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Corn Chowder

A soup of American origin which has gained immense popularity in homes and casual or formal dining out venues.

1 x 410 g tin cream style sweet corn
1 x 410 g tin whole kernel corn
100 g rindless bacon rashers
125 ml chopped onion
125 ml chopped celery
50 ml finely chopped green pepper
250 ml finely diced raw potato
500 ml water
2,5ml salt
1 ml paprika
good pinch cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
50 ml cake flour
125 ml milk
375 ml milk or cream or about 1/2 of each
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped parsley

  1. Saute the bacon rashers in a large saucepan until crisp and cooked and remove. Cool, crumble and reserve.
  2. Add the onion, celery and green pepper to the saucepan with the bacon drippings and saute gently for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the potato, water, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper and bay leaf and bring to boil.
  4. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender to taste.
  5. Add the corn to the saucepan when the potatoes are tender.
  6. Combine the cake flour and 125 ml milk, stir into the soup and bring to boil while stirring.
  7. Stir in the remaining milk and/or cream, adjust seasoning and heat to boiling point.
  8. Serve piping hot, sprinkled with black pepper and parsley.

6 to 8 servings


  • For a vegetarian soup, omit the bacon and add a little more seasoning such as vegetable stock powder or a few drops Tabasco sauce if the soup lacks flavour.
  • For a more colourful soup, use half finely diced red and half finely diced green pepper.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book p. 108.

Corn Chowder

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Paella takes its name from the typical wide, shallow saucepan used for this ever-popular Spanish rice dish with magnificent contrasting flavours, colours and textures. To simplify and save time, cook the ingredients simultaneously in two smaller saucepans and the large shallow paella-style pan.  Read more about National Spanish Paella Day here.


  • To make paella successfully use rice that does not stick together such as parboiled or polished rice.
  • Saffron is the typically used flavouring and colouring agent but it is costly and may be replaced by turmeric.
  • Frozen or canned mussels and oysters are often used in paella. They may be used as is or crumbed and fried before placing on top of the paella.

150 ml sunflower or olive oil or half of each
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
2 – 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 large red tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium green pepper, seeded and cut into strips
250 g / 300 ml parboiled or polished rice
750 ml boiling water
7,5 ml chicken stock powder
1 ml saffron or 2,5 ml turmeric
200 ml white wine (semisweet or dry)
2,5 ml salt
± 300 g thickly sliced smoked or cooked ham
250 ml frozen peas
± 1 kg boneless skinless chicken breasts
125 ml cake flour or gluten or wheat-free flour
2,5 m salt
additional pinch of saffron or 1ml turmeric
1ml black pepper
± 1 kg combined seafood such as 350 g firm white fish, 350 g shelled and de-veined prawns
2,5 ml salt
few drops Tabasco sauce or a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

To serve and garnish
± 200 g canned, shelled mussels or half shell mussels drained and rinsed or
frozen, shelled or half shell mussels, rinsed in boiling water and drained
black or Calamata olives
chopped parsley
sprigs of fresh herbs

  1. Select one large saucepan or paella–style pan and 2 smaller saucepans and place 50 ml of the oil into each.
  2. Place the onions and garlic into the large saucepan and sauté gently, stirring form time to time until tender.
  3. Add the tomato, green pepper and rice and stir-fry 5 minutes more.
  4. Add the water, stock powder, saffron or turmeric, wine and salt and bring to the boil.
  5. Lower the heat and boil gently until the liquid just covers the rice.
  6. Cut the ham into strips and place with the peas and if used plain, the mussels and oysters as well, on top of the rice.
  7. Cover and simmer gently until the rice is tender and dry and the ingredients on top cooked to taste.
  8. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into 2 cm dices and toss in the combined flour, salt, saffron or turmeric and black pepper.
  9. Heat the oil in the second saucepan and stir-fry the chicken until golden brown, crisp and cooked and set aside.
  10. If frozen seafood is used, rinse in a colander to remove any ice particles and dry well. Cut the fish into 2 cm dices.
  11. Heat the oil in the third saucepan and stir-fry the seafood and fish until cooked and lightly browned. Sprinkle with salt and Tabasco or cayenne pepper and set aside.
  12. Place the cooked chicken and seafood, except the prawns in the shells onto the rie mixture when cooked and toss all together gently.
  13. Serve from the paella-style pan or turn into a warm serving dish and garnish with the prawns in the shells and if used, crumbed oysters and mussels.
  14. Sprinkle with parsley, place the olives on top and garnish with sprigs of herbs.
  15. Serve hot with crusty bread and a mixed green salad.

