Thursday, 24 March 2011

Hearty Chorizo and Chickpea Stew


1/4 cup olive oil
250g chorizo cut into large pieces
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp paprika
3 tins chickpeas - drained and rinsed
1 x 420g tin chopped tomatoes
A few basil leaves - torn into pieces
1 L stock (can be anything - veggie, chicken or beef)
Salt and Pepper
4 cups shredded spinach or kale


Heat oil and fry the chorizo.
Add the onions, garlic and paprika and fry for a few minutes.
Add the chickpeas and stir making sure the chickpeas are coated with the oil.
Add everything else except the spinach.
Bring to the boil the reduce heat and let the stew simmer for 30 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Add the spinach and cover the pot for a few minutes so that the spinach can wilt. Stir through the stew.

Serves 6

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Easy Crusty Bread

I made this bread yesterday and thought we'd eat it with the pot roast I made and of course take pictures.  Uhm - didn't get that far.  Both loaves were plundered before the food was cooked. Needless to say I had to bake again this morning to get this pic. This recipe is dead easy but takes patience to let the dough rise properly. The 1st rise is 1 1/2 hours but the second rise is only about 20 minutes. Don't rush it.


4 cups flour (I used bread flour but have also used cake flour) plus extra for kneading.
1 Tbsp instant dry yeast
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp oil
2 1/2 cups warm water


Preheat oven to 240C
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix through.
Mix the water and oil together and add to the dry ingredients while mixing with a wooden spoon.  You want a soft pliable dough so add more water if required. (a good rule of thumb is when you're adding the water and mixing with a wooden spoon, the dough is soft enough when it starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl and forming a ball)
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead the dough with the heel of your hand until the dough is smooth and elastic (don't go mad and over-knead it). Form into a ball.

Place the ball into an oiled bowl and roll the dough over until it's covered with the oil.
Put a dish cloth over the bowl and leave the dough to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Gently punch down and remove dough from the bowl.
Cut into 2 equal pieces.  Shape into loaves.  (any shape you like - short and fat or long and thin).
Place on a greased baking tray.
Cover with a dish cloth and leave to rise for another 20 minutes.
Cut slashes into the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
Spray or sprinkle water on the loaves. (this will cause the bread to be crusty)
Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 200C and bake for another 10 minutes. (At this point I throw a cup of water into the bottom of my oven).
Remove and cool on a rack.

Makes 2 loaves.

Lamb Shanks


4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic - crushed and finely chopped
6 lamb shanks
1 bottle dry white wine

4 tablespoons of olive oil

3 large onions - chopped
3 cloves of minced garlic 

4 large carrots - chopped
3 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only)

1 liter beef stock
Salt and Pepper to taste.


Mix the wine, garlic, rosemary and bay leaves to make a marinade.  Place the lamb shanks in a large flat dish and pour the marinade over.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (the longer the better).

Preheat oven at 180C (350F). Remove the lamb from the marinade. Shake to get off as much of the marinade as possible and then pat dry with kitchen towel.
In a cast iron pot (dutch oven) heat the oil and brown the lamb shanks in batches.  Set aside.
Add the onions, garlic and carrots to the oil and fry until the onions are golden brown.
Return the lamb to the pot. Strain the marinade and add to the pot along with the remaining ingredients.
Cover the pot and place in the oven.
Cook for 2 1/2 hours  until the lamb is very tender.
Take a look occasionally and if the liquid is drying out, add hot water.
Serves 6

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Mieliemeel Bread (Corn Bread - Pao de Milho)


1 cup Mielie Meel (Polenta, grits)
3 cups flour
1 x 10g instant dry yeast (that's 1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp salt
50g butter
250ml milk
2 eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil


Preheat oven at 220C
In a large bowl mix the the dry ingredients together and stir well.
Warm the milk and butter until butter is just melted. (don't boil). Add the oil.  Allow to cool for 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix to form dough.
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a dish cloth or plastic wrap.
Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
Punch down and form into a ball. (you can make smaller loaves or rolls at this point)
Place onto an oiled baking tray and allow to rise again until doubled in size - about an hour. (I used a cast iron pot - a dutch oven)
Bake for 35 minutes at 220C, lower the heat to 200C and bake for a further 15 minutes.
Cool on a rack.

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Spinach Soup)

Nothing says Portugal like Caldo Verde. This is a simple but delicious soup.


4 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions very finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
250g chorizo sausages cut into rounds
6 large potatoes cut into quarters
8 cups water
2 tsp salt
500g kale spinach finely shredded


In a large pot heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent.
Add the chorizo and fry for 2 minutes.
Add the potatoes and stir so that the potatoes are coated with the oils
Add the water  and salt and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and cook until the potatoes are soft.
Once the potatoes are cooked through and soft, remove the potatoes and mash them until there are no lumps and return to the pot.
Add the spinach and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serve with crusty rolls or bread.

Serves 6 to 8

Friday, 11 March 2011

Chocolate Brownies

These are rich and gooey and sinful.


