Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

Photography by Darren Bester

I’ve always loved Chocolate Mousse … light and airy, you can just about feel the air bubbles pop in your mouth and then there’s the tasty moorish decadence of dark chocolate – Heaven!  It is rich though, which makes over indulging very easy to do, which is why this time round, I opted to serve them in cute little espresso cups.   You can of course, serve yours anyway you want … just don’t pair large portions with a very heavy meal. 

Quick and easy to prepare, it can be made a few days ahead of time thereby eliminating any stress when entertaining.  Perfect end to an Easter Lunch, I’m sure even the Easter Bunny would agree. 

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Yield: 4 standard ramekin portions 

Ingredients: 

170g dark good quality chocolate (70% cocoa solids) – Lindt is a good option 

80ml full fat milk

1 egg yolk

4 egg whites

20g caster sugar

Method: 

Roughly chop the chocolate and place in a heat proof bowl over a small pot of simmering water.  Stir until chocolate has completely melted and remove from the heat. 

Bring the milk to the boil and pour onto the melted chocolate, stirring with a whisk to combine.  Add the egg yolk and mix well to combine.  Set aside to cool. 

Whisk the egg whites to firm peaks, adding the sugar bit by bit.  Using a spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Whisk briskly, before folding in the rest of the whites (fold from the middle of the bowl up and outwards, using your other hand to steady and turn the bowl as you go).  Ensure the egg whites are well incorporated but be careful to not over work the mixture.  

Pour the mousse into individual ramekins or 1 large bowl.  If you want to serve in espresso cups or another dainty cup, use a piping bag to fill the cups neatly.   Chill for at least an hour.

Decorate with whipped cream and chocolate curls, if desired. 

Cooks Notes: 

The eggs should be very fresh.  Use them cold but not icy and not at room temperature. 

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Prawn, Lemon & Rocket Penne Pasta

Prawn, Lemon & Rocket Penne Pasta

I love Pasta ! When I moved to London in my early twenties, I had my first taste of basil pesto and fell in love! I would drench it over big bowls of pasta with bacon and mushrooms and I simply could. not. stop. eating. it.  Needless to say that when I flew home a year later on holiday, friends and family practically bypassed me at the airport due to not recognising me … or rather, the size of me 😮  

I’ve learnt to practice portion control since then and don’t make pasta part of our families weekly menu.  I am however, a firm believer in the ‘everything in moderation’ mantra and therefore do not see anything wrong with enjoying a bowl of pasta every now and then!  What is life without pasta?  This particular pasta is very fresh and certainly a lot healthier than the bottled pesto jars of my youth.  The flavours marry together beautifully, so simple but really packs a tasty flavour which makes this pasta dish, restaurant quality!   I’ve made it for friends and they have asked for the recipe.  Nough said 🙂  Martha Who_Prawn Pasta stomped1

 

Yield: 4 – 5 

Ingredients: 

500g dried penne pasta

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed to a paste

2 – 3 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped 

450ml of white wine (Sauvignon Blanc / Chenin) 

450g peeled & de-frosted ready to eat prawns 

4 tbs sun-dried tomato puree 

Zest and juice of 2 lemons 

4 big handfuls of rocket, chopped 

Salt & Black Pepper 

Olive Oil 

Method: 

Follow the cooking instructions for the pasta and while that is on the go, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a big frying pan and add the garlic and chilli – cook on a gentle heat ensuring not to burn the garlic.  After a minute or 2, add the white wine and the tomato puree and simmer for a few minutes until the alcohol has been cooked away together with the acidity of the tomatoes.  Drain your pasta and reserve a little of the cooking liquid.  Once the sauce is to your taste, add the prawns and mix through.  Remove from the heat.  Return the pasta to its pot and add the sauce, stir to combine.  Add the lemon juice, the lemon zest and half the rocket and 20 or 30 mL of the reserved cooking water.  Taste. Adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper.  Heat through on the stove top. Plate and garnish with the remaining rocket.  

Cooks Notes: I buy the Woolworths ‘Frozen fully cooked Prawns’  and the Woolworths ‘Sundried Tomato Quarters’.  With the tomatoes, I drain the vinaigrette it comes in and blitz the sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor / blender to a lumpy puree type consistency. 

 

Gammon with a Maple Syrup, Honey & Mustard Glaze

Gammon with a Maple Syrup, Honey & Mustard Glaze

Nothing says Christmas in South Africa, quite like Gammon, does it?  It’s one of those meals thats reserved solely for Christmas.   If I had Gammon at another time during the year, I’d feel as if I was cheating on Christmas … I’m sure some of you know what I mean.  So, with it being the Festive Season, I decided to make a little Gammon for Andrew, Hudson, My Mom and I for dinner on the 23rd December … an opening act, to the main Gammon coming on Christmas day, if you will.  If we can only indulge in Gammon at Christmas, then lets at least enjoy two 🙂 

The result? A resounding YUM!!! Even Hudson enjoyed it and I didn’t think he would eat meat just on its own like that, but he loved it.  The best part is it was so easy to prepare, almost had me thinking, I could make this a few times a year… just kidding Christmas! 