See the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book for tips on storing, freezing and enlarging paella.

8 generous servings

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book p. 445

Seafood Paella


Seafood (only) Paella
Omit the chicken and ham and increase the mixed seafood to aout 2 kg.

Vegetable Paella
Omit the chicken, ham and seafood and add about 2 kg lightly cooked or roasted mixed vegetables to the basic rice.

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Apple Rosé Welcome Drink

Treat your guests with this refreshing drink on arrival!

750 ml clear apple juice
750 ml cranberry, mixed berry or pomegranate juice
750 ml ginger beer, sprite or sparking water

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a container of a suitable size and transfer to jugs or pitchers.
  2. Serve chilled with ice, fresh mint leaves and lemon slices as preferred.

Recipy by Carolié de Koster.

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Pikelets (Crumpets)

The pikelets and toppings are easy to make and serve before a festive meal. Mini pikelets are great for savoury snacks served before a meal or at teatime.  See Ricotta & Smoked Salmon/Ham Topping recipe or the Spicy Ricotta and Almond/Chickpea Topping to serve with the pikelets.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: about 30 pikelets, depending on size

Pikelet batter
2 cups (500 ml) cake flour
1 Tbsp (15 ml) baking powder
½ tsp (2,5 ml) salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups (375 ml) milk
2 Tbsp (30 ml) melted butter
a little more milk or water if needed
butter or cooking spray to cook

  1.  Place the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
  2. Beat together the milk and eggs and add to the flour gradually while beating with a whisk to form a smooth batter. Stir in the melted butter.
  3. The batter should be of a consistency that will pour readily from a spoon. If necessary add a little more milk or water to achieve the optimal consistency.
  4. Heat about 2 tsp (10 ml) butter in a heavy saucepan or electric frying pan over moderately high heat and spread over the base, or spray with cooking spray. Use a round soupspoon and place spoonfuls of batter into the pan.
  5. Adjust the amount of batter used according to the size required. The batter should spread out to make thin neat pikelets. If it is still too firm, stir in a little water.
  6. Cook the pikelets until bubbles appear on top and they are pale golden underneath. Turn over and cook until golden on the other side.
  7. Adjust the heat as necessary to ensure that the pikelets do not brown too much or too soon.
  8. Place the pikelets onto a plate and cover with a tea towel to keep them soft and moist. When cool, store in an airtight container or freeze for later use.
  9. To serve, spread the toppings onto the pikelets and arrange onto a large platter. Garnish with greenery and salad ingredients as preferred.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.

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Ricotta & Smoked Salmon/Ham Topping

A tasty and nourishing topping or filling for sandwiches.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: –
Serves: 1½ cups (375 ml) topping or dip

1 cup (250 ml) Ricotta cheese
½ cup (125 ml) coarsely chopped smoked salmon or ham
1 Tbsp (15 ml) tomato sauce or topping (or a little more if preferred)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) mild or hot sweet chilli sauce
paprika and finely snipped chives or spring onion to flavour or garnish

  1. Mix the ingredients together – the paprika and spring onion can either be used as garnish on top or mixed into the topping for flavour and colour.

Recipy by Carolié de Koster.

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Spicy Ricotta & Almond/Chickpea Topping

A dip or topping filled with flavour and nourishment for high days and holidays! Serve on pikelets, crackers, toast or with vegetable sticks. OR serve as is typical in the southern American regions, spooned into a bowl and surrounded by fruit such as grapes, sliced pears, apples or bananas on cocktail sticks.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: –
Serves: 2 cups (500 ml) topping or dip

1 cup (250 ml) Ricotta cheese
½ cup (125 ml) slivered almonds or drained canned chickpeas
1/3 cup (75 ml) fruit chutney such as Mrs. Ball’s or peach or mango
2 tsp (10 ml) curry powder (mild or hot as preferred)

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Scatter the almonds or chickpeas onto a baking tray and bake 6 – 8 minutes until toasted to a light golden brown colour. Take great care not too brown them too much.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Use as a topping or once refrigerated the mixture will become firm enough to shape into a dome on a serving platter. Very elegant sprinkled with more flaked and toasted almonds and surrounded by the crackers and fruit.

