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Authentic Panna Cotta

This classic Italian dessert Panna cotta is made of sweetened cream which is thickened with gelatin and usually moulded. The cream may be flavoured with vanilla, coffee, rum, etc. Although the name does not sound appetizing at all (it means ‘cooked cream’ in Italian), panna cotta is silky smooth with a melt-in-the-mouth texture and is as close to perfection as it gets!

Continue reading Authentic Panna Cotta

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G&T Cheesecake

A cheesecake recipe inspired by the nation’s best-loved summer cocktail – a G&T. There’s a zingy layer of gin and tonic-flavoured jelly on top of a creamy mascarpone middle and a biscuit base – it’s the summer dessert dreams are made of.  If you prefer the real thing, check out my post Gin Cocktails for a variety of tasty cocktail recipes.
Continue reading G&T Cheesecake

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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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Berries and Cream Pavlova

According to Annelien Pienaar she makes this dessert when she wants to treat herself.  It is not overly sweet or too heavy after a big meal.  It will also be a hit on a cake table.  The recipe is suitable for individual portions as well.  This recipe is from Annelien’s first recipe book, Boerekos met ‘n twist. We hope their will be many more!  Read more about this amazing book here.

Continue reading Berries and Cream Pavlova

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“Top-deck” Chocolate Mousse

This is a quick and easy banting-friendly mousse for two people.

100 g Lindt 85% dark chocolate, melted
2 extra large egg whites, beaten till stiff peak stage
250 ml cream, whipped

To Serve
Cocoa powder to dust
250 ml additional cream, whipped

  1. Fold the whipped egg whites and the cream into cooled melted chocolate.
  2. Pipe into 200 ml glasses.
  3. Top with the rest of the whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder.
  4. Chill for 1 hour, dust with cocoa powder and serve!


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Olive Oil & Citrus Ice Cream

Olive oil is not exactly an ingredient that one usually finds in ice cream, but this recipe is definitely worth a try!  You can taste the olive oil without it being overpowering and it is complimented very well with the flavour of the orange.  This ice cream is neither too rich or sweet.

225 g sugar
750 ml of milk
250 ml of double cream
6 large egg yolks
180 ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
15 ml vanilla bean extract or paste
2 medium 0ranges or lemons, zested

  1. Beat the sugar and egg yolks in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer for about 3 to 4 minutes or until the mixture is pale yellow and creamy.
  2. Continue to beat while slowly adding your oil.  Mix for a few more minutes until the mixture is smooth and airy.
  3. Add the milk, cream, vanilla paste and orange or lemon zest and beat until combined. Note: if you used a zester to remove the zest from the citrus, you will need to chop it finely before adding it to the mixture.
  4. If using an ice cream machine, pour the mixture into the bowl of the ice cream machine and follow your manufacturer instructions to make the ice cream.
  5. If you don’t have an ice cream machine, simply transfer the mixture to a container with a lid, i.e. Tupperware or an old ice cream container and freeze for two to three hours.
  6. Remove the ice-cream from the freezer at least 30 minutes before you want to serve it to soften.
  7. Garnish with mint and orange segments.


  • Replace some of the milk with orange or lemon juice (you will need to use less sugar when using orange juice and more sugar if using lemon juice).
  • Use half cream and half milk


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Mexican Flan

Flan, also known as Crème Caramel, is a traditional Mexican dessert. It is creamy custard topped with caramel sauce, dates back to the Roman empire and was often made to use up extra milk and eggs. Flan can be made in individual serving dishes, or in one large dish and then sliced it into the desired portions sizes.  Also known as Flan,

100 g/125 ml sugar
30 ml water

425 ml milk
90 ml castor sugar or partly artificial sweetener
175 ml cream
4 large whole eggs
2 large egg yolks
5 ml vanilla essence
pinch salt

To Serve and Garnish (optional)
aerosol canned whipped cream  
or decorative fruit or tiny flowers

