Blackberry Pies with ice cream

Blackberry Pies

I would like to say that these are quick and easy to make, and yes they are, if you buy frozen shortcrust pastry, which unfortunately is not available to us in South Africa. Why is it that we can only get puff pastry in this country?  So if you hail from countries that abound in grocery stores filled with goodies that  help  make life easier for you, then this recipe is the one for you. Its just a matter of rolling out the pastry, filling it, baking it, and hey presto you have a delicious dessert in no time.  Sorry for my South African friends though, you will have to spend another 15 minutes making the pastry, which I know requires a little effort for some of you. Continue Reading

Mascapone Buttercream vanilla cake

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Berries

Everyone needs a great vanilla cake recipe and I love how this one is firm enough to hold any type of frosting.  It has a classic vanilla flavour and it bakes up beautifully, and stacks perfectly so is wonderful if you want to make a layered cake. It’s also very versatile, an allrounder, for birthdays, weddings, as a simple afternoon tea cake, or with succulent berrries for a beautiful dessert.   Continue Reading

Bundt Cake with almond

Traditional Bundt Cake with an Almond Twist

This is a delicious traditional bundt cake with a subtle almond flavour.  With it’s simple ring shape and elegant curves a bundt cake needs no additions to make it a show stopper.  A light dusting of icing sugar is all that is required.

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Nigella’s Clementine Cake – Gluten free

I love Nigella’s Clementine Cake, which can be decorated with a sprinkling of icing sugar, or an icing drizzle.   I have added dried clementine slices which add an extra tang to the cake, and I served it with a delicious citrus curd creme fraiche.  It is great as an afternoon tea cake or  with whipped cream,  or ice cream  as a fabulous dessert .  Continue Reading

Chocolate Slab Buttermilk Cake

There is nothing more comforting than chocolate and cake, and this chocolate slab buttermilk cake ticks all the boxes.  It is quick and easy to make, and can be made in one pot without having to use every bowl in your kitchen.  Less washing up and minimum fuss gives you more time to enjoy it.  Make it from slabs of your favourite dark chocolate to suit your personal taste, and I can promise you the result will be perfect. Continue Reading

Lemon shortbread cookies

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

These light buttery lemon shortbread rounds are perfect to serve with tea or coffee.  Don’t be fooled by their simplicity, as they have a wonderful lemon tang to them, and sometimes that is all you need to add a little extra to a winter hot drink.  If you like you can coat them with white chocolate to make them sweeter. Continue Reading

Thai Spiced Butternut Soup

Winter has suddenly arrived here in South Africa, and what better way to keep warm than with this Spiced Thai Butternut Soup.  Colds and Flu abound and the warming goodness of ginger and garlic and roasted butternut is a perfect way to help recover and spend a cozy evening under a blanket in front of your favourite TV series. Continue Reading

Chicken Tarragon Tart

Chicken and Tarragon Tart

Photo: From Pastry by Richard Bertinet

This beautiful tart with creamy, soft filling is from the french “Pastry” cookbook by Richard Bertinet.  The book is an amazing reference for anyone wanting to learn the art of pastry and comes with step by step details of any pastry you would ever need to make.  It is my constant reference for salted and sweet pastries, and it has never failed me.  This Chicken and Tarragon Tart is just the perfect example of a delicious savoury pie with the most delicious crispy pastry.  The filling is heavenly with the beautiful addition of French Tarragon.  Continue Reading

Devil food cake

Devil Food Cake revisited

Isn’t it amazing that you can do things over and over again without a problem, but the minute you are asked to do something that you want to be extra special, everything turns to chaos.  Our social media portrays a eutopian existence, with beautiful children playing on perfect white beaches, tables laid to precision and bedecked with the ultimate greenery display, and of course cakes that do not have a crumb out of place.  But we all know that none of this is actually true, its just a ploy to make the next person envious of our “perfect” lives.

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Vanilla and Chocolate Cheesecake

Brûlée Chocolate and Vanilla Cheesecake

Making a sugary crust on the top of this silky smooth cheesecake is like placing the cherry on top of a cake.  It finishes it off and adds a perfect crunch to a beautifully soft and decadent cheesecake made from ricotta, cream cheese and dark chocolate.  Continue Reading