Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding with Chocolate Chips & Pecan Nuts

20 08 2012

We don’t always think of different foods as being in or out of fashion, either a la mode or dastardly dreary. But maybe, like me, you’ve been quietly pleased to see a few good old fashioned staples getting a bit of a facelift lately? Real classics like Bread & Butter Pud, and the ultimate in comfort food, Rice Pudding, have both been in the spotlight, and I just couldn’t ignore the proverbial bandwagon. So coming up are my twists on two classics… (check back for the rice pudding soon) Read the rest of this entry »

Spiced Fig Ice-Cream

10 07 2012

Yip, hear me say figs poached in red wine and spices and then, yes, mixed into a light and fluffy ice cream. And the result? Our sublimely summery best friend, the voluptuous anti-depressant that we all know and love that is ice cream, takes on a whole new persona, and you’re left with a symphony in your mouth. In short, fresh-faced and pretty fabulous. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Minute Lemon & Coconut Sponge Pudding

14 06 2012

Love lemony puds I do. And these? Well these are positively enchanting, not just because they have the added kick of the coconut; take an i-kid-you-not total of 3 minutes to go from gooey cakey mixure to pudding perfection, but also because the lemony-limey drizzle just rounds it all off til it sings. This just might be my new default desert. And it’s also exquisite in its simplicity, so you can play around with different flavors all you like. The base of the pudding is really just a simple sponge cake mix with the ratio of 1:1:1 for butter-sugar-flour, with a couple of eggs added in and then whatever flavorings you like, the list is endless… Oh, and in case you were wondering, no, I have no shame in microwaved puds. 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 »

Rose´-poached Nectarines with Mascarpone

16 03 2012

Fruit poached in wine and spices is just that, and yet it’s so much more. It always tastes like some kind of miracle the way the juices of the fruit ooze out so willingly and complement the sugared syrup of the wine and piquancy of the spices. It’s poetry to me. It’s also one of my favorite default desserts – you can poach figs, berries, pears, apples – the list is almost endless, and it’s the epitome of low maintenance. In this case it’s nectarines that take centre stage for an enchanting little post-dinner treat. Read the rest of this entry »

Fig and Honey Crumble with Lavender and Coconut

2 03 2012

Figs! Having just come into season here in South Africa, they have been keeping me awake at night for far too long now. Fig crumble, honey roast chicken with figs and a gorgonzola and pecan nut salad, poached figs in a spicy red wine reduction with clotted cream – see what I mean? I have been relentlessly hounded by fig fantasies. And so it was with much delight that I received a little parcel of farm-fresh beauties last weekend from Rob’s chic and cheffy Aunty Sue in Stellenbosch and couldn’t wait to put them to work. This crumble was made all the more delicious by the fact that it turned up at our dinner table on the eve of my book launch, and so was shared with my Mum and friend Jenna who were both in town to share in the fun. So now I am happy to share with you a humble little fig crumble that will have you swooning. Read the rest of this entry »