chocolate

Chocolate peanut butter mousse - Plant based Christmas!

Chocolate peanut butter mousse - Plant based Christmas!
Chocolate peanut butter mousse - Plant based Christmas!
Chocolate peanut butter mousse - Plant based Christmas!
Chocolate peanut butter mousse - Plant based Christmas!
Chocolate peanut butter mousse - Plant based Christmas!

This dessert is decadent with a capital D. My favourite part about it besides from being dairy and refined sugar-free is the fact that when I indulge in this dessert I don't feel guilty and nor should you! This dessert is such a wonderful relief from the sugar-heavy desserts that surround us at Christmas. You can make this and serve it freshly made or you can freeze it for those mid-week sugar cravings. A spoonful or two of this dessert will halt any sugar fiend out there. If you reframe your thinking of 'treating yourself' away from sugary treats and toward healthy nourishing indulgence then your body and health will thank you! I would love to hear from you guys if you would like to see more healthy options on the blog! Let me know in the comments below! Have a Merry Christmas everyone!


Ingredients: 

  • 4 large bananas, sliced and frozen 
  • 2 tablespoon cacao - I use superfood cacao. 
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter - I use 100% peanut butter from my local health store
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions: 

Add the bananas to a food processor and blend for 5 minutes or until it becomes light and fluffy. It might take longer depeneding on the heat of your kitchen and strenth of your blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well combined. Keep it in the fridge until serving. 

Serve cold in glasses topped with Cherries or mint. 

This mousse can be frozen to make chocolate nice cream for a later date. 

Merry Christmas 

-Melissa
 

Chocolate banana bread with mascarpone frosting and caramel drip

Chocolate banana bread with mascarpone frosting and caramel drip
Chocolate banana bread with mascarpone frosting and caramel drip
Chocolate banana bread with mascarpone frosting and caramel drip
Chocolate banana bread with mascarpone frosting and caramel drip
Chocolate banana bread with mascarpone frosting and caramel drip
Chocolate banana bread with mascarpone frosting and caramel drip

So guess what? I've been asked to be on Telly! Now, this isn't a new thing for me (#tbt to MasterChef), but it has been a while since my first debut. It's nerve-wracking, to say the least, but at the same time super exciting and I cannot wait. Lights! Camera! Action! Wait, Where's the guest? She's suffering an onslaught of nerves behind the cameraman. 
Okay, maybe not that drastic...
It's going to be short and sweet but that's ok, its a lot like me. I'm going to be on the SABC 3 Afternoon Express show around 4 pm local time. 

I've chosen to make a double chocolate banana bread and I had to share it with you guys here on the blog. It's so decadent and delicious. It's all the best of old school banana bread with double the chocolate. Cutting into it, the chocolate chips melt and the mascarpone sits there complimenting the sweetness of the choccie perfectly.  (They are a fine pair believe it or not. Full of compliments for each other)
You get a double hit with the caramel sauce because, well, why not. This sauce is so delectable that you could eat it out of the jar! (Which did happen in my case.)  

So hopefully you guys can tune in but if you miss it, that's ok too because I've shared the recipe right here for you! Just make sure you have people around because you can (and will) polish this off all by yourself, in which case, I might have given you diabetes. 
Apologies in advance.


Ingredients:

For the bread:

3 medium-to-large very ripe bananas
1/2 cup (115 grams) butter, melted
3/4 cup (150 grams) brown sugar (I use dark here; either light or dark work)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup (about 180 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks or chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For the rum caramel sauce:

1 1/2 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons milk
3 ½ tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup (75 g) granulated sugar
25 g butter
pinch of salt

For the mascarpone frosting: 

250 g mascarpone
1-2 tbsp powdered sugar (or to taste)
½ cup heavy cream

 


Instructions: 

For the bread:

Heat your oven to 180°C. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan (23 x 13 x 6 cm), or spray it with a nonstick baking spray.

