Chocolate Salami with a hint of mint…. at Bosbokfontein Private Nature Reserve…part 1 of 3

Delicious… a small dessert with a BIG presence… and the perfect little gift for when needed, stored in your freezer, wrapped and ready to go !

This was our second visit to the beautiful Bosbokfontein Private Nature Reserve…

What a view !!

What a view !!

We served the Chocolate Salami for an afternoon coffee treat, after a refreshing swim… sooooo let’s go to the beach..

80. the beach

49. the beach

51. the beach

Time to run up the hill for Coffee and Chocolate Salami…

53. the beach

I made the Chocolate Salami at home and kept it frozen until needed….. no need to defrost…

Click here for a printable PDF recipe card :-> Chocolate Salami with a hint of mint……. RECIPE CARD

You will need:

150g chopped dark chocolate
150g chopped fruit and nut chocolate
1 x box MINT chocolate Romany Cream biscuits
1/2 cup cream
2 x tablespoons Kahlua Liquor
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecan nuts
+/- 14 glaze cherries
Icing sugar for dusting
Grease proof paper
Pretty ribbon

Blitz the biscuits until very fine..

biscuits

Slowly melt the chocolate and cream on a very low heat in a small saucepan, take off the heat as soon as the chocolate is melted.

melt chocolate

Add the fine chocolate biscuits to the melted chocolate and cream, add the Kahlua and chopped pecan nuts.

kahlua

Let the chocolate mixture cool in the fridge… +/- 1 hour or until it is semi set and can be moulded into a roll. Cut a large piece of grease proof paper and dust with icing sugar.

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Tip the semi set chocolate mixture onto the icing sugar dusted grease proof paper and mould it into a long cylinder shape. Place the cherries on top and press them halfway into the chocolate mixture.

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Dust the top liberally with more icing sugar and fold the paper neatly over the roll. I then use a cut open cardboard roll (from glad wrap or foil) to keep the semi soft chocolate salami into share while setting it in the freezer for another hour. Use clothing pegs to keep the ends of the roll closed until more firmly set.

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After the salami is set, remove the greased proof paper, it will be a bit sticky but ease it off with the tip of a knife, open another clean piece of paper, dust the paper again with icing sugar, add the salami and top with more icing sugar. This is like a second wrapping, and should be done before the salami is completely set. Once neatly rolled in clean icing dusted paper tie the ends with pretty ribbons, I usually cut the salami in half and have 2 smaller rolls.

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Put the neatly wrapped salami’s into sip lock bags to prevent the paper from getting wet in the freezer, and keep until needed.

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Cut straight from the freezer into +/- 4mm wide rings..

In Willem’s words to us.. “Mamma dis die lekkerste ding wat ek nog ooit geeet het”.

81. the beach

And then it was time for Asta to show the teenagers how to make “real” coffee… what a treat…. their first serious coffee experience overlooking the beautiful ocean, sipping strong coffee and eating minty chocolate salami…

Memories in the making for our children…

83. the beach

84. the beach

Time to get back to the puzzle… what we do at Bosbokfontein… (and a nice gift guests at Bosbokfontein can bring – a reminder for next time)

86. the beach

60. the beach

A little piece of heaven… thanks for the invite… a truly special feel good place…

Sweet and crunchy Pineapple, Carrot and red cabbage salad…sleepover at the dam….

Let me start by saying my “most used” recipe book this year is…….. A WEEK IN “THE KITCHEN” by Karen Dudley… a beautiful cookbook filled with “fresh” and “different” recipes… if I think of this book …. the words easy, GREAT GIFT, summer, make in advance, entertain, colours and over the top flavours comes to mind….

The recipe from this GREAT book that I want to share with you is the slightly revised CARROT CUMIN SLAW…

I’ve decided to serve this sweet and crunchy salad at our sleepover “braai” at the dam, in celebration of Melisse’s birthday… we are really spoilt with beautiful mountains surrounding the Elgin Valley, dams, rivers, forests and loads more…

Sleepover at the Dam...

