Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cocktail Fruit Cake

Cocktail Fruit Cake
2 cups (500ml) selfraising flour
1 cup (250ml) sugar
2 eggs
... 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
Pinch salt
1 tin (410g) fruit cocktail

Preheat oven at 170C. Beat eggs and sugar well. Add the dry ingredients and fruit including juice. Mix until combined. Pour into greased dish and bake in preheated oven for ¾ hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

1 small tin evaporated milk
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter.
Add the ingredients for the sauce into a small saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes. Pour over hot cake. Cut into squares and enjoy warm or cold, on its own or with whipped cream



250g plain flour
250g self raising flour
... 1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salf
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
330ml mixture of lukewarm water and milk (1/2 & 1/2)

Preheat the grill to medium.
Mix all the dry ingredients, add the liquid. Knead into a soft dough. To knead the dough, clench your hand into a fist, wet your knuckles with a little water, then press them repeatedly into the dough. Continue pressing and kneading until you have a soft, pliable dough. It should take about ten minutes.

Place the dough in a mixing bowl, cover it with cling film and leave it in a warm place to rise for 10-15 minutes.

Divide the dough into approx 8 balls and place on a floured surface or board. Roll each into a long oval or round shape (depending on preference) about 0.5cm/¼in thick. Don't roll them out too thinly or they'll turn out like crisps.

Place a heavy baking sheet on the upper shelf of the oven to heat.

Sprinkle over your chosen topping and press into the surface of the dough. Place the naans onto the hot baking sheet and grill for just 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Variation: Add chopped garlic and dhanya before baking


Quick and very easy to make for a light meal.
Serves 4

... 500g minced beef, chicken or lamb (washed and drained)
1 finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon jeera
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Handful chopped dhanya
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
Add the onions and spices to the minced meat and knead the mixture well. Pop the mixture in the fridge for about 1 hour to allow flavours to develop.
Shape the mixture into small meatballs then fry in a little oil till browned and cooked through. Serve with flat bread, salad and yoghurt sauce


Makes 12 – 18

175g (1 & 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
... 50g (1/3 cup) castor sugar
100g softened butter

Mix the sugar and butter together until creamy and fluffy.
Add the flour, mix quickly and thoroughly to bring all the ingredients together but do not over mix.
Tip the mixture onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly and quickly to form a dough.
Roll out the dough approximately 1 cm thick.
Prick the surface all over with a fork.
Cut into desired shape or rounds using cookie cutters.
Place the shortbreads on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for +/- 15 minutes or brown and crisp. Sprinkle the warm shortbreads with fine sugar and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.

Press the dough into a lightly greased Swiss roll tin using your fingers to level the surface, prick all over with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown. With the shortbread still in the tin, cut into squares or fingers, sprinkle with sugar and leave to cool for 15 minutes then carefully remove to a wire cooling rack


Recipe for Bobotie

2 slices white bread (preferably a couple of day old)
... 30 ml cooking oil
1 large chopped onion
2 ml ground cloves
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
salt to taste (approx 5ml)
10ml curry powder
5ml turmeric
500g minced meat (lamb or beef)
1 egg
20ml lemon juice
30ml sugar
6 bay leaves

For the topping:
2 large eggs
300ml milk

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Pour cold water to cover over the bread and set aside to soak.

2. Meanwhile fry onions in oil until they are soft and starting to colour, 10 minutes. Add cloves, garlic, salt, curry powder, 2 of the bay leaves and turmeric and simmer for 5 minutes adding 30 ml water if necessary.

3. In a seperate bowl combine the minced meat with the onion mixture, eggs, lemon juice and sugar. Squeeze the water from the bread and mix until well blended.

4.Tip into an oval ovenproof dish (23 x 33cm and about 5-6cm deep). Press the mixture down well and smooth the top. You can make this and chill 1 day ahead.

5. For the topping, beat the milk and eggs, then pour over the meat. Top with the remaining bay leaves and bake for 35-40 mins until the topping is set and starting to turn golden.

