Is it just me, or has your year just swept past quickly too ! I remember just a couple of weeks back I was baking these Vanilla Cookies for my son’s 3rd Christmas party … and here I am with a batch of Gingerbread Men for his 4th ! This year has been good to me, lots and lots of things to be grateful and thankful for. And the way I see it … The Best is yet to come ! And speaking of best … this is the best damn gingerbread recipe, thats worked for me so far – without molasses that is. I tried really hard but it was next to impossible for me to get my hands on some molasses where I live. So then there’s always substitution. For the gingerbread men I used Maple syrup, which I had carried back from my trip to New York. The cookies were honestly very subtle in flavor, which was great, as the kids loved it. And because I didn’t get enough of a gingery kick from those, I made me some adult gingerbread madeleines, only this time with golden syrup. Now these were a little dense than the regular vanilla madeleines, but then again, its gingerbread 🙂 What completed them was a dip them in some rich boozy ganache.
Food & Home Entertaining, South Africa’s premier and much loved food magazine, did a little feature on me along with some very talented bloggers in their latest issue, which has just hit the shelf. How happy it makes me to see my recipe up there … the best possible way to end my year 🙂 Make sure if you’re around you grab yourself a copy.
And while I’ve been thinking healthy habits, heres what I was wondering … are you the kind of person that always reaches for a large glass of red when they get home after a long, hard day? Whilst a little indulgence now and again is no bad thing, there are a lot of good reasons to shake up your drinking habits and challenge yourself to try something new! Introducing fun soft drinks into your diet is not only a recipe for refreshment but can even help to benefit your health.
Drinks are a key part of any diet : When we diet, many of us are vigilant about what we eat but don’t give much thought to what we drink – scary when you think that you can get around a fifth of your daily calories from beverages alone. Choosing wisely by opting for non-alcoholic drink alternatives such as Zeo can play an instrumental part in helping you to tweak your metabolism, curb your appetite and save you pounds from your purse and your waistline. Input last night’s drinks into the BBC’s booze calculator to see it converted into units, calories and cash.
Try a healthy alternative to alcohol : Whilst growing nutritional research has slowed down the frenzy for fizzy drinks over the last 20 years, the market for soft drinks has evolved rapidly to meet the demand for healthy alternatives. As a result, brands Zeo entering the market, boasting refreshing soft drink alternatives to soda. As non-alcoholic drinks usually have significantly lower sugar contents, they are better designed to give your body the boost it needs without compromising your health.
Water water everywhere : Not enough can be said about the importance of the role of water in the diet, and simply replacing a few carbonated soft drinks with water will help you to cut hundreds of calories per day, make your stomach feel full faster and may even have a positive effect on your metabolism. Water is also proven to hydrate your body, quench your thirst and offset the effects of caffeinated drinks – an everyday essential!
Sip without the sugar : Whilst it can be difficult to make good decisions in the confusing world of food labeling, to ensure you get the vitamins and antioxidants you need without the extra sugar, try 100% fruit juice. Avoid added sweeteners or even consider home juicing. Stave off hunger by blending fruit or veg and making a delicious drink with fewer calories which is packed with vitamins and fibre.
And on that note and thought, I take leave and …
Wish you a Merry Christmas and A Happy & Healthy New Year xx
100 gms flour
100 gms demerara sugar
100 gms butter melted
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 tbsp dry ginger powder ( you could adjust this to your taste, as per the strength of the powder)
3/4 th tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves – I used 5 cloves and crushed them fine in a motar and pestle
1/4 tsp salt
Mix all the dry ingredients together. Lightly beat in the eggs, the syrup and butter and give it a good stir. Cover and chill in the chiller for 2 hours.
Pre heat the oven to 190 C. Now pipe them equally in the madeleine mold till 3/4th full and bake for 14 mins. Cool on wire wrack.
For the ganache
100 gms your favourite dark chocolate
2 tbsp heavy cream
a knob of butter
a splash of some finest scotch or any booze of your choice
Melt the chocolate, buyer and cream together in a bowl in the microwave. Add the booze and store well.
Dip the madeleines and let the dry on a wire wrack. Store in a airtight box.