Posts Tagged 'delicious'

Beskuit – South African rusks…

Frank loves South African food, a trait for which I am very grateful. Or shall I say: for which he is very grateful. I’m not sure what I would do if he didn’t like it! When we first started dating I bought him some biltong, which is similar to jerky, and he loved it. (I also gave some to a British colleague who said “what is this disgusting stuff?” to which I replied “if any other South Africans see you pulling that face or hear what you just said you’ll be getting a beating. Just so you know.”)

One of the most traditional South African foods is the humble rusk. Historically, rusks evolved, along with biltong, during the latter country’s early pioneering days as a way to preserve bread in the dry climate. It was also extensively used during times of war or when travelling long distances.

In the UK and Australia they are fed to babies, but our rusks are crunchy and delicious and designed to be dunked into a piping-hot cup of tea or coffee. (But not for too long, you don’t want mush on the bottom of your mug) They aren’t too sweet, and everyone who tried them loves them. Especially Frank! When I made the first batch of these babies Frank was sneaking them out the oven and munching them before they were dried.

I’m lucky enough to work with a South African guy whose mother has passed down the family rusk recipe to his beautiful wife. She, in turn, passed it to me as my family doesn’t have a rusk recipe that I know of. And now I pass it on to you! If you have any South African friends, making these will bring back their memories of home. And if you are South African, these are much better than Ouma rusks!

Beskuit – recipe from Estelle Meyer

1 kg self raising flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 cups of bran
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sultanas
500gms butter, cut into cubes
500ml cultured buttermilk
3 eggs
2 cups sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C fan-forced.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and rub in the butter. (If you’re in a hurry, you can melt it first).

Mix together the eggs and the buttermilk and add to the dry mixture, mixing thoroughly with your hands.

Put mixture into a bread/loaf pan, and bake for an hour, until golden.

Cool in pan and reduce oven temperature to 100C, then cut mix in slices like bread. Cut those slices into thin strips and place on baking paper directly on the oven racks and leave to dry for 3 hours.

Can be stored for up to two weeks in an airtight container, but I doubt they’ll last that long…


“Fettucine bolognaise – ta dah!”

It was my birthday two months ago, and, at the request of Frank, I made a list of what I wanted. (A verbal list of course, wouldn’t want to make it too easy!) Most of the items on the list related to cooking, which made me incredibly excited for the actual day. One of the fantastic presents I got was a pasta maker from Popsie & Parksie, which I wanted for ages and was forbidden to buy. And it isn’t just any pasta maker, it is a beautiful pasta maker.

As I am on a mission to make food from scratch, I tried to make fresh tortellini a couple of months ago. At that stage I didn’t have a pasta maker, or even a rolling pin, so I used an empty wine bottle dusted in flour. It felt like I was running backwards on a treadmill, every time I rolled the darned dough out it shrank back to its original size within seconds! I persevered until I got the dough slightly bigger, and then continued to make the tortellini with 5mm thick pasta dough. Needless to say, Frank had a massive sigh of relief when he saw my new pasta maker, as he had to chew though all the tortellini I put on his plate!

I’ve had some issues with my stomach lately, and I’ve been put on a gluten-free diet. Unfortunately this happened right after my birthday, so I haven’t been able to make any pasta. After Popsie asked me for the third time if I’ve used my shiny new gadget, I decided to cheat on my diet for one night (or perhaps once every night as it seems lately…) and crack out my new baby! Following the recipe provided in the manual, I managed to make the thinnest, most wonderful fettucine ever to grace the Pig Palace kitchen – if I don’t mind saying so myself! Not only was the pasta easy to make (so no cursing coming from the kitchen, Frank was even worried at how quiet it was), it was really fun. I made fettucine to go with bolognaise, but next time I’ll be giving the tortellini another go!
Fresh pasta – from my Pasta Roller manual

2 eggs
2 cups ’00’ flour

Put the flour directly on a workbench.

