieve, so I did not even sift the dry ingredients, oooops. But the end result was

still really delicious and yes, you can bake a cake with the bare necessities and just the power of your elbows and hands…

although beating egg whites to stiff peaks left me with stiff arms for two days.

Serves: 6-8, makes one 23cm round cake

Ingredients for the Topping:

4 tablespoons/55 grams unsalted Butter

ž cup/160 grams light Brown Sugar

2 tablespoons/30ml Desiccated Coconut

565g Tin of Pineapple slices

Ingredients for the Cake Batter:

1 ½ cups/195 grams All Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons/10 ml Baking Powder

Âź teaspoon Salt

2ml ground Ginger

2ml ground Cinnamon

4 tablespoons/60ml Desiccated Coconut

½ cup/113 grams unsalted Butter, room temperature

1 cup/200 grams granulated White Sugar

1 teaspoon/5ml pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, separated

½ /120 ml Milk

Method for the Topping:

  1. Place the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan.
  2. Stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Continue cooking, but do not stir, just swirl the saucepan around, until bubbles start to appear around the outside edges of the mixture. This means the sugar starts to caramelize.
  4. Remove from heat, and pour into a well greased cake pan.
  5. Evenly arrange the pineapple slices on top of the sugar mixture and sprinkle the coconut evenly over the pineapple slices.

Method for the Cake Batter:

  1. In a bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon.
  2. Add the coconut to the flour mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract.
  5. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and add the flour mixture (in three additions),
  7. alternately with the milk (in two additions), ending with the dry ingredients.
  8. In a clean bowl, and with a clean and dry whisk, whisk the egg whites until the whites hold a firm peak.
  9. Using a large spatula gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter in two additions.
  10. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top.

11. Bake in preheated oven for 45 – 55 minutes, or until the top of the cake has browned and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.

12. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then remove from the tin.

13. Using a sharp knife, run around the edge of the pan and then invert the cake onto your serving plate.

14. This is even better when served with a dollop of cream.

Just thought I would share my Emergency Baking Kit with you, hehehehe, have you ever seen kitchen equipment of this high standard 🙂

The Versatile Blogger Award

What a wonderful day for me. I was awarded The Versatile Blogger Award by Lisa from Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish.

Thank you dear Lisa, this is so nice of you and I really do appreciate receiving this. BUT the really nice thing is that now that I have received this, I need to pass the award on to 15 pages of my choice 🙂

 

*************************************************************************************************************************

The Rules of this Award Are:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you
the award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Send it along to 15
other Bloggers and let them know you have awarded them!

*************************************************************************************************************************

 

Mmmmmmmm, let me think, 7 things about me….

 

1. I was born in a very small town in South Africa and I’m an only child.

2. I was a very good athlete with my main events being the 100m, 200m, long jump and high jump.

3. My husbands brother was my neighbour for 2 years and the reason the two of us met.

4. I am writing my own cookbook and hope to have it published the end of next year.

5. Another passion of mine is photography.

6. I love reading mystery novels and scary movies.

7. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2000 and have been living with this very debilitating illness since then.

But I am very blessed to be “extremely healthy” and I do not let this invisible monster get me down. I have a

wonderful husband, family and friends that make it worthwhile to fight the MS with everything in me. And besides….there are so many things to bake and cook and so little time to be sick :D.

 

Have a wonderful week Foodie friends and most of all….have a wonderful life!!!!

 

The 15 pages I would like to give the award to are:

 

Moore or Less Cooking

Love.Peace.Hapiness.Cooking

Santi’s Kitchen

Living the Blue Collar Way

Food College, PA

ihearditsyummy

Carla’s Kitchen Confessions

Paper Plates and China

Mary B’s Sweet Bites

Yumbo McGillicutty

The Witch’s Kitchen

Comfortably Domestic

The Black Peppercorn

Serious Food for the Soul

Miss Vittles Catering

 

 

 

The world food day blog: The PaperCup Kitchen Food Recycling Dream

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary and we went to one of the top 10 bars in the world for a drink and a bite to eat. The Sky Bar is on the 33rd floor of the Swiss Hotel in Moscow, Russia and has the most amazing view over this wonderful city of 14.5 million people.

The food was gorgeous and the champagne went down a treat and then while eating and drinking and looking down over the city I felt like I could not swallow. I just could not get the foie gras down and the bubbly did not help the cause. Strange, on our way there Chris all of a sudden said: “What will happen if all the food that was wasted by restaurants and households could be channelled to all the places and areas where people go hungry and are starving”? Well the answer is actually rather simple…….hunger and starvation would be something of the past.

Now I do know that there are a lot of restaurants that donate their leftover food to soup kitchen where it can be dispersed to the starving and the hungry and I am so grateful for them doing that. But maybe again, we should not be the ones to say….”All these businesses and all these people with money can really start doing something to help those people that are starving”, maybe we should say that I will start by doing something, I will try and make a difference, I will start by feeding one person and one animal per week and from there I will make sure that I improve the number of starving that I help. My piece of chicken and slice of bread that I would have thrown away will now go into a little container and that will stay next to my handbag and tomorrow when I go out to pick up the kids and do some shopping I will drop it off at the person sitting next to the road.

Why is it that we can recycle paper, plastic and glass but we cannot have a little container for all the “scraps” from our dinner table? Is this maybe the way to go, recycling food one house at a time? Why not, it makes perfect sense. That’s it…..this is what I will do.

Unfortunately I am currently living in a country where I cannot speak or understand the language. However I will start from tonight, to save all the leftover food and buy an extra loaf of bread whenever I go shopping and I will visit my neighbourhood park where I know there are a lot of homeless people. You do not need to know or understand the language to feed a hungry tummy, you just need a hand and a smile.

