Padkos: Road trip friendly snacks

Banana Choc Chip Cookie

I wanted to title this post “anything but banana bread” but there are too many things wrong with that. For one thing, how many people would put that into a search bar? Probably more than you think, but maybe I’m the only one who feels distinctly “meh” about baking another banana loaf with overripe bananas.

A long time ago I mentioned the Checkers 50% off marked downs on fruits and veggies, and since we have moved to Plumstead, we have once again found a use for it. Unfortunately, when fruit is so expensive and boxes of bananas are often marked down, we have had far too many bananas, for too many days in close succession. Of the bananas you get in these boxes, only 1 or 2 are ready to eat. The rest are on their way to mush so, unless you have a smoothie maker (ours packed up months ago) the only thing to do is to mash them into something baked. Suffice to say, we have a number of loaves of banana bread in the freezer and I’d prefer for that particular family not to grow – thank you very much.

Which meant, when we were offered some more bananas heading towards their inedible status, we gladly accepted, but I had to find another recipe I could use them in. Enter the Banana Chocolate Chip cookie. If you’re a fan of crisp, shortbread like cookies, I would have to ask you to keep moving. However, if you quite like the softer, more whoopie pie kind of cookie then you’ve come to the right place. After just one cookie, I am already thinking about sandwiching 2 together with some chocolate ice cream or maybe with just some marshmallow fluff. I mean, is there anyone who doesn’t like an ice cream sandwich?

My Google search brought up this Banana Choc Chip Cookie recipe from the Taste of Home website. According to the recipe, it yields 3 dozen but it mentioned a number of half cup measures. I’m more of a full cup kind of person so I just went ahead and doubled the recipe. I mean, if you want to do something, you may as well do it properly. Also, I had 2 huge smooshy bananas that needed urgent attention. But really, just call me #CookieMonster.


Based on my experience with this recipe, I’m not sure how they managed to get 3 dozen cookies out on just half the batter. I managed to get around 24, normal sized cookies out of double the recipe. Maybe they were making cookies for ants – who knows. Anyway, let’s just get to the recipe, shall we?

Banana Choc Chip Cookie

150g butter, at room temperature

250ml sugar (white or brown would work)

2 large eggs, at room temperature

250ml mashed banana (+- 2 large)

625-650ml flour, sifted (adjust in accordance with the size of the bananas)

10ml baking powder

2.5ml bicarbonate of soda

2.5ml salt

500ml chocolate chips

5ml caramel essence


Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius and grease a 23x30cm cookie sheet well. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in the mashed banana. Add dry ingredients and beat well. Just before you finish up, add caramel essence and mix through. You are looking for a very stiff batter. If it is too loose, add another 125ml flour but use your discretion. This is a cake like cookie so the dough would be as stiff as normal cookie dough.

Drop teaspoon sized portions of batter, 2cm apart on the baking sheet. The cookies spread, but not much. Bake for about 8 minutes depending on your oven. Watch your first batch and then adjust accordingly.

Makes about 24 medium cookies.

Chocolate Crunchies

{Repost from my food blog} Back to the recipe I was supposed to give you last year but, since it will definitely feature in our “padkos” (road trip food), it actually fits in better right here. These chocolate crunchies are packed with oats, coconut and cocoa so, despite their robe of dark chocolate sauce, the “good ingredients balance out the butter and sugar quite nicely.

And you don’t even have to wait for the crunchies to cool before you pour on the topping. When the topping is poured on, while the crunchies are still hot, you will find that the icing sinks in before it hardens to form a delicious layer of crisp, dark sweetness to hit that sweet tooth right in the gut. Good luck getting these to last a week in your house. In fact, invite some people over or take this tray bake to a party. You don’t want to tempt yourself with these tantalizing titbits. It’s a little ridiculous how easy it is to finish a pan full all by yourself. No judgies!

easy, chocolate, crunchies, baking, recipes, lunch box fillers, sweetChocolate Crunchies

500ml whole wheat flour

500ml coconut

500ml oats

250ml sugar

30ml cocoa powder

10ml baking powder

375g butter, at room temperature

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a 30x45cm oven pan with baking paper making sure you leave a generous edge all the way around. You will use this later to help you remove the crunchies from the pan. Place all the ingredients into a large bowl of a stand mixture and beat on low speed until combined. If you don’t have a stand mixer, feel free to use your hands to rub the butter into the dry ingredients. Press this mixture into your prepped oven pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. It will still seem a bit soft when you remove it from the oven but don’t worry.

While the crunchies are baking, mix together 500ml icing sugar (sifted), 15ml cocoa powder, 60ml butter (at room temperature) and just enough hot water to make a smooth, spreadable paste. Pour this over the crunchies the minute they come out of the oven. Use the back of a large tablespoon to spread the icing all the way to the corners of the crunchies. Let this set for about 20 minutes before using the baking paper to lift the crunchies out of the pan and onto a chopping board. Slice while still slightly warm and cool completely before storing in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.

Sugar Free ChocNana Cake

gluten free, sugar free, chocolate cake, chocolate banana cake, banting friendly, dark chocolate, baking, recipesGluten free baking has become a bit passe lately and, as much as I would like to call this a banting friendly cake, it was pointed out to me that bananas are a no no. So, I can call this a gluten free cake with only the tiniest amounts of honey for little extra sweetness.

I actually blogged this recipe before as a recipe for LCHF friendly banana bread, but after adding cocoa and honey to it, I found that it made the most delicious cupfakes (fake cupcakes). This past weekend I turned it into a large cake which I then topped with dark chocolate ganache. Whether you make cupcakes or a large cake, just adjust the baking time to 20 minutes for cupcakes and 35 minutes for the large cake. As always, the timing is very dependent on your own oven so test the cake with a toothpick skewer inserted in the center just to be sure.

