Posts Tagged ‘Halal’

Chai Macarons

Yes, I know, I haven’t blogged in a while, its been a busy time for me. I’ve been in the process of completing my teaching diploma and was on my first practical, a six week placement in a year one class. It’s hard to run a household, a marriage and look after a child while having to be out of the house for 7 hours a day, alhumdulillah, the experience was great and extremely fulfilling, although I am relieved that it’s over (for now anyway).







For those of you that read my blog and remember, I took part in a Dilmah competition a few months ago where I entered these Chai Macarons (if not, you can read about it here and here). These macaron shells were flavoured with tea, cardamon, cinnamon and sandwiched with a chai white chocolate ganache. I’ve finally gotten the chance to post the recipe. Yippee!!

Chai Macarons

I’ve attached the recipe in .pdf format because that’s how it’s saved on my computer as I needed to give a copy to the Dilmah officials and figured it would be the easiest way to share it with all of you. This recipe is made using the Italian meringue method (pouring a hot sugar syrup into egg whites) instead of my usual French meringue, if you have a handle on the French meringue method, feel free to use that, just remember to add the spices to the almond/icing sugar mixture.

Give these a go, and if you’re not too afraid (and have a thermometer lying around) try the Italian method. Chai macarons with a pot of tea, perfect late night snack, enjoy!

What Macaron?

Do any of you remember a time when red velvet cupcakes and macarons weren’t so unbelievably popular, I do, but those memories seem to be slowly fading into the distance. Red velvets were not a favourite of mine to begin with, I had tried it a few times and was never impressed, until this recipe of my own. I’ve been enjoying them ever since, I think I just had a few bad experiences in the beginning. Macarons on the other hand, I’ve loved ever since I tasted my first one while holidaying with my husband in Singapore, this was before they became trendy in Australia and I’ve pretty much been obsessed ever since. With that said, I thought I would combine these two ever so popular treats into one mega treat… Drum roll please… The Red Velvet Macaron! Yip, that’s right, a red macaron with a light hint of cocoa, sandwiched with a smooth cream cheese filling, what’s not to love?







Red Velvet Macarons

40g egg white (1 egg white at room temperature)

56g almond meal

72g icing sugar

1 tsp cocoa powder

20g castor sugar

1/4 tsp red gel food colouring

Measure out your ingredients. Combine almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa powder, grind these till you achieve a fine powder. Whip egg whites till foamy, slowly stream in the sugar until egg whites are stiff and glossy. Add in gel colouring and give it a quick beat until it turns an even red. Sift almond meal, icing sugar and cocao mixture on top of egg whites and fold until just combined.

Pre heat oven to 150°c. Fill mixture into piping bag and pipe 3cm rounds onto baking paper lined trays. Let mixture sit for 15-30 minutes. Place in oven for 15 minutes or until tops don’t move when pushed with a finger.

Cream cheese filling

40g softened cream cheese

40g softened butter

3/4 cups icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

Beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla essence in a bowl until creamy and combined. Slowly add sugar till smooth and fluffy. Fill in a piping bag and pipe into macaron shells.

Love Red Velvet Cupcakes? Love Macarons? Then you’ll love these Red Velvet Macarons. Red with a delicate hint of cocoa, accompanied by a cream cheese filling, yum!







Soccer Ball cake

I made this cake as an order for some friends. Was quite interesting how it all came together.





I don’t have a soccer ball mould, so I baked the bottom of the cake in a standard spring form pan and the top rounded ball part in a round metal bowl. After baking I realised the round bowl just wasn’t round enough. I cut of all the excess cake to even it out, I crumbed this and mixed it with chocolate buttercream to create a mixture that I could mould (great for cake pops as well). I took this mixture and moulded it into a very round bowl that I borrowed from my in laws, set it in the freezer and it was the perfect shape.

To make the soccer ball black and white shapes I used this template, which I found through Google images. I printed and cut it out, laid it on the cake and marked it by scoring the edges with a blunt knife, I then lined these markings with black buttercream and filled the spaces with white.

Here’s my tip for getting a really black buttercream. I made a big batch of plain buttercream and separated a small portion to be turned black. I kept adding black gel colouring until I achieved black, but lo and behold even after adding the whole bottle I still only had grey. I didn’t have any more black colouring so I panicked a little, then decided to add in some cocoa powder, this worked a treat, I had black buttercream in no time, and what’s even better it tasted really good!







In other news, my baby boy is 20 months today! I cannot believe it! Where has the time gone?

Hope this post helps anyone out there attempting to make a soccer ball cake, wasn’t so hard now that I think about it now!

Brownies for Brother Bear

It was my brother’s birthday a couple weeks ago, just a few days before Ramadhan in fact. His only request was chocolate brownies, so I decided to have a look at my favourite recipes and come up with one of my own. And here I present to you… Block Brownies. Why call them block brownies? I guess because they look like big chunky blocks, lol!







