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This is Leona’s recipe for caramel biscuits. They are sweet, crispy, and very good, with a lovely caramel flavour. It is one our favourite recipes.
Because the texture and flavour of apple, custard and cinnamon complement each other beautifully, this delightful baked pudding has quickly become one of our favourite winter comforts.
The Dutch have been making Jan Hagel biscuits for at least 400 years. They are thin and flaky, covered with nuts and sugar, but not too sweet, and lightly flavoured with cinnamon. Although Jan Hagels are a popular Christmas biscuit, the Dutch bake them all-year round, and so do we.
Vinegar pudding is a much-loved South African pudding. Its roots can be found in wine pudding, which was made by baking raisin-and-date batter in a syrup made from wine, but somewhere along the way vinegar became the ingredient of choice, and most recipes nowadays omit the fruit too.
Lavender and orange zest may sound like exotic ingredients for a biscuit, but they give these lovely biscuits a subtle flavour. It is the perfect biscuit to accompany quality tea, and will be a winner at your next tea party.
Speculaas are thin spice biscuits, known for their caramelised crunchiness, and also for their beautiful relief designs. They are traditionally baked around the 5th of December in the Netherlands and Belgium to celebrate St Nicholas' day, using skilfully carved wooden moulds.
South Africans love their buttermilk rusks (karringmelk beskuit), and for good reason too: they have a lovely flavour, and because you use self-raising flour, it is easy to them make at home. You can even make your own buttermilk by adding lemon juice to normal milk.There is only one downside to eating buttermilk rusks: you need to time your dunk perfectly, if you don’t want the bottom half of your rusk to break off and sink to the bottom of your cup. These egg-free buttermilk rusks​ are denser, and therefore less likely to come apart and splash into your coffee. (Jaco can vouch for this, he’s got a whole container of egg-free rusks at work.)​
Chocolate brownies are a convenient source of chocolate. With chocolate being the most important of the five food groups, you ought to plan your day carefully so that you do not get caught without it during either morning or afternoon tea. The problem with chocolate brownies, of course, is that they are at their fudgy best when you take them out of the oven, but we found it works well to eat half of it on the spot, and the rest a bit later.
Custard and almonds add a delicate flavour to rusks.The original recipe for custard and almond rusks appeared in Woman's Value, back in 1998. It is about time to put it under people's noses again, so here's Marietjie's version, which introduces just a hint of spice.
Here is a classic recipe for coconut ice, but with a modern tweak.Marietjie's mother got the recipe from Aunt Hetty Gouws. Aunt Hetty used a drop of red food colouring for the pink coconut icing, but because we avoid artificial food colouring when we can, Marietjie experimented with natural freeze-dried raspberry powder, with excellent results.
A baked orange pudding is a tangy, traditional, and highly addictive affair. This recipe ticks all the boxes: it is zesty, has been handed down the generations, and has been proved to impress friends and colleagues alike. It is sticky too, on account of being baked in its own sauce.
When you sandwich tangy, tropical guava custard between a slice of Swiss roll and a layer of unbaked cheesecake, you get a guava tart. We guarantee it will make your toes curl.
Crunchies – the well-loved South African biscuits that remind of Anzac biscuits, or even British flapjacks – comes in many variations, but this recipe is for a somewhat thinner, crunchier version.
Caramel apple tart – apple slices nestled on cake batter; baked and then smothered in a creamy syrup – might well be one of South Africa's most popular apple tart recipes. It is delicious served hot or cold, and with or without custard or vanilla ice-cream.
Custard dumplings, while not as famous as traditional South African Souskluitjies (dumplings), are delicious (especially on a cold rainy day) and easy to make. The only downside we can think of is the fact that they disappear very, very quickly. It is the sort of dish that makes you watch your fellow table-mates very closely.
Peppermint Crisp Balls are truffles, or chocolate balls, made from South African Peppermint Crisp bars. These wicked balls will get you out of trouble when you have to deal with a desperate craving for Peppermint Crisp Tart, but just do not have time (or the inclination) to build the full-blown traditional tart layer by layer. If you don’t like lots of cream, Peppermint Crisp Balls might even be a better option.
The Germans call these Christmas biscuits Zimsterne. They are a bit like macaroons, but rolled out and cut with a cookie press.
These tiny sandwiches are great when you need to dream up finger food, but are particularly good as part of a late, lazy afternoon tea.
While not fancy, two-tone biscuits are not run-of-the-mill either. They are fun to make, because you can get really creative with them if you want to, and are delicious to eat.
“Lemoenstroopkoek” means “orange syrup cake”, but because this cake contains dates, we think it should be called an “Orange and date cake”.Marietjie’s father – who had a sweet tooth – loved this cake for his birthday. Because his birthday coincided with their annual winter holiday on the farm, baking this cake became part of the routine holiday preparations. These days Marietjie bake it on her father’s birthday to treasure his memory.
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