The great thing about this cake is that it is light, delicious and fairly inexpensive to make which means you can go to town on the ganache and invest in the darkest, purest, most decadent chocolate you can afford. Would you believe that something this delicious could be made in a food processor? Well, once you try it, you will never go back to a more complex cake again.

gluten free, sugar free, chocolate cake, chocolate banana cake, banting friendly, dark chocolate, baking, recipesSugar Free ChocNana Cake
560g very ripe bananas (about 5 or 6 big bananas)
125ml peanut/almond or any other butter
50g butter, melted
5-15ml honey, to taste

4 large eggs

125ml coconut flour
15ml cocoa powder
5ml bicarbonate of soda
5ml baking powder

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and grease a large cake pan with butter or non stick cooking spray. Place bananas, butters, eggs and honey into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and blitz until smooth. Mix dry ingredients together and add to the banana mixture. Blitz well and scrape down the bowl before blitzing again until well combined. Pour into greased cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Pierce the center of the cake with a toothpick to check that it is done before removing from the oven. Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes as the cake is very light and quite delicate. Cool completely before topping with dark chocolate ganache.

Dark Chocolate Ganache
100ml cream
250g dark chocolate, chopped

Heat cream in a glass dish at 100% power using the microwave until just before boiling point. Place chocolate in hot cream and set aside for 2 minutes to start melting. Stir well until smooth and glossy. Cool on the counter and stir well before topping the cake. After about an hour, the ganache will set to truffle consistency and you can slice it neatly.

Okay, so it isn’t padkos friendly so to speak but, if you happen to celebrate a special occasion while you are living your nomad life, this cake doesn’t need all that much elbow grease and it is ideal for making friends and influencing neighbours 😉

Grain and sugar free banana bread (LCHF/Banting friendly) from Nicoletta

560g bananas, peeled and broken in quarters

4 large free range eggs

125ml sugar free peanut or any other nut butter (the Black Cat peanut butter with the yellow lid is sugar and salt free)

50g butter, melted

5ml vanilla extract

125ml coconut flour

15ml ground cinnamon

5ml mixed spice

2.5ml nutmeg, fresh grated (ground will do at a push)

5ml bicarbonate of soda (scant teaspoonful)

5ml baking powder

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and butter a large loaf tin. Place bananas, eggs, butters and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and blitz until well combined stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl and add to the mixture in the food processor. Blitz again and scrape down the sides before blitzing one last time. Pour into loaf tin making sure to leave at least 1cm space in the tin to accommodate rising. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the bread springs back to the touch when pressed down. If the bread starts to brown too quickly, cover the top lightly with foil (dull side facing outwards) after it has been baking for about 20 minutes.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the tin to release the bread. Invert onto a wire cooling rack but turn the bread over again to cool for another 10 minutes before eating. The bread is fairly delicate so work gently to prevent breaking.

Peanut butter cookies

peanut butter cookies, 3 ingredients, peanut butter, recipe, gluten free, flourless, valentines, valentine's day, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsI heard about this cookie recipe so long ago I was sure that I’d blogged about it already but since I couldn’t find the post on this site I thought I would post it with a Valentine’s Day twist. This recipe is so simple even a child could make it and it requires nothing more than a measuring cup, a spoon and a bowl. I like dusting my cookies in granulated sugar before baking as it adds a lovely crunch and they seem to sparkle once they have cooled off.

I found a tube of mini Rolos at the Clicks Christmas Clearance sale and used them to make 24 mini cookies. After doing some Googling it seems as if Rolos aren’t gluten free though so rather go with dark chocolate to be safe.

peanut butter cookies, 3 ingredients, peanut butter, recipe, gluten free, flourless, valentines, valentine's day, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsPeanut butter cookies with a Valentine’s Day twist (makes 12 large cookies)

250ml smooth peanut butter

125ml white sugar

1 large egg

12 Rolo sweets (for those who aren’t sensitive to gluten) or 12 blocks of dark chocolate (for those who are)

Optional: 145ml granulated sugar for rolling cookie dough balls in before baking.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line 2 cookie sheets with baking paper. Place peanut butter, sugar and egg into a bowl and mix until well combined.

Take a teaspoon of dough into your hand and press chocolate into it. Place another teaspoon of dough on top and mould around the chocolate so that it is completely covered. Roll cookie dough ball in sugar until all sides are coated and place on the cookie sheet. The cookies will spread so I suggest only placing about 6 cookies per baking sheet on at a time.

The cookies will flatten out by themselves so don’t worry to flatten them before baking. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and cool on the cookie sheet before storing in airtight containers. They taste better the next day so make them ahead of time for a delicious treat with coffee on Valentine’s Day.

Makes 12 large cookies or 24 if using mini Rolos.







Homemade Lemon Creams

lemon cream biscuits, lemon creams, recipe, cookies, sandwiches, cookie, lemon, baking, bake, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsI meant to put this post up earlier this week…or maybe it was last week depending on when I eventually hit publish. I’m grateful that this week wasn’t as busy as last week but between getting home after work, making supper then racing off to Juijitsu I am finding that blogging is slipping down the list a bit.

Add to the fact that I’m consciously cutting back on chocolate and baked treats and I’m wondering if I shouldn’t hold off on this post now and post this next week instead (since I have no idea where I will find time to bake this weekend) so that the pressure is off to create content when time is so limited. I know I’m rambling (and that was a very long sentence) and I’m sorry but I feel like a there’s a change coming. It doesn’t have clearly defined outlines yet but since my work contract ends in November 2016 and won’t be renewed, I’m going to have to look for another way of making money.

I’m reluctant to apply for jobs that will put me back in the inflexible, 9-5, boss ruled environment and would far rather chase my dreams but I’m not too sure how to do that and have a tiny assurance that I’ll be able to pay the bond at the end of the day. I’ve been thinking about how I answer the question of what I do lately and find that often it isn’t simple. My day job doesn’t really interfere with my social life but it is what I do in my social time that brings the most joy.

Often, my explanation for what I do (as in what takes up my time) is that I’m a food blogger. But EVERYBODY is a food blogger these days so it doesn’t mean much anymore. I also lead worship at church so I’m a singer but I have a keen interest in photography and writing. I am currently very passionate about juijitsu and actually really good at facilitating training (adult learning, corporate context) so I could, maybe, see myself as one of the trainers one day?? Meep!

If I pictured myself in a dream job right at this very second I would probably be a little shy to say I wouldn’t mind doing TV again and would absolutely love to be a voice over artist. So many people (who have actual knowledge and expertise) have told me that I have a great voice and appealing accent so I think I would do well but it is a tough industry to break into.