Carolié de Koster.

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Aniseed Bread

Aniseed Bread

An aromatically flavoured loaf to serve with soup, stews or cheese and salads.

Preparation time: 1 hour, including rising time
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2 medium loaves or 20 slices
Note: This bread can also be made in a bread machine.

2 x 8 g sachets instant yeast
1 cup (250 ml) High grade flour
½ cup (125 ml) semolina
2 tsp (10 ml) aniseed
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) hot water
± 3 cups (750 ml) additional High grade flour


  1. Place the yeast, first measure of flour, semolina, aniseed, salt, sugar, milk and water in a mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer and mix to combine.
  2. Add sufficient of the extra flour gradually to make a soft dough. Knead the dough in the electric mixer for about 8 minutes or turn out on a floured surface and knead very well by hand for about 10 minutes until smooth and very elastic. Return to the bowl, cover and allow to rise at room temperature or a very mildly warm spot until doubled.
  3. Punch down the risen dough, divide in half and shape into oval-shaped loaves. Line a baking tray with baking paper or aluminium foil. Rolls the loaves into semolina to coat lightly and place onto the baking tray. Cut diagonal slashes into the top with a pair of kitchen scissors and allow to rise uncovered until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200 ºC while the loaves are rising. Place the risen loaves into the oven and bake 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 170 ºC and bake 30 minutes more until the loaves are lightly browned and the crust crisp and sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.

Aniseed Bread
Aniseed Bread
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Prince William’s Groom’s Cake

Prince William has picked Chocolate Biscuit Cake (also known as Chocolate Fridge Cake), a traditional British treat, as his Groom’s Cake.  It will be served at the Royal Reception as a less formal alternative to the wedding cake. This easy, no-bake cake will become a favorite with adults and kids alike, so be prepared to make it often once you have introduced it to your family and friends!  The cake needs to chill for at least 3 hours, so keep that it mind when making it!   Enjoy!

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves: 20 – 30 servings depending on size


  • Purchase 3 x 200 g slabs chocolate for the cake and glaze. If a smaller quantity is required, halve all the quantities.
  • Instead of making a round cake the mixture can be set in rectangular dishes and sliced into fingers or squares (almost like fudge).

1 x 200g packet shortbread or digestive biscuits or ½ of each
450 g good quality dark or milk eating or cooking chocolate, broken up
1 cup (250 ml) cream
2 Tbs (30 ml) honey or syrup
4 Tbsp (60 ml) butter
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence

¼ cup (60 ml) cream or milk
2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter
150 g chocolate, broken up

  1. Line the base and sides of a 20 cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper. Stick the paper to the sides with tiny knobs of butter. Break up the biscuits by hand into small chunks and not too finely.
  2. Place the chocolate and cream in a bowl and microwave on medium-low for 2 to 3 minutes until the chocolate has softened if tested with the tip of a teaspoon.
  3. Add the honey, butter and vanilla essence and stir until combined.
  4. Add the biscuits and mix well.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin or tins and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
  6. Refrigerate the cake in the round tin at least 3 hours or overnight. If made as slices or squares in rectangular containers it will set within an hour.
  7. To make the glaze, combine all the ingredients in a jug suitable for the microwave and microwave on medium-low until the chocolate has softened if tested with the tip of a teaspoon and stir until smooth.
  8. Pour and spread the glaze over the top and refrigerate the rectangular cakes.
  9. Slide a knife around the inside of the tin and remove the rim.
  10. Place the cake onto a rack to catch up drippings and pour the glaze evenly over the cake to cover the top and sides.
  11. Refrigerate until quite firm and slice the round cake into thin wedges or the rectangular cakes into fingers. Store the cake in the refrigerator but remove a short while before serving to slice easily.