125g butter
100g dark chocolate
1 cup castor sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup self-raising flour
3/4 cup walnuts or pecan nuts, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 180C
Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water.
Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy
Sift in the flour and cocoa and mix well.
Add the chocolate and butter mixture.
Add the nuts.
Pour into a 20cm square oven dish
Bake for 30 minutes until top starts to crack
Cool in the dish
Cut into squares.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Chocolate Truffles


300g Chocolate broken into small pieces (you can use the chocolate you prefer, but make sure it's a good quality chocolate.)
1 1/4 cup cream (creme fraiche is really good for this recipe)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp of your favourite booze (optional)
200g cocoa powder.


Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl.
Heat 1 cup of the cream until it comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Remember the smaller the pieces of chocolate, the quicker they will melt.
Heat the remaining 1/4 cup cream and butter. Stir until the butter and cream combine.
Add to the chocolate and stir well.
Add the booze and stir well again until the chocolate is shiny.
Cover with cling film and place in the fridge until the chocolate is set.
Put the cocoa powder into a bowl and some into your hands.
Using a teaspoon (if you have a melon baller use it), scoop the truffle mixture into your hands and roll the truffle mixture into balls.
Roll in the bowl of chocolate powder. Dust off excess.

Work quickly as the chocolate melts really quickly.  If need be, return the truffle mixture to the fridge and then continue.

Makes about 50 truffles.

TIP: If you want a hard outer casing, melt more chocolate in a bowl over water and dip the truffles into the melted chocolate before rolling in the cocoa powder.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Chocolate Cheesecake


1 1/2 packs chocolate wafers
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
220g dark chocolate (70%)
2 tubs full fat cream cheese (220g)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
4 Tbsp cocao powder (unsweetened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
500ml sour cream
4 Tbsp Amarula cream (Cape Velvet or Baileys Irish Cream works just as well)


Crush the wafers with a rolling pin add the sugar and melted butter and mix well.
Press mixture carefully onto sides and bottom of a 23cm springform pan. Chill in the fridge.
Cream sugar and cheese.
Add eggs one at a time and mix until very smooth.
Melt chocolate in a glass bowl over hot water. Add to cheese mixture and mix well.
Add vanilla, cocoa, sour cream, and Amarula and mix well.
Pour into prepared pan and bake at 180C for 45 minutes.
Cool thoroughly in pan, then chill In the fridge.

Chocolate Ganache Topping:

200g Chocolate broken into pieces
3/4 cup cream

Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl.
Heat the cream until it comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy.
Allow ganache to cool before pouring on cheesecake.

Chill cake for a least 6 hours. Decorate with chocolate shavings.
Serves 12

Smoked Snoek Paté

One of my Facebook friends, Dawn Henderson-Stewart, asked for an authentic South African recipe and I can think of nothing more authentic than snoek paté.  If you don't have snoek you can use any smoked fish - mackerel or angel fish make good substitutes.


300g smoked snoek deboned and flaked
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp dill, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped green onion (scallion)
1 tub cream cheese
1/2 tsp tomato sauce (ketchup)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
A dash of hot sauce (Tabasco)
salt and pepper to taste.


Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz for about 2 minutes until all the ingredients are combined and have formed a smooth paste.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve with melba toast or whole wheat bread.

Chicken Caesar Salad

Cobus loves Caesar salad and I make this quite often. I am including the recipe for the salad dressing, but to my shame I have to admit that, being the sloth I am, I use Ina Paarman's Caesar salad dressing.


4 skinless chicken breasts - cooked ( I fry mine in a little oil with a bit of salt and paprika)
1 packet lettuce - torn ( again, use what you like or what you have handy)
250g cooked crispy bacon
1 cup croutons. (don't have these? cut up slices of white bread into blocks and fry for a few seconds in hot oil)
1 Avocado sliced into squares
Parmesan shavings

Ok.... now for the salad dressing.  I know that it's supposed to have coddled egg yolk (yeah, you read right and life's too short to coddle an egg yolk) etc etc, but I found this recipe for Caesar dressing ages ago and it's really lekker (yummy).


2 Tbsp mayonnaise (lite works just as well)
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 clove of mined or finely grated Garlic
2 Tbsp Fresh grated parmesan chees
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
11/2 Tbsp anchovy paste (fish paste)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Whisk together everything except the olive oil. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil whilst whisking.

Assembling the Salad:

Put some of the dressing in the bottom of a salad bowl (as much or as little as you like). Coat all the ingredients. Serve with Parmesan shavings and extra dressing.

Ricotta and Spinach Puffs

These are super as canapes. 


2 Packets of rolled puff pastry
500g fresh spinach - chopped
1 Tbsp salt
500g pound ricotta
2 eggs (one for the filling and one for egg-washing)
2 Tbsp cream
4 Tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pinch black pepper


Preheat oven to 18C
Cut the puff pastry into largish squares.
Beat 1 egg in a small bowl and brush the edges of the pastry.
Plunge the spinach into boiling water and leave for 2 minutes. Remove and plunge into a bowl of ice water.
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients.
Place the mixture on one half of the pastry and fold the pastry into rectangles. Press the party sides together to make sure that the triangles are well sealed.
Brush the top of the triangles with the remaining egg wash.
Bake in preheated 180C oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden.

Spinach and Raspberry Salad

This must be without a doubt my favourite salad.  It's tart, sweet, crunchy - all the things you want. I make a white vinagrette for this salad.

Ingredients - White Vinaigrette:

2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 bruised clove garlic

Whisk together until emulsified. Remove the garlic clove.

