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…

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Quick chocolate fudge… at Rietfontein Private Nature Reserve…. part 2 of 3

As we all move towards less sugar and healthier lifestyles I find it more and more difficult to find dessert recipes that my guests will actually eat and enjoy…

So my thinking plan for the moment is to go “smaller” …. and only offer a couple of bites of sweetness, cut as small as possible….. and I have difficulty with this BUT to always offer JUST enough.. so that everyone yearns for more…

At Rietfontein we woke the house up to the smell of melting chocolate…

2. riet

You will need
4 x cups chopped dark chocolate
2 x tablespoons butter
1/2 x tin sweetened condensed milk (1 tin for truffle filling)
1 x teaspoon vanilla

Line a small size pan with grease proof paper, fold the edges neatly and flat and grease with spray and cook.

Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a glass bowl hanging over a pot of just boiled water, taken off the stove. Make sure the glass bowl does not touch the water.

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Once melted stir to incorporate the butter and add the condensed milk and vanilla.

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Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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While the chocolate sets we all went for a walk to explore the beautiful rocks at Rietfontein…

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Nothing like a bit of exercise before our long lazy lunch

Nothing like a bit of exercise before our long lazy lunch

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And then as we got to the top of the hill… we ran back to the house… bushman paintings can wait till tomorrow morning as now it is lunch and gin time!

After a delicious lunch on the Rietfontein front stoep it was time to cut the chocolate fudge… into small small little blocks…

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And then it was time to pull blankets and pillows outside for a much needed rest..

56. riet

To follow in part 3… Shannon’s slow roasted deboned pork neck and honey butter apples…

Christmas wreath, teatime treat…

Christmas…. Whip up this quick and easy very visual Christmas tea time treat, serve it anytime from now till Christmas and spread some Christmas magic.

Some years we have a “big” Christmas and other years we tone it down a bit… and even with a “toned down” Christmas, this delicious tea time treat will put big smiles around you….

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Printable PDF recipe cardChristmas wreath teatime treat…. RECIPE CARD

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For the Teatime wreath you will need:

1 x roll of good quality puff pastry
1/3 cup apricot jam
+/-300g Glaze luxury fruit mix
OR luxury fruitcake mix
handful flaked almonds
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange

For the Icing:
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

1 x egg mixed in a cup for brushing

To serve…. luke warm custard…

Defrost the puff pastry overnight in your fridge or for +/- 2 hours at room temperature.

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In advance:

Open the pastry on a flat surface on a clean tea towel, do not roll out flatter. Spread the jam evenly over the full area of the puff pastry sheet. Scatter the Glaze fruit mix evenly over the pastry sheet, leaving +/- 2cm’s on all sides.

Grate the lemon and orange zest over the glaze fruit mix and add the almonds. At this stage anything else can be added, I think of maybe orange peel, slices for preserved green figs…. endless but optional.

5. christmas wreath

Roll up “swiss roll size” from the longer side, using the tea towel to assist with the rolling. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Before serving:

Remove the clingwrap. Grease your baking tray, position a 6 – 8 cm tin in the middle of your baking tray to assist in packing the circle. Cut 3cm thick slices of the pastry roll and arrange around the tin, once done, remove the tin and brush the pastry ring with a little bit of beaten egg. Bake at 180 degrees until golden brown, not too dark.

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Remove the baking tray from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes, slide the wreath off the baking tray onto a pretty flat platter and drizzle with the icing sugar/ lemon juice mixture from +/- 30 cm’s high… if the icing sugar mixture is too thick add a bit more lemon juice.

Serve luke warm with custard…… Christmas perfection!

No 13. christmas day

This wreath looks, smells and taste pure CHRISTMAS MAGIC!

Even the frogs needs a bit of Christmas warmth...

Even the frogs needs a bit of Christmas warmth…

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.

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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….

Crimplene Pudding at the De Hoop Nature Reserve, and a fathers day concert on the dunes..

I now wonder why I have not visited the De Hoop Nature Reserve before, it is a real outdoor experience with lots of class, a photographic paradise and lots lots more….

We visited the De Hoop Nature Reserve during the Fathers day long weekend in June, and stayed at the De Hoop Village. It is not often that you walk into a self catering cottage and am completely blown away by the high standard and quality of the unit, white puffy duvets, a fully equipped kitchen with lovely crockery, platters and bowls, (yes that is what’s important to me), a beautifully set table and views that goes on forever… and when you open the back door, you see Bontebok grazing in your back yard.

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Our lovely De Hoop Village cottage

Our lovely De Hoop Village cottage

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Hans, Carey and Isabella joined us for the weekend, and sorry guys but I just need to post this pic to explain the friendship…

A special friend...

A special friend…

Hans was on “food duty” on Saturday night and cooked up a storm to impress the “blog girl” with his food… Hans from now on you are on permanent “food duty” whenever we go away together…

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Hans had lists, printed recipes and loads of ingredients… and Thyme… in a tin, yes you add water and it still needs to grow…. Hans, that was very funny… we should have started the process and left the “herb garden in a tin” in the kitchen windowsill for the next guests.

Thyme in a tin, oeps it still needs to grow...

Thyme in a tin, oeps it still needs to grow…

And the “baby potato” mash, not sure if it was meant to be baby potato’s, but it showed us the strong friendship bond you share with Bruce, as he got up and without giving you “lip”, helped you peel the little baby potatoes for the mash.

The lovely “laid back” dinner served by Hans and Carey… I am impressed… Oven roasted salmon on herby mash with roasted baby tomatoes and a homemade vinaigrette.

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Bruce's happy dance while Hans cooks our dinner...

Bruce’s happy dance while Hans cooks our dinner…

Fathers day started with a 3.5 km Vlei walk, with a couple of moans from the little ones but it was beautiful, a floral and fynbos explosion, birders paradise, lots of buck and a stunning view over the “Vlei”.

The 3.5 km Vlei walk..

The 3.5 km Vlei walk..

Hans Carey and Isabella

Hans Carey and Isabella

A nice view of "die melkkamer" accommodation

A nice view of “die melkkamer” accommodation

Fathersday fun

Fathersday fun

I was in charge of the fathers day lunch, a slow roasted leg of lamb with baby potatoes, sweet pumpkin fritters, roast vegetables and pesto tomatoes…
No 45. de hoop

And for dessert, I thought I need something traditional, and what better than a delicious dessert from my new cookbook, HALFAAMPIESKRAAL CELEBRATES, the Crimplene Pudding….. we will visit Halfaampieskraal later this year in September..

It is important to select the correct serving dish for this dessert, either a flat serving platter or individual clear glass bowls…. I could not find a clear glass platter, and stopped in Bredasdorp at a lovely pottery shop and found this beautiful white platter with a light blue protea print, just perfect for De Hoop.

My Mothersday gift and my new Cookbook, a beautiful book...

My Mothersday gift and my new Cookbook, a beautiful book…

For the Crimplene Pudding you will need:

half tin condensed milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
125g cream cheese (a soft type)
1 large bottle or 2 small tins guavas in syrup
some water
1/2 tablespoon custard powder
1 x readymade swiss roll thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of icing sugar
Click on THIS link for a printable recipe card in PDF format:Cimplene pudding ………. RECIPE CARD

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Line the serving platter with thinly sliced swiss roll. Mix the condensed milk, lemon juice and cream cheese until smooth and spread over the layered swiss roll slices.

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Add 150 ml water to a saucepan with the juice from the guavas and the custard powder, simmer until thickened and let it cool.

Layer the guava halves onto the cream cheese mixture and pour the cooled custard mixture over the guavas. Refrigerate for +/- 2 hours. Serve with dusted icing sugar.

Emma liked it with loads of custard...

Emma liked it with loads of custard…

After lunch it was time to visit the De Hoop Dune area and beach, the De Hoop Nature reserve is one of the best coastal areas to view whales from June to December each year. It is a marine reserve and a World Heritage Site. The high dunes gives a great viewpoint for spectacular whale sighting. We will be coming back in early November to walk the five day Whale Trail, and after our short visit I know it’s going to be whale watching paradise.