Considering the number of awesome people who follow me, many of whom have amazing connections into the industry, I would like to put it out there that I am available for opportunities. I THINK it is a reasonable assumption that these amazing people read my blog occasionally and I would like to believe that they think I’m interesting/nice/talented/funny or SOMETHING and maybe this post could be the start of making my dreams a reality. So…I’m putting it out there. You know where to find me and I pray that I will work with every single one of you wonderful people that I admire so much.

And so, on to the blog post…FINALLY!

Lemon creams are probably the ugliest stepsister of the biscuit world. Few people love them and would choose them over oh… I don’t know… Strawberry Whirls or those delicious gingery biscuits covered in chocolate but my husband happens to be one of those strange people who would actually ask for them.

Given all the unrecognizable ingredients on the label I decided to try making them myself and, while the cookie isn’t as crisp as the one you would find in the shop, my recipe at least isn’t filled with trans fats, preservatives and colourants.

This buttery cookie is twice the size of the shop bought variety and is sandwiched together with a delectable fresh lemon juice buttercream. My husband has given them the 2 thumbs up and will no longer be accepting one off the shelf. That’s a win in my book and I hope you will give them a try.

Homemade Lemon Creams

250g butter

250ml granulated sugar

250ml icing sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

125ml oil

30ml milk

15ml vanilla essence (or 10ml extract)

1060ml flour

5ml bicarbonate of soda

5ml cream of tartar

Sift flour, bicarb and cream of tartar together and set aside. Beat remaining ingredients together and turn mixer down to its lowest setting. Add spoonfuls of flour to the butter mixture while mixing continuously until it has all been incorporated and you have soft dough. Place dough into a large, clean plastic bag and tie to close. Place bag in fridge for at least 1 hour to rest.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and prepare 2 cookie sheets with baking paper or a silicon mat. Roll out half the dough at a time, leaving other half in the fridge and cut shapes out with cookie cutters. You could also pinch off chunks of dough, roll into balls and then flatten with the bottom of a glass. Place cookies on baking sheet with enough space between to allow for spreading. Bake for 8-12 minutes depending on your oven and size of cookies until they just start turning golden brown and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Repeat until you have used up all the dough or simply make what you need and keep dough in the fridge for next time.

Lemon buttercream

125g butter, at room temperature

750ml icing sugar

45-75ml fresh lemon juice

Beat butter until creamy and add small quantities of icing sugar until fully incorporated. Add enough lemon juice to make a spreading consistency and sandwich similar sized cookies together. Store in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.

Brookie Cookies

brownie cookies, recipe, soft chewy choc chip cookies, best soft cookies recipe, giant cookies, baking, recipe, biscuits, cookie monster sized cookies, cookmonster, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsWhat comes to mind when I say, “brookie cookies”? In South Africa, broekie is the Afrikaans word for underpants and broodtjie is a small bread. Both of these are pronounced in a fairly similar way but none of them are in any way related to these soft, chewy, delectable brownie choc chip cookies.

I noticed that I have pinned almost 2500 pins on my “Recipes I’d love to try” board and if I have tried 5 so far it would be a lot. I pinned this Urban Bakes recipe ages ago but the quantity of ingredients needed put me off (I mean, 7 eggs in total)!

This recipe would be ideal for a church or school bake sale as the size of the cookies are impressive enough to go for at least R10 each and you will have people begging for more. I like to think of them as Cookie Monster sized! 😉

I hope you will give these chewy, delicious soft cookies a try and let me know what you think.

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Brookie Cookies


160ml butter

150g dark chocolate

500ml sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

5ml Nomu vanilla extract (or 10ml vanilla essence)

625ml cake flour

5ml baking powder

Pinch of salt

Melt butter and chocolate together in a glass bowl in the microwave for 2 minutes at 60% power. Stir once or twice to ensure even melting and a smooth consistency. Add sugar and mix well until smooth again then add eggs. Beat by hand for a minute until fully incorporated and smooth then add vanilla. Sift dry ingredients into chocolate mixture and stir until smooth and no flour is visible. Set aside.

brownie cookies, recipe, soft chewy choc chip cookies, best soft cookies recipe, giant cookies, baking, recipe, biscuits, cookie monster sized cookies, cookmonster, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsChocolate Chip Cookies

375g butter, at room temperature

625ml brown sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

10 pumps Nomu Vanilla paste (or 10ml vanilla extract)

1060ml (4 cups plus 4 tablespoons) cake flour

5ml bicarbonate of soda

5ml baking powder

Pinch of salt

360g dark chocolate, chopped finely

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and prep two cookie sheets with baking (not wax!) paper and set aside. Beat butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and creamy scraping down the sides a few times to ensure your mixer hasn’t missed any spots. With mixer running at medium speed add eggs one at a time beating well between each addition. Add vanilla (the paste makes a huge difference so try to get hold of it). Sift dry ingredients together in another bowl and turn your stand mixer down to low. Add a few spoonfuls of flour to the egg and butter mixture while the machine is running and mix until all used up and well incorporated. Lastly, add the chocolate chips and mix briefly until well distributed through the dough.

Place 1 tablespoon full of brownie dough onto the cookie sheet and then place a tablespoonful of choc chip dough right up against it. Use the back of your spoon to shape the dough into a cookie making sure there are no gaps. You want these two spoons of dough to merge together. These cookies will spread a lot so make sure to leave lots of room in between. I could only manage 6 cookies per sheet and I wouldn’t try more than 9 cookies on a large baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes and cool on the cookie sheet. The heat of the sheet will continue baking the cookie which means it will firm up before you can move it to a cooling rack. Repeat until all the batter and dough has been used up. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

Makes 36 giant brookie cookies.


how to make lamingtons, baking recipes, recipe, lamingtons, coconut, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsI’ve never really been a fan of lamingtons. I have eaten them a few times and found that the only thing I found enchanting about them was that they are called “krimpvarkies” in Afrikaans. How cute is that?

As I mentioned in a previous post, my mom is quite fond of all things coconut so I thought it would be nice for the kids and I to make her this special treat for when she comes over for Sunday lunch. The kids have been nagging me to bake for ages but because I don’t have that much patience I try to avoid it unless I have some rescue remedy under my belt and lots of deep breaths.

