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August 30, 2012

Coffee Cream

Melt-in-the-mouth, silky smooth Coffee Cream is the perfect Summer dessert

Who loves Coffee ?? Most people, I think, but I only have a cup .. maybe once every three/four months. Roy enjoys a cup now and then, the kids - not at all. This Coffee Cream dessert, however, we have at least once a month !

August 29, 2012


Bobotie ~ Traditional South-African dish served with yellow rice #Bobotie #ComfortFood

I do not think there is a more traditional South-African classic dish than Bobotie. It is usually served with yellow rice (spicy or not, with raisins or without). I choose to serve this dish with simple yellow rice, using Turmeric to color.. it does not affect the taste too much and it goes well with the not overbearing spicy-ness of the Bobotie.

Toy-Box to Kitchen Bench

Another piece of the almost done kitchen ! At least I can get back to baking and cooking soon ;-)

We bought wooden toy boxes for Dimitri & Cheri many years ago, needless to say, it has also been some years since they've outgrown them and threw it out. I am using one in my bedroom  as a foot-end blanket box, which, so far has only been painted and I added some handles .. this is still an incomplete project, ugh!

The Kitchen Bench will mainly be used for storage - we had this very awkward, under counter space and I ran out of ideas as to what to put there - voila ! I needed to do something with the toy box (it holds a lot of craft stuff which I need to use in the kitchen i.e. my candle making stuff).

Because this will be used in the kitchen, I added thick plastic over the material - here is what I did:

The old toy box 

Supplies needed

1.) Black Spray paint  (I used Rust-O-Leum for wood)
2.) White Spay paint for the stencilling (again Rust-O-Leum for wood)
3.) Stencil - I found this "zebra" pattern by chance, after I bought the fabric
4.) Tiny amount of Tic-Tac Glue (to keep the stencil in place)
5.) 10 centimeter (about 4 inch) thick Foam, cut to the exact same size as the top of the lid 
6.) Glue - suitable to use on foam and wood
7.) THICK Plastic - I got mine from the fabric shop
8.) Staple Gun

First, I washed the box and made sure all areas were dry before spraying the four sides with Black Spray paint. After about three hours the paint was dry enough to do the stencilling - I applied a small amount of Tic-Tac Glue, waited a minute or two and stuck the stencil in place - then I spray painted over the stencil with the White Spray paint, all around the bottom of the box.

For the seat, I removed the lid from the box and glued the Foam to the top.

I Cut the Plastic and Fabric large enough to cover the whole (inside and outside) of the lid. First, I layed down the Plastic, then the Fabric (right side facing down) on top of the Plastic - I then placed the lid (Foam side facing down) on top of the Fabric.

Now, I made sure there were no crinkles at the bottom (the seat side) and then started to just "wrap" the lid, almost as you would do a gift, stapling all the sides and seams on the inside.

We replaced the lid and fastened it to the same hinges as before (this was a little tricky as we had to feel the covered lid for the holes - next time I'll make sure we mark it somehow ! ).

I think, by know, if you put all my "pieces" from the kitchen together (the ones I have already shared with you) you should get an idea of the type of kitchen I am trying to create...


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August 27, 2012

Banana Caramel Tart

This is a new recipe to me {although I had it since shortly after I got married}. No idea why I've missed it and never actually tried the recipe ... so unlike me ...

Crust with a layer of Lemon Jelly (Jello) and a filling of Banana and Caramel - you can leave out the jelly part if it's not your kind of thing {I mention this, because all of a sudden Dimitri has a problem with jelly...agh, he ate it and besides the jelly layer, he liked this dessert}.

I read somewhere today - think it was today?? - was Banana Day. National somewhere or maybe International,.. I can not remember. Anyway, that is the reason I settled on this recipe. Option before I decided was HERTZOGGIES - a South African delicacy.

