Perfect for Afternoon Tea

Are you surprised? Yes I did bake these scones in the airfryer for 8 minutes and they are totally satisfying and yum. You may adjust your time depending on the thickness of your scones. Did you ever think such simple things in life can give us so much joy. Well I was in heaven eating these Easy Buttermilk Airfryer Scones.

I missed my scones, it’s the one thing I make often because not only is it quick but there’s something comforting about having scones with tea. I couldn’t bake for a while now because my oven decided to give up on me. So today I thought why not make some scones in my airfryer and it turned out perfect. You can of course bake yours in the oven for a little extra time, about 10-15 minutes.

I’m sure most of us assume baking scones is the easiest thing to do, well at least I did. Until one day when I overworked my dough and had chewy, horrid scones. I have since learnt the secret to making beautiful, light scones is in how you handle the scone dough and of course using cold butter. These Easy Buttermilk Airfryer Scones are so quick and easy to make and if they are a little rustic looking then you know you’ve done a good job.

Unfortunately scones are not the most forgiving, you work the dough a little more than you should and you will have disastrous scones. I have seen chefs use ice-cold butter, straight from the freezer, grated into the flour. To be totally honest I don’t think I have the patience to grate frozen butter. For this Easy Buttermilk Airfryer Scones I remove my butter from the refrigerator when I’m ready to use it. I then add my flour into the food processor, pop my butter in and give it a quick pulse. This works perfectly for me.

You can also add your buttermilk and egg to the mixture in the food processor. If you give it a pulse just a few times it brings the dough together without overworking it. Thereafter you remove the dough and place it on a flat surface lightly dusted with flour. Just use your hands to press it down to about 2cm thickness.

When cutting the dough press the cutter into the dough but do not twist, press and lift. This technique will then create those rich, buttery layers in your scone.

Looking for more sweet treats then another easy recipe to try is my Shortbread

https://itsallaboutthekitchen.co.za/recipe/shortbread/

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Easy Buttermilk Airfryer Scones
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Instructions
  1. Preheat your airfryer for a minute
  2. Add flour and butter to a food processor and give it about 3 to 4 pulses until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
  3. Add sugar and pulse one more time
  4. Add the egg and buttermilk and pulse about 3 times until the dough comes together
  5. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and bring it all together. Flatten the dough with your palms, about 2cm thickness and cut into circles.
  6. Do not twist the cutter when cutting the dough, simply press and lift. This is what creates the beautiful layers in your scones
  7. Brush the top of the scones with eggwash (egg mixed with a few drops of water) or some extra buttermilk and bake in the airfryer at 180 degrees for 8 minutes or in the oven at 180 deg celcius for 10-15 minutes
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Super Moist Chocolate cake, yes you heard right, this chocolate cake beats any other I’ve ever eaten.  It is super moist, delicious and decadent, it’s the only chocolate cake you ever need. Remember my post on How to use Buttermilk this is a perfect example of how buttermilk gives your cake that melt-in-your-mouth texture. My sister got this recipe from a friend many years ago, I think it was quite a mission getting it so I hope I’m not getting into trouble sharing it…some people are quite secretive about their recipes.  However, I did tweak the recipe a little.

My family absolutely loves this cake and I have been often asked for the recipe. My cousin has requested I post this recipe as she wants to become a pro in the kitchen. I promise everyone that eats this cake will be asking you for the recipe too, it’s that delicious but you can keep it a secret if you wish. The original recipe have a few steps to making the cake but like try to keep most of my recipes simple this Super Moist Chocolate Cake recipe was made simple too. I cut out all the tedious steps and mixed everything in one bowl, with absolutely no fuss and it’s flop proof, I certainly haven’t had a single flop with this recipe. However, it is super moist so you do require more than just a greased pan, your pan must be lined with parchment paper as it will end up a mess when trying to remove it from the pan. I prefer to bake mine in a glass ovenproof dish, I normally slice them in the dish and gently remove each slice, if you refrigerate it before cutting it up that works great. They are perfect as cupcakes too.

