Greetings everyone! And a
special welcome to all the new subscribers! Why not ask your email contacts if they
don't want to subscribe as
New subscribers and everyone else, get your freebie at the
freebie section below. The
freebie is part of my chocolate theme for this letter. Scroll down to the
recipes section for some decadent chocolate recipes!
Most of my
newsletters contain downloadable freebies, if you missed out on previous
ones, go to the Archive and
download those you missed.
Just to let
everyone know that I reserve the right to use anything that arrives in my
email inbox either on my website or in my newsletter, unless it clearly
states that I am not allowed to do so.
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I happened to find this really nice
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Following with thanks from Brian at
low flying biscuits
I’m delighted to see that in the midst of all our financial woes there are
still people prepared to spend their money to research the more important
things in life. Research company Mindlab International were commissioned
by Rocky, a chocolate biscuit bar, to conduct research concerning the
health threat to British adults from popular biscuits. A table of 15
generic types of biccy was formulated whose potential dangers were
calculated by The Biscuit Injury Threat Evaluation, BITE. These were not
health risks caused by consuming too many sweet confections.
An estimated 25 MILLION adults have been injured while eating during a tea
or coffee break - with at least 500 landing themselves in hospital, the
survey revealed. The custard cream biscuit was found to be the worse
offender to innocent drinkers. Hidden dangers included flying fragments
and being hurt while dunking in scalding tea through to the more strange
such as people poking themselves in the eye with a biscuit or having
fallen off a chair reaching for the tin. One man even ended up stuck in
wet concrete after wading in to pick up a stray biscuit. It found almost a
third of adults said they had been splashed or scalded by hot drinks while
dunking or trying to fish the remnants of a collapsed digestive. It also
revealed 28 per cent had choked on crumbs while one in 10 had broken a
tooth or filling biting a biscuit. More unusually, three per cent had
poked themselves in the eye with a biscuit and seven per cent bitten by a
pet or "other wild animal" trying to get their biscuit. In the interests
of ensuring you have a relatively safe tea break today here are the
biscuits to avoid.
The full list of riskiest biscuits:
Custard Cream 5.64
Choc Biscuit Bar (eg: Rocky) 4.12
Rich Tea 3.45
Oat Biscuit 3.31
Ginger Nut 2.99
Caramel Shortcake 2.76
Nice Biscuit 2.27
Iced Biscuits/Party Rings 2.16
Chocolate Finger 1.38
Jaffa Cakes 1.16
"The World awaits - Go Explore!!"
For competitive quotes on all your travel
012 425 1000 (option 3) Alicia
103 Club avenue
PO Box 35580
086 592 1311
Waterkloof Heights shopping centre
Mirna is an educational
psychologist from Stellenbosch. She taught at several schools,
amongst others Stellenbosch High School, Bloemhof Girls’ High and Jan
Kriel School for learners with barriers to learning. She is a mother,
loves art, the ocean and children.
You are welcome to comment or send
questions to her at
Part 1 - HOW PARENTS CAN SERVE
AS HOMEWORK CONSULTANTS (see
Part 2 - HOW PARENTS CAN SERVE
AS HOMEWORK CONSULTANTS
Today I complete the list of tips to help parents cope with homework
headaches within the OBE educational system.
8. Encourage your children to write down long term goals (related to class
requirements) on a calendar, short term goals (related to weekly
assignments, immediate tests and projects) on a schedule or “goals” sheet,
and daily goals (related to homework and study tasks) on a “to do” list;
9. Encourage your children to relate new information to their affinity
areas, or topics/activities of high interest, to promote sustained
attention. For instance, when solving multiplication problems, help your
cricket fan relate the problem to runs per inning or buying hot dogs at
10. Encourage your children to recognize patterns. For instance, when
writing an essay, remind them of the structure used to write a previous
essay, or point out a keyword in a math word problem and ask what that
word meant for them to do in the last word problem;
11. Teach them to keep their working surface clean of trivia-many children
need to cultivate a taste for neatness; it’s not a natural instinct for
12. Help your child to brainstorm ideas and how to look at all the topics
before choosing one for an oral or essay. Very often success starts in
making a good choice of topic. Teach your child research and summary
skills. They need to grow in these skills so that they would be able to do
it independently eventually.
13. Teach your child to type. There are few skills as important today than
this. Private lessons or computer software can also help.
14. Provide work incentives. Children should learn that effort pays. They
come to believe that they can influence the outcome if they put enough
focused effort into it. Kids who believe that they CAN succeed will try
harder; which would increase their chances to succeed anyway;
15. Reinforce and praise output. Display and express abundant pride in
their results. Be proud of how she improves and how she works. Admire what
is now and stop saying: “But you can still do better …” Your true pride
and admiration will serve as enough motivation to continuously do better.
Pressure and negative talk might just stall their efforts; and
16. Reward productivity and not grades. A child should get special
recognition for handing in every assignment, working independently,
keeping to deadlines and reaching goals-not good grades.
IN TEACHING KIDS VALUABLE SKILLS; CONSISTENCY IS PARAMOUNT.
If it is to do their homework; then there should be consistent work time.
If it is to install new work habits; consistent reminders and practise of
those habits are vital.
These tips have been tried and tested. Children are not necessarily born
“clever”; they seem clever when they are taught clever tricks and they
consistently display beneficial habits. If these are not taught and
supported by their parents, they have a slim chance to ever be successful.