  1. Grease 6 ovenproof glass moulds with 125 to 200 ml capacity with butter or non-stick cooking spray and have them prepared when caramel is ready and needs quick action.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160°C. 
  3. Place the sugar and water for the caramel into a small saucepan and heat gently, without stirring, until the sugar dissolves and forms a syrup. Turn up the heat slightly and simmer just until the syrup turns golden brown.
  4. Pour the syrup into the moulds, tilt each mould to allow the syrup to coat the base and part of the sides of each mould evenly.Heat the milk to just below boiling point and stir in the castor sugar to melt. 
  5. Beat the  eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and salt until combined and add and beat in the warm milk.
  6. Strain the mixture into a jug and divide between the prepared moulds. Stand the moulds in a suitable pan and fill the pan with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the moulds.
  7. Place in the oven and bake about 20 minutes or until set and golden on top.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. 
  9. Refrigerate until quite cold before inverting onto individual serving plates or a large platter.
  10. Decorate each crème caramel with a small rosette of whipped cream just before serving.

6 servings.


  • To store in the refrigerator, place the moulds into a plastic container and seal to prevent the delicately flavoured custard from absorbing odours.
  • To make classic crème caramel for special occasions, use half milk and half cream. Heat the milk and beat the cream with the eggs. Continue as explained above.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book p. 750.


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Home-made Fruit Coulis


Coulis is the French word for “strained liquid” and refers to a thick sauce made from puréed and strained vegetables or fruits. Coulis can be sweet or savory, depending on what it is meant to accompany. The base of coulis is a fruit or vegetable. Fruits are generally used uncooked, while vegetables may be roasted, blackened, or simmered so that they soften. The base is pureed so that it is creamy and smooth, and then it is usually seasoned. After seasoning, the coulis may be strained to remove things like seeds or chunks of skin. The sauce may be artfully drizzled on a plate, or pooled next to the food. When fresh fruits are abundant, turn them into sauces.  Do not add too much sugar or water at the onset of cooking.  Add sugar at the end as necessary for the type and acidity of the fruit used.  The moisture in the fruit will create a sauce when cooked.  Wash and prepare the fruit as is appropriate and cut up before making the sauce.

500 g fresh, prepared fruit, e.g. strawberries, blueberries, mulberries, raspberries, etc.
10 ml cornflour
50 ml  water
a few drops of lemon juice, sherry or liqueur as preferred.
50 to 125 ml sugar (adjust after tasting)

  1. Place the fruit, cornflour, water and preferred flavouring into a saucepan and bring to boil while stirring. Simmer until tender and add sugar to taste.
  2. Serve the sauce chunky as is or turn into a smooth or ultra smooth sauce by blending the sauce in a food processor until smooth. The sauce can also be strained through a sieve.
  3. Cool quickly and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.  The sauce freezes very well.

Makes ± 500 ml sauce.

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Low-fat Panna Cotta


Authentic Italian panna cotta is quite high in fat and kilojoules, but in this lighter version some of the cream is replaced by milk, making it a viable dessert option for those following a low-fat lifestyle. It is just as tasty though!  Serve as is or with a fruit or chocolate sauce for a dreamy dessert.  Scroll down for the recipe for Coffee Panna Cotta.

500 ml milk
1 cinnamon stick or strip of lemon peel
50 ml sugar or xylitol
15 ml gelatine
50 ml cold water
few drops almond essence
250 ml cream, stiffly beaten

Chocolate sauce OR
± 1 cup (250 ml) blueberries, raspberries or strawberries
+/- 100 g coarsely chopped chocolate or any flaked chocolate bar preferred OR
250 ml f
ruit sauce, e.g. raspberry, strawberry, blackcurrant, etc.