Sleepover at the Dam…

At home: Make the Vinaigrette…
Shake in a jar…
2 tbsp creamy Dijon mustard
2 crushed garlic clove
2 tbsp castor sugar
8 tbsp white wine vinegar
16 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
a pinch of white pepper

Birthday at the dam...

Birthday at the dam…

Prepare all the “cutting” elements of the salad in advance at home, I’ve added it to a zip lock bag, ready to mix with the vinaigrette before serving.

Salad prepping...

Salad prepping…

Add to your ziplock bag:
1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds
1 baby red cabbage thinly sliced
3 carrots, cut julienne style
1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut julienne style
Salt and pepper

Click on this link for a PDF format recipe cardSweet and crunchy pineapple carrot and red cabbage salad…. RECIPE CARD

While the adults set up camp, the children had the best party in the mud any child can dream off….

Following the stream...

Following the stream…


Kayaking on the dam...

Kayaking on the dam…


The Birthday girl...Happy happy Melissie...

The Birthday girl…Happy happy Melissie…


Leila... Abby's cuddle bunny...

Leila… Abby’s cuddle bunny…


BRRRRR time to get warm by the fire...

BRRRRR time to get warm by the fire…

After a long afternoon in the dam it was time to light the fires …but first the cake, thanks to Jacques ….

CAKE!!

CAKE!!

While they light the fire whip out that lovely platter, open the ziplock bag, add the vinaigrette and give it a good shake…

Serve and enjoy…

No 24. oakv

I cannot think of anything nicer than a sleepover at the dam, the campfire, the tents and loads of fresh air..

No 26. oakv

No 1. oakv

And the best part, is to take the dogs for an early morning walk….

Taking Leila for an early morning walk...

Taking Leila for an early morning walk…

IMG_8160

And then, jump back into the tent, with wet muddy paws and cuddle till the sun bakes you out of the tent…

Sleepovers at the dam… memories for our children…I love it….

When only the best will do, white chocolate pots served with fresh fruit… The Princess turns 40 …. Part 2 of 2

The secret….. keep the servings as small as possible… two to three tablespoons only, and your guests will dream sweet dreams of smooth creamy melt in your mouth heaven….

This is the ideal dinner party dessert, quick and easy make in advance….

Easy and make in advance...

Easy, make in advance…

click on the link for the recipe card in PDF format White chocolate pots ………. RECIPE CARD

For the White chocolate pots you will need:
250 g crème fraiche
250 ml fresh cream
400g GOOD quality white chocolate (I use Lindt or Woolworths organic)
1 x small tub of granadilla pulp
1 x packet crushed nutti crust biscuits
Strawberries OR raspberries

Beautiful strawberries

Beautiful strawberries

Crush the nutti crust biscuits until fine.

For jars, add 2 x tablespoons and for espresso cups, add 1 x tablespoon of fine nutti crust biscuits to each jar/cup.

Slowly mix the cream and crème fraiche until well combined (not whipped). Slowly heat the cream/crème fraiche mixture until near bubbling point. Take off the heat, add the finely chopped chocolate and slowly stir until melted, velvety and smooth.

Make sure you use only the very best white chocolate you can find..

Make sure you use only the very best white chocolate you can find..

Fill the jars or espresso cups with the melted white chocolate mixture, make sure you only fill them maximum half way, or less….

Don't over fill

Don’t over fill

Refrigerate until needed….

If you use strawberries, slice them into quarters and stir in the Granadilla pulp, refrigerate and add to the cups before serving. If you use raspberries, top the jars just before serving with the raspberries and spoon over some of the granadilla pulp.

While I topped the espresso cups, the girls got ready for a quick family shot..

Time for a quick family shot...

Time for a quick family shot…

Just lovely I think..

Just lovely I think..

We served the white chocolate espresso cups as part of a cheese platter… it looked beautiful and decadent and was a great end to an even greater evening…

Dust with icing sugar..

Dust with icing sugar..

The cheese platter with White Chocolate espresso cups

The cheese platter with White Chocolate espresso cups

I use the small jars with a lid for a sweet surprise at a picnic, see the pic below… at the Paul Cluver Amphitheatre. I cannot wait for this year’s summer concerts under the stars in the forest… pure magic…

Picnic dessert jars...