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The children decided to surprise the “dads” on Fathers day with a concert on the dunes with the whales flapping in the background. It was stunning with the sun setting in the distance, magic hour, with the sky turning from blue to any colour pink you can imagine and the violin stings playing on the dunes…

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The surprise Fathersday concert...

The surprise Fathersday concert…

Thanks to Hans, Carey and Isabella for a great weekend,… I now cannot wait for our five day De Hoop Whale Trail walk in November… and we will be back to try out all the other cottages in the De Hoop Collection..

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Velvety quick MILK TART and BUNNY MASKS, Part 1 of 3……. Easter at Bosbokfontein Nature Reserve

EASTER AT BOSBOKFONTEIN NATURE RESERVE!

38. Friday

The invite said “come and celebrate Easter in Stilbaai”, little did I know how magical this place would be, the house gave me the feeling of a HUGE pirate ship on the open ocean, all you can see looking out of the windows is the rolling ocean for 180 degrees, even from the loo window……

The view from the Stoep...

The view from the Stoep…

Menu planning for weekend’s away are easy, everyone gets a turn and it makes for easy packing and you only need to focus on 2 meals over 4 days, and every one was just nicer than the one before….

I will post 3 recipes in this EASTER Blogpost, the first will be a really easy velvety quick milk tart, then Evie’s baked pancakes filled with creamy chilli chicken livers and end with Shannon, the Princess’s smoked salmon tagialtelle….. I will also add templates for quick Easter fun for the kids, Bunny Masks, Black bunny silhouettes and flour bunny paw prints…

40. friday

For this Quick Milk Tart you will need:

3 x XL eggs
250 ml sugar
30 ml soft butter
250 ml cake flour
5 ml vanilla
5 ml baking powder
1 ml salt
1 l milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar mixed

Click on this link for a printable recipe card Velvety milk tart , quick and easy ………. RECIPE CARD

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a deep “lasagne dish” with butter. Cream the egg yolks, sugar and butter till pale and light yellow. Add the cake flour, baking powder and salt to the yolk mixture. Add 750ml of the milk and mix well.

39. Friday

Whisk the egg whites till stiff and fold into the remaining 250 ml milk. Add the egg white mixture to the yolk mixture and fold until combined, the mixture will look very runny.

Pour into the greased dish and bake at 180 degrees for 55 minutes until golden brown and slightly wobbly in the middle. Remove from the oven and dust with the cinnamon sugar. Cool for 1 hour 30 minutes and serve slightly warm but set.

41. Friday

After lunch it was time to hit the beach…. down the dunes and we have the beach to ourselves for as far as the eye can see….

Girlie time with a bottle of bubbles…

51. Friday

54. Friday

Late afternoon it was time to start making the Bunny Masks for the easter egg hunt on Sunday Morning…. A nice holiday craft for the kids. See template attached Easter Bunny Mask click on the blue “Easter bunny Mask” to open the template.

95. Saturday

Cut out the template and trace the outlines onto A4 White cardboard. Cut out.

96. Saturday

Cut out two smaller pink pieces to form the inside of the ears, and paste to the white mask. Glue around the pink area on the ears and around the eyes and stick cotton wool to the mask. Let it dry.

97. Saturday

Cut 30 cm long strips 5 cm’s wide out of white cardboard and stick to the left and right inside of the mask to form the bands around your head.

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Leave the 2 bands loose in order to fit it to size once you are ready to do your hunt, then stick the two banks together to size.

READY for our Easter Egg Hunt!

READY for our Easter Egg Hunt!

Not too sure who had the most fun, the adults or the kids…

123. Sunday

What a setting for an Easter Egg Hunt…. we’ve kept to the road and marked the eggs with black silhouette bunny’s, to follow in the next post…

126. sunday

The find…

115. Sunday

To follow…. Baked pancakes filled with chilli chicken livers and black bunny silhouettes….