Serve with almond yellow rice and mango chutney,

- Add a couple tablespoons of mango chutney or apricot preserves to the meat if you like. A grated apple is also sometimes added.
- Stir a handful of toasted, slivered almonds into the meat mixture before cooking, or garnish the finished dish with toasted almonds.
- One or two beaten eggs can also be stirred into the meat mixture if you like.
- Substitute lemon leaves for the bay leaves if you can find them.


Serves 4

For the sauce:
... 1 - 2 large onions, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped (you can use more if you like your food spicy & hot)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 litre of water
1 tablespoon ground coriander/koljana
1 tablespoon ground cumin/jeera
1 teaspoon turmeric/borrie
Salt to taste

For the chicken & veg:
500g chicken breasts, washed & diced up
2 tablespoons of oil
1/2 red pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 green pepper, roughly chopped
1 large onion, sliced roughly
2 red chillis (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cumin/jeera
1 teaspoon ground coriander/koljana
1 teaspoon turmeric/borrie
2 teaspoons garam masala
A handful of fresh, chopped dhanya leaves

Mix the jeera, koljana and tumeric in a small bowl, coat the chopped chicken breast pieces leave to marinade while you making the sauce.
Now make the sauce, fry the roughly chopped onions with the garlic and green chilli in a large saucepan with the tablespoon of oil until browned.
Add the water to the onion mixture and simmer this for around 20 minutes.
While that is simmering, put the chopped tomatoes in a food processor or liquidiser and give it a good whizz until smooth consistency.
Heat another large pan and gently fry the ground coriander, cumin and turmeric in a splash of oil for about a minute take care not too overheat or it will burn.
Add the liquidised tomato to this pan and simmer for around 10 minutes. (Because my family loves potatoes I added a couple of potatoes, quarted,
with the onion mixture when it was simmering whilst I prepared the chicken.)
Next give your onion mixture a good whizz in the food processor or liquidiser and add it to the spiced tomato sauce.
Stir and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes. Keep warm.

Fry the marinaded chicken in oil and stir continuously. When the chicken is nearly done approximately 10 -15 minutes,
turn down the heat and add the roughly chopped onion, red & green peppers and chillis. Stir this until the onions and pepper soften just a bit
and the chicken is cooked, of course. Don't overcook as we don't want the onions and peppers to cook away (I like mine to be firm and crunchy)
Add the earlier prepared sauce to the cooked chicken and simmer until combined about 5-10 minutes.
Just before you dish it up, stir in the garam masala and chopped dhanya leaves.
Serve with basmati rice or naan bread.

Because my family loves potatoes I added a couple of potatoes, quarted, with the onion mixture when it was simmering whilst I prepared the chicken

One pan breakfast

One pan breakfast

 Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
... 4 sausages, chopped
140g mushrooms
6 eggs, beaten
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
Handful grated cheese (optional)
1 tablespoon snipped chives


Heat the grill to high. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan, add the sausages and fry for 3 minutes. Tip in the mushrooms and continue to cook for a further 3-5 minutes. Drain any excess fat and move the ingredients so they are evenly spread out.
Season the eggs, then add to the pan, swirling to fill the spaces. Gently move with a fork for 2 minutes over a low-medium heat until beginning to set. Scatter over the tomatoes, cheese, if using, and chives, then grill for 2 minutes until set. Cut into wedges and serve with your favourite bread and sauces.



500gram cake flour
1 teaspoon dry ginger powder
... 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 teaspoons aniseed powder
1 packet instant yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup hot water
1 dessertspoon butter
1 egg
750ml vegetable oil for frying

Melt butter and sugar in hot water. Stir in egg. Add enough milk to make 1/2 litre. Mix flour, spices and yeast into a mixing bowl. Add the liquid mixture to the flour and mix to a soft dough. Set dough aside, covered, to rise until double in size. Divide dough into approx 30 small balls on a slightly oiled surface. Heat oil in large saucepan. Once oil is hot gently pull koeksister into an oblong shape and fry each side until browned. Drain on absorbent paper.

Sugar syrup
500ml water
250ml sugar
Boil water and sugar until sugar is dissolved and syrup is slightly thickened and sticky. Add drops of water if syrup becomes too sticky.


Makes about 30 biscuits

2 cups cake flour
... 1 cup soft brown sugar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
125g softened butter
1 egg
3 teaspoons golden syrup

Preheat the oven to 170C.
Melt the butter, and mix in the beaten egg and golden syrup. (margarine can be used instead of the butter, but they do lose some of the melt in the mouth quality).
Mix together the dry ingredients, and then add the butter/egg mix. Make sure these mix thoroughly, it should be a firm dough consistency
Shape the resulting dough into small balls roughly 2cm across.
Place WELL APPART on a thoroughly greased tray and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Loosen the biscuits gently and leave to cool completely on the tray.

Spicy Coconut Scraps (biscuits) & Eet Sum More Biscuits

Spicy Coconut Scraps (biscuits) & Eet Sum More Biscuits

Second from left
Makes 40 biscuits, depending on size of cookie cutter
250g soft butter or margarine (at room temperature)
¼ cup cooking oil
1 egg
1 cup sugar
500g self raising flour
2 cups desiccated coconut
1 level teaspoon baking powder
15ml ground cardamom
5ml ground ginger (powder)
5ml ground cinnamon
5ml ground naartjie (Satsuma) peel, optional

Cream the butter, sugar, eggs and oil in a large mixing bowl.
Add in the flour, coconut, baking powder, spices and mix to a fairly stiff dough.
Roll out to about 5mm thickness, scrape the top with a fork for a rough surface.
To prevent the dough sticking to the rolling pin cover the dough with a piece of cling film and roll over the cling film.
Cut into shapes using a cooking cutter.
To give the biscuits a nice golden brown glace lightly dip the top of the biscuits in a plate of sugar before placing it on a baking sheet. (I never grease my baking sheets but you could line your baking sheet with a layer of grease proof (parchment) paper to prevent your biscuits from sticking to the baking tray.
Decorate with glace cherries.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the baking tray and cool on a wire rack


Serves 4

4 tablespoons oil
... 2 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
2 green cardamom pods
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 medium onions, chopped
1½ teaspoons chopped ginger
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground coriander
½ tsp chilli powder
2 tomatoes, puréed
450g small chicken
½ tsp garam masala
1 handful chopped dhanya
Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom pods and cumin seeds and fry for about 20 seconds until aromatic.
Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes until golden brown, stirring often. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook stirring for 40 seconds before adding a pinch of salt and the ground spices, and stir for 15 seconds. Pour in the tomatoes and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the liquid in the pan has dried off and the oil leaves the sides of the dry masala around 10 minutes.
**Add the chicken cook over a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add enough water to almost cover the chicken (about 350ml), bring to the boil and then cook over a low heat until the chicken is cooked through. The slower it cooks the better it tastes. This takes about 15 minutes for small joints and up to 25-30 minutes for larger ones. Check with a fork; once it is tender it is done.
Add the garam masala and chopped dhanya. Serve with rice or roti.

**Add potatoes cut in quarters with the chicken


Serves 4

1 cup dhal, washed and soaked for 20-30 minutes
... 1 small tomato, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Few curry leaves
½ lemon, juice extracted
1 tablespoon dhanya, finely chopped
2 green chillies, halved
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon jeera powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon koljana powder
3 cardamom seeds
1 piece stick cinnamon
Salt to taste

Bring 1 litre water to boil in a deep saucepan. Add washed, drained, dhal. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until dhal is mushy. Heat oil, add garlic, curry leaves, tomatoes and stir. Add all dry masala powders, salt and 2 tablespoons water. Stir and cook for a few seconds. Add cooked dhal, stir and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon juice. Stir well, add dhanya leaves. Serve hot with steamed rice, puris or vetbroodtjies.

• Add 4 hard boiled eggs to dhal before serving. Serve with atchars.
• Serve dhal with fish frikkadel or fried masala fish and blatjang.



 The Afrikaner version is much more syrupy and crisp while the Cape Malay version's texture is more like that of a cake, spicier, and usually covered in dried coconut.

 Ingredients – dough:

 2 cups cake flour
... 2 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
4 tablespoons butter/margarine
150ml of water/milk mixture
Oil for deep frying

 Ingredients – syrup:

 500g sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1½ cups of water
juice of one lemon

 Method – syrup:

 Prepare the syrup a day before (it needs to be very cold).
Dissolve sugar in the water.
Add the spices and lemon juice to this and boil together until thick about 25-30minutes. Leave the syrup in the fridge overnight.

 Method – dough:

 Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
Rub in the butter to resemble fine bread crumbs.
Add the milk mixture in the flour and egg mixture and try to form dough. Make sure to add a little bit of water if the dough appears too dry or you can also add more flour if it is too sticky.
Work the dough well. If the dough appears to be lumpy and sticky, continue to work the dough until it will ball up.
Let the dough rest at room temperature for about two to three hours in an airtight container

 To prepare the koeksisters:

 Roll out the dough (thickness 5mm).
Cut the dough into strips of 6cm long, 2cm wide.
Cut each of these strips into three strips (not all the way through, leave the strips connected at the top).
Plate each strip, pinch together at the end of the strip.
Deep fry until golden brown.
Remove and drain quickly – dip the hot koeksisters in the cold syrup (that was stored in the fridge up to now).
The secret is to keep the syrup cold and the koeksisters hot, this way it will draw just the right amount of syrup.
You can keep the syrup cold by placing the syrup bowl in another container filled with iced water or ice cubes.

 Serves 4-6



3 eggs, separated
250 ml sugar
... 4 tablespoons milk, boiled and cooled down
3 tablespoons oil
250 ml plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder


Preheat the oven to 180C.
Whip egg white till stiff, add egg yolk and 250 ml sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved.
Add the oil to the milk and combine with the eggs mixture.
Add the flour and baking powder.
Divide into two small greased flan tins or one big flan tin.
Bake for 10 minutes at 180C.

 Decorate as desired.



 I made this quick and simple version of milk tart the other day. Allthough it’s no where as delicious as the traditional milk tart, everyone enjoyed it and it disappeared as quick as it was made. When it came out of the oven it was quite high but it sinks and becomes denser as it cools. The recipe serve 4


 ¾ cup self-raising flour
... 2 cups milk
3 eggs
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
25g melted butter
Pinch salt
½ teaspoon fine cinnamon


 Put all the ingredients together into a bowl or food processor and beat to a smooth batter. Pour into a buttered pie dish, approximately 23cm in diameter. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top. Bake for 40 minutes at 180C. Serve warm or cold



 Makes 20


 4 cups cake flour
... ¼ cup oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 dessert spoon sugar
1 packet instant yeast

Mix with lukewarm water, approx 200ml, more if needed.
Oil for frying


Combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle; add the oil and the lukewarm water. Mix to a soft dough. Knead for 5-10 minutes. Cover the boil with cling wrap, set aside in a warm place until double in size. Knock down and form little balls. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan. Fry the balls in moderate to hot oil, taking care not to cook too quickly. Drain on absorbent paper and serve with mince curry or dhal.

Simple Butternut Squash Soup

Simple Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4-6

15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
... 30g butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
900g butternut, peeled and sliced
900ml vegetable or chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
parsley, for garnishing

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic and gently sauté.
When the onion has softened after about 5 minutes, add the butternut and stock and stir well. Bring to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes or until the butternut is soft.
Blend the soup with a hand-held blender. Season to taste and garnish with parsley.

Serving Suggestion:
Your favorite type of bread, buttered, will go down a storm.

Creamy mushroom soup

Creamy mushroom soup


 500g mushrooms
90g butter
... 2 medium onions chopped
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 liter chicken stock
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
½ cup cream
salt and pepper


 Wipe the mushrooms clean and chop them into rough dice. Chop the onions and crush the garlic. Put the chicken stock to heat in a separate pan.

In a large pan cook the onions, thyme and garlic in the butter over a medium heat, until they are soft and translucent but not browned.

Add the mushrooms, raise the heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir it in so that it coats the mushrooms, then and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute.

Pour the hot chicken stock over the mushrooms and bring back to the boil. Add the bay leaf and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and thyme and use either a hand held blender or a food processor to process the soup until smooth.

Return the soup to the pan, season with salt and pepper to taste and reheat. When it is simmering stir in the cream. Allow to warm through. Serve with garlic croutons or fresh bread.



 Serves 4


 250g green split peas
... 1 large onion, cut into chunks
1 large tomato, cut into chunks
1 large potato, cut into chunks
4 cloves
7 large carrots
Salt and pepper to taste
Water as needed
Chicken or beef pieces (optional)


 celery, chopped finely
parsley, chopped finely


 Soak split peas in boiling water for 1 hour. I always rinse my split peas after soaking.
Using a large cooking pot add split peas and cloves and cook until peas are soft and mushy, approximately 1 ½ hours.
Meanwhile prepare vegetables and liquidize all the vegetables together.
Add to cooked split peas.
Add enough water, beef pieces and cook a further hour on slow stirring every now and again.
Or if you using chicken pieces cook a further half hour.
Add celery and parsley, if this is being used and cook 5 – 10 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add more water depending on the consistency you like the soup to be.
Serve hot with crusty bread, samosas, dhaljies, etc


Cuts into 12 slices


250g tennis biscuits
... 100g butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
600g cottage cheese
100g icing sugar
284ml cream 

For the Topping:
400g strawberries, halved
25g icing sugar


Make the base: Butter and line a 23cm loose-bottomed tin with baking parchment/grease proof paper. Put the biscuits in a plastic food bag and crush to crumbs using a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, then pour over the melted butter. Mix thoroughly until the crumbs are completely coated. Tip them into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base to create an even layer. Chill in the fridge for 1 hr to set firmly.

Make the filling: Place the cottage cheese, icing sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl, then beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Tip in the cream and continue beating until the mixture is completely combined. Now spoon the cream mixture onto the biscuit base, working from the edges inwards and making sure that there are no air bubbles. Smooth the top of the cheesecake down with the back of a dessert spoon or spatula. Leave to set in the fridge overnight.

Un-moulding and topping: Bring the cheesecake to room temperature, about 30 minutess before serving. To un-mould, place the base on top of a can (tin of baked beans), then gradually pull the sides of the tin down. Slip the cake onto a serving plate, removing the lining paper and base. Purée half the strawberries in a blender or food processor with 25g icing sugar and 1 tsp water, then sieve. Pile the remaining strawberries onto the cake, then pour over purée.


Can't get it out of the tin?

If you find the cake difficult to un-mould, then either let it sit for a little longer, or wipe the outside of the tin with a warm cloth. This heats the edges and should allow you to remove the tin easily.

Filling hasn't set?

The cheesecake may have needed more time in the fridge. The mixture should be quite firm to begin with, but a long chilling time (preferably overnight) is essential to ensure the filling sets well.

Base hasn't set?

To ensure the base sets properly, the melted butter must be thoroughly mixed through the biscuit crumbs. Make sure you also leave it in the fridge to firm up for at least 1 hr before adding the filling so that the crumbs do not mix into the soft cheese mixture.

Try a different flavour

Lemon: Beat the finely grated zest & juice 2 lemons with the soft cheese & icing sugar instead of the vanilla seeds. Top with lemon curd & leave to chill. Raspberry: Replace strawberries with fresh raspberries. Passion fruit & mango: Make a delicious passion fruit sauce by sieving the pulp of 4 passion fruit and sweetening to taste with a little icing sugar. Top the cheesecake with chopped mango, then pour over the sauce, dotting the top with a few of the passion fruit seeds.