Our car is a write off


truck accident, table view, cape town, 10 cars, write off, insurance, replacement, retailI don’t know what to do! On Friday morning I parked my car in a parking lot in Table View. An hour later a truck lost control and smashed into 10 cars. One of them was mine. The car was written off yesterday and, since I was covered for the retail value of a 2010 Ford Figo 1.4 Ambiente, I will be paid out around R70 000.

Our car is a write off

I am grateful for the fact that at least I had insurance and no one was in the car at the time. I had even added a rental car on my insurance policy the week before in preparation for our longest road trip ever, for the National Instameet in Graaff Reinet. I have been looking for a car to replace the one I had for the money I will get and I can find absolutely nothing that will suit us. My contract at work comes to an end on 30 November and I can’t afford to start another lease agreement now.

I paid my last installment on the Ford Figo in August. This car has taken us to Cape Agulhas, Sutherland, up the West Coast, the Cederberg and McGregor. We want to do a road trip through South Africa, to showcase our beautiful country for other families like us who feel like they can’t see the world because their budgets are so tight.

Once I send the paperwork through to officially write the car off, the payment will be processed and I will have to return the rental car. I am holding off on submitting the paperwork until we have found an alternate form of transport as we cannot be stranded without a car. Does anyone have any advice? I am at my wit’s end at the moment!

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7 things I hate about school

school, parenting, south africa, ADD, ritalin, active learning, opinionLet me start with the following statements before I dive into this blog post. This blog post is specifically referring to South African schools that have been following the CAPS system for the last 5 years. My son started grade 1 in 2010 and has been in the same school for the last 5 years (he is in Grade 4).

My daughter started at a different school in 2014 and is in Grade 2. Both schools are classified as Government schools but I pay fees at both schools. My son is at “the best remedial school in the Western Cape” because of his Attention Deficit Disorder (he is a day dreamer) and he takes Ritalin.

7 things I hate about school

  1. Has anyone else picked up on how often their kids (in similar situations described above) watches TV or movies during the school day? It seems to happen “now and then” during the school term (when a teacher is off sick or if the teachers have a lot of admin to do) but the amount of time spent watching TV increases once exams are done and the holidays approach.
  2. My daughter has a burgundy wind breaker which is exactly the same colour as the one you can buy from the uniform shop but it doesn’t have the school badge. I bought her one from PEP for R80. The uniform shop charges R300 for one with a badge. She gets in trouble every time she wears the one without the badge to school. Isn’t it more important that she is warm and dry so she can learn?
  3. How many times school projects require obscure materials with less than 48 hours notice. I’m not even going to go into detail here.
  4. When the classroom rules are ridiculous (don’t play with stationery, don’t get up from your seat unless your teacher says so, sit still and be quiet because “that’s the only way you can learn”). These kids are in PRIMARY school. Why isn’t active learning encouraged?
  5. The amount of homework they get. They are expected to sit still and listen for 6 hours a day and then sit and do a further 90 minutes of desk work once they get home. Most days of the week they don’t get time to just run around and play.
  6. School seems to take away the kids natural ability to figure things out for themselves. The longer they are part of the school system, the more they seem to need to be led by the nose. School should teach them reason and logic, not just subject matter that they learn “parrot fashion”.
  7. Teachers who categorize children into “good kids” and “bad kids”. If a child doesn’t conform and assimilate into the way the grownups say they have to behave, then everything the child does is automatically seen as “bad”. The child doesn’t get given a chance to explain, they just get punished. My son is in break detention 4 days out of 5 because he isn’t a mindless drone (yet) like the other kids in his class.
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Millionaire’s Shortbread

baking, recipes, chocolate, millionaire's shortbread, shortbread, caramel, condensed milkI received The Ultimate Snowflake Collection by Heilie Pienaar in a media drop a while ago and after spending ages paging through it, I found a recipe I wanted to post as part of the review. I wasn’t asked to review the book but I found so much inspiration here that I felt it was only fair to share some of that, with you.

