Hi hi, here are some pics from a shoot Jono Nienaber and I did in the dead buildings on the point road death row. A big thanks you to Leigh Schubert for letting us use her gorgeous clothes and to the weather man for giving us a break in the Torrential rain. Enjoy x
For me there are few things as delicious as a ripe litchi picked straight from the tree so when I found out about the fresh produce market happening at Eb's litchi orchard in Ballito I was pretty much hysterical with excitement. Doug and I jumped in the car this morning and took a lovely drive down the coast to see what was potting and were wonderfully surprised.
Eb has built an awesome wooden structure in amongst the litchi trees- which are dripping with fat little litchis ready for the picking- which houses the many yummy delights ranging from cupcakes (that look like they have just come off the set of the Marie Antoinette movie) to delicious indian food, gorgeous vegetables, macadamia nuts (also grown on the farm) pesto's and pastes and many more scrumptious nibbles.
So, If you find yourself waking up on a saturday with an adventure in mind I suggest you cruise down to Ballito and grab yourself a box of the most delicious litchi's in the whole universe and a cupcake (if you have the space after eating a whole box of litchis) and sit yourself in the shade of a litchi tree and bask in the glory that is summertime in durban.
I have this funny obsession with paper cutouts, it has an almost meditative effect on me, and an incredibly beautiful result, I can spend hours perched on our window seat in my own little cutout universe so you can imagine my joy at discovering this site. After a good hour of perving and peroozing through Julene's spectacular amount of intricate and completely inspring work i decided to make one of my own (more of a love letter than a cutout!) you will notice that julene's is much neater than mine!
I have decided to do a little recipe card series so that once you have read one of my delicious recipes, you can download a card and scribble it down:)
I can pretty confidently say that once you have tasted these delicious biscuits, they will immediately be top of your list of favorites. Everyone I know has a lovely memory attached to these crumbly, jammy scrumptious little squares, most of them including tea with granny.
I hope the taste takes you back in time to a happy sunny day. Enjoy x
APRICOT SQUARES OF LOVE
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup margerine (I use butter)
1 egg beaten
2 cups self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
a tin of apricot jam
x Beat the sugar and marge/butter together until smooth and creamy. Add the beaten egg, stir in the flour and vanilla essence. Knead until a smooth dough is formed.
x Divide the dough in half, wrap 1/2 in glad wrap and refrigerate. Press the remaining 1/2 into a square baking tin or lamington tin
x Spread generously with a layer of jam. Be as liberal as you want, everyone likes a different amount so you are going to have to play around and figure out how jammy you want them (i like mine pretty jammy:)
x Grate the remaining half of dough over the jammy layer and bake at 180 c until golden brown.
Are these not the most beautiful ribbons? I cannot help but be completely obsessed with the Ebony and Ivory ribbon company, every time I visit them I leave with an armful of gorgeous ribbons. They are the perfect way to jazz up gifts and look stunning wrapped around goodie filled jars. I use it whenever and where ever I can. Visit them here for your ribbon fix. Or Go to their shop 52 Main Road Diep River Cape Town.
X Combine 2/3 of the crushed biscuits and butter and press into the lamington pan. Refrigerate
X Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, gradually add the sugar, beating until it is dissolved between additions. once a shiny mass has been reached, fold in the ground hazelnuts, remaining biscuits and the flour. Spread the mixture over the biscuit base.
X Bake at 180 C for 20 min. Cool
X Reduce the oven temperature to 170 C
X Meanwhile make the topping by beating the butter, sugar and egg yolk until it is light and fluffy. Stir in the melted chocolate and spread over the slice. Bake for a further 20 minutes.
X Once baked I used a cookie cutter to cut out some rounds, I sandwiched them together and put little chocolate collars around the stacks to give them a more elegant look. I also spread a little butterscotch sauce over the tops for some added goodness.
I have been so excited to get home from work all day just so I can share my first ever guest post with you. Lianne Scher sent me this great recipe and astounding picture of a cupcake she made for the Martha Stewart cupcake competition. It was only once she had slaved over this lovely creation all day, taken the picture and tried to upload it onto the ms site that she realised that the competition is only open to us citizens (totally unfair in my book). The good news is that Lianne mailed it to the girls at MS living anyway and to her surprise she got an email back from them to say they had sent the mail onto MS herself !