Picnic dessert jars…

Evie, the lucky recipient of a White Chocolate Jar at the Paul Cluver Amphitheatre...

Evie, the lucky recipient of a White Chocolate Jar at the Paul Cluver Amphitheatre…

Come on summer!!

Let the countdown begin to this year's summer concerts...

Let the countdown begin to this year’s summer concerts…

Crunchy on top Bran Muffins at the Tip of Africa endurance ride…

After a failed “first attempt” last year to join Evelyn at the Tip of Africa Endurance ride, I made it there this year… Horses, greener than green fields with bright yellow canola fields, prettier than that you cannot get. Horses, let me say this right here, I am a bit scared of horses, but with my camera between me and them I have no fear…

Early morning before the start of the ride at Bredasdorp Megapark

Early morning before the start of the ride at Bredasdorp Megapark

I’ve decided to treat the “horsey girls” with something nice and decided to bake these yummy bran muffins. A recipe that’s been in my “to try” file for nearly 3 years. And I had to keep myself busy with something as being part for the “groom” team I was not really planning to get close to the horses.

Evelyn whispering lovely words of encouragement to Asha..

Evelyn whispering lovely words of encouragement to Asha..

These muffins are really great and worth a try. I took lovely jam and cheese with, and it was not necessary, they are great as is…. The recipe makes at least 40 – 50 medium size muffins and they will last for up to 4 days in a sealed Tupperware container. The raw mixture can also be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days for daily fresh muffins.

Maya "the best dressed groom"...

Maya “the best dressed groom”…

For the Crunchy on top Bran Muffins you will need:
3 and 3/4 cup digestive bran
1 and 1/2 cup boiling water
1 and 1/4 cup canola oil
5 Jumbo eggs
2 and 1/2 cup brown sugar
5 cups normal cake flour
3 and 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 packet dates (the hard block type)
3/4 cup soft dried cranberries (optional)
3/4 cup walnuts (optional)
1 cup sultanas or raisins
3 and 1/2 cup milk
(extra brown sugar for on top of the raw muffins)

CLICK on THIS link for a printable recipe card<a Crunchy on top, moist Bran Muffins ………. RECIPE CARD

Add the Bicarbonate of soda over the chopped dates, cover with half of the boiling water.

In a LARGE bowl mix the digestive bran with the other half of the boiling water and let it rest for 10 minutes. Add the oil, eggs, sugar, and mix by hand after adding each ingredient.

Add the salt and flour alternating with the milk. Add the chopped dates and sultanas, soft cranberries and walnuts and allow the mixture to REST overnight in the fridge. This is very important as the dates needs to soften.

Bake in a medium size muffin tin and fill nearly to the top. ADD half a teaspoon of brown sugar on top of each “raw” muffin.
This creates a crunchy top, just lovely. Bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes. Don’t over bake as it will dry out the muffins.

IMG_3978

And off they go…

Early morning start to the Tip of Africa 2013 endurance ride

Early morning start to the Tip of Africa 2013 endurance ride

Now it is time for the “grooms” to jump in their “4×4 bakkies” and believe me we did need it on the slippery farm roads, and meet the riders at the first “Vet check”…Prinskraal Farm between Bredasdorp and Arniston.

No 33. tip

Prinskraal, a beautiful farm on the gravel road connecting Arniston and Struisbaai… strangely I’ve driven past this farm so many times before, and never thought I will visit it one day with a lovely picnic table on the green fields..

Keeping our spot...

Keeping our spot…

Finding the “right” spot was very important as the riders needs to rest and “re-fuel” before they can continue the ride to the beach…

Abby, the young groom in making...

Abby, the young groom in making…

Abby really wanted to come with me and I am so glad I allowed her to, she LOVED every moment of being with the horses.

The table...

The table…

I had to keep myself busy, ….

