Coconut-Bran Muffins

Coconut-Bran Muffins

Makes 12 muffins but can be doubled.

375ml bran
125ml boiling water
60ml butter, melted
190ml brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
50ml + 200ml buttermilk
6ml bicarbonate of soda
160ml flour
160ml wholewheat flour
2ml salt
250ml desiccated coconut

Preheat your oven to 220℃ and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cups.
Add the bran to a mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over. Stir through.
Pour the 50ml buttermilk into a small bowl and sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda over. Stir through and set aside.
Add the melted butter to the bran and stir again.
Now add the sugar, egg and 200ml buttermilk.
Pour the bicarb and buttermilk into the mixture and mix through.
Add the flour, wholewheat flour, salt and coconut and stir until just mixed.
Divide the batter among the paper cases and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the muffins from the oven and from the muffin tin and cool them on a cooling rack.

Chocolate Bread

If you long for slightly warm pain au chocolat directly from a Paris pâtisserie, long no more! This chocolate bread offers real competition! If you battle to understand the finishing instructions, go to my instagram account (karen_claassen) or my YouTube channel, for a demonstration video.

300ml milk

30ml butter

10g instant yeast

80ml sugar

a pinch of salt

850ml cake flour

2 egg yolks

350g chocolate spread

2 egg whites

Put a small saucepan onto the heat and warm the milk in it.

Stir the butter into the milk so that it can melt.

Allow the milk to come to a temperature where you can comfortably keep your finger in it without feeling it is hot.

Sprinkle the yeast onto the milk and give it a good stir. Set aside for 5 minutes or so.

Add the sugar, salt and flour to a large mixing bowl.

Add the yeast mixture as well as the egg yolks and mix to form a rough dough.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to stand until doubled in volume.

Preheat your oven to 180℃.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into four equal pieces.

Roll the first portion of dough into a circle – I like to measure my circle with the loose-bottom of a 22cm cake tin. This is a real help in getting all the circles/discs to the same size.

Transfer this dough circle onto your prepared baking sheet and spread a third of the chocolate spread as evenly as you can over the dough.

Repeat this process with the other three portions of dough.

Once the last dough circle has been placed onto the stack, you are ready to cut and shape your bread. If you have difficulty in following this process, go to my instagram account or my YouTube channel for demonstration video.

Finishing instructions:

Imagine a 5cm diameter circle as the centrepiece of your dough circles – DO NOT cut through this circle.

Now, if the dough circles were a clock, make an incision from the centre circle on 12 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock.

Half each of the four triangles you have so that you are left with 8 pieces.

Lastly, cut through each of the 8 pieces to end up with 16.

Now lift two pieces that are next to each other, one in each hand, and make two twists in opposite directions. Carefully place these pieces down. Keep going until all of the bread pieces have been twisted and your have a beautifully patterned bread.

Cover the bread with a clean tea towel and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

Whisk the two egg whites with a fork and glaze the bread with it.

Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.

Serve slightly warm.

Candied Pork Rashers

Candied Pork Rashers

8 boneless, pork rashers
125ml brown sugar
2,5ml smoked paprika
7,5ml dried chilli flakes

Preheat your oven to 200℃ and line a baking sheet with aluminium foil. Stand a metal cooling rack in the baking sheet.
Spread the rashers on the metal rack in the baking sheet and salt them on both sides. Set aside.
Mix together the brown sugar, paprika and chilli flakes and spread it evenly onto each rasher.
Bake in the oven for 8 minutes, remove and flip the rashers.
Spread this side with the rest of the sugar mixture and immediately place it back in the oven for another 8 minutes.
Flip the rashers once more and bake for another 5 minutes per side, until beautifully browned and crisp.
Serve warm.

Cinnamon Bagels

Cinnamon Bagels

Makes one serving:

1 bagel per person
2 eggs
30ml milk
a pinch of salt


Add the eggs, milk and salt to a bowl and whisk together.
Slice the bagels in half horizontally and dip each half in the egg mixture.
Place a frying pan on medium-high heat and add a splash of vegetable oil.
Fry the egg-soaked bagel for about 2 minutes before flipping it and frying for another 2 minutes.
Generously dish the warm bagel halves with cinnamon sugar and serve while warm.

3-Ingredient Banana Flapjacks

3-Ingredient Banana Flapjacks

This recipe is for one portion flapjacks = 3-4 average sized flapjacks.

