HONEY DARLING SWEETNESS

In my younger days, tv was an absolute luxury. We had one, hidden in a double door oak cabinet with Manet and Monet for company, but it was never allowed to chat with said neigbours.

It was only recently that I discovered with a confession from mother, that it was for her own good the beast rarely roared to life. Nature’s babysitter even for adults.

We were visiting my mother’s sister who’s tv always hosted the best leather couch; when you sit down, it’s sweet surrender to the husky embrace of leather, tabacco and whisky. (For the story lets include poor old mahogany as well.)

While sinking into Utopia, the naughty kitchen adulteress, Nigella winked from the one eyed beast and I reached out to the golden light: Honeycomb.

I don’t have a sweet tooth but man oh flipping man does this sugar babe make me weak in the knees. (for those of you who don’t know what honeycomb is, think of a Crunchie, it’s that bubbling sugar sea sponge bar coated in milk chocolate)

Her Majesty called this hokey pokey if I can recall. And here’s the recipe.

100 g Sugar (white, brown, caster, pick your fancy)

4 T golden syrup (could probably be substituted with honey if you wish to be healthy but let’s just quickly clear this out: there’s NOTHING healthy about this recipe, mkay. Oh for the taste you say? Sure go wild you maniac.)

1 t bicarbonate of soda

Now, sugar can be sly. Mix your sugar and syrup/honey, THEN place on the heat in pot or pan. Please do not stick a spoon or utensil in the mix, if you want to stir, swirl your pan. If you spoon, there will be trouble and sugar won’t cooperate.

Prep a baking tray, bowl with baking paper and cooking spray.

Once the toffee has turned at the 150ºC mark, for those of you who have a candy thermometer, it has to be at the ‘cracking’ stage. Test in a glass of water with a drop. If it cracks, presto!

The following has to happen in one movement, no panic necessary, just rolled up sleeves and your favourite tune. Take it off the heat and immediately WHISK your bicarb into the fold then pour into your prepared container with the sprayed baking paper.

Please allow for it to cool before you look like a fool.
Crack and crunch to your hearts delight. Dip it in chocolate, crush it with a maximum packed pavlova, serve on top of a buttercream frosted birthday cake or try with Sunday pork belly.

PS. Store in an airtight container to avoid wet toffee.

Image: Flickr.

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MA PETIT MACARONS

Always intimidated by the giant shadow who’s name still eludes me; macaron? mungo? meringue? Either way, this itty bitty treat is a sweet pill for painstaking hours spent in the kitchen.

One day, I was feeling rather cheeky and decided to move while the feeling lasted. What with baking not being my big gift to man kind one has to act!

Guess what? As I pumped the foreign on my speakers (a la Edith Piaf) and from my oven, les petits macarons ont été un succès. OUI!

Here’s the recipe. Now just can everybody calm down, no need to pretend to be uppity. Just be cool. Macarons can smell fear.

100 g almond flour

3 T cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups caster sugar

4 egg whites

Sift the flour and cocoa.

In a super clean grease free bowl, whisk your egg whites with an electric beater until frothy. Add the castor sugar little by little and whisk away until the meringue turns sticky and super shiny.

Fold the dry mix in 2 batches into the meringue. Have your baking trays ready with silmat/baking paper and pipe little dots to your fancy. (well spaced from each other mind you.) Whack the tray a couple of times on the counter and scream something French.

Have your oven ready at 170ºC. Let your babies rest for 20-30 minutes until a layer has formed that isn’t sticky to touch.

Bake for something around 14 minutes, turning your tray at halftime.

Remove and allow to cool.

Ganach filling:

1 slab dark choc

30 ml cream

a tot of whisky perhaps?

Heat the cream, add the chocolate in pieces and stir until melted through. (Don’t apply any more heat). Add the tot of whatever tickles your tastebuds. Scoop into a piping bag and wait for the little devils to cool down.

Pair the best suited halves and pipe the ganache onto a half, sandwich et voila!

PLEASE REMEMBER. THIS RECIPE MAY NOT WORK FOR YOU. JUST PLAY UNTIL YOU FIND YOUR METHOD. Ovens, outside temp, your mood, etc may all play crucial parts in the prep.

Bonne chance!

x

 

SOMTYDS SWEM EK

DIE AVONTURE VAN MANGO BEK.

Ek het nog altyd n groot liefde gehad vir water. Met Portugese soutwater vrate en Viking ysmanne vir voorvaders het dit my plig geword met geboorte en gene om ook van water te hou. Ek trotseer die blou al is dit so koud soos jou skoonma se blik, so rof soos n biker se vuishou, so diep soos die kamp long drop en so ontstuimig soos oom Koos se wenkbroue.

As ek n lang ruk nie myself deurdrenk met die vars vloeistof nie, kry ek ontrekking simptome en vel wat begin knetter, krimp en kraak soos Breyten Breytenbach se interpretasie van ‘Tyd’.

Dis somer en natuurlik ek besluit om bank duik voor die televisie te ruil vir n duik in die gimnasium se lieflike soutwater swembad. Iemand moet daai baaibroek in my kas vir die son wys. My hande vol hare is plat gedruk in die silicone doppie, padda oë op my kop en handdoek om my lyf, trotseer ek die reuk van chloor. Opsoek na n oop baan besef ek die onmoontlikheid van die taak tussen die male meule van arms en bene wat verwoerd heen en weer swaai soos roei spane op die Oranje Rivier. Uiteindelik skuif G.I. Jane opsy om te deel. So gaaf. Terwyl ek nog ‘plesiere en maniere’ vang my oog so deur die gespat en gespartel n oom wie mik vir my plekkie. Nog voor ek swembroek uit my boud trek, arms swaai en spiere klap, duik ek vir volk en vaderland.

Dis koel soos ek die stille water wêreld binnetree. Ek kan hoor hoe my vel sug van plesier soos ek omvou word met blou. Dit word toe vinnig realiteit dat ek nie kiewe geërf het nie, maar wel n stel longe wat skree vir lug. Ek skep n vinnige asem, koes vir n paar arms van 2 bane links, en swem histeries, padda oë om my nek.

Met n hoes, (poep), spoeg en spat reik ek na die kant muur vir oorlewing en gryp n enkel. Kneukels wit, kyk ek op teen die goue lig en die vollengte profiel van spiere glimlag vir my. ‘n god, arms gevou, tuur hy die verte in terwyl die lig om hom saggies sing. Ek dog ek het in die muur vas geswem en is in die hemel toe Adonis vir my kneukels kyk en die padda terug moes duik vir oorlewing.

‘n paar lengtes later staan ek rooigesig en hyg, maar in my noppies. Ek staan en lag vir myself oor hoe bang ek was to my nuwe buurman langs my opkom en dit is Adonis. Ek vat n long vol lug om weg te skop voor ek in n tropiese kleur verander, toe hy vir my vra: ‘nice dueim swim gulash bub?’. Natuurlik het ek maniere en probeer myself regop kry om te chat met my trouman maar ek val gesig eerste en spartel soos ek verdrink word deur die hande van verleentheid. Terwyl ek myself amper verdrink, skiet my regterbeen bodem toe om vir sy hand in huwelik te vra, kry ek dit reg om myself te stut vir n sekonde. Ek knik my kop, gee n spoegbek glimlag en val verder onder die water.