If you ever wondered why some chocolate cakes are so much darker in colour, it’s because Dutch cocoa has been used, if you read my article on Natural Cocoa vs Dutch Cocoa you will learn the difference. This cake is rich enough on it’s own but sometimes I like adding a dollop of fresh cream on the side just to balance the richness, I don’t think it needs any icing but feel free to decorate them with buttercream icing should you wish. This cake is delicious as a tea-time treat or you can serve it as dessert, all the same it will be loved by all.

Super Moist Chocolate Cake

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    1 large cake

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    1 large cake

    Super Moist Chocolate Cake

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      1 large cake

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      1 large cake

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      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius. In a large bowl, melt the 125g butter, add the hot water, oil and cocoa and mix well with a whisk

      2. Sift in the flour and add the sugar. Mix the half cup buttermilk with the 2 eggs and add to the mixture. Mix it well ensuring there are no lumps

      3. Pour mixture into a glass ovenproof dish, I used a 300mm x 220mm dish, lined with parchment paper or a baking pan and bake at 180 degrees celcius for 20-25 minutes

      4. In the meantime mix the 70gram melted butter with the 3 tablespoon buttermilk,1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 tablespoon cocoa and the icing sugar. Use a whisk and mix into a smooth, velvety liquid.

      5. Whilst cake is still warm prick a few wholes into the cake and pour the liquid icing over the cake. Place cake in the fridge for at least 45 minutes to cool down before cutting into squares.

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      Almond Biscuits reminds me of the Greek Biscuits, Kourabiedes, these are not quite the same but they will do for now. I have tasted many amazing almond biscuits but this Almond Biscuit is simple, my middle name is simple. My kitchen smelled so amazing, these past few days, with all the aroma of freshly baked biscuits and sweetmeats, smelled like a bakery.  The smell of baked goods is so comforting in a home, I love it.

      I know almonds are really expensive but it’s ok to indulge in some Almond Biscuits occasionally. This recipe doesn’t need a whole lot of almonds, I just used half a cup of crushed almonds and the biscuits were still totally amazing. If you love almonds then this biscuit is sure to satisfy your taste buds. A friend did give me the recipe for the Greek version and I will try that soon, those biscuits require brandy and eggs so it’s why I didn’t use it for my Diwali baking. Baking biscuits is time-consuming and you’ve got to exercise patience when making them. I don’t have loads of patience but this is one time when I do try to relax and enjoy the process of baking and creating beautiful sweet treats. If you not comfortable with decorating then stick to simple decorating techniques, it will save you loads of stress. I know we all want to impress with our baking skills but simple things can also look pretty, as long as everything looks neat an edible you are good to go. You don’t want to spend hours trying to decorate if you not good at it and then it all turns into a sloppy mess, we eat with our eyes so if you have simple but attractive looking treats it will be eaten.  Everybody wasn’t born to decorate like a pro, I know I wasn’t.  So let’s keep things simple and stress-free.

      These almond biscuits are simply rolled into balls, baked, cooled and dipped into castor sugar and they still look amazing.

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      Almond Biscuits
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      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius. Cream the butter and sugar using a food processor.
      2. Add the almonds and flour and mix until it forms a firm dough, not crumbly. You many not need all the flour so add a little at a time
      3. Divide dough into 24 balls and refrigerate for 5 minutes
      4. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 160 degrees celcius for about 20 minutes or until cooked. I usually tell my cookies are done when I can smell them. They will still be slightly soft when removed from the oven but it will harden when cold.
      5. Once biscuits are cool roll them in some castor sugar
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      Gulab Jamun is a popular Indian sweetmeat, it’s sweet and deep-fried so I guess you should save the recipe for special occasions.  The Gulab Jamuns we make in South Africa are slightly different to the ones made in India, ours is not soaked in syrup, it’s dipped in for a few seconds and removed. The traditional Indian Gulab Jamun also uses powdered milk but in South Africa I haven’t seen many recipes with this ingredient, I’ve added some in my recipe but it’s totally optional. I roll them into coconut after dipping them in the syrup but that’s a matter of personal preference, I simply love anything with coconut, I am a coconut fan…you can tell I’m Indian.