Ingredients - Salad:

1 Packet spinach leaves.
1 Punnet raspberries
A handful chopped walnuts
1 cup blue cheese - broken into pieces
4 preserved green figs cut into small pieces


Toss together in a large salad bowl.
Drizzle with vinaigrette

Tip:  If I'm going to serve the salad immediately, I toss the spinach leaves in the vinaigrette and then all all the other ingredients.  Sometimes I just coat the spinach with the vinaigrette and keep all the other ingredients separate and assemble the salad on individual plates. In that way, if I have left over ingredients, they don't go to waste.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Creme Brulee


8 egg yolks
1 cup castor sugar
2 tsp vamilla extract
750ml cream
250ml milk
1/4 cup brown sugar. (demerara)


Place the egg yolks and castor sugar in a bowl and add the vanilla and whisk.
Stir in the cream and milk.
Pass the mix through a sieve and divide between six small ramekins. (I sieve it into jug so that I can easily pour the mixture)
Place in a pre-heated 140C oven in a bain marie of hot water (a oven dish with water that comes half way up the sides of the ramekins) and cook for about 1½ - 2 hours until set on the top.
Remove from the oven and cool.
Place in the fridge until set (about an hour).
Sprinkle the surface with the brown sugar and place under the grill until golden brown. (If you're one of those people who has all the gadgets, use a blow torch to caramelise the sugar)

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Trinchado (Beef Cubes in a Red Wine Sauce)


50ml Worcester sauce
1 cup red wine
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon peri peri
3 small red chillies chopped with the seeds
Butter and oil for frying
1 kg rump steak cubed
3 tablespoons flour
1 large onion finely chopped
1/2 cup of beef stock.
Black olives


Make a marinade with the Worcester Sauce, red wine, garlic, bay leaf, salt, pepper, paprika, peri peri and chillies.
Put the beef into a big zip lock plastic bag and pour in the marinade.
Place the bag in the fridge for a few hours - overnight is ideal but if you're like me and only think of tonight's supper today, marinade for about 4 hours.
Remove the beef cubes into a colander and leave to drain.  Pat the beef dry with kitchen paper towel.  (You are going to fry the beef and you don't want it to stew)
Heat the butter and oil in a large pot until really hot.
Fry the beef cubes in batches for a few minutes until brown.  Set the beef aside in a dish.
Add the onion to the pot and brown.
Add the beef stock.
Strain the marinade and stir in the flour.  ( I use a whisk)
Add the marinade to the pot and stir so that you don't get lumps.
Add water to make a good amount of sauce. (This is not a thick sauce by any means)
Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes. Keep adding water if it gets too thick.
Remove the pot from the stove and return the meat cubes and any juices to the pot.
Coat the beef with the sauce.
Toss in a few black olives - nice but not essential.
Serve in a bowl with lots of sauce and crusty Portuguese bread.

I like really hot and spicy Trinchado, but if you're not into very hot food, remove the seeds from the chillies and leave out the peri peri.

Beef Stroganoff

I like this recipe cos it's great in summer or winter.  The cool thing about this recipe is that you can have it with pasta, rice or just on a crusty roll and rocket leaves.


2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 kg sirloin steak cut into thin strips
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
1 small onion, grated
250g sliced portabellini mushrooms ( I like these but you can use the ones you like)
1 cup beef stock
1/3 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp chopped parsley


In a large pan heat the olive oil and butter.
Pat sliced meat dry.
Mix the flour and paprika in a plastic bag.
Season the meat with salt and pepper and coat in flour/paprika mix.
Shake off excess then add to very hot pan.
Add the grated onion and mushrooms.
Cook meat 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally.
Add stock to pan and stir while cooking until the sauce is thickened.  A minute or two.
Stir in sour cream and lemon juice.
Check the seasoning and adjust to your taste. ( I like adding quite a lot of black pepper at this stage.)
Add the parsley
Remove from heat.

Serves 4-6

Saturday, 5 March 2011


Shortbread makes the best gift.  Put them in a clear cellophane bag with a ribbon and give them as gifts.  People really appreciate the effort and of course - it's completely yummy!


250g butter softened (not melted)
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups plain cake flour ( not self raising)
Castor sugar to sprinkle on top.


Preheat oven to 160C
Cream the butter and the sugar until pale.  Sift in the flour and mix to make a pasty dough.  Put the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 3 minutes.
Put the dough into a rectangular baking tin and press with down with your fingers until level.
Using a knife, cut into rectangles but making sure you don't cut all the way through.
Prick all the rectangles top with a fork.
Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The shortbread will be a golden colour.
Sprinkle with castor sugar while the shortbread is still hot.
Cool in the tin.  Break rectangles apart.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Lamb and Tomato Stew (Tamatie Bredie)


2 tbsp olive oil
1 kg lamb neck
1 cup red wine
2 springs of Rosemary
2 onions chopped
2 carrots roughly chopped
2 stalk of celery roughly
2 tsp minced garlic
2 whole cloves
2 x 410g tins whole peeled chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped fresh chili
2 tsp sugar
Salt and Pepper to your taste
5 large potatoes cut in quarters


Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the lamb cubes, wine and rosemary in a bowl marinade for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 180C

On the stove top, in a large oven proof pot ( I use a cast iron pot), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until smoking and brown lamb in batches. Set aside.

