Valrhona Chocolate Snowballs

Some leftover Italian Meringue and a plentiful supply of Valrhona Chocolate nibs makes a sweet treat out in the Stellenbosch Winelands today. I generally don’t like ‘messy food’ but every now and then a girl needs to be covered in molten chocolate and gooey meringue.

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Italian Meringue:

1 cup sugar
1 tbsp of glucose
4 egg whites
4 tsp water

Start by whipping the egg whites in a mixer. While this is going bring the sugar, glucose and water to a boil. Take to 120 degrees Celsius. When the egg whites are at stiff peak slowly pour in the sugar mix. Be careful of splatter! Continue beating till the mixture is cold. You now have a meringue that is stable and you can store in the freezer for future use.

To make the snowballs mix in good quality chocolate pieces and place a dollop of the mix on a prepared baking tray. Bake until the meringue starts to feel like its hardening. It won’t set like a normal meringue! About twenty minutes at 110 degrees Celsius.

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How to write a new menu without losing your mind

I find that coming up with new menu ideas or totally new dishes for that matter shares a striking similarity to blogging. It either just happens or it doesn’t. When I try to force things I inevitably end up browsing Facebook or googling something totally inane. And don’t even get me started on doing it the ‘right way’ and sitting down at a table. It’s just not going to happen. I had a very practical office set up in our spare bedroom, and that has since become a highly unorganized storage space.

how to write a menu

All I need and want is the cushy comfort of my bed, a few dogs spread in-between local and international trade magazines, my favorite cookbooks, my latest cookbooks and laptop.

Now to just deal with all the lovelies at my disposal. Happiness faster than you can say quail and charcuterie.

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But why is the coffee always finished?

Koeksisters for grandma

Spring might (technically) be here, but I am still in full winter mode. Whether it’s the fact that at noon on a Sunday I am still in bed with the new additions to my cook book collection, the latest Taste magazine and a cup of coffee, I will still refer to it as being Winter. And as such I’m looking for recipes for my winter favorites.

I’m on a bit of a tangent since the only things I want to make at the moment are rusks, koeksisters and biscuits.
Anyone with a granny worth their weight in Maldon probably has ‘the best recipe ever’ for one of the above mentioned. My grandma definitely knew how to make koeksisters and she always seemed to do just that when I was growing up. That was the fun part of my gran (besides being the most awesome grandma in the whole wide world). Her house was about twenty meters away from our’s on the farm. A quick hop and skip beneath two magnificent Oak trees and in through the kitchen door I’d attempt to help her plait the dough ready for the hot oil. This wasn’t the easiest thing for me back then, having the attention span of a ‘miggie’ once they came out of the syrup.
These days it’s a lot more discipline even though I still can’t wait for the cookies to cool before eating one.

Luckily, going through all these recipes prove to be almost as satisfying as a fresh buttery biscuit.

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“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”