Monday, February 28, 2011

Egg Free Cupcakes

Over the weekend we catered for a fabulous 16th Birthday Party with a Neon theme. Nadja (the birthday girl) and her mom Lorraine were great clients, but they had one request that made us LekkerBekke quiver in our aprons – Eggless Cupcakes!

Most bakers we know have given up on baking without eggs, but we had to give it a shot and we were thrilled with the results! ideas food magazine published a special ‘Health(ier) Options’ in February, and that is who we credit for this recipe. Thanks to Michelle Mitrovic for letting Nadja have her cake and eat it!

We ♥ Themed Parties 

For those of you that ever need to bake Eggless Cupcakes or Cake, here is the recipe:

Chocolate Cup Cakes
MAKES: about 14 Cup Cakes
PREP TIME: 30 Minutes
COOKING TIME: 25 Minutes

750ml Flour
170ml Cocoa Powder
10ml Bicarbonate of Soda
500ml White Sugar
250ml Sunflower Oil
20ml Vanilla Essence
20ml White Vinegar
5ml Salt
500ml Cold Water

100ml Soft Butter
500ml Icing Sugar, sifted
A few drops food colouring of your choice
Sprinkles of your choice

Sift the dry ingredients together with salt in a mixing bowl.
Mix the oil, vanilla and water in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Then add the vinegar and mix well again.
Immediately pour the mixture into a cup cake pan lined with cup cake papers and bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. (or until a cake tester comes out clean)
Leave to cool.

Beat the butter until soft and stir in the icing sugar.
Add a few drops of water if the mixture is too dry.
Add a few drops of colouring until you get your desired shade.
Beat well.
Spread or pipe the icing onto your cooled cup cakes.
Decorate with colourful sprinkles.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

WA! Beer

An exciting project has been brewing (literally!) over the past few weeks. My brother and fiancé found themselves a home brewing kit to make their own beer… Sure, this is something that most males have fantasised about doing (as beer drinking is a national sport in South Africa), but very few of them get around to actually doing it. But these two did!

To our utter delight (and might I add surprise) they served up the first batch this past weekend – and it was delicious! Admittedly I expected it to taste ‘funny’, but truthfully it really tasted like beer!

They have aptly named it WA! Beer (The W for Wiets and the A for Arne) J, and they number each and every bottle individually, never to be repeated. The next step is to design a label for our new family beer – so watch this space!

The finished product – yum!

It’s all very scientific!

Just finished bottling the first batch.

The individually numbered caps.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Anthony Bourdain: Andanté is a fan!

Image by Brendan Corr

I recently bought three Anthony Bourdain books during a second-hand bookstore shopping spree, and having finished Kitchen Confidential, and half way through The Nasty Bits I can officially say that I’m a fan. His writing (and hosting) is honest, gritty and descriptive – all about food and the culinary world, with no holding back!

He has my dream job: Travel. Eat. Talk. And he does it well, really well. I came across this Forbes article about him and thought I’d introduce this charismatic Chef/TV Host/Writer to my fellow LekkerBekke if you’re not already a fan Click here to read more about him.

Image by Melanie Dunea for her My Last Supper book.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fig Tarte Tatin

The soon-to-be parents in law have a massive Fig Tree in their garden, and since fig season is almost over, we just had to make use of the summer’s last offerings.

This tart is sweet and buttery – perfect as a desert for friends after a dinner party, or ideal as an utter indulgence with your loved one on Valentine’s…

*You will need an oven proof frying pan (about 20cm across the bottom and 28cm across the top) for this recipe.

Fig Tarte Tatin (Upside Down Fig Tart)
Serves 8

You will need
20 Small Green Figs, peeled and halved (use as many as is necessary to cover the base of the pan)
1 Roll Puff Pastry
100g Butter
150g White Sugar

How to make it
Roll out the puff pastry on a cool lightly floured surface in one direction (handle as little as possible), and cut the pastry slightly bigger than the diameter of your pan. Refrigerate. 
Melt the butter over a low heat in your oven proof pan.
Sprinkle over the sugar to coat the base evenly.
Arrange the figs sliced side down on top of the sugar until the base is covered.
Cook the figs on a stove top for about 20 minutes until they are a deep golden colour and nicely caramelised. Don’t stir; just shake the pan every so often.
Allow to cool.
Pre-heat oven to 220°C.
Gently place the pastry over the figs and tuck in the sides.
Bake until the pastry has risen and becomes a golden brown colour. About 35 minutes.
Allow the tart to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.
Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pastry to dislodge any stuck bits.
Hold your serving dish/plate over the pan, hold the pan firmly at the base and flip to allow the tart to ‘fall’ onto your plate.

Serve warm.

  • We like the Puff pastry from Woolworths – it is very buttery though, so refrigerate all you can and handle as little as you can.
  • If you don’t have fresh figs, use gooseberries, apples or pears.
  • You can serve it with Whipped Cream or Ice Cream if you’d like.

Friday, February 4, 2011

O My Chocolaty Greatness!

This cake is not only made with real chocolate and covered in real chocolate… 
it is adorned with Dark Chocolate Truffles too!


This cake and more delights for Valentine’s: