Monthly Mystery Munchies #22: Rugelach

rugelach-cooked-1Oh yeah! Pastry filled with peanut butter and chocolate chips, anyone? My hand bolts up! Rugelach – this month’s recipe, is a popular treat in Israel, and apparently America is enthusiastic about it too. Can’t say I blame them! This traditionally Jewish delight was usually reserved for special occasions such as Hanukkah, but it’s become more popular and now it’s made for any occasion. I’m hosting a dear friend’s birthday shindig this month, for 20 people, and I wanted to find something interesting and plentiful to feed the masses. I found this, and I’m hooked! Speaking of hooked, Ann made Bodhi (Fig) Pudding in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Well, I for one heart this recipe! Ann, like me, doesn’t like OTT V Day vibes, so I think making a fig-based dessert is the perfect break from the traditional chocolate treats. I feel ya, Ann!

rugelach-circle-2

Flaky pastry smothered in peanut butter, topped with chocolate chips, rolled up and baked in the oven, literally melts in your mouth. This is a fitting recipe for this month’s theme – a dish that’s derived from a different culture for special occasions. Ann was, as always, down with this. Aah, I love her enthusiasm! No matter what the theme, she is always up for the challenge. Check out her take on this, and prepare to be wowed!

rugelach-raw-rolls-1

Rugelach

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Supplies:

2 sticks/1 cup/230g cold salted butter*, cubed
230g/8 oz cold cream cheese
¼ sour cream
2 cups flour + 4 tablespoons for sprinkling on surface
* You can use unsalted butter, just add ¼ teaspoon salt

1 egg for brushing

For The Filling:

1 cup melted smooth peanut butter divided into ¼
½ cup dark chocolate chips divided into ¼

Making It Happen:

In a food processor, add the flour, butter, cream cheese and sour cream. Pulse until the dough is crumbly and coming away from the sides. Do not over-process.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour onto a clean surface and form a rough ball with the dough. Divide it into four pieces, forming a ball for each, cover in cling film and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.

Again, sprinkle flour onto a work surface and sprinkle a bit onto your rolling pin.
Roll the dough from the center out, forming a circle, and until the dough is about 1/8inch thick.
Take a 9 inch cake pan, place it hollow side down onto the dough, and cut the edges off to form a neat circle.

Heat the peanut butter in the microwave until runny, and, starting from the centre, spread it over the dough until it’s about 1 inch from the outer side. Sprinkle choc chips over the peanut butter.
Using a shark knife, halve the circle. Halve it again, and continue until it’s cut into eight triangles. It will look like a pizza. Yum.
Starting from the outer egde, roll each triangle up and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough balls.
Heat your oven to 190°C (375°F). Remove the chilled rugelach from the fridge. Place parchment paper on a baking tray, lay your rugelach down and brush with egg. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Your can refrigerate this for several days, and freeze it too.

 

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Monthly Mystery Munchies #14: Malva Pudding

Malva pudding 6Pour some sugar on meeeee! Ann from Grubbs n Critters has just emigrated to the Netherlands, her husband’s home country, so this month we thought it apt that she do a Dutch recipe and me an Afrikaans one. Afrikaans is a derivative of Dutch, with the early Settlers in South Africa being Dutch. I chose malva pudding, which is a sweet, spongy pudding of Cape Dutch origin. It’s topped (flooded) with an abundance of creamy, sweet sauce. A lot of sweet in this one, which certainly appeases my sugar addiction.

I can’t take credit for this recipe, as much as I’d like to! My stepmom, Michele, is a phenomenal cook, and she gave me her recipe a few years ago. Obsessed. This is my favourite hot pudding, and the fact that it’s served with custard and/or ice cream (why not both?) makes it decadent and indulgent, and one for the recipe books. It’s easy, folks, mission-free, and moreish.

