Decadent Sticky Toffee Pudding

My humblest of humblest apologies for posting this post so late!! I was infected with the W.O.R.K. virus *thinks she should perhaps change the deadlines she has set herself*  To make myself feel a little better, Mr JustChef has not been able to get around to his “Make The Wife A Light Box” Challenge either – shame, he also caught the W.O.R.K. virus! I have recovered (for now) and without further adieu, here is our first official Compulsory Challenge Review!

Mr JustChef set the challenge here.

I have NEVER cooked with dates before and had NO idea what to expect. We were having guests around that we had not seen in a LONG time – the perfect opportunity to WOW them (I thought).

So, here’s the first Compulsory Challenge:

 Fresh Living Issue:  September 2010 – Issue 30

Page #:  67

Recipe Name:  Decadent Sticky Toffee Pudding

The recipe was easy to follow (it can be found on my friend Tandy’s blog here and on my other friend Browniegirl’s blog – thank goodness they have WAY better photos!). However, the serving portions were WAY understated! I made two portions in cups (to photograph) and a larger one for my guests. The ones I made in a cups cooked over the sides of the cups (makes a REALLY good Brandy Snap Cookie LOL) and the bigger one ended up looking more like a flan than a pudding – BUT it tasted so good!  Sadly the overall verdict was that it was way TOO sweet.  We served it with homemade soft serve ice cream (recipe here) that the children made. NOTE: put the Ziplock bag containing the cream into another bag before putting into the ice and salt! On a previous occasion the “snow man poop” was a little salty LOL.

Appologies for the photo, but we really could not post one of the cups or of the whole pudding either … *hangs head in shame*


The Verdict:

Mr JustChef: Was surprised that it contained dates!!! It quenched his sweet craving for days!

JustChef:  Misjudged the serving portions (badly) and will probably halve the recipe when I make it again! Or I will make it at Christmas time when there are LOADS of visitors.

Little Chef:  Thought it was way too sweet, but had fun making the ice cream with her friends!!

Does this recipe make it into Little Chef’s Recipe Book? When the sweetness has been tweaked (because we WILL try this again), YES!

PS: I cannot wait to get to Pick n Pay this weekend to buy my new Fresh Living magazine!

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Mr JustChef’s Challenge #1

This choice was not so hard for The Selector. He has a VERY sweet tooth! *wonders if it was the self-saucing chocolate pudding she makes that clinched the deal when they were dating*

Don’t stress, he has been told that not ALL his choices may be sweet dishes *holds thumbs that he listens*

Here’s his Compulsory Challenge for this week:


Fresh Living Issue: September 2010 – Issue 30

Page #: 67

Recipe Name: Decadent Sticky Toffee Pudding

Until next week then,


PS: Please remember to add a Pick n Pay or Fresh Living link on your post if you are going to take part in this challenge!

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Sour Cream Pastry


It took me a long time to decide on which recipe to make. I had a chat with H and she inspired me to make a Lemon Meringue Pie. Now, let me tell you, I have been on Two Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty Three different diets (not quite, but you get the picture) and on each and every one I have NEVER been able to say no to a slice of Lemon Meringue Pie, when it was offered to me.  I have made MANY Lemon Meringue Pies. So, “where’s the challenge in that”, I thought.

So I walked on over to my Fresh Living stash and grabbed three issues. I was stumped!! Decisions, decisions. I realized that there were many recipes I could not make, simply because they contain garlic (Mr JustChef’s stomach cannot stomach garlic – eating it leaves him in agony).  Then I decided – this is my blog! I’ll just make small adaptations to recipes. But, that semi defies the whole point of following the recipes step-by-step. Sadly, it also excludes many dishes! So, I’m going to play along and if need be, I’ll just leave garlic out *hopes she does not feel too guilty*.

So, here’s this week’s Own Challenge:

This is what it is supposed to look like:

Fresh Living Issue:  July 2010 – Issue 28

Page #:  88

Recipe Name:  Step-By-Step Sausage Rolls (See, I’m sticking to the step-by-step thing!)

