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Home-made Muesli

Home-made muesli is special and can be served as is with hot or cold milk or yoghurt or add extra nuts or moist dried fruit such as chopped figs or apple rings just before serving.  Cooking time is shortened considerably if cooked in this way. See variations below to toast in the oven in large quantities.

100g/250ml quick cooking or rolled oats
50 ml digestive bran
50 ml desiccated coconut
50 ml wheat germ or additional digestive bran
50 ml wholewheat flour
25 ml sesame seeds
25 ml sunflower seeds
50 – 100 ml coarsely chopped flaked almonds / mixed nuts / pumpkin seeds
15 ml honey or syrup
30 ml brown sugar
2 ml vanilla essence
30 ml oil
50 ml boiling water
pinch salt
500 ml dried fruit e.g. raisins, sultanas, apple rings or mixed dried fruit (optional)

  1. Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together the honey, sugar, vanilla essence, oil, boiling water and salt and add to the dry ingredients. Blend with a fork .
  2. Spoon the mixture into a 220 to 280 mm pie plate and spread out evenly on the base of the pie plate.
  3. Microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir well to break up lumps and stir the muesli from the outside of the dish towards the center.
  5. Microwave 2 minutes more.
  6. Stir well and continue to microwave 1 minute at a time stirring in between until golden – the muesli will brown on standing.
  7. Stir while cooling to obtain a loose crumbly muesli and store in glass jars or airtight containers.

Makes ± 500 ml muesli.

To make a double batch of muesli (or more), line a large baking tray with a Wizbake baking sheet and spread out the mixture onto a baking tray.  Bake in the oven at 150°C for about 30 minutes. With a spatula, stir and turn the muesli over from time to time and move the browner bits away from the edges towards the center of the baking tray. Continue until all is golden and crisp.


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Breakfast “Trifle” 

These “trifles” consist of a few simple, healthy ingredients and are quick and easy to make.  It looks and tastes decadent without being too high in sugar.  A perfect breakfast for Valentine’s Day.

plain or flavoured yoghurt
shop-bought or home-made muesli
fresh or frozen berries, e.g. strawberry, blueberry, raspberry
shop-bought or home-made fruit coulis
honey or sprinkles (optional)

  1. To assemble the “trifles”, transfer a spoonful or two of yoghurt into each glass and cover with a little honey or fruit coulis followed by a  layer of muesli.  Repeat the layers until the glasses are full.
  2. Finish off the “trifles” with fruit or home-made fruit coulis and sprinkles.

Glasses with a cylindrical shape and a capacity of about 150 ml works well.


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Fruit & Yoghurt Phyllo Stacks

Phyllo Fantasy

Most decorative to serve for any special breakfast, as a health breakfast or even a dessert. The phyllo squares may be made days in advance and stored in airtight containers.

Select fresh fruit or make combinations with fresh and canned fruit, e.g. strawberries, mixed berries kiwis, mangoes, litchis, pineapple, melon, spanspek, guavas, kiwi fruit, gooseberries, paw-paw or banana – as preferred or available. Wash, peel and cut into neat portions. The kind of yoghurt used depends on taste and the sweetness of the fruit used.

± 500 ml plain or flavoured yoghurt or combined

Phyllo Squares
4 sheets phyllo pastry
± 50 g/50 ml melted butter
icing sugar
nuts and / or muesli

  1. Fold the sheets of phyllo pastry simultaneously in half, unfold and cut through the fold line. Place the 8 wide strips on top of each other, fold in half again and cut in the same way to obtain 16 strips. Stack the strips.Fold the strips simultaneously in half lengthways, unfold and cut in half on the fold line. Pile the shorter strips on top of each other and fold and cut once more to obtain 64 squares. Stack the squares and cover with a cloth or seal in an airtight container.
  2. Line a large baking tray with a . Place as many of the squares as will fit comfortably, onto the baking tray. Brush lightly with melted butter, cover each square with a second square and brush again. Make double-layered squares or if preferred multi-layered squares and separate into double layers after baking.
  3. Bake at 180°C for 4 to 5 minutes or until the squares are pale golden and crisp. Take care not to over bake – if baked until brown the taste and appearance will be impaired.
  4. Cool, pack carefully into airtight containers and store until required or up to a month.
  5. To assemble the stacks, place one double-layered square of phyllo pastry onto a serving plate, add a spoonful of yoghurt and arrange some fruit on top. Cover the fruit with a second double-layered phyllo square and repeat, ending with a third double layered phyllo square. Dust with icing sugar and finish with fruit and nuts or muesli.

Four sheets of phyllo pastry will make 32 double layered squares sufficient for at least 10 stacks.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book page 795.

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French Toast

French toast is the champion of brunch. Nothing says “weekend” like tucking into crispy triangles of bread dripping with syrup or honey.  In France, French toast is referred to as “pain perdu”. It is referred to as “lost bread” because it is a way to reclaim stale or otherwise “lost” bread. The hard bread is softened by dipping it in a mixture of milk and eggs, and then pan-fried in butter.  It is served with a dusting of icing sugar and jam or syrup.  It is also known as eggy bread, gypsy toast or omelette bread.  In France, pain perdu is served as a dessert, a breakfast or an afternoon tea snack. Be sure to also try Carolié’s recipe for Baked Apple French Toast.

Continue reading French Toast
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Coconut Flour Crumpets

Coconut flour is a soft flour produced from dried coconut meat.  It is grain-free, gluten-free and nut free which means those with Celiac or gluten intolerance can enjoy it too. Coconut flour also has many health benefits you won’t find in wheat flour products.  It is:

  • High in fibre – nearly twice the amount of fibre found in wheat bran. Great for improving digestion, reducing the amount of sugar your body absorbs and lowering cholesterol.
  • High in protein – it is higher in protein and essential amino acids than rye or cornmeal flour.
  • Low in carbohydrates – the low-carb alternative to ordinary flours.
  • It has a low glycaemic index.
  • Suitable for diabetics.