Banana Caramel Tart

1 packet (200g) Tennis biscuits, crushed (or Graham Crackers)
125g Butter, melted
25ml Lemon Juice

1/2 packet (of an 80g packet) Lemon Jelly (If you're using Jell-O, check the weight)
100ml Boiling Water
125ml Cold Water
1 can (397g) Caramel Condensed Milk
5 Ripe Bananas
10ml Plain Gelatin, soaked in 25ml cold water
175ml Fresh Cream
Small piece of Peppermint Crisp Chocolate, grated, to decorate (optional)

1.) Pre-heat oven to 150 deg C (300 deg F) - Spray a 20 x 20cm oven dish with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Mix the Tennis biscuit crumbs, melted Butter and Lemon juice - press this mixture onto the bottom of the oven dish - Bake 15 minutes - remove from oven and let cool completely.
3.) Dissolve the Lemon Jelly in the Boiling Water - add the Cold Water and refrigerate until about to set - pour evenly over the crust - Place back into the refrigerator until set (15 - 20 minutes)
4.) Meanwhile, beat the Caramel Condensed Milk until smooth - Mash the Bananas and add to the Caramel Condensed Milk.
5.) Dissolve the Gelatin over hot water - keep aside.
6.) Beat the Fresh Cream, whilst adding the Gelatin in a thin stream, until stiff - Fold this mixture into the Banana and Caramel and spoon over the jelly layer - Sprinkle Peppermint Crisp (if using) over the top and refrigerate a further hour or until set.

To serve: best to use a sharp knife to cut straight through to the crust.

Hope you'll enjoy!

Ciao for now,

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Corned Beef & Vegetable Tart

Dinner tonight! I must have made this dish hundreds of times over the years. The kitchen is mostly back in operation, only a few more touch-ups and finishing off here and there, so I can play in my kitchen again!!!

This tart has a crust at the bottom, a thick layer of cheese and a mixture of corned beef and vegetables. Whether you eat it hot or cold - either way, it is delicious.

We had a side salad and some Portuguese rolls with this dish. Easily enough for 5 - 6 adults.

Corned Beef & Vegetable Tart

CRUST: {tip; mix this in the oven dish you'll be using - less dishes!}

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
50 ml (little less than 1/4 cup) Milk
1 1/2 cups Self-Raising Flour
1/2 t Salt
1 1/2 - 2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated


1 Large Onion, sliced thinly
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
2 TB Oil
3 Large Tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 can (300g) Corned Beef, cut into small pieces
1 can (410g) Mixed Vegetables, drained

2 Extra-Large Eggs
1 cup Milk
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Pinch Cayenne Pepper

1.) Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F) - Spray a 20 x 30 cm oven dish with Spray 'N Cook.
2.) Mix the Vegetable Oil and Milk well using a fork - it should look murky - add the Self-Raising Flour and Salt - mix until a dough forms - press evenly onto the bottom of the oven dish.
3.) Sprinkle the Cheddar Cheese over the crust and put aside.
4.) Saute the Onion and Green Bell Pepper in the Oil over medium heat until soft - add the Tomatoes and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated - add the Corned Beef and Mixed Vegetables - stir to combine all ingredients.
5.) Spoon the filling over the Cheddar layer.
6.) In a separate bowl, beat the Eggs, Milk, Salt & Pepper and Cayenne - pour over the filling.
7.) Bake one hour - remove from oven and leave to set about 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy {our dessert post to follow soon}


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Coffee Spoon Holder

Our "Coffee Station" is on the other side of the kitchen as to where we keep all the cutlery.  Since I moved everything, everyone was complaining about the extra distance now needed just to get a spoon for their coffee... Personally, I think 3 meters that way and 3 meters back can only do all of us good, but, then again if one can not have comfort in your own home (yes, even only having spoons close ! ), what's the use.

So, for the past few years I had my spoons close to the kettle, coffee, tea and all the other paraphernalia. I had a cute little glass jar which the spoons were kept in. 

Most of the kitchen's mini make-over is done by now and I started sorting through the mess left behind, only to find my glass jar broken.

Using cans are all over the internet now, and I thought let me give it a go and see what I can come up with to suit the new color scheme of the kitchen. Now, normally, I am not a lacey, frilly kind of person, but when I saw this black lace ribbon, I liked it straight away, had no clue what I wanted to use it for and only bought a meter. {Ok, I do have a thing for ribbon ..if I like it, I buy, without even knowing what it'll be used for}

Here's what I did to create this masterpiece;

A standard size can which I sprayed inside and outside with white gloss spraypaint

I then used a stencil, and just roughly (see the letters are a bit "broken" used a permanent marker to write Coffee on top and Spoons at the bottom. A quick spray over the words with a clear spraypaint - because permanent is not always permanent especially markers! 