Blessings from heart to heart on your important task.
Next week I conclude on tips on how to be a homework consultant to your
children, until then -
Blessings from heart to heart.
S A Food and Goods all over the World
Click here to see a list of
countries and shops that sell S A goods. If you own a shop overseas that
sells SA stuff or if you know of one,
let me know and I will add it to the page
Come join me on
Facebook, my Facebook email is email@example.com
By Jerry Bailey - article from the Joburg.co.za
newsletter, click here to visit their website
Johannesburg has a very vibrant and fairly new past, with many colourful
characters. Two of these were Colonel John and Josephine Dale Lace. Josie,
as she was known, was my grandfather’s favourite customer but, complained
my grandmother, she never paid!
John was one of the Randlords, a speculator in mining shares and had taken
part in the Jamieson Raid. Josie had started out as an actress and, it is
believed, was the mistress of King Edward VII, and of the Second Baron
Grimthorpe, and had been proposed to by Cecil Rhodes. They commissioned
Herbert Baker [whose bust in the garden looks longingly towards the front
door] to build a house for them in Parktown, and the 40 room mansion
Northlands was the result – high on the Parktown ridge, looking north
forever. Here Josie arranged and hosted extravagant parties, entertaining
on a lavish and spectacular style. All was well until about 1908, when
John’s fortunes began to change. After a fire in the house in 1911 they
left, and had to adapt to a far more modest way of life.
One night, Josie was practising her role as Juliet on her balcony. In
response to her impassioned, “Romeo, Romeo,” a voice from the dark garden
responded, “Me not Romeo Missus. Me night-cart boy!” His job was to change
the sewerage buckets for the Council.
Most toilets, in those early days, were placed outside of the house –some
at a distance away. One night a lady was quietly occupied, when a sudden
draft made her aware that the rear flap had been opened. In response to
her exclamation of horror, a calm voice said, “Not worry. I wait.” History
does not record whether or not she worried, as he waited!
Those days were very different for most people. There was no electricity
so water was heated on coal stoves, and lamps had to be cleaned and filled
daily. Gardens were watered with buckets from the large rain water tanks.
Bath water was directed into the garden, but kitchen water went into a
slops tank that was emptied by the Council workers two or three times a
With no ‘fridges people depended on the ice-carts which came round. Large
blocks were bought and placed on top of wooden chests, where they dripped
down into a basin at the bottom. Because of the problems with dust, water
carts were drawn along the roads to dampen them. Children loved to follow
the carts and kick over the wet earth for the simple enjoyment of the
clean smell – and, of course, the water and the wet sand!
Many businesses would send out agents to collect orders, and the butcher,
grocer and bottle store reps were a common sight. In fact, even in the
late 1940s, the man from Thrupps would arrive at our home on his
motorcycle, and take our order over a cup of coffee in the kitchen. A few
years later this changed to their telephoning us, punctually, at a set
time on a set day, for the same purpose. The baker’s van called regularly,
and selected loaves were spiked with a nail at the end of a broomstick and
lofted out. The ‘Sammy’ with his truck festooned and laden with fruit and
vegetables also called, to bargain and supply what the garden did not
produce. Milk delivered in bottles, with flat cardboard seals, was rich
and creamy. We depended on them all.
In keeping with the chocolate theme,
right click here to
download a recipe eBook with Cadbury Recipes
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Never buy another recipe book again!
My Recipe CD has now been updated and now includes 55 Recipe eBooks
as well as 8 Bonus eBooks (4 eBooks on making, marketing and selling
crafts for profit)
to take a look. (that works out to about R2 per recipe book! sheessshhh!)
Just to let you know that I received my recipe CD today in the mail and
I'm over the moon about it. I'm going to spread the word to others to order copies
too. It's most certainly worth every cent..........
Glenacres Superspar Recipe
Glenacres Superspar sends out a
really nice newsletter full of super recipes. To subscribe,
click here and send the
Choc Nut Pears (yes, more chocolate!)
4 large, ripe, firm pears
50g dark chocolate
50g peanut brittle
250ml orange juice
1. Preheat oven to 180 ºC.
2. Halve pears at the bulge.
3. Scrape a little flesh out of the inside of each lid, set aside.
4. Scoop out pips and a bit of flesh – enough to make a 2 cm hollow from
5. Roughly chop chocolate and brittle – either by hand or in the food
processor - note they must be chopped separately or the brittle will end
up like glass
6. Fill each cavity with the mixture.
7. Replace pear lids and secure in place with a toothpick.
8. Pour orange juice into a baking pan.
9. Place pears in orange juice and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked
through but still firm.
Photo by Anna Eksteen
Click the image to see an enlargement
Don't be fooled by the comical trot or the
short-sighted and nervous disposition of this silent member of the pig
family. Behind the tusks and ugly wart-like lumps on its face lies a
tough and courageous spirit that has put wild dogs, cheetahs and even
formidable leopards to flight. (I've recently seen a video clip where
a warthog even made a lioness pay for having the nerve to attack it.