 See my post Nuts About Coconuts for more info on coconut products.

25 g butter or coconut oil, melted
250 ml coconut or almond flour
2 large eggs, beaten
60 ml sparkling water, coconut, coconut milk or milk
30 ml mascarpone or creamed cottage cheese
1 ml salt

To serve
plain or flavoured yoghurt
fresh fruit

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and set it aside.
  2. Heat the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, electric frying pan or griddle to moderately hot.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of the batter, well apart to allow for spreading, onto the hot surface.
  4. Cook the crumpets over moderate heat until bubbles appear on the surface.
  5. Turn over with a lifter and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  6. Place onto a cooling rack and cover with a cloth to prevent the crumpets from drying out.
  7. Serve with honey, yoghurt and/or fresh fruit.





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The South African crumpet is a small to medium round crumpet made with a quick batter mixture cooked in a pan or on a griddle. They are mostly served as a teatime treat with butter, jam or syrup and cream. The same batter recipe may be used to make small crumpets or large flapjacks. Smaller thinner crumpets should be made with a slightly thinner batter than larger thicker crumpets. Adjust the liquid to create the desired product.

Basic Crumpets

50 g butter, melted
500 ml cake flour
50 ml sugar if served with sweet toppings or 30 ml sugar if served with savoury toppings
15 ml baking powder
pinch salt
2 large eggs
375 ml milk
a little extra milk to adjust the consistency

  1. Melt the butter or margarine in the microwave on Medium or on top of the stove without making it too hot. Place the dry ingredients in a bowl, stir to combine and make a well in the centre.
  2. Beat together the eggs and milk and add to the dry ingredients.
  3. Mix with a whisk to form a smooth batter. Do not over mix.
  4. Mix in the melted butter or margarine. Allow the batter to stand at least 5 minutes.
  5. Heat a heavy-based saucepan, electric frying pan or griddle to moderately hot.
  6. Use a round gravy spoon with 30 – 50 ml capacity and drop spoonfuls of the batter, well apart to allow for spreading, onto the hot surface.
  7. Adjust the consistency of the batter by adding a little extra milk if the crumpets are too thick.
  8. Cook the crumpets over moderate heat until bubbles appear on the surface and start to break.
  9. Turn over with a spatula and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  10. Place onto a cooling rack and cover with a cloth to prevent the crumpets from drying out.
  11. Serve with sweet or savoury toppings as preferred.

Makes about 24 crumpets depending on size.

Serve crumpets soon after cooking or store in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Banana pancakes with maple syrup
Place a few slices of banana onto the partly cooked batter. Serve the completed crumpets with syrup and grilled bacon.

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Luxurious Scones

The cream and buttermilk combination is responsible for the delicate, moist texture, rich flavour and excellent keeping quality while the method used minimises the mixing time. This scone recipe was invented by Marianne Palmer of the Cranemere Farm in the Karoo.

420 g/750 ml cake flour
25 ml baking powder
2,5 ml salt
15 ml sugar
2 large eggs
250 ml cream
250 ml buttermilk
water to dilute glaze

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C and grease a medium sized baking tray with margarine.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir thoroughly until evenly blended. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
  3. Beat together the eggs, cream and buttermilk and reserve 30 ml for glazing.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the well in the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until the dough holds together.
  5. Turn out the soft, sticky dough onto a well-floured surface and knead lightly with floured hands, no longer than 2 minutes.
  6. Add a little more flour if necessary to form a very soft pliable yet smooth dough.
  7. Roll out the dough on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of about 25 mm and cut out neat rounds with a scone cutter, between 50 – 80 mm in diameter.
  8. Place the scones slightly apart onto the greased baking tray.
  9. Dilute the reserved egg mixture with a little water and brush over the scones to glaze.
  10. Bake the scones 10 – 15 minutes depending on size until well-risen and golden.
  11. Break open one scone to determine doneness. Lift onto a cooling rack and serve while still slightly warm or allow to cool.

15 to 20 scones depending on size.


The same variations will apply to any scone dough unless otherwise specified.

Substitute 1/3 – 2/3 of the cake flour with whole wheat flour and continue as explained for each recipe.

Add 125 ml finely grated, well-flavoured cheese, 5 ml mustard powder, a grinding of black pepper or a good pinch of cayenne pepper to the dry ingredients after rubbing in the butter or margarine.  Dust the glazed scones lightly with red sprinkle mix (1/3 cayenne pepper + 2/3 paprika) or garlic and herb seasoning.

Add 20 ml mixed fresh herbs or 5 ml mixed dried herbs and 20 ml each of freshly chopped parsley and green ends of spring onion to the dry ingredients.

Substitute 30 ml chopped fresh dill for the herbs above.  Delicious with soup such as potato soup or tomato soup.

Add 500 ml finely grated well-flavoured cheese, 50 ml chopped cooked bacon or ham, 10 ml mustard powder, 30 ml finely chopped onion and 15 ml freshly chopped parsley to the dry ingredients.  Increase the liquid slightly if necessary to create a soft scone dough.  Dust the glazed scones lightly with red sprinkle mix (1/3 cayenne pepper + 2/3 paprika) or garlic and herb seasoning.

Add 125 – 250 ml sultanas, raisins or other dried fruit to the dry ingredients after rubbing in the butter or margarine.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book p. 669.