1 very ripe banana, mashed
30ml self-raising flour
1 egg

Add the mashed banana, flour and egg to a small mixing bowl and whisk together with a fork.
Place a frying pan on medium-high heat and add a dash of vegetable oil.
Spoon the batter into the pan, about three flapjacks at a time and cook until tiny bubbles appear.
Flip over and cook for another minute or two.
Serve the flapjacks warm with honey and added fruit.

Egg and Veg Muffins

Egg and Veg Muffins

These are the easiest and quickest muffins you will ever put together. Have them for breakfast, brunch or as a lunchbox snack. Yields 12 muffins.

6 eggs
125g cream cheese, room temperature
250ml milk
5ml salt and a few grindings of black pepper

Preheat your oven to 180℃ and spray a 12-hole muffin tin with cooking spray.
Add the eggs, cream cheese and milk to a mixing bowl and whisk together.
Pour the mixture three-quarter-full in the prepared tin and then fill each with your choice of vegetable.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.
Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes before removing them from the muffin tin.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Suggested fillings:
cubed cheese like feta or mozzarella
red onion
baby marrow
baby spinach
leftover chicken or other meat

Chinese Flatbread

Chinese Flatbread

Also called Scallion Flatbread or Green Onion Flatbread, these tiny breads are flaky with a crispy outside and wonderfully soft inside. Easy and very straightforward to make!

250g flour
160g HOT water
sunflower oil

30ml sunflower oil
30ml flour
2,5ml salt
40g green onion/scallion, chopped

Add the flour to a mixing bowl and pour in the hot water. Stir with a spatula/spoon until no more flour can be seen.
Combine the mixture into a rough-looking dough with your hands.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
Uncover and knead by hand until it becomes smooth.
Rub a thin layer of oil over the dough as well as on the work surface.
Roll the dough into a rectangle of about 43cm x 33cm.
Add the 30 ml sunflower oil, flour and salt tot a small mixing bowl and mix together.
Brush the mixture over the rolled dough and sprinkle the green onion over.
Roll the dough, from the short side, into a log that is not too tight.
Cut into 4 equal pieces.
Stand a piece on its cut side, press it down with your hand to flatten slightly and then roll out into a 13cm diameter circle. Repeat with the remaining 3 pieces of dough.
Place a frying pan over medium heat and pour a small amount of oil into it.
Wait for the pan to heat up and place the breads in the pan if you can fit all of them. You may also cook 2 breads at a time if space is a problem.
Place a lid on the pan and cook the flatbread for 3 minutes.
Flip them over and cook for another 2 minutes until done.
Serve while warm.

Soufflé Omelette

Soufflé Omelette

3 eggs, separated
salt and pepper
15g + 15g parmesan, grated
a handful of chives, chopped
15g butter

Separate the eggs into two large mixing bowls.
Add a generous pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper to the yolks. Whisk together and set aside.
Whisk the egg whites until firm, glossy peaks form.
Add half of the egg whites to the yolks and stir well until the whites are thoroughly combined and you have a looser consistency.
Mix in 15g of the parmesan as well as the chives.
Now add the remaining egg whites and gently fold the mixture together until well combined.
Place a frying pan over medium heat and add the butter. Allow to melt and bubble.
Pour the egg mixture into the pan and spread the mixture with a spatula. Smooth the surface as well.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the top is just set – about 2-3 minutes.
Remove the lid and scatter the remaining 15g of parmesan on top and cook for another minute.
Slice the omelette out of the pan onto a serving plate and fold the omelette over on itself.
Serve immediately.

Warm Oatmeal with Spiced Pears

Warm Oatmeal with Spiced Pears

2 pears
30ml lemon juice
60ml brown sugar
2,5ml ground cinnamon
30g butter, cubed

For the oatmeal:
250ml rolled oats
250ml water
250ml milk
a pinch of salt
1,2ml ground cinnamon
a handful (or two) of almonds

For the pears:
Preheat your oven to 180℃ and line a small baking tray with baking paper or aluminium foil.
Halve the pears and remove the core. (I use a melon scoop for this)
Place the pears, cut-side up, on the prepared baking tray and drizzle with the lemon juice.
Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon on the fruit and place a piece of cubed butter on each.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes.

For the oatmeal:
Pour the oats, water, milk, salt and cinnamon into a saucepan and place on medium-high heat.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-6 minutes, while stirring often.

Spoon the porridge into 2 bowls and place 2 pear half on top of each bowl.
Drizzle the oatmeal with honey and a generous scattering of almonds and serve warm.

Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad

cape gooseberries
1 x container ready-made vanilla custard

Peel the papino and cut it in half. Slice a small section away on the rounded side so that it forms a base on which the fruit can “stand”.
Place the half on a serving dish and fill the cavity with the berries and a generous dollop of custard!!