the snowflake book of baking – out of print

i finally have a copy of the snowflake book of baking

I have been on the look out for a copy of this book since I took it out of the library over a year ago. I was talking about baking last month (as you do) and the friend I was talking to mentioned they had just bought a copy of this particular book at a second hand book shop in Kalk Bay and then, get this, there was another copy on the shelf at the time. With great excitement I immediately phoned the shop to reserve it.

To my surprise and delight I unwrapped a near perfect and seemingly unused copy of it two days later on Christmas day. Thank you Jane and Gordon, it’s a wonderful, practical and comprehensive book of thoroughly tested  recipes which will be a perfect base from which I can ‘play’ from.  It was published  in 1994.

some shortbread recipes to try

I also have the Golden Cloud book: Home Bakes, by Carolie De Koster (Published by Lannice Snyman in 2001) which is superb.  I have my eye on the double white chocolate cake recipe in there, so watch this space.

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courgette / zucchini tzatziki

thick, creamy and garlicy - yum

Grate 2 medium / large courgettes and place in a tea towel or muslin cloth. Squeeze all the juice out by tightly winding up the material. 

squeeze tightly in a cloth to get all the liquid out

Add about 175ml (small tub) of plain yoghurt, one clove of garlic crushed, a squeeze of lemon juice, a good pinch of salt, black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch or dried oregano.  Mix, adjust seasoning and voila – a stunning alternative to cucumber (which often despite endless squeezing still lands up being watery).

I’m going to eat this with some grilled chicken breast and salad for supper.

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my favourite vinaigrette dressing

 

I love this very basic vinaigrettedressing. Its so creamy and delicious and I use this aal the time.

Crush 1 clove of garlic, with 1 tsp (big) Dijon mustard, then in a ratio of 2:1 – olive oil to red wine vinegar.  A pinch of Maldon salt and a twist of black pepper.  shake, yum

8

light fruit cake: my christmas cake

a lovely light nutty fruit cake

It’s hard to decide what  my absolute favourite cake is, as cake for me is it’s own food group.  I love cake. Fruit cake is definitely very high up on this list.

I prefer a slightly lighter cake with lots of fruit and nuts. And from a convenience perspective I could not be bothered to boil all the fruit. I tried this recipe last year for christmas and it was exactly the way I like it so I made it again at the end of October on stirring Sunday (the Sunday you are supposed to bake your christmas cake for optimum maturation prior to Christmas).  Ok I’ve gone a bit over this but it doesn’t matter, it made it to my birthday and became the ‘official’ cake.

recipe:

  • 230g golden sultanas (you could also use raisins or both)
  • 180g candied pineapple – coarsely chopped
  • 100g candied orange – slices coarsely chopped
  • 50g crystalised ginger chopped
  • 230g whole cherries
  • 50g whole almonds toasted
  • 50g brazil nuts
  • 50g cashew (or pistachio)
  • 50g hazelnuts (toasted skins off)
  •         Total = 200g nuts (any mix and I dont always toast)
  • 230g cake flour sifted
  • 230g caster sugar
  • 230g butter – room temp
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Zest and juice of half an orange
  • 4 large eggs
  • Pinch salt
  • 60ml (1/4 cup brandy) – plus more

how to make:

  • preheat oven to 140 degrees
  • double line a 20cm round cake tin
  • Mix all fruit and nuts in bowl with a little of the flour to prevent sticking together
  • Cream the sugar and butter in a  mixer
  • Add zest
  • Add the eggs one at a time – mix well after each addition
  • Add the remaining flour & salt (i always sift my flour when baking)
  • Stir in fruit and nuts, lemon and orange juice and brandy
  • bake for 2 ¾ – 3 hours or until when a skewer is inserted into the cake it comes out clean
  • when cooled turn the cake out and sprinkle with brandy
  • wrap tightly and store in an airtight container until ready to serve
  • I sprinkle on a bit of brandy about every 10 days or so

When I made the cake I had enough ingredients to make another, so I used the same ‘cake part’ ingredients, and then I just added around 200gms of any nut I had plus more raisins and cherries than the recipe called for.  I also used a mix of candied fruit (pear, apricot etc) and it turned out wonderfully and was extremely fruit and nutty.  I loved it!

nice with a few bubbles at brunch

slice of fruit cake

sliced

15

gammon with a mustard and apricot glaze

thick rustic apricot jam and mustard glaze

Take a deboned, smoked gammon and put in a pot. Cover the gammon with beer – about 1.2 litres.  Also add to the pot: a carrot, an onion, a few celery stalks, a few bay leaves, and a few cloves.  Bring it to the boil and then allow to simmer for 55 minutes per kg.

Remove from the stock and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Remove the outer hard skin layer and trim the fat (I take quite a lot off) and then score the fat in diagonal cuts accross the gammon.  Spread about a table spoon or 2 of Dijon mustard (depending how large your gammon) over the fat. Coat the gammon liberally with apricot jam.

Place in a hot oven (200 degrees c) and allow the fat to get rendered down. Turn on the grill and watch while the glaze goes golden brown.  It burns very quickly when the grill is on.

Remove form the oven and either serve straight away if you are wanting it warm or allow to cool and then serve.

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