For the black lace, I sprayed Adhesive glue to one side and wrapped the lace around the can. to top it off,  a tiny coffee/tea pot was glued over as well.

That's it, I only need to wash all the dirty coffee spoons and fill this can a bit !


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August 24, 2012

Shortbread Surprize

Buttery shortbread with a chocolate surprize center - pure bliss and you won't be able to stop eating !

How often do you run to your PC/Laptop/Phone to share a recipe RIGHT after it has come out of the oven? Bet, not as quick as I did now - these delights are still piping hot! For one, I had to get out of the kitchen before I eat all and secondly, I really want to share the recipe for Shortbread Surprize with you.

August 23, 2012

Not Your Usual Lasagna

Not Your Usual Lasagna is exactly that ! Easier and more filling (with BACON too!) than the traditional lasagnas ~ Layers of deliciousness !

The recipe, Not Your Usual Lasagna, is a recipe originally shared by one of our star rugby players, Bryan Habana in the cookbook Springbok Kitchen for his version of a quick Lasagna.

August 21, 2012

Self Service Sign

First of all, apologies for the bad photo .. it is situated in an awkward corner, below some cupboards as you'll see in a photo further down.

It seems I share little pieces of the kitchen's progress with you as we go along! Must say, we are almost done and then I can share a whole picture (or I should say pictures) with you.

The kitchen's main colors are White, Black and Grey, but I want some bright colors here and there. This is only the first piece, and yes, I agree, not much color but hopefully once I add all the other little bits it will "pull" itself together.

I used an old frame which used to hang in my late Dad's lounge. The alphabet letters I found at Creative Clown's . I Immediately fell in love with these cuties and it took me a while to decide how and where I wanted to use them.

This is what I did:

My Dad's old frame - and some Black Spray Paint

After I sprayed the frame black, I lightly sanded it randomly - just to give it a little bit of a used look

After sanding it down, I gave the frame a final cover coat {clear}

In between the spraying and drying, I did the letters which I had cut out, mostly using scissors, but also my trusting craft knife for all the little nooks and roundings. The black back ground carton was in the frame from my Dad - I decided to stick the letters straight onto the black and then added a white border. As this goes into a frame with a glass front, I did not bother to use mod podge - also, with little things like this, I get bored very quickly and might want to change it in a few months time!

I've put in the final "Self Service Only" piece just to remind everyone they won't get any refreshments unless they make it themselves !{It is meant to look like an afterthought}

A Slightly bigger pic of the area where it is hanging - to the left is the juicer and to the right the kettle, coffee maker, cups and {not in pic} canisters containing coffee, tea and sugar.

I think you're starting to get an idea of my PLANS for the kitchen.. not yet? Ok, maybe another piece will be done tomorrow which I can share  ;-)

Ciao for now,

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Banana Muffins with Crunchy Topping

With all the kitchen stuff going on, I did not really bake or cook these past two weeks. Nevermind having a brainstorm for a nice, interesting {more Linda style .. lol} dessert.

As it is, my brain is working overtime as the kitchen progresses - I keep on changing my mind, adding stuff, leaving others out ... in a nutshell - I am driving Roy crazy! Poor guy, he does a great job - did you see the Grocery Slider he's built? I gave him the sizes, showed him a pic and voila! I have my extra storage.

Yesterday, I was a copy-cat in the 1st degree - I really did not feel like cooking but had this recipe printed from Jamie over at Love Bakes Good Cakes , she made it sound so easy and it looked delicious with that totally home-cooked recipe name - it was in fact easy, awesomely delicious and only needed a salad to go with it. {More than enough for us 5 adults}. Click on the name of this specific recipe to get all the details : Beefy Jalapeno Corn Bake - just reading it should give you an idea of how good it is.

But, back to today's post - I wanted something not too sweet for dessert and what is quicker and easier than muffins, I absolutely love the crusty topping!

Banana Muffins with Crunchy Topping

source: a recipe I found on Allrecipes last year and have adapted it myself (It was originally submitted by Lisa Kreft)

1 1/2 cups Cake Flour
1 t Baking Soda
1 1/2 t Baking Powder
1/2 t Salt

3 Large Bananas, mashed
3/4 cup Sugar
1 Extra-Large Egg
100ml Butter, melted

1/3 cup Muscovado Sugar
2 1/2 TB Cake Flour
1/2 t Ground Cinnamon
1 TB Butter, softened (not melted)

1.) Pre-heat oven to 190 deg C (375 deg F) - Line a twelve hole muffin pan with liners.
2.) Mix the Cake Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Salt in a large mixing bowl.
3.) In a medium bowl, combine the Bananas, Sugar, Egg and Melted Butter - {mix this very well}.
4.) Add the Banana mixture to the large bowl with the dry ingredients - mix until just combined.
5.) Combine the Muscovado Sugar, Cake Flour, Cinnamon and Butter until it forms coarse crumbs. 
6.) Spoon the batter into the muffin liners - top with the Muscovado Sugar mixture and bake for 15 - 18 minutes.
7.) Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.


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August 19, 2012

DIY Grocery Slider

My 100th post !  I can not think of sharing a more delightful, awesome, incredible ... {ok, you get the idea} project with you.

Every week, when linking to Classy Clutter's , linky party, I drooled over the one Mallory made. If you link to their party, I am sure you have seen it too, if not - these are very talented ladies and definitely worth a visit.

To have a look at their's, click HERE.

We made our Grocery Slider much the same as they have done - mainly our sizes are different as we had a bit of a larger opening {our opening was around 200mm and the Slider's final width is 190mm}.

The castors we bought were the swivel type - that did not work too well, and Roy welded them to only run straight, not to swivel.

Here are some more close-ups:

Roy's first reaction was ".. we need more canned food.." for the 2 shelves allocated to keeping our canned food.

We improved a bit on Classy Clutter's design in the sense that we added a sliding mechanism bolted to the side of the counter - this makes sliding much easier - before we added this, the Slider was a bit "wonky" 

Nicely tucked between the refrigerator and the counter !

As we are still busy with the renovations to our kitchen I only took pics of the Slider {I think you know what was the most important part of the renovations, as this is really the only piece that is completely finished !} The rest of the kitchen is still a mess (I only saw the mark on the refrigerator when typing up this post..uhm, sorry).

What we have used:

Double sided White Melamine - cut to our custom sizes - {framework and shelves}
White Masonite for the backing - I glued some wall paper to the inside after we painted it white
Pin nails - for the Masonite backing to the Melamine frame
4 x Castors {see above about the swivel type}
Side strips which we ironed on to the open sides of the Melamine (available from most hardware stores)
Screws and white screw caps - as the Slider is quite wide, we used three screws/caps per side per shelf/top and bottom
Sliding Mechanism as in the photo above
7 x 12mm Dowel sticks - painted white

The bottom shelf is a little higher than the others as this one will be used for taller bottles - the dowel stick was also placed a little higher than on the other shelves.

Now .. I can not wait to finish the kitchen and share that with you!  

Let me know what you think - total honesty - that's all I expect from you {big whink here}

Ciao for now,

A Bowl Full of Lemons

This post has been entered into the THE DOG DAYS (of winter) ARE OVER @

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August 15, 2012

Passion Fruit Tart {no-bake}

Biscuit crust, Passion Fruit saucy layer, Passion Fruit Yoghurt Topping ... what more do you need?

Oh yes, a dessert which does not go straight to the hips! I have made this several times before, each time tweaking the recipe but this is the best - finally I'm happy enough with the end result to share it with you.

** One thing - this tart cuts like a breeze but be careful when lifting a slice from the dish, as the saucy layer gets a bit slippery and the top might slide off - not a big train smash, just be careful when serving.

