Potato and Dill ‘Flinis’ with Smoked Salmon and Red Cavi-Art

14 08 2012

If you’re looking for a classy canapé (that is also a doodle to make), then this, is that. Your veritable ‘canapé queen’, if you will. The light and fluffy potato ‘flini’s’ are complimented beautifully by the woody smoked salmon. And then the punch of freshness from the bursting bubbles of cavi-art? Party in your mouth.

Oh, and I say ‘flini’ because they are not technically blinis, which are a traditional Russian pancake-style snack usually made with buckwheat flour, and nor are they pancakes, or fritters, so they are faux-blini’s, and they make me smile. Read the rest of this entry »

Easter’s Dark Chocolate and Pear Tart

10 04 2012

Bizarrely (for some), I am not the biggest Easter egg fan, perhaps because of my general indifference towards chocolate. So that was never the exciting part of Easter weekend for me. It was more about the reason for the season, the roast lamb, and whatever came next. Put chocolate in the form of a tart though, and we find ourselves having a whole different conversation. And so it was that after our stuffed roast leg of lamb and creamy pea and mint risotto on Sunday – along with Robert’s not to be forgotten slow-roasted rosemary potatoes, this (gorgeously autumnal) little tart is what we enjoyed with a scoop of home made honey and toasted pecan nut ice cream (recipe to follow soon).

As renowned French chef Raymond Blanc so eloquently puts it, great food is about ‘Love, butter and good ingredients’ and I like to think of this as just that, all rolled into one. Read the rest of this entry »

Fresh Fig and Vanilla Tart

27 03 2012

Hello fair friends. It’s been a while. I hope you’ve been happily munching away on yummy bits and bobs like Smoked Salmon Tapas or Speedy Asian Beef Salad in my absence? I’ve been busy foraging for fresh fruit and veg, and having a Tarting old time. There’s something very special about cooking or baking with seasonal ingredients. In days gone by this was just the norm, now it seems to be very much a luxury. One that I try to indulge as often as time and money will allow. Read the rest of this entry »

Pavlova 101 – Now Anyone Can Make Meringues

25 03 2011

You say Pavlova, I say Palava, some say Meringues… either way they can be quite hard to get exactly right, and, ergo, quite easy to botch. But if you concentrate and follow these tips closely you’ll get the knack in a jiffy and won’t look back. They store for up to 2 months in an airtight container, so really are your best friend for last-minute entertaining. Read the rest of this entry »

Rooibos & Ginger Iced Tea

4 02 2011

If you’re also finding yourself wilting in the Cape Town summer sunshine, or anywhere else where the sun seems unrelenting at this time of year for that matter, then this might be your perfect antidote to turning into a puddle on the floor… Read the rest of this entry »

Lemon & Poppyseed Cake Baby!

13 08 2010

Welcome to a light-hearted, sunny twist on the voluptuous anti-depressant that we all know and love. Welcome, in effect, to Cake Heaven.

You know when you’re onto a good thing when you can add easy and delicious together and get something edible. This pretty little anytime treat definitely has punch. Being very strongly of the opinion that every little person should have a proper introduction to afternoon tea at the earliest possible occasion, I first tried it a few Sundays ago to welcome our friends Mike and Meg’s perfect new baby daughter, Ella Scarlett.

Needless to say Ella didn’t get to have any this time round, but I figure it’s only a matter of time and one can’t be too prepared right?

125g unsalted butter
2 tsp lime rind (if you don’t have just use extra lemon rind)
2tsp lemon rind
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
200g self raising flour
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
100ml/4fl oz plain yoghurt

Butter and flour the loaf tin.
Cream butter and rinds together and gradually add the sugar.
Beat well.
Beat the eggs in one at a time and mix well.
Fold in the flour, poppy seeds and yoghurt, spoonful at a time, alternatively.
Put in tin and bake for 35mins.


3 Tbs lime juice
3 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbsp castor sugar
Pre-heat oven to 180/Gas 4.
To make the syrup place the juices and sugar in small pan, simmer till sugar dissolved and then bring to boil for 3 mins, no stirring. Make holes in the top of cake

FOR THE ICING (Optional)
2 Tbsp butter at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar, sifted into a bowl
Add 2 Tbps hot water and cream together
You could also add some grated lemon zest as I did

Thanks to Susie Acheson for the recipe! I didn’t change anything, except to add my own butter cream icing as above.

Perfect Little Peanut Cookies

8 06 2010

Take note that these are not just plain old peanut butter biscuits, but rather melt-in-your-mouth treats of buttery loveliness interrupted by the quirky saltiness of actual peanuts. In other words, these little guys pack some serious punch. And I don’t think I’ve even scraped the surface of their versatility yet… it’s only a matter of time before I try them out with dried cranberries, apricots, cashew nuts, pistachios… you name it.

I am warning you now that the trick is to bake them and eat one and give the rest away. Fast. Or you will continue eating them. Until they are finished. Woops. Read the rest of this entry »

6 Minute Chocolate Cake

15 05 2010

I know it seems like cheating because a) it’s a microwave cake and therefore just not quite proper somehow b) it comes in the style of a very unsophisticated ring cake (which screams microwave), but this is one of those real gems that you are definitely going to thank me for one day. Like the Cheese Scones, it can be on your plate in 20 minutes, with the majority of that time being lent to foot-tapping while you wait for it to cool just enough to ice it.  A lot of people are put off microwave cakes because they think they’re dry or stodgy. Not true of this little poppet. Read the rest of this entry »

Mom’s Cheese Scones

15 05 2010

These are Rob’s favourite lazy any-day afternoon tea snacks. And they’re a double bonus because they can literally be on your plate oozing melted butter in exactly 20 minutes, your kitchen doesn’t look like a bomb hit it afterwards and you only have 1 dish to wash. So in addition, these scones are just one more reason to love Mom. Read the rest of this entry »

Cherry Drop Scones

14 05 2010

First things first, don’t be put off by the cherry bit because I know they’re basically impossible to find in South Africa when they’re out of season, and they are extortionate when they are in season. These will honestly work with almost anything – cranberries dried or fresh, blue berries, raspberries, apricots… you name it. Read the rest of this entry »