I must say that they have started listening to instruction a bit more and had great fun making some cakes with me. The lovely thing about these cakes is that they are very easy to make. The grown ups only need to get involved in making the sauce and, once the sauce has cooled, the kids get to enjoy dipping and rolling the cakes in coconut.

how to make lamingtons, baking recipes, recipe, lamingtons, coconut, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsLamingtons recipe

4 large eggs, at room temperature

500ml sugar

5ml vanilla extract

250ml oil

750ml cake flour

15ml baking powder

250ml milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and prep a large baking dish or oven tray with baking paper that you have sprayed with non stick cooking spray or butter. Beat eggs and sugar for 5 minutes on high speed for 5 minutes until light and creamy. Add vanilla and oil and beat well.

Sift together flour and baking powder and set aside. Keep the milk close by. Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add 3 spoonfuls of flour to the egg mixture followed by a dash of milk. Repeat until all the flour and milk has been used up. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes then scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Beat again until smooth. Pour into prepped baking pan and bake for 30-45 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I found that the cake browned on top before it baked through so I placed a sheet of foil (dull side facing up) over the cake at the 30 minute mark. Each oven is different so use your common sense.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack. Leave the baking paper on until it has cooled completely. While you are waiting you can make the sauce.

Chocolate Sauce

500ml hot water

500ml sugar

50ml cocoa powder

15ml buttermilk

Place all the ingredients in a pot and heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil while stirring. Boil rapidly for 5 minutes before turning off the heat and setting aside to cool.

Place 250g of dessicated coconut into a large shallow bowl and set aside. Dip cake into sauce using 2 forks making sure you cover all the sides. Move the dipped cake into bowl of coconut and roll until all the sides have been covered. Move onto a plate and repeat with the rest of the cake until all the lamingtons are done. Rest for at least 2 hours before serving – this gives the cake time to dry and settle.

Makes 24 large lamingtons

Nutella Cookie Sandwiches

recipe, Nutella Cookie Sandwiches, baking, chocolate, nutella recipe, cookie sandwiches, easy, tea time, treat, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsSmooth, creamy, dark and mysterious…chocolate holds special memories for many of us and is often the treat we reach for first after a long hard day or a broken heart. There is something about this evocative delight that brings about relaxation and a sense of calm. A tiny morsel of the familiar that allows us to close our eyes for a few minutes and let all the stresses of the day float away as it melts on your tongue.

Nutella has brought this little piece of happiness to the breakfast table and has opened up a world of devilish goodness to add appeal and enhance the most mundane of foods. If you have never added a scoop or two to your morning oats may I suggest that you try this immediately? But even the richest delights can be taken up a decadent notch by adding a knifeful of this chocolate delight. Nutella croissant anyone?

Today I give you a way to deliciously fill your cookie jar that will definitely bring all the boys school kids to the yard ;).

recipe, Nutella Cookie Sandwiches, baking, chocolate, nutella recipe, cookie sandwiches, easy, tea time, treat, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsNutella Cookie Sandwiches – makes 18 cookie sandwiches

200g butter, at room temperature

30ml Nutella

250ml sugar

1 egg

60ml oats, finely ground in a food processor or coffee grinder

375ml flour

125ml Nomu cocoa powder

5ml bicarbonate of soda

2.5ml baking powder

100g toasted hazelnuts, finely ground (optional) – I used sprinkle nuts


300g Nutella

Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius and prepare 3 cookie sheets with baking (not wax) paper or a silicon mat. Beat butter, Nutella and sugar together until creamy then add the egg. Beat until well combined. Sift dry ingredients together (excl nuts) and slowly add to the butter mixture. Mix very well until no traces of flour remain.

recipe, Nutella Cookie Sandwiches, baking, chocolate, nutella recipe, cookie sandwiches, easy, tea time, treat, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsPlace teaspoonfuls of mixture into your clean, dry hands and roll into a ball. Dip the top of each ball into the ground nuts if using and place onto cookie sheet with nut side facing upwards. Leave a minimum of 2cm space between each ball before flattening with the bottom of a clean, dry glass. Bake for 8-10 minutes before removing from the oven and allowing to cool on the cookie sheet. Repeat the process until all the cookie dough is finished. Store flattened cookie dough in the fridge if you have more cookie sheets ready than your oven can handle. The cookies will look puffed up and soft when you remove them from the oven but they will flatten out again and crisp up while cooling.

Once cool, sandwich similar sized cookies together with a generous smear of Nutella and serve with ice cold milk.




30 day bran muffins

30 day muffin batter, bran muffins, healthy muffins, dried fruit, raisins, without raisins, lunch box, how to make bran muffins, muffins, treats, school, packed lunch, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs Back to school for most of us here in Cape Town South Africa and I made my first lunch box of the year. Keeping things interesting, within the school rules, takes some doing and yes, there are days where the kids go to school with popcorn for lunch. I know! I’m a terrible mom.

In better, more well thought out weeks I often have these “30 day muffins” in the fridge and while the batter never makes it that far in our house it is something you can sucessfully mix up and keep for up to 30 days. All it takes then on days where you run out of inspiration is to preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius the minute you wake up. Pop some muffin/cupcake liners into muffin pans and you have fresh and fragrant bran muffins in under 30 minutes.

I know that there are many people who don’t enjoy raisins so feel free to substitute the fruit cake mix with 250g pitted dates or simply just leave it out. This fruit makes the muffins deliciously sweet so if you do leave them out I would increase the sugar to 375ml.

Feel free to play with the recipe to your liking. You can increase or decrease the amount of bran as long as you balance out the total amount of flour needed.

30 day bran muffins

2 large eggs

250ml sugar

125ml oil

600ml cake flour

275ml wheat bran (or nutty/brown bread flour)

10ml bicarbonate of soda

5ml salt

500ml milk

5ml vanilla extract

500ml fruit cake mix or 250g pitted dates finely chopped or leave out completely.

Whisk the first 3 ingredients together well then add sifted dry ingredients. Mix extract and milk together and stir everything together well. Add fruit and give everything a good stir. Place in sealed container for up to 30 days.

