Showing posts with label home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home. Show all posts


Give your favourite classic Mediterranean dishes a local twist with the help of South African foodie and author Ilse van der Merwe.
Local foodie Ilse van der Merwe serves up a feast of flavours in her first cookbook, Cape Mediterranean. Giving classic Mediterranean dishes a local twist with fresh, seasonal produce, her mouthwatering meals are all the inspiration you need for your next al fresco dinner party.


serves 6, as a snack

4 x 250ml (4 cups) white bread flour
10ml (2 teaspoons) instant dry yeast
7.5ml (1½ teaspoons) fine salt
375ml (1½ cups) lukewarm water
10ml (2 teaspoons) olive oil
125 – 200ml (½ – ¾ cup) preserved kalamata-style olives
1 round feta, cubed

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
2. Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl with a spoon. Add the water and mix until it becomes lumpy. Use your hands to work into a rough ball of dough, kneading for 5 – 10 minutes to a smooth ball. Oil the ball all over, then place in a bowl covered with a plastic bag to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, then use your hands to pat it out or stretch into an oval shape of about 1cm thick. Use your fingers to make indentations in the surface all over. Arrange the olives and feta all over, then leave to rise a second time for about 20 minutes. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm, sliced, with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt flakes.
4. This is an easy recipe to make by hand, without the need for any fancy stand mixers or equipment.


Note: This recipe requires a few hours of soaking, so start the previous day if you want to make it for lunch.

serves a crowd

250g uncooked organic chickpeas
10ml (2 teaspoons) bicarbonate of soda
125ml (½ cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
30ml (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 clove garlic, finely grated
80ml (1/3 cup) tahini (sesame paste)
1ml (1/4 teaspoon) ground cumin
60 – 125ml (1/4 – ½ cup) cold water
125ml (½ cup) kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
A generous handful fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
30ml (2 tablespoons) pine nuts, roasted in a dry pan

1. Place the chickpeas and 5ml (1 teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda in a ceramic bowl and cover with water to a level of about 5cm above the chickpeas. Soak for at least three hours, but preferably overnight. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then transfer to a medium-size pot. Add the remaining 5ml (1 teaspoon) bicarbonate of soda and cover with fresh water to the same level as before. Bring to a boil, then simmer until tender and almost falling apart, skimming off any foam from the surface.
2. Transfer the cooked chickpeas to a food processor (or better yet, a power blender) along with the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, tahini, cumin and some salt. Process to a fine, creamy purée, adding enough cold water to loosen it up and get a really smooth result – the magic is all in the texture. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Store in the fridge until ready to serve – it needs some time to rest and for the flavours to develop, so it’s best to make ahead.
3. Serve at room temperature (give it a good stir before plating) on a shallow wide plate, topped with chopped olives, parsley and roasted pine nuts with a generous drizzle of olive oil and some crusty bread on the side.
4. The hummus will keep well in the fridge for at least four days.


(with crackling) with orange, fennel & paprika

serves at least eight, but will serve a large crowd if used as a pulled pork filling.

About 4kg whole pork shoulder, bone-in
30 – 45ml (2 – 3 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
10ml (2 teaspoons) salt
5ml (1 teaspoon) freshly ground black pepper
15ml (1 tablespoon) ground fennel
15ml (1 tablespoon) smoked paprika
10ml (2 teaspoons) ground coriander
10ml (2 teaspoons) ground cumin
Finely grated rind and juice of 2 oranges
375ml (½ bottle) dry white wine

1. Preheat the oven to 120°C. Remove the skin of the shoulder using a sharp knife. Place the skin on a wire rack and refrigerate, uncovered, until later.
2. Place the shoulder in your largest deep roasting tray. Rub with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, fennel, paprika, coriander, cumin and orange rind, then rub it all over the meat. Pour the orange juice and wine into the tray, then cover with heavy-duty foil and roast for 8 hours until falling from the bone and really tender.
3. Serve warm, pulling the meat apart to soak in the pan juices, with sides or pasta, and a piece of crispy crackling on the side.

There are only a few key points to a successful crackling:
Dry out the skin.
Season generously with salt.
Cook over high heat.