Probably the lioness attacked not out of the need to eat, but merely
out of playful curiosity, just because it happened to stumble upon the
pig, but the lioness made a bewildered and amusing retreat once the
warthog attacked back and struck her a number of times with those
A warthog is easily recognised as it trots through the veld with its
tail held erect, the warthog is a gregarious forager that uses the
upper surface of its snout as a spade, constantly digging for food in
the hardest soils. Going down on its front knees, which develop large,
protective calluses, the warthog keeps its nose to the ground as it
walks, rooting out bulbs and tubers.
Home to the warthog is the abandoned burrow of an aardvark, which it
uses as a place of refuge when predators are around. Enlarging or
modifying the burrow to suit its needs, a sow in season will line its
burrow with grass, creating a cosy nest for her litter.
When running for shelter, young warthogs will scamper into their
burrow head first, but adults do a remarkable about-turn at the
entrance and reverse in, so as to present their formidable tusks to an
Family groups, numbering between 5-10, avoid other warthogs that may
stray into their home ground, and maintain group contact with soft
Taken from: Animals of the Kruger Park and Lowveld - Heritage
Find your way around South Africa
With this really informative map, just click here:
The all-in-one official guide
and web portal to South Africa.
to my Afrikaans newsletter .
Afrikaans website. Recipes and freebie with each newsletter.
A blonde woman competed with a brunette and a redhead in the Breast
Stroke division of an English Channel swim competition. The redhead was a
Much, much, later, the blonde finally reached shore, completely exhausted.
After being revived with blankets and coffee, she muttered, "I don't want
to sound like a sore loser, but I think those other two girls used their
Our supermarket had a sale on boneless chicken breasts, and a woman I know
intended to stock up.
At the store, however, she was disappointed to find only a few skimpy pre
packed portions of the poultry,so she complained to the butcher.
"Don't worry lady," he said. "I'll pack some more trays and have them
ready for you by the time you finish shopping."
Several aisles later, my friend heard the butcher's voice boom over the
"Will the lady who wanted bigger breasts, please meet me at the back of the
Once upon a time, there were two guys who wanted to pick up women on a
One was Italian (Vito) and the other was Russian (Vladamir).
Vito had no problem picking up gorgeous women; he was the most popular guy
on the beach.
But Vladamir had no success.
Vladamir: "Vito! How do you do it?
How do you attract so many beautiful women?"
Vito: "Well, I'll tell ya! But it's a secret . . just between you and me.
I don't want my system to become too public."
Vladamir: "OK. Its a deal.
Vito: "You see those potatoes over there? Well, every time I come to the
beach I take one and put it in my Speedos. When the women see it they come
running from miles around."
Vladamir: "That's it? I can do that."
The next day, Vladamir went over to the produce stand and picked out the
biggest, most perfectly shaped potato he could find.
He then went into the changing room and slipped it into his Speedos.
As he walked out onto the beach,he immediately noticed that women AND men
began to take notice of him.
"Its working, he thought."
But soon he began to realize that they were not looking interested but
rather upset, almost disgusted by the sight of him.
He rushed over to Vito and asked
"Vito, what's the problem? Why isn't it working?"
Vito: "Because your supposed to put the potato in the front !!!"
A Burglar's Poem
A story I'll tell of a burglar bold
Who started to rob a house;
He opened the window, and then crept in
As quiet as a mouse.....
He looked around for a place to hide,
'Till the folks were all asleep,
Then said he, "With their money
I'll take a quiet sneak"
So under the bed the burglar crept;
He crept up close to the wall;
He didn't know it was an old maid's room
Or he wouldn't have had the gall.
He thought of the money that he would steal,
As under the bed he lay;
But at nine o'clock he saw a sight
That made his hair turn gray.
At nine o'clock the old maid came in;
"I am so tired", she said;
She thought that all was well that night
So she didn't look under the bed.
She took out her teeth and her big glass eye,
And the hair from off her head;
The burglar, he had forty fits
As he watched from under the bed.
From under the bed the burglar crept,
He was a total wreck;
The old maid wasn't asleep at all
And she grabbed him by the neck.
She didn't holler, or shout or call,
She was as cool as a clam;
She only said, "The Saints be praised,
At last I've got a man"
From under the pillow a gun she drew,
And to the burglar she said,
"Young man, if you don't marry me,
I'll blow off the top of your head"
She held him firmly by the neck,
He hadn't a chance to scoot;
He looked at the teeth and the big glass eye,
And said "Madam, for Pete's sake, Shoot!"
Little Johnnie was in class while the teacher was giving an oral quiz on
"Who said 'Give me liberty or give me death" stated the teacher.
No one answered.
Finally a little Japanese exchange student piped in: "Patrick Henry, 1776"
The teacher was a little miffed that an exchange student would answer and
her American students couldn't.
So she tried again: "Four score and seven years ago..." and again no one
answered until the little
Japanese girl replied: "Abraham Lincoln, 1863"
Again the teacher was miffed. So, she gave out a challenge.
The next right answer would get the rest of the day off.
"F*&K THE JAPS!" was yelled from the back of the room.
"Who said that?!!" screamed the teacher.
Little Johnnie replied proudly,"Gen. Douglas McArthur, 1941......See you
AWNINGS, CANOPIES and UMBRELLAS
A grungy awning or canopy can mar your house's street appeal, which is how
real estate agents refer to the impression your house makes on a
passer-by. Even if your awning is not visible from the road, keeping it
clean will help it last longer.
This is usually easy because most have a soil- and stain-resistant finish.
