Through flour, sugar, butter and eggs, you’ve created the best recipe ever – friendship!
Janet @ LaDue & Crew

Yes, still summer here, with the rains that came and went, leaving us in a puddle of hot and humid misery. Not the perfect weather for macs, but then again, it was the finding my feet time of the month. Needless to say, they proved elusive again. The theme Jamie and I picked at MacTweets was ‘SING, SING A SONG‘, asking you to cook up something special, something toe-tapping, sing-along good! Sing I did, and the numbers being belted out in my mind were wide ranging. Primary of course the theme song from Friends, I’ll Be There For Youwhich I was going to dedicate my macs to… had they found feet.

It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year
But … I’ll be there for you (when the rain starts to pour)
I’ll be there for you (like I’ve been there before)
I’ll be there for you (because you’re there for me too)

To Bina who mailed me egg white powder from the States, to Ednah {Janet} who posted the cutest friends card for me, Johnny Depp and all, {a joke we share on twitter at the laundry club}, to Jamie who is the spirit behind my macs, to Ken who inspired the yellow, to Mardi my partner in humid conditions failed macs, to Barbara who’s become a mac-pro …

… and to all the gang at MacTweets for the inspired ‘feet‘ month after month! Thanks for joining Jamie and me at the ‘attack‘!

Songs have always been part of my life. The medley that the juke box plays in my head these days includes Waka Waka, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Wind Beneath My Wings, Walk of Life, Hey Soul Sister, The Day I Died, Fast Cars, Hey There Delilah. Then Jamie mentioned Cat Stevens and Leonard Cohen; she had me nodding. Add to that Dire Straits, Eagles, Van Morrison, Beegees, Barbara Streisand, Eric Clapton … the list is endless, like failed feet sagas! So well, in my little world, I had many ugly feetless macarons, and one kind of respectable ‘foot’, but they were all delicious. So here, like Cinderellas glass slipper, is my vanilla macaron with a white chocolate ganache cushioned on this Mango Vanilla Bavarian Cream Cake that I made for my Dad’s birthday. The idea was to have a whole bunch of them adorning the cake. Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be …

My Dad is as fruit obsessed as I am, though the choice of fruit differs. Summer means only mangoes for him, and though he doesn’t enjoy eating them, he is obsessed with buying kilos of them every other day. I know if the phone rings in the morning, it’s him on the other end, asking me to drive by and collect a bag of mangoes! I am mad about peaches and cherries, and it now appears that I inherited the fruit obsession from him!
So he called the other day, excitedly to tell me that a new local variety of mango, ‘langda’, that hit the market, and he had bought me some! I don’t even bother buying them now because he has a keen eye for the well ripened good varieties, and always delivers the best! Since it was his birthday in 2 days, and me being the official cake baker at home, I knew just what I wanted to bake! – A Bavarian Cream Cake with mangoes, inspired by this Raspberry Rose Vanilla Bavarian Cream Cake I had seen ages ago on Tartlette.

Baking the sponge is a cake walk {unlike making macs, sigh}, because there’s very little to the recipe. Use your favourite light sponge recipe, or use this one which I used for making ladies fingers in this Tiramisu here. I was going to make the cake in a jelly roll pan, and then decided to pipe it out since the piping bag for a macaron attempt was lying right there. The secret to a good sponge is to beat it well, and then try and retain as much beaten air as possible while folding in the flour. The measures for a 3egg sponge are in my head as I use the same recipe for making a Swiss roll often … 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour!

The Bavarian cream is a little time consuming, but I think that’s because I don’t make it often enough. I’ve just made it twice in the past – in this Peaches and Cream Cake  and this Strawberry Bavarian Cream Cake. One vanilla bean would do fine in there to dispel off any eggy smells in the pastry cream, but I used 2 because I wanted a deeper vanilla flavour. Also, I have enough vanilla beans on hand,and love using them! I used low fat cream because we don’t get heavy cream here.I halved Helen’s recipe for the Bavarian cream, and used a combination of skimmed milk and low fat cream. You can make this cake with peaches, strawberries or raspberries too. Mango is in season now, so here we are… 

Mango Vanilla Bavarian Cream Cake
Adapted from Tartlette

2 sponge bases
1 quantity Bavarian cream
1 quantity lime syrup
3 medium mangoes, diced into cubes

 For the sponge

3 large eggs separated 
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 sachet vanilla sugar 

Whip the yolks with 1/4 cup sugar till pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and beat again.
Sift the flour over the beaten yolks and leave.
wash the beaters clean, whip the whites with the salt to soft peaks, add sugar and whip to a stiff meringue.
Fold the whites into the yolks and flour in 3 goes. Do this gently so as not to lose volume. Divide it into half and bake in 2 parchment paper lined 8″ shallow baking tins, or pipe into 2 9″ circles drawn on parchment paper. The bases will be very thin. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar
Bake for 12-15 minutes till golden brown and spongy.
Peel off paper, and cool completely on racks.

For the Vanilla Bavarian Cream
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 vanilla beans {One bean will do too. I wanted a DEEP vanilla flavour}
1 1/4 tablespoons powdered gelatin, sprinkled over 3 tbsps water {Can reduce to 1 tbsp in cool weather}
600ml low fat cream {25% fat}

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until very pale.
In the meantime, in a large saucepan set over medium heat, bring the milk, 200ml cream and the vanilla bean {split open and scraped over the milk} to a boil. Slowly pour the milk over the yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan over medium low heat and cook until the cream coats the back of a spoon {as if making creme anglaise}. 
Remove the vanilla bean. Add the softened gelatin and stir until melted completely into the cream. Let cool to room temperature, or cool over an ice bath, stirring from time to time, till it just begins to set.
Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold it into the cooled cream base. Use immediately.