And then they came in… busy busy and lots of stress, the heart rates needs to come down,and rest before they can continue with the next loop…

No 43. tip

Stones End port… just what we needed in the very cold and wet conditions, next year we will bring a box , not just one bottle… it was a really nice port…

Stones End Port

Stones End Port

What I LOVED about this day was the “differentness” of it all… the visual mind blowing scenery with the yellow canola fields, the strangeness of being so close to lots of horses, meeting GREAT people and just a couple of girls having lots of fun.

Meeting lots of new and interesting people...

Meeting lots of new and interesting people…

and then it rained…. no it poured ….. so the “grooms” had to take shelter..

Grooms taking shelter

Grooms taking shelter

And here they come again...

And here they come again…

On these endurance rides the horses are everything…. they really get pampered and cuddled…

Evelyn and her beautiful Asha

Evelyn and her beautiful Asha

And Abby, she also made friends…

No 62. tip

And off they go again, back to Bredasdorp Megapark…. a bit of stress, heart rates needs to come down yet again , a stressful VET check , and then it is all over…

Maya taking the last heart rate check

Maya taking the last heart rate check

We did not want to go home, …….

WE had to stop along the road to find a “horse” for Abby to ride in next year’s Tip of Africa endurance tide.

No 67. tip

No 68. tip

And next year, WE WILL BE BACK… I will have to start thinking what to cook for the girls, the one thing I know is that I will take lots of Stones End Port….

Scotch eggs, a roadtrip picnic, the Magical Tankwa Tented camp, a wedding and so much more…

A road trip to the Tankwa Karoo and the Magical Tankwa Tented camp will not be complete without something profound like “scotch eggs” and a picnic breakfast on the flat Tankwa “vlakte”……

I’ve been wanting to visit the Tankwa Tented Camp for a couple of years, and grabbed the opportunity for a quick 24 hour in and out to take venue pics for our host at the Tankwa Tented Camp, Henk van Niekerk, after a very late night invite one Friday evening, over a pizza, at their restaurant Bodemloos Kombuis in Elgin.

The Tankwa Tented Camp is situated 150 km from Ceres towards Calvinia…. a very long tyre eating gravel road.

Many stops along the way...

Many stops along the way…

For the Scotch Eggs you will need:
Desired amount of eggs, small size, room temperature
1.5 flavoured pork sausages (bangers) per egg
2 raw eggs mixed with salt and pepper
fine bread crumbs
2 – 3 cups of canola or sunflower oil

Click on this link for a printable recipe cardScotch Eggs ………. RECIPE CARD

The eggs – add the room temperature eggs to the water and bring to the boil, boil for 3 minutes from when the water start to boil. Crack the shell and rest in cold water for a couple of minutes. (I prefer to use the oldest eggs in my fridge as they peel easier)

Peel the eggs, you want them as soft as possible. Dry the peeled eggs, this will help the meat stick onto them.

Flatten the meatball in your hand...

Flatten the meatball in your hand…

Push the pork meat out of the sausages and shape into meatballs, use the meat of 1.5 sausages per meatball. Press the meatball flat in the palm of your hand and put the dry cooked egg on top of the flat meatball.

It is important to use flavourful sausages, I use Oak Valley Pork Sausages with peppadews and rosemary. You can also add capers ect to normal pork bangers to add to the flavour.

Wrap the egg in the sausage meatball

Wrap the egg in the sausage meatball

Close your hand and shape the meatball around the egg, don’t panic, the sausage meat will feel sticky, don’t stress, work with both hands and keep on pressing the meat around the egg, it will come together at the end…

Keep on working the meat to cover the egg..

Keep on working the meat to cover the egg..

Carefully place the meat covered egg on a plate, prepare all the eggs. Brush the eggs with the beaten raw egg, brush both sides, work carefully. Roll the eggs in fine breadcrumbs and let them rest in the fridge.

Brush the meatball covered eggs with beaten egg.

Brush the meatball covered eggs with beaten egg.

I prefer to rest the prepared eggs in the fridge until just before we leave the house, these eggs I fried while we packed the car at 4 in the morning.

NO 7. tankwa scotch eggs.jpg

Use a wok if you have one, it will use less oil and works well, the eggs should be covered halfway with oil. Slowly fry the crumbed eggs as you want the meat to cook and the crumbs not to turn too brown.