Passion Fruit Tart {no-bake}

Recipe adapted by me from the cookbook GESINSKOS by Christelle Erasmus:

3/4 packet (of a 200g pack) Tennis biscuit crumbs - Graham Crackers can be used 
1 t Cinnamon
2 t Sugar
6 TB Butter, melted

2 t Sugar
1 can (115g) Passion Fruit Pulp {Granadilla}
2 1/2 t Custard Powder
Little Water

2 t Gelatin, plain
1 TB Cold Water
1 Box (80 - 90g) Lemon jelly
1/2 cup Boiling Water
2 x 175g Passion Fruit {Granadilla} Yoghurt, low fat
1/2 cup Fresh Cream, whipped to double in volume, but not stiff

1.) Mix the Biscuit crumbs, Cinnamon, Sugar and melted Butter and press evenly onto the bottom of a 20 x 30cm dish.
2.) Heat the Sugar and Passion Fruit Pulp over low heat in a small saucepan - mix the Custard Powder with a little bit of Water and add to the Pulp - simmer 2 - 3 minutes until thick - remove from heat and let cool.
3.) Place the Gelatin together with the Water in a medium bowl and stir - Add the Boiling Water and the Lemon jelly - Stir until the jelly has dissolved - let cool for about 10 minutes.
4.) Add the Yoghurt and the whipped Fresh Cream to the Jelly mixture - stir well to combine.
5.) Spread the Granadilla Pulp over the crust, followed by the Yoghurt mixture - chill until set (2 - 3 hours at least)

Decorate with a few Tennis biscuit crumbs. {optional}

Ciao for now,

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Simple Pizza!

We spend a LOT of money on take-aways - really, if it's not Pizza, it's Burgers, or Vetkoek or Chinese or Grilled Steaks/Ribs from restaurants.

Since we started renovating the kitchen, we had take-aways ... umm, like every second day!

To make your own Pizza at home is so easy, get everything chopped and grated, put the ingredients chosen in some bowls and {using Frozen Pizza Bases, naturally - otherwise it's not quick and easy}there you go. Everyone builds his/her own custom pizza.

Dimitri had a slight problem with this - he reckons Pizza gets delivered by the dude on the motorbike, still hot because the sticker on the box is still red, you pay him and then you eat. When he heard we're having a self-help pizza night, it did not really sit well with him... but ... he had an option : make his own or eat the Frozen Base as is ! You can guess which he chose ? I think he actually enjoyed it. We haven't done our own in a long time, so, I suppose he forgot it is not that bad.

Tonight I used : Frozen Pizza Bases
                        All Gold Tomato Sauce {richest and much nicer than the bottled pizza                         sauces}
                        Dried Origanum
                        Mozzarella Cheese
                        Sliced Mushrooms
                        Bacon Bits
                        Chopped Salami
                        Chopped Ham
                        Finely Chopped Green Bell Peppers
                        Pineapple pieces

There is a multitude of variations in Pizzas - if you're wondering about toppings - look through take-away menus, these normally specifies what toppings are used in pizzas.

The Frozen Bases normally come with some kind of  "tomato based sauce" but one can hardly taste it or even see anything. In the picture above I gave the bases a nice thick spread of Tomato Sauce and sprinkled over Origanum. 

Now, starting with some Mozzarella Cheese, build your own customized Pizza! I also like to give a final thin layer of Mozzarella (we're a cheese addicted family) ending with a little more Origanum.

Bake at 230 deg C (440 deg F) - straight on the wire rack of the oven - for 12 - 15 minutes. {Remember to place a piece of foil on the lower rack to catch any drippings..}.

Slice and enjoy!


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August 14, 2012

D.I.Y with Spraypaint !

As you know we are giving our kitchen a bit of a face-lift. We bought the house just over 18 years ago and did not change much in the kitchen. The house was re-built in 1991 and we moved in, in 1994.

When we bought the house, the kitchen was the clincher. White with red trimmings. A Few years ago, we knocked out the wall (like a window - to form a breakfast bar) between the kitchen and the passage. Do you know how much bigger a kitchen looks, when you open up into the passage? Fortunately, our passage is fairly wide and can easily accommodate the three bar-type stools that serves as seating at the breakfast bar with enough space for people passing by.