Mash bananas in the bottom of a large bowl. (You’ll have a little over 1 cup mashed banana total.) Whisk in melted butter, then brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Place baking soda, salt, flour and cocoa powder in a sifter or fine-mesh strainer and sift over wet ingredients. Stir dry and wet ingredients with a spoon until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks or chips along with the walnuts.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 55 to 65 minutes, until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free. (A melted chocolate chip smear is expected, however.) Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert it out onto a cooling rack. Let cool before frosting. 

For the sauce:

Carefully heat the milk, and cream in a saucepan. It should be hot but not boil.
Meanwhile, put the sugar in another saucepan with a little water and heat until it starts to melt.
Carefully stir sugar with a spoon until all sugar has melted and has become a golden brown color.
Add the butter and stir until melted.
Very carefully add the heated cream mixture.
Stir until smooth, add the salt and pour into a jar to cool. Put in the fridge to become completely cold.

For the mascarpone frosting:

Beat the mascarpone and sugar until smooth. Add cream and beat
until firm.
Generously ice the loaf of banana bread. Drizzle the caramel sauce over and enjoy! 

-Melissa 

Black Forest Trifle for Christmas

Black Forest Trifle for Christmas
Black Forest Trifle for Christmas
Black Forest Trifle for Christmas
Black Forest Trifle for Christmas
Black Forest Trifle for Christmas
Black Forest Trifle for Christmas

Nostalgia is a very strange thing. It pops up when you least expect it. A taste or a smell can take you right back to a moment.

The lease on my apartment wasn't renewed this year, which means its time to move out and move on.

I have been in my apartment for 9 years. It has been my home, a place that has hosted countless dinner parties, a place that holds many dear memories.

I have lived in this apartment with my best friend talking endlessly about life, our hopes, ambitions, dreams, and fears.

In between these walls; I have made new friends and said goodbye to old, built a career in food while navigating the tiny kitchen and have lived here with my love and our beautiful Piglet; my little family whom I cherish.

Funny how I have become so attached to a house that I have made into a home, a safe haven. 

I have celebrated many a Christmas whilst living here, have cooked for my tribe and shared my special family recipes.

Today I am going to do the same.

Today; I give you my grandmothers Black Forest trifle recipe which has been present at every Christmas celebration for as long as I can remember. To be honest it just wouldn't be the same without it.

It makes a magical appearance once a year, stays for a few days, all the while the flavour deepening into something truly extraordinary. 

I suppose it takes me back to so many memories a lot like my apartment. I can remember the face of every person that has tasted it for the first time. That moment of bliss as their eyes close and the mmmm that follows.

The dark chocolate paired with cherries and condensed milk are a match made in heaven. 

I hope you will share this and make beautiful memories of your own whilst doing so...

As for me? I am off to pack and although I am sure there will be many tears shed while saying goodbye to my home, at least I will have a bowl of chocolate trifle to cover the pain.

Merry Christmas.

Here's to new beginnings.


Ingredients:

  • 2x 397 grams condensed milk 
  • 125ml lemon juice 
  • 1 x 425 grams tinned pitted and halved cherries 
  • 120 grams grated quality dark chocolate 
  • 500 grams smooth cottage cheese 
  • 1 dark chocolate swiss roll 600 grams
  • 150 grams flaked almonds 
  • 200 grams fresh pitted cherries 
  • Whipped cream and cherry liqueur

 


Instructions: 

Mix condensed milk with cottage cheese and lemon. Whisk until smooth. 

Slice swiss roll and place a layer on the base of the serving dish. I made the individual in the images but you can also make it in a large serving bowl. 

Sprinkle with cherry liqueur. 

Dot with pitted cherries. 

Sprinkle with flaked almonds 

Spoon a layer of condensed milk mix over cake and sprinkle with dark chocolate. 

Repeat until all your layers are in, ending with cottage cheese mixture and grated chocolate. You can top with whipped cream and fresh cherries! 

-Melissa

Earl grey and honey milkshakes

Earl grey and honey milkshakes
Earl grey and honey milkshakes
Earl grey and honey milkshakes
Earl grey and honey milkshakes
Earl grey and honey milkshakes

These milkshakes are inspired by one of my favourite ingredients of all time, honey.