To bake: Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and bake in prepped or lined muffin tins for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot or cold with cheese and or apricot jam.


homemade tortillas, quick and easy, breads, wraps, home made, rumtumtiggs, tami magnin, rum tum tiggs, simple, pantry staple
From left to right (clockwise): Watermelon slushy, 5 ingredient cheesecakes, cheese quesadillas and a side salad

As summer here in Cape Town, South Africa draws to a close, the nights finally get cool enough for you to get some sleep but the days are lovely & sunny without the discomfort of extreme heat. That means it is the ideal time to take the family outside during dinner time and have a picnic in the back yard, beach or a nearby park.

Did you know that Ecopack now sells directly to the public and their range of high quality eco-friendly packaging is 100% compostable and biodegradable? This means that you can make what you need for the picnic, package it and not have to carry empty containers home with you since you can dispose of them in the nearest bin and carry on with your evening with a clear conscience. For more information go to or email to place your order.

Picnics are best when they are completely spontaneous and you can grab whatever you have in the house preferably without having to pop in to the local supermarket for everything ready made that they have in stock. It goes without saying that you will pay dearly for that convenience and in this day and age few of us can afford it.

These homemade tortillas are a great staple to keep in your freezer and it makes sense to make double or triple the mixture on a day you are feeling industrious, fry them all off and pack them flat (in batches of 6 or 8) into a few freezer safe plastic bags or dishes.

They make great a great replacement for ordinary breads or rolls and they can be used as wraps or turned into quesadilla type sandwiches. My family love eating them sandwiched together and then toasted in a pan so that the cheese melts. This works out wonderfully for lunchboxes too especially if you are trying to not each too much bread :).

I have had this recipe for a long time and often use it when I make pulled pork and I got it from a wonderful blogger called Carey who blogs here. When I feel like making it a bit healthier I use 250ml brown bread/wholewheat flour and make the rest white bread flour. The recipe makes 8 tortillas so feel free to multiply the quantities to make a bigger batch.


500ml all purpose/white bread/brown bread flour (or a combination)

7.5ml baking powder

5ml salt

10ml seed or olive oil

200ml warm milk

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Sprinkle over the oil and mix gently. Make a hole in the center of the mix and slowly add the milk. Mix with a fork until a dough forms. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough for a minute or two. Bring the dough into a ball and allow to rest in the bowl for 20 minutes covered with a clean dishcloth/tea towel.

Roll the ball into a sausage and cut into 8 even pieces. Roll out onto a clean surface that has been well dusted with flour and try to get it as flat as possible without breaking (the tortilla will puff up while it is fried). Heat a pan to very hot and fry each tortilla in a dry pan (no need to add any oil) until dark brown spots form. Flip over and repeat on the other side. Repeat with remaining dough until done.

Allow to cool before placing in freezer safe plastic and transferring to the freezer. To defrost simply place pack of tortillas in the fridge and allow to defrost overnight.

Garlic Pita Breads and Low Fat Butterbean Hummus

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I woke up in the early hours of this morning and found myself unable to get back to sleep. So there isn’t much more to do than get into the kitchen and start making bread. Aside from these pita breads I also made tortillas which I sealed and popped into the freezer for a lunchbox treat during the week. The pita breads were eating just after breakfast as the smell was irrestible and now the whole family has severe garlic breath 😉

homemade pita breads straight from the oven, bread, pita, flatbread, flat bread, hummus, butterbean spread, vegetarian, healthier alternative, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsLow Fat Butterbean Hummus

Original recipe from here

Place the following into the jug of a blender:

2 cloves garlic

1 (410g) tin of butterbeans (drained but save the water from the tin)

1 small lemon (grated rind and juice) or about 60ml lemon juice

1.25ml ground cumin/jeera

1.25ml paprika

Blitz in the blender until finely pureed using about 30ml of the water from the tin. Turn off blender once it is a smooth paste and the consistency you like. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight for the flavours to meld.

Store in fridge and eat within 3 days.

Pita Bread

Original recipe from here

500ml white bread flour (preferably) but cake/all purpose flour will do

10g instant yeast

5ml sugar

2.5ml salt

185ml lukewarm water

15ml olive oil


5-6 large cloves of garlic finely chopped/grated

185ml sunflower/seed or olive oil

Mix flour, yeast, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Slowly add water and oil while mixing with the other hand until flour becomes sticky. Pull together and knead well until a ball forms. Knead for a further 5 minutes until dough becomes soft and pliable. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 30-45 minutes).

Preheat oven to 250 degrees celcius. Grease baking sheet with butter.

Divide dough into 8-10 pieces (I formed a long roll and cut off uniform pieces). You will only fit about 3 regular size pitas onto a baking sheet at a time. On a well floured surface, roll out each piece of dough, sprinkling a little more flour if dough begins to stick. Transfer to prepped baking sheet and, using a pastry brush, brush the top with the garlic and oil. Add a bit of salt over the top if preferred.

Bake for 6-7 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately with hummus or any other spread/topping.

Butternut Fritters

I was reading up on the concept of Clean Eating recently and some of the concepts appealed to me as I have been trying to make healthier choices. Saying that in the (10 days short of a) year that I have been food blogging it was “Food Blogging that made me Fat” would be laughable and very immature to not take responsibility for what I have been putting into my body.

Autumn and Winter is a great time to get veggies in with all the soups and stews that are perfect to come home to after a trip home on a leaky bus but it doesn’t help the waistline if you follow that up with some hot chocolate and homemade butter cookies. I’m hesitating to type this next part but I have also signed up for the Winter Special at ABC boot camp that starts on 28 May. This winter special consists of 2 consecutive boot camps (5 days a week) for R850 (normal price R690 per camp). If you want to join me in the insanity, click here and tell them I sent you. At the end of the day, I’m going to need your help to stick it out and go every night come rain, wind, runny nose and the like.

I found this recipe on the Pick n Pay website and decided to make it for the kids on one rainy day over the long weekend. It went down better than I expected with many 2nd, 3rd and 4th helpings before we went off to Canal Walk to have a squizz at the Car Show. I have to feed my brood before we go out to stop the “I’m hungry” whine.