Discard all the fat except 2 tablespoons in the pot. Fry the chopped onions until golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients.  Strain the marinade through a sieve and add to the pot. Return the lamb and any juices to the pot.

Cover the pot with a tight lid. Place the pot in the oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours.  Check and adjust the seasoning. Add the potatoes. Return the pot to the oven and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

Serves 6

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Chicken Burger Patties


2 tsp olive oil
1 cup diced green peppers
1/2 cup diced onion
500g minced chicken
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp sage
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg


Heat the oil in a small pan and sweat off the onions and peppers until soft.
In a large bowl mix the chicken mince, Onions, peppers and the remaining igredients.
Shape the mixture into 6 patties.
Spray a griddle pan with cooking spray and grill the burgers.

Serves 6

Berry Smoothie

A great way to start your day and kick start that metabolism.


2 cups orange juice

1 cup fat free vanilla yogurt
2 small ripe bananas
1 cup mixed berries, fresh or frozen. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries.

Blend together and enjoy. Makes 4

Healthy Lemon Chicken

So many people have been asking me for healthy low fat and low carb recipes.  This one is light and fresh and really yummy.  Healthy doesn't mean tasteless.


4 Skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped


Remove any visible fat from chicken.
Combine the basil, parsely, lemon juice, oil and garlic in a bowl and stir well.
Place the chicken and the sauce in a blastic bag and marinate for an hour in the fridge.
Spray a pan with cooking spray and on high heat brown the chicken on both sides.
Reduce the heat and cook chicken for 15 minutes or until juices run clear. Use the sauce to keep basting the chicken.
Remove the chicken from the pan.
Serves 4

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Chocolate Eclairs

Choux Pastry:

1 cup Water
8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
Pinch of Salt
1 Cup Cake Flour (not self raising)
4 large Eggs


In a pot, mix water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil.
Once butter has completely melted, take off flame, and slowly pour in flour, stirring constantly.
Put pot back on flame and continue to work it with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring until the dough comes away from the sides of the pot.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, stirring energetically.
Place teaspoonfuls of the pastry onto baking sheet making sure they are well spaced well-spaced.
Bake for 10 minutes in a 220C oven. Then turn oven down to 180C and bake another 10-12 minutes with the oven door open.
Cool on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before filling

Cream Filling:

500ml Fresh Cream (heavy cream for my US friends)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract. 

Whip together until stiff

Chocolate Ganache Topping:

200g Chocolate broken into pieces
3/4 cup cream

Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl.
Heat the cream until it comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy.
Allow ganache to cool before pouring over eclairs.


Once the choux pastry buns are completely cold, fill them with the cream and pour the chocolate ganache on top.

TIP: You can add bananas and top with caramel.  You can also fill with custard instead of the cream and top with the ganache.

Broas de Manteiga (Butter Biscuits)

These biscuits are synonymous with Madeira.  When I was a child my mother always had these at the ready for visitors to serve with coffee. Beware - They are addictive. My friend Mark van Niekerk asked for the recipe.


500g self raising flour
450g sugar
250g butter
2 eggs


Mix all the ingredients together to make a stiff dough. Roll into small balls (the size a walnut).  Place on a greased baking try and bake in a preheated 180C oven for 20 minutes.  Place on a cooling rack.

Store in airtight containers.  They will last for weeks.

Makes- A lot

TIP: Add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Banana Carrot and Walnut Muffins


3 medium carrots
2 medium very ripe bananas
60g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg at room temperature
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin with butter or spray with Spray and Cook.
Grate carrots and set aside.
Mash bananas with fork and set aside.

In mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
Add egg and beat well.
Stir in the bananas.
In small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda.
Add flour mixture to banana mixture. Do not overmix!
Add carrots, vanilla and nuts and combine carefully.
Spoon mixture into the muffin pan, dividing equally so that your muffins are all the same size.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
Makes 12

Seafood Paella

I am not Spanish so apologies to my Spanish friends if this doesn't seem authentic.  This is how I make it and it always goes down a treat.  This recipe feeds a lot of people so if need be, you can reduce the quantities.  I make this when we have a large family gathering.


6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10 pieces of chicken on the bone cut in 2
500g frozen seafood mix, defrosted and cleaned
250g calamari rings
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
2 red peppers deseeded and chopped (bell peppers)
2 tsp paprika
1 tin peeled chopped tomatoes
3 chorizo sausages cut into rings
A few strands of saffron soaked in a little hot water (you can use turmeric)
250ml dry white wine
4 cups of short grain rice (you can use arborio, I just use normal Tastic rice)
2L hot chicken stock
250g frozen peas
20 mussels in the shell  (cleaned and beards removed)
20 prawns in the shell, deveined and cleaned
1 tin red peppers, cut into strips
20 calamata olives.
20 lemon wedges


In a large flat pan (preferably a paella pan) heat the oil and fry the chicken until golden brown.  Do this in batches. Remove and set aside.
Add the seafood mix and fry for 2 minutes, remove and set aside.
Add the calamari rings and fry for a minute or 2, remove and set aside.
Add the chorizo slices and fry for a few minutes to release the oils, remove and set aside.
Add the onions, garlic, peppers and paprika, fry until onions are soft.
Add the tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated
Add the rice and stir making sure all the rice is well coated with the oils from the pan.
Add the chicken pieces and chorizo.
Combine the saffron, white wine and chicken stock, lower the heat and cook for 40 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Add the seafood mix, peas, prawns, calamari rings and mussels. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed. (DO NOT STIR)
Decorate with strips of tinned red peppers, olives and lemon wedges.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Vanilla Cake with Butter Icing

When making cakes, I always use real butter.  It gives the cake a wonderful taste and moisture.