Ann made something quite delicious that appeals to me in every way – kaas uienbrood (cheese onion bread with parmesan, cheddar and gouda. Oh god, I’m dying!). During her second recipe test, she added paprika, thyme and cumin-flavoured cheese. Y’all, I’m obsessed with cheese, bread and spices. Dead. For another authentic Dutch recipe, try her bitterballen. She also posts a weekly recipe called “Fabulous Friday Flavour” and her “Sunday Humour” posts are a must! Here we go…

Malva Pudding

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Supplies:

Cake:
2 cups self raising flour
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon bicarb
3 tablespoons apricot jam
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
½ teaspoon salt

Sauce:
1 large tin evaporated milk
200g butter
1 cup sugar

Making It Happen:

Malva pudding 2Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Cream the eggs and sugar until fully mixed, about 30 seconds.
Sift the flour in, and add the rest of the ingredients. Beat well until fully combined.
Pour the mixture into a deep corningware or pottery dish and bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Malva pudding 4Meanwhile, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a small pot on medium. Add the evaporated milk and sugar and stir well. Remove from heat when the sugar has melted fully and the ingredients are throughly mixed.
Thoroughly pierce the whole cake with a toothpick and pour the hot sauce over it.

Malva pudding 5Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving, so that the cake soaks up all of the sinfully delicious sauce! You can also refrigerate this dish and heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Serve with custard and/or ice cream.

Death By Chocolate Cupcakes

DBC3Sinfully decadent yet heavenly on the taste buds! Dark chocolate cupcakes, using actual dark chocolate in the batter, as well as the frosting, are the stuff dreams of made of… beautiful, satisfying, moreish dreams! You don’t get more chocolatey than death by chocolate, as the name suggests. These deeply delicious cupcakes will seriously impress your guests and leave you feeling replete and fuzzy in your warm chocolate glow!

Death By Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: medium
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Supplies:

DBC 41½ cups flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter (180g)
1 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
85g dark chocolate

Making it happen:

DBC 51. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Melt the chocolate and butter in a small pot on low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.

 

 

 

DBC 62. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

 

 

 

DBC 73. In another bowl, whisk the sugars and eggs, adding 1 at a time, and beat for a further 15 seconds. Add in the vanilla and whisk to combine.

 

 

DBC 84. Pour in the melted chocolate and butter, and mix until smooth and fully combined.

 

 

 

DBC 95. Add the flour and sour cream in thirds. Start with adding a third of the flour, then a third of the sour cream, beating after each addition. Repeat until the flour and sour cream are finished.

 

 

DBC 106. Fill the cupcake liners until two-thirds full. Bake on the middle shelf for 15-18 minutes (a toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clear.)

 

Chocolate buttercream frosting:

DBC 153 cups icing sugar
100g room temp butter
1 cup cocoa powder
50g melted chocolate, cooled
5 tablespoons cream
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

 

DBC 1Cut the chocolate into small pieces. Melt with cream on low heat and set aside until completely cooled.
Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder together in a bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter until creamy, about 2 minutes.

DBC 2In three stages, add the icing/cocoa powder and melted chocolate/cream to the butter, beating well after each addition. Once it’s all been added, beat well for about 2 minutes. Frost and decorate desired.

 

 

Chocolate Fondants (Lava Cake)

Chocolate fondants 1 12Ooooh! Gooey, warm, rich chocolate that literally melts in your mouth! Hells yes! Firm on the outside, bubbling with molten chocolate on the inside, indulge yourself and your guests with this decadent pudding that will soon become a firm favourite! You can conveniently prepare this ahead and pop the fondants in the oven just before you’re ready to serve. You can also reheat them for 15 seconds in the microwave if necessary, but don’t overheat!

Chocolate fondants captured my heart (in terms of both fondness and cholesterol) five years ago when I happened upon a Gordon Ramsay recipe, which I adjusted to create this one. I tried it and was floored at the simplicity of the idea – firm to the touch on the outside, but the moment you go in for the first mouthful, melted chocolatey heaven escapes, as if little cocoa fairies are having a party in your mouth!

