nutella croissants

Puff pastry is one of those ingredients that i always have in my freezer. The store bought kind is perfect and fairly inexpensive. This buttery, flaky pastry is perfect for almost any sweet or savoury dish, from pies to galettes, pinwheels and tarts, there are so many options!
Breakfast is an important part of my day and I like to keep it interesting. These little croissants are so simple to make and can be made the night before and simply popped into the oven the next morning.
This may not be the healthiest of breakfast options but it sure is tasty and the kids will love it!! Everything in moderation, of course.

Ingredients | serves 4 | easy
2 rolls puff pastry, thawed
Nutella spread (almost 1 cup)
1 Egg, beaten
1T milk

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a baking tray with cooking spray.
Lightly flour the work surface and spread out the pastry. Roll the pastry out to ensure it is flat, smooth & even.
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the pastry into three large rectangles. Then cut each rectangle into two long triangles. Each pastry sheet should give you 6 triangles.
Place a spoonful of Nutella on the widest end of the triangle and then spread it along the pastry, leaving a small border untouched.
Beginning at the wide end of the triangle, gently roll the pastry into a croissant shape,
Carefully place the croissants onto the baking tray and lightly tuck in the edges, forming the shape of a “U”.

Repeat this with the second sheet of pastry.
Beat the egg and milk together and lightly brush the top of the croissants.
Place the tray into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is beautifully golden and crisp.
Serve warm.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x



chocolate & banana french toast

I do love a good breakfast and some days i like to over indulge. My affair with bread is ever so passionate and my liking for dark chocolate ongoing.
When i have a little extra time in the morning i like to whip up this combination of bread and chocolate to sink my teeth into and I enjoy every bite. I savour each bite. And I don’t feel guilty.
An easy recipe and the custard can be prepared the night before, saving you time in the morning to focus on other important tasks before running out the door.
Similar to traditional French toast, with the addition of cocoa & dark chocolate, this breakfast will have you return for more. And the kids will certainly love it too!
I love topping the toast with banana for some natural sweetness. And really – who doesn’t like the combination of chocolate & banana…?

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
8 slices bread (i prefer white)
2T butter
3 eggs
1C milk
1t vanilla essence / paste
3T cocoa powder, sifted
1T castor sugar
pinch of salt
50g dark chocolate, grated / finely chopped
4 ripe bananas, sliced diagonally
1/2C nuts, toasted
maple syrup
icing sugar, for dusting
plain yogurt, optional

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
In a large, shallow dish, combine the eggs, milk, vanilla essence, cocoa, sugar & salt. Whisk until well combined.
Place the bread into the chocolate custard and soak for about two minutes.
Spoon the grated / chopped chocolate onto four of the slices.
Carefully sandwich the slices together making four sandwiches.
Heat the butter in a large ovenproof skillet and carefully lower the bread into the skillet. Toast the bread for about three to four minutes a side.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Top each sandwich with the sliced banana and bake in the oven for about five minutes.
Drizzle the maple syrup over the toast as soon as it comes out of the oven and top with the toasted nuts. Dust with icing sugar.
Top with plain yogurt if desired and serve immediately.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x







white chocolate panna cotta

i love desserts and as i have mentioned before, i love making dessert! i remember the immense joy i felt when i discovered leaf gelatine. i finally realised what the hype was about and quite honestly, if you love food, dessert and cooking then it really is something to get excited about.
as a general rule, two leaves is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of powdered gelatine but always follow the packet instructions.
panna cotta is an old classic and i have made many different flavours of this tasty, decadent dessert.
similar to creme brûlée without the addition of egg yolks, making panna cotta, in my mind, a guilt free dessert.
the white chocolate panna cotta is fairly sweet so serving it with a type of berry, coulis, compote or any type of fruit works best.

ingredients | makes 6 | easy
375ml cream
125ml milk
1 vanilla pod or 1tsp vanilla essence
100g white chocolate, grated and extra for garnish
2.5 sheets leaf gelatine
40g castor sugar
mint leaves for garnish

how to
soak the leaf gelatine in cold water until soft. bring the cream, milk & vanilla to the boil. off the heat, stir in the sugar & chocolate until melted.
squeeze the water from the gelatine leaves and add the gelatine to the cream mixture. mix well until fully incorporated.
pour the mixture into the ramekins or moulds. leave to cool for about 20 minutes and then place into the refrigerator for 4 – 6 hours or overnight.
serve in the ramekins or if using moulds, turn out onto a plate and decorate with berries, strawberry compote / coulis, grated white chocolate and mint leaves.