1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
125g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup full cream milk


Heat the oven to 200C (400F). Lightly coat a 20cm (8") cake pan with butter and dust with flour.
Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
Beat in the butter one heaping 1/4 teaspoonful at a time, using an electric mixer set on low speed, until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
Beat in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles fine damp sand.
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Add the vanilla and milk, and beat on medium-high, just until blended. Do not overbeat.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean — 30 to 35 minutes.
Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Un-mold and cool completely.
Cut horizontally into two halves
With a palette knife, smear butter icing onto one half and  then sandwich the two halves together
Decorate the top and sides with remaining butter icing.

Butter Icing


120g butter
300g icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence


Sieve icing sugar to break lumps.

In a separate bowl, cream butter till soft. Add icing sugar, a little at a time, beating continuously. Add vanilla and continue beating until icing is creamy and fluffy.


Chocolate butter icing:
Add 3 – 4 tsp of sifted cocoa powder to the icing above and beat until the cocoa powder is well blended in the icing.

Coffee butter icing:
Prepare the butter icing as above, but omit vanilla essence. Instead, add 1 tsp of instant coffee powder diluted in ¼ tsp water into the icing. Beat well.

Mocha butter icing:
Add 4 tsp of sifted cocoa powder into the coffee butter cream above. Beat well.

Prawn Risotto

My friend Errolene asked me to post a recipe for seafood Risotto, so here goes.


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 knobs of butter
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
half an onion, finely chopped
small glass of white wine
2 cups stock, gently simmering in a pot ( I use - 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup of the liquid from the cooked prawns)
10 cooked tiger prawns
50g frozen peas
2 green onions, finely chopped  (scallions for my US friend)
4 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper


Heat the olive oil and 1 knob of butter in a large pan. Gently fry the garlic and onion over a medium heat, until the onion is softened and translucent.
Add the rice and coat with the olive oil, garlic and onion mix. Cook for 2 minutes.
Pour in the white wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Once absorbed, add a ladle of the simmering stock and cook until absorbed. Continue until all of the stock is absorbed. Stir in the remaining butter, the Parmesan cheese, prawns, green onions and peas and seasoning. Cook gently for another 3 minutes to warm the prawns and cook the peas.
Serves 2.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Creme Caramel

When I was growing up, there always seemed to be enormous competition amongst the Portuguese ladies to see who could come up with the perfect Creme Caramel.  Don't ask me what that was all about, but seems like that's the yard stick to deciding who is the perfect housewife.  This is my version, I bastardized my mother's recipe cos she makes it way too sweet.


1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup cold water
250ml cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks


Combine 3/4 cup of the sugar and the water in a pot and cook whilst on low heat. When the sugar has melted, increase the heat until the syrup boils and turns golden in colour. (Take care that the sugar doesn't burn). Pour into an ovenproof ceramic dish and set aside to cool.

Combine the cream, milk and vanilla in a pot and heat through.  (just warmed, not hot) Remove the pot from the stove and set aside for 5 minutes.  Beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until frothy and the mixture is almost white. Add the cream mixture to the eggs and whisk well, pour back into the pot. Return to the stove and heat through (do not boil, cook or allow to thicken) while stirring. As soon as you see little bubbles forming on the side of the pot, remove from the heat. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into the dish of sugar caramel.

Place the ceramic dish into a large oven baking dish and place in the oven. Pour hot water into the oven dish until it comes half way up the side of the ceramic dish.  (This called a Bain Marie)

Place into a preheated 180C (350F) oven and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool and refrigerate until totally cold. Carefully turn into a serving dish - Enjoy

Serves 6

Fried Chicken

Is there anything better than fried chicken?  It's the ultimate in comfort food.


500ml buttermilk
A dash of Worcester sauce
A few drops of hot sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt

8 pieces of chicken
2 cups of flour
2 Tbsp chicken stock powder
2 tsp lemon pepper
2 tsp paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili (or peri-peri)
2 eggs beaten
Oil for frying


Mix the buttermilk, garlic powder, Worcester sauce, hot sauce and salt. Pour into a large zip lock plastic bag and put the chicken pieces into the bag. Shake the bag to cover the chicken and place in the fridge for 4 hours to marinate.

In 2 separate plastic bags - divide all the dry ingredients equally.

Beat the eggs in a bowl

Heat the oil.

Remove the chicken fro the marinade. Put the chicken pieces in the 1st bag and coat (I just shake the bag). Put the chicken in the beaten egg and then into the second bag of flour mix. Carefully drop into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.  Remove and drain on paper towels on a cooling rack.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Banana Bread


4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of cake flour


With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last and mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 10 x 20cm loaf pan.
Place in preheated 180C oven. Bake for 1 hour.  Cool on a rack.  Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Spaghetti Carbonara


1 packet streaky bacon
2 cloves freshly chopped garlic
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
500g spaghetti, cooked al dente
salt and pepper to taste.

