Friday, November 25, 2016

Dark chocolate, berry & nougat ice cream cookie sandwiches

This recipe is super easy and even more impressive!
Treat your guests and family during the festive season with this delicious dessert.

Dark chocolate, berry & nougat ice cream cookie sandwiches
Makes 12 cookie sandwiches

400 g frozen mixed berries
6 dark chocolate Lindor balls
fresh milk
1 L good quality vanilla ice cream
2 boxes Wedgewood Chocolate Nougat Biscuits (24 cookies)
Fresh berries to serve

Bring the frozen berries to the boil, adding a splash of water if needed. Using a potato masher, mash the berries to a chunky pulp. Cool completely.
Remove the Lindor balls from their wrappers and place in a heat-proof bowl with a splash of milk. Heat on high in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Repeat until the balls are completely melted. Cool completely.
Allow the ice cream to soften at room temperature.
Once the berry and chocolate sauces are cool and the ice cream has become soft, pour the sauces into the ice cream in a zig zag pattern – berry sauce from left to right, and chocolate sauce from right to left.
Using a long sosatie stick, drag the stick through the ice cream in a zig zag pattern a few times to form brown and purple ripples through the ice cream. Be careful not to over mix.
Return the ice cream mix to the freezer and freeze overnight.
Once ready to serve, place  a small scoop full of ice cream onto a cookie and top with another – pressing down gently to form a sandwich. Repeat with as many as needed.
Serve immediately with fresh berries on the side.

Visit our website for some delightful gift ideas:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Grilled baby aubergines with sumac yoghurt

Grilled baby aubergines with sumac yoghurt
Serves 4 as a side

This recipe is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Roasted aubergine with saffron yoghurt dish.


For the yogurt:
1 cup double thick yoghurt
1 t garlic, grated
4 T extra virgin olive oil
1 t salt
1 - 2 T sumac, ground

For the aubergines:
500g baby aubergines, sliced lengthways
Olive oil
Salt & black pepper

To serve:
Fresh pomegranate rubies
Fresh coriander


For the yogurt:
Mix together the yoghurt, garlic, olive oil and salt.
Add sumac to taste, keeping some aside for garnish.
Set aside till ready to use.

For the aubergines:
Pre-heat oven to 180°.
Heat a griddle pan to high heat.
Brush sliced side of aubergines and grill until griddle marks appear (this may have to be done in batches, depending on the size of your griddle).
Spread out grilled aubergines on a roasting tray and drizzle with some more olive oil.
Bake in the oven for 30 – 45 minutes until soft.

To serve:
Serve warm aubergines garnished with pomegranate rubies and fresh coriander with the yoghurt on the side.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Perfect Pastries at Patachou

It's no secret that Joburg has a serious lack of decent pastry shops, desserts are often sickly sweet and made with sub-standard ingredients. But we've discovered a gem of a patisserie in Rivonia! Patachou (cute, isn't it?) hand crafts the most beautiful desserts, bakes fresh breads and serves up a range of savoury treats - absolutely devine! 

I'm not big on making desserts for dinner parties, so when the family came over we served up a selection of sweet treats from Patachou and everyone was suitably impressed. Can't wait to try more of their offerings - definitely my go-to dessert shop from now on ;)

For more info:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Nasi Lemak

This Malaysian national dish has a very special place in my heart, because not only is it utterly delicious, but it was also the first dish my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I shared on our first overseas trip together - the trip where we got engaged!

This is the closest version that I could re-create with limited access to Malaysian ingredients - and it was delicious! The sweet creamy rice balances perfectly against the spicy salty sambal, and with refreshing bites of fresh cucumber and the crunchiness of the peanuts and dried fish between bites, this dish is pretty darn close to perfect.

It's a little bit of effort, but absolutely worth it! Go ahead, try it ;)

PS Nasi lemak was recently voted one of the top 10 healthiest breakfasts by Time Magazine, all the more reason to try it. Read the full article here. It's not just a breakfast dish, it's great any time of the day.

Nasi Lemak
Serves 4


For the rice:
3/4 cup Jasmine rice
400 ml (1 tin) coconut milk
1-2 (about 60 ml) lemongrass stalk (white part only), sliced very finely
Pinch of salt

For the Sambal:
1 T garlic, chopped
10 whole dried chillies, torn (seeds in)
1 1/2 T prawn paste
2 red onions, sliced
1 T peanut oil
2 T tamarind paste
500 ml good chicken stock

1 tsp salt
Pinch of sugar

For serving:
Grilled or fried chicken pieces (one or two per person, depending on the size)
4 hard boiled eggs
Cucumber, sliced thickly
½ cup (or 4 serving packets) ikan bilis (small spicy dried fish with peanuts)


For the rice:
In a steamer, combine the rice, coconut milk, lemon grass and a pinch of salt. Steam for about 40 minutes until rice is tender.

