COMPETITION GIVE AWAY: 100 LINDT MILK TRUFFLES

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As my blogging journey nears its end, I cannot express the overwhelming gratitude for my readers’ appreciation of my blog posts enough. Thanks to all of the wonderful comments of encouragement, my anxiety when I started my first blog was quickly replaced with excitement. I would like to give a small token of love to my readers, without whom I would not have been able to further improve my blog. Some divine premium Lindt Swiss chocolate for the learning curve of an experience you have all rewarded me with!

This is a competition/give-away, with the prize being 100 Lindt milk truffles. I am aware of my American, Australian, Taiwanese, and Philippine readers. If you win, they will be air mailed to you. The competition only runs for 5 days, and it’s very simple. You have to be an email follower of my blog to enter. Once you’ve followed my blog (if you haven’t already), then comment on this post with both your email address and your favourite Miss Apron Lady recipe I have shared so far! There are 25 to choose from, and they can be easily accessed through my Recipes tab above. State your favourite recipe along with your reason for it being your favourite. Thereafter, tweet me @missapronlady with your favourite recipe and why. I will be choosing my favourite answer, as I don’t believe in random draws, because I feel that the best person should win.

All the best Apron Ladies and Gentlemen! All my love for the remainder of the week.

Hanna

x x x

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Recipe: Macaroons

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Note: My favourite filling for macaroons is ganache filling, which I have included in this recipe. Alternatively, you can use jam and cream, butter cream, or just eat your macaroons plain.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg whites (140g)
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar or 1 3/4 cups icing mixture
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2g salt (tiny pinch)
  • gel food colouring (optional)

Ingredients (ganache filling):

  • 100g chocolate
  • 30ml cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C
  2. Place egg whites and caster sugar in a bowl and mix with electric mixer until stiff enough to turn the bowl upside down without it falling out, continue to whip for 1-2 more minutes.  How long this takes will depend on you mixer.
  3. Add gel or powdered food colouring (if so desired) and continue to mix for a further 20seconds. I chose blue, pink and brown food colouring.
  4. Sift the almond meal and icing sugar and salt twice, discarding any almond lumps that are too big to pass through the sieve. Fold into the egg white mixture. It should take roughly 30-50 folds using a rubber spatula.  The mixture should be smooth and a very viscous, not runny. Over-mix and your macaroons will be flat and have no foot, under mix and they will not be smooth on top.
  5. Pipe onto trays lined with baking paper, rap trays on the bench firmly (this prevents cracking) and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Check if one comes off the tray fairly cleanly, if not bake for a little longer (make sure you are using NON-stick baking paper or they will stick).
  6. For the ganache filling (optional), bring the 30ml cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for a minute and then stir. If it is not adequately melted then microwave for 20 seconds and stir – repeat until smooth. Allow to cool and thicken before piping onto macaroons.

Recipe: Mango filling cheesecake

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Homemade mango filling cheesecake with diced mangos topped with gluten layer of fresh mangoes.

Ingredients:

  • 17g Gelatin Powder
  • 60g Hot Water
  • 350g Whipping Cream
  • 3 tablespoon Icing Sugar
  • 300g Mango Puree (if refrigerated, bring to room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon Rum
  • 200g to 220g Cubed Mango (or use 2 medium sized mangoes)
  • 150g mango puree (or use1 medium sized mango)(bring to room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoon piping gel

Ingredients (crust):

  • Unsalted butter, softened, for greasing
  • 250 g biscuit wafers or 270 g (2 cups + 2 tablespoons) wafer crumbs
  • 56 g (¼ cup) caster (superfine granules) sugar
  • 113.5 g (½ cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Using a pastry brush, grease the bottoms and sides of a 23-cm (9-inch) springform pan.
  2. If using graham wafers, place in the bowl of a food processor and process to a fine crumb.
  3. In a small-sized bowl, stir together the graham wafer crumbs, sugar and melted butter.
  4. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up the sides of the greased springform pan, stopping about 2.54-cm (1-inch) from the top of the pan.
  5. Place in the freezer to set while preparing the mango and cream cheese filling.
  6. In a small bowl, dissolve gelatine powder in hot water. When the gelatine powder is fully dissolved, add to mango puree. Add rum to the mixture. Mix well.
  7. In a mixing bowl, whip whipping cream with icing sugar to mousse state. Add the mango mixture to whipped cream. Mix well till incorporated.
  8. Put chilled, crumb lined springform pan in a shallow baking tin.  Pour half of the mango mousse filling into crust. Add the mango cubes and cover them with some more mango mousse. Make sure the mousse covers the mango cubes. Let the cake chill for at least 3 hours to set before removing the cake ring.
  9. After the mousse has set and the ring removed, make mango puree topping. Blend mango puree together with piping gel (add more piping gel if a thicker consistency is desired) and pour on top of the set mousse carefully.