 

Chocolate Fondants (Lava Cake)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Supplies:

Chocolate fondants 43 tablespoons melted butter, for greasing
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, for dusting
200g dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
200g salted butter
200g castor sugar
4 room temp eggs + 2 egg yolks
200g cake flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Making it happen:

Chocolate fondants 51. Nuke 3 tablespoons of butter and brush it inside the cups, spreading it around the sides and bottom of each individual cup. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder inside each cup, tipping to spread it across all the sides and bottom. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or overnight if you’re preparing ahead.

 

 

Chocolate fondants 62. In a small pot, melt the butter and chocolate on medium heat, stirring to dissolve, until both are melted and fully mixed.

 

 

 

Choc fondants 103. In a mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs and yolks until the batter is thick and pale, about 3-4 minutes. Sift in the flour and beat well to fully incorporate.

 

 

 

 

Chocolate fondants 74. Pour the melted chocolate and butter into the batter in thirds, mixing well after each addition, until the chocolate and butter are fully mixed into the batter. Add vanilla and beat to mix.

 

 

 

Chocolate fondants 85. Pour the batter into the cupcake/muffin cups/ramekins, filling 23 full, and refrigerate for one hour or more.

 

 

 

 

Choc fondants 116. Heat your oven to 200°C (400°F) and bake for 10-12 minutes until the tops start to come away from the sides. Do not over-bake! You want the fondants to be firm around the sides but gooey in the centre. Serve with ice cream or cream, but my vote is creamy vanilla ice cream!

 

 

Bar-One Sauce

Bar One Sauce 5This sauce is easy and utterly delectable and will have you asking for more and licking the bowl! Bar-One is a milk chocolate bar wrapped around a layer of malted chocolate and caramel. If you don’t have access to Bar-Ones, don’t despair. All you need to do is find a chocolate bar made with nougat and caramel. Depending on where you are in the world, your substitute could be Mars Bars or Milky Ways. Delicious on warm brownies, chilled cheesecake or ice cream, it’s versatile and takes 10 minutes!

Bar-One Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: ridiculously easy
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Supplies:

200g Bar-One chocolate bars (or Milky Way or Mars Bar)
250ml cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Making it happen:

Bar-One Sauce 91. Cut the chocolate bars into small pieces, about 0.5cm each. In a small pot on medium heat, add a third of the cream and all the chocolate pieces and stir frequently. The nougat takes a while longer to melt, and the frequent stirring will prevent the chocolate from sticking and burning. Add another third of the cream, continuing to stir, and then the last third. The entire sauce process will take no more than 10 minutes, so you can time the cream additions accordingly.

Bar One Sauce 32. Once thoroughly melted, pour the chocolate sauce over ice cream, or brownies, or cheesecake. This sauce can be cooled and reheated in the microwave or on the hob.

 

 

Bar One Sauce 4

 

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 21Behold! No, seriously, this is freaking amazing! I had SO much fun with this recipe. I usually make chewy brownies with chocolate ganache but this time I wanted to do a fudgier take on them and, of course, a peanut butter frosting. I used both dark and milk chocolate, the latter to balance the bitterness. When you bite into these babies, you get a fudgy, delicious, creamy, chocolatey taste with fluffy, light peanut butter frosting and crunchy chocolate chips. Yum? Yum.

The top is crinkly, the inside, crunchy (hello, chocolate chips!) and the frosting, well, peanut buttery. I don’t think I need to say anything else!

You can use the frosting for cupcakes, cakes, you name it. If you’re doing this, add extra icing sugar. You might need to add a tablespoon or two of milk if the frosting is too thick, but for this recipe you shouldn’t need any milk.

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Supplies:

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 1¾ cup cake flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ cup butter (120g)
230g dark chocolate, roughly chopped, for melting
200g milk chocolate chips
1 cup white sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or essence
½ teaspoon salt

Making it happen:

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 21. Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F). Line a 9×9 square baking tin with parchment paper, making sure it covers the sides and leaves an overhang. You’ll need this to remove the brownie slab in one go.

 

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 42. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

 

 

 

 

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 53. Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a pan on medium heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Set aside.

 

 

 

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 64. Add the sugar to the melted chocolate and butter, whisking until it’s fully combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the vanilla and whisk to incorporate.