Lovely light brown scotch eggs...

Lovely light brown scotch eggs…

I drained the excess oil and transported the freshly fried scotch eggs wrapped in foil. Ready of our very early morning breakfast in the Tankwa Vlakte…. It was COLD, luckily we had steaming mugs of coffee to warm our hands…

Our Tankwa picnic table..

Our Tankwa picnic table..

Serve the Scotch Eggs cut in half, with course salt and black pepper, and don’t forget the tin mugs of steaming coffee to warm your hands.

Me and my photo buddy, Evelyn Rust, always game for lots of adventure

Me and my photo buddy, Evelyn Rust, always game for lots of adventure

After breakfast we stopped at the Tankwa Padstal, (a small café between nowhere and nothing). You have to stop here, it is a real treasure chest.

Thanks for the Pic Evie...

Thanks for the Pic Evie…

Tankwa Padstal décor...

Tankwa Padstal décor…

Our destination, THE TANKWA TENTED CAMP, in the Stonehenge Nature Reserve. With an annual rainfall of +/- 80 mm it’s one of the driest areas in South Africa.

Fellow road users.. locals on their way to the Tankwa Padstal for their weekly shopping

Fellow road users.. locals on their way to the Tankwa Padstal for their weekly shopping

The Tankwa Karoo is BEAUTIFUL no picture can really do it justice, it is covered with black stones as far as the eye can see…. nearly pre-historic…

Nearly there..

Nearly there..

After 150 km’s from Ceres, turn right….

The wedding venue at the Tankwa Tented Camp

The wedding venue at the Tankwa Tented Camp

We were invited to take a couple of pics for Henk of the “wedding venue” at the Tankwa Tented Camp, little did we know what we will find in this barren piece of land… it was beautiful, …. dreamlike and unreal…

What a VENUE...

What a VENUE…

Surprises for the guests...

Surprises for the guests…

This venue is magical, different as can be and stunningly beautiful….

We had a wonderful evening, running around in the dark taking pics for Henk and Maryke….

Lazy bones Evelyn... sleeping on the "veranda" under the stars and waking up to the smell of coffee...

Lazy bones Evelyn… sleeping on the “veranda” under the stars and waking up to the smell of coffee…

And then… Henk surprised us with a sneak peak at this years Africa Burn statues…. just +/- 3 km from the camp….

No words can describe the hugeness of this wooden man…

An early morning surprise visit to the Africa Burn site..

An early morning surprise visit to the Africa Burn site..

Thanks to Henk and Maryke for giving us a sneak peak into this new wonderful wedding venue… we liked our 24 hours so much that we’ve decided to book a full weekend in two weeks time…..

So off we go again, I cannot wait…

NO 19. tankwa scotch eggs.jpg

And to the 3 TANKWA girls joining me next weekend, we are going to have a ball…. Ann I expect scotch eggs with herbs…

Pressed Chocolate Ganache cake with raspberries…… and Elvis Blue….

Summer concerts at The Paul Cluver Amphitheatre….. picnic….. Elvis Blue…..

Arrive early...

Arrive early…

The gates open at 17:00, we usually arrive at 5 to make sure we get a good spot. Then picnic till 19:00 and a supercool summer concert from 19:00 – 21:00….

No 8. elvis b

Bring your own picnic, or buy sushi or pizzas there….. buy wine and glasses from the Paul Cluver drinks stand at the concert….

The open air amphitheatre...

The open air amphitheatre…

I’ve decided to make this very visual and ultra yummy “pressed” chocolate cake with ganache for the picnic, and added some chocolate dipped strawberries and white chocolate coated fresh cherries.

I did not “capture” the baking of the cake, but this is a REALLLLLY easy recipe, on lazy days I don’t even take out the electric mixer,…. just mix it by hand….

FOR THE RECIPE CARD CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW>>>>
Flat pressed Chocolate Cake and Elvis Blue………. RECIPE CARD

Picnic prep...

Picnic prep…

"pressing" the warm cake flatter...