Lime Syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Juice of 1 lime
Put all ingredients in pan over medium heat and stir till melted. Remove and cool.
To Assemble:
Trim both the sponges to an 8″ diameter {The idea is basically to fit snugly into the dessert ring, or Spring-form tin ring that you plan to use. It has to hold the Bavarian cream in place till it sets, else it will ooze out.}
Place the dessert ring on a serving platter, add one sponge base and brush with lime syrup. Top with the cooled Bavarian cream. Add the diced mango pieces uniformly over the Bavarian, and top with the second layer of sponge, keeping the vanilla sugar side facing up. Press down gently, cover the ring with cling-wrap, and chill for 6-8 hours, or better overnight.
 ♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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“You know, fathers just have a way of putting everything together.”
Erika Cosby

The kids kept up until late last night, hurriedly drawing cards for Father’s Day. Alongside, they wanted something special on the table too for him. The decision of what was left to me because they were running out of time. I had buckwheat something on my mind ever since I had read of Buckwheat Pancakes on Marie’s blog @ Two Peas and Their Pod.Too hot to rustle up a cake, so I decided to inaugurate the Belgian waffle Iron my sis had presented me quite a while ago. She had tired of asking me if I had used it. With pretty erratic electricity supply here, I daren’t begin my Sunday around any electrical appliance on a big scale. Waffles meant big scale for a novice like me, but something felt right to try the next morning. I googled quickly for some buckwheat waffle recipes, because I had a bag of buckwheat I wanted to use. Also wanted healthy waffles!! Yes, Epicurious had an interesting buckwheat waffle recipe & the good thing was that you could put the batter together & let it rest overnight! Great feeling to get up the next morning to ready batter, & get waffling!!
I’m glad I did! For the first time, in many Sundays, we didn’t have a power cut. The waffles came out beautifully. Crisp & slightly nutty in flavour & texture. The next time will probably increase the sugar a bit. I used oil instead of melted butter & they were very, very good. The colour is a little dark because of the buckwheat flour. Loved my first attempt, & can’t wait to use the iron again!
I made 7 rounds of waffles with the batter & got 28 waffles. I stirred in chocolate chips into the last 2 rounds for a variation. Served the waffles with whipped vanilla Chantilly cream, diced fresh mango & almond praline. The lad had his with cream & homemade Peach-Rosemary Jam, & then had another just with a teeny bit of salted butter. I’ve frozen the remaining few to pop into the toaster another day! YEASTED BUCKWHEAT WAFFLES

adapted from

2 1/4 teaspoons or 1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tablespoons canola oil or butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)Method:

  • In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast into 1/4 cup warm water and stir in the sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Put the warm milk and salt in a large bowl, then add the yeast mixture and whisk in the flours. Cover and refrigerate overnight if the weather is warm or leave out on the counter if it’s cool.

  • Next morning, add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, eggs, and soda. Cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions.

This post has been Yeastspotted, & is off to Susan @ Wild Yeast!

This post is linked to Healthy Green Kitchen’s breakfast recipe blog carnival for Haiti
“Ice cream is the original soul food.”
Lexie Saige
With summer here, can ice-cream & popsicles be far behind? Finally mangoes have reached their peak in availability & taste. There can be nothing better than enjoying their superb flavour…it’s amazing how flooded the market is, but just until July, because this is the time when the fruit begins to ripen. It’s also the saving grace for the high temperatures we suffer here during this time…43-44C wouldn’t have been possible without this delectable fruit!Bought more than a few kilos of mangoes than I needed too a while ago … because the batch looked so good. With peaches keeping them good company, they were quite obviously headed for the freezer … time for ice-cream, what else? I wanted to make a mango kulfi, but the peaches were naughty, & tripped me along the way … & I landed up with this! I love the combination of peaches & mangoes. Might increase the peaches next time to get a deeper, more-pronounced peach flavour for my little peach monster! You can skip the peaches altogether & make just a mango version too. I think roasting the peaches before might twist the flavour differently! I used a combination of low fat cream & hung yogurt in the recipe here to cut the calories. The ice-cream was delicious & refreshing … & melting fast, might I add!
5 mangoes – (about 1.5kg), peeled & roughly chopped
7-8 peaches ; blanched,peeled & roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar (adjust according to sweetness of mangoes)
200ml low fat cream (25% fat)
1/2 cup hung yogurt (hung from a height for about 2 hours)
Juice of 2 limes
1tsp almond essence
Pinch of salt
  • Place the mangoes & peaches in a deep bowl & blend with the immersion blender.
  • Add the remaining ingredients & blend well again till thoroughly mixed. Adjust sugar if required.
  • Turn into a freezer container, & whisk every hour to distribute the crystals, at least 4-5 times. (or use the instructions on your ice-cream maker; I don’t have one so I use elbow grease!!)
  • Leave to set for 6-8 hours, or preferably overnight.
  • You can also make a few ice-lollies if you like. The kids loved them!

This delicious ice-cream is off to Ben @ What’s Cooking for his latest homemade challenge –Homemade #5 Ice-cream

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