Where necessary use a stepladder to reach the awning. Spot-clean by
applying a solution of warm water and mild dishwashing liquid with a
sponge. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and air-dry. For stubborn
stains, use a fabric stain remover, following the instructions on the
container. Again, rinse well and air-dry.
Mildew on an acrylic awning is usually found not on the fabric itself, but
on dirt, leaves and other materials that are not removed from the fabric.
Acrylic awnings themselves don't promote the growth of mildew. To remove
mildew, mix 1 cup of bleach with a squirt of mild dishwashing liquid in 4
litres of warm water. Apply to the entire area and allow it to soak in
(but not to dry). Scrub with a sponge. Rinse thoroughly and air-dry. Avoid
using bleach on logos or prints on the awning as it may damage or erase
VINYL or FABRIC AWNINGS
This is usually done with commercial cleaners that work best if you don't
wet the awning before cleaning it. Apply a vinyl and fabric cleaner evenly
in a saturating mist. Start from the bottom of the awning and work up.
Before it dries, scrub the awning, scrub the awning with a sponge of
soft-medium bristled brush. Brushes work best on fabric awnings. Never use
abrasive cleaners or scrubbers. Rinse by spraying with a garden hose until
the run-off water is clear. You'll want to remove all the cleaner, because
leftover cleaner will leave a chalky film once it dries. Don't use a
pressure washer to clean your awning. It's ineffective and can cause
Mildew on a vinyl or fabric awning can be removed using a solution of 1
cup of bleach per 4 litres of warm water. Before using the solution,
however, test it by rubbing a solution-soaked cotton bud on a hidden
section of awning to make sure it does not cause the colours to fade or
run. Don't let the bleach solution dry on the awning. Rinse thoroughly
with water, then air-dry.
Remember to always let your umbrella dry properly after rain. A damp
umbrella will cause mould and mildew.
To remove dirt and bird poo from a patio umbrella, which is usually made
of either vinyl or a coarse fabric such as canvas, spray it with a garden
hose. Then scrum it with a nylon-bristled brush dipped in a bucket
containing sudsy solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid. Rinse by
spraying with a garden hose.
Protect a patio umbrella's metal rods by polishing them with car wax. Wax
also makes the metal easier to clean in the future. Take care not to wax
the umbrella covering, as it can stain fabric and make a mess of vinyl
If your umbrella has wooden parts, condition and protect them with wood
oil, rubbed in with a clean, soft cloth. Again, take care not to spill it
on the canvas.
Thanks to Glenacres Superspar.
Some great resorts we have visited
We have just returned from a week at Ekuthuleni,
click here for my report and
You can also see some more photos
Since Ekuthuleni we have also been to Hazyview Cabanas, for my write-up
and pictures click here
We are just back from a really nice trip to Mozambique -
Morrumbene Beach Resort
We have just returned from a glorious week at
Mnarani Club, Kilifi, Kenya
The most popular beverage in the world, but so many people don't recognise
it as a herb.
Green tea has been used in Chinese medicines for 5000 years.
Scientists, in the 1970's, discovered that people who drank green tea, were
less prone to heart attacks, high cholesterol, strokes, cancer, infections,
and high blood pressure.
Today, and tea that contains flowers, bark, buds, leaves, or seeds, is
called tea, but real tea is Camellia sinensis, and can be either black or
Tea loves acid soil, with lots of leaf mulch dug in. Their leaves like to be
kept moist, with a mist sprayer system. The top 3-4 leaves are nipped off
the top sprig of every branch.
Green tea is an excellent skin refresher. Pour cooled green tea into a
spritz-action bottle and use as a cool, refreshing toner.
Mix some green tea into your aqueous cream to use as a cleanser and make-up
Green tea is a powerful antioxidant. The powerful antioxidant phenols boost
the immune system and ease chronic coughs and colds.
These antioxidants help prevent and repair cell damage that is in the
beginning stages of cancer, heart disease, cataracts and macular
Green tea is also a stimulant, antibacterial, diuretic and astringent.
Green tea helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, has anti-tumour properties,
and is a general tonic.
Dentist believe that gargling and rinsing with green tea helps reduce tooth
decay, as it is rich in natural fluoride.
** Please note that people with irregular heart beats, pregnant woman and
nursing mothers should not take more than 1-2 cups of green tea daily.
Cooled green tea can be used as a lotion to treat skin cancer.
If you are overtired and aching all over, sip a cup of green tea in a hot
bath, to which a big pot of green tea has been added, for instant revival.
Two teaspoons in a cup of boiling water, makes a delicious, refreshing cuppa.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice, or a teaspoon of honey if desired. Cooled tea
can also be added to fruit juices, jellies, syrups, cakes, jams and iced
teas. Add to stocks, stews and even soups for extra nourishment.
The FunkyMunky Herb eBook is now available. 48 popular herbs,
descriptions and uses with photos. Immediately available, will be emailed
to you. Only R50 ,
send me an email for payment details.
I'm very impressed with what I've read so far. What I really like
is that your book is a combination of medicinal and culinary advice,
unlike many other herb books I've read.