It’s an Ina Paarman recipe and it’s really LONG recipe, so I’m not posting it here. Here is a link, but what I will say is that it’s a sour cream pastry filled with skinned boerewors that’s been rolled in fresh, chopped coriander. Sour cream pastry is NOT for sissies (obviously this is where the CHALLENGE comes in – thanks Aunty Ina – not!!!!!). At one point in the recipe, it calls for the mixture to be covered and refrigerated. Then it says “and rest for 1 hour or overnight”. I wondered whether it was me or the pastry that supposed to rest!! Further on you roll and fold and roll and fold and then the pastry needs to rest (there is a LOT of resting and a LOT of rolling and folding – perfect opportunity for our friend Merlot to pop in for a visit!!). It does not say if the pastry should be in the fridge while resting, so we took a vote and decided to put it in the fridge. 

We used a third of the pastry to make dessert – Tamboesies, as seen on Page 91 of the same issue.  Pastry squares, filled with a cinnamon custard and drizzled with a lemony, runny icing! They were spectacular!!

The Verdict:

Mr JustChef: “The pastry is really good. The coriander is too much. Not really worth the time it took you to make it.” He really liked the dessert morsels though and is quite keen for me to make the custard again!


JustChef:  Had fun making the sausage rolls, but agree that the coriander is too overpowering.  I will however make the pastry again and make sausage rolls with it again – minus the coriander.


Little Chef:  Had loads of fun helping out.  Turns out she is the BEST coriander snipper there is! Her sausage rolls were made without the coriander and she managed to eat only a quarter of one. But, “they are better than the ones from the Spar!”.  Now THAT is a compliment!  Turns out this is her favorite pastry and she wants me to “make a chicken pie with it!”

Does this recipe make it into Little Chef’s Recipe Book? The pastry and Tamboesies, yes. The coriander sausage roll part of it, no.

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What Am I Getting Myself Into?

Here is a Copy & Paste of a post I did on Food 24 last week:

So, I’ve set myself a challenge. Kinda like a South African version of Julie & Julia. You all know the movie? The one that ALL Foodies have seen?

Anyway, I religiously buy the Pick n Pay Fresh Living magazine. I have them filed in chronological order (well, the ones where the Sudoko puzzles have been completed). I never cut out the “discount for the next issue” voucher as the magazine would no longer be “whole” and seldom follow the recipes step-by-step. Don’t get me wrong, their recipes are awesome, I just normally use them for inspiration for my own concoctions.

Here’s the plan:

I will make and blog one recipe a week (step-by-step!). Anyone is welcome to join me on my challenge as there will be two Compulsory Challenges per month (on a fortnightly basis). The Compulsory Challenges will be chosen by Mr JustChef, a.k.a. The Selector (oh the pressure!), or by Comic Cook from Fresh Living (she posts her own challenges on Facebook). The remaining will be my own choices or from those selected by Little Chef, a.k.a. The Daughter. So as not to leave previous issues out of my challenge, some of my own choices will be taken from previous copies. Don’t stress! I will let you all in on which issue was used.

Not much of a plan now is it?

Let’s give you some background … Posts will be created over weekends and posted during the week. Our week nights are filled with rushing to check Little Chef’s homework, cooking, etc – way too hectic to even try and be creative on the Cooking Front. Doing this challenge will FORCE me to photograph my creations (well the ones that Pick n Pay lovingly choose for each edition) and actually BLOG about them.

Word of warning: I am not the best photographer or the best writer, but I can cook (or so I’ve been told *hides threatening knife behind back*).

Mr JustChef has created his own challenge too – he calls it The “Make The Wife A Light Box” Challenge!

Here’s the rules:

The Compulsory Challenges will be posted on a Wednesday / Thursday and blogged about during the following week. If you are going to be mad enough to join me, please post comments and links to your masterpieces on my blog. I will not be posting a challenge post for my own choices. They’ll just appear, like magic (ta-ra).

ALL participating posts MUST have a Fresh Living or a Pick n Pay link in them PLEASE! That’s it! I will be doing a “practice” own choice run this weekend. That gives Mr JustChef a little time to come up with the Compulsory Challenge (and some time to complete his own challenge – hehehe).

I’d love to read your comments or suggestions!

Until next week then,


PS: I would really like it if some of you would join me in my challenge, however, this is something I feel I need to do for myself, so indulge me if you will.

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