1. Score the skin in parallel lines using a very sharp blade or NT cutter (or ask your butcher to do it). The reserved skin layer of the pork shoulder should spend at least 8 hours in the fridge, uncovered, drying out on a wire rack.
2. About 1 hour before serving the meat, remove the roast from the oven (keep it covered) and turn the heat up to the highest setting (230 – 260°C). Salt the dried-out skin, rubbing the salt into the scored lines. Place the salted layer of skin in the preheated oven and roast for 30 – 45 minutes (depending on thickness) on a setting above the middle rack, until bubbling up and very crispy and golden (don’t let it get too dark). Remove and let it cool. Cut into shards and serve with the roast. (Can be prepared an hour or two in advance.)


serves 4, as a main meal or 6, as a side dish

250g (2 cups) brown or black lentils
Water, to cover
45ml (3 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
Juice and finely grated rind of 1 medium-size lemon
1 clove garlic, finely grated
10ml (2 teaspoons) honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A small bunch fresh Italian parsley and mint, finely chopped

Roasted vegetables
Assorted vegetables, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks (like beetroot, carrots, brussels sprouts and leeks – enough to fill a standard roasting tray in a single layer)
30ml (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
2.5ml (½ teaspoon) ground cumin
2.5ml (½  teaspoon) ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To assemble
200g plain goat’s milk cheese (chevin)
More parsley and mint, roughly chopped, to serve
About 30ml (2 tablespoons) pine nuts (or flaked almonds), roasted in a dry pan

1. For the lentils, place them in a large pot and cover with cold water (about 5cm above the lentils). Cook for about 30 minutes until tender but still retaining shape, then drain and rinse briefly with hot water. Shake off excess water, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice and rind, garlic and honey in a small mixing bowl, then pour it over the warm lentils and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the parsley and mint and stir well.
2. For the vegetables, preheat the oven to 220°C. Arrange the vegetables on a roasting tray, drizzle with oil and season with cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until golden brown and tender.
3. To assemble: Add the roasted veg to the cooked lentils, add chunks of goat’s milk cheese, then scatter with more parsley, mint and pine nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.


makes 18

400g (2 cups) white sugar
500ml (2 cups) water
30ml (2 tablespoons) honey
2 whole cloves
Peeled rind of ½ lemon

For the syrup, bring all the ingredients to a boil in a small pot, then cook rapidly for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Filo cigars
100g raw almonds
100g walnuts
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
Finely grated rind of 1 orange 
5ml (1 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
60ml (1/4 cup) icing sugar
1ml (1/4 teaspoon) salt
1 extra-large egg white
2.5ml (½ teaspoon) almond essence
6 sheets filo pastry
About 80ml (1/3 cup) canola oil
30ml (2 tablespoons) shelled whole pistachios, finely chopped (optional)

1. For the filo cigars, place the almonds and walnuts in a food processor and process until finely chopped (don’t take it too far, you don’t want to make a nut butter). Add the grated citrus rind, cinnamon, icing sugar, salt and egg white and process to a paste. Divide into six parts and roll out into long snakes of about 1.5cm thickness and 21cm length.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Working with one sheet of filo (21 x 34cm) at a time on a large working surface, brush with oil all over, then place a rolled-out nut shape on one end. Roll it up neatly, then cut each into equal parts of about 7cm each. Arrange tightly in a baking tray sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until golden brown. While the cigars are baking, gently reheat the syrup. Remove the cigars from the oven and pour the hot syrup over them. Leave to cool in the tray. When cool, remove from the syrup, scatter with some finely chopped pistachios and serve.

Cape Mediterranean by Ilse van der Merwe is published by Struik Lifestyle, an imprint of Penguin Random House South Africa. Now available in bookstores nationwide.

Why it’s cool to bring along your own reusable mug

- - No comments
We take a look at reusable mugs that really make a difference in our fight against climate change.
With the world becoming more aware (and horrified) of the havoc we as humans wreak on our planet on a daily basis, it’s high time we start thinking about how our everyday actions could actually make the world a better place. 
Enter the reusable mug, helping us save the planet one hot beverage at a time. Reusable surpasses recyclable, something Australian creator of Ecoffee Cup, David McLagan, whole-heartedly believes. ‘Even if we recycled at a rate of 100%, that wouldn’t be the answer,’ he explains to Forbes. ‘We believe recycling is just a way of allaying consumer guilt.’ Fair enough.