And the format is great - thanks very much. I have an ambitious
project to make a herb garden this year - so your section of herb gardens
will come in very handy - Shelagh
For the latest on happenings in Zimbabwe, go to:
http://www.sokwanele.com/thisiszimbabwe/ and subscribe
to their newsletter, a really good source of current information
Cathy Buckle has started writing again from Zimbabwe, her letter
Here is Cathy's letter:
Dear Family and Friends,
Zimbabwe is breathtakingly beautiful this spring. Everyone is
talking about the spectacular colours of the new leaves on the
trees. Perhaps its because we are all just so utterly worn out
after a decade of
decay and horror or maybe we are finally allowing ourselves to see
beauty again and begin feeling hopeful about the times ahead. One
friend who is back in the country for a month after having spent 3
years in exile in the Diaspora, said that just sitting under the
Msasa trees was enough to decide her.
'I'm coming home,' she said.
The wide blue sky and warm sun, the open spaces and rugged beauty
and the calls of hoopoes, sparrowhawks and bulbuls is enough to
weaken the hardest of Zimbabwean hearts.
Coming home will not be easy. The flush of saved money doesn't go
far in these times when every American dollar that we have buys
food and pays bills with nothing left over for the other
essentials necessary for life and health. It will not be easy
learning to negotiate the flood tide of officials in every
government department and building who want, need, demand, a bribe
in order to do their job. For many
who come home it will be a bitter pill seeing the evil still
walking free amongst us: the men (and women) who beat, burnt,
raped and murdered us and our families, friends and relations this
Perhaps hardest of all for people coming home from democratic
countries will be accepting that lawlessness still exists
depending on your political affiliations and that mayhem and
thuggery continues in farming areas where "land" is still used as
a smokescreen for theft, looting, arson and murder.
Events of this week are likely to put paid to thoughts and plans
of coming home for many Zimbabweans in the diaspora. Hardly had
the fire died down and the ash settled from the suspicious fires
which destroyed the farms and homes of Ben Freeth and Mike
Campbell when yet more dire news came. These two farmers who have
endured so much and fought so hard for their legal rights - and
who have won their cases in Zimbabwean and SADC courts are now
bereft. The farmers and their farm workers and all of their
families have lost everything - homes, jobs and futures. Listening
to Ben Freeth talking on an independent radio programme this week,
the tears filled my eyes.
"I told my workers I'll be back. I promised them we'd rebuild,"
They are words that many thousands of commercial farmers have said
to their faithful and loyal employees as they've been evicted,
dispossessed and lost everything this last decade. Promises that
farmers have been unable to keep as Zanu PF have changed laws,
amended the constitution and disregarded rulings made by their own
courts. This week legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa
hammered in the last nail. Zimbabwe, he said, will no longer
appear in front of the regional SADC courts, will not recognise
rulings or respond to any actions or suits instituted by the SADC
As beautiful as Zimbabwe is this spring we are still a long way
from being free of the clique who cling to power and fill their
pockets. But, as every day passes, we are closer to the day when
this arranged marriage of inconvenience can be over and we can
hold free, fair and democratic elections and start again. Until
next week, thanks for
Copyright cathy buckle
. For information on my new book: "INNOCENT VICTIMS" or my
books, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears," or to
subscribe/unsubscribe to this newsletter, please write to:
This South Africa - interesting facts and
The A to Z of South African culture (each
newsletter features a letter of the alphabet) see
Z is for Zulu
The Zulu people are South Africa's largest population group, with
isiZulu the most common home language. They also have the
country's largest monarchy, headed by King Goodwill Zwelathini,
and a rich and enduring culture going back centuries. Shaka, who
ruled the Zulu in the 19th century, is possibly their most famous
leader, an almost mythical figure and the stuff of legend - not to
mention a fair amount of colonial fabrication.
In the 19th century, the Zulu nation took on the British Empire
and, armed only with spears, won stunning victories before
succumbing to the relentless might of the empire. The war was the
subject of the 1964 movie Zulu, starring Michael Caine. The nation
has also given its name to a revered New Orleans social club: the
100-year-old Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club.
The all-in-one official guide
and web portal to South Africa.
Looking for a specific South African recipe?
and I will do my best to find it for
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
Ingredients (serves 8)
* 200g plain chocolate biscuits
* 80g butter, melted
* 1/3 cup cold tap water
* 5 teaspoons gelatine
* 500g cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup icing sugar
* 1/2 cup milk
* 150g white chocolate, melted
* 150g dark chocolate, melted
* 1 1/2 cups thickened cream, whipped
* 100g milk chocolate, grated
* cocoa powder, to serve
1. Grease and line a 24cm (base) springform pan. Process biscuits in a
food processor to fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl. Add melted butter. Stir
until well combined. Use your fingertips to press into base of prepared
pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.
2. Place water into a heatproof microwavesafe bowl. Sprinkle over gelatine.
Stand for 1 minute. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH (100%) power for 20 to
40 seconds or until gelatine dissolves. Set aside for 15 minutes.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and milk until
smooth. Stir in gelatine. Divide cream cheese mixture between 2 bowls.
4. Stir white chocolate into 1 cream cheese mixture. Stir dark chocolate
5. Fold half the cream through white chocolate mixture and half through
dark chocolate mixture.
6. Pour dark chocolate mixture over biscuit base. Freeze for 10 minutes or
until firm to the touch. Carefully spread white chocolate mixture over
dark. Cover. Refrigerate overnight.
