The six best sweet recipes of 2012

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iol lif jan 3 ST AD Berrysemi freddo 22 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Berry semifreddo

Johannesburg - Choosing the best sweet recipes was easy. They are my personal favourites, as well as recipes that get requested frequently on our helpline.

GINGER BISCUITS

Makes 50-60

250g butter

125ml light brown sugar

125ml castor sugar

iol lif jan 3 ST AD Ginger biscuits 22 Ginger biscuits. Picture: Chris Collingridge INDEPENDENT NEWPSAPERS

100ml molasses

1 egg

625ml flour

10ml bicarbonate of soda

15ml ground ginger

5ml ground cinnamon

3ml allspice

extra sugar for rolling

Cream the butter and sugars until light and creamy. Add the molasses and egg and beat well.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Add to creamed mixture and mix to form a dough that is soft but not sticky.

Roll the dough into balls the size of a walnut and place on a greased baking tray.

Grease the base of a glass and dip it in sugar. Press the biscuits flat using the base of the glass. Bake at 180°C for 12-15 minutes until nicely browned.

Remove and cool.

CHOCOLATE MINT SELF-SAUCING PUDDING

Serves 4 to 6

250ml self-raising flour

30ml cocoa powder

125ml brown sugar

80g butter, melted

125ml milk

1 egg

200g bar of peppermint crisp chocolate

Sauce

180ml brown sugar

30ml cocoa powder

310ml boiling water

whipped cream for serving

Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl. Add the sugar. Combine the butter, milk and egg in a jug and mix well. Add to the flour mixture and mix until smooth.

Crush the peppermint crisp bar. Reserve some for decoration and stir the rest into the batter.

Spread the batter into a deep, greased 2-litre ovenproof baking dish.

Combine the sugar and cocoa powder and sprinkle over the pudding. Slowly pour the boiling water over the back of a spoon onto the pudding.

Bake in the oven at 180°C for 30 to 40 minutes until the pudding is set on top and has a lovely sauce at the bottom.

Remove and serve warm with whipped cream, and sprinkled with some of the reserved peppermint crisp.

CARROT AND PINEAPPLE TRAY BAKE

Makes 35-40 squares

4 eggs

375ml castor sugar

200ml oil

375ml grated carrots

400g can of crushed pineapple, well drained

625ml flour

5ml salt

5ml baking powder

5ml bicarbonate of soda

10ml ground cinnamon

125ml chopped pecan nuts

Icing

80g butter

125g thick cream cheese

625ml icing sugar

5ml vanilla essence

chopped pecan nuts for sprinkling

Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale. Beat in the oil. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the carrots and pineapple.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon and fold in. Mix in the nuts.

Pour into a greased and lined 30x40cm pan and bake at 180°C for 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in the pan.Remove from pan and spread with cream cheese icing and sprinkle with nuts.

ICING: Beat the butter until fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add the icing sugar and beat to form a spreadable icing.

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE TART

Pastry

500ml flour

125ml icing sugar

10ml ground cinnamon

150g butter

1 egg

ice water to mix

Caramel filling

385g can of condensed milk

250ml castor sugar

125g butter

80ml golden syrup

a good pinch of sea salt flakes

Chocolate filling

200g dark chocolate

100ml cream

raspberries to decorate

PASTRY: Put the flour, icing sugar, cinnamon and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and enough iced water to form a dough.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 22cm quiche pan. Prick the base with a fork.

Bake blind at 180°C for 20-30 minutes until pale golden brown. Remove paper and beans and return to the oven for about 10 minutes for the base to crisp up. Remove and cool.

CARAMEL FILLING: Combine the condensed milk, sugar, butter and syrup in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted.

Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring constantly, for about 15 minutes until thick. Remove from the heat and add the salt.

Pour this into the pastry case and set aside to cool.

CHOCOLATE FILLING: Combine the chocolate and cream in a bowl and place over a pan of simmering water until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove and cool.

Pour onto the caramel mixture and place in the fridge to set.

Decorate with raspberries and sea salt flakes.

BEST BUTTERMILK SCONES

Makes 12

500ml flour

25ml sugar

15ml baking powder

80g butter, cubed

1 egg

125-150ml buttermilk

beaten egg for glazing

Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder into a bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Combine the egg and buttermilk and add enough to the flour to make a dough that is soft but not sticky.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly with your fingertips to make the dough smooth. Pat or lightly roll out the dough to 2.5cm thickness. Cut out with a scone cutter and place on a greased baking tray.

Brush the tops with beaten egg and bake at 200°C for 15-20 minutes until golden-brown. Remove and serve with jam and cream once cool enough to handle.

BERRY SEMIFREDDO

4 eggs, separated

125ml icing sugar

60ml castor sugar

250ml cream, whipped

5ml vanilla extract

500g mixed berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, gooseberries)

Combine the egg yolks and icing sugar in a bowl, place over a pan of simmering water and beat with an electric beater until thick and pale. Remove from heat and continue beating until the mixture is cool.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, then beat in the castor sugar until the mixture is thick and glossy.

Fold this into the egg yolk mixture. Add the vanilla and cream and fold in. Mix in the berries. Spoon the mixture into a loaf pan lined with cling film or into individual moulds.

Freeze until hard. - The Star

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