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Phyllo Fantasies

Phyllo Fantasy

The components for this dessert are “fused” into breathtaking fantasies!  Make it a day or two in advance and assemble shortly before serving.

Preparation time: 1 hour (can be done in advance!)
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Phyllo squares
4 sheets phyllo pastry (will make 64 small squares)
125 ml (1/2 cup / ± 100 g) melted butter

Poached meringue
3 cups (750 ml) milk
3 egg whites
pinch cream of tartar (optional to stabilise the meringue)
1/3 cup (75 ml) sugar

3 large egg yolks
2 whole large eggs
75 ml sugar
50 ml cornflour
pinch salt
75 ml milk
5 ml vanilla essence
1 ml almond essence (optional)

Caramel and nut syrup
30 ml oil
250 ml/100 g flaked almonds, toasted
125 ml sugar
75 ml water
15 ml honey or syrup
2,5 ml vanilla essence

To assemble and serve
125 – 250 ml cream, whipped
125 – 250 ml flaked almonds, toasted

  1. Fold 4 sheets of phyllo pastry simultaneously in half lengthwise, press down lightly, unfold, cut through fold line with a sharp knife and stack the 8 wide strips. Fold in half and cut in the same way to obtain 16 strips. Stack all the strips.
  2. Fold the strips simultaneously in half lengthwise, unfold, press down lightly and cut in half on the fold line. Stack the shorter strips and fold and cut once more in the same way to obtain 64 squares. Stack the squares, cover with a cloth or seal airtight and refrigerate if not baked soon after cutting.
  3. Line two baking trays with foil or baking paper and brush with melted butter. Place as many squares as will fit onto the baking tray and brush lightly with butter. Cover each one with a second square, brush and add a third square. Continue until all the triple-layered squares are made (the best ones will be used for the recipe!)
  4. Bake at 180ºC for 4 – 5 minutes or until pale golden (biscuit colour). Watch carefully to make sure that the squares do not brown too much for it will spoil the taste and appearance. Cool and set aside to use or pack carefully in an airtight container until required.
  5. To make the poached meringue and custard filling, pour the milk into a large shallow saucepan and heat gently to just below boiling point.
  6. Beat egg white and cream of tartar until firm and gradually beat in sugar to obtain a stiff meringue.
  7. Dip an oval shaped tablespoon into the hot milk, scoop out neat rounded spoonfuls of the meringue and place into the hot milk.
  8. Take care that the milk does not come to boil at any stage for the meringues will separate and curdle into the milk.
  9. Poach the meringues about 2 minutes on a side or until each floating meringue sets and expands in the hot milk.
  10. Turn over and poach gently for 2 minutes more. Lift out the poached meringues with a perforated spoon and place into a colander to drain. If the poached meringues are not used within a short time, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for a day or two. Return the drained milk to the saucepan with the milk to make the custard.
  11. Beat together the egg yolks, whole eggs, sugar, cornflour, salt, 1/3 cup (75 ml) milk and flavouring and add a little of the hot milk to the mixture.
  12. Return to the saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Turn down the heat and cook 2 – 3 minutes more or until thick and bubbly.
  13. Pour into a bowl, cover with a cloth and cool until required or refrigerate for a day or two until ready to assemble.
  14. Prepare the caramel and nut syrup. Place the oil and nuts into a saucepan and heat to moderately hot, stirring continually until the nuts turn pale golden.
  15. Add the sugar and cook about 3 minutes, stirring until the sugar starts to melt and caramelise.
  16. Remove from heat as soon as the caramel is golden brown and add the water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and add the honey or syrup and flavouring.
  17. Bring to boil, simmer 2-3 minutes to become syrupy and set aside until ready to use or seal and store for a day or two.
  18. When ready to serve, place one triple layeredphyllo square onto each individual plate or place 10 of the baked squares onto a large serving platter. Divide the custard between the squares and spoon the poached meringue on top. Cover the filling with another baked double layer of fried phyllo and place a spoonful of cream on top. Drizzle caramel and nut syrup decoratively over each assembled fantasy!

10 servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art of Cooking Recipe book p. 795.

Phyllo Fantasy
Phyllo Fantasy