      Indian sweetmeats are delicious but I feel that some of them are way too sweet, it’s something I cannot get used to. You will find that I reduce my sugar content in almost all my recipes, the sweetmeat can still taste delicious without being overly sweet. I also haven’t had any disastrous recipes due to the low sugar content, my recipes have worked well so far.

      Gulab Jamun is a pretty easy sweetmeat to make, in fact for me it’s one of the easiest and I enjoy making them, it’s almost therapeutic. Some may find it difficult to get the shape perfect but it’s very simple, you roll a piece of dough into a ball and then just roll it in the palms of your hand and you will get that perfect oval finger shape. If your dough is too dry it will also be difficult to shape the Gulab Jamun and it will crack when frying them so ensure your dough is soft but not sticky. Your oil needs to be on medium heat as the Gulab Jamun needs to cook well on the inside, if it browns too soon it will not be cooked on the inside. For the sugar syrup, I usually reduce mine until it’s slight sticky and syrupy, I keep the syrup warm on the lowest setting, this prevents the syrup from crystallizing. You can also make the Gulab Jamun whatever size your prefer but smaller is better.

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      Gulab Jamun
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      Instructions
      1. For the syrup, add the sugar, water, elachie and rose essence to a saucepan and bring to the boil until it's slightly sticky and syrupy. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and keep syrup warm
      2. In a large dish, add the condensed milk, melted ghee, milk, nutmeg and elachie. Mix it well. Add a little flour at a time until you form a soft dough, not sticky and not to dry, you must be able to roll it into shape easily.
      3. Heat oil on medium heat
      4. Divide dough into little balls and then roll in the palm of your hands to form an oval finger shape
      5. Fry the Gulab Jamuns in the oil, use a slotted spoon to drain all the oil before removing. Dip in the syrup for a few seconds and roll into the coconut
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      There was a time in my life where I wouldn’t attempt anything that called for yeast, I don’t know why I felt intimidated by yeast. However, when I got back into the kitchen on a more regular basis I started taking more risks and I remember the first time I tried using yeast was in my naan bread and it turned out great., I used a similar recipe to the one I’m now sharing for the Homemade Pizza Dough. This dough is so amazing, you can use it for your naan bread, for pizzas and I am going to try using it to make my all time favourite Cinnamon Buns very soon, I will share it with you if it turns out perfect. If you want a crispy pizza crust you can use bread flour or cake wheat flour for a softer crust. You can get at least 3 large thin base from this dough.

      I know I’m one of very few that still loves Carbs, I’m not a huge pizza fan but I don’t mind a slice or two on the odd occasion. My husband on the other hand, if he wasn’t so strict about his diet, could possibly eat pizza everyday.  My kids are the Magherita fans,  I made them one using my delicious dough, I drizzled some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled some dried oreganum over the cheese to make it extra yummy, I had a little taste and it was heaven.  I know everybody doesn’t have the time to cook everything from scratch and I do cheat at times but nothing beats homemade I also used my homemade Pizza sauce

      If you love cooking, keep trying, not everything will be perfect all the time but as you cook you learn and you improve with every new dish. I didn’t go to cooking school or have a mentor that taught me how to cook or bake, I leant the basics of Indian food from my mum but that was all. I am not the best cook on earth and I do make mistakes and have flops in the kitchen and I have seen nastiness on food groups but I am passionate about cooking and learning and growing so nothing is going to stop me from improving. I have learnt to create my own recipes and experiment with flavours and yes I will not be Heston Blumenthal or a Michelin star chef but I’m not allowing my mistakes to kill my passion.

      If I can make a dough and make bread so can you, so do give this pizza dough a bash.

       

       

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      Homemade Pizza Dough
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      RECIPES MAIN COURSES
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      Instructions
      1. Add the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, salt, yeast to a stand mixer and mix well
      2. Slowly add in the water and olive oil and mix until the dough comes together
      3. Dust a flat surface with flour and knead the dough. If the dough is sticky add more flour or if too dry add a little more water. You should have a smooth, firm ball of dough
      4. Grease a bowl with the teaspoon of olive oil. Cover the dough with cling wrap or a clean kitchen towel and place it in a warm place for about an hour until it doubles in size.
      5. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow it to rest for a further 10 minutes. Roll out and add the sauce and filling of your choice
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      Of late I have been wanting to try everything rose flavoured, I think it is one of the most amazing flavours, it’s becoming my little obsession. It’s why I think these rose pistachio cookies will be a perfect addition to my Diwali treats. Rose flavour originated in Persia and then moved on to Arabia and India, I guess it’s why it such a common ingredient used in Indian cooking.  Roses are beautiful to look at and makes everything look stunning so can you imagine eating rose flavoured cookies, it’s heaven.

