Tag Archives: baking

Almond Slice

Almond Slice 1

It was great having my visitor recently, so I could have fun baking again. Here’s another recipe from my Mum-in-law, that’s quick and easy to make.


Ingredients Base

2 cups cake flour
2 tspn baking powder
1 egg
125g butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
Apricot jam

Almond Slice 2


Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and flour. Knead together into a dough. Press into two baking tins. (See photo 2 above) Spread with apricot jam. Or any jam. I used strawberry here, as I didn’t have any apricot.

Almond Slice 3

Ingredients Filling

125g melted butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup oats
1 well beaten egg
1 tspn almond essence


Just add all the ingredients to the melted butter and mix well. Pour on top of the dough base. (See photo 3 above)

Tip: I use less sugar and it turns out fine.


Bake at 180 C for about 20 minutes, till the top is golden brown.

Almond Slice 4


My mother had a delicious almond slice recipe, but it uses ground almonds, which are expensive and hard to find here, so I just make this recipe instead.

Many people seem to be allergic to almonds, or almond essence. My one friend is. But no worries. All the more for me!



Granny’s Oatmeal Cookies

Cookies 1

I don’t bake much these days, as there’s usually just me to eat it; which is not good! But with visitors I get a chance to fire up the old oven and have some fun.

Cookies 2

The photo above is of the second batch, ready to pop in the oven and below is the first batch, just out of the oven.

You might wonder, in this second photo, why the cookies on the left are so nice and round, while all the others are blob-shaped. Well, the recipe says to roll the mixture into balls and place on the tray. What actually happens is that the cookie dough sticks to your hands like crazy till there is more on you than on the tray! So after my first few attempts (perfect round cookies on the left of the tray) I just spooned out dollops.

Cookies 3

These cookies are really yummy. It’s an old recipe from my Mum-in-law. I still haven’t figured out how you measure half a cup of margarine, but I just guess it!

If you’d like to try them for yourself, the recipe is below.




1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg – beaten
1 tspn vanilla essence
7 ml bicarbonate of soda
1 1/4 cups of cake flour* (not self-raising)
2 ml salt
2 tspn baking powder
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup oats
1 cup rice krispies


Cream marg and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla essence. Mix bicarb with a little water and add to the mix. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder. Add coconut and oats to the dry ingredients, then add all to the egg mix and mix well. Fold in rice krispies.


Place small balls on a greased baking tray.
Bake at 180 C for 10 to 15 minutes.



*Everyone in SA uses cake flour and baking powder, not self-raising flour (as I found to my cost when I first came here from UK). In fact, good luck trying to find any self-raising on the shelves. Of course, you are welcome to use it, without the baking powder.


Guess Who’s Coming to Tea

Chocolate Brownies


I rarely bake these days, because there is usually only me to eat it! However I had friends over for afternoon tea the other day so took the opportunity to bake chocolate brownies. I have a tried and trusted recipe that I found in a newspaper many years ago.

After tea, I sent my friends off with some brownies as Padkos (literally road food in Afrikaans). As everyone seems to be on a diet these days they didn’t take many, so I guess it will be up to me to finish off the rest.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!


post script: Since someone will no doubt ask, yes I did offer a few brownies to my husband, but he is not much of a cake eater.



Macaron 1

Macaron 1

You think they are called Macaroons not Macarons? Let me tell you the distinction:-

Macaron  –  egg whites and ground almonds, as these are.

Macaroon – egg whites and coconut, as in Jane Austen’s day.

For further info try Macarons versus Macaroons.

Having got that distinction out of the way, people still call them Macaroons in England, and here in Cape Town, but now I am not going to be inundated with comments on how wrong I am!

So I baked these the other day. Yummy! For the quick and easy recipe I followed, try Easy Macaron Recipe.

You start by whisking the egg whites then adding castor sugar a little at a time till it forms stiff peaks. I don’t have an electric whisk, so did this by hand. (Plus side, burn calories to make space to eat the end result!) At this point, you are supposed to be able to turn the bowl upside down and the whisked eggs stay put.

Obviously I wasn’t going to try this over my own head, so called on the services of a willing helper – my dog Little Monkey.

