There are few things as enjoyable as dunking a rusk in that early morning cup of coffee. It being a very South African tradition, no home in SA is without a cookie tin of rusks. It requires no yeast or kneading and is quick to assemble and can easily be adapted to your own taste. This recipe is from a book by Myrna Robbins called, Bushveld banquets, a feast of Lowveld flavours.
I have about five varieties of different lavender in my garden. My favorite one is the lavandin Grosso with nice dark flowers and which grows about 70 cm tall. Behind the pool I have a large patch of the large lavendula Angustifolia, la vraie lavande, which adds a whiff of lavender all around the pool and lawn…it says Provence! How I love lavender!
This is probably the best chocolate cake recipe out there. It is from the south African huisgenoot winning recipes and is truly a winner every time.
Baked with oil, it is easy, quick, light and fluffy and of course delicious. Someone also gave me the advice to bake it as cupcakes and freeze for up to six months without the icing. That way you can take out as many as you need and decorate as you wish.
Oil chocolate cake
250 ml boiling water
125 ml cacao
4 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites
375 ml sugar
5 ml vanilla extract
125 ml sunflower cooking oil
450 ml all purpose flour
15 ml baking powder
2 ml salt
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Oil 2 cake tin of 20 cm.
Add the cacao powder tot the boiling water and leave aside to cool off.
Beat the egg yolks and the sugar until fluffy and light and creamy.
Add the sunflowr oil, vanilla extract and colled down cacao mix to the egg and sugar mixture.
Sift the dry ingredients and add to the egg mixture.
Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.
Divide the batter between the two cake tine and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.
Leave to cool, remove and decorate with a butter icing.
My garden is in a state of drought and we aren’t allowed to water. But that is summer for you and fortunately I have planted drought resistant plants, because this happens every year.
…The iceberg roses just keep on flowering profusely…
…In the potager, the agapanthus are lush against the backdrop of washing on the drying line…
…My chickens enjoy the potager far too much…so much so that I have no crop of radishes left…
…White petunias in the white garden, such a grateful summer annual..
Courgettes, zucchini for the Américains, are so versatile, easy to prepare and I think a vegetable eaten and enjoyed by almost everyone. It is a safe food to start introducing vegetables to babies and children generally prefer courgettes to peas. What’s not to like about courgettes. So, cheers to courgettes!
Pincée de fleur de sel:
Add some cumin grains to the courgettes
Spread some mustard on the base of the tart before adding the filling.
Use puff pastry instead of the phylo.
Replace the feta cheese with rounds of goats cheese and drizzle with honey.
Just as I think all the chicks are almost grown up, a hen shows up with a little new born chick fluttering around her. The buzzards are also informed by their secret sources that a newborn is availabe and they do take their chances. Unfortunately for them, there is nothing more fierce than a mother hen.
And so we have come to the end of 2016. May we all have a year of good health and a good dose of adventure.
Last year had seen very little of me here on my blog. Even though blogging is mostly n “ancient” practice and replaced by Instagram, I still love my little blog very much, going on 10 years this year. I have set one important goal for myself and it is to get back to my foodblog. I hope you will walk along side me. It is always more fun to have company!
Just as we think we have had enough of eating after Christmas and new year, les galettes de rois land on our plates. We love our galette des rois. Made of a fluffy puff pastry and filled with a variety of fillings, the most popular being almond cream, it is served around a table with coffee and tea…and friends. If you find the trinket in your helping, you have the honours of presenting the next galette des rois…wearing the crown of course, in this case, a twined olive branch.
And so I invite you to my table. Let s serve the coffee and slice our galette. Bon appetit!
You can find the recipe for my galette des rois aux pommes(with apples) at this link…galette des rois. It is the basic recipe of puff pastry, filled with an almond cream. This time round, I added some apples for some change.
This is what I did:
Peel and cut 3 Granny smith apples in chunks and caramelize in a TBSP of butter, a pinch of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg and about 2 TBSP of sugar. Add 2 tsp lemon juice and the rind of 1/2 lemon. Add 2 TBSP of currants. Caramelize until the apples aare soft and caramelized. Leave to cool.
Follow the basic basic recipe for galette des rois up to step 8. (Spread the almond cream in the center and place a trinket in the filling.)
Spoon the cool apple filling on top of the almond cream.
Cover with the second circle of pastry and squeeze the ends together.
Baste the top with egg yolk and draw a pattern of your choice with a knife on the top.
Leave for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Bake for 25 minutes at 200 degr C. Lower the heat to 180 degr C and bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown.
Serves 6 people
Last year we had a gentle winter and even though it made life easier, it wasn’t what nature needed, or what we needed for that matter.Our winters need to be cold for new life in spring. And so we have our cold again this year with white, frosty mornings which are so magical, I feel like I have been transported to a different world.
A few images from my garden from this sudden very cold January. It reminds me how fortunate I am to live in a country which have four spectacular seasons.