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South African

Koffiekoekies (coffee biscuits), with it's coffee-fudge filling, was Marietjie's father's ultimate favourite biscuit.

Indeed, these biscuits are regarded as a bit of a luxury in South Africa because they are delicious, and also because it's hard work to make them. But the result is such a delightful mixture of textures and flavours, that it's well worth the effort.

This is one square meal in a rusk - and it is a health rusk (gesondheidsbeskuit) too, because it is high in fibre and packed with healthy seeds and nuts.

It's a flexible recipe, so you can easily change the recipe. See the notes below the recipe for some ideas.

These dainty, chocolate filled shortbread barrels are simply delicious.

They are ideal as a special treat over the Christmas season, a gift for friends, or when you need to take-a-plate.

The bonus is that they are also very easy to make.

Malva pudding is the ultimate winter dessert. It is rich and syrupy, with a soft spongy texture. Comfort food at its best.

This favourite Cape classic, which goes under at least four names, is one South Africa's best-known traditional recipes. With good reason too: it is simply divine.

You don't rely need a recipe to make curry mince for your vetkoek; all you need is onion, your favourite spices and minced meat. You can add anything from garlic and raisins to Worcester sauce and frozen veggies. This recipe is based on the mince sauce used in our bobotie recipe.

When you ran out of bread in the house and don't have time to bake any, try this quick vetkoek recipe.

Vetkoek is essentially deep fried buns that can be eaten with anything from apricot jam to curry mince. It is somewhat similar to Dutch "oliebollen", the main diference being that oliebollen are sweet and contains raisins.

Traditional vetkoek is made from yeast bread dough, but this quick and easy vetkoek recipe use baking powder as the raising agent.

South Africans know them as gingerbread men, but in New Zealand these delightful ginger persons tend to be genderless. Helping you to bake and decorate them is guaranteed to keep your kids busy for a long time.

Marietjie's grandmother (who lived in the Namakwaland in South Africa), made the most delicious "skuinskoek". Skuinskoek means "diagonal cakes", probably because of the peculiar diamond form one need to cut them out.

They are on their best when they are warm and fresh, but Marietjie's grandmother often made skuinskoek for "padkos": food for the road back home after a visit. She stored them in a washed fabric flour bag, which kept them for a day or two, but a modern cake tin or Tupperware container is also fine.

This is not the original recipe, but a variant that is based on Marietjie's mosbolletjie rusks, using Surebake yeast and a bread maker.

Both Marietjie's mother and grandmother were known for their delicious ginger nuts. They are made from a soft dough, rolled into little balls, resulting in gemmerkoekies that are soft and chewy on the inside and crispy outside.

The menu for Easter Sunday ought to be just as festive as a Christmas menu, and this traditional custard cake is just the thing for afternoon tea on Easter Sunday: not too rich, but delicious.

Soweto Chicken is a heart-warming chicken casserole dish that is spicy, and you can make it as hot or mild as you prefer. The original recipe came from Soweto in Johannesburg and was published in Peter Veldsman's excellent cookbook, "Kos van die Eeu" (Food of the Century). New Zealanders love this adapted version of Soweto chicken:

Mosbolletjies is the king of beskuit (rusks). It is sweetened, leavened yeast buns, delicately flavoured with anise seed, then baked, broken into pieces, and dried.

Mosbolletjies is not common in New Zealand though, because it is a time-consuming affair to make rusks with yeast, but also because "mos" (grape must) is not readily available in supermarkets. Through trail and error, Marietjie developed an easy recipe that is very close to Mosbolletjies, using Surebake yeast and a bread maker.

Pap – a porridge made from maize (corn) meal – is the staple food of southern Africa.

Putu pap is also known as krummelpap, which means "crumbly porridge". It is made with very little water, giving it a dry and crumbly texture.

It is usually combined with a tomato-and-onion sauce, such as sheba sauce or chakalaka sauce, and served as a side dish together with barbecued meat or boerewors (braaivleis).

People in the Western Cape tend to eat krummelpap with milk and sugar for breakfast.

The perfect accompanying sauce for crumbly putu pap.

This is a lovely casserole, comforting and just a wee bit spicy.

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.

Mayonnaise and chutney may sound like an unusual combination for a chicken casserole, but this saucy, flavoursome dish is much-loved in South Africa. It never fails to increase the appetite of your guests, who will invariably ask for more chicken, or, as we say in Afrikaans, "vra na meer hoender".

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.

A strawberry mousse that melts in your mouth, combined with crispy meringue.

Two or three rusks and a hot drink can replace a meal, especially if the rusks are made from ingredients that are high in fibre, such as All Bran.

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.

Aromatic and beautifully coloured, yellow rice is essential with bobotie and the perfect companion to chicken pie.

Pumpkin fritters are delightful, especially when served warm with crunchy cinnamon sugar. You can almost serve it as desert!

This very traditional "boerekos" vegetable dish has a unique combination of flavours.

This mince roll is a contemporary South African dish, rather than traditional. It is easy and fast to prepare, but is definitely not cooking out of a tin either!

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.