Anyhow, when this was done, we also knocked out one of the windows in the kitchen as we built the Laundry/Scullery next door - here again I installed a counter top which allows us to place dirty dishes on top without actually entering the L/S area each time. Whoever does the dishes, then just takes it from the counter and into the sink on the other side. {or if we have visitors, we can leave it in the sink without anyone seeing it from the kitchen side :-) }

That brings me to the counter tops - they were originally oak in color and as we added the additional counters, we bought the same to match. The kitchen will now be White & Black (plus!) with the Oak colored counters.

Every project has a budget, or at least an estimate, but when we went to buy the mosaic tiles, I absolutely had to choose something a lot more expensive than was the plan ... it happens!  I decided to take the more expensive tiles and to cut a few other corners as with the Paper Towel Holder, the Cup Holder and the Knife Block. Hey, every bit helps! { and to get back to the long opening, this will still go with the color of the counters }.

We bought a few cans of Rust-O-Leum Black Spray-paint for Plastics.  {Cut another corner here!} The Spray-paint was left over from spraying the cupboard handles and trimming which are plastic. At first I wasn't sure whether the spray for Plastic will take on the wood, but it did - very nicely if I may say so myself. The wood just needs to be very smooth and varnished.

The only prepping I had done was to wipe it clean with alcohol. The Cup Holder was a bit rough at the bottom around the base and the Plastic spray made a few bubbles here - I decided to give it a rough sanding to make it look more real than a messed up project ;-) before I used the sealant.

Here are the pics:

My apologies for the photos - I had to work on the floor as it is the only area not totally covered in kitchen stuff - I did do the spray-painting outside though!

I decided on black because... yeah, you guessed it - because.. the kitchen's new colors are White & Black (plus!) I taped totally randomly with masking tape, but still tried to make it look like a set, although these three items were not bought together or has ever been a set.

After I taped the items, I gave it two coats using the Rust-O-Leum Black with 1 hour in between. There was a little bleeding under the masking tape, but not much. I used an earbud, dipped in Thinners, to remove the little marks.

After two hours I sprayed two coats of sealant to cover the whole surface. Six hours later the sealant was already hard as rock, but I'll give it another day or two before actually using these. {Well, I do not really have a choice as the kitchen is taking longer as planned - if only some people would listen to me and do it my way from the start! }

I might not have saved a lot on these three items, but definitely with the re-spraying of the cupboard handles and the trimming - there are 28 handles - I know .. because I removed, washed, sprayed and tidied them.

Ciao for now,

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August 11, 2012

Coconut Jellos

Coconut Jellos ! Finally I made some - if you've been following me for a while now, you'll know I absolutely love (might even be in love with) Coconut ... all shapes, textures, forms.

I posted about Bread, Cheesecake, a Curry dish, and blah blah, but had yet to make jellos.

Delicious and refreshing, especially with fresh pieces of Pineapple. I have used "Lite" Coconut Milk in this recipe, trying to cut back the fat in-take a bit {whink}. Roy suggested Full Fat next time.. well, of course, he'd say that - he can afford it {rather - his body can}. All of us aren't that lucky, unfortunately ... :-(

I added toasted coconut flakes to one half and left the other half plain.

Coconut Jellos

2 cans (400ml each) Coconut Milk "Lite"
20g Plain Gelatin
1 cup Water
1 cup Caster Sugar
1 t Coconut extract

Toasted, crushed Coconut flakes, optional

1.) Heat the Coconut Milk until just hot.
2.) Meanwhile, in a separate pot, pour in the Water and sprinkle the Gelatin over - Heat, whilst stirring, until the Gelatin has dissolved.
3.) Add the dissolved Gelatin to the Coconut Milk, together with the Caster Sugar - Heat until the Sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
4.) Remove from heat, add the Coconut extract - let cool.

Pour into a 1 liter mold or use 2 smaller molds as I did and add Toasted Coconut flakes to one part. The flakes will rise to the top - Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight to completely set before cutting into shapes.

Serve with fresh fruit {pineapple goes really nice with this} or Fruit Pulp drizzled over.

{ I have to go do my share in the kitchen make-over .. like taking pics of my hardworking, sexy husband kitchen - oh, and as it's mostly my ideas, I supervise as well }

Ciao for now

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