Snap, Sizzle & Cook

Sharing my love of food

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Coconut Almond Tart

Two of my very favourite warm pudding ingredients is coconut and almond.  Combining the two ingredients, I have created a lovely baked tart that can be served with cream or custard.

125g real butter
1 cup castor sugar
3 eggs
5ml almond essence
1 cup coconut
60g almond flakes or crumbs
1 cup cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup milk (warm in microwave for a few seconds)

Combine all ingredients well and bake at 160 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes.

For the syrup:  125ml water, 125ml white sugar and a dash of almond essence.  Pour this over the tart as soon as it comes out of the oven.


Chilli Popper Cigars

My twitter friend Anel Potgieter graciously gave me the thumbs up when I asked her permission to post one of her recipes on my blog.   Besides all the other beautiful recipes on Anel’s website, this one grabbed me first because I too, just like my friend like hot and easy (*wink wink*). The combination of Jalapeno peppers and cheese is not uncommon in my kitchen.  A slice of the green tangy hotness draped over a slice of cheese often satisfied my craving for “burn”.  Did I mention that I go through a bottle or two of Tabasco sauce every week? Ok so I like hot stuff!

When I saw Anel’s Chilli Popper Cigar recipe, I knew I would love it.  Not only do I love the cheese and jalapeno combination, but I also have a bit of a fixation for all forms, shapes and sizes of pastry.

Anel is a Masterchef SA top 35 achiever.  She has a beautiful blog called Lifeisazoobiscuit.  Follow this link for more on Anel, her blog and her gorgeous recipes.  You can also go to Anel’s twitter page and follow her tweets

Granadilla Fridge Tart

If there is one fruit that reminds me of summer its passion fruit.  Granadilla as it is commonly known. For as long as I can remember, no matter which beach a person went to in Cape Town, there would undoubtedly be an ice-cream vendor from Gatti’s Ice Cream (click here to Gatti’s website) selling delicious frozen lollies of all sorts.

I admired these vendors since they spent hours in the hot sun walking on blistering sand carrying heavily laden cooler boxes filled with an array of ice lollies.  Periodically one would spot them sitting on their boxes taking a few minutes to regain their strength.   Not long after that a bellowing voice would cry out again, “an ice lollie make you jolly” in true “Kaapse Klopse” fashion.  Of all the different ice lollies and ice-creams like wafers, caramel krunch, mint krunch, jelly jolly and crazy pine, my favourite was fruit sherbet granadilla.  The plump blob of granadilla flavoured ice was the ultimate beach indulgence leaving ones lips numb and purple from the iciness.  I still love granadilla with the result I have concocted an easy fridge tart, not quite the same as an ice lollie, but the granadilla pulp certainly bring back great beach memories for me.

Ingredients you will need:
1 packet of tennis biscuits
1 – 2 tbsp. butter
1 packet of lemon jelly
1.5 cups boiled water
1 tin of condensmilk
3 small tins of granadilla pulp or 6 fresh granadillas pulped

Place the entire packet of tennis biscuits in a food processor and blitz till it resembles fine bread crumbs.  Work the butter into the crumbs with fingers and once well combined, press into a greased loose based 23cm round cake tin.  Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Mix the jelly powder with 1.5 cups of boiling water.  Allow to cool completely.  Once cooled, add the tin of condensmilk and granadilla pulp and mix well.  Pour over tennis biscuit base and refrigerate till set.  Serve as is or with ice-cream.

Crustless Milk Tart

I have very fond memories of my ouma who sadly passed away when I was only 14.  We had a special bond so many meaningful conversations happened around the kitchen table.  During school holidays I would travel to Upington to spend time with her and oupa who lived on a farm just outside the “dorp”.   I would sit at the kitchen table admiring and observing her as she happily stirred huge pots of apricot jam that she was in the process of making or kneading dough for freshly baked farmhouse bread.  She was very talented in the kitchen which was clearly visible in her ability to make beautiful food.  Before they moved to Upington my grandparents lived next door to us so I would go there every afternoon after school.  A smell that reminds me of my childhood is the waft of freshly fried vetkoek that would be drifting down the path as I arrived home.   I absolutely loved vetkoek and would devour the sweet, crunchy, doughy delights that were generously sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.  Some days (especially in the winter) she would make them with savoury mince.