  1. Place the milk into a saucepan with the cinnamon stick or lemon peel and bring to boil.  Remove from heat as soon as it boils and stir in the sugar. 
  2. Place the gelatine into a 500 ml ovenproof bowl or jug and cover with the water.  Microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds – 1 minute or stand over the steam of simmering water until melted.
  3. Stir the gelatine into the hot milk, remove the cinnamon stick or lemon peel and pour into a bowl to cool.
  4. Stand the bowl in a basin with water and ice or refrigerate until the mixture just starts to set at the sides.  Stir gently from time to time until softly set.
  5. Beat the cream until stiff and beat it into the partly set milk mixture until evenly blended.
  6. Pour into 6 to 8 ramekin dishes into stemmed bowls or glasses, ready for serving.
  7. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving from the stemmed bowls or glasses or loosen the sides and carefully turn out the moulded desserts onto a large platter or individual plates.
  8. To prepare the chocolate drizzle, melt 50 g dark chocolate with 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of cream in the microwave on Medium for 30 seconds or until the chocolate has softened. Mix well with a teaspoon to create a glaze and use to garnish the serving plates or drizzle over the Pannacotta.
  9. Alternatively decorate with fruit sauce or chocolates.

6 to 8 servings. 


Coffee Panna Cotta

375 ml cream
125 ml milk
50 ml sugar
15 ml gelatine powder
150 ml strong coffee for instance Espresso OR
150 ml boiling water mixed with 15 ml strong instant coffee granules
50 ml Kahlua or similar coffee liqueur

Garnish (optional)
125 ml  whipped cream
chocolate drizzle (see below) or chocolates (e.g. Cadbury Whispers)

  1. Place the cream, milk and sugar into a saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  2. Place the gelatine into a 500 ml ovenproof jug or bowl and add the coffee or water and the instant coffee granules.  Microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds – 1 minute or stand over the steam of simmering water until melted.
  3. Add the gelatine and liqueur to the cream and mix well until evenly blended.
  4. Pour the mixture into individual small or one large bowl to set.
  5. Garnish with the cream and/or chocolate drizzle or chocolates.


  • Cover well and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • This dessert is excellent to make for many.  The dessert may be moulded in small individual bowls or moulds or  in large moulds or decorative dessert bowls.
  • If you plan to unmould the pannacotta, refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours before unmoulding.

Recipes by Carolié de Koster.

Be sure to also try the basic Authentic Panna Cotta and the Goat’s Cheese Panna Cotta With Raspberries recipes.

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Affogato (Coffee Dessert)

Affogato (Italian for “drowned”) is a coffee-based dessert. It is basically a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with a shot of hot espresso.  Quick and easy!

1 liter vanilla ice-cream
10 shots (30 to 45 ml per person) hot fresh espresso coffee

To serve
Italian biscuits, e.g. biscotti or amaretti

  1. Line up 10 dessert glasses.
  2. Place a scoop of ice-cream in each of the glasses.
  3. Make espresso in a coffee machine, Brikka pot or Aeropress and pour a shot of espresso into the glasses to drown the ice cream.
  4. Serve immediately with Italian biscuits on the side.


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Chia Coconut Ice-cream

One of the most irresistible healthy frozen desserts and really easy to make! This ice-cream may just become addictive!

Note  To whip well purchase the best quality organic coconut cream and chill it at least overnight to ensure that it is ice cold.

1 x 400 g tin coconut cream (see note above)
2 large egg whites
3 Tbsp (45 ml) raw or white sugar
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Black Chia Seeds
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla essence
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
generous pinch each ground nutmeg, cloves and cardamom or mixed spice
good pinch salt
¼ tsp (1 ml) extra black chia seeds to sprinkle

  1. Whip the chilled coconut cream for about 5 minutes or until it becomes full of air and holds it shape – it will not become as stiff as ordinary cream.
  2. Beat the egg white until stiff and gradually beat in the sugar to form a stiff meringue. Sprinkle the chia seeds, vanilla, spices and salt over the egg white and add the whipped coconut cream.
  3. Fold together gently until evenly combined and pour into a suitable container to freeze. Sprinkle the extra seeds over the top, seal airtight and freeze overnight or for at least 6 hours before serving.

8 servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.

