Top Food Blogs

Friday, August 16, 2013

Meet the Bloggers - Freshly Blogged Competitors

Today's post is a post with all the competing bloggers from the Freshly Blogged Competition here they are in no specific order

Jackie Buss (Inspired By Food)

'I am inspired by local, fresh, free-range, organic, home-grown food'
Food has always been my passion and inspiration for as long as I can remember. Even from an early age I remember being in the kitchen and always trying something different every time. I would not use recipes except for guidance, but rather make up my own dishes and flavours. It must have run in the family because both my mother and father have also always been passionate about food and this has lead me to be passionate about food, local ingredients, local producers, organic, free range and home grown wherever possible. My passion has also lead me to starting my own business, running my own food business at Cape Town’s food markets.

Jessica Ulyate (Tiny Oven Adventures)

‘I enjoy experimenting with new recipes, and I've got a soft spot for baking and cake decorating.
I'm a 20-something electronic engineer working in the mobile-application security field. I love technology and working with it, but I'm passionate about all things food related!

Evelyn Thomas (shades of cinnamon)

'My every waking moment involves food'
I am a cook, recipe developer and stock photographer from Durban. My love for food and photography has developed into a passion that is the driving force behind my blog, Shades of Cinnamon. My every waking moment involves food. Thinking about what to cook next, trying new ideas, finding the right light in order to take the perfect photograph, writing each post… And, at the end of the day, reaping the rewards, by sitting down with a glass of wine, or a cup of tea, and eating the finished product. Food sustains us, comforts us in our darkest hours and helps us celebrate our happiest moments.

Shafeeqa Effendi (Crushland)

'I started my blog to share all the things that inspire me, and celebrate all the things I love'
I started cooking, baking and painting as a young child, with my little pink camera in tow. Now years later, I’m still doing the same thing! Except now I have a very patient and understanding family, in the form of my beloved husband and two dear sons, who know when not to bother me in the kitchen (and how to hold that 'natural' pose between bites). You’ll find me at an arts and crafts market selling my watercolour paintings on the last Sunday of every month, doing the odd wedding or family shoot, and sometimes creating weird and wonderful cake creations with buttercreams and fondant for special people on special occasions. (My favourite brief is: Surprise me!)

Anél Potgieter (lifeisazoobiscuit)

‘I want my blog to be a happy place’
My blogging journey was born out of a demotivating experience. In 2012, I was incredibly depressed after being rejected on MasterChef, after making it into the top 35. So I started eating my favourite cookies, zoo biscuits −and couldn’t stop. A few weeks later (still eating zoo biscuits for comfort), I woke up one morning (12 April 2012, to be exact) and decided enough was enough. I needed to write about food. And so I started my blog, lifeisazoobiscuit. Since then, life has not been the same. My heart has healed. My life really is like a zoo biscuit – happy, colourful and full of joy! Through my blog, I want others to experience this, so my recipes are all tested and cooked with so much love and photographed by myself. I my blog to be a happy place. In March, my blog received the 2013 Eat Out DSTV Food Network Produce Best Food Blog of the Year Award.

Joanne Clegg (The Food Crew)

My experience has included cooking in private homes, working for reputable caterers and running an on-board yacht cookery course. I stumbled upon my life’s calling: I was the girl who was kicked out of Home Economics in high school because I had no notes in my file! Extramural Home Ec lessons got me through Matric, and when my travels took me to the island of Mallorca, I began working on luxury yachts. It was either manage the galley or live below deck as a glorified chamber maid. Thanks to the bounty of delicious produce from the Mediterranean, I soon began a love affair with food. I returned home in 2008, and finished my chef’s diploma with a distinction – and a bun in the oven! My relaxed rustic-fusion style embraces family dining. It’s unpretentious, focuses on flavour and cooking the ingredients with respect.