There’s a few different textures in brownies, fudgy, cakey or gooey. I’m a big fan of them all, these in particular happen to be the cakey type. They weren’t exactly what him or I had planned, but still great all the same.

Here’s the recipe with a few of my adjustments.

Block Brownies

200g butter

115g chocolate chopped (I’d do 150g next time)

300g brown sugar

4 eggs

1 1/4 cup plain flour

2 tblsp cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking powder (1/8 next time)

Optional extras

1/4 cup choc chips

1/4 cup white choc chips

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a saucepan over medium heat combine butter, chocolate and brown sugar. Once melted and smooth, remove from stove and set aside for 10 minutes. Pre heat oven to 180c. Once cool add in eggs one at a time. Mix in flour, cocoa and baking powder. Add in extras and mix through. Fill into a brownie pan and bake for 30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Ideally you want the skewer to have a slight moist crumb, it will continue to cook after removed, and that will make for a moister brownie.

If you try these Block Brownies out with my recipe adjustments let me know how they turn out. Happy Birthday again Muhammed!

Spice up your dates!

Ramadhaan has dawned upon us once again. Dates are out in full force, from fruit shops, to grocery stores and even the local supermarket chain. Dates are very nutritious, full of fibre and great to stave off hunger pangs, no wonder it’s the perfect food to break fast with. The best part is that this wonderful treat is not only good for you, it tastes good and most importantly it’s Sunnah!







We go through a lot of dates during Ramadhaan, so I’ve come up with some date recipes to spice things up a little. There’s no doubt that dates taste great just by themselves, but if you do want to try something a little different, are having guests over or even need a treat outside of Ramadhaan, give these a go.

Pistachio Cashew Dates

Split date on 1 side and remove pit. Crush pistachio and cashews. You’ll need 1 tsp of nuts per date. Fill dates with crushed nuts.

Coconut Almond Dates

This is an old classic. Split date on 1 side and remove pit. Fill 1 almond in each date. Heat butter on stove, throw in coconut, again you’ll need approximately 1 tsp per date. Roll dates in heated butter and coconut mixture.

Cream Cheese Walnut Dates







Split date on 1 side and remove pit. Fill each date with approx. 1/2 tsp cream cheese and 1 walnut which you can crush by hand. This is my personal favourite, it’s a recipe given to me by a friend. Thanks Christina!

Give these a try sometime, great during Ramadhaan or any time really. Ramadhaan Mubarak to everyone out there, hope you all have a blessed month.

India: An Experience, A Wedding, Paneer

Just over six months ago we embarked on a journey to the subcontinent. My husband, son and I left in late December to make a few stops along the way. Phuket and Kuala Lumpur were on the cards before getting to India, a country neither of us had been to, despite our Indian heritage. This was not a holiday by any means, our sole purpose was to attend the wedding of Abdullah’s sister (my wonderful sister in law), Aasiya. What we never expected was to leave feeling humbled, grateful and renewed.

India is an amazing place with amazing people and beautiful sights. One of the most enjoyable parts of our trip was definitely the wedding and the functions that preceded it. And coming a close second was the food, there is honestly nothing like Indian food, so intricate in flavour and colour. My favourite dish in India was anything that had paneer (an Indian cheese, looks like a block of fetta, texture and taste of cottage cheese).

It’s something I always order in an Indian restaurant here and usually cook with the frozen bags at home. As in India has a high population of vegetarians, paneer is extremely popular, and depsite having over 20 paneer dishes while in India, not one of them was the same, there was paneer in different types of curries, paneer with marinates that were grilled, paneer balls, crumbed paneer, paneer stuffed in chillies and vegies, and too many more to mention. Even after all that, I wasn’t sick of the paneer, and forunately for me, on my last day in India I watched an Indian chef on TV make paneer from scratch, I couldn’t believe how easy it was.

Since our trip, I have made paneer countless times, and there’s nothing like the fresh stuff, I’ll never go back to frozen again. I will be doing a recipe on how to make paneer from scratch sometime in the near future. For now, here’s a recipe using paneer.







Paneer Malai** Tikka

500g paneer
1/2 bunch corriander
3/4 tsp salt1 tsp ground cumin
1 whole green chilli
1 tblsp lemon juice
1/2 cup cream (**malai is an Indian term for cream)
Cut the paneer into cubes and set aside in a bowl. Grind all ingredients except for cream in a blender, once blended into a paste mix in cream. Pour over paneer and leave to marinate. Cook off on a medium to high heat in a about 1 tblsp oil. Serve with naan bread.

Variation: This recipe works well with chicken, just substitute the 500g paneer with 500g chicken pieces.

India is a definite must see and it’s a place I’m sure we’ll be visiting again. For now, enjoy some photos from our trip.

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Try out this paneer malai tikka recipe, great with chicken as well. Oh and Happy 6 month Anniversary Aasiya and Salim!

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