Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Iced Vanilla Star Cookies

Embrace the kitchness of the Festive Season and decorate some star shaped cookies - also a great activity to do with kids!

Iced Vanilla Star Cookies
Makes about 100 mini, small and medium stars

250 g butter, softened
105 g (125 ml) Huletts Castor Sugar
10 ml (2 t) vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs
450 g (3 cups) cake flour

To decorate:
1 packet Huletts Strawberry Flavoured Icing Sugar
1 packet Huletts Chocolate Flavoured Icing Sugar
Edible decorations of your choice
Beat butter and castor sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla extract and beat well.
Add the eggs one by one and beat well.
Gradually add the flour and mix until a soft dough forms. (It should be quite crumbly and buttery.)
Tip onto a floured surface and form into a ball. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Pre-heat oven to 160°C and line 2 trays with baking paper.
Cut the dough ball in half and roll out one of the halves on a floured surface to 4 mm thickness. Press star shapes out of the dough and gently arrange on the baking trays. Repeat with the remaining dough (including the other half) until all the dough has been used.
Bake cookies for about 12 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly on the trays before transferring to a drying rack.Once completely cool, decorate with Huletts Flavoured Icing Sugars and edible decorations.

For the icing:
In separate bowls, mix the chocolate and strawberry icing with 45 ml (3 T) water each to form a soft icing. (Add a little more water if needed, if needs to be runny enough to pipe.)
Scoop a few spoon fulls of each icing into the corners of medium plastic bags and twist to secure. (Sandwich bags work well for this.)
Cut the tip off the plastic corner (start as small as possible) and gently squeeze out the icing.
Draw shapes and patterns of your choice on the cooled cookies.

Allow some time to set.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Rum Fruit Punch

Celebration time has arrived, and this punch is perfect for balmy summer days ;)

Rum Fruit Punch
Makes 2 liters 

400 g frozen berries, defrosted
60 ml (¼ cup) Huletts Golden Syrup
125 ml (½ cup) dark rum
750 ml (1 bottle) sparkling wine
1 litre soda water
fresh mint leaves and berries to garnish

Combine berries, Huletts Golden Syrup and rum in a large punch bowl. Mix well.
Top with sparkling wine, soda water and plenty of ice, stir to mix.
To serve, garnish with the mint leaves and berries.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Cocoa, Banana, Oats & Almond Milk Smoothie

This would be a great start to a weekend ;)

Cocoa, Banana, Oats & Almond Milk Smoothie
Serves 1
1 g (1 tube sachet) Huletts EquiSweet Classic
1 cup (250 ml) Almond Milk
½ ripe banana
¼ cup rolled oats
½ T unsweetened cocoa powder
Combine all the ingredients in a smoothie maker, blender or use a stick blender.
Blitz until smooth (add more almond milk if needed).
Serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Frozen Custard

This delicious gluten and dairy free dessert is perfect for warm weather celebrations.

Frozen Custard
Serves 4


25 ml (5t) Corn flour
375 ml (1.5c) Soy milk
3 ex large egg yolks
30 ml (2T) Huletts Castor Sugar
80 ml (⅓c) pecan nuts
1.5 T Huletts Maple Syrup

4 x 125ml capacity moulds
Combine corn flour with ¼ cup soy milk in a microwave proof bowl or jug. Stir until smooth. Stir in remaining milk.
Microwave on medium high for 1 to 2 minutes until hot (do not allow to boil). Set aside.
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a large microwave bowl and beat using an electric mixer until thick and pale. Add the milk mixture to the egg mixture and stir to combine.
Microwave on medium high for 1½ minutes and stir. Microwave for a further 1½ minutes or until custard is thick.
Pour custard into moulds and cover with plastic wrap.
Place in freezer for 2 - 3 hours or until just frozen.
Place the pecan nuts between 2 sheets of paper towel on a microwave plate.
Microwave on low for 2 – 3 minutes or until just toasted. (Watch as nuts burn easily). Cool and chop into small pieces.
Combine the pecans and maple syrup in a small jug.
To serve: run a knife around the inside of each mould and turn the custards out onto serving plates.
Top the custards with the maple pecans.

Pitch Black Halloween Party

My Pitch Black 35th party was an absolute blast! The husband and I went as corps bride & groom ;)

The starters: Caviar, black olives, charcoal crackers, black sesame crackers & black berry compote on cambrini.

The dessert table was the best! Black candy apples, black chocolate cakes, zout drops, licorice and loads of other black sweets.

The husband cooked 10kg of blackened sirloin to perfection! He used activated charcoal for the crust. 

The side salads: Black garlic salad dressing, black rice with macarel & squid and black beans with morcilla, woodear mushrooms and chorizo.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween weekend!

I'm hosting my Halloween themed birthday party tomorrow, and the theme is 'Pitch Black'. I've been experimenting with black ingredients all week and am super excited to serve an (almost) all black menu to my guests.

Hopefully I'll have some pics to share next week ;)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pineapple, Strawberry & Coconut Water Smoothie

I love how easy - and healthy! this recipes is. With all the spring and summer fruit coming into season, I can't wait to experiment with different flavour combinations.

Pineapple, Strawberry & Coconut Water Smoothie
Serves 1

1 Huletts EquiSweet sachet of your choice
250 ml (1 cup) fresh pineapple, chopped
125 ml (½ cup) fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
125 ml (½ cup) coconut water (obtainable from selected health shops)

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until well combined.
Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Chakalaka (Braai Relish)

We are going to one of my favourite places on the planet for a few days - Madikwe Game Reserve. The African Bush does something to the soul that only people that have spent time there will understand - I can't wait for the recharge!

When in the bush we always braai, and chakalaka is one of those traditional South African staples that we serve along with grilled meat and pap (grits or polenta), its spicy and juicy and the perfect accompaniment to a dinner under the stars. 

Chakalaka (Braai Relish)
Serves 8 - 10

15 ml (1 T) vegetable oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
30 ml (2 T) fresh garlic, chopped
30 ml (2 T) fresh ginger, grated
3 red chilies, chopped (remove seeds for a less spicy version)
15 m (1 T) fresh thyme leaves
10 ml (2 t) curry powder
5 ml (1 t) turmeric powder
10 ml (2 t) paprika
45 ml (3 T) Huletts SunSweet Brown Sugar
1 red pepper, diced
5 medium carrots, grated
400 g (4 cups) cabbage, shredded
410 g (1 tin) chopped tomatoes
30 ml (2 T) white wine vinegar
80 ml (⅓ cup) water
salt and black pepper

Place the oil in a medium size saucepan over medium to low heat.
Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent.
Increase the heat slightly and add the garlic, ginger, chillies and thyme and cook for a further two minutes while stirring.
Reduce the heat to low and add the curry powder, turmeric powder, paprika and Huletts SunSweet Brown Sugar while stirring, cook for a minute or two until the onion mixture is mixed in.
Add the red pepper, carrots and cabbage while stirring and cook for a further minute or two.
Lastly add the tomatoes, vinegar and water. Mix well and cover the saucepan with a lid and leave to simmer for 20 - 30 minutes while stirring occasionally, until soft.
Season well with salt and black pepper.
Serve warm with braai meats and pap.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Heritage Day Recipe: Egg & Biltong Sweet Chilli Toasties

So much of our heritage can be celebrated through food, and although Heritage Day has adopted 'Braai Day' as its pet name, I think these little toasties can be a beautiful starter or finger food at a family gathering to celebrate our heritage.

Egg & Biltong Sweet Chilli Toasties
Serves 2

2 large eggs
4 T biltong, finely chopped (or biltong powder)
2 T sweet chilli sauce
2 T fat free smooth cottage cheese
Salt & black pepper to taste
4 slices home style brown bread
Spring onion, finely sliced (for garnish)
More sweet chilli sauce for garnish (optional)


Hard-boil the eggs (5 – 6 minutes on a rolling boil). Allow to cool.
Once the eggs are cool, roughly chop them.
Mix together the eggs, biltong, sweet chilli sauce and cottage cheese.
Season well with salt and black pepper.
Toast the bread slices. Using a round cookie cutter, press 4 rounds out of every slice.
Spoon teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the toast rounds.
Garnish with spring onion & a dollop of sweet chilli sauce and serve.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mexican Beef Lettuce Cups

We've skipped spring and gone straight to summer! So I've been making loads of salad inspired dishes like this one.

Mexican Beef Lettuce Cups
Serves 4 - 6


For the beef:
500 g beef sirloin
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
10 ml (2 t) ground cumin
10 ml (2 t) ground coriander
15 ml (1 T) olive oil

250 ml (1 cup) sour cream
3 ml (½ t) garlic, crushed
2 red chillies, thinly sliced (seeds removed for a milder version)
30 ml (2 T) lime or lemon juice
15 ml (1 T) Huletts Castor Sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
8-10 baby gem lettuce leaves, washed and trimmed
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
1 red onion, finely sliced
coriander leaves, to garnish


Allow the beef to rest at room temperature for ± 20 minutes.
Mix together the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and oil; rub into the beef.
Heat a griddle pan and fry the beef for 2-3 minutes (for medium rare) on each side without turning, set aside to rest for 5 minutes and slice thinly.

Whisk all the ingredients together, until smooth and season to taste.

To serve: 
Place a dollop of dressing into each lettuce cup, top with the beef slices, avocado and red onion. Garnish with coriander.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tomato Tarte Tatin

One of my absolute favourites! Eat it straight out of the oven ;)

Tomato Tarte Tatin

60 g butter
60 ml (¼ cup) Huletts Caramel Sugar
5 ml (1 t) dried chilli flakes
350 g baby tomatoes
salt and black pepper, to taste
400 g ready-made puff pastry, defrosted
1 extra large egg, beaten
fresh basil leaves, to garnish

Melt the butter in an ovenproof pan (about 28cm diameter) over low heat.
Add the Huletts Caramel Sugar and chilli flakes, mix well.
Add baby tomatoes and sauté until tomatoes are just soft, ± 5 minutes.
Remove tomatoes from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Reduce the syrup in the pan until slightly caramelized.
Return the tomatoes to the pan and spread to cover the base. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface large enough to cover the top of the pan (28 cm diameter).
Drape the pastry over the tomatoes and tuck in the edges.
Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.
Bake the tarte tatin for 20 – 30 minutes until golden brown and puffed.
To serve, invert the pan onto a serving dish and garnish with fresh basil.

Hint: The tarte tatin is best served freshly baked as a starter or a side dish to your main course.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Rooibos Masala Chai Tea

The husband and I spent a few weeks in India, and Masala Chai (litteraly meaning 'spiced tea') was a daily staple. Deliciously creamy and spicy, but sickly sweet, I've adapted the recipe to cut some sugar by using EquiSweet and also given it a South African twist by using Rooibos tea. 

Rooibos Masala Chai Tea

500 ml (2 cups) low fat milk
4 rooibos tea bags
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cm fresh ginger, finely grated
6 cardamom pods, bruised
3 ml (½ t) black pepper, freshly ground
4 whole cloves
2 - 3 Huletts EquiSweet sachets of your choice

Combine the milk, tea bags and spices in a saucepan.
Bring to the boil and remove from the heat.
Infuse for 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how strong you prefer your tea.
Strain and return the spiced milk to the saucepan.
Heat through and sweeten with EquiSweet to taste. (Hint: Lightly whisk for foam topping.)
Serve hot.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sweet Potato Skins

Grilled cheese and bacon bits on creamy sweet potatoes - need I say more? 

Sweet Potato Skins
Serves 4 as a side


500 g yellow flesh sweet potatoes (choose smaller sized sweet potatoes)
30 ml (2 T) canola oil
30 ml (2 T) Huletts Treacle Sugar
125 ml (½ cup) sour cream
salt and black pepper, to taste
50 g (± ½ cup) mature cheddar cheese, grated
125 g bacon pieces, fried until crispy
spring onions, sliced


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Rinse and dry the sweet potatoes. Toss in oil to coat.
Place on the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle with Huletts Treacle Sugar and bake for a further 20 - 30 minutes (until soft). Set aside to cool.
Once cooled, slice sweet potatoes in half lengthways.
Scoop out the flesh of the sweet potatoes to make a hollow, leaving the skin intact.
Mix the sweet potato with the sour cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fill the sweet potato hollows with the sour cream mixture and sprinkle with cheese.
Place under the grill for 8 - 10 minutes or until the cheese begins to melt.
Garnish with bacon pieces and spring onions. Serve hot.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Baked Orange Pudding

I love using seasonal fruit in my cooking, and this warm dessert is just perfect for cold winter nights using seasonal oranges. Experiment with different types of citrus like clementines, naartjies and grapefruit or use other dried fruit like dates or cranberries. 

Baked Orange Pudding
Serves 8


For the Base:
125 g butter, softened
260 g Huletts SunSweet Brown Sugar
4 extra large eggs, separated
115 g self-raising flour
125 ml (½ cup) milk
zest of 1 orange

For the Syrup:
50 g butter
125 ml (½ cup) freshly squeezed orange juice
50 g (¼ cup) Huletts White Sugar
15 ml (1 T) orange zest
30 ml (2 T) Huletts Maple Syrup
raisins, to serve (optional)


For the Base:
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease 8 ramekins.
Cream the butter and Huletts SunSweet Brown Sugar together.
Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Fold the self-raising flour and milk alternately into the sugar mixture. Add the orange zest.
Beat the egg whites to soft peak stage and fold into the mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the ramekins.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until puffy and golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

For the Syrup:
Place the butter, orange juice, Huletts White Sugar and orange zest in a heavy base saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.
Add the Huletts Maple Syrup and allow to boil for ± 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
As soon as the puddings are baked, remove from the oven and immediately pour the hot syrup over until saturated. Prick puddings with a skewer to assist with absorption of the syrup.
Serve warm, garnished with raisins.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Chia Seed Pudding

I love this as a breakfast or a dessert. Healthy and delicious, make it ahead for an impressive dessert at a winter luncheon. 

Chia Seed Pudding
Serves 2

125 ml (½ cup) chia seeds
400 ml (1 can) coconut milk
5 ml (1 t) vanilla extract
2 - 3 Huletts EquiSweet sachets of your choice
Fresh fruit and nuts, to serve (we’ve used figs and pistachio nuts)

Alternative Method Ingredients:

125 ml (½ cup) sago
400 ml (1 can) coconut milk
5 ml (1 t) vanilla extract
2 - 3 Huletts EquiSweet sachets of your choice
Fresh fruit and nuts to serve

Mix all the ingredients together; making sure the chia seeds are well incorporated into the coconut milk.
Divide the mixture between 2-3 serving glasses and refrigerate overnight.
Serve chilled or at room temperature topped with fresh fruit and nuts.

Alternative Method:

Bring one cup of water to the boil, add the sago and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat, cover and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
Drain the sago.
Mix the sago, coconut milk, vanilla extract and EquiSweet together.
Divide the mixture between 2 - 3 serving glasses and refrigerate overnight.
Serve chilled or at room temperature topped with fresh fruit and nuts.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Osso Buco with Gremolata

Winter has arrived in South Africa! That means we can snuggle up in front of the fire place, drink red wine and eat warming slow cooked meals. Rich and hearty, Osso Buco is an Italian stew that literally means 'bone with a hole', referring to the marrow hole in the shank bones. Prepare this over a weekend to share with friends and family.

Osso Buco with Gremolata
Serves 6


For the Osso Buco:
60 ml (¼ cup) flour
Salt and black pepper, to taste
± 1,5 kg veal or beef shanks, crosscut
30 ml (2 T) olive oil
30 ml (2 T) butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced
4 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
1 x 410 g tin chopped tomatoes
2 T (30 ml) tomato paste
30 ml (2 T) Huletts SunSweet Brown Sugar
500 ml (2 cups) beef stock

For the Gremolata:
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 lemon, zest and juice
30 ml (2 T) capers
2 anchovy fillets
quinoa and steamed seasonal vegetables, to serve (optional)


For the Osso Buco:
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Put the flour in a plastic bag and season well with salt and black pepper.
Add the meat to the bag and shake until all the pieces are lightly covered with flour.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based oven proof pot (with a lid).
Brown the meat in batches until lightly browned ±10 minutes.
Remove from the pot and set aside.
Add the butter (and extra olive oil if needed) to the pot and add the onion, carrot and celery.
Place over a low heat for 5 – 10 minutes until they start to soften and the onion is translucent.
Increase the heat slightly and add the garlic, frying for 2 – 3 minutes until soft and fragrant.
Deglaze the pot with the white wine, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release the flavours.
Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, Huletts SunSweet Brown Sugar and beef stock.
Return the meat to the pot, cover with the lid and place in the oven.
Cook (covered) for 2 – 3 hours, checking every now and again and adding hot water if needed.
Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes before serving.

To make the gremolata:
By hand or in a food processor, combine all the ingredients and chop finely until well combined.
Serve osso buco with quinoa and steamed vegetables on the side, topped with dollops of gremolata.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Carrot, Ginger & Lime Smoothie

With days getting colder and nights getting longer it seems like our bodies just need an extra kick of vitamins and flu-fighting ingredients - and that's exactly what this smoothie gives you. I like to add a teaspoon or two cayenne pepper for extra kick.

Carrot, Ginger & Lime Smoothie
Serves 1

250 ml (1 cup) carrot juice (buy ready-made if you don’t have a juicer)
1 Huletts EquiSweet sachet of your choice
30 ml (2 T) fresh ginger, grated
30 ml (2 T) fresh lime juice

5 - 10 ml (1 - 2 t) cayenne pepper (Optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until well combined.
Add a splash of water, if needed.
Serve immediately.
Tip, serve with a few cubes of ice if you prefer it colder. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Churro Cups

The husband and I just came back from a wonderful trip to South America, and churros filled with creamy sweet 'Dulce de leche' were one of our favourite indulgences while strolling on the Copacabana in Rio ;) Here is my version of the traditional churro - you can fill the cup with practically anything! It's a little bit of effort, but totally delish. 

Churro Cups
Makes about 18

120 g butter
30 ml (2 T) Huletts White Sugar
250 ml (1 cup) water
1 ml (pinch) salt
250 ml (1 cup) bread flour
5 ml (1 t) vanilla essence
3 extra large eggs
sunflower oil, for deep frying

Cinnamon sugar:
15 ml (1 T) ground cinnamon
105 g (½ cup) Huletts Castor Sugar
To serve:
250 g (1 packet) Huletts Chocolate Flavoured Icing
1 liter vanilla ice cream or flavour of your choice

You will need 3 x 12 hole mini muffin trays.
Turn the muffin trays upside down. Using cooking spray, spray every other mould to make them non-stick. Set aside.
Place the butter, Huletts White Sugar, water and salt in a medium -sized saucepan over medium heat, while stirring with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
Add the flour to the butter mixture a little at a time, while stirring, until well combined and a buttery dough has formed.
Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
Add the vanilla essence.
Add the eggs one at time, stirring well after each addition, until well incorporated into the dough and smooth.
Scoop the dough into a piping bag and pipe cup shapes around the greased moulds, starting from the bottom up.
Freeze trays overnight (or for at least for 4 hours) to allow the dough to solidify.
Fill a deep fryer with vegetable oil and heat to 190°C.
Remove the churro cups from the cupcake molds and fry in batches (frozen, straight from the freezer), drain on paper towels.

For the Cinnamon sugar:
In a deep bowl, mix the cinnamon and Huletts Castor Sugar together.

To serve:
Prepare the Huletts Chocolate Flavoured Icing as per the packet instructions.
Coat the warm churro cups with the cinnamon sugar.
Serve the churro bowls filled with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of Huletts Chocolate Flavoured Icing.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Spiced Fruit Pinwheels

Spiced Fruit Pinwheels
Makes 8


1 roll (400 g) readymade puff pastry, defrosted
60 ml (¼ cup) Huletts Molasses, heated in the microwave
50 g (¼ cup) raisins, chopped
50 g (¼ cup) cranberries, chopped
60 ml (¼ cup) pecan nuts, chopped
10 ml (2 t) mixed spice
5 ml (1 t) ground cinnamon
15 ml (1 T) Huletts Castor Sugar

Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Carefully un-roll the defrosted pastry, leaving the plastic wrap underneath.
Using a flexible spatula, spread the heated Huletts Molasses over the puff pastry.
Sprinkle the raisins, cranberries and pecan nuts over the pastry.
Dust with the mixed spice and cinnamon.
Using the plastic wrap, roll the pastry lengthways to form a log (not too tight as the pastry still needs to rise).
Dampen the edge of the inside of the pastry with water or milk and gently seal the roll.
Trim the edges with a sharp knife.
Cut in half, then in ¼’s then in 1/8’s.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and spray with cooking spray.
Gently shape the pinwheels back into rounds and arrange on the baking tray, about 4 cm apart. Sprinkle the tops of the pinwheels with Huletts Castor Sugar.
Bake for 15 - 18 minutes until golden brown and puffy.
Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack.
Serve hot or at room temperature.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Vanilla Cake with Thyme and Poppy Seeds

This is a sophisticated adult cake, perfect for a champagne filled afternoon tea.

Vanilla Cake with Thyme and Poppy Seeds
Make one large cake, serves 8 - 10

250 g butter, softened
250 g Huletts Castor Sugar
3 extra large eggs, separated
5 ml (1 t) vanilla essence
280 g (2 cups) self-raising flour, sifted
180 ml buttermilk
10 ml (2 t) fresh thyme leaves
15 ml (1 T) poppy seeds

125 g (½ tub) smooth cream cheese
125 ml (½ tub) sour cream
5 ml (1 t) fresh lemon juice
15 ml (1 T) poppy seeds
40 g (1/3 cup) Huletts Icing Sugar

Crystallised thyme:
105 g (½ cup) Huletts Castor Sugar
1 extra large egg white, lightly beaten
10 - 15 fresh thyme sprigs

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 22cm round cake tin
Beat the butter and Huletts Castor Sugar together until light and creamy.
Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add vanilla essence and beat well.
Fold in half (1 cup) of the self-raising flour and half the buttermilk, repeat with the remaining flour and buttermilk.
Fold in the thyme leaves and poppy seeds.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form and fold into the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin, and smooth the top.
Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Leave in tin to cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Icing:
Mix all the icing ingredients together until well combined and smooth.

For the Crystallised thyme:
Place the Huletts Castor Sugar and the egg white in two separate bowls. Dip the thyme sprigs, one at a time, into the egg white and then into the sugar to coat.
Place the coated thyme leaves on a paper towel and allow to dry for at least an hour.
Spread the cooled cake with the icing mixture and decorate with the crystallised thyme sprigs.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mushroom Sosatis

I just love mushrooms! They are fabulous fresh in salads, fried with garlic and butter or as kebabs (or sosatis). The perfect vegetarian braai option or a delicious side to any grilled meat.

Mushroom Sosatis

Serves 4 as a side


8 sosati sticks
± 400g mixed mushrooms (shitake, big brown, portabelinni etc)
100g butter
1 T garlic, crushed
Pinch of salt
1 cup (chopped & loosely packed) mixed herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, fennel etc)
Truffle oil for serving


Soak the sosati sticks in water for at least 10 minutes (to prevent them from burning on the while cooking).
Cut the large mushrooms into halves or quarters so that all the mushrooms are more or less the same size.
String the mushrooms onto the soaked sosati sticks.
Heat your griddle pan or get your fire ready.
Melt the butter in a pot. Add the garlic and salt and fry for a minute. Add the herbs and fry for another minute.
Place the sosoatis on the grill or fire and brush with the melted herb butter while cooking, turning regularly.
Once the mushrooms are cooked (soft and juicy), serve immediately drizzled with truffle oil.
Tip: The mushrooms shrink quite a bit during cooking, so 2 kebabs per person won’t be too much.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Grilled baby aubergines with sumac yoghurt

Grilled baby aubergines with sumac yoghurt
Serves 4 as a side

This recipe is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Roasted aubergine with saffron yoghurt dish. I'm a little obsessed with Ottolenghi at the moment, so you can expect loads more recipes from him ;)


For the yogurt:
1 cup double thick yoghurt
1 t garlic, grated
4 T extra virgin olive oil
1 t salt
1 - 2 T sumac, ground

For the aubergines:
500g baby aubergines, sliced lengthways
Olive oil
Salt & black pepper

To serve:
Fresh pomegranate rubies
Fresh coriander


For the yogurt:
Mix together the yoghurt, garlic, olive oil and salt.
Add sumac to taste, keeping some aside for garnish.
Set aside till ready to use.

For the aubergines:
Pre-heat oven to 180°.
Heat a griddle pan to high heat.
Brush sliced side of aubergines and grill until griddle marks appear (this may have to be done in batches, depending on the size of your griddle).
Spread out grilled aubergines on a roasting tray and drizzle with some more olive oil.
Bake in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes until soft.

To serve:
Serve warm aubergines garnished with pomegranate rubies and fresh coriander with the yoghurt on the side.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Milktart Cheesecake

This tasty cheesecake with a South African twist is based on a recipe from ‘Huisgenoot Wenresepte' 1987 by Annette Human.

Milktart Cheesecake
Makes one medium cake

For the base
200 g biscuits (Tennis or Digestive)
4 Tbls butter, melted
¼ cup sugar

For the filling
250 g plain cream cheese (room temperature)
150 ml castor sugar
25 ml cake flour
4 extra large eggs
500 ml full cream milk
Juice of half a lemon
5 ml vanilla extract
Cinnamon powder

For the base
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Crush biscuits in a food processor.
Add melted butter and sugar to the biscuits and process until mixed well.
Press the mixture on the bottom and half way up the sides of a 26cm spring-form tin.
Bake for 15 minutes until set.
Remove from oven and allow to cool before filling.

For the filling
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Whisk the cream cheese till soft and fluffy.
Gradually add the sugar and flour to the mixture while whisking.
Add the eggs one by one and whisk well after each addition.
Gradually add the milk, lemon juice and extract to the mixture while whisking.
Pour the mixture into the prepared base and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake for 50 – 60 minutes until the filling has set and a test toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool at room temperature in the cake tin.
Refrigerate the cake overnight (still in the pan).
Remove spring-form and serve cool or at room temperature with preserved ginger, figs or orange curls.