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Baking and Confectionery

Chocolate hot cross buns, which are less spicy than normal hot cross buns, are popular in New Zealand. Although spice-free buns may be ideal for children that do not like spices and fruit, their flavour can be improved by adding just enough spice to compliment the chocolate, and this recipe does just that.

This recipe uses a bread maker.

Pineapple tart is a refreshing tart with a tropical flavour. The traditional recipe requires ingredients that are common in South Africa but hard to find elsewhere, but this recipe use New Zealand ingredients.

A Peppermint Crisp Tart is an incredibly rich, flavoursome, and refreshing tart, bad for strict diets, but well-loved by generations of South Africans. It use typical South African ingredients that may be hard to find outside South Africa, but this recipe has been adapted with alternative ingredients.

Jan Smutsies are somewhat similar to cheeseless cheesecake tarts, the main difference being that Jan Smutsies contain apricot jam (South Africans' favourite jam) while cheesecake tarts are made from raspberry jam.

Jan Smuts was an eminent South African and British Commonwealth statesman, military leader, and philosopher. He was Prime Minister in the Union of South-Africa from 1919 to 1924 and again from 1939 to 1948. His political supporters preferred these tartlets over Hertzoggies.

Hertzoggies are light, puffy pastry tartlets with a delectable apricot jam meringue filling. It may remind you of Louise slice.

Hertzoggies are named after General Hertzog, who was South Africa's Prime Minister between 1924 and 1939. Hertzog's political supporters loved Hertzoggies, while his opponents preferred Jan Smutsies.

Lovely toffee-like coconut-oat biscuits, with currants and cherries.

It is an old family recipe that originates from the Outeniqua mountains in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

Yield about 650 grams of biscuits.

South Africans love fruitcake, especially very fruity ones. They are common during the Christmas season, but fruitcake lovers tend to bake and serve it throughout the year. This is one of our favourite fruitcake recipes: it consists mostly of fruit, is quite moist, and a bit spicy. It is a flexible recipe, so you can use your favourite fruits and flavours.

Nothing beats the smell and taste of freshly baked fruit Christmas mince pies, straight from the oven. This recipe uses homemade Fruit Mince, but you can also buy it at your supermarket.

Although you can buy Fruit Mince (used for Fruit Mince Pies) at a good supermarket, making your own is fun and more economical, and tastes better.

A koeksister is gooey, sweet, syrupy and very sticky - crisp on the outside and soft inside. Biting into one can only be described as a taste-explosion!

Koeksisters are often sold at South African flea markets and church fundraiser functions.

Although sometimes misspelled as "koeksusters" (cake sisters), the name comes from the hissing sound it makes when the dough is dropped into boiling oil.

Pannekoek is similar to crepe. It should not be too thick, and is at it's best if covered in a layer of cinnamon-sugar.

In a country that tends to get droughts, you celebrate rainfall – which is why South Africans love eating pancakes when its cold and raining. In fact, cold damp weather is know as pancake-weather.

It should not confused with plaatkoekies (pikelets or Scottish pancakes).

Melktert is the stuff that dreams and memories are made of. Melktert (which means "milk tart") is a classic – and much loved – South African afternoon dessert and tea-time treat. Being a baked custard tart, flavoured with cinnamon, it is part of South Africa’s Dutch and Cape Malay culinary background.

Each melktert baker has their own favourite recipe. Some prefer to bake it in a traditional puff pastry, while others use a slightly sweetened short crust pastry. We prefer the traditionally method but because a good puff pastry needs lots of skill and time, we take a shortcut and buy quality ready-made puff pastry that’s made with butter.