      I can’t promise this is the last of rose flavour because it is used a lot in sweetmeats too and with my Diwali baking you will probably find the addition of rose essence in a lot of recipes.

      These cookies were dipped in some chocolate, to which I added some rose syrup just so I can taste the rose and smell the rose. It’s no point calling anything rose flavoured if you can’t taste it, don’t you agree?  You can totally omit the chocolate, the cookies taste delicious on its own but if you want that extra decadence then chocolate it is.  I used granulated sugar as I wanted my cookies a little crisp and I toast all my nuts before adding them to my cookie dough so I toasted my pistachios too, the toasted nuts adds a lovely crunchiness to cookies. I add my nuts to a pan on the stovetop and let it toast on low heat, about 10 minutes. I prefer low heat as I do sometimes forget about them and on low heat there’s less risk of them burning.  It will be slightly brown and fragrant when ready.

      Please note that I have adjusted the amount of rose essence in my recipe as I initially used 1 tablespoon in my cookies, the second time I used exactly the same but the new bottle of rose essence I used was definitely more concentrated so it was a bit much. So I suggest please add a teaspoon and taste the cookie dough if you have to and then add more if necessary.

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      Rose Pistachio Cookies dipped in Chocolate
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      Instructions
      1. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy
      2. Add the rose essence and mix well
      3. Slowly add the flour and pistachios and bring it all together into a firm but not crumbly dough
      4. Divide the dough in two halves, roll them into logs , wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 160 deg celcius
      5. Cut them into circles, about 1cm width. Bake on a lined cookie sheet at 160 degrees celcius for 15-20 minutes until slightly brown
      6. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 10 second intervals, it's how I do it. Add the rose syrup and mix well. Dip the cookies into the chocolate. You can sprinkle more pistachios over the chocolate if you wish. I popped my cookies into the fridge for a few minutes so the chocolate could set quickly
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      It’s a beautiful rainy day in Johannesburg today. I just stepped outside and you can smell that fresh, earthiness of the rain. A welcome relief after our dry, cold winter spell. It has been a really cold winter in Johannesburg but I actually do prefer winter, I may be one of the few that prefers winter. The summer heat makes me more anxious than the cooler weather, I’m much more relaxed when I’m cooler. Besides baking and cooking to help with my anxiety and stress the weather also plays a big role.  Today was perfect weather for baking and it’s nearly the weekend so my dear family can do with a treat, I’m sure when hubby gets home and sees the cupcakes he’s diet will be out the window.

      I bought some crunchie chocolates a week ago hoping  to make some cookies, that I love,  but I thought I would rather try something different. So I made these decadent chocolate, honeycomb cupcakes. If you love chocolate and honeycomb then you are going to love these morsels of heaven. I love the use of buttermilk, in cakes, especially if I want a really moist cake but the problem is that I don’t always have buttermilk in my refrigerator. I did use plain yogurt as a substitute for the buttermilk and it worked amazingly well with these cupcakes.

      My neighbour tested a cupcake, I love getting opinions from fellow bakers, and she said it was to die for so I hope it’s just as good for you.