Recipe: Cherry filling cheesecake topped with sour cream and kiwis

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Homemade cherry filling cheesecake topped with a flush of rich cream and slices of kiwi.

Note: Slice cheesecake with knife dipped in hot water.

Ingredients (crust):

  • Unsalted butter, softened, for greasing
  • 250 g biscuit wafers or 270 g (2 cups + 2 tablespoons) wafer crumbs
  • 56 g (¼ cup) caster (superfine granules) sugar
  • 113.5 g (½ cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients (cream cheese and cherry filling):

  • 1250 g Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 375 g (1 2/3 cups) caster (superfine granules) sugar
  • 24 g (3 tablespoons) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • Finely grated zest of half a lemon
  • Finely grated zest of half an orange
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 710 g sweet cherries, divided, fresh or frozen, pitted

Ingredients (rich cream topping with kiwis):

  • 908 grams of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 kiwis, sliced thin

Directions:

  1. Using a pastry brush, grease the bottoms and sides of a 23-cm (9-inch) springform pan.
  2. If using graham wafers, place in the bowl of a food processor and process to a fine crumb.
  3. In a small-sized bowl, stir together the graham wafer crumbs, sugar and melted butter.
  4. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up the sides of the greased springform pan, stopping about 2.54-cm (1-inch) from the top of the pan.
  5. Place in the freezer to set while preparing the cream cheese filling.
  6. Preheat oven to 260° C (500° F).
  7. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping sides as needed.
  8. Reduce speed to low, gradually add the sugar and flour; beat until smooth.
  9. Add both zests and vanilla; beat to just combine.
  10. Reduce speed to low, add the eggs one at-a-time, beating to just combine after each addition (do not over mix), scraping sides and bottom of bowl after each addition.
  11. Stir cherries into bowl.
  12. Put chilled, crumb lined springform pan in a shallow baking tin.  Pour filling into crust; smooth filling with an offset spatula.
  13. Bake in baking tin (to catch any drippings) until puffed, about 12 minutes (pay close attention to this baking time, some ovens will brown the top quicker than others – I placed a sheet of parchment over the top of the springform pan when the cheesecake top had just set, about the 6 minute mark for me).  Reduce oven temperature to 93° C and continue baking until the cheesecake is mostly firm (centre of cheesecake should still have a slight jiggle when the pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour.
  14. Transfer springform pan to a wire rack.  Run a sharp, thin knife around the top edge of the cheesecake to loosen (to prevent the surface from cracking as it cools); cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  15. Chill cheesecake in springform pan, uncovered or loosely covered, for at least 6 hours preferably overnight or up to 2 days.
  16. Mix sour cream, sugar and vanilla together. Blend well.
  17. Spoon mixture on top of cheesecake. Smooth with long dessert spoon. Place slices of kiwi on top.

Recipe: Miniature chocolate marble cakes

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Baked chocolate marble cake base covered in light vanilla whipped double cream, topped with icing sugar powdered blueberry with strawberry, glazed in strawberry sauce.

Note: Serves 4 – 6.

Ingredients:

  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 130g vanilla double cream
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 50g melted dark chocolate (I used 70% dark)
  • icing sugar powder
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • strawberry sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Butter a 4 cup circular tins and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl either in the microwave (about 30 seconds) or over a double boiler. Once melted, set aside to slightly cool.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Then add in the flour mixture little by little. Remove around 2/3 cup of the mixture and add the melted chocolate to the mixture left in the stand mixer bowl. Mix to just blend.
  5. Spoon mixtures alternatively into circular tins. Bake for around 30-40 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, whip the vanilla double cream. Wash the blueberries and strawberries, then slice up strawberries in halves. Also put strawberry sauce into a bowl, ready to pour over marble cake.
  7. Once marble cakes are done in the oven, allow to cool slightly before turning out.
  8. Spread some whipped vanilla double cream over the top of the marble cakes. Pour some strawberry sauce over the vanilla cream. Place two halves of the sliced strawberries in the centre, and line the outer circle with blueberries. Sprinkle with icing sugar powder.