My friend Jess has already shared the cinnamon buns and my other friend Tandy shared the New York Cheesecake. Since both of those recipes are for my favourite foods in the world, I went out of my way to find something different. I made Millionaire’s Shortbread years ago with disastrous results so it took a lot of courage to try this recipe. I am happy to report that it is brilliant and delicious.

baking, recipes, chocolate, millionaire's shortbread, shortbread, caramel, condensed milkMillionaire’s Shortbread (makes about 24)

125g butter, at room temperature

105g icing sugar

140g cake flour

30ml cornflour (Maizena)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and butter a large (20x30cm) brownie pan. Cream butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the creamed butter mixture. Beat well until it forms a soft dough. Press into prepped brownie pan as evenly as possible. It will form a fairly thin layer on the bottom of the pan. Prick all over with a fork and bake for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 160 degrees celcius and bake for a further 8 minutes.

While the shortbread is baking, make the caramel.

Caramel layer

80g butter

105g icing sugar

45ml golden syrup

385g condensed milk

Place all the ingredients into a small but deep saucepan and melt over medium heat on the stove. Stir constantly to prevent burning for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and thickened. Be careful of popping syrup bubbles. Sugar burns are a whole other level of pain. Remove from heat and cool while you’re waiting for the shortbread to come out of the oven. When the shortbread is golden brown (it will still be soft to the touch) turn off the oven and place the pan on the counter. Carefully pour the caramel over the shortbread and leave to cool. After about an hour you can melt the dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate layer

150g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Melt chocolate over a double boiler or in a heat proof bowl in the microwave at 40% power, stirring every 20 seconds. This usually takes about 2 minutes. Stir until smooth and glossy. Pour over the caramel layer and place in the fridge to set for about 15 minutes. Remove from the fridge and slice into squares. Remove from the pan and store in an airtight container on the counter. The fridge may soften the biscuit and discolour the chocolate. They are best served at room temperature anyway.

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Carrot Cake with Lemon Buttercream

baking, recipes, carrot cake, carrot, vegetable cakes

This is my favourite Carrot Cake recipe because it is flop proof and super easy. I adapted it from my friend Jess’ recipe that she turned into cupcakes over here.

Carrot Cake with Lemon Buttercream

3 large eggs

375ml brown sugar

250ml oil

625ml flour

7.5ml baking powder

5ml bicarbonate of soda

5ml ground cinammon

6 carrots, peeled and grated to make 3 cups of carrot

1 large lemon, zest and juice (save the juice for the buttercream)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and butter two round cake tins. Whisk eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer and add sugar slowly while the motor is running. Beat until pale and creamy before adding the oil. Beat well until incorporated.

Sift dry ingredients together and add spoonfuls to egg mixture and fold in gently. Add grated carrot and lemon zest and stir until all the ingredients have been incorporated. Split between the two prepped cake tins and bake for 30-40 minutes. If the cakes start to brown too much before the center is done, place foil lightly over the top with the dull side facing upwards after the cakes have been baking for about 20 minutes.

Lemon Buttercream

125g butter, at room temperature

500g icing sugar, sifted

50-80ml lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add icing sugar and beat again until pale and creamy. At this point you will want to start adding the juice to take the mixture from crumbly to creamy. You cannot over beat at this stage and the more you beat it, the paler it will get. Add the remaining juice until you have a smooth, creamy consistency that plops off the beaters. If you run out of juice, add table spoonfuls of cold water until you’re satisfied.

Place one of the cooled carrot cakes on a serving plate and top with about half the icing. Flatten the icing into an even layer before placing the other cake on top. Top with the remaining icing and decorate with crushed walnuts or homemade fondant decorations if preferred.


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Some tips to help children eat healthy

Some tips to help children eat healthy, hiding veggies, vegetables, vitamins, parenting, feeding, cooking with kidsI’ve been fortunate enough to never have picky eaters at home. From day one, the kids have embraced broccolli, cauliflower and green beans. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been fairly nonchalant about them not wanting to eat (missing a meal won’t kill them – I promise) but I’ve made a choice to never make food an issue to fight about.

Honestly, we are not much of a “fast food” house because we literally have never been able to afford it. My kids had a take away meal the other day because they wanted the toy that came with the meal and they HATED it. They actually said that the burger tasted like cardboard. Even though they don’t mind veggies, they kick up less of a fuss when it is hidden in their food. So here are a few tips for you.

