Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Tin filled with Joy!

There are SO many things to love about Christmas. It is a wonderful time of the year…everything from decorating trees and houses, to lots of shopping, to wrapping and unwrapping presents, to laughing and EATING lots, to relaxing and simply enjoying, to family time and of course baking. The pre-christmas phase is almost as exciting as actual Christmas Eve and morning.

Grandma's Christmas Cookies

Chocolate Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

It is a tradition at Christmas time in our home, as in many other homes, to always have a filled up cookie tin on the table. My grandmother would always have this tin in a separate room in her house but my brothers and I knew exactly where she kept it so we would not hesitate to sneak in and pinch one of two whenever we felt like it. Hers were simply the best. Buttery heaven!

Vanilla Kipferln

I started baking Christmas cookies for Christmas last year and have decided that I will do this every year. A few different batches so that the tin is always colourful and filled with joy. On this years Christmas Cookie Menu were French chocolate macaroons, coconut macaroons, snickerdoodles, vanilla kipferln and of course my grandmother’s traditional German Christmas cookies (my favorite). Next year I will make sure to post my Christmas cookie blogpost a week before Christmas so that you can try out some recipes before the Christmas season has passed but then again, we can always stretch out the Christmas season for a little bit longer. We are still in 2010 so slip on a cute apron and get ready to play with some dough!

Merry Christmas everyone!

You can simply click on the cookie names above for the links to the respective recipes. For my grandmothers Cookie recipe, allow yourself a few hours at least. You use 8 egg yolks (room temperature), 500gr flour, 250gr of white sugar and 250gr of butter (at room temperature and cut into cubes). Mix the ingredients in a bowl to form a dough. Cover with cling-wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Preheat the oven to 180C. Roll out the dough and use your favorite cookie cutter forms to punch out shapes. Place these on a cookie sheet lines with baking paper. If you wish, glaze each cookie with a premixed egg-yolk and milk (half/half) mixture and bake for 20-25 min or until golden. These cookies are best made a few days before as they taste better 3 or 4 days after they are made, if stored in an airtight container. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

THE Pudding: Peppermint Crisp Tart

I have lived in Cape Town for a year now and only a few weeks ago did I find out about this infamous Peppermint Crisp Tart! Apparently (apart from the Milk Tart), it is the most famous South African dessert and it tastes amazing! How have I not heart of this!?

It may partly have something to do with the fact that also only a few weeks ago was I told what a pudding is in this country. Mention the word pudding and I think of the firm vanilla or chocolate custard that you eat with a spoon. You mention the word pudding in this country, however, and South Africans think dessert.

Pudding means dessert! A cheesecake is a pudding, chocolate mousse is a pudding and an apple pie is a pudding.

Personally,  I think the word pudding is adorable and have now find a way to use the word more often!

Anyhow, back to the Peppermint Crisp Tart. It is so easy to make. You need a few South African ingredients to replicate it exactly (so run to your nearest SA food retailer, if you know of one) but can also use substitutes, which I have included in the recipe.

Go ahead. Try it. You will love it and so will everyone else around you! It is a keeper in my books.

As the South Africans say…it is LEKKER!

Ingredients: (You can also halve the ingredients for a smaller dish)

4 packets of Tennis biscuits (can use any square butter biscuits such as Marie or Australian Nice biscuits)
4 sachets of Orley Whip (you can use 500ml of cream)
2 tins (375gr each) of caramel condensed milk (or Dulce de Leche). Click here to see how you can turn sweetened condensed milk into caramel condensed milk.
3 Peppermint Crisp Chocolate Bars, crumbled into little pieces (You can use 110gr of any type of chocolate that crumbles well).


1.    Beat the Orley Whip/Cream with an electrical mixer until it has tripled in volume (2-3 min).
2.    Mix in the caramel.
3.    Grease a square dish with butter. Arrange a layer of tennis biscuits, a layer of Orley Whip, a layer of biscuits and continue this (3 or 4 times depending on the depths of your dish) until you finish with a layer of Orley whip mixture.
4.    Sprinkle the chocolate on top. You can also add some of the chocolate into the Orley Whip mixture before layering, if you like.
5.    Place in the fridge or freezer for at least 3 hours before serving.
6.    Enjoy or as the South Africans say…Lecker Bru!


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