Perhaps this awareness is what has caused a dramatic rise in the sale of reusable coffee mugs; in fact, the BYO coffee cup has become somewhat of a trend. Certain South African coffee retailers are offering their customers discounts on a cuppa should they bring along their own mug. So, save the planet and your money by buying your own reusable mug – plus, your favourite beverage will stay hotter for longer. Bonus.

Private Collection printed travel mugs from 149.95 each

All items subject to availability. Prices may change.

4 tasty, nourishing recipes to heal your gut and boost your mood

- - No comments
We bring you a selection of easy, nutritious recipes that help restore health to your gut, improving your immune system, mood and weight-loss efforts in the process.
Gut health is the inspiration for the gorgeous new cookbook The Mandala Kitchen by food blogger and nutritional therapist Marlien Wright, with 101 fabulous recipes to heal and restore your digestive system. A healthy gut has significant benefits for your general wellbeing, including a stronger immune system, improved mood and increased energy. Normalising the bacteria in your body even has positive spin-offs for sleep and appetite regulation. Kick-start your journey to better gut health with these nutritious, family-friendly recipes.

Gutsy Oat Smoothie 

Serves 2

2 green-ish bananas (they should be on the cusp of becoming ripe; the less ripe a banana, the higher the resistant starch content in them)
¼ cup whole rolled oats, soaked overnight in ½ cup filtered water
1 cup baby spinach or kale
2 tbsp maca superfood powder
1 tsp chia seeds
1 cup almond or coconut milk
pinch cinnamon and drizzle of raw honey

1. Add all the above ingredients to your blender jug, and pulse/whiz until you have smooth mixture.
2. Add some water if you prefer a runnier consistency.

Brownies for your Bacteria (recipe originally from The Good Gut by Justin and Erica Sonnenburg)

Makes 16 brownies

5 tbsp unsalted, cultured butter or ghee
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 cup almond meal
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cacao nibs
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp orange zest

1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a saucepot on low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn.
3. Add the almond meal, sugar, cacao nibs, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and orange zest and whisk until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour into a 20 x 20cm greased baking pan.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Banana Flour Pancakes 

Serves 2 – 4 

¾ cup banana flour
2 eggs
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
salt to taste
50ml of A2 milk, water or a milk substitute like coconut, almond or rice milk
ghee or coconut oil

1. Add all the ingredients, except the ghee/coconut oil, to a mixing bowl and beat well until you have a smooth consistency.
2. Scoop/pour the batter into a hot pan that has been coated with a ghee/coconut oil. The size of each pancake should more or less resemble that of an American pancake, or ‘crumpet’.
3. Wait for small bubbles to appear on the surface before turning over, aiming for an attractive golden appearance, and serve with your choice of topping, such as fresh berries, bananas, yoghurt and raw honey. For a more savoury option try streaky bacon with some real maple syrup.

Chocolate Pots 

Serves 4 

1¼ tbsp powdered gelatine
3 tbsp water
1 (400g) tin coconut cream
½ cup raw cacao powder
4 tbsp brown sugar
coconut flakes to serve
salt to taste

1. Mix the gelatine with the water in a small bowl and set aside for five minutes to allow the gelatine granules to expand and soften.
2. Place the coconut cream, cacao powder, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Bring to just below simmering point and remove from the heat.
3. Add the gelatine mixture to the warm coconut milk mixture and stir until the gelatine dissolves. Transfer to four 150ml ramekins and place in the fridge for one hour to set.
4. To serve, add a few coconut shavings.

These recipes were extracted from The Mandala Kitchen by Marlien Wright (Jacana Media, R330)

Cold-weather dinners to keep you warm

Marlene van der Westhuizen is the author of seven books, Plate being a collection of simple and delicious brasserie-luxe style recipes, which she has cooked over the years.
Feast on delicious, winter-approved meals that are easy to prepare at home for your family, or a special dinner with friends. South African author Marlene van der Westhuizen's latest recipe book Plate consists of her favourite brasserie-luxe style mains, including a knockout chicken pie and hearty English soup that's sure to have everyone asking for more.