 Don’t cook food especially for them every time you prepare a meal

My food processor is my best friend but a basic grater will do in a push. It doesn’t have to be a top of the line appliance but it makes a huge impact on how many veggies I can hide in my bolognaise. Seriously, carrots, celery mushrooms and even lentils are hidden in there sometimes which doesn’t only help with the amount of meat needed (and bring costs down) but it ups the nutritional value a lot. If they know that what is on the table is the only option between a full tummy and a hungry one, then more often than not they will eat what is available. The important thing is to leave emotions out of it and remain outwardly calm at all times.

Introduce new food items slowly

Most children aren’t big fans of change, especially when it comes to food. Many tend to request what they’ve already tasted and chances are, they almost always ask you for the unhealthy food. When you want to feed them broccoli, don’t just put it on the table and force them to eat it. Instead, tell them that it’s really yummy and will give them more energy to play. A little encouragement from their favorite superheroes can also help. In the 90s, the the Popeye cartoon was really helpful in feeding spinach – Popeye’s favorite food – to kids. Today, you can probably tell your children that if they want to be as strong as Captain America or Batman, they’d have to eat their veggies.

I’m pretty sure you heard all about the starving children in Ethopia when you were growing up but I chose to never guilt my kids into eating food. That’s just asking for food issues when they are older. There are wonderful charities that help less fortunate children who don’t have the privilege of three square meals a day but highlighting this fact and trying to lay guilt on my kids would only make them feel bad about not wanting to eat supper. They are also not required to “clean their plates”. I usually ask them to have just one bite of whatever is new to them just to try it. If they don’t like it, fine. But they will be asked to try it again and after a while you find that you’ve raised very adventurous little eaters.

 Bring them into the kitchen

Involving your children in preparing your family’s meals can help them understand and become interested in what they’re eating. Take them to the kitchen and show them the different kinds of ingredients that you’ll be using when making meals. If they’re old enough, teach them how to cut vegetables and meat.  If they see how yucky solidified lard is after you fry shop bought burgers, they might have second thoughts about asking you to buy it next time. They may even be willing to help you make it from scratch yourself.


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Reviews and Ratings

Let’s talk about restaurant reviews and ratings. Before we start we should maybe look at the rating scale of 1-5 and associate some sort of meaning to them. If a restaurant scores 1 most people would read that to mean “bad/shocking/terrible”, 2 would mean “below expectations”, 3 would mean “meets expectations”, 4 would mean “exceeds expectations” and 5 would mean “mind blowing”. Does that sound about right?

Now, let’s talk about expectation vs cost. If you are going to a child friendly steak house for example, what kind of food would you expect based on the type of restaurant and what you are paying? When my kids where much younger, a child friendly steak house was pretty much the only place we could go where they could play while their parents could eat in peace. I know there is a lot of varied opinion on this though, so I won’t generalize. Now what would it take for a child friendly steak house to rate 5 in a restaurant review? While you think about that, let me move on.

Let’s say that you’re a blogger and you get invited to review a restaurant or “experience the food” for free. This is what a lot of people would call a “sponsored post/review” (even if the restaurant says that they don’t expect a blog post on it). So you go to the restaurant and you’re so excited you tweet and instagram the hell out of it. If you don’t do an actual blog post on it (as well) you will probably put up a review on an app like TripAdvisor or Zomato. Now, will you remain impartial and rate the experience honestly or will you rate the meal a 5 because you received it for free?

If we use the above mentioned rating scale, I can think of a lot of restaurants who would “meet expectations”. Take a child friendly steak house for example, you know why you are going to a child friendly steak house , you know what food you can expect to eat, what the service would be like and you know how much it will cost you. If the service is amazing or the food doesn’t make you feel ill the next day, you might rate your experience as exceeds expectations based on what you were expecting. If the food and service were worse than you were expecting then the rating scale would probably go all the way down to 1.

I don’t think I need any more examples to draw your attention to the fact that we should be more careful with our 5s. We should save those 5s for the restaurants who really do blow our minds. 3 out of 5 shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing, because our expectations were met. You should know what you’re going to get when you spend a fortune at a restaurant, where you had to book 6 months in advance and had to remortgage your house to pay the bill. If you go to this restaurant and you expected macaroni cheese or fish and chips and then you want to complain about the price, then you might have to consider that your research didn’t pay off. The restaurant shouldn’t be slated because you didn’t take the time to find out about how the ordering system works or the fact that the foods are meant to be shared by the table.

What do you think? Have I got the wrong end of the stick here or have I hit the nail on the head? It’s quite possible that the reason I don’t get a lot of invitations is because I am “too honest”. It’s the same reason I also have to weigh up whether it is really worth my while because of the expectation associated with my acceptance. I am open to correction though because I am well aware about how much I still need to learn.

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Today’s Puff Pastry Challenge

vegetarian, gazpacho, wild rocket, pinwheels, easy, kid friendly, today puff pastryWhen Today sends you a box of “mystery ingredients” and challenges you to make something outside of the norm, you go out of your way to avoid the clichéd quiche, pies, puff pastry pizzas and tarts. After all, everyone knows how to use puff pastry as a base for savoury baked goods so I thought, “Let’s find something different to do” and came up with these Roasted Tomato Gazpacho with Wild Rocket Pinwheels.

My mystery basket contained baby tomatoes, wild rocket, 2 rolls of Today Puff Pastry, feta cheese and balsamic vinegar. Since a small tub of tomatoes won’t go very far to feed my family of 4, I bought some more so that I could make enough soup for everyone. This classic flavour combo was a hit and the kids have asked me when I will be making these fab pinwheels again.

Today’s Puff Pastry Challenge

Roasted Tomato Gazpacho
1kg baby tomatoes
1 small (or half a large) onion
1 garlic clove, leave skin on
5ml sugar
5ml salt
30ml balsamic vinegar
125ml white bread, cubed
5ml ground cumin
125ml olive oil

Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius. Place washed baby tomatoes into a shallow, oven proof dish with the garlic clove (yes, leave the skin on) and onion. Drizzle with 10mls olive oil. Add sugar and salt and roast for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Soak bread briefly in cold water and drain, squeezing as much water out as possible. Rescue the garlic clove and remove the skin. Place tomato, onion and garlic into the bowl of a food processor and process briefly. Add bread, balsamic vinegar, cumin and the rest of the olive oil. Process until a smooth soup has formed, scraping down the sides of the food processor often. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary. Chill before serving.

Wild Rocket Pinwheels (adapted from The CookSister)
100g wild rocket, washed well
40g pecorino cheese, finely grated
40g pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry pan
1 garlic clove
100ml olive oil
400g Today Puff Pastry
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)

Place the first 4 ingredients into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until finely chopped. Slowly add olive oil through the spout of the food processor while the motor is still running until it has been well incorporated.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a large baking sheet with non stick spray or butter. Unroll the puff pastry and flatten with your hands. Spread about 60ml of pesto all over the pastry, leaving a 1cm border all the way around. Roll up the pastry (from the longest side and moving away from you) as tightly as you can. Slice the pastry into 1cm discs and place onto the prepped baking tray. Brush each pinwheel with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked. Serve immediately with the chilled gazpacho.

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When your child bullies mine

parenting, bullies, kids, school, anger, hatred, intolerance When your child bullies mine
I have to wonder what they are learning at home
Is it hatred that they’re seeing
When you’re driving on the road?
Do you talk trash about people
Who look, talk or act differently from you?
Will they know what patience, tolerance and responsibility look like?
Or will they lash out at anyone who doesn’t behave the way they expect?

When your child bullies mine
I have to teach them about how many people are hurting
And how they can show compassion
Because if a child is so broken inside
That he/she feels the need to break others
Then I need to teach my child how to see past the hurt
And understand that they are not the ones at fault

Because while we cannot fix it, just recognizing the pain will help us learn and grow and adapt. The old adage that “Hurt people, hurt people” is true. Every day these broken people push into the traffic or steal parking bays without a care in the world (in fact, they will probably swear at you too). They will force people out of the way as they board a bus and arrogantly ask, “Why must I wait? What for?”

Please don’t think I am claiming to know it all. I know how hard parenting is and I recognized that raising children is a 24/7 365 days a year exercise that never, ever takes a break. Active parenting is teaching my kids every minute of every day about what the world is really like and how they can make a difference despite all the challenges we face. My kids are awesome, amazing individuals because Anton and I put the work in. We have treated them like human beings from day one and we would rather be strict now, so that they understand the bigger, more important rules later on.