Macarons 2 - and LM

Macarons 2 – and LM

If you wonder why the photo is blurred; the moment LM saw the food she was eager to clean the bowl for me and leapt in the air towards the upturned bowl! I managed to click and move the bowl out of the way just in time!

Don’t worry; I don’t tease my dogs, and she got a little treat in lieu of the contents of the bowl.

I then added the ground almonds and icing sugar and placed dollops on a tray.

Macarons 3

Macarons 3

After baking, the un-coloured ones looked like this –

Macrons 4

Macrons 4

They are supposed to be nicely risen, smooth and with little feet (whatever that means!)

So what went wrong with mine?

Meh, you know I really don’t care, because I LOVE sugar!

But if you really want to know, then here –

  • The recipe said to sieve the ground almonds and discard any lumps. Well, I duly sieved my ground almonds. I looked in the bowl and I looked in the sieve. Less than half the ground almonds had gone through the sieve, even with judicious squashing with my knuckles and then the back of a spoon! I looked at the 50g of ground almonds refusing to budge and thought, “What the Heck! You are way too expensive to discard!” So I tipped the sieve over and added the unsieved ground almonds too!!
  • I don’t have any piping bags and thought about making one out if a Ziploc bag, but since my mixture was basically solid (see above – unsieved ground almonds!) I easily spooned the mixture onto the tray.
  • I don’t have a silicon sheet, or baking paper, so stuck my macarons onto aluminium foil.
  • It said to either use a silicon template, or trace circles of the correct size onto your baking sheet (See above – not got!). I really don’t care. Once baked I matched up similar sized macarons to each other. As far as I am concerned, they don’t all have to be identical. Where is their individuality?
  • I forgot to add the colour! So since I’d already done one tray, I just added a bit of blue food colouring (the only colour I had) to the remaining mixture. This made it very runny, so my blue macrons were twice the size of my ecru ones!
  • It said to leave them for 20 to 60 minutes (depending which recipe you read), so they could get that shine on the top. I read afterwards, that you were supposed to leave them at room temperature. But I had stuck my trays in the fridge, because my dog Little Monkey has been eating food off the kitchen counter lately the moment my back is turned and I didn’t want these going the way of my muffins!
  • They were so sweet, which is saying something for me (a sugar-addict) that I did not bother to sandwich them together with filling – aka more sugar!

So there you have it.

My Macarons were (Yep, past tense; all eaten!) crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and delicious. Just goes to show – you do not need fancy equipment or gadgets.



Treacle Toffee

Treacle Toffee 1

Treacle Toffee 1

Look what I found on the local supermarket shelves! No, you don’t understand! I haven’t seen black treacle for decades!

Of course I bought it! Next time I go it will have vanished!

Now I realise that Bonfire Night is November 5th, but the expiry date on the tin was September. So I thought, Oh, Go on! Just make treacle toffee!

So I did!

Treacle Toffee 2

Treacle Toffee 2

Stage one. Put all ingredients (enough sugar to last a lifetime) in pan and boil.

Treacle Toffee 3

Treacle Toffee 3

Pour into tray to cool.

Treacle Toffee 4

Treacle Toffee 4

Cut up or break up and consume in 2 days.

Of course it lasts much longer. It just tastes so yummy, you can’t help yourself!



1/4 lb butter or margarine

1/4 b treacle

1/4 lb syrup

1/2 lb Demerara sugar


Heat butter in saucepan and when partly melted add treacle, syrup and sugar. Mix together well and boil for 8 to 10 minutes. (The longer it is boiled the more brittle it becomes.)

Test by dropping a little into a cup of cold water. If it immediatley hardens it is ready. Pour the toffee onto a greased tray and leave to set.

Easiest way to break up; simply bash it when it has hardened!




A Piece of Cake

A piece of cake!

A piece of cake!

Happiness is . . .

Suddenly remembering there’s a slice of milk tart left in the fridge! Yum!

What is melktert? It is an Afrikaans dessert, similar, but superior, to the English egg custard.

Try it out for yourself:


Oh wait! That one’s in Afrikaans! haha

Here you go: