one – ingredient whole grain cracker

Dan Barbers one - ingredient whole grain cracker

So I bought the Food 52 Genius Recipes cookbook last week, and seriously, its incredible. I had heard of, and seen a good few of the recipes before because if you spend as much time on the food internet as I do it would be impossible not to. I had also made at least one recipe  – the  famous purple plum torte, so I know they are particularly extraordinary. I plan on making a lot more from the book and in fact have made three since last week already. It’s the kind of book that inspires you want to dive straight into the kitchen and get busy, and its the way I gauge how good a cookbook is. 

The first recipe I made was these one-ingredient whole grain crackers because I had freekeh in my house for the first time and I love a good crunchy (healthy) cracker.  Continue Reading →

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stout beef and mushroom stew

stout beef and mushroom stew

Winter has finally hit Cape Town with full force and I couldn’t be happier about spending more time at home cuddling under a blanket and cooking comfort food like this. I’ve added Castle Milk Stout to this dish which adds a delicious slightly bitter depth of flavour that mellows after the 3 hours it takes to simmer away. The mushrooms compliment the beef in flavour and texture, and then all the usual suspects like onion, celery and carrots go in to make this a classic beef stew. Continue Reading →

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toffee, salted pretzel & chocolate bark

toffee, pretzel & chocolate bark

I took my favourite crunchy toffee recipe – that totally melts in your mouth, and added salted pretzels to it, because I mean, who doesn’t love that. It also breaks the sweetness of the caramel giving it some relief. The chocolate on top is 70% which I would recommend. Once again to break the sweetness and adding a small bitter note. 

toffee, pretzel & chocolate bark

I use a digital thermometer for all sweet-making; that way there is little room for error. Sugar can change in a matter of seconds when heated through various stages, so it’s advisable to remain totally focused and keep monitoring the temperature exactly. If you definitely don’t have one, then cook your caramel until it starts turning golden brown. By this I mean a darker colour. It stays a lightish golden colour for ages, so you will need to stir for around 10 minutes before the alchemy happens and the molten, buttery sugar suddenly moves to the hard crack stage. The old school way of checking is to drop a piece of toffee in a glass of water and then taste to determine at what stage it is at. Prepare well and have everything you need on hand, before you begin. Also, don’t ever, I mean ever be tempted to lick the spoon while making caramel, no matter how delicious it looks.  Continue Reading →

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roasted carrots with oyster mayonnaise, chorizo and horseradish

roasted carrots with oyster mayonnaise, chorizo and horseradish

Die Werf Restaurant on Boschendal Wine Estate

Chef Christiaan Campbell from Die Werf Restaurant on Boschendal whipped up this delicious dish on Friday when I visited the farm for the afternoon. We went for a wonder in their incredible kitchen garden with Megan McCarthy (who manages it) to find a few of the ingredients needed. Things like Cape May which were roasted with the carrots, wild rosemary to sprinkle on top and of course the rainbow baby carrots and horseradish root.  Continue Reading →

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yotam ottolenghi’s cauliflower cake

cauliflower cake by ottolenghi

This is one of those recipes that when you see it, your interest is immediately piqued and you set about bookmarking it in your mind to make sometime. I then saw it floating around the interwebs last week and knew it was a sign. I was already buying cauliflower to make the best ever whole roasted cauliflower recipe, so added another to my basket for this. 

cauliflower cake by ottolenghi

I was recently given a stunning wedge one of my favourite South African cheeses, The Dalewood Fromage Huguenot. It’s a 12 month old mature cheese that recently won The South African Dairy Product of the year award and I knew I wanted to use it in a beautiful recipe. It has a distinctly nutty flavour and creamy texture, but sadly can only be procured at the Dalewood farm shop on the Franschhoek-Simondium Road in the Winelands. You may of course also find it on the menu in a top local restaurant. Rumour has it that Peter Templehoff from the Greenhouse buys up most of the stock each year and it was there that I tasted it for the first time. Continue Reading →

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