Parenting is an ever changing sea. You have to adapt and learn with your kids if you want to keep your head above water. Boundaries help them feel safe so, when they learn that no means no, it actually helps them come to terms with the fact that you can’t always get what you want.
Imagine what a difference that would make, to all of us living alongside each other in the world. Compassion, tolerance and responsibility.

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Best Lemon Meringue Pie

best lemon meringue, recipe, baking, lemon recipe, how to make lemon meringue from scratchWhen life hands you (loads of) lemons, you make lemon curd and Lemon Drizzle Cake and lemon meringue and so on, and so on. Of course everyone has their favourite lemon meringue recipe so a blog post should offer something different and a valid reason why you defer from the simpler recipe to make it from scratch without a tin of condensed milk in sight.

Not that there is anything wrong with condensed milk, you understand? But I couldn’t possibly share the good old faithful tennis biscuits & butter base, tin of condensed milk, lemon juice and zest and 3 eggs separated (with 180ml castor sugar) one, could I?

So, despite all the lemon recipes I’ve shared already, I’m just going to go ahead and share another one (especially since I just noticed I haven’t actually shared a lemon meringue recipe on this blog before). I should mention that I tried making golden castor sugar by grinding up normal brown sugar in my food processor and it was an epic fail. The next time I tested this recipe I used castor sugar and it was a winner despite being the first time I used corn flour in the meringue.

best lemon meringue, recipe, baking, lemon recipe, how to make lemon meringue from scratchHow do you make meringue? I usually just whip up egg whites with a pinch of Cream of Tartar and slowly add the castor sugar. I have never added corn flour or vinegar before, but I’ve heard that many people prefer it that way.

Like all good things, this Lemon Meringue takes a little of planning ahead and some resting time but I promise you won’t regret it. This tart is everything lemon meringue should be. It is smooth, lemony and not too sweet with a crisp pastry crust and a feather light, caramelized, crunchy meringue top.

Best Lemon Meringue Pie

Best Lemon Meringue Pie

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8-10 servings

Like every thing in life, truly special things take time. This Lemon Meringue Pie is worth every extra minute it took to plan ahead.


  • ** Pastry
  • 180g cake flour
  • 20ml icing sugar
  • 100g cold butter
  • 1 egg yolk (save the egg white for the meringue)
  • ** Filling
  • 3 lemons, finely grate zest before squeezing out about 125ml juice
  • 1 orange, finely grate zest before squeezing out about 75ml juice
  • 100g castor sugar (or grind regular white sugar in a food processor until fine)
  • 30ml corn flour (cornstarch) (Maizena)
  • 3 egg yolks (save the egg white for the meringue)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 90g butter, cubed
  • ** Meringue
  • 4 egg whites (that you saved from earlier)
  • 200g castor sugar
  • 10ml corn flour (Maizena)


  1. Pastry
  2. Place the dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and get that motor running.
  3. Cut butter up into smaller blocks and drop down the chute of the processor while the motor does it’s thing.
  4. When the mixture starts to look like breadcrumbs, add the egg yolk and blitz for a few more seconds until it starts to come together.
  5. Turn the machine off and remove the blade. Bring the mixture together with your hands and wrap the flattened disc in plastic.
  6. Refrigerate until you’re ready to bake.
  7. Filling
  8. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius and prep a pie dish or cake tin with butter or non stick spray. Place a baking sheet in the oven to warm up. Your cake tin will be placed onto this hot baking sheet to ensure your pastry bakes evenly.
  9. Roll out your pastry and carefully transfer to your prepped dish. Push pastry into the corners and trim the edges. Don’t trim too closely as pastry does shrink once baked.
  10. Cover uncooked pastry in baking paper and fill with dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 15 minutes then remove paper and discard rice/beans. Bake pastry for a further 8 minutes until golden brown.
  11. While you are waiting for the pastry, prep your filling. Heat sugar, corn flour, lemon zest and juices in a medium saucepan on the stove. Stir continuously until thick and smooth (this takes about 5 minutes).
  12. Remove the pan from the heat while you beat egg yolks and whole egg together and add it to the pan. Whisk briefly to incorporate and place mixture back onto the heat. Stir over medium heat until thick and smooth (it should look a bit like thick cream).
  13. Remove from the heat and beat in the butter until all the butter has melted and the curd is glossy. Set aside while you make the meringue.
  14. Meringue
  15. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar one spoon at a time until fully incorporated and the meringue is glossy and thick. Gently fold in the corn flour until no trace of it remains. Work gently to ensure that you don’t knock any of the air out.
  16. Fill your pastry shell with the hot lemon curd and top with the meringue working from the outside of the tart to the center. Place onto the hot baking tray in the oven and turn the temperature down to 160 degrees celcius.
  17. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the meringue is golden brown. Watch this carefully as the meringue could burn before the full 20 minutes are up.
  18. Turn off the oven and leave the lemon meringue inside the oven with the oven door ajar until completely cool. I prefer to not refrigerate as I find the meringue goes soft.