For the Sambal:
While the rice is steaming, combine garlic, chillies, prawn paste and salt in a pestle and mortar. Pound until well combined.
Heat peanut oil in a heavy based pan and fry the paste mixture for about 3 minutes.
Add the onions and fry for another 5 minutes over a low heat.
Add tamarind paste and fry for a minute or two.
Add chicken stock and cook until reduced to a thick sauce.
Season with a pinch of sugar and salt if needed.

For serving:
Use a banana leaf as a plate if you can.
Top hot rice with a dollop of the sambal.
Arrange the sliced cucumber, hard boiled egg, chicken and ikan bilis around the rice.
Traditionally eaten with the hands.

The first time we tasted nasi lemak was in a dodgy little restaurant in Kuala Lumpur.

This was the beginning of our passion for local street food. 

Weird and wonderful ingredients turned out to be one of the most memorable meals we have ever had.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Chilli & Avo Dip

Great recipe for weekend get-togethers. 

Chilli & Avo Dip

250 ml avocado (±1-2 depending on size)
Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
3 T fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped
2 T Huletts Golden Syrup
1 T ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Mash the avo and lemon juice together. Add coriander, chilli and golden syrup. Season to taste. Serve as a dip with freshly sliced vegetable sticks, and nachos or as a topping on baked potato.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A surprise dinner at Restaurant Mosaic

There are a few restaurants on my dining bucket list, and for years Restaurant Mosaic at the Orient Hotel has been at the top. Last weekend I could finally tick it off!

Our husbands planned a surprise dinner for the three of us on Saturday evening. All we knew was that we were going to a ‘nice’ restaurant for dinner, and that we had to come hungry ;) After being treated to bubbly in the mini bus and almost an hour’s drive I realised where we were going – what a fabulous surprise!

There are no words to describe all the dishes we savoured that night, but needless to say, it was one of the best meals I have ever had. Next time I’d love to go for lunch, dinner, a sleep over in the exotic hotel AND breakfast ;)

Thanks hubbies! We ♥ you!!

A few of the dishes we had.

We were lucky enough to have the Autumn 'Roots & Shoots' menu.

Restaurant Mosaic is rated #7 in South Africa by Eat Out (

The executive chef at Mosaic, Chantel Dartnall, has won numerous awards, including chef of the year.

Read more about this fabulous restaurant here: 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Gluten Free Crumpets

Joburg has been hit by a cold front, and all I can think about is snuggling up under a duvet with a stack of crumpets dripping in Maple syrup ;)

Gluten Free Crumpets


125ml (½c) rice flour
5ml (1t) xanthan gum (available at most leading supermarkets and chemists)
30ml (2T) Huletts Castor Sugar
8ml (1½t) baking powder
3ml (½t) salt
150ml buttermilk
125ml (½c) full cream milk
2 extra-large eggs, separated
3ml (½t) vanilla extract or 5ml (1t) vanilla essence
10ml (2t) oil
Huletts Maple Syrup and fresh berries to serve

Sift the flour, xanthan gum, Huletts Castor Sugar, baking powder, and salt together.
Mix the buttermilk, milk, egg yolks and vanilla together.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and beat well.
In a clean bowl, and using an electric beater beat the egg whites until soft peak stage, do not overbeat.
Gently fold the egg whites into the flour and milk mixture.
Heat oil in a heavy based frying pan over medium heat. Spoon heaped tablespoonsful of batter into pan leaving space between. Reduce the heat, turn over and cook until golden brown.
Serve warm, drizzled with Huletts Maple Syrup and decorate with fresh berries.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Homemade five ingredient dog treats

I'm so making these for Rocket! I may use carrot instead of blueberries - she'd love that ;)


PS At the moment Rocket is loving home cooked mince with loads of celery, carrot and cabbage.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Hot Cross Pinwheels

Quick, easy and delicious! We couldn't resist them hot, straight out of the oven ;)

Hot Cross Pinwheels
Makes 8

For the wheels:
1 roll (400g) ready rolled puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge overnight
4 T orange marmalade plus 2 T extra for glazing, melted in the microwave
4 T (50g) sundried raisins, chopped
2 T almond sprinkles (finely chopped almonds)
2 t mixed spice
1 t cinnamon powder