Butternut Fritters

500 grams butternuts, diced

1 large PnP egg

125 ml PnP low fat milk

7 ml PnP ground cinnamon

2 tbsp PnP brown sugar

1.5 cups self raising flour, bran-rich

60 ml PnP olive oil, or canola oil

1 tub PnP low fat yoghurt, for serving

  • Makes about 16
  • Simmer butternut in boiling water until cooked through
  • Drain well and set aside
  • Mash or purée butternut until smooth. Mix in egg, milk, cinnamon and sugar.
  • Sift flour into wet ingredients and carefully fold through to combine. Leave to stand for 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a large non-stick pan to a medium heat. Spoon mixture into pan.
  • Cook until golden on both sides and cooked through
  • Serve with a dollop of yoghurt, chopped nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey

Instead of serving mine with the recommended yogurt, honey and nuts I made up a batch of cinnamon sugar using about half a cup of castor sugar and added 1 heaped tablespoon on cinnamon. I placed about 3 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar on a plate and drained the flapjacks on some paper towel before transferring them over to the sugar covered plate. I then sprinkled some more cinnamon sugar over the top and dusted off the excess before serving.

While I was typing this up, I was trying to decide what to call it. PnP calls them flapjacks but I would call them fritters due to the fruit/veg content. Can anyone help me out and explain the difference?

Chocolate Biscuit Fudge

chocolate bisuit fudge, microwave, chocolate treats, no bake sweets, candies, rumtumtiggs, tami magnin

This is the favourite tuckshop treat I have been hinting at on Twitter recently. The recipe is so simple a child can do it and it works very well for bake sales and school baking days. The recipe can be made more luxurious by adding 100g mixed unsalted nuts instead of biscuit and adding green and red glace cherries or by adding dates and coconut for a more middle Eastern style dessert.  I suggest that you play around and experiment but always make more than you think you need. This will be gone in a flash 🙂

Chocolate Biscuit Fudge

200g marie biscuits or graham crackers, roughly broken into pieces

250g butter

500g icing/confectioners sugar

20g cocoa powder

1 egg, beaten

5ml caramel essence

Melt butter in the microwave for 2 minutes. Add cocoa powder and stir well. Add icing sugar and beaten egg. Mix well. Microwave for another 2 minutes. Add caramel essence and stir in biscuit pieces. Stir well until completely mixed through. Place in a square cake tin lined with baking/wax paper. Allow to cool and set in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Egg Free: It is possible to omit the egg from the above recipe. The mixture then doesn’t require the second 2 minute cooking session in the microwave. The bars are a lot firmer and not as fudgy but they are just as moreish.

Toasted Coconut Crumpets

toasted coconut, coconut recipes, coconut, crumpets, month end breakfast, bare cupboard breakfast, breakfast recipes, tea time, how to toast coconut, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

“I’m hungry Mom!” I hear this so often in my house that I wonder how I will manage once the kids are teenagers. As it is we give them a hearty maize breakfast (nothing else fills their tummies…not even oats) and we try and give them fruit or yogurt about 3 hours later but inevitably we will hear this cry about an hour before lunch time.

Now when this happens near month end, your options will be limited even when it comes to baking something from scratch. Suddenly you are sitting with about 250ml of milk in the fridge and 2 eggs. Okay, let’s check the pantry. That looks like about 500ml of flour. Mmmm…now what to make?

This is how this recipe for Toasted Coconut Crumpets came about. I toasted the coconut to give it a more distinctive flavour and threw in a few tablespoons of almonds to make it nutty (and hopefully a bit more filling). This recipe makes about 20 medium sized crumpets and can be enjoyed hot or cold with butter and maple syrup. It could even make a school approved snack if you leave the syrup at home ;).

Toasted Coconut Crumpets

150ml desiccated coconut

20ml flaked almonds (optional)

500ml cake flour

10ml baking powder

2.5ml salt

60ml sugar

60ml oil

2 eggs

250ml milk

100ml water

15ml butter for frying

Heat non stick pan on stove and add coconut and nuts. Stir gently until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside to cool in a bowl. Place pan back on the stove and melt 15ml of butter. While you are waiting for it to heat up sift together dry ingredients and whisk wet ingredients together in a tall jug with a fork. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir well until smooth. Fry spoonfuls of batter in the pan leaving enough space in between to allow for spreading. Flip over when bubbles form on the surface and cook the other side until golden brown. Serve hot or cold with butter and maple syrup. Makes 20 crumpets.

Crunchies with dried apricots and cranberries

recipe, apricot, cranberry, crunchies, quick, easy, dried fruit, oat bars, interesting facts, granola bars, oats, coconut, honey, syrup, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsOld fashioned crunchies or granola bars bring back so many memories of Saturday afternoons visiting the grandparents who often dunked them in their tea as there poor dentures couldn’t cope.

While there are many, many recipes for crunchies and I’m fairly sure every family has their own special secret recipe, the principle tends to remain quite similar. Most recipes like this one list old fashioned oats, coconut and flour mixed together with melted butter that has been combined with a touch of syrup or honey but the sky is the limit as far as additions or favourite combinations. Chopped white chocolate and cranberries would work and so would dark chocolate and orange rind. I have added dried fruits to mine and the family have almost polished off a batch in 2 days.

Crunchies with dried apricots and cranberries


250g margarine
2 Tbsp syrup
1 cup brown bread or wholewheat flour
1 cup coconut
2 cups oats
A generous pinch of salt
1 tsp bicarb
1 cup sugar

125ml dried apricots, finely chopped

125ml dried cranberries


1. Melt the syrup and margarine together in the microwave for four minutes.
2. Mix your dry ingredients together.
3. Add the syrup mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Press into a well greased baking sheet.
5. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes until golden brown.
6. Cut while warm and soft and after a few minutes remove from the pan.
7. Cool on newspaper to remove excess oil and leave to harden.

I have a large roll of newsprint that we use for arts and crafts but it also comes in handy here.

Make sure to cut them while they are still soft because once they harden you will have to break them off in chunks. Allow to cool and enjoy with a tall glass of ice cold milk as an after school snack or to dip into your coffee during your mid morning coffee break.

Romany Creams

south african cookie, south african biscuit, romany creams, chocolate sandwich cookie, sandwich biscuit, chocolate biscuit, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs, cocoa, chocolate, nomu cocoa powderI’ve had this recipe since 2011 (I think) and I’ve lost it numerous times. You know when you do a spring clean and suddenly nothing is where you remember putting it? That happens here quite a lot with us living in utter chaos 85% of the time and doing a major clean and declutter every 6 weeks or so.

