This chocolate cake with hazelnut ganache & vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream is the cake I am making for a friends wedding this month. I am going to make it big enough to serve 80 people and build two tiers. The bride wanted lemon and raspberry flavour but the groom wanted Nutella involved, so I told them they couldn’t have both. They agreed to settle on the latter and so I conceptualized the cake I would make. Having done a delicious Nutella ganache in my second cookbook sweet, I knew I would modify that for the filling. I also wanted to try the Magnolia Bakery Devils Food cake for the sponge component because it’s a spectacular recipe and I’m a long time fan of this cute and iconic bakery in NYC. And because it’s a wedding and the cake was going to be very rich, I decided on a modified Swiss meringue buttercream to cover the outside. It has a silky smooth texture that is a dream to work with, perfect for a wedding cake and is not cloyingly sweet like a buttercream frosting.

Janse & Co have launched their Spring menu and it is inspired and delicious. They are very particular about sourcing all their ingredients and utilizing them to their full potential. This includes building relationships with their suppliers and supporting local farming practices and small producers. This dialogue and relationship is an important part of the creative process for Arno Janse van Rensburg and his team and it shows on the plate.

Its world Vegan day so I thought I would share my 10 favourite vegan recipes. I’m an omnivore but feel like my soul is vegetarian. I try to eat an abundance of plant-based food and limit my animal protein intake. I also love to create recipes – whether intentionally or by accident that are totally free of animal products. I admire vegans hugely and think its an incredibly noble cause. We should all be very grateful to any human being that is kind to the planet and kind to animals. I plan to make many more vegan recipes as I go. I love working with food in creative and unusual ways and my main aim is to always deliver very delicious recipes. Check these out:

On Sunday I attended the launch lunch at The Kraal restaurant on Joostenberg Wine Estate in the Muldersvlei district of Stellenbosch. Formerly a secluded space on the farm, The Kraal is a beautiful courtyard surrounded by white painted stone walls. This is the venue where slow Sunday lunches will be served to wooden tables set out between the fruit trees overlooking the farm werf and garden. The covered patio provides a welcome respite from the heat where mist sprinklers help cool things down on very hot days.

Cape Town is in the midst of an excruciating week-long heatwave and all I can think about is ice-cream. I can’t face turning on my oven on or standing in front of a hot stove, so I’m taking this time to catch up on all my admin and plan future projects. When its a bazillion degrees outside my mind wonders to ice cream, so I’ve rounded up my 12 favourite recipes on Drizzleanddip. Stay cool friends.

I took over 1000 pictures on my trip to Paris and managed to dwindle them down to about 140. Given the huge volume, I needed to divide them up into 2 posts so that the page wouldn’t take a day to load. Here are a few more of the food side of my trip. You can read about a few of my highlights from my trip and see the other images here.

Earlier this year I won a trip to Amsterdam so decided since I was so close, I would bolt on a week in Paris. I hadn’t been for 11 years so was eager to experience the city of light again but this time through my enhanced foodie filter. On my previous trip, I had done all the serious tourist things so this was more about tasting and shooting some of the delights this culinary hot spot has to offer. I did my usual mass of research beforehand and pre-booked the first 5 nights of my accommodation, but like all travel adventures, you go in with one set of expectations and leave having experienced something slightly different.

On my trip to Paris in May I was lucky to get to stay at Artisan Lofts that hover somewhere between the 2nd, 3rd and the 10th Ar. The properties were recommended by a connection on Twitter who had stayed there before. She raved about the central location and abundance of local food shops, restaurants and bars in the area. After an immediate Google, I discovered these unique spaces that had been upcycled from a former life as either a bakery, art or fashion studio offering guests an authentic Parisian experience. The owners share all their favourite local spots in the area so you can feel immediately at home.

Peppermint crisp pudding is an iconic South African dessert, which incorporates the indigenous Tennis biscuit and a peppermint crisp chocolate bar. It got me wondering if this chocolate was sold anywhere else in the world and why we seem to be the only nationality to have adopted the tart and pudding. I guess others might find the concept of including a brittle mint flavoured sugar concoction extruded in fine hollow tubes and then coated with chocolate a little odd to include in a dessert, but damn we love it over here. The bar itself was invented by Wilson-Rowntree and is now made by Nestle. It’s also sold in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Probably as a result of so many ex-pat South Africans living in all of those countries it warrants enough of a market share. Anyway, I have made a peppermint crisp pudding on my site (I like to add a splash of booze and coffee to combat the clawing sweetness), so I thought Why not make an ice cream.

Two Fridays ago I enjoyed yet another outstanding Chefs Table lunch at the Foodbarn in Noordhoek. To kick off the new season of Friday Chefs Table lunches Franck put together a delectable menu paired with Avondale wines. It was such a treat. He never repeats any of the dishes he makes at these lunches as they are specifically designed to marry with each wine. Franck has a way of matching wines so perfectly to food flavours it’s a privilege to experience.

I had a plethora of fresh tomatoes recently and wanted to make something easy and healthy. I wanted to do something that I hadn’t done on Drizzle & Dip before and this can be challenging. After 8 odd years of blogging I have published well over 1000 posts and probably around 800 recipes (although I have lost count). I decided to make gazpacho. Its raw, vegan and is essentially a blended salad so this dish is winning on all fronts. I also got to use up a load of my tomatoes. I did a Google and came across Omar Allibhoy’s recipe on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube and it seemed the most fuss-free version to go for.

Last week I was privileged to experience a chef’s table lunch at the recently opened Table Seven, a private dining venue housed in the trendy new Salt Orchard Precinct in Salt River. It was a lunch to remember. After years of experience working in various kitchens all over the world, husband and wife team Luke and Katie Wonnacott decided to open their own place, and so Table Seven was born. A multi-purpose venue with a gorgeous open plan kitchen where diners can see the chefs in action. This space is also ideal for cooking demonstrations.