For the icing:
1 T buttermilk
1 cup icing sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
Un-roll the defrosted puff pastry, keeping the plastic layer underneath it.
Using a flexible spatula, smear 4 T of the orange marmalade over the puff pastry.
Sprinkle over the raisins and the almonds.
Dust with mixed spice and cinnamon.
Using the plastic wrap to assist you, roll the pastry lengthways to form a log (not too tight as the pastry still needs to raise.)
Wet the last inside centimeter of the pastry with some water or milk and seal the roll.
Trim the edges with a sharp knife.
Cut in half, then in 1/4s then in 1/8ths.
Place a piece of baking paper on a baking tray and grease with Spray & Cook.
Gently form the pinwheels back into rounds and arrange on baking paper, about 4cm apart.
Brush with remaining orange marmalade to glaze.
Bake for 15 - 18 minutes until cooked through.
Remove from oven and immediately transfer to a cooling rack.
Allow to cool.
Mix together the buttermilk and icing sugar.
Pipe crosses over the pinwheels.

Serve at room temperature or warm.

Tip: Add 1 T mixed peel to the filling for an extra citrusy flavour.

for Easter gift ideas

Monday, March 14, 2016

'Luke Dale Roberts at The Saxon' - Here to stay!

One of the most fantastic meals we have EVER had was at The Test Kitchen in Cape Town. Attention to detail, creative cooking and a perfect wine pairing made for an unforgettable dining experience. So imagine our excitement when we heard that Luke Dale Roberts was coming to Joburg? Now we are even more thrilled because he is staying!

What was initially a Pop Up Restaurant in the space where Five Hundred used to be at the Saxon (another mind blowing foodie experience!) is being renovated in April and re-opens on 5 May. The extensive refurbishment is being spearheaded by Sandalene Dale-Roberts, Luke's fashion and interior designer wife, so we can expect a gorgeous space featuring South African artists.

What Luke has to say about Joburg: “Obviously the expectations have been very high with the pop-up in Johannesburg. But, to be honest, I've absolutely loved the energy here. The guests are excited to be here, they're chatting to people at other tables. It's a space that's fun, filled with energy and shared excitement.”

I'm salivating already! Best make our booking soonest ;)

The seven-course tasting menu is currently priced at R1 330 for 7-courses (which includes two appetisers) or R2 100 with wine or tea pairing. Dinner served Tuesday to Saturday. For reservations, call (011) 292 6000 or email to

At The Test Kitchen last year with our friends Elke and Erol.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

We are back for our tropical paradise holiday (will write a post on it soonest), and now have to deal with 'the real world' AND a cold & rainy Joburg... I'm hoping this spicy chicken noodle soup by Nigella Lawson will warm us up some ;)

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 4 - 6

2 L chicken stock (home made really adds to the depth of this recipe)
Rice noodles (about 250g)
1 can coconut milk
5cm piece fresh ginger, sliced into thin matchsticks
60ml fish sauce
2 red cayenne chillies (remove seeds if you want it less spicy), sliced
2 tsp turmeric powder
3 tsp tamarind paste
2 tsp brown sugar
4 cupfuls leftover chicken, skin off (use the chicken you made the stock with), shredded
4 – 6 mini corn, sliced
8 – 10 mangetout, sliced

To serve
Fresh limes or lime juice
Fresh coriander leaves
Spring onions, sliced

Prepare the rice noodles according to the packet instructions, rinse in cold water, drain and set aside.
Combine the chicken stock, coconut milk, ginger, fish sauce, chillies, turmeric, tamarind paste and brown sugar in a large pot.
Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes.
Add the chicken, corn and mangetout. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until the chicken is hot and the vegetables are soft but still crunchy.

To serve:

Pile a serving of noodles in a soup bowl and top with the piping hot soup.

Serve hot with a squeeze of lime juice, garnished with fresh coriander and spring onion.

Friday, February 19, 2016

We're off to Mauritius!

We are going to spend a whole week in tropical paradise... sipping on cocktails, eating seafood, strolling on the beach, snorkeling, swimming and most importantly celebrating my parent's 40th (!!!) wedding anniversary.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Traditional Pancakes

We are still celebrating the month of love, and nothing says 'I adore you' more than fresh pancakes for breakfast. 

Traditional Pancakes 
Makes 10 - 15 pancakes, depending on pan size


140g (250 ml) cake flour
5 ml (1 t) Baking Powder
3 ml (½ t) salt
2 extra-large eggs
187 ml (¾ cup) milk
± 100 ml water
5 ml (1 t) lemon juice or white vinegar
100 ml oil
oil for greasing

Cinnamon Sugar:
100g (125 ml) Huletts White Sugar
10 ml (2 t) ground cinnamon 

Fresh berries for serving.


