Flourless Clementine Cake

Flourless Clementine Cake

I grew up on a citrus farm and it has always been a huge part of my life. There are numerous possibilities of how you can use citrus in day-to-day cooking.

This cake is definitely one of those possibilities.

Classic Lemon Cake

Classic Lemon Cake

Summer of winter. Wedding or tea party. This cake will always be a classic.

Deconstructed Beef Wellington with Red Wine Jus

Deconstructed Beef Wellington

The classic Wellington is a true show stopper where a whole fillet is wrapped in duxelles, foie gras, prosciutto, and finally a crispy, crusty, puff pastry. The classic dish evolved into this easier version, and works perfectly when catering for a large group of people, because everything can be prepared in advance, and can just be assembled before service.

When you start to prepare the dish, start with the pastry shells. This can also be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container.

How to prepare the Pastry Shells:

Roll out the pastry to a square of 25 x 25cm and about 5mm thick. Cut the rolled out pastry square in half, and cut each piece in half again. Now you have 4 squares. Cut each square into 2 triangles. Keep 4 triangles aside. With the rest of the triangles, cut out a small triangle, about 1cm from the sides, this will form the border of your pastry shell. (see picture below).

Deconstructed Beef Wellington
First steps in preparing the shells.

Paint the large triangles that you have set aside with egg wash. Place a border on top of each large triangle and paint the border with egg wash. Lightly score the bottom part of the pastry shell, along the inner edges of the border, with a sharp paring knife. (See picture). Do not cut through the pastry. Use a fork to prick the bottom center of the pastry shells (see picture). 

Deconstructed Beef Wellington
Score the bottom of each shell with a pairing knife

Cut each of the small triangles in half and paint with egg wash. Sprinkle sesame and poppy seeds over them. Place all of the pastry triangles on the prepared baking tray and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Deconstructed Beef Wellington
Pastry shells on prepared baking tray, ready to go into the oven

The Fillet:

Tie the fillet with kitchen twine to form a log shape. Rub the fillet with olive oil and generously sprinkle salt and black pepper over the entire fillet. Heat a frying pan with olive oil and seal each side of the fillet, until browned, for about 1 minute.

Deconstructed Beef Wellington
Searing the fillet
Deconstructed Beef Wellington

The rest of the steps are easy enough to follow from the recipe instructions. See the full recipe below.

Coetzee Milktart

Rough Puff Pastry Milktart

My grandmother had a secret recipe. She died with that secret recipe. No one knew that secret recipe… she thought.

Until the one day when aunt Johanna (a sister-in-law of hers) came to visit us on the farm for a week or two or maybe it was three. My dad, who never had milktart since the day his mom passed (because apparently only she knew how to make the perfect milktart), asked his aunt if she perhaps has a clue where he could find that recipe of his mom. Aunt Johanna burst out into laughter and said: “My dearest… that recipe is well known in the family, in fact, all of the sisters knows it off by heart!”

Long story short, my aunt Johanna taught my mom how to make it and my mom taught me. And this is from where I started to experiment with the Easy Rough Puff Pastry Recipe that I developed a couple of months ago. The original recipe (for the puff pastry) took 24 hours to complete, now darling… I can’t wait that long if I want a proper Coetzee-milktart. I did, however, change a few ingredients and methods, I guess it is a chef’s thing.

Please join me in remembrance of my grandma, Anna Elizabeth Coetzee (nee Pieterse).

Rough Puff Pastry Milktart
Rough Puff Pastry Milktart

Rough Puff Pastry

It is in my bones to always try and find a quicker solution for everything. This puff pastry recipe is really a time saver and a must-have in every kitchen’s private cookbook and it is totally foolproof.

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cookies

What more can I say, that the title of this page didn’t say? Some love it, some hate it… This recipe is ideal for cookies that need to be decorated with royal icing. Included is a video tutorial, see below.

Soft and Fluffy Hamburger Buns

Burger Buns

I love a burger on a soft bun with a super crispy crust. I guess everybody does… This is an easy recipe that involves no kneading but patience.