I used a deboned and non smoked gammon but you could use smoked too – will add to the flavour. 

Ingredients: 

2kg boneless gammon 

3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

2 celery sticks, roughly chopped

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 Tbsp Black Pepper Corns

Maple, Honey & Mustard Glaze: 

80ml maple syrup

80 ml honey

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

100g demerara sugar

Whole Cloves (A lot)

 

Method:

Place the onion, carrots, celery and gammon in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.   Allow gammon to cool slightly before removing from pot and setting aside.  If cooking a day in advance, once your gammon and cooking liquid have cooled down, you can return the gammon to the pot with the cooking liquid in it and refrigerate until the next day.  Just remember to take your gammon out of the fridge 30 – 45 minutes prior to moving on to the next step. 

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Make your glaze by mixing all ingredients together until the sugar dissolves.  Remove the rind from your boiled gammon by gently running your fingers between the rind and the fat.  You should be able to pull it off in one piece, leaving behind a thin even layer of fat.  Score the fat in a criss-cross diamond pattern, taking care not to cut into the meat.  Stud the centre of each diamond with a clove.  Generously coat the gammon with half the glaze, using a pastry brush to spread evenly.  Roast for 15 minutes before removing from the oven and brushing over the remaining glaze.  Return to the oven and roast for another  20 – 30 minutes, until the gammon is a rich golden brown colour, taking it out occasionally and basting with the pan juices.  Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. 

I served mine with Mustard Mash, Honey Glazed Baby Carrots & Asparagus and it paired perfectly! Let’s just say there was no space left for dessert 🙂

 

 

 

Zuko Yoghurt & Fruit Lollies

Zuko Yoghurt & Fruit Lollies

Photography by Darren Bester

I used the Zuko Quick Pop Maker to make these ice lollies and totally recommend this little gadget to any Mom out there! Healthy lollies in minutes and the flavour combinations are endless. I used what I had on hand and whipped these up …

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Granadilla & Vanilla Pod Yoghurt Ice Lollies 

Yield: 3 

Ingredients: 

Pulp of 2 Granadillas 

100ml Full Cream Yoghurt 

100 ml Full Cream Milk 

Half a Vanilla Pod 

Method: 

Pour the granadilla pulp into the base of each lolly mould and freeze for 10 minutes.  Remove from the freezer and pour in the cream and milk mixture between the 3 moulds, before returning to the freezer for another 10 minutes. To finish, top with the remaining granadilla pulp and freeze for a final 10 minutes. 

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Raspberry Yoghurt Ice Lollies 

Yield: 3 

Ingredients: 

Approximately 100g Raspberries, blended until smooth

200ml Full Cream Yoghurt 

Method: 

Combine the raspberry and yoghurt mixture.  Pour into moulds and freeze for at least 10 minutes.

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Apple & Vanilla Pod Yoghurt Lollies 

Yield: 3

Ingredients:

150ml Pure Apple Juice 

100ml Full Cream Yoghurt 

100ml Full Cream Milk 

Half a Vanilla Pod 

Method: 

Combine the yoghurt, milk and vanilla pod and pour a little into each mould, freeze for 10 minutes. Top with the apple juice and freeze for at least 10 minutes. 

Cooks Note: The measurements given for the lollies are an estimate, as I didn’t measure when making these.  The addition of milk aids in the pouring consistency of the mixture into the moulds.

 

Woolworths menu ideas for your Christmas table …

Woolworths menu ideas for your Christmas table …

I was invited to the “Your first taste of our Christmas” party by Woolworths (aka the Mothership) and took my Mom along.   From arrival, I knew it was going to be a good party … the black runway carpet led us into the building, where we were whisked up by a waiting elevator to the Inner City Ideas Cartel building’s roof top bar (What a great venue for a function!) in Waterkant Street, Cape Town.  As the elevator door opened, we were greeted with a glass of bubbles – Yes please ! A second later, we were handed this delicious snack platter for 2 …

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Two very happy customers

Two very happy customers

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Jenny D from Top Billing was there and let’s just say my Mom was a little star struck (She’s a big fan) …

 

Woolies had a beautiful display of their festive food on show … some old favourites and some new items too. 

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(if you haven’t already, you have to try the Chocolate Brownie Mince Pies – OMW!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They had Chef’s cooking up a storm in a make shift kitchen downstairs, churning out the most delicious canapés, using the Woolies products on display and the results were delectably delicious !

The Canapé Menus - each prepared by a different Chef

The Canapé Menus – each prepared by a different Chef

Some of the delicious canapés we sampled

Some of the delicious canapés we sampled – The Gammon Bitterballen Balls were a favourite, as was the pulled duck salad

Creative and inexpensive cutlery holder idea !

Creative and inexpensive cutlery holder idea !

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The gift bag we were spoilt with when leaving …

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Woolies, we had a ball !