In a large pot, fry the bacon strips until crispy, remove from the pan and place on paper towels.  Break the bacon in pieces.  Drain the bacon grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons in pot. Add the garlic and lightly fry. return. to the pot. Turn off the heat.

While the bacon is frying - in a separate pot, cook your pasta as per packet instructions and drain. Add the pasta to the bacon and stir to coat the pasta. remove the pot from the stove and swirl in the eggs and cheese. Make sure the eggs and cheese coat the pasta. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Enjoy.  Serves 4-6

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Blueberry Muffins


2 cups self raising flour , sifted
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
125g melted butter, cooled
3/4 cup milk
1 cup blueberries


Sift the flour and add the sugar.  Mix well. In a bowl combine the egg, butter and milk.  Add to dry ingredients. Add the blueberries and gently fold into the mixture.

Line a muffin pan with muffin paper cups and fill 3/4 way with the mixture.  Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 25 minutes.

Makes 6

TIP:  Use an ice cream scoop to fill the cups, this ensures all your muffins are the same size.

Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise is yummy with poached eggs, fish, asparagus etc. I put a little cream into my hollandaise and find that it comes our a lot smoother and doesn't tend to split.


110g butter
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp cream
a pinch sugar
a pinch of salt


In a glass bowl, whisk all the ingredients together.  Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water and whisk continuously until the sauce is thick and shiny.  

TIP: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Penne With Bacon And Creamy Tomato Sauce

I invented this recipe in a hurry when we got unexpected guests for dinner.  The cupboards were a bit bare cos I'd not been shopping and it turned out to be awesome.  Necessity being the mother of invention and all that.


1 tbsp olive oil
1 500g packet streaky bacon, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 x 410g tins tomato puree
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup cream
2 fresh tomatoes skinned, de-seeded and cut into strips.
Grated pecorino cheese.
Freshly milled black pepper.

Chopped fresh basil.

500g  Penne Rigate


In a pot, heat the oil and fry the bacon and onions.  Add the mustard, bay leaves, salt and sugar and cook for a few minutes. Add the wine and tomato puree cover the pot and simmer the sauce  for 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer for a further 15 minutes.  Add the cream and remove from the heat.

Cook the Penne Rigate as per packet instructions. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir through ensuring the pasta is well coated with the sauce.  Add the fresh tomato strips.  Serve immediately sprinkled with pecorino cheese, black pepper and fresh basil. 

Serves 6

Apple Tarte Tartin

I saw Gordon Ramsay at the Good Food and Wine Show in Cape Town last year and he made this Tarte Tartin.  I rushed home and tried it and it was incredible.  So, thanks Gordon for the recipe.


4 Pink Lady or Granny Smith apples
1 pkt of puff pastry
50g unsalted butter
50g castor sugar
5 cardamom pods, crushed


Peel and quarter the apples and set aside to dry out for about 2 hours.  The apples are going to turn brown, but don't worry about it cos they'll be fine after cooking.

In a 20cm shallow pan, press the butter into the bottom and sprinkle the sugar on top. Add the cardamom pods and then arrange the apple quarters on top.  Cut the puff pastry into a circle of about 24cm (larger than the circumference of the pan)  Place the pastry on top of the apples and tuck the edges of the pastry under the apples. Cut a small hole in the top of the pastry.

Put the pan onto the stove at high heat.  Cook on the stove top for about 10 minutes until the sugar has caramelized. Place in a reheated 200C oven and bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is very crispy. Allow to cool and turn over onto a serving plate.  ( be careful, it can be quite tricky) Remove the cardamom pods and serve with ice cream.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Yummy Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Ok, this vinaigrette is yummy enough to drink.  Come to think of it, my son Bradley's girlfriend Noellene has done so.  You can double and triple this recipe.  It will keep in the fridge for ages.


3Tbsp Extra Virgin Oil
1 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 clove of garlic (lightly bruised)
1 Tbsp good Balsamic Vinegar


Whisk the oil, mustard sugar, salt and garlic together.  Add the balsamic vinegar and whisk together well to make an emulsion.

Chicken Pie

I don't add salt to this recipe because it already has stock and Worcester sauce.  You can taste it as you go and adjust the seasoning.


1 Roll of puff pastry
4 Tbsp butter
250g sliced white mushrooms
1 onion finely chopped
1 small carrot chopped
2 sticks of celery chopped
1 green pepper (bell pepper)
1 clove of garlic
4 Tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup dry white white
a dash of Worcester sauce
1 cup fresh cream
white pepper to taste
3 cups cooked chicken chopped in medium chunks
1 tsp fresh tarragon finely chopped
1 tsp fresh parsley finely chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas

1 egg beaten (for egg washing the pastry)


In a large pot on high heat melt the butter and fry the mushrooms.  Remove the mushrooms and set aside.  Reduce the heat to medium.

Add the onions, carrots, celery and green pepper to the butter and sweat off.  Add the flour and and stir through.  Slowly add the chicken stock and keep stirring while the sauce thickens.  Add the mustard, white whine, Worcester sauce, pepper and fresh cream.  Allow this to cook for 5 minutes and keep stirring.