 

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 7 (2)5. Slowly add the dry ingredients, whisking until well combined. Scrape down the sides as necessary.

 

 

 

 

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 8 (2)6. Add the milk chocolate chips and stir to throughly combine.

 

 

 

 

 

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 117. Bake on the middle shelf for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clear. The top will be crinkly and the sides will be pulling away. Don’t stress if it has cracks.

 

 

 

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 128. Once cooked, remove from the oven and rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove the slab from the baking tin, lifting the sides of the parchment paper up, and let cool for an hour.
Once completely cool, cut the brownie slab into 16 blocks.

 

 

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 179. F̶r̶o̶s̶t̶ smother with peanut butter frosting.

 

 

 

 

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 1910. Add sprinkles (optional).

 

 

 

 

Peanut butter frosting:

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 131 cup creamy peanut butter
60g butter, room temperature
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons milk if necessary

 

 

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 141. On low speed, beat the butter until it’s soft and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides.

 

 

 

 

Fudgy choc brownies peanut butter frosting 202. Add the icing sugar, and beat until well incorporated. Add vanilla essence and beat until well combined. (If it’s too thick, add 2 tablespoons of milk. I did not find it necessary for this recipe but it’s entirely up to you. If you need more frosting, add more icing sugar.)

Upside Down Cake with Pineapples and Cherries

Upside down cake 10It’s time to go retro! It’s nearly Spring in the Southern Hemisphere which naturally calls for a fruity cake. I use my basic vanilla cake recipe for this upside down cake and I always use buttermilk as it ensures the cake is moist and fluffy.

Let me give you a rundown of my most recent attempt. Off I go to the supermarket, taking a leisurely stroll and enjoying the warmer weather. I get there and start cruising the aisles for ingredients. For some reason I’m in a bit of a daze so I’m standing at the tinned food section, see a large tin of pineapples and grab it without reading the label properly. Perfect. Right next to the pineapples is tinned cherries. Again, I grab a tin and carry on with my shopping. I get home, filled with excitement (it doesn’t take much, baking does that to me), and open the tins. Crap. I’ve bought chunks of pineapples instead of rings. Oh bother. Not to worry, we’ll carry on as usual. I open the cherries and I’m like, these aren’t glacé cherries. Really? Double crap, double bother. Now, I’m so excited to bake this cake so I soldier ahead, cut the cherries in half, remove the pips and make the batter. The reason I’m telling you this is because traditionally, pineapple rings are used, be they tinned or fresh, as are glacé cherries. But no, I had to complicate things. You can use pineapple chunks, they work beautifully, as do regular tinned red cherries, just remove the pips. However, you can substitute the chunks with rings and red cherries with glacé (I recommend this to avoid the schlep).

Upside Down Cake with Pineapples and Cherries

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Upside Down Cake 1Supplies:

  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Pineapple rings or chunks
  • Glacé cherries

 

  • For the cake:
  • ¼ cup pecans, crushed in your hand
  • 1¾ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Making it happen:

Upside Down Cake 21. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Melt ½ cup of butter in a heavy-based saucepan on medium. Once it’s melted, add ½ cup of brown sugar and stir with a whisk until it starts bubbling. Remove from the heat immediately and pour into a 25cm (10″) cake tin.

Upside down cake 112. Layer the pineapple pieces and cherries in the melted butter syrup and sprinkle the hand-crushed pecans over them (give them a decent hearty squeeze to crush them).

 

 

Upside Down Cake 53. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Pour in the buttermilk and stir/whisk until well-blended. Whisk in the eggs, melted butter and vanilla, stirring until thoroughly mixed.

 

 

Upside Down Cake 64. Pour the batter over the fruit and bake at 180 for 40 minutes, until a toothpick instered in the middle comes our clear. If the toothpick is still wet, back for another 5 minutes until the toothpick passes the test.

 

 

Upside Down Cake 9 15. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Hold a plate or cakestand upside down over the cake tin, pressing down firmly. Flip over, tap the cake tin gently and slowly remove. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.