7. Release sides of pan. Place cheesecake onto a serving platter. Sprinkle
with grated milk chocolate. Dust with cocoa. Cut into slices with a warm
Preparation Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 50 minutes
Ingredients (serves 8)
* Melted butter, to grease
* 200g plain chocolate biscuits
* 125g butter, melted
* 200g good-quality dark cooking chocolate, chopped
* 1 tbs boiling water
* 1 tsp gelatine
* 2 x 250g pkt cream cheese, at room temperature
* 70g (1/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
* 1 x 670g jar morello cherries
* 2 tbs caster sugar
* 1 tbs cornflour
* White chocolate curls, to decorate
1. Brush a shallow 10 x 34cm (base measurement) fluted tart tin, with
removable base, with melted butter to lightly grease.
2. Place biscuits in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely
crushed. Add butter and process until combined. Transfer to prepared pan.
Use a glass to spread and press mixture firmly over base and sides of pan.
Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
3. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water
(make sure bowl doesn't touch water) and stir until melted.
4. Place water in a heatproof glass. Sprinkle with gelatine and stir with
a fork until it dissolves.
5. Use an electric beater to beat cream cheese and brown sugar in a bowl
until smooth. Add chocolate and gelatine, and beat until combined. Spoon
into base and use a knife to smooth the surface. Place in fridge for 1
hour to chill.
6. Meanwhile, drain cherries and reserve syrup. Combine sugar and
cornflour in a saucepan. Gradually add the syrup. Cook, stirring, over
medium heat for 5 minutes or until sauce boils. Remove from heat. Add the
cherries. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool.
7. Slice cheesecake. Serve topped with cherries and chocolate curls.
Bowls of Hot Chocolate
Ingredients (serves 2)
* 600ml milk
* 4 tbs (1/3 cup) drinking chocolate, plus extra to sprinkle
* Whipped cream, to serve
1. Heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat and stir in the drinking
chocolate until well combined. Pour the hot chocolate into 2 small bowls
with deep sides, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with extra chocolate.
Chocolate Mousse Cake
Ingredients (serves 4)
* 500g dark chocolate
* 2 tbs golden syrup
* 125g unsalted butter
* 4 eggs
* 1 tbs caster sugar
* 1 tbs plain flour, sifted
* Melted chocolate, to decorate
* Chocolate sorbet, to serve
* 200g mascarpone cheese
* 2 tbs instant coffee
* 2 tbs pure icing sugar
1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Grease and line the base of a 20cm round
spring-form cake pan with non-stick baking paper.
2. Melt the chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a bowl over a saucepan
of gently simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Place eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer or use an
electric hand beater and beat on high for 10 minutes until very thick and
pale. Gently fold in the flour then fold in the chocolate mixture until
combined. Pour into the cake pan and bake on the middle shelf of the oven
for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edge of the
cake. Remove collar from cake pan and transfer the cake to the fridge for
1 hour to cool (this step is important as it sets the middle of the cake).
4. Meanwhile, to make the coffee mascarpone, dissolve coffee in 1
tablespoon of boiling water and set aside to cool. Beat together the
mascarpone, coffee and sugar in a bowl until stiff.
5. To make the chocolate leaf, brush non-toxic leaves with the melted
chocolate. When cool, peel the leaf off.
6. Slice the cake and serve with a dollop of coffee mascarpone, a
chocolate leaf on top and a scoop of sorbet on the side.
Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
Ingredients (serves 12)
* 200g dark chocolate, chopped
* 200g butter, softened
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
* 2 eggs, at room temperature
* 1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
* 1/4 cup cocoa powder
* 3/4 cup milk
* 1 cup choc-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)
* 80 small solid chocolate Easter eggs
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 20cm (base) round cake pan.
Place chocolate into a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Heat on MEDIUM
(50%) power for 2 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or
until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla essence until
creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add cooled
chocolate. Mix well.
3. Sift flour and cocoa powder together. Fold half the flour mixture into
chocolate mixture. Fold half the milk into chocolate mixture. Repeat with
remaining flour mixture and milk.
4. Spoon cake batter into cake pan. Smooth surface. Bake for 1 hour to 1
hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out
clean. Stand for 15 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool
5. Spread choc-hazelnut spread over cake. Top with Easter eggs. Serve.
Bittersweet chocolate mud cake
Preparation Time 20 minutes
Cooking Time 120 minutes
Ingredients (serves 6)
* 3x200g blocks good quality dark chocolate
* 375g butter, chopped
* 1 cup (250ml) water
* 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
* 1 1/2 cups plain flour
* 1/3 cup self-raising flour
* 4 x 55g eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/3 cup (80ml) marsala
* 1/2 cup (125ml) cream
* 150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
* 20g unsalted butter
* 1 tbs liquid glucose
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line base and sides of a deep 20 cm
cake pan with baking paper. Ensure paper sits 4cm above the top of pan.
2. Break chocolate into pieces. Combine with butter, water and sugar in a
heavy based pan. Stir over low heat until melted and sugar has dissolved.
Cool for 20 mins.
3. Stir in sifted flours, eggs and marsala. Pour into cake pan. Bake for
1hr 50 mins, covering top of cake with foil after 1 1/2 hours to prevent a
darkcrust. Cool in pan.
4. Place glaze ingredients in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until smooth.
Cool for 15 mins until thickened. Spoon over cake. Stand until glaze has
set. Serve with thick cream.