GUEST BLOGGER : LIANNE SCHER
Here is the recipe which for me has to be the most delicious ,and moistest cupcake I have ever tasted , this is a recipe which I have had for years , the original asks for berries of any kind which I obviously omitted. The name of the recipe is Friands.
1 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar
1/2 cup flour
175g melted butter
6 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla essence
X Combine all dry ingredients
X Beat whites to a soft peak and fold in the dry ingredients and the melted butter as well as vanilla until evenly incorporated
X Put spoonfuls of the mixture three quarters the way up the case
X Bake at 190 degress C for 25 minutes or less depending on size of cases being used
For the icing you can use any butter or cream cheese frosting , which after spreading on the cupcake. I sprinkled with coconut to give the affect of snow. I used an extra large sized muffin pan so that it would be in proportion to the "little house". If you were using berries in this recipe finish off with a dredging of icing sugar .
The house was made of gingerbread to which no raising agent was added , the roof tiles are of wheaties cereal , the flag pole of gingerbread , the flag rice paper which I put through the printer , the window pane a shard of caramel which gives it a wonderful warm glow when the little candle is lit , I drilled a hole in the chimney to allow for a flow of oxygen , the little pebbles are balls of gingerbread pressed between fingers before baking,the logs on the side of the house are gingerbread and then the detail is of course royal icing, including the little bird
I hope this gives you some inspiration to try and bring you as much joy as it did me .
There is a deli in durban that I have driven past almost everyday for the past year. Why it has never occurred to me to actually stop and go inside is beyond me because ever since I went there last week, it is all i can think about. The staff is super friendly and efficient and the food completely scrumptious. The order of the day was a bowl mushroom and brown onion soup accompanied by 4 little ciabatta soldiers smothered in gorgonzola. Now i am no mushroom soup connoisseur but I am almost sure that The Deli serves quite possibly the best mushroom soup in the universe. I was so sure of this that I took my boyfriend down there for lunch today, just to confirm my suspicion, and it turns out i was right. So next time you are in durban I highly recommend that you go down to The Deli, its on Windemere road, and see if I'm right.
Last weekend my little sister came up to visit from cape town. I decided that no trip to durban was complete without a visit to the fabulous Essenwood market so Georgia and I spent our saturday morning sauntering up and down the endless rows of craft filled stores perusing all the eats, flowers and crafty surprises. Imagine my pure joy on discovering the lovely Whimsy stall. These beautiful illustrations, both originals and prints, are the perfect gift for any girl between the ages of 0-100 and should be hung up on any available wall space you can find. If you are too far away to visit the market, you can view more images here www.whimsy.co.za on the whimsy site, it is an absolute must.
THESE DELICIOUS LITTLE PIES ARE BEST EATEN STRAIGHT OUT OF THE OVEN WITH A DOLLOP OF VANILLA ICE-CREAM.
1 quantity pie-crust, unbaked
100 g caster sugar
125 ml maple syrup
30 g unsalted butter, cubed
¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
50 g shelled pecan nuts, chopped
X Pre-heat the oven to 170 C
X Find a clean work surface and dust it with some flour. Roll out your pastry until it is a few mm in thickness. Using a round cookie cutter cut out some pastry rounds and line the prepared mini pie tins. Trim the edges with a sharp knife.
X In a medium saucepan, combine the caster sugar, maple syrup and salt and bring to the boil. As soon as a rolling boil has been reached, switch off the heat and leave the syrup mixture to cool slightly (about 20 minutes.)
X Put the egg in bowl and whisk for a few seconds until it is just mixed. Slowly pour the warm syrup mixture into the bowl containing the egg, stirring briskly all the time to avoid making scrambled eggs.
X Add the butter and vanilla extract and mix it until all the butter has melted and all the ingredients are evenly dispersed.
X Fill each pastry shell with a couple of pecan nuts and then pour the filling on top. Top each little pie with one whole pecan.
X Bake the mini pies for about 20 minutes or until they are a dark caramel colour with a slightly crusty surface.
125 g butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons full cream milk
X Crumb together the butter, baking powder, flour and sugar knead in the milk to form a smooth dough.
IM GOING HOME TO CAPE TOWN TOMORROW, TRADING THE WARM AND BALMY CLIMATE OF DURBAN FOR THE COLD AND STORMY TEMPER OF CAPE TOWN. I FIGURED, IF IM GOING TO TAKE ON THE COLD, I MIGHT ASWEL DO IT WITH A DELICIOUS SOUP IN HAND. ENJOY!