Serves: 8

2 litres water
1 free-range chicken
1 bouquet garni with thyme, coriander and parsley
60g butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, with leaves,
finely chopped
1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 red jalapeño, deseeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
10ml grated fresh ginger
2 ripe, red tomatoes, skinned and deseeded
15ml curry powder
5ml ground cumin
5ml paprika
2.5ml ground cinnamon
5ml turmeric
6 cardamom pods, shelled and ground
125g raw red lentils
125ml coconut milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
100ml good olive oil
5ml chilli powder
150g steaming, well seasoned basmati rice
75g cashews, roasted and lightly chopped
fresh coriander for garnishing

1. Pour the water into a large casserole dish, add the chicken with the bouquet garni and bring to a slow simmer. Cover and cook for 90 minutes or until the meat is completely tender. Remove the chicken from the pot and pour the stock through a sieve, reserving for later use. Allow the chicken to cool down slightly, then debone.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in another good-sized casserole dish. Add the onion and carrots and sauté until the onion has softened. Add the celery, apple, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, curry powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, and cardamom. Gently stir all the ingredients together.

3. Infuse the flavours over a medium heat and add the lentils. Pour the reserved chicken stock over and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer, covered, for at least 45 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Add a little more water if you think it is necessary.

4. Using an immersion blender, pureé about half of the ingredients; it is lovely to leave some of the bits and pieces whole as it adds body to the soup. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Taste the soup and season.

5. While that is simmering, heat the olive oil in a pan and toss the shredded chicken lightly through to heat. Taste and season with salt and a light dusting of chilli powder.

6. Add dollops of the steaming rice to shallow soup plates, top with the seasoned chicken and spoon large soup ladles of the mulligatawny broth around the rice and chicken.
Garnish with a generous amount of cashews and coriander.

7. Serve with both a spoon and fork!


Serves: 8

2 x 400g rolls frozen flaky pastry, defrosted
1 egg white
250ml white wine
1 free-range chicken (±1.5kg)
12 chicken wings
1 bouquet garni with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme 
8 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery, with leaves, finely chopped
50ml good olive oil
8 large leeks, sliced into circles
15ml butter
30ml cake flour
125ml double cream
1 egg
salt and white pepper to taste

1. Grease a springform cake tin with butter and then line it with one sheet of puff pastry. Prick a few holes in the pastry with a fork and brush with the egg white. Refrigerate the lined tin until needed.

2. Pour the wine into a large casserole dish and add the whole chicken and the chicken wings. Add the bouquet garni, garlic and celery and bring to a boil. Cook for at least three minutes before adding enough water to cover the chicken. Cover, turn down the heat and leave to simmer gently until completely tender.

3. Remove all the chicken from the casserole dish, allow the meat to cool a little, then debone. Reduce the stock to enhance the flavours, then pour it through a sieve into a bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, pour the olive oil into a heated pan, add the leeks and fry until tender and translucent.

4. In a medium casserole dish, melt the butter and stir in the flour with one hand while adding the reserved chicken stock with the other. Keep adding the stock until it becomes a really thick and smooth sauce. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream.

5. Whisk the egg and fold it deftly into the slightly cooled sauce.

6. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

7. Spoon the creamy sauce over the leeks, add the shredded chicken and mix until well combined. Taste and season with salt and white pepper. Spoon the filling into the prepared pastry shell. Cover with the second sheet of pastry. Fold the two sheets neatly together around the edges and trim where necessary. Bake for one hour.

8. Serve with a crisp green salad.

Beef Bourguignon

Serves: 8

2kg beef chuck, on the bone
45ml good olive oil
500g bacon, diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled but whole
500ml beef stock
500g baby onions
2 carrots, sliced into circles
salt and pepper
50g butter
500g small button mushrooms
a handful fresh parsley, chopped
zest of 1 lemon, grated

2 x 750ml bottles red wine
30ml good olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced into circles
1 bouquet garni with parsley, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves
8 cloves garlic, peeled but whole
4 whole cloves
8 black peppercorns
8 juniper berries

1. To prepare the marinade, pour the wine into a large pot, then add the olive oil, onion, carrots, bouquet garni, garlic, whole cloves, peppercorns and juniper berries. Bring to a slow boil and simmer until the alcohol in the wine has evaporated (about 10 minutes). Switch off the heat and allow the marinade to cool completely. Strain, discarding the bits and pieces.