Place the flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk, water and lemon juice or vinegar in a food processor or liquidiser and process for 30 seconds.
Add the oil and process again. (The mixture must look like smooth cream)
Strain the mixture into a jug and refrigerate for at least an hour.
If the mixture is too thick, thin down with cold water.
Use a non-stick or lightly greased frying pan.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the cooked pancakes and roll up. 
Serve with fresh berries.


· When pouring the batter into the pan, use a serving spoon so that you use the same amount of batter every time, aim for the centre of the pan. Angle the pan back and forth to evenly spread the batter over the surface.

· The longer you let the pancake batter ‘rest’ the lighter the pancakes will be.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Cucumber and Fennel Tumble

Make this easy and crunchy salad as a side to chicken or white fish dishes.

Cucumber and Fennel Tumble

Serves 6


2 cucumbers, ends trimmed
1 large fennel bulb
15 ml (1 T) white wine vinegar
15 ml (1 T) Huletts Castor Sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
100 g feta cheese
a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

Slice cucumbers in half lengthways and use a teaspoon to scrape out seeds.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the cucumber into ribbons. Place in a serving bowl.
Slice off any fronds from the fennel bulb and reserve. Halve the fennel through its core and cut out and discard the hard central core. Slice fennel very thinly and add to cucumber.
In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar, sugar and season to taste. Add to the vegetable mixture and toss well.
Crumble over the feta and parsley and toss lightly.

Tip: Salad can be made up to 3 hours ahead, omit adding the parsley and fennel fronds until just before serving and toss together.

Monday, February 1, 2016

South African chef wins Michelin star!

Restaurant JAN, a South African restaurant in the South of France, 
was awarded its first ONE MICHELIN STAR in the 2016 French Guide Michelin. 
This makes owner and proprietor Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen the first 
South African to ever receive this prestigious accolade in the whole of Asia and Europe.

Accurately described as the Academy Awards of the restaurant industry, Guide Michelin awards stand for consistency and excellence in the food and service industry and are seen as a benchmark in the culinary world.

Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen and Pascal Szafranski opened JAN in Nice in 2013 and received their first mention in the Michelin Guide a mere 8 months after opening its doors. Subsequent accolades include a spot on a list of the World’s 15 Best Restaurants (as curated by Condé Nast Traveler), as well as glowing recommendations by the New York Times and Gault et Millau restaurant guide. 

A 28-seater fine-dining restaurant in the up-and-coming bohemian district of Nice Port, JAN is a celebration of South African hospitality and serves honest food inspired by local produce from the markets of Nice.

Originally from Middelburg in the northern reaches of South Africa, Jan Hendrik studied culinary arts and applied design in Stellenbosch, after which he worked for food publications both locally and abroad. It is during this time that he happened upon the concept of adapting and serving South African favourites like melktert and biltong to discerning culinary audiences in Europe. 

Jan Hendrik was recently joined by South African chefs Kevin Grobler and Rutger Eysvogel, who now form part of the international award-winning team at JAN.

PS Check out Jan's fabulous Instagram feed! #obsessed 




Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Valentine's Fruity Heart Kebabs

Treat your loved one with heart shaped fruit kebabs on Valentine’s Day. 
Use small heart shaped cookie cutters and any fruit of your choice 
to make these fresh treats for breakfast or dessert :)

Visit our website for some delightful gift ideas:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Warm Chicken, Broccoli, Pea and Sundried Tomato Salad with Feta and Almonds

After the December glut we are keeping it fresh and light with loads of greens, steamed veggies and salads. This warm chicken salad is a delicious mid-week dinner that will leave you satisfied without the guilt.

Warm Chicken, Broccoli, Pea and Sundried Tomato Salad with Feta and Almonds
Serves 2

2 – 3 chicken fillets
Chicken seasoning
80 – 100g fresh shelled peas
300 – 400g tenderstem broccoli, halved
4 sundried tomato quarters, sliced
1 wheel (1/2 cup) feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup slivered almonds
Balsamic reduction for serving

Season the chicken fillets and steam, grill or bake until done.
Steam the broccoli and peas for about 7 minutes (until soft but still firm).
Toss together the broccoli, peas and sundried tomatoes.
Slice the warm chicken and arrange on top of the broccoli mix.
Scatter the almonds over and drizzle with Balsamic reduction.

Serve warm.