Ystervarkies are small cubes of cake that are dipped in chocolate sauce and then rolled in coconut, to resemble hedgehogs. (“Yservarkie” is Afrikaans for “hedgehog”.) South African lamingtons are much smaller than the Australian and New Zealand versions, usually measuring only 3 or 4 cm square.
A delicious chicken pie that combines delicate flavours and colours: small pieces of pink ham and slices of white-and-yellow egg are gently tucked into a protein-rich mixture of shredded chicken and home-made chicken stock, thickened with sago to be moist but never soggy. You won’t find any vegetables in this king of pies; they are served on the side, together with a crispy garden salad.
These delectable muffins are also known as cappuccino chocolate chip muffins, but we think of them as “mochacchino muffins”, in honour of the caffè mocha, that king of drinks made from espresso, steamed milk and chocolate. Make sure that you enjoy it with the very best coffee you can lay your hands on.
This is said to be the chocolate oat biscuit recipe used by famous brands in both South Africa and the United States. It is also claimed that they are healthy because they use oatmeal (which is low in GI and contains antioxidants) and dark chocolate (everyone knows dark chocolate is good for you). We couldn’t care less if any of these wild claims are true or not; all we know is that these chocolate oat biscuits are crisp and additively delicious.
We made these easy apple tartlets with a simple apple filling and tasty squares dough, using a silicon tartelette container. It was a bit of an experiment, but they came out beautifully, exactly like the apple tartlets we grew up with as children.
Tasty squares, an old-fashioned South-African slice, might have its roots in Holland.This is more or less the recipe that Marietjie’s mum baked, but we prefer to go light on the cloves and almond essence.
A pudding that’s allowed only once every four years? Yes, that’s right. In honour of leap year, we made South African leap year pudding.
Rich, festive, fabulous, and expensive, a biltongpotjie is special dish for a special occasion.
Condensed milk biscuits are well-known in South-Africa. They are similar to New Zealand condensed milk biscuits, but contain egg.The dough is soft and very pliable, which means you can shape your biscuits with a cookie press, or even a meat grinder with a cookie attachment, if you are so lucky to own one.
This is a lovely chocolaty chocolate mousse, and better still, one that sets quickly. We use either milk or dark chocolate – or even a combination of the two – depending on the preferences of the feasters.
If you are a fan of Milo, you will most probably love Milo biscuits. They are crunchy on the outside, soft and Milo-ish inside, and goes very well with a glass of cold milk.
A bottle or two of tangy beetroot is a very handy thing to have in the pantry when you need to conjure up salad in a hurry. This spicy beetroot salad, also known as pickled beetroot or even beetroot relish, is a favourite in both South-Africa and New Zealand.
Ouma Corrie, Marietjie’s grandmother, taught her to make Swiss roll when she was a little girl – a skill that is appreciated by Jaco and Mia, who loves eating Swiss roll.The main difference between South African and Kiwi recipes seem to be the filling: raspberry jam in New Zealand, and apricot jam in South Africa. We use Craig’s Apricot Lite Fruit spread, available in New Zealand supermarkets.You can fill it with anything of you like, of course: caramel condensed milk became a popular filling in South-Africa, and lemon curd is worth trying too.
Custard slices (Afrikaans “vlaskywe”), a very traditional treat in South Africa, are made by sandwiching thick custard between two layers of crispy crust, and adding a thin layer of icing to glaze the top. They are related to Kiwi custard slices/squares, but not quite the same.This recipe is based on the traditional South African custard slice, but we used rose water to flavour the icing, and puff pastry to make the crust. You can of course use either lemon juice or vanilla in the glaze icing, which is more traditional than the some-what Bohemian flavour of rose water.
Why do people love crème brûlée so much? We think it is how you have to crack through the crispy sugar-topping to get to the heavenliest of all custards. It is a very elegant desert, and usually expensive when you order it in a restaurant – but is actually very easy to make. Especially this recipe, demonstrated by the French pastry chef Guillaume Nicoli on NZ television, as it does not require the use of a bain-marie (water bath) to cook.
This Kiwi favourite – called yo-yo biscuits because they look like the toy – are egg-free and made from custard powder. When made with real butter, they are guaranteed to melt in the mouth. A number of cafés in New Zealand sell enormous yo-yo biscuits, but we prefer them smaller.
Ouma Babsie, Marietjie’s grandmother, lived in Onseepkans in the Boesmanland in the North-Western Cape. Because their farm was on the banks of the Orange River it produced top-quality fruit, which Ouma Babsie bottled for the winter months. Her bottled quince left a lasting impression on Marietjie: slices of rosy pink quince preserved in heavy syrup was not something that was easy to come by for city dwellers.
There are two peach trees in our backyard. They produce luscious, juicy sweet yellow peaches, enabling us to make the best peach chutney every autumn, using this recipe.
There is nothing as refreshing as cold ginger beer on a scorcher of a day! Ginger beer is a traditional drink as well. It was quite popular – and made frequently – in the days before fizzy drinks became readily available, especially on New Year.
Buttermilk pudding is a very traditional baked pudding in South Africa. It is a light pudding, with a creamy spongy texture, and we love it.Although buttermilk pudding is great on its own, the orange sauce described in this recipe is a perfect companion if you feel a little more adventurous.