In the past years that the Belle Vue Wedding Venue is up and running, we never had a function without the traditional Pumpkin or Butternut Fritters served as a side with the main meals.
They are juicy, soft, and sweet and can opt as a dessert. With this one function we had, the dessert was a Black Forest Cake and we all know that a Black Forest Cake is drenched in cherry liqueur. When the dessert was served, one of the guests came into the kitchen (which freaks me out - guests don't belong in a kitchen) and said: "I am a recovered alcoholic, please are there any leftover fritters that I can have for dessert." And this is how this dessert saw the light of day.
I altered the original recipe by drenching the fritters in a lemon syrup instead of the traditional caramel syrup. The white chocolate sauce is adapted from one of C. Louis Leipoldts' recipes which he served as a dessert soup. His recipes are interesting, it reads like a story, no lists or numbered methods. No, a story. Here follows his Chocolate Soup recipe in Afrikaans:
"Maak vier eetlepels vol fynmeel bruin in 'n kastrol en voeg versigtig by drie koppies kokende melk; roer goed dat daar geen klontjies kom nie; voeg by twee eetlepels suiker en twee eetlepels fyngemaakte vanieljesjokolade. Laat opkook, gooi oor geroosterde brood en dien op."
Translated to English: "Brown four tablespoons of fine flour in a saucepan and gently add three cups of boiling milk; stir well so that there are no lumps; add two tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of vanilla chocolate bring to a boil. Pour soup over toasted bread and serve. "
Lemon Butternut Fritters with White Chocolate Sauce
Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare a 20 x 30cm baking dish with butter.
Slice the potatoes about 1mm thick and place in a bowl and cover with water. Slice the aubergine, courgette’s, mushrooms, onion and green pepper about 5mm thick. Keep al the sliced vegetable aside until needed.
In a small mixing bowl, add the tomato puree, cream, sugar, corn flour, herbs and pepper. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients and keep aside.
Start by covering the bottom of the prepared dish with the aubergine. Sprinkle a little bit of salt over the aubergine. Arrange half of the potato slices on-top of the aubergine followed by the mushrooms, courgette, onions and green pepper.
Sprinkle the chopped garlic and some salt over the vegetables.
Pour the liquid mixture over the dish and finally arrange the last potato slices on-top. Flavour with salt and pepper.
Bake in preheated oven for 45minute to 1 hour until the vegetables are cooked.
In a microwave-safe bowl, beat the milk, lemon juice and zest, eggs and vanilla until well combined.
Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the butter) and whisk until smooth.
Microwave the mixture on high for 4 - 6 minutes. Stop every minute and whisk the mixture to ensure that it is lump-free.
When thick and creamy, stop the microwave and beat in the butter.
Cover with cling film and immediately refrigerate to cool.
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat to medium-high and allow the syrup to come to a boil.
In the meantime, add the egg whites to a medium-sized, heatproof bowl and mix (with a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment) until the whites are almost able to hold soft peaks.
Cook the syrup until it reaches 116°C, then take the pan off the heat and slowly drizzle the hot syrup into the bowl with the foamy egg whites, mixing continuously to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
Once all the syrup has been added, keep mixing until the bottom of the bowl feels cool to the touch and the meringue has cooled down to room temperature.
Use immediately or keep in the fridge (covered) until ready to use. It's a very stable meringue, so it won't start weeping, leaking or collapsing.
Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
Beat the egg, milk, water, oil, and lemon juice together.
Then add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk till smooth.
Allow the mixture to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Place a greased plate over a medium saucepan of boiling water and have a large lid handy to cover the pancakes when cooked.
Spray a medium-size frying pan with non-stick spray and then heat pan the pan over moderate heat.
Pour enough batter into the pan to form a thin layer. Fry until it is brown underneath. Shake and turn.
Stack pancakes on a plate and set aside until needed.
Continue until all the batter has been used.
Place a crêpe on a serving plate and lightly spread the lemon crème pâtissière over it. Stack another crêpe on top of it and spread again with the crème pâtissière. Repeat this process until all the crêpes are used.
Spread the Italian Meringue over the last crêpe and use a blow torch to give it that brownish look.
In a mixing bowl or jug, combine the eggs, buttermilk, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Use a whisk to mix the ingredients until well combined.
Arrange the ciabatta slices on a clean roasting tray and pour the buttermilk mixture over the bread. Allow 5 - 7 minutes for the bread to soak up the liquid. Turn the bread over and allow it to soak for another 5 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat.
Fry the apple slices until soft and browned. Remove the apple and keep aside.
In the same pan, add more olive oil if needed and fry the bacon until crispy on both sides.
Remove the bacon and set aside.
Place the soaked ciabattas in the pan and fry until browned on both sides. Fry the bread in two batches.
Stack the French toast with the cream cheese, crispy bacon, and apple. Finally, drizzle with golden syrup and serve.
Follow this link to get a recipe to make the ciabatta that was used for creating this recipe.
Baking a fresh ciabatta could not be easier. Follow the easy recipe and instructions. A step-by-step video is also provided to make the process easier. Happy baking!
This is a quick recipe and is not the authentic ciabatta that is originally made with a biga (starter). You will still get air holes in your bread but not as much as with the original recipe or the 100% Hydration Ciabatta recipe. For beginner bakers, I would advise to start off with this recipe and then move on to the other recipes.
What are the instructions if I want to make this bread with a machine mixer? Ok, that is simple: Add the flour, yeast, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Turn the mixer on at a medium speed and slowly add the water and oil. Beat for at least 5 - 8 minutes. Continue as from point 6 in the recipe instructions, see below. DO NOT expect big air holes using this method.
Why is the water measured in grams and not milliliters? I have zillions of measuring cups and jugs... and not one of them is correct. Therefore I believe in weighing the water rather than to hope it is the right amount. Electronic scales are really not that expensive and I would recommend using one instead of measuring cups.
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a standard twelve muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.
Fry the bacon until crispy in a little bit of olive oil, drain and cool to room temperature
Combine the flour, sugar, paprika, thyme, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the bacon and set aside until ready to use.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, mash the bananas. Then add the rest of the ingredients in order and whisk until smooth with each addition. Start with the peanut butter and followed by the oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients with a wooden spoon and mix until just incorporated. Do not over mix.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups and top each muffin generously with the bacon streusel.
Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick, inserted in the middle, comes out clean, about 20 – 23 minutes.
Remove from the oven and convert it to a wire rack. Let cool before serving.
A good tip that one of my lecturers gave me after she tried this recipe was: "Do not add an extra banana! The flavor balancing will not be perfect." So there you have it. Stick to 200g of ripe bananas!
In January 2018 we traveled to Loket in the Czech Republic. During winter and especially a few days after Three Kings, restaurants and shops in these little towns are mainly closed for business and only open over weekends. The weather was not in our favor that specific day and as we walked around this beautiful castle, we saw a fireplace being lit in a restaurant a few meters away from us. We looked at each other and our feet automatically walked that way... probably knew that we needed coffee. Oh, by the way, we are coffee addicts and snobs. Got there, and the fresh, warm smell of Czech Cuisine started tangling our taste buds. For those of you that know us, will know that our favorite country is the Czech Republic. Not only for the breathtaking nature and scenery but also for their food.
Got hold of a waiter, that obviously could not understand why these two South Africans are strolling around a winter ghost town. She gave us the menu and in broken English said: "chicken balls special today". We did not think twice. Ordered the Chicken Balls (which was served with Czech bramboraky - potato pancakes) and the rest is history... here is my take on the chicken balls.