Notes & tips
* Prep: 20 minutes + 1 hour 20 minutes standing time
Broken heart chocolate puddings with mocha sauce
Ingredients (serves 6)
* 300g good-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
* 200g unsalted butter
* 4 eggs, separated
* 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
* 1/4 cup (60g) almond meal
* 3 tbs plain flour, sifted
* 1 tbs cocoa powder, sifted
* 100g white chocolate, chopped
* 1/2 cup (125ml) strong espresso coffee
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease six 1-cup (250ml) dariole moulds and
line a tray with baking paper.
2. Place 200g of the dark chocolate and the butter in a saucepan and stir
over low heat until melted. Cool slightly.
3. Use an electric mixer to beat the egg yolks and 1/2 cup (110g) sugar
until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate mixture, almond meal, flour
and cocoa, and fold with a metal spoon until combined.
4. In a separate bowl, use a clean electric mixer to beat eggwhites to
soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup (55g) sugar, beating until
firm peaks form. Fold a little of the eggwhite through the chocolate
mixture to lighten, then gently fold through the remaining eggwhite until
5. Divide mixture among the prepared moulds, place in a baking dish and
pour enough boiling water into the dish to reach halfway up the sides of
the moulds. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the
centres comes out clean.
6. Meanwhile, melt white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of
simmering water (make sure bowl doesn't touch the water). Using a palette
knife, spread chocolate thinly (about 2mm) over prepared tray, then chill
for 10 minutes or until firm. Use a small heart-shaped cutter to cut six
shapes from chocolate. Chill until ready to serve.
7. Place remaining dark chocolate and coffee in a heatproof bowl over a
pan of simmering water (ensure bowl doesn't touch water). Stir until
chocolate is melted and sauce is well combined.
8. Invert puddings onto plates. Pour over sauce and top with chocolate
hearts, which will melt onto the hot puddings.
Chocolate and hazelnut mousse
Makes 12 small serves
* 300g good-quality milk chocolate, chopped
* 3 eggs, at room temperature, separated
* 2 tablespoons caster sugar
* 1 cup thickened cream
* 1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
* grated dark chocolate, to serve
1. Place milk chocolate in a large, heatproof, microwave-safe bowl.
Microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM (50%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every
30 seconds with a metal spoon until melted. Set aside for 5 minutes to
2. Add egg yolks to chocolate and stir until well combined.
3. Using electric hand beaters, beat eggwhites in a bowl until soft peaks
form. Sprinkle sugar over eggwhites. Beat until thick and glossy. Using a
large metal spoon, fold half the eggwhite mixture into chocolate mixture
until combined. Gently fold in remaining eggwhite mixture.
4. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Fold cream and hazelnuts into
chocolate mixture until combined. Spoon mixture into twelve 1/3-cup
capacity glasses. Place on a tray and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate
for 4 hours or until firm. Top with grated chocolate just before serving.
Chocolate and blueberry mousse
Ingredients (serves 4)
* 1 punnet fresh blueberries, 200g frozen
* 200g dark chocolate
* 300ml thickened cream
1. Scatter fresh blueberries, or some thawed frozen blueberries, over the
base of 4 small-sized serving glasses and set aside.
2. Melt chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering
water (making sure the bowl does not touch the water). Remove and cool to
3. Beat cream in a bowl to soft peaks, then fold into the melted
4. Spoon the mousse among serving glasses over the blueberries, and serve
Chocolate & cinnamon flan
Chocolate and cinnamon are a favourite combination in Mexico, so this tart
is the ideal winner of this week's Mexican food fight.
Preparation Time 20 minutes
Cooking Time 60 minutes
Ingredients (serves 8)
* 215g (1 cup) caster sugar
* 60ml (1/4 cup) water
* 500ml (2 cups) milk
* 100g dark cooking chocolate, coarsely chopped
* 6 eggs
* 1 x 395g can sweetened condensed milk
* 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
* Strawberries, washed, hulled, quartered, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line the base of a large baking dish with a tea
towel, folded to fit.
2. Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook,
stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.
3. Increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Cook, without stirring,
occasionally brushing down the side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in
water, for 7 minutes or until golden. Use an oven mitt or tea towel to
hold a round 20cm (base measurement) cake pan with one hand. Pour in the
caramel and swirl to coat the base and 2cm up the side. Set aside to cool
4. Meanwhile, place the milk and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low
heat. Cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until the chocolate melts and the
mixture is smooth.
5. Whisk together the eggs, condensed milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a
large bowl. Gradually add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture,
whisking constantly. Place the cake pan in the lined baking dish. Pour the
custard mixture into the pan. Pour enough boiling water into the dish to
come halfway up the side of the pan. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until
6. Carefully remove the cake pan from the baking dish. Set aside for 40
minutes to cool. Place in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight to chill.
7. To serve, run a flat-bladed knife around the edge of the pan. Carefully
turn the flan onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve with
Ingredients (serves 6)
* 4 good-quality chocolate brownies (about 85g each)
* 1/4 cup (60ml) Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur)
* 275g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
* 3 egg yolks
* 1 1/2 tbs caster sugar
* 1 tsp cornflour
* 600ml thickened cream
* 150g white chocolate, roughly chopped
* 1/4 cup (30g) toasted chopped walnuts
* Dark chocolate curls (see note), to decorate
1. Break up brownies into small pieces and place in the bottom of a 1.5
litre dish or 6 x 1 cup (250ml) serving glasses. Drizzle over the Kahlua,
then set aside.