Add the cooked chicken, mushrooms, tarragon, parsley and peas.  Heat through and simmer on very low heat for 20 minutes.  Keep checking to make sure that the sauce does not burn.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Roll out the puff pastry.  Once the chicken filling is cool, pour into a large flat bowl, or into into individual pots. Cover with the puff pastry and using a knife make a hole in top of the pastry. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg.  Place into fridge for 10 minutes.  (This allows the pastry to rest and will prevent shrinking)

Bake in a preheated 200C oven for 40 minutes or until the top is golden. - Serves 6 to 8

Monday, 21 February 2011

Malasadas (Portuguese Donuts)

Malasadas are Portuguese donuts.  My mother makes these and she puts sugar and syrup on them.  A total treat.


1 1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
125g butter
6 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 package dry yeast
6 cups flour
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Castor sugar for coating


Heat 1 cup of milk in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir in the sugar, salt and butter and remove from the heat. Remove from the heat and sprinkle on the yeast.  Let stand for 5 minutes to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the milk mixture with the beaten eggs.

In another bowl mix the instant yeast in to the flour. Gradually add the flour/yeast mix into the egg mix and beat until stiff.  Move the dough to a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic.  Form dough into a ball and place in bowl coated with oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it is double in size, approximately 2 hours.

In a deep pot, heat the oil to medium heat.  Break off golf ball sized pieces of the dough, stretch to a round shape and fry in batches the hot oil until golden brown.  Drain the Fried malasadas on paper towels and sprinkle with castor sugar.

Makes 3 dozen.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Pasteies de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tartlets)

Anyone that has been to Portugal will know that these tarts are the best thing about the trip. I love these tarts.  They seriously are the best thing that you can give me and I never tire of them. 


1 roll of puff pastry thawed
1 cup of fresh cream
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch (Maizena)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 egg yolks


Roll out the pastry to be quite thin and cut into 12 circles to line a muffin pan.

Whisk the cream, milk, sugar and cornflour together in a pot. Place the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Whisk the mixture until it's cooled down but not cold  (you are going to be adding the egg yolks and if the mixture is too hot, you'll get scrambled eggs.)  Whisk in one egg yolk at at a time.  Return the mixture to the stove and cook whilst stirring continuously for another 5 minutes.

Fill the pastry cases 3/4 full and place in a preheated 200C oven.  Bake for 20 minutes.  The top of the tart should look like it's burnt.  Remove from the muffin pan once the tarts are cool enough to handle and place on a cooling rack.  These tarts are eaten cold or warm.

Makes 12

Beef Stew

I must say that I am not a huge fan of stew, but my family loves it and could eat it everyday.  This a a lovely rich beef stew that's the ultimate in comfort food.


60ml Oil
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 kg beef cubed

3 onions finely sliced
2 cloves garlic chopped
4 large carrots chopped
4 celery stalks chopped

4 large potatoes cubed
350ml beef stock
1 cup red wine
10 baby onion (the pickling kind)


Combine the flour, salt and black pepper and coat the beef cubes.  (I find it best to throw the flour and seasoning into a bag and put the beef cubes into the bag and just give it a good shake.)

Heat the oil and brown the meat. Do this in batches otherwise the heat will reduce and you'll have the beef boiling rather than browning.  Set the beef aside.

Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery and fry for about 3 minutes. Add the stock and red wine and beef to the pot and bring to the boil.  Cover the pot and reduce to a low heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Add the baby onions and simmer for a further 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook uncovered for another 30 minutes.  This will thicken the stew.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs

These meatballs are really good and can be eaten without the sauce.

Ingredients (Meatballs):

500g lean beef mince
500g pork mince
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 tbs freshly chopped parsley
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp salt
black pepper
Olive Oil for frying

Ingredients (Sauce):

2 (420g) cans whole peeled chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves chopped
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
Fresh Black Pepper

Method: (Meatballs)

In a pan fry the onions and garlic until translucent and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl mix all the ingredients including the cooled onion and garlic.
Roll the mixture into balls - the size of a golf ball is a good size
Heat the olive oil and fry the meatballs until brown and the juices run clear.

Method: (Sauce)

In a pot add all the ingredients and  bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

When the sauce is cooked, add the meatballs to the sauce and serve with spaghetti.

Alfredo Pasta Sauce

I have tried many versions of Alfredo sauce, but this one is the best I've had.  You can leave out the ham if you want.

4 tbsp salted butter
1/2 cup ham
250ml fresh cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh black pepper to taste


In a large pan, melt the butter and lightly fry the ham.  Add the cream and Parmesan cooking gently and stirring continuously.  Do not allow the sauce to boil as this may cause the cream to split.  Cook for 10 minutes remove from the heat and serve with fettuccine.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Chicken In White Wine Cream Sauce


4 large skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 small finely chopped white onion
1 crushed clove garlic
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 glass white wine
1 tsp salt
250ml fresh cream


The first thing to do is to take each chicken breast, remove the skin, butterfly them and pound with a wooden mallet or bottle until they are about 1-1.5cm thick. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Remove the chicken and add the finely chopped onion to the pan.  Brown the onion being careful not to burn it.  Add the the garlic and the mustard and stir well.  Add the white wine and salt. Cook and reduce for about 5 minutes on high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the cream.   Allow this to simmer for another 5 minutes until the cream has thicken.  Do not boil the cream.  Return the chicken to the pan and spoon the cream sauce over to coat the chicken.  Serve with preferred pasta.  Serves 4.