These memories, together with my Afrikaans roots are embedded in my existence and even though I love Italian food, my natural leaning is towards my heritage.   A recipe that screams Afrikaans culture is the good and faithful milk tart.  This easy tart has donned the dining room table of many a South African home and it is yet another fond memory I have of my beloved ouma.

You will need:
½ cup flour
½ tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
Tbsp. butter
2 eggs (separated)
½ cup sugar
2cups milk

Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.  Cream the butter and sugar and add the egg yolks and beat till creamy.  Add dry ingredients and milk.  Combine well.  Beat the egg whites till stiff peaks form and add to the egg/milk mixture.  Pour into a round oven proof dish and bake at 190˚ for 30 – 40 minutes or until done.

Basic cookie dough

This versatile dough can be used to make all different types of butter biscuits.  I decided to make Jam Sandwich Hearts.

Basic Cookie Dough:
180g butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 large egg plus 1 yolk
Pinch of salt
2 ½ cups flour
Cream butter and sugar and stir though eggs.  Sift in salt and flour.  Mix well and shape into dough ball.  Cover in gladwrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Roll out with a rolling pin and cut with desired cookie cutters.  I used hearts and filled the centre with jam.

Make the Jam as follows:
Mix ½ cup of strawberry jam with 5ml gelatine (as per pack instructions).

Wild Rocket Mayonnaise

This easy to make mayo is a delicious accompaniment to a cheese and bread board.  I obtained this recipe from the November 2012 issue of Fresh Living magazine.  Click here to get directed to link.

Place 2 egg yolks in a bowl and whisk with 2 Tbsp. lemon juice and 1 tsp. Dijon mustard. Slowly add 1 cup of sunflower oil whisking constantly until a this mayonnaise forms. Finely chop 1 packet wild rocket and blend into mayo.

Curried Green Bean Salad

This is a lovely pickled dish to serve as an accompaniment to a braai, a side salad with lamb chops or alongside a cheese platter.
Tbsp vegetable oil
pinch of salt
5ml dried chilli flakes
10ml cumin seeds
5ml mustard seeds
5ml tumeric
10ml English mustard
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 onion diced
1 packet green beans
1 cup white wine vinegar
200ml sugar

Method:  Fry spices in oil and add garlic, ginger, onion and green beans. Add vinegar and sugar and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Cool and bottle.


I have been making Lasagne since the age of about 16.  On reflection, this must be how my love of Italian food developed.  Almost 30 years on and I’m still making that same old Lasagne dish which I might add, no-one taught me.  When I was growing up, we had an Italian neighbour, Carlos who often brought over foiled oven dishes full of this creamy, savoury goodness.  I would sit in my room and dissect forkfuls of this Lasagne to find out what the key ingredients were and how the dish was put together. The smell, taste and texture of Carlo’s dish were heavenly and I was adamant to replicate it or make even better.   Whether or not my first attempt was tasty or if my parents were just being polite I can’t say but my family today thinks it’s too delicious for words.