I think that is the general way of life for many families of two kids under the age of 10 and ours have a lot of stuff. The schools tend to send home a lot of paper too and that, combined with junk mail takes up a lot of room. We try to recycle as much as possible but we have a real need for a recycle project or depot in our area.

Would you believe that I bake more than the one or two things I post here every week? I often bake with my daughter but when I think about posting it I end up deciding it isn’t challenging enough to qualify as a blog post. Then there are the times when I bake something and it browns a bit too much, like this week’s lemon meringue. So there goes the idea of posting a picture which means it won’t make it onto the blog either. I do try and put this recipes up on my Facebook page though and if you would like to be kept up to date, please like the rumtumtiggsSA page.

Romany Creams is a popular South African biscuit that many enjoy with their tea on a Sunday afternoon. It lends itself to be a very hard cookie which makes it perfect for dipping.

Romany Creams (makes 36 sandwich cookies) recipe from here.

375g butter, at room temperature

325g sugar

125ml boiling water

40g cocoa

425g self raising flour

160g desicated coconut

250g cornflakes, lightly crushed

400g milk/mint/dark chocolate, melted for sandwiching the cookies together

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a cookie sheet with baking paper or a Silpat (silicon baking mat). Cream butter and sugar together scraping down the bowl twice until light and fluffy. Dissolve cocoa powder in boiling water. Allow to cool slightly then add to the butter mixture. Add flour, coconut and cornflakes and milk until well combined. Roll cookies into teaspoon sized balls and place on the cookie sheet. Allow about 2cm space in between each cookie for spreading. Use a fork to press the balls down gently. Bake for 15 minutes until dry to the touch. Leave on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batches. Once they have cooled, melt the chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute at 100% power stirring every 15 seconds. Allow to cool slightly and place 5ml of chocolate on one cookie and sandwich with a matching half. Allow to set on a flat surface (if you can ;)) before serving.

Jam Doughnutsstrawberry jam doughnuts, fried doughnuts, jam doughnuts, breads and doughs, sweet treats, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

I took a friend to the airport on Sunday and she asked me what next challenging thing I would be taking on for the blog and I struggled to answer her. I’m feeling a bit stuck and I was hoping that maybe you could help. Since this is more of a baking blog, than anything else, I’m unlikely to attempt  sushi but I wouldn’t mind suggestions.

Doughnut recipe

jam doughnuts1

625ml flour

10g instant yeast

60ml sugar

2.5ml salt

pinch of white pepper

60g butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg

250ml milk

5ml vanilla extract

500ml castor sugar (for dredging)

250ml favourite jam flavour

Sift dry ingredients together and add wet ingredients. Mix well to form dough and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place into large plastic bag that has been dusted with flour and, leaving sufficient space, tie a knot in the bag near the top. Set aside and allow dough to rise for about 1 hour until doubled in size.

Dust counter with some flour and place risen dough on the counter. Roll out the dough until about 1cm thick and cut out circles using a cookie cutter or a clean drinking glass. Place circles of dough onto a greased baking sheet, leaving at least 2cm space between each one. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for another hour. Heat oil to 160 degrees celcius and carefully deep fry doughnuts in batches until golden brown on one side. Flip each doughnut over and repeat on the other side.

Dredge in sugar and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, poke a hole into the side of the doughnut using the back of a wooden spoon and fill with jam using a piping pag fitted with a large, plain tip.

Serve immediately. Best served on the same day.

After trying this recipe for strawberry jam doughnuts I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it sooner. It far surpasses anything you can buy in the shop and there is nothing like a fresh doughnut for your breakfast or tea time treat. I found this recipe here but I tweaked it a bit as they seemed to use too little flour and used strawberry jam instead. The recipe also says it serves six but unless each person is having 3 each it actually makes about 16 doughnuts. Well worth it and cheaper than paying for a dozen doughnuts at your local supermarket.

Citrus Pie Bars

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These Citrus Pie Bars are very simple to make and I added orange juice because that is what I had.

Citrus Pie Bars


For the biscuit base

500ml cake flour

125ml icing sugar

250ml butter at room temperature

For the filling

4 eggs

375ml white sugar

60ml cake flour

100ml orange juice, freshly squeezed

25ml lemon juice

15ml orange zest


Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Mix flour and icing sugar together. Cut in the butter. Mix well until the dough resembles pie dough consistency. You can do this by hand (if the butter is very soft) or place all the ingredients for the base in a bowl and use electric beaters. Press the dough into a large pyrex dish or roasting pan (it makes a lot and you don’t want it too thick).

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

About 5 minutes before the base is due to come out, beat together eggs, sugar, 60ml flour, juices and orange rind for at least 1 minute. Pour the mixture over the baked crust.

Bake the bars another 20 minutes, or until the topping has set. If it puffs up use a fork to pierce a few holes in the topping. It will settle down and smooth out. Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar when cooled.

Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

fresh pineapple, grated carrot, fruit muffins, veg muffins, vegetables in baking, muffins, fruit cupcakes, fresh fruit, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsFruit n Veg City had a fruit special last week where you could get 2 kiwi fruit, 1 thriftpack of apples, 1 punnet of bananas, fill-a-bag of naartjies and a pineapple for R40, Since my family was sick with the flu the special offer was well timed as I needed to increase their dose of vitamins and this was the cheapest way to do this.

My son has always battled with eating “squishy” textures like strawberries, tomatoes and citrus fruits so getting him to eat naartjies voluntarily was quite a break through. All the fruit was well received except for the pineapple which we usually enjoy in fruit salad but the weather has been too cold. I was reluctant to cut it open for just a few pieces and let the rest go off and my only other option was to cut it up and freeze it for smoothies.

Before I did that though I decided to see about using it in some muffins to have a tea time treat for Sunday afternoon tea with the in laws. I cut up half of the pineapple and grated it together with 2 large carrots and the the results were a light and fluffy cupcake that wasn’t too sweet.

Since I needed to drain the pineapple of excess juice before adding it (so that the muffin mixture wasn’t too wet) I placed a colander over a bowl so that I could catch the juice. I added icing sugar to the juice and this because the topping. It added just the right amount of sweetness to balance off the muffin and the recipe made just enough for 12 little cakes. Since this muffin was made with cake flour I am tempted to call it a cupcake but the addition of fruit n veg makes me think it is fairly healthy.

Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

2 eggs

180ml castor sugar

100ml oil

125ml grated carrot

250ml grated pineapple, well drained and the juice captured and set aside

310ml flour

2.5ml salt

2.5ml bicarbonate of soda

2.5ml baking powder

5ml ground cinammon

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Beat eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy and add oil. Mix well and set aside. Grate carrot and pineapple and drain over a colander squeezing out excess juice (I did the pineapple separtely to catch this pure juice for the icing). Sift dry together and add to the egg mixture slowly while mixing continuously. Once all the dry ingredients have been incorporated mix in carrot and pineapple. Mix until just combined and spoon into a muffin pan that has been lined with paper cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and well risen. Allow to cool while you add 250ml-375ml icing sugar to the captured juice (I had about 60ml). Mix well until the glaze is thick enough to be spread. Add more icing sugar or water to get it to the correct consistency. Allow icing to set for about an hour before serving.

Birthday Sponge Cake

quick and easy birthday cake, 8 year old boy, the number 8 turned into a race track, boy birthday party, baking a birthday cake, recipe for large oven pan cake, tami magninI’ve been quite scarce online of late and that is because I go to ground every year at this time to bake a multitude of cakes for my children’s birthdays. I was very happy with the way Zac’s cake turned out this year because I resisted the temptation to hire a moulded tin and decided to challenge myself to “go it alone”. I was also glad that I started with this one because it was a very simple design and it actually looked very impressive in the end.

I found this recipe a long time ago (in fact I first made it for Zac’s 3rd birthday which makes it 5 years go) and after that party, I doubled the recipe on paper so that I wouldn’t have to do it every year. I don’t know about you but doubling a recipe in my head, while possible, takes more energy than its worth and when you have to bake everyday for a week; any energy you can spare is useful.

When it came to choosing the design, I sketched out 4 options for Zac in thumbnail format on Tuesday morning and gave him the choice of what he wanted his birthday cake to look like. The drawings have since vanished after being coloured in my my 5 year old so I can’t include it in the post. The options he had to choose from were: a fish, a turtle, Spiderman and the figure 8.

Birthday Sponge Cake

300g (300ml) butter

520g (1000ml) flour

500g (600g) castor sugar

30ml baking powder

6 large eggs

200ml milk

100ml water

10ml vanilla (or other flavour) essence

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease and line oven roasting pan. Place melted margarine in a bowl. Sift dry ingredients onto margarine. Add eggs, milk, water and essesnce. Beat for 3-6 minutes by hand or 2-3 minutes on low speed with electric beaters until the mixture is smooth scraping down the sides once or twice if necessary. Pour mixture into baking tin and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. If the top of the cake is browning too quickly, put a lid of tin foil, dull side facing you, on loosely from about the 25 minute mark.

Allow to cool completely before decorating with your favourite icing.

This recipe makes one large rectangular cake in a standard black oven pan that comes with most ovens.

So in order to cut up a cake in a specific design, I printed off a number 8 using MSWord, font: myriad pro bold, font size: 1950 on A3 paper. I cut the number out and pinned it to the cake using tooth picks. I cut around this number with a knife and removed the pieces I didn’t need. I then transferred this onto the board before I started decorating. The track is made of fondant that I dyed black with gel food colour and the rest of the icing is buttercream.

quick and easy birthday cake, 8 year old boy, the number 8 turned into a race track, boy birthday party, baking a birthday cake, recipe for large oven pan cake, tami magnin

quick and easy birthday cake, 8 year old boy, the number 8 turned into a race track, boy birthday party, baking a birthday cake, recipe for large oven pan cake, tami magnin

quick and easy birthday cake, 8 year old boy, the number 8 turned into a race track, boy birthday party, baking a birthday cake, recipe for large oven pan cake, tami magnin


twists of sticky fried dough dipped in lemon ginger syrup best served cold

Koeksisters (not to be confused with the Cape Malay Koesister) is a South African speciality that should be tried at least once in your lifetime. Wikipedia defines it as ”

koeksister or koesister comes from the Dutch word koekje, which translates to “cookie”. It is a South African syrup-coated doughnut in a twisted or braided shape (like a plait). It is prepared by deep-frying dough in oil, then dipping the fried dough into cold sugar syrup. Koeksisters are very sticky and sweet and taste like honey.[1]Koeksisters are of the Cape Malay origin.[2] The Afrikaner version is much more syrupy and crisp while the Cape Malay version’s texture is more like that of a cake, spicier, and usually covered in dried coconut.”

My husband is a huge fan of these syrupy treats and the moment I made it the first time early on in our marriage, he was hooked. Like many baked treats, it is easier than you think to make yourself and I hope you will give it a try. Note, please make the syrup first (the night before if possible) as it needs to be icy cold to ensure better adsorption into the hot fried dough. The prepared dough can also be made the night before and left in the fridge as it needs to rest for a few hours before using.

Here is how you make it:


  • 500g cake flour
  • 30ml baking powder
  • 2ml salt
  • 50g butter, diced
  • 1 jumbo egg
  • 250ml milk, sour milk, or buttermilk
  • oil for frying
  • 500ml water
  • 1kg sugar
  • 2ml cream of tartar
  • 2 thin slices ginger
  • 1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice


SYRUP: Combine ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil, without stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until a light syrup forms. Strain into a large bowl. Cool, then refrigerate until well chilled. DOUGH: Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Whisk egg with 200 ml (4/5 cup) milk, add to flour mixture and knead to make a soft, pliable dough. Add remaining milk only if dough is too stiff. Shape into a ball, wrap in waxed paper and chill for a couple of hours, or overnight, if possible.
Roll out to 1 cm thick on a floured surface. Cut into 4 x 8 cm strips, then cut each into 3 strips lengthways, almost to the top. Plait together and pinch ends tightly to seal. Place on a tray and cover with a damp cloth. Deep fry, a few at a time, in hot oil, turning constantly. Watch the heat: koeksisters take 2 to 3 minutes to cook through and turn deep golden brown.
Drain briefly on kitchen paper and then, while still hot, dip into chilled syrup. (If syrup gets too warm, place it in a larger bowl of cold water and ice blocks.) Strain off excess syrup back into bowl. Drain koeksisters on a rack.

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