Monthly Archives: October 2011

Bring back the old-fashioned Kinder Surprise eggs, pah-leeeese!

It’s fabzilicious Friday and today I’d like to send out a plea to Ferrero to bring back the old-fashioned Kinder Surprise eggs I used to love so much as a child … and as an adult, to be honest …

Pretty please with a huge cherry on top!

For my younger followers (bless your cotton socks), a Kinder Surprise egg consisted of two halves of delicious, creamy chocolate, which contained a (traditionally) yellow capsule with a toy inside it that you needed to assemble.

Right now you may be thinking why I’m making such a fuss about the Kinder Surprise eggs when we still have the Kinder Joy on the market.

It’s simple, girls and boys. The only joy you’ll ever get from the Kinder Joy is having finally managed to scoop up the two chocolate balls lodged in the hardened chocolate (it’s SO not creamy as the promo images lead you to believe…believe me!) with the ridiculously ‘large’ and ‘sturdy’ plastic spoon. This is of course after you’ve opened up the other half of the egg only to discover your toy is practically already assembled and you don’t really need to use your grey matter at all.

What’s worse, there’s no yellow plastic capsule for me to keep and add to my collection of “I may need this someday” paraphernalia.

Oh, and the chocolate and bastardised Ferrero Rocher-like balls are nowhere near as yummy as the original Kinder Surprise egg chocolate.

My question is: Ferrero, why did you mess with a perfectly good thing?


Can it really be classified as coffee if it doesn’t taste like coffee?

Today I want to rant :)

OK, I want to rant most days but this particular rant is a vital one! For me …

I have a bone to pick with Mugg & Bean. I’m not sure how they get away with classifying their coffee as being suitable for consumption.

Honestly now, a cappuccino at Mugg & Bean costs about the same as at top brand coffee houses yet it doesn’t hold a candle to any of them. How?

I just think back to the days when Mugg & Bean first launched in South Africa. My word, we went moggy didn’t we? It’s as if being able to drink copious amounts of bottomless coffee made it OK to drink the stuff. Then – thankfully – as a nation we started to discover there were other – much better – coffee brands out there. And then suddenly even the Mugg & Bean muffins-on-steroids didn’t make it worth the bother. (Refer to my post about size in baking here:

So why, you may be asking me in your mind (see, I am listening), did I succumb to a cup of ‘Meh’ & Bean if I dislike it so much?

Simple answer: I was about to board my British Airways flight with minutes to spare before the gate closed and the only coffee I could get my hands on was *sigh* Mugg & Bean.

I really didn’t think it would be that bad … boy, was I wrong.

By the way, the book One Day is fabulous (can’t wait to see the movie), and my flight was awesome as always.

Pity I can’t say as much about the coffee …


Proudly (half) Italian – Happy World Pasta Day!

Useful pasta fact #1: Today – 25 October 2011 – is World Pasta Day.

Useful pasta fact #2: There actually exists an International Pasta Organisation (IPA) … You better believe it …

Useful pasta fact #3: As you read this, a conference is being held in Rome where several [pasta] delegates are discussing: “New markets and consumers of the food that is filling people’s tables worldwide”. More …

Useful pasta fact #4: Pasta is eaten in over 50 countries worldwide. Uh huh …

Useful pasta fact #5: My favourite pasta dish of ALL time has to be tortellini con brodo, i.e. tortellini in broth. Simple and oh soooooo delicious. I grew up (and out) on this stuff!



Motto for the day : : Keep calm and bake on

‘Nuf said …

Thanks Nalisha from Brain Candie for this one!

Ba-na-na-naaaa (to the tune of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony)

My colleagues at Ogilvy PR Cape Town are starting to get used to the idea of my bringing in some sort of baked something or other on a Monday morning.

This morning it was mini-banana loaves made from a recipe I’ve had for years and years called Teach Me to Cook!, which my mom gave me when I decided to move down to Cape Town to study Graphic Design … in other words, she wanted to make sure I could cook and stay alive!

The interesting thing about this recipe book, which was published in 1994, is that it’s in both English and Zulu, endorsed by the Domestic Workers’ Association and “make[s] it possible for the housekeeper to understand and cook the favourite recipes of her employer.”

I kid you not!

For me, a devoted follower of Italian and Portuguese cooking – even if only hybrid versions thereof, I have to admit that South African desserts and bakes, such as Malva pudding and banana loaf, are to me the bee’s knees and I love to make them, which is why I still hang on to this recipe book.

I’ve made the banana loaf recipe so many times and am happy to say it’s always received with a smile.

So here’s the original recipe, which I’ve adapted to make on average 12 mini-banana loaves: perfect for the office or a tea party.


half a cup margarine

1 cup castor sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 eggs

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

4 ripe bananas, peels and mashed


Combine the margarine and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix very well. Stir in the vanilla essence.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.

Sift flour and baking powder together. Add the egg mixture along with the mashed bananas. Mix well.

Turn the mixture into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan (or 12 mini-loaf tins). Place in a preheated oven at 190°C for 45 minutes (30 minutes for mini-loaves).

Remove pan from the oven. Remove loaf from the pan and cool on a wire cooling rack.

*licks chops*

It’s fabzilicious Friday – An ode to Nutella

On this the inaugural fabzilicious Friday, I would like to celebrate the awesomeness that is Nutella.

Whether it’s smeared on fresh bread and topped with bananas, or

Sandwiched between a freshly flipped pancake, accompanied by strawberries and drizzled with pistachios, or

Eaten straight out the jar, or

Incorporated into a tart recipe, or even

Coating your breakfast bacon (?!),

You have to agree that Nutella is worthy of a fabzilicious Friday mention.

And … I want to try out this Incredibly Easy Nutella Lava Brownies recipe …

*licks chops*

P.S. I wish all Nutella came in this packaging

Happy International Chefs Day!

Today – 20 October – we annually celebrate the amazing men and women who tirelessly and passionately create earth-moving delicacies to satisfy our tummies.

Although not a chef, I want to take this opportunity to celebrate the memory of my beloved late mother who taught me everything about making, eating and appreciating good food.

Dad taught me all about appreciating good wine…but that’s another story all together!

Thank you, mommy.

And here’s an International Chefs Day message from Rick Stephen, Continental Director (Asia) of the World Association of Chefs Societies

I love me a malva lekker a.k.a. marshmallow

Whether it’s Beacon or Mister Sweet, smothered in chocolate or roasted on an open braai fire (after cooking the meat…), I love marshmallows!

Spatula Magazine by Yuppiechef published an article written by Bake Love Not War (confused much?) about the Science Behind Marshmallows accompanied by a recipe … eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

Guess who’s going to be giving this a bash?


Focaccia flop or not?

Now, I’m not sure if this was a complete flop … I mean … the focaccia’s were edible and they looked good …

Perhaps the reason why I would deem these not a complete success stems from the fact that I used bread flour as opposed to normal, baking flour and the dough was somewhat heavier than I think it should’ve been. Also, I didn’t have the full amount of yeast as per the recipe – by a milligram of a teaspoon! Not exactly grounds for an automatic fail …

And perhaps ‘flop’ is too strong a word because it wasn’t a complete flop … merely heavier than what a focaccia should be.

BUT, if you look at my photo above – and as my brother would proudly point out – my focaccia’s did come out looking very close to the original photo in Baked and Delicious, which is where I got the recipe from.

And they tasted yummy warmed up on the braai along with the garlic bread.

The ‘flop’ just became a ‘win’.

Not the best ‘reflection’, Beeld

Thank you, Beeld for the free Origin Coffee ... but where's my paper?

Fresh Origin coffee ... great way to start the morning!

Dear Beeld

Contrary to the response I received this morning – by the lovely lady posted in the Ogilvy Cape Town foyer – that Capetonians want everything for free, I do believe that your complimentary offering of freshly brewed Origin coffee should have been accompanied by a free complimentary copy of your paper … surely that would be a better method of amplifying the reflection (‘beeld’ in Afrikaans), the reputation (‘beeld’ in Afrikaans), and image (‘beeld’ in Afrikaans) of your paper?

You see, I’m in PR and my job calls on me to be informed and to read the papers … all the papers, including Beeld. And I genuinely wanted to read your paper this morning … whilst sipping on the complimentary coffee you offered me.

Positioning a free-standing banner advertising the paper is simply not enough. In fact, the connection between reading the paper and coffee was there … but it lacked the paper!

So, my inquiring as to why we were not receiving a complimentary copy of your paper to accompany our complimentary coffee I think was a very valid point to make.

And further more, what’s with the cryptic coffee cup sleeve?

I’m doing a bit of a ‘koppie-krap’ trying to figure this one out …


In short, thank you for the coffee. It was fabzilicious and went down very well with my copy of the Mail & Guardian.

Kind regards,






Next Page »