2. Place the beef in a bowl (with an airtight lid) and pour the marinade over to cover it completely. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 day.

3. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry. Reserve the marinade for later use.

4. Heat the oil in a large pot. Braise the beef until the fat starts to run a little and the meat is slightly browned. Add the bacon and braise with the beef. Add the garlic and the stock, along with the reserved marinade and bring all to a gentle, rolling boil. Cover and leave to simmer for 2 to 3 hours, then test the meat with a skewer – it should be completely tender.

5. Remove the beef from the pot and let it cool a little before deboning. Slice the beef into nuggets and set aside.

6. Add the onions and carrots to the liquid in the pot and cook gently until it has reduced to a rich, thick sauce. Add the beef to the sauce, season to taste and reheat it. Spoon the meat and sauce into a serving dish.

7. While the sauce is reducing, melt the butter in a small pan and allow it to become quite brown before you add the mushrooms. Caramelise the mushrooms and spoon over the beef bourguignon once you’ve placed it in a serving dish.

8. Garnish with the parsley and lemon zest and serve with crusty bread and a glass of pinot noir.

These recipes were extracted from Plate by Marlene van der Westhuizen (Struik Lifestyle, Penguin Random House, R395)

3 ways to style your home like an interior designer

Update your home and give it a designer feel with modern geometric patterns, lush plants and metallic pastel shades.
Follow these styling tips when updating your home for a designer finish without the spend.

Style tip 1 Go with geometric accessories 

Geometric furniture, prints and accessories are big news right now. We’re seeing a move towards sculptural, precious-gem-like sidetables and furniture made from wire, which add interest and depth, giving the illusion of bigger space due to the open frames. If you’re keen to give your home an entire makeover, you can introduce the  geometric trend in small ways. Use diamond-shaped tiles to create an Escher-esque artwork for your kitchen or bathroom backsplash, go minimalist with geometric-print cushions or art prints, or add subtle dimension in the form of a matt black faceted vase or accessory. The trick here is to balance the scale of the design colours – if the pattern is busy, go for subdued colours, and vice versa. Create a sense of luxury without spending a lot of money by introducing gold accents on smalls and accessories.

Style tip 2 Bring in plant life

Indoor plants provide us with a connection to the outdoors that’s especially appealing to inner-city dwellers. The focus is on compact, sturdy succulents that are simultaneously water-wise and easy to maintain. The larger, leafier varieties still reign supreme. ‘Our most popular house plants are Monstera deliciosa and Philodendron selloum. Magnificently lush and leafy, both of these look amazing displayed in handwoven baskets, as kokedamas (moss balls), or in water instead of soil in beautiful vases,’ says Ashleigh Martyn, owner of online nursery Mother City Jungle. It’s also worth considering artificial plants to spruce up your space. Orchids, which are notoriously difficult to care for, can serve the right amount of class without all the hassle, and you get to enjoy the plant’s gorgeous blooms all year around.

Style tip 3 Add candy colours

On the other end of the colour spectrum, we’re seeing a resurgence of candy colours in interiors. ‘Pastel candy shades, which are traditionally quite feminine, have been reintroduced in soft metallic finishes, coloured glass and beautiful blush linens,’ says Melissa Lawrence, owner of Cape Town-based creative consultancy Studio Melissa Louise. ‘These elements are easily paired with a neutral colour palette and, when used in abundance, create visual intrigue.’ Consider bringing in woven textiles such as rattan, cane and wicker to balance out the fun pastels for a look that’s adult appropriate. In terms of paint, Plascon’s Glamour range fits the bill. Mermaid Jewel and Candy Tuft on a feature wall or ceiling will add character to any space, just be sure to use these attention-grabbing hues sparingly – your chosen candy colour should only make up about 30% of the colour in the room.


All items subject to availability. Prices may change.

Get your home ready for a date night in

- - No comments
Rather than spending loads of money on an expensive, overrated dinner, keep the romance alive in your very own home this month of love.
These key pieces instantly up the romance in any living space – whether for Valentine's Day or for any other day of the year. 

