Last year I was blessed beyond to work on two projects for the awe-inspiring guest lodge Angama Mara in Kenya. Perched on top of the most beautiful escarpment on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, overlooking the Masaai Mara Game Reserve sits this exquisite property. It also happens to be the spot where a few scenes from the film Out of Africa where shot. I first visited the lodge to shoot their menu for marketing purposes and generally to get a sense of the place. The second time I visited was to shoot the food for their cookbook – ‘Out of an African Kitchen’ which has just launched. It’s a lovely book that tells their story from the point of view of their food and their chefs.
Written by Nicky Fitzgerald, the founder and owner of the lodge, the book is divided into 12 chapters that cover each corner of the Lodge and guest experiences as well as three chapters that are a nod to the Swahili, Indian and Mediterranean influences in their food. The food was shot in 7 different locations on the property and then at my studio in Cape Town.
Amanda Collins who is a consultant chef and trainer to Angama oversaw the preparation of all the dishes and I could not have dreamed up a better partner for the job. We set up a picnic scene in the Serengeti under a Balanite tree and up on the Out of Africa kopje and took dishes into the beautiful Angama Shamba (meaning garden in Swahili). 5 of the lodges best-loved dishes were shot in the lodge itself and then we captured the essence of the Maasai Boma sunset and the Forest Barbeque experience.
The book is a quirky anthology of recipes, stories and anecdotes of the lodge which has just celebrated its 5-year anniversary. It’s available throughout South Africa in all good book shops and online.
Having the opportunity to work on such a personal project for the nicest client was a dream come true and I’m so proud to be associate with this colourful and happy book. These cheesy brioche rolls are one of my favourite recipes and I daydream about regularly. On the day I left the lodge, the pastry chef Kina slipped me a couple to take for my journey and I nearly wept with joy.
The recipe hails from Chef Graeme from the UK who worked with Nicky when she was at The Bay Hotel in Cape Town 1989.
This recipe makes 36 cheesy brioche rolls but the recipe could easily be halved.Print
Cheesy brioche rolls from Angama Mara
The most delicious cheesy brioche rolls from the kitchen of Angama Mara in the Masaai Mara in Kenya.
¾ cup flour
4 tsp dried yeast
½ cup lukewarm water
4 cups flour
3 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
8 large eggs
500g butter, melted but not separated
300g strong cheddar, grated
Mix together ¾ cup flour, yeast and lukewarm water and allow to rise for 3 hours. Place dough in a mixer fitted with a dough hook and on a medium setting add 4 cups flour, salt and sugar and mix for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer up by one setting and add eggs one by one. Then add melted butter. Once incorporated add grated cheese. Cover and place into the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours or a maximum of 4 days.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Oil two muffin baking trays. Portion dough into golf-ball sized balls, cover and prove until doubled in size. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and crispy, turning halfway.
(reserve some of the dough to make the iconic brioche bobble tops)
Keywords: brioche. rolls, cheesy, best
Watch out for more recipe features from the cookbook coming up soon
Click here to see more of my pictures from Angama Mara
For more about Angama Mara
More about the cookbook Out of and African Kitchen
The image of the lodge at sunrise is shot by Dook
The pic of the chefs was shot by Adam Bannister
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