Monday, May 9, 2011


The SPAR challenge - So I was contacted by SPAR Cape Quarter and they asked me if I would like to do a recipe bake-off of some kind. All I had to do was come up with a recipe or two and they would supply the ingredients. Mmmm now this could be interesting...
The deal was I had to get ALL the ingredients from the Cape Quarter SPAR. Darn it! - there goes Peruvian dark chocolate truffles and any other exotic thing I could think of. Well boy was I wrong! The owners of this particular SPAR decided they needed to have a large variety of imported chocolates *drool* and I decided my husband had to see all this deliciousness with me ;)

So I had to take (drag) him along on a Saturday when he and our daughter could both accompany me. Also I wanted to bounce recipe ideas off the husband (as the recipes were driving me crazy running around my head). Much to his delight - NOT! He kept asking me on the drive there - why is that you need me with again? Its a Saturday you know... Can't you shop on another day? like by yourself? I politely told him I needed him to be with and I just got back blank stares.

Walking up and down the many aisles I reached the chocolate aisle - or should I say area. and that was the end of me - blank stare, *drool*.
Husband: Are you talking to yourself?
Me: ignoring husband - you are a pretty chocolate...mmm.
Eventually the husband literally dragged me to another aisle filled with wine and olive oil and shook me...
Me: Yes babe?
Husband: you can't invent a whole recipe out of chocolate you know.
Me: Oh really? watch me!
Husband: you need other things too - like this, this... randomly looking for things, um olive oil!!! (ok he didn't pick olive oil - but he did seem to look at me in a crazy way)

More shopping and aisle walking - clip clop, clip clop..
Husband: why am I here again?
Me: to help me - remember... what do you think? this awesomely huge chocolate - where I take these slabs and just melt them into this giant chocolate so it will "seem" like a recipe? or this other silly recipe of... um milk tart (trying to make it sound yuk and uninteresting)?

The poor man, if you have seen the variety of interesting things they stock - like marmalades from Great Britain and olive oils from various places in the world - you understand how I drove him crazy that day. and so the shopping proceeded:
Me: look babe at the this Marmalade it's from Great Britain.
Husband: Yes honey
Me: and this olive oil it's from Spain
and so the shopping trip went...
Me: look at this.. and that ..and this..
Husband: Yes sweetie (blank stare)
But near the end of the shopping trip when I had eventually talked myself (with the husbands help) out of getting 10 slabs of imported chocolate at R37 a slab -the husband just couldn't understand that spending R370 on 600grams of chocolate (yes they are only 60grams a slab) wasn't decadent AT ALL!!!
I did buy him a cheese cake from the bakery and some camembert cheese and biscuits. He walked out of there a happy man - and my shopping was complete. And Yes I did get some chocolate ;)

*And just so you know - they do stock local ingredients too but clearly I LOVE chocolate!

Lemon Zest Baked Cheese Cake


I got the base from the Planet Organic Cookbook by Renee Elliott and Eric Treuille. Cheese cake filling is all mine :)

150grams Almonds (blend in a processor/electric blender until fine-ish like course sugar)
4 rounded Tablespoons butter at room Temperature
4 Tablespoons Brown organic Sugar (you can use whatever sugar you have - just not icing sugar)
tiny bit of salt

Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix with an electric mixer (or by hand) until nicely combined.  Press into a buttered and double lined cake tin and bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 10 -15 minutes. Or until very pale brown. Take out and let stand while you prepare the filling.

2 x 250gram cream cheese
250ml cream
4 eggs
1-2 Lemons = of which you will need 4 Tablespoons lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Bulgarian Yoghurt

Beat together the cream cheese and cream until smooth. Scrap down the sides of the bowl every now and then to incorporate. Beating slowly add one egg at a time on slow. Add the Lemon juice and lemon zest and beat in. Add the sugar and beat again. Now add the yoghurt and beat in. Pour onto the prepared base and place on the center shelf of a preheated oven at 180 degrees celcius. Bake for +/- 50 min until the edges have puffed up and started to golden and the center is still a little wobbly. Open the oven and take the cheese cake out and let some heat escape for a minute then place the cheese cake to cool in the oven with the door closed for 30 - 40min. Then place the cheese cake in the fridge for 3 hours or over night.
Garnish as you desire and serve. Best cut with a wet sharp knife.

Cherry and Coconut Truffles

50grams Raw almonds
7 fresh Dates (pips removed)
a generous handful of Glace Cherries (roughly 17) +/- 100grams
50g 70% dark Chocolate (I used Lindt) (roughly chopped)
1/2 cup fine coconut
70- 100grams dark chocolate (or chocolate of your choice)
2 teaspoons sunflower oil
OPTIONAL a few marachino cherries on stalks

Grind the almonds until fine in a blender and then take out and set aside.
Place dates in the blender and blend slightly and then add the glace cherries. Blend a bit more and then add the dark chocolate and blend until  very well mixed, chopped and kind of smooth. Add the ground almonds and mix again. Now add the coconut little by little until you reach a pliable consistency. Then roll into balls or mold around marachino cherries.
Melt the chocolate and oil in a baine marie or a glass bowl balanced on top of a pot with a little water boiling below (the glass bowl mustn't touch the water below). Stir until melted. Dip the rolled cherry and coconut balls in the chocolate and spoon over more melted chocolate with a spoon and then place on waxed paper to set. There will be a little melted chocolate left over but if you use less you wan't be able to spoon the chocolate over the balls - so spread the left over chocolate on a separate piece of wax paper and sprinkle with cherries, almonds or raisins or water you fancy in your chocolate and leave to set - break into pieces and enjoy.

Enjoy your lovely cherry and coconut truffles or wrap up and package in a pretty box to make a beautiful and delicious gift.

p.s placed in the Friday Link up at


  1. BB these photos are absolutely stunning ! I adore the styling too - the feather looks fantastic with the truffle. What a cute trip you had to the Spar - so typical of men. My boyfriend usually loves coming along to do the grocery shopping but if I veer away from the shopping list he starts with the blank stares.

  2. How much do I love that you served a truffle on top of two more blocks of Lindt! The part of my brain that is addicted to theobromine just lit up like a circus tent!

    I enjoyed your shopping trip story. I too can stand for a good fifteen minutes just staring in awe at a well-stocked, imported chocolate shelf, slowly reading ingredients and looking at the pretty packaging, while my hubby wanders off to other parts of the shop or stands there tugging my arm :-)

    Well done on two fantastic recipes! They really look wonderful, and every ingredient makes perfect sense.

  3. Looks amazing - you can make them both for me ;)



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