I sometimes replace the cream with fat free yogurt as a healthier option. 

Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is known as being notoriously difficult to make. Ha! No so! This recipe is one I found online somewhere and really easy.

1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks (keep the egg whites if you want to make lemon meringue.  This lemon curd is perfect for it)
2/3 cup of lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon zest.


In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, about 2 min. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 min. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.
In a medium, heavy-based saucepan, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter in the mixture melts.) Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 min. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon. Don't let the mixture boil. Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for 2 months.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Smoked Haddock Fish Cakes


500g smoked haddock
Milk for poaching the haddock
4 large potatoes
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley
2 Tbsp Worcester Sauce
1tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
White pepper to taste

Ingredients for Frying:
flour for coating
2 eggs beaten to use for the egg wash
1 cup bread crumbs to coat the fish cakes
Vegetable oil for frying


In a pan, poach the haddock in the milk. Allow the haddock to cool and then flake the fish.  Cook the potatoes until soft and mash them. In a large bowl add the flaked haddock, mashed potatoes and the rest the the ingredients.  Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together.  Don't overdo this, you don't want mush.  Shape the mixture into fishcakes.

Put the flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs into 3 separate flat bowls. Coat the fishcakes with the flour then into the egg wash and then into the bread crumbs.  Fry in a pan with shallow oil until crisp and golden in colour. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the fishcakes - Enjoy!

Flop Proof Fudge

OK, so I always SUCKED hugely at making fudge.  All I ever got was this crappy sticky mess that landed up in the bin or if I was feeling particularly pissy, the kids were forced to eat it.   This recipe really works.


1 tin condensed milk
2 cups white sugar
125g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract


In a heavy based pot cook the condensed milk, sugar and butter stirring continuously.  Keep stirring for about 10 minutes. (Don't worry if the mixture catches, that is what gives it colour - when this happens stir like mad) You'll notice that the mixture starts making large bubbles and when you take some of the mixture onto a cold plate it immediately gets that fudge like consistency.  Remove the pot from the heat and beat in the vanilla essence.  Pour into a greased square dish.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes and cut in to blocks.


Bolognaise Sauce:

1kg extra lean beef mince
2 Tbs olive oil
2 carrots diced
2 sticks of celery diced
3 onions finely chopped
2 Tbs Italian herbs
4 Bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 large tins tomato paste
1 cup good red wine
4 x 410g tins of good quality whole peeled tomatoes (chopped)
1 Tbs sugar
A tiny pinch of bicarb (very little – too much will leave sauce bland) - this removes all the acidity.
Salt and black pepper to taste.
1 cup water.


In a large pot heat oil and add onions, celery and carrots – fry until onions are translucent (do not brown)
Add herbs and bay leaves
Add garlic
Add the mince
Add rest of the ingredients
Bring to the boil – lower temperature and allow sauce to simmer for at least 2 hours. Add more water when the sauce begins to dry out.

White Sauce:

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
a dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 cup milk

In a small, heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
Blend flour into the melted butter.
Add salt and mustard.
Cook over low heat, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes. Cooking for this length of time will minimize 'flour' taste.
Slowly add milk and Worcestershire sauce, stirring constantly.
Continue cooking slowly until smooth and thickened.


Ladle some of the bolognaise sauce into the bottom of a flat lasgane dish then layer lasagne sheets and bolognaise sauce ending with lasagne sheets. (there is no need to to cook the lasagne sheets, they will cook in the moisture that comes from the bolognaise sauce). Spoon White sauce on top and scatter a generous helping of Parmesan cheese over the white sauce.  Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 45 minutes. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving - Serves 8 to 10

With the white sauce, I usually put the milk and everything else except the butter in the pot on the stove and whisk the mixture until it's thickened.  I then add the butter and allow the sauce to cook for a little longer to get rid of the flour taste.  At this stage I also check if the sauce is too thick and add a bit of milk.  You don't want a seriously thick sauce, more like a medium consistency white sauce.


This cheesecake is dedicated my brother-in-law Froggy and my niece Juanita's partner Hilton.  This cake is really expensive to make, but hey you only live once and if you do it right - once is all you need.


1 pkt tennis biscuits - crushed
100g butter
2 tubs full fat cream cheese @ room temp
2 tubs smooth cottage cheese
1 tin condensed milk
1/4 cup castor sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence or the seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
1 punnet of mixed frozen berries
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 packet jelly - disolved with 1/2 cup hot water


Line bottom 23cm loose bottom / springform cake tin with grease proof paper
Melt butter and add to biscuits and press into bottom of tin to make a biscuit base
Mix the cheeses, condensed milk, eggs, vanilla and lemon juice together - pour into tin
Bake in a preheated oven @ 200 Deg C for 40 minutes
Take out of oven and allow to cool down completely and spoon on the berry topping


Put berries, sugar and lemon juice into a pot and bring to the boil. When berries start breaking down, take off the stove and add the jelly mix. Allow to cool (not set) and spread on top of cooled baked cake.

Allow cake to cool completely and place in fridge for at least 2 hours. Serve and enjoy.