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      Chocolate honeycomb cupcakes
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      Instructions
      1. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 180 deg celcius. Sift flour and baking powder and combine the sugar with this. Add in the cocoa powder.
      2. Melt the butter in the microwave and combine it with the water, yogurt and eggs. Whisk well
      3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until you have a smooth batter.
      4. Divide the batter equally amongst the 12 cupcake liners. Bake at 180 deg celcius for 15 to 20 minutes
      5. For the icing, cream the butter until light, add the sugar and cream further until light and fluffy, Add the cream, a little at a time, add more if required. If icing is too thick add a tablespoon of warm water
      6. Crush one of the crunchie chocolates and add to the icing. I used my food processor as it must be crushed well or you may encounter a problem when icing, if the chocolate is too chunky it will get stuck in the nozzle prevent the icing from flowing freely.
      7. Once cupcakes are cooled decorate them with the buttercream icing. Chop up the other 2 crunchies and sprinkle on top.
      Recipe Notes
      1. J
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      This is a recipe I’ve had since I was 19, a friend I worked with gave me this recipe she found in a cookbook. It is a simple, flop proof recipe and if my kids want a treat in a hurry this is my go to recipe. It also brings back very fond memories of my younger days in Durban.  I had an amazing colleague I worked with, it was my second job and I was in a very junior position at the time , but she always made me feel like a part of the team. Her name was also Lorraine and she had the kindest heart, I guess all Lorraines are special people. She took me out for lunches and coffee and one our favourite places was the Botanical gardens, where they served the most amazing crumpets with cream and syrup…that’s where my love affair with crumpets started.

      My kids have been really good the past 2 weeks, staying of meat, fish and eggs so today I made all their favourite foods. My 9 year old couldn’t stop eating the crumpets, with a dollop of cream and loads of syrup. Thank goodness he didn’t go crazy with the sugar rush.  I let him relish it as it’s not often that they get treats on a weekday, that’s usually left for the weekends.

      These crumpets can be eaten with a spread of butter or some cream and syrup, either way they are still so yummy!

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      Crumpets
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      Makes 12
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      Makes 12
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      Instructions
      1. Sift all the dry ingredients and set aside. Beat the eggs and combine it with the melted butter or oil and milk
      2. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until it forms a smooth batter. I use a whisk to ensure there are no lumps
      3. Grease a pan with butter and drop spoonfuls of the batter into the pan. Ensure that your stove is on medium heat so it doesn't cook too quickly.
      4. When bubbles start to form on the batter, flip them over and cook the other side for a minute.
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      I cook and bake best first thing in the morning, it’s when I feel most inspired to create new recipes. I suppose I have the most energy then so my brain functions a lot better too. There’s nothing better than the aroma of freshly baked muffins in your home, especially on a Sunday morning. This recipe is not difficult to make, can be done in minimal time and tastes yummy too! There are not many egg free recipes that I’ve tried that tastes great but I think this one is a keeper. I didn’t add too much pecan nuts but feel free to add more if you wish.  I had fresh, whole pecans and as much as I was energized, cracking pecan nuts open didn’t appeal to me much so I tried to use just enough. You can also increase the amount of sugar if you prefer a sweeter muffin, the half a cup worked fine for me as I’m not crazy about anything that’s overly sweet.

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      Egg free Blueberry pecan muffins
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      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven at 180 degrees celcius. Line a muffin pan with cupcake/muffin liners.Sift flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the oats and coconut and set aside
      2. In a separate bowl combine the oil, yogurt and vanilla essence. Whisk well
      3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Do not over mix. Add in the pecan nuts.
      4. Divide the batter equally amongst the 12 liners. Place the blueberries on top and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
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      I’ve been embarking on this whole “no sugar” challenge for a while now but that in  itself is a challenge I must admit. I think everything in moderation is still ok, life after all is about creating a balance hey!  Well I feel better after saying that. Now I can eat carrot muffins without feeling totally guilty, it has sugar but actually has more carrots and nuts so I think that makes it a healthy choice.

      These carrot muffins are absolutely delicious, I love that I can actually taste the cinnamon and nutmeg. I think the fact that it was freshly ground makes it’s so flavoursome!

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      Carrot Muffins
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      Cuisine General
      Keyword baking, carrot muffins
      Cook Time 15-20 minutes
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      Cuisine General
      Keyword baking, carrot muffins
      Cook Time 15-20 minutes
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      Instructions
      1. Sift dry ingredients.
      2. Beat the eggs, oil and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla
      3. Slowly fold in the carrots, pineapple and flour and then add the pecan nuts
      4. Fill the muffin liners up to 3/4 full and bake at 180 deg Celsius for 15-20 minutes
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