“pressing” the warm cake flatter…

“Pressed” chocolate cake, once cooked, you press down onto the warm cake with a baking tray. Put 2 or 3 plates on top of the tray for extra pressure and let it cool… this will create a dense gooooey “flat” cake, nearly like a brownie that can easily be cut into blocks, +/- 4cm by 4cm…..

The FINALE......

The FINALE……

These cake blocks are very VISUAL, you can also use fresh strawberries or fresh cherries…

PRESENTATION....

PRESENTATION….

Me and Evie... stocking up on some liquid refreshments..

Me and Evie… stocking up on some liquid refreshments..

No 25. elvis b

What fun we've had... picnic... and running around taking hundreds of pictures...

What fun we’ve had… picnic… and running around taking hundreds of pictures…

The Concert.... and ELVIS BLUE...

The Concert…. and ELVIS BLUE…

The "girls"....having a blast...

The “girls”….having a ball…

The beautiful amphitheatre at night...

The beautiful amphitheatre at night…

And the older "girls" ...... also had lottttts of fun....

And the older “girls” …… also had lottttts of fun….

And the "litttttle" girls.... did not want to bath for a couple of nights...

And the “litttttle” girls…. did not want to bath for a couple of nights…

Thanks to The Paul Cluver Amphitheatre for yet another super stunning summer concert….. I cannot wait for the next one….

Quick picnic cake… summer evenings at the dam

I love the picnic’s Mandy arrange for us on the farm, always on short notice as the weather needs to be picture perfect…. always a challenge for me to throw together something “different” to take along…

Last Friday was no different, the invite arrived at 11 in the morning, I baked this lovely quick cake over my lunch hour, went back to work till 16:30, iced the cake and arrived for our picnic at 17:30. Always up for a challenge, and loving every second of it…

We usually have a large sandy “beach”, but due to changing dam levels our “beach” was underwater….

Shallow water perfect for the kids...

Shallow water perfect for the kids…

For the quick picnic cake you will need:
No 22. friday at the dam slap bang cake
CAKE:
335g cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons vanilla
185g softened butter
220g castor sugar
3 large free-range eggs
3/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper. Sift flour, baking powder, add softened butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla and milk. Mix until smooth and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown. Turn out and cool.

For the icing you will need:

No 14. friday at the dam slap bang cake

350g sifted icing sugar
80g white woodenspoon margarine
1t vanilla
Ripe cherries or raspberries or…

Whip the sifted icing sugar and softened margarine with the vanilla until light and fluffy. Spread over the cooled cake, cut into 5cm x 5cm blocks and decorate with red ripe cherries or raspberries…

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW FOR A PRINTABLE pdf RECIPE CARD:
Quick picnic cake… RECIPE CARD

Very late afternoon swimming in the liquid gold of the farm dam...

Very late afternoon swimming in the liquid gold of the farm dam…

And when it get’s too dark it is time for drying at the warmth of the fire with a thick slice of soft freshly baked cake…

Drying at the fire..

Drying at the fire..

No 24. friday night at the dam slap bang cake

CAKE PLEASE!!!

CAKE PLEASE!!!

We first have cake and then what is on offer from the braai…..

Driftwood braai next to the dam...

Driftwood braai next to the dam…

These summer evenings at the dam usually turns into a visual feast for my camera… the sun setting over the liquid gold water and the fire’s reflections over the water, and then it is time to pack out the battery operated fairy lights for soft light around the fire..

Liquid melted gold...

Liquid melted gold…

Creating memories for our children..

Evenings like this will create memories in our children's minds that will stay with them forever...

Evenings like this will create memories in our children’s minds that will stay with them forever…

Nicole, reading with the fairy lights... maybe it is time to go home.. as the walk back to the vehicles will be dark...

Nicole, reading with the fairy lights… maybe it is time to go home.. as the walk back to the vehicles will be dark…

The walk back to the car will be dark… wonder what we will forget at the water’s edge…. most likely some shoes, towels ect….

I CANNOT WAIT FOR OUR NEXT FRIDAY PICNIC…