2. Place dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently
simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the water). Allow to melt, then
stir very gently until smooth. Remove from heat and add 225ml boiling
water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring to make a sauce (don't add water
more quickly or the chocolate will 'seize' and become grainy). Pour sauce
over the brownies, then cover and chill for 2 hours.
3. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a bowl
with electric beaters until thick and pale.
4. Heat 300ml of the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until just below
boiling point. Pour the hot cream mixture over the egg mixture, stirring
to combine. Transfer to a clean saucepan and place over low heat. Stir for
2-3 minutes until a thick custard forms.
5. Place two thirds (100g) of the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
Pour the custard into the bowl, stirring until the chocolate is melted and
the mixture is well combined. Cool completely, then pour over the
chocolate brownie base. Chill for 2 hours.
6. Place the remaining 50g of white chocolate in a food processor with the
walnuts and pulse until fine. Whip the remaining cream to soft peaks, stir
in the walnut mixture, then spread over the trifle. Chill for at least 2
hours until set, then serve decorated with chocolate curls, if desired.
Notes & tips
* To make chocolate curls, melt good-quality chocolate in a heatproof bowl
set over a pan of gently simmering water not letting the bowl touch the
water. Spread evenly on a flat board or baking tray, then refrigerate
until set. Use a sharp knife to carefully shave off curls. Refrigerate
Chocolate cake with caramel frosting
Preparation Time 20 minutes
Cooking Time 45 minutes
Ingredients (serves 12)
* Melted butter, to grease
* 200g butter, at room temperature
* 155g (3/4 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 2 eggs, at room temperature
* 265g (1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour
* 35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
* 185ml (3/4 cup) milk
* 70g (1/2 cup) pecans, coarsely chopped
* 100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
* 250g butter, at room temperature
* 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
* 2 tbs golden syrup
* 1 tbs milk
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan
with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and side with
non-stick baking paper.
2. Use an electric beater to beat together the butter, brown sugar and
vanilla in a medium bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time,
beating well after each addition until just combined. Sift the flour and
cocoa over the butter mixture. Use a large metal spoon to fold in the milk
until well combined.
3. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the
centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes
before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, to make the caramel frosting, use an electric beater to beat
together the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a medium bowl until light
brown and fluffy. Add the milk and beat until well combined.
5. Use a large serrated knife to cut the cake in half horizontally. Place
the bottom half of the cake on a cake stand or serving plate and spread
with half the caramel frosting. Top with the remaining cake and spread
with the remaining caramel frosting.
6. Sprinkle the top of the cake with pecans. Place the caster sugar in a
medium frying pan and stir over low heat for 3-5 minutes or until sugar
dissolves and caramelises. Remove from heat. Set aside for 2-3 minutes or
until bubbles subside and toffee cools slightly. Use a spoon to drizzle
cake with toffee.
Chocolate & mint tart with creme de menthe cream
Ingredients (serves 6)
* 3 eggs
* 160ml thickened cream
* 60g good-quality dark chocolate, melted, cooled
* 2 tbs cocoa powder, plus extra to dust
* 40ml (2 tbs) creme de menthe, plus extra to serve
* Whipped cream and mint leaves, to serve
* 225g plain flour
* 40g icing sugar
* 125g unsalted butter, chilled, cubed
* 2 egg yolks
1. To make the pastry, place the flour and icing sugar in a food processor
and mix for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and process until the
mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and process until
the mixture comes together to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and
refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 23cm
loose-bottomed tart pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
4. Line the pastry shell with baking paper and fill with rice or pastry
weights. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove paper and weights and
return to the oven for five minutes until dry and crisp.
5. Place the eggs, cream, chocolate, cocoa and creme de menthe in a bowl
and beat to combine. Pour into the tart shell and bake in the oven for
25-30 minutes until just set. Set aside to cool (don't refrigerate).
6. Swirl a little of the extra creme de menthe through the whipped cream.
Slice the chocolate and mint tart and dust with cocoa powder. Serve with
the cream and garnish with a few mint leaves.
Choc-chip pudding with jam and creme fraiche
Ingredients (serves 4)
* 120g unsalted butter, softened
* 120g caster sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 2 eggs
* 120g plain flour
* 60g cocoa powder
* 2 tsp baking powder
* 60g dark chocolate, finely chopped
* 1 cup raspberry jam, warmed
* Creme fraiche or mascarpone, to serve
1. Grease a 1-litre pudding basin.
2. Cream butter and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer, add vanilla, then
add eggs, one at a time, beating after each until just combined. Sift
flour, cocoa and powder and add to mixture with enough water (about 1-2
tablespoons) to make a dropping consistency. Stir in chocolate, then spoon
mixture into basin. Make a pleat in the centre of a sheet of baking paper
(to allow for expansion) and use to cover pudding. Secure with string,
then cover with foil.
3. Place basin in a saucepan and add enough water to come halfway up the
sides, then bring to the boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low
and steam for 2 hours. Remove basin from pan and set aside for 10 minutes.
Turn out, cut into slices and serve with warmed jam and creme fraiche.
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