Lasagne is an Italian dish made from wide sheets of pasta and layered with mince and cheese sauce.  The two most important aspects of this dish, is to make the mince beautiful and the cheese sauce rich and creamy.
For the Mince:
50g real butter
1 onion chopped
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 Tbsp. sugar (granulated)
2 Tbsp. chutney
125ml water
500g beef mince
1 tin tomato pieces or use 3 fresh tomatoes (skins removed and chopped)
1 tin tomato paste
Handful of fresh basil chopped
Method: Sauté onion and garlic till onion is transparent.  Add all the spices including sugar and chutney.  Add the water and simmer on low till all combined.  Add the mince and tomatoes and let it simmer for 10 minutes before adding the paste.  Allow to simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes.  Add chopped basil and set aside.
For the Cheese Sauce:
100g real butter
75g flour or 50g of cornflour
500ml full cream milk
1.5 cups of cheddar cheese
Method:  melt butter in heavy based saucepan.  Remove from heat and add flour.   Use a small hand whisk to combine and ensure no lumps.   Add milk – small amounts at a time and whisk well after each addition.  You should have a smooth consistency without any lumps.  Add cheese and stir till melted.  Season.

In a large casserole dish layer the bottom with mince.  The second layer is lasagne sheets, followed by a third layer of cheese sauce.  Follow these layering steps till you are almost at the top of the casserole dish.  Last layer should be mince.  Sprinkle with cheese and grill in the oven till the cheese is golden brown and fabulous.  Enjoy with salad and garlic bread.

Before Pics

As a new kid on the block in food blogger circles I’ve learnt a few valuable lessons in a short space of time.  The last lesson I learnt is that people eat with their eyes first.  The pictures taken of the end product must be so good that the reader of your blog wants to eat the photograph.  I know absolutely nothing about photography but what I can say is I am always drawn to a picture that is brightly coloured and close-up with beautiful props.  I see these types of gorgeous images in all the blogs that I have befriended on twitter over the past couple of months and it reminds me that I have a lot to learn.  I have a circle of wonderful, experienced food mammas that are all very willing to help, teach and guide me, hence the subtle indication of my “not very good”  food shots.  I handled the signal with grace and decided that something needed to be done.

In order for me to shoot great images, I need to purchase this……..





And so the search began.  After much deliberation;   I have my heart set on a Nikon.

The hard work of upgrading all the current food shots on my blog will then begin.  I will recreate all the dishes in order to re-shoot them, upload the new pictures to replace the old ones.  I also have about 6 new entries that I haven’t bothered posting because of the picture quality.  The next couple of weeks are going to be really busy so this blog is going to take a back seat for the meantime.  As they say in the classics – This page is under maintenance, please be patient.

Creamy Mussel and caper Linguini

If you’ve read my post on “Lasagne” you’ll know that I’ve been cooking pasta since I was 16. All the years I’ve been buying my pasta: not because I’m lazy, but because I feared making my own and thought it was reserved for the professionals. This all changed about a week ago when walking past “Home Etc.” and spotted a pasta maker in the window. I decided there and then that I will overcome this mind set and fear and consult the professionals for help in making my own pasta. After all I am a home-grown kind of girl. I love fresh produce, home grown and home-made goodies. Yesterday I sent the one and only Italian Mama that I know in Durban a tweet asking for her help. The gorgeous Janine Trapepi sent me a link to her beautiful blog tutorial on how to make home-made pasta. I immediately surged with enthusiasm and got cracking. The results were outstanding. My husband said it was the best pasta he’s ever eaten and I couldn’t agree more. To see the recipe on Janice’s blog on how to make pasta, click HERE)
50g butter
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
80ml pickled capers
1 cup white wine
½ bunch parsley chopped
30ml fish sauce
500g mussels (I removed the shells)
1 tub of cream
Fresh pasta for 4 people (see recipe on how to make pasta HERE)

In a heavy based saucepan melt the butter. Add garlic and saute on low for a few minutes. Add the wine, fish sauce and parsley and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the mussels and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes or until mussels are done. Add cream and leave to simmer till sauce starts to thicken. If you want to speed up the thickening process, mix a tablespoon of cornflour with a small splash of water. Combine till a thick paste has formed. Add to mussel mixture and stir till well combined and sauce has thickened.

In a seperate pot, bring the linguini to a boil in salt water and allow to boil till al dente. Drain linguini and mix into the mussel sauce. Serve with Italian bread and salad.

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