I add honey to almost everything! You can use it in your tea, mix it in salad dressings and even add it to pizza! Yes, I said pizza. The saltiness of the bubbly cheese mixes so well with the sweetness of honey – its absolute perfection! Don’t even get me started on the health properties of honey. The list is too long to mention here but to give you an example; recently it’s proved a lifesaver in our home as a soothing throat and flu remedy (hot toddy alert!) 

You would be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of this versatile product from nature.

I partnered up with Woolworths to share these decadent Earl grey and honey milkshakes with you because, well, who said milkshakes are exclusively for summer? 
Or perhaps you need to bring a boy to your yard, pronto!?
Everyone knows a sure fire way to achieve the latter is through milkshakes.

I leave you with this parting thought from the only other honey fan that is more obsessed than I. 
The incomparable Winnie-the-Pooh.

“Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.” “Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.”


Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 2 earl grey tea bags
  • ½ a cup of boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons of honey 
  • 1 ½ cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ a cup of cream
  • Whipped cream to top
  • Chocolate to decorate
  • Honey to drizzle


Instructions:

Add the tea bags to the boiling water and let seep for 4 minutes. No longer as the tea will become bitter!

Add the honey and stir. Let the tea cool. You can add two blocks of ice to speed up the process.

Blend together the tea, ice cream, milk and cream until light and frothy.

Serve topped with whipped cream, chocolate and a drizzle of honey!

-Melissa 

*This blog post is sponsored by Woolworths all opinions are my own

Sweet Potato Churros

sweet potato churros

It’s bitterly cold and raining in Cape Town. Not exactly my favourite weather. I find it really hard to adult (to be a grown up) when it is pouring and cold. My will to get out of my warm cozy bed simply does not exist. All I want to do is stay in and eat ALL the tasty carbs I can think of. I tend to daydream way too much about the comfort food I could make. Today I am dreaming about this recipe. It’s amazing because it is so more-some and of course it has melted chocolate.

Sweet potato is one of my favourite foods. It is a great veggie that can be dressed up in savoury and sweet dishes. You can bake them, fry them and roast them in a variety of different ways! In this case I made some sweet potato churros. They are rolled in cinnamon sugar and then served hot and ready to dunk into a pot of dark chocolate to contrast the sweetness. They also happened to be laced with a little bit of brandy just to warm you up! I usually serve them with a Mexican feast but to be honest the fact that they have chocolate means they can go with anything! 


Makes 30

Ingredients:

  • 110 grams (1/2 a cup) salted butter
  • 125ml (1/2 a cup) water
  • 1,25ml(1/4 teaspoon) salt
  • 1 ¼ cups flour, sifted
  • ½ sweet potato, boiled and mashed (skin off)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 3 Tablespoon brandy
  • Oil, for deep-frying (preferably seed oil)

To serve:

  • 150 grams sugar
  • 15ml cinnamon
  • 100 grams dark chocolate (good quality always, I used Lindt 70%)

Instructions:

Heat the butter, water and salt in a large pot over a medium heat.

Bring to a slight boil, reduce the heat and add the flour, stirring constantly, over a low heat, until it makes a smooth paste. (Work those arms)

Stir in the sweet potato, mixing well.  Remove from heat.

Using an electronic mixer, add eggs, one at a time, beating well. When the eggs have all been incorporated, stir in the vanilla and brandy. 

Place a small bowl over a pot with simmering water. Break your chocolate in and let sit over the heat for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down and fold in the chocolate. Once melted turn off the heat and let it sit ready for dunking.

Heat your oil in a deep pan. If you put a wooden spoon in and you see fine bubbles around the wood, the oil is ready. 

Use a large piping bag with a star nozzle to pipe out 10cm long churros. Cut them with scissors as you pipe them. Deep-fry them being careful they do not go too brown. Two minutes either side should be enough.

Stir together cinnamon and sugar in a shallow medium dish. Toss the Churros gently in the mixture and serve warm and ready to dunk into you chocolate. Don't try toss them when they are cold as the sugar won't stick as well!

 

-Melissa