I ended up creating three different recipes and methods for a perfect bun. I always want to create something quick and easy for everybody to be able to make it. But one thing I have realized was… There does not exist a descent yeasted bread or bun that is QUICK to make. No, bread takes time and you need patience. Understand the dough that you work with and give it enough time to relax before you heat it up!

This is a super easy recipe that does not need to be kneaded. Instead you will do a few stretch and fold session. Please see this video below to explain the stretch and fold.

Stretch and Fold Method Tutorial

To get a recipe for perfect hamburger patties, follow this link.

Ultimate Homemade Burgers

Beef Hamburger patties

We all love burgers, right? Even if you are on a strict eating plan, there is this one day that you have cravings for a juicy, messy burger. If you take a bite from the monster built burger, the Marie Rose sauce (yes, this is the name for the pink mayonnaise sauce) must drip down the sides of your mouth. Yeah! I had those cravings this past weekend.

Since I can remember, I loved burgers. My mother always had to make the Marie Rose with extra tomato sauce… always had a sweet tooth!

So I confessed that I love burgers… who doesn’t? I mean, if you do get vegan patties then I suppose that vegans also love burgers? INDEED! My other confession is that I am in love with a typical country and western scene. The cowboy shirts, boots, hats, belts… Oh, and don’t forget that accent when a cowboy says: “wanna go for a ride, cowboy?”

So this past weekend it was my birthday during the lockdown. Not knowing that Johan planned a surprise picnic in the mountain, I planned a country theme party where all our food was made on the fire, and of course, we had to dress up.

Hamburger Buns grilled on fire
Hamburger buns were grilled over medium heat.

So we took the dogs for a walk, at around 5 pm, and on our way, Johan took us on a detour, not the same footpath we always walk… I immediately knew that something was cooking… what I didn’t know was that somebody did cook something without me knowing what he was cooking. And there, not far from where we took the right turn instead of the left, I saw it. A beautiful setting in the middle of nowhere a picnic blanket and a basket… Now it all makes sense of why he had to go to the venue so often during the day. The basket was packed with crusty frozen ciabatta that was refreshed in the oven (will still tell you about that trick) and cheeses, pâté, figs, AND best of all, a bottle of our favorite wine. Even the dogs were treated with special biscuits.

Beef Hamburger patties
Beef burger served on a fire grilled bun.

When we got back home, we first had to dress… my party, my dress-code. Check shirts, skinny jeans, and South African type of boots (we still need to visit Texas to get proper boots) Then our ritual… an ice-cold Jagermeister to start the fire. The rest is history, first the bread was grilled over low heat (I did bake some in the oven) and then the homemade real beef patties.

South African Braai
Our boots…. not the real cowboy ones, but we will get soon

Follow this link to get the recipe for the Hamburger Buns.

Outydse Soetkoekies / Sugar Cookies

Outydse Soetkoekies Sugar Cookies

I remember as a little boy, every December holiday we would pack the caravan and for two weeks go camping in Port Elizabeth. With my dad being a farmer, we could not go away on far trips for holidays because he had to be in travelling distance from the farm to make sure that the crop, those days it was tomatoes, gets to picked, packed and to the market.

To make a long story short, the most fun we had in preparing for the holiday was to get the cookie tins filled up a freshly baked cookies. My mom pulled out all the stop’s for the holiday baking, it was coffee cookies, custard cookies, romany creams, ginger cookies, rusks and my dads favourite, the sugar cookie.

The aroma of these cookies brings back childhood memories. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

If you plan to decorate them with royal icing, bake them plain as in the recipe. Otherwise, you can paint them with egg was and sprinkle some sugar over just before they go into the oven.

3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

This is my absolute favorite cookie to have with coffee… or without coffee. It is creamy and melt-int-the-mouth delicious. This recipe only calls for 3 basic ingredients: Butter (real butter), Icing Sugar, and Cake Flour. You can spice it up as you want to. Be creative with flavors and add some finely chopped lavender flowers…just a thought! Happy Baking!

Watch this video and find out how easy it is to bake shortbread cookies!