for the strawberry compote
1 punnet strawberries
8tbs castor sugar
1tsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
2tbs water

place the strawberries, water, sugar, lemon juice and zest into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. reduce the heat to low and simmer until strawberries are soft and the liquid has thickened.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x


banana, chocolate & walnut tarte tatin

i quite often have a sweet tooth and i love making dessert. i especially love great tasting, easy desserts that can be ready in almost no time at all. pastry desserts rank high on my favourites list and combining it with banana and chocolate is practically a no brainer.
as tarte tatins’ go, puff pastry is your best option. this flaky, rich pastry consists of layers of dough and fat, giving it a light, crispy texture upon baking. perfect for almost any tart or pie!
the kids and your guests will love this one!!

1 roll puff pastry, thawed
flour for dusting
100g brown sugar
80g butter
3-4 firm bananas
1/3c chopped walnuts, plus extra for garnish
100ml cream, whipped or vanilla ice cream

for the sauce
50g dark chocolate, chopped
100ml cream


how to do it
preheat the oven to 185 degrees C.
roll out the pastry and, using the pan to measure, cut our a circle 1cm bigger than your pan. place the pastry in the fridge.
place butter and sugar in an ovenproof pan on medium heat. once the sugar has melted, turn up the heat and allow the caramel to get a golden dark colour and thicken, while occasionally tilting the pan.
remove the caramel from the heat and cool for 5 minutes. press the banana slices into the caramel and top it with the chopped walnuts.
lay the pastry on top and gently lift and tuck the sides in using a spoon.
make a 2cm slit in the top of the pastry in the centre, to allow the steam to escape.
bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
allow the tart to cool for a few minutes before placing a plate on top of the pan and turning the tart out.

for the chocolate sauce
heat the cream in a small saucepan. pour the cream over the chocolate, leave for 3 minutes and then stir until melted.

to assemble
garnish the tart with the remaining chopped walnuts.
serve slices of the tart topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x





chocolate, cherry & nut semifreddo

although the main ingredients in a semifreddo are eggs yolks, sugar & cream, semifreddo is also a class of semi frozen desserts. in a way i think my home-made ice cream recipe fits right into this category…without the egg yolks and sugar. perhaps a slightly easier version of this beautiful, decadent Italian dessert.
this dessert is in a class of its own and so easy to make. it is the perfect make ahead dessert for any get together or party to alleviate you from standing in the kitchen while your guests entertain themselves.
a sweet dessert, i like to serve it with a berry compote. the tart with the sweet is a match made in heaven and will leave your taste buds smiling.
a beautiful valentine’s and Christmas dessert.

for the berry compote
250g strawberries
150g raspberries
8tbs castor sugar
1tsp lemon juice
zest of half a lemon
1/2tsp cornstarch

in a small pot, bring the berries, sugar, lemon juice & zest to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. in a cup, mix together cornstarch and double the amount water until smooth. add it to the berry mixture and simmer for 2 more minutes until thickened. add more water if you prefer a thinner / runnier compote. set aside to cool.

for the cookie crust
140g tennis biscuits / digestive biscuits
75g butter, melted
place the biscuits into a ziploc bag and crush using a cake roller. add the butter to the crushed biscuit and mix well.
place tin foil into a loaf tin and press into the bottom and sides, ensuring a moderate overlay. press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of the tin and less than halfway up the sides, to the desired thickness. place the loaf tin into the fridge while you prepare the ice cream.

for the ice cream
2c cream, full fat
1 can condensed milk
1.5tbs liquid glucose
1tsp vanilla paste / extract
80g toasted walnuts or almonds
60g dark chocolate, chopped
60g glace cherries, chopped

pour the condensed milk into a large mixing bowl and add to it the liquid glucose & vanilla paste / extract. mix until incorporated.
using a handheld mixer, whip the cream until soft peak stage. fold about half a cup of cream into the condensed milk mixture until combined and then gently fold the remaining cream into the condensed milk mixture. do not over mix.
gently fold the toasted nuts, chocolate and cherries into the mixture.
pour the cream mixture into the loaf tin and place into the freezer to set for at least 5 hours or overnight.
place of board or plate on top of the loaf tin and turn it around. now carefully remove the tin foil. gently turn the semifreddo around so that the biscuit mixture is at the bottom.
top with the berry compote and garnish with fresh berries and mint leaves. slice using a warm, sharp knife.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x