Chia Coconut Ice-cream

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Tiramisu means “pick me up” and is a popular coffee-flavored Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers or Boudoir Biscuits dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa. Countless variations of Tiramisu exist. (see variations below).   Marsala wine can be added to the recipe, but other liquors are frequently substituted for it including dark rum, Madeira, port, brandy, Malibu, or Irish Cream and especially coffee flavored liqueurs such as Tia Maria and Kahlua.

250 ml espresso or strong black coffee
15 ml castor sugar
30 ml Kahlua liqueur, brandy or Marsala
200 g pack Boudoir biscuits or Lady fingers
4 large egg yolks
100 g/125 ml castor sugar
2 x 250 g Mascarpone cheese or creamed cottage cheese
2 ml vanilla extract

To serve
cocoa powder for dusting

  1. Have ready a large rectangular dish (about 350 x 250 mm).
  2. Combine the coffee, sugar, Kahlua liqueur, brandy or Marsala and cool to room temperature.
  3. Arrange the biscuits on the base of the dish, trimming the biscuits to fit snugly into the dish.  Pour the cooled coffee mixture evenly over the biscuits.
  4. Beat the egg yolks and castor sugar very well until extremely light and pale yellow.  Add the cheese and vanilla and beat until the mixture thickens to the consistency of whipped cream.
  5. Pour the mixture over the biscuits, spread evenly and cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Sift an even thin layer of cocoa decoratively over the top of the dessert and cut into squares.
  7. Place on serving plates and garnish as preferred.

10 to 12 servings.

Tiramisu in bowls – to serve elegantly, cut the biscuits into smaller sections, soak in the coffee mixture and divide between 12 small glass bowls or stemmed glasses. Our the cheese mixture over the biscuits, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours. Dust lightly with cocoa and garnish as preferred just before serving.

Moulded Tiramisu cake – To make a moulded cake or dessert which may be sliced neatly into wedges, dip the biscuits in the coffee mixture and cut and arrange the biscuits into a large, round, springform cake tin (about 28 mm in diameter), lined with baking paper. A 28 mm pie dish can also be used.  Cover 15 ml gelatine powder with 60 ml water and microwave on Medium for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until melted.  Stir 30 ml of the cheese into the gelatine, mix well and add to the egg mixture with the rest of the cheese.  Complete as explained above and refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours before slicing and serving with garnishes as preferred.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking Recipe Book p. 518.


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Creamy Mocha Mousse

This recipe is a simplified and healthier version of the ever-popular classic French dessert, Mousse au Chocolat.  In her book “From Julia Child’s Kitchen“, Julia introduces chocolate mousse as follows: “It’s a sin, wickedly rich and fattening, but every spoonful is glory …”.  I had a look at Julia’s chocolate mousse recipe but decided that it is too labour intensive and too high in fat!  Carolié’s version can be whipped up in a few minutes and it can be enjoyed on occasion as part of a healthy lifestyle.

200 g dark chocolate, chopped
100 ml espresso or strong black coffee
500 ml cream
3 extra large egg whites
75 ml castor sugar

To serve
extra whipped cream
extra chocolate, grated

  1. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof mixing bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water or cover and microwave on Medium for about 2 minutes or until melted.
  2. Add the coffee and 100 ml of the cream to the melted chocolate and stir in gently.
  3. Cool to room temperature.
  4. Beat the egg whites until frothy and gradually beat in the sugar to firm a firm meringue.
  5. Stir 125 ml of the chocolate mixture into the beaten egg-white. Add to the chocolate mixture and mix lightly.
  6. Beat the remaining cream until stiff and add two thirds to the chocolate mixture.
  7. Mix until evenly blended and pour into one large or 8 to 10 smaller bowls or stemmed glasses.  Place in the refrigerator to set.
  8. Spoon the remaining cream into a piping bag with a small rosette nozzle and refrigerate.
  9. Pipe cream rosetttes onto the chocolate mousse when set and garnish with chocolate shavings.
  10. Cover with cling wrap if not served within a few hours.