500g baby peas
2 small potatoes
5 medium leeks
1 big onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
a knob of butter
2 cloves garlic crushed
850 ml chicken stock
xBoil the potatoes until they are cooked, remove them from the heat and put them aside.
xRemove the outer skin of the leeks, give them a rinse and then chop them into approximately
3cm thick chunks.
xHeat the butter and oil in a pot and add the onion, leeks and garlic cloves and sweat them untilthey become sweet and tender and the onions become translucent. Add the peas and potatoes and cook for about a minute add 2/3 of the stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
xwhen the simmering is done, blend the soup to the desired thickness and use the excess stock to adjust the consistency.
THIS IS A LOVELY, SUMMERY CAKE IDEAL FOR AFTERNOON LUNCHEONS UNDER THE TREES
250 G SOFT BUTTER
2 CUPS CASTER SUGAR
3/4 CUP SOUR CREAM
2 CUPS PLAIN FLOUR
1/4 CUP SELF-RAISING FLOUR
1/2 CUP PINE NUTS
1 TABLESPOON TREACLE SUGAR
1/4 CUP HONEY
XLINE A 23CM LAMINGTON PAN WITH BAKING PAPER AND PRE-HEAT THE OVEN TO 170 C
XBEAT THE BUTTER AND CASTER SUGAR TOGETHER UNTIL IT IS LIGHT AND FLUFFY. ADD THE EGGS ONE AT A TIME. STIR IN THE SOUR CREAM AND FLOURS IN 2 BATCHES.
XPOUR THE MIXTURE INTO THE LINED TIN AND BAKE FOR 15 MINUTES.
XWHILE THE CAKE IS BAKING, MIX TOGETHER THE TREACLE SUGAR AND PINE NUTS.
XCAREFULLY REMOVE THE CAKE FROM THE OVEN AND QUICKLY SPRINKLE WITH THE PINE NUT ANDSUGAR MIXTURE.
XPUT THE CAKE STRAIGHT BACK INTO THE OVEN AND BAKE FOR ANOTHER 45 MINUTES. (KEEPAN EYEON THE NUTS WHILE THEY BAKE, IN MY EXPERIENCE THEY TEND TO BROWN RATHERQUICKLY SO IOFTEN PUT A PIECE OF TINFOIL OVER THE CAKE ONCE THE NUTS ARE BROWNED TO MY LIKING.)
XREMOVE THE CAKE FROM THE TIN.
XIN A SMALL SAUCEPAN, HEAT THE HONEY UNTIL IT IS HOT AND RUNNY, POUR IT OVER THECAKE ANDLEAVE TO COOL.
I figure that if this blog is going to be a success i might as well put one of my most favorite of delicious things foreword as a starting point because who can go wrong with a chiffon cake in front of them right? well here goes, i hope you enjoy this recipe as much as i do, it is a serious birthday hit and quite possibly the most girly cake you can get. Enjoy
ORANGE CHIFFON CAKE WITH DREAMY COCONUT ICING
pre- heat the oven to 160 C
2 1/4 cups cake flour
15 ml baking powder
125 ml sunflower oil
375 ml sugar
5 ml salt
5 unbeaten egg yolks
7 egg whites
3 ml cream of tar tar
the juice and rind of 2 medium oranges
xSift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together 3 times ( i know it sounds pedanticbut this is essential)
xIn a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, yolks, juice and rind.
xmake a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the oil, yolk mixture, continueto beat until smooth. put aside.
xIn a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they are foamy, about 1 minute, add the cream oftar tar ( this helps the egg whites hold their form) and continue to whisk up to stiff peaks(you will know that you have reached this stage when you can hold your bowl upside down andthe egg whites don'tbudge from the bowl)
xPour half the egg whites into the yolk mixture and fold in gently once they are incorporated continue to do the same with the other half of the whites nb: don't over mix.
xPour the batter into an ungreased 25 cm chiffon tin (this is a cake tin that has little "legs"around the outside) and continue to bake at 160 C for 65 - 70 minutes. Once it is
cooked leave it to cool, inverted. this technique helps give this cake its beautiful height.
10 ml orange rind
a pinch of salt
500g icing sugar
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
5 ml lemon juice
65 ml orange juice
xCream together the butter and icing sugar, add the eggs, juice, salt and desiccatedcoconut,beat well until you have a smooth creamy icing.
Once the cake is cool, remove it from the tin and cover it with frosting, I covered my icing with a layer of coconut flakes, to give it the dreamy effect.