We are relocating to the UK very soon and there I will continue my promise of tonight and I will also ask my neighbour to do the same. I will ask them to place all there leftovers in a container, that I will supply, and I will collect it from them every day. (They can even leave it at the garden gate each morning and I will pick it up there). From there I will make sure that at least one hungry person and one hungry animal per day receive something to eat. First me and one neighbour and from there I will make sure that the Food Recycling circle grows wider each month.

I have, unfortunately not the power or the knowledge to stop hunger in countries like Ethiopia, but I do have the power and the knowledge to start in my own home and try to influence the people around me. Want to join The PaperCup Food Recycling Dream? Then do not just recycle plastic, paper and glass but make sure your little container is fed with all the lovely leftovers from your kitchen.

Come on people, it must be this easy to fight hunger in the world like this. We can make it this easy!!

Nel

 

Photos: Africa, nuttalat and thephotoholic.

An Award

I am so blessed and so grateful to have received the Liebster Blog Award and in German Liebster means Beloved, Dear, Dearest. How special is this??? Thank you sooooooooo much Debi from Recipes for my Boys (http://www.facebook.com/RecipesForMyBoys).

 

This is just too special not to pay it forward. So I would love to give an award to 5 other Pages that I really enjoy.

1. Lisa from ihearditsyummy – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ihearditsyummy/216206971770433

2. Isabelle from Isabelle at Home – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Isabelle-at-home/1689420398157003.

3. Carol from Pampered Chef Consultant – Carol’s Corner – http://www.facebook.com/PamperedChefConsultantCarolsCorner

4. Vanessa and Mary from Coupon Loving Chicks – http://www.facebook.com/CouponLovingChicks.

5. Lisha from the Lucky Mom – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Lucky-Mom/216145948404281.

A special award for special bloggers!!!

 

Here are the rules that come with this
award:
1.) Show your thanks to the blogger that gave you the
award by linking back to them.
2.) Reveal your top 5 picks by leaving a comment on their
blog.
3.) Post the award on your blog.
4.) Enjoy the love of some of the most supportive people
on the internet!
It is so hard just to pick 5, for there are so many Ladies and pages out there that I love, but let’s start here and pay it forward 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words for Women to Live By

 

1. Aspire to be Barbie – the b…h has everything.

2. If the shoe fits – buy them in every colour.

3. Take life with a pinch of salt… A wedge of lime, and a shot of tequila.

4. In need of a support group? – Cocktail hour with the girls!

5. Go on the 30 day diet. (I’m on it and so far I’ve lost 15 days).

6. When life gets you down – just put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

7. Let your greatest fear be that there is no PMS and this is just your personality.

8. I know I’m in my own little world, but it’s ok. They know me here.

9. Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.

10. Don’t get your knickers in a knot; it solves nothing and makes you walk funny.

11. When life gives you lemons in 2011 –turn it into lemonade then mix it with vodka.

12. Remember, wherever there is a good looking, sweet, single or married man there is some woman tired of his nonsense!

13. Keep your chin up, only the first 40 years of parenthood are the hardest.

14. If it has Tyres or Testicles it’s gonna give you trouble.

15. By the time a woman realizes her mother was right, she has a daughter who thinks she’s wrong.

That crazy little thing called….Sleep

 

Its midday in Moscow and my head is slowly but surely moving closer and closer to the keyboard.  It wasn’t such a bad night, Allegra slept well and after the 23:00 feed she slept until just before 05:00 this morning. I am just tired and the 2 months of little sleep with a newborn and before that, the last 4 months of a very uncomfortable pregnancy, is taking its toll. And then of course my internal clock is haywired. I am completely awake when my kiddies are sleeping and completely sleepy when they are awake. And as we all know it’s rather tough to try and make your 2 month old smile and jump around with your 2 year old when you can hardly pull a face muscle or lift your legs.

 And to top this the clothes are still in the ironing room, un-ironed, the house needs vacuuming and the meat for tonight’s dinner is defrosting. Mentioning the meat, I have that out and no idea what to serve with it. Maybe we will have just that, meat, and I can use the excuse that the lifts were broken and I could not go to the Market for fresh produce.  My mother-in-law will be landing on Saturday for two weeks and there is allot that needs doing before she walk through my front door.  Nicky has his end-of-term play next week Saturday and a Disney costume needs to appear by then….need a little magic please Mr. Walt…send one of your fairies and I promise I will make sure my kiddies watch every Disney movie there was  and is and will be. 

But here I am complaining that I am sleepy and amazingly I get through each day and everything gets done. The washing, the ironing, the cleaning, the cooking and yes…I do get Allegra to smile and I do kick the ball and run around with Nicholas. I think at the end of the day, although I am tired, there is nothing that keeps me more awake than the feeling of contentment. And that is what I am, content, happy, calm and happy tired. I am not striving to be the CEO of the next big Oil Company and be tired because of the long hours in the office and the endless meetings and travelling that need to be done. 

No, I am content, happy, calm and happy tired. I am doing what I love.

 I am bringing up my kids, taking care of my husband and loving my life. And yes so I am tired and the Estee Lauder and Olay bottles are getting more and more in my bathroom cabinet for the black circles under my eyes and the coffee pot is permanently on the stove, but at the end of the day, I think, I choose to be tired. For it only takes one SMS per year that reads, “I love you” and Nicholas to put his small tiny hands on my face and say “You are beautiful” to wake me up. And then I am looking forward to endless housework, non-stop play and sleepless nights. I will sleep one day, but for now, the more tired I am, the more I know I enjoy my family. And hey, come to think of it, I do have my own business…I am running The Family Business.

 Sleep well