Can be made up to 3 days ahead.

Recipe from Carolié de Koster’s Art Of Cooking, p. 528.

Mocha Mousse

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Mocha Ricotta Cheesecake

A delightful creation of velvety mocha filling on a thin crust.  It can be made in advance to avoid a last-minute rush in the kitchen.

Crumb Crust
125 g Digestive or Eetsummor Biscuits
2 ml ground cinnamon
50g/50 ml butter or margarine

750 g Ricotta cheese
300 ml sugar
20 ml lemon juice
5 ml vanilla essence
15 ml brandy
20 ml gelatine
125 ml espresso or strong coffee
250 ml cream, whipped
125 ml chocolate chips

  1. Line the base of a 25 – 28 cm spring-form tin with baking paper.
  2. Place the biscuits, cinnamon and butter or margarine into the bowl of a food processor and process until crumbly and even.
  3. Turn out into the tin and press evenly onto the base.
  4. Place the Ricotta cheese, sugar, lemon juice, brandy and vanilla essence in a bowl and beat well.
  5. Place the gelatine into a 250 ml heat resistant jug and add the coffee or water and coffee powder and microwave on MEDIUM for 1 minute or until syrupy and melted.
  6. Stir a few spoonfuls of the Ricotta mixture into the gelatine, add to the bowl with the Ricotta and beat well.
  7. Add the whipped cream and chocolate chips and fold together until evenly combined.
  8. Pour into the prepared crust and sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top.
  9. Refrigerate until firm and cut as preferred to serve as a teatime treat or dessert.

If Ricotta cheese is not available use firm cream cheese.

10 servings. 

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.

Mocha & Choc Chip Ricotta Cheesecake

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Cloud Nine aka Rolled Meringue Roulade

An exquisite light and soft meringue filled and rolled with cream. A perfect choice to serve after a filling meal. Decorative colourful fruit compliments the dessert.

150 ml egg white (5 egg whites)
150 g/175 ml castor sugar
7,5 ml vanilla essence

50 ml flaked almonds 15 ml castor sugar 2 ml ground cinnamon
To turn out the meringue
baking paper
50 ml castor sugar to sprinkle

250 ml cream
30 ml sugar

To serve and garnish
decorative with fresh or canned colourful fruit
icing sugar to dust

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a baking tray (30 x 20 cm) with baking paper to extend over the sides and grease or spray with non-stick spay.
  2. Beat the egg whites, preferably with the balloon whisk of an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  3. Beat in the castor sugar gradually and add the vanilla essence.
  4. Continue beating until a very firm and stable meringue is formed.
  5. Spoon the thick meringue onto the lining and spread evenly to fill the tin.
  6. Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the top.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the meringue resembles a fluffy cloud, is just set if pressed lightly with the fingertips and pale golden, but not browned.
  8. Sprinkle a second paper or cooking bag lining with the 50 ml of castor sugar.
  9. Turn out the baked meringue onto the paper and carefully peel off the greased paper, using a sharp pointed knife to loosen meringue from the paper if necessary. Allow to cool.
  10. Beat the cream and sugar until stiff and spread over the cooled meringue.
  11. Roll up gently and carefully with the aid of the paper and transfer to a suitable serving platter.
  12. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until required.
  13. To serve, cut the roll into 12 slices, about 25 mm wide and place 1 – 2 slices per person onto shallow platters.
  14. If fresh or canned fruit is used, arrange decoratively onto the platter and dust with icing sugar.

6 to 12 servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book p. 551.


  • The filled roll may be kept refrigerated up to a day before serving. The filled roll freezes well. Allow to thaw 1 –2 hours in the refrigerator or 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.
  • Egg yolks may be used in boiled or baked custards, ice- cream, mayonnaise and salad dressings, pie crusts or added to scrambled egg.

The recipe is based on the one given in Art of Cooking p.  551.  For a large roll as seen on the photo, prepare double quantity and use a 38 x 28 cm baking tray.

Cloud Nine