Make a well in the middle and add the eggs. Beat the eggs with a fork, while slowly incorporating flour from the sides of the well. Once you can no longer beat with a fork, start kneading the dough until smooth. Form into a ball, cover with cling wrap and leave on the bench for 30 minutes. Cut dough into 6 pieces and run them all through a pasta roller – 6 to 8 times on the widest setting, and once on every setting after that getting progressively smaller.

Feed through cutter and hang up to dry. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes and serve!

What’s this daaaal? Sponge cake…

Hi, my name is Loll, and I’m a foodaholic.

Whether cooking it or eating it, I think about food all the time. Even if I don’t get to eat the final product, I am happy to spend the entire evening in the kitchen baking or cooking something. I’ve gotten to the point where I respond to my boss asking how I am with “I made fresh pasta last night!” I brought in so many treats to work at one stage (as Frank gets bombarded with them and sometimes needs a break) that my colleagues asked me politely to no longer bring in sugary things! At first I thought I was normal, but when I realised that not everyone shares the love of food *shock*horror* I thought I’d jot down how bad my addition’s become. So here is my freshly penned list –

10 signs you are a foodaholic:

1. you read recipe books before bed
2. you have a big pile of recipe books next to your bed; along with in your kitchen, your lounge and your dining room
3. you spend 20 mins buying your winter clothes (including trying them on), but an hour and a half shopping for lemon curd jars in your local food store
4. you can’t wait to get a new fancy Google phone so you can read food blogs on the way to and from work
5. you plan meals in advance, for example planning Christmas lunch in June (oh yes!)
6. you can’t wait to see a new city as you get to sample new food stores and restaurants
7. you rate how good your weekend was by the amount of cooking/eating you managed to squeeze in
8. when you aren’t thinking about food you’re talking/writing about/eating it
9. you can’t have the same meal for more than one night, unless of course you want to spend more time baking and just heat up leftovers…
10. you go as crazy when you see a well-known chef as other people would when they see Brad Pitt

To point no. 10 Frank asks “what well-known chef have you seen?” First of all, I really should be seeing more well-known chefs. But for now I will bask in the glow of my beautiful friend Mrs Swede, who is not only the most incredible chef I have the joy of knowing, but really should be famous as at least one person aspires to cook like her (me of course!). Secondly, I have seen James Martin. From a distance. In a department store in London. I ran back to my office shouting “you’ll never guess who I saw? James Martin!” to have people ask “WHO?” in return…

It is Ferret’s birthday on a few Sundays time, and she has requested that I make her a sponge cake. As simple as it sounds, I have never made a sponge cake properly and I really want to get it right for her. Ferret and Pistol are great tasters as they always say lovely things about my food, so I want to make her something super delicious in return!
As it is Frank’s birthday next week, I decided that I’d test out the sponge recipe I found this week to avoid too many baked goods going out in one lot. Beets (my mum) always said that you put your mood into your food, so despite melting the butter while attempting to get it to room temperature, I was fairly chipper. Low and behold it worked! The sponges were fluffy and delicious, I didn’t drop either of them on the floor, and I managed to get the filling in with no drama. And what was the filling you ask? It’s a secret. I don’t want Ferret to read this and spoil the surprize, so I have given you the recipe with the regular filling, and will display Ferret’s cake when her special day arrives!

P.S. The colleagues loved it when I took it into work, it disappeared by mid-day…
Victoria Sandwich – recipe from BBC Good Food website, again…

200g castor sugar
200g softened butter
4 eggs , beaten
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk

100g butter , softened
140g icing sugar , sifted
drop vanilla extract (optional)
340g jar good-quality strawberry jam

icing sugar , to decorate

Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper. In a large bowl, beat all the cake ingredients together until you have a smooth, soft batter.

Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon, then bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed. Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

To make the filling, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in icing sugar. Beat in vanilla extract if you’re using it. Spread the butter cream (mine is blue, for fun!) over the bottom of one of the sponges, top it with jam and sandwich the second sponge on top. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving. Keep in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.

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All recipes are on Petitchef