Recipe: Mascarpone Cheese Mousse Cake

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Ingredients – Filling:

  • 454 grams of cream cheese stored at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs stored at room temperature
  • 454 grams of mascarpone stored at room temperature

Ingredients – Crust:

  • a box of Italian sugar finger biscuits
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoon sugar (optional, depending on how sweet you would like your crust)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Combine crumbs, butter and sugar and stir together. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan and bake for about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
  2. Change the oven heat to 160 degrees and get out a large roasting pan that will fit the springform pan. Cover the sides and bottom of the springform pan very, very well with aluminum foil.
  3. In a food processor, blend sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Add in vanilla extract and the eggs, one at a time, until blended and smooth. Add in mascarpone and process again.
  4. Pour into the crust and place in roasting pan. Place the pan in the oven and fill halfway up the sides of the springform with warm water. Bake for 55 minutes at 160 degrees.
  5. Thereafter, turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for 20-30 minutes, until the center just seems set but will still ripple when the pan is jiggled (I left mine in for a bit longer, about 35 minutes, since it seemed a bit loose).
  6. Remove from water bath and cool compeletely on a wire rack.
  7. Gently place Italian sugar finger biscuits on the outer edges of the cheese mousse cake.
  8. When it has cooled, refrigerate overnight or until cold, before serving.

Meet Hanna the Apron Lady

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Welcome to Miss Apron Lady. I happily share my passion for all things I’ve ever cooked in my kitchen; sweet and savory, in hope that you too will find pleasure, joy and sustenance in good food. Your kitchen is a place to be creative and productive. Meals are meant to be savored and enjoyed. Good food is simple, fresh, seasonal and delicious. Miss Apron Lady is a tool for helping you eat well and enjoy the process of cooking and baking real, good food.

Growing up in an Afrikaans speaking all-girls boarding school from the age of 7 to 18, yet having very traditional Taiwanese parents, meant that I often had an identity crisis before my character had taken root. It was only after happily growing into my own skin that I had realised that I actually have the best of both worlds – Eastern and Western. I have my Eastern heritage to thank for my sacred view on food, and love for the enjoyment of it. It can be said without question that Asian cultures have the highest regard for food. The Taiwanese way of greeting one another is not “how are you?”. Instead, they ask “lee jia bar meh?”, which means, “have you eaten yet?”.

On the other hand, I have my Western influences while growing up to thank for my skills in the kitchen cooking and baking Western dishes. I spent almost all of my childhood time with my hostel friends and their family on their beautiful, vast farms all around South Africa. This is where my love of food, and cooking, was first sowed in my heart.

Everything beautiful in life can be tasted and best enjoyed with a good meal. Food brings people together. It heals, nourishes, and gives joy. A person’s choice in food can tell you a lot about their character. It’s a source of life, it’s an art form – it’s a celebration.

The food I make for my friends and family are often fancy, over-the-top experiments and creations. Their ingredients altogether may be costly to buy, so I suggest gathering a group of friends and splitting the costs. Cooking is more fun when more people are involved anyway! I have compiled recipes for twenty-seven different dishes, which can be accessed through my recipes tab. However, for the indecisive souls out there, I have chosen my personal favourites. I will be writing four posts on breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts. These will include my recommended dishes for each, along with a personal touch as to why I indulge in those pass times.

Along with great food this blog provides a look into my life as I wade my way through my third year studying a Bachelor of Business Sciences degree at the University of Cape Town, while also feeding my passion for food that started it all.

I appreciate your part in this journey and am honored that you’re here.

All photos were taken by me unless otherwise noted. I use a Canon 5d Mark II when I choose to take pictures of my food.

Feel free to contact me through my contact form if you have any questions or inquiries.

Much love and blessings

Hanna Yen (Miss Apron Lady)