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Tandy’s Chocolate Souffles

baking challenge, chocolate, souffle, easier than you think, easy, Tandy SinclairThe list of recipes I want to test is over a mile long now. It has become one of those “to do” lists that get longer everyday but I get nowhere near making a dent into before I add another 5 items to the list. One of the recipes I was asked to test was sent to me by Tandy who asked me to try out her soufflé recipe a while back. It was only when she followed up with me a few weeks ago that I realized that I’d been sitting with it for a year! Sorry Tandy! This is really not like me (but why is time flying past so quickly these days?).

I do get a little apprehensive about recipes that require careful measurement and have quite a few steps. Since I hadn’t made a soufflé before, I would have to admit that I was procrastinating a bit. As a lazy baker I did try and take as many shortcuts as possible and hopefully this will go a long way to encourage you to try it too.

Tandy’s Chocolate Souffles

Step 1:

200g white sugar

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed

Blitz sugar and vanilla seeds together in the bowl of a food processor and set aside.

Step 2:

85ml milk

1 egg, separated

8g vanilla castor sugar (from what you made in your previous step)

15g cake flour

baking challenge, chocolate, souffle, easier than you think, easy, Tandy SinclairBring milk to boiling point in a small saucepan. Set aside the egg white to use later. Beat egg yolk and sugar together in a small bowl then slowly add flour. Beat well with a fork until smooth. Place a scoop of hot milk into the egg mixture and stir well to temper the eggs. Turn the heat down on the stove before adding the egg and milk mixture to the pot and stir well with a spatula until thick and smooth. Transfer custard into a small bowl and sprinkle over 15ml of your vanilla sugar. Set aside. This pastry cream yields about 110g of custard so you will need to measure out 100g for the next step.

Before you start with your final step, melt about 20g of butter in the microwave. Set aside about 80g of vanilla sugar for the next step and use the rest for the bowls. Brush butter using upward strokes into 8 small or 6 large ramekins and sprinkle with sugar. Swirl the sugar around the bowl to coat the sides before shaking the excess back into the bowl of vanilla sugar. Repeat until all the bowls have had their insides buttered and coated with sugar. Set aside the bowls and put a baking sheet in the oven. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celcius just before you want to serve the soufflés.

Step 3:

100g pastry cream

30g cocoa powder

5ml ground cinammon

5 egg whites (about 175g) (make this Lemon Curd with the 4 egg yolks you have leftover)

60g vanilla sugar

Set up a bain marie by placing a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the hot water in the pot. Slowly heat your pastry cream in this glass bowl stirring with a silicon spatula. Add 1 teaspoonful of cocoa and cinammon mixture at a time stirring well after each addition until thick and smooth. While you are busy with this you can whisk your egg whites to soft peaks in the bowl of a stand mixer using a whisk attachment. Slowly add the vanilla sugar until the meringue has become thick and glossy.

Remove your chocolate pastry cream from the heat and add a bit spoonful of meringue. Fold meringue into the chocolate custard using a figure 8 motion. Add remaining meringue in batches until everything has been well incorporated.

Scoop soufflé mixture into each bowl making sure that you only fill each ramekin halfway. Sprinkle spoonfuls of your remaining 20g of vanilla sugar over the top of each soufflé and let them rest for about 5 minutes so that the sugar melts in to the chocolate. Run your thumb around the edge of each bowl to clean off the excess sugar and to help the soufflés rise evenly.

Place ramekins onto preheated baking tray in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately with sweetened whipped cream.

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