1. Up your glass game

Rather than scratching around at the last minute for matching, chip-free glasses, make sure you have glassware to be proud of at the ready. This will take away a lot of last-minute stress and embarrassment you don't need, especially when you're quite possibly already filled with nerves. 

2. Set the mood

If you’re hosting a date night in, then it's entirely up to you to set the mood and appeal to the senses. Our advice? Embrace the candlelit cliché with confidence. Choose scented candles with a subtle yet sultry fragrance – nothing to sweet or overpowering – or taper candles in chic modern stands for a serious style statement. Hot tip: the scent from a reed diffuser will linger for longer than that of a candle, and you'll have more control of the intensity of the fragrance.

3. Serve everything in style 

Whatever's on the menu, presentation can make all the difference between a merely tasty meal and a truly memorable one. That said, there is something rather intimate about a smorgasbord of finger foods to share – in which case a fancy cheese board and pretty platters are worthy investments. Looking to end of the night with a sweet treat? Here is some inspiration for late-night snacking.

4. Don't forget the couch

Now that you’ve wined and dined to your heart’s content it’s time to sit back and relax and enjoy each others’ company. Dress your couch for the occasion with textured throws and scattered cushions in sensual fabrics such as velvet and silk.

All items subject to availability. Prices may change.

Best Valentine’s Day dessert recipes

- - No comments
What better way to win someone’s heart than with food? Treat your sweetheart to delicious puddings by Mogau Seshoene this Valentine’s Day.
Food made with love is arguably the best gift of all, something author, chef and businesswoman Mogau Seshoene knows too well. Her love for South African cuisine and heritage combined with her fear of being dubbed a lazy daughter-in-law who doesn’t know how to cook turned into a successful business – The Lazy Makoti (the lazy daughter-in-law). She shares with us her recipes from her new book The Lazy Makoti’s Guide To The Kitchen – our Valentine’s Day gift to you. 


Serves 8 – 10 | Preparation time: 20 minutes  | Baking time: 1 hour

6 – 8 apples, cored and quartered

Caramel sauce
⅓ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup cream
½ tsp salt

⅘ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
1½ cups self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180°. Grease a cake tin and place the apple pieces side by side to cover the base, creating a circular or spiral pattern. In a saucepan, heat butter and add sugar, cream and salt. Stir to dissolve the sugar, bring to a simmer and cook until sauce turns a brownish caramel colour. Pour the caramel over the apples and set aside. To make the cake, place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and combine well. Stir in the vanilla essence and fold in the flour. Spoon the batter over the caramel apples. Bake for one hour until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool and turn upside down onto a plate.


Serves 4 | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Baking time: 10 minutes

1 cup flour
1 Tbsp castor sugar
½ cup butter, cold
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp cold water

2 tubs cream cheese
¼ cup honey
3 cups fresh berries (variety of your choice)

Preheat oven to 180°. Grease and prepare a tart dish. To make the pastry: sift flour and castor sugar and, using your fingers, rub in butter until crumbly. Add egg and mix together. Blend in cold water and chill in fridge for 30 minutes. Roll out pastry and cut into squares to cover 4 x 10cm tartlet tins. Line tins, trimming pastry if necessary. Prick pastry with a fork and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely. To make the filling: combine cream cheese and honey in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Pour into prepared pastry cases and top with berries. Tip: if fresh berries are not available, try frozen berries. Defrost before adding to tarts.


Preparation time: 20 minutes | Baking time: 30 minutes

1 cup cake flour
3 heaped Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp baking powder
¾ cup butter
½ cup castor sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 Tbsp milk

360g tin of caramel
1 cup cottage cheese
1½ slabs Peppermint Crisp chocolate
Fresh mint leaves to garnish

Preheat oven to 180° and grease a 20cm cake tin. Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and castor sugar, and then add the eggs, vanilla essence and milk. Make a well in the flour mixture and mix in the wet ingredients. Spoon batter into cake tin and bake for 30 minutes until risen and cooked. Allow to cool. For the topping: mix caramel and cottage cheese in a bowl. Grate one bar of chocolate and fold into the caramel mixture. Generously spread caramel topping onto the cake. Decorate with more grated chocolate and mint leaves.
These recipes were extracted from The Lazy Makoti's Guide To The Kitchen by Mogau Seshoene (Quivertree Publications, R340)
Click here to buy.