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Hot Cross Buns

Fill your kitchen and your home during this Easter time with the spicy aroma of the very best home made Hot cross buns, made with real ground spices and baked with love for your family and friends!   One of the highlights on the calendar of worldwide annual baking traditions are these buns. A feeling of expectation arises when the pervasive spicy aroma of flavourful yeast-risen buns fill the air in many home kitchens.   Be sure to also try the recipe for Hot Cross Hybrid (Pain Au Chocolat), an Easter-themed pastry.

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Hot Cross Hybrid

This recipe is a cross (excuse the pun!) between a Hot Cross Bun and the popular French pastry, pain au chocolat, which is made with yeast-leavened dough and filled with chocolate.  “Pain au chocolat” literally means chocolate bread.

Be sure to also try the traditional recipes for traditional Croissants and Hot Cross Buns.

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Tamarillo Cheesecake

Finding out how to utilise tamarillos when in season is worth doing!  Tamarillo, also known as tree tomatoes, can grow to about two meters tall with clusters of fruit that slowly ripen to a deep red. The taste can be described as “unusual and interesting – even as “an acquired taste”.  See the image below.  The unique tropical flavour which reminds of a mix between passion fruit and guava and a hint of other fruits, turns a cheesecake into a sublime dessert or tea time treat. Continue reading Tamarillo Cheesecake

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Fillets Of Venison With Juniper Berries

Juniper berries pairs very well with venison. Read the post Juniper Berries for more info on this superfood. To improve the flavour and soften the meat, marinate it for several hours or for up to 3 days in the fridge or freezer before cooking.  The Cooked Marinade used in this recipe is by Carolié de Koster from the Art of Cooking Recipe book p. 294.   Be sure to also try the recipe for German Pot Roast (Sauerbraten).  It is an authentic German dish that is flavoured with Juniper berries.
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Biscotti

Every home should permanently have a jar of Biscotti in the kitchen! Best biscuits ever to nibble or dunk in coffee or as the Italians do, in sherry or wine! Thanks to the clever Italians!
New style biscotti are light, crisp and irresistible and have gained popularity worldwide! These Italian “biscuits” were traditionally hard and dry and to become palatable, they were dipped into dessert wine or after dinner cappuccino. Currently many delightful variations are made which can be nibbled on as is, at any time of the day! And best of all, they are not difficult to make at home!

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Chicken & Chicken Liver Pâté Phyllo Roll

Baked paté as good as it gets! Serve warm as a nutritious light meal with mashed potato and steamed vegetables or snack-style, either warm or cold, with favourite pickles or pickled vegetables, sweet chilli sauce and olives. Be sure to also try Carolié’s Chicken Liver Pâté With Bacon & Port.

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Mashed Potatoes With Variations

This recipe for plain mashed potatoes makes the creamiest, fluffiest mashed potatoes imaginable. If possible, purchase floury potatoes especially suited for mashing – check that the other varieties are completely tender before attempting to mash them.  Be sure to try the variations listed below for an interesting take on this popular starch staple.

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Beesting Pastries

A classic confection from Germany, known as “Bienenstich Kuchen”, turned into decorative pastries. The crunchy nutty caramel topping contrasts well with the rich and creamy custard filling!

According to Wikipedia: “the cake may have earned its name from its honey topping: according to one legend, a bee was attracted to the cake and the baker who invented the cake was stung”. 

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Cooked Marinade

To improve the flavour and soften the meat, marinate it for several hours or for up to 3 days in the fridge or freezer before pot-roasting, roasting, grilling or barbecuing.  The marinade can be used for large joints, steaks or ribs and will be sufficient for up to 5 kg of meat. Use only glass bowls for marinating – metal bowls will react with the marinade, while plastic bowls absorb flavours and will become stained. The meat can be frozen in the marinade for several weeks, which has the added advantage that it is immediately ready for use after thawing.  Be sure to try the recipe for Fillets Of Venison With Juniper Berries.  Be sure to read the post Juniper Berries for more info on this superfood.

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Fun With Phylllo

Phyllo pastry is such a versatile ingredient.  It can be used for everything from snacks and appetizers to main dishes and impressive desserts!  Phyllo pastry is made with flour, water and a small amount of oil or white vinegar. Phyllo-based pastries are made by layering many sheets of phyllo pastry brushed with olive oil or melted butter. The pastry is then filled, shaped and baked.  The crisp texture of baked phyllo pastries is achieved by the extreme thinness of the dough and by brushing each sheet lightly with melted butter before using it. The butter helps keep the sheets from sticking together while the recipe bakes and produces separate fragile sheets of pastry.

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Strawberry and Custard Phyllo Pastry Pie

A memorable fruity dessert with “lean” custard and a crispy and light deep filo pastry case! Strawberries are a top contender as far as Vitamin C goes – six to eight provide the needs for the day as well as fibre and “sweetness” without many kilojoules.  Make the pastry shell in advance to have ready when the filling is made. Cool the custard before placing the strawberries on top and finishing off with the glaze.

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