Sam Taylor (pomegranate days)

‘I’m enjoying being executive chef of my own kitchen’
I live in the beautiful Paarl Valley. I am the mother of two and the wife of one Dear Husband. I love where we live… that I drive past cows and sheep (and the occasional donkey) on the way home… that from wherever I stand in Paarl, I am surrounded by its glorious mountains. I qualified as a chef de partie from Christina Martin School of Food and Wine in Durban in 1992. For the next 18 years I worked hideously antisocial chef hours on game farms and in restaurants and hotels. The less glamorous side of chef life didn’t diminish my passion for all things culinary. After working over hot passes and nursing scorched hands, leaving the dynamic environment of restaurant and hotel kitchens has heralded in a (relatively) quieter season of my life. I am enjoying being the solitary executive chef of my kitchen.

Kate Liquorish (undomestiKATED)

'Food will always fascinate me'
Food fascinates me. It always has, always will. As an actress by profession (and what an interesting job it can be!), I’ve had the joy (and pain) of a lot of free time in-between work, auditions, post-audition drinking. In this time, I found myself cooking. It soon snowballed: dinner at home became dinner for friends became dinner for 12 became a party became a wedding… Before I knew it, I was working as a caterer and was often asked for my recipes, which I’d never taken the time to write down. Then one day a friend persuaded me to start a blog. So I did… And here I am.

Hila Jonker (Add to Taste)

‘Cooking and baking for me is like meditation.’
I’m a wife, a mother, a full-time worker, and I love food. I love cooking it. In fact, I’d rather cook a meal than snuggle under the duvet! I love eating food – anything from mouth-watering gastronomic experiences to wholesome, down-to-earth fare. I appreciate all good food (and it shows!). My little family of three (my husband and tiny toddler) get to experience all things foodie – from my Romanian heritage to my Israeli roots and my current culinary explorations through cookbooks, blogs and Food TV.

Shirley Berko (CuiZine)

‘I hope to be part of the food community that puts Durban on the map’
I am a graphic designer from Durban who aspires to cook confidently, bake without setting things alight and record the results of my adventures on my blog. When I started varsity, my cooking skills extended to microwaving frozen fish and boiling potatoes. Inspired to change that, my passion for food (and often my overheated frying pan) became inflamed. Since then, I've progressed to cooking with fresh fish and making confit potatoes… and keeping a fire extinguisher handy. Almost as much as I love food, I love my little city of Durban. Our city is often underestimated, but I hope to be a part of the growing food community that puts Durban on the map. I hope to do this by cooking well… and not setting any more baked goods alight!

Candice Bresler (The Gorgeous Gourmet)

'I want to help people rediscover the joy of cooking.'
I’m a vanilla-obsessed eater, baker and cook. I live in a beautiful corner of Cape Town, and I document my adventures in and out of the kitchen from my corner of cyberspace – The Gorgeous Gourmet. It began when I was a little girl, ‘helping’ my mom in the kitchen (really, just licking the bowl). After graduating from UCT (English and Politics), I moved to the French Alps for a year while working in the hospitality industry. There, I happily embraced a world of cream, cheese and bread – ingredients that still weigh heavily in my heart and hips. Now, I spend my days working with premium kitchen brands, and my nights and weekends writing for The Gorgeous Gourmet. I strive to find the balance between fresh vanilla pods, butter and cream, and time at the gym.

Lara Johnson (How to Cook an Elephant)

‘Pinterest feeds my interest in organic gardening, food photography and recipes’
I’m an administrator at a remedial school in Cape Town. Influenced by my German grandmother and English heritage, I learnt to cook at a young age, and chose to pursue my love for cooking by studying in Stellenbosch. After a stint of living in London, and picking organic grapes in Tuscany, I returned to Cape Town and started my blog, How to Cook an Elephant, in May 2009 for a bit of culinary ‘fun on the side’. I live with my husband, Brett, and our puppydog, Tosca… as well as a slowly growing fortune of Le Creuset cookware, kitchen gadgets and cookbooks. Here you will find me in the kitchen or pottering in the backyard garden.

Jessica Franks (JessKa's Kitchen)

'By the time I’m 80, I’m going to need my own cookbook library!'
I like food. A lot. I take a million photos of whatever and wherever I'm eating. So much so, the photos on my phone are 80 percent of food; 20 percent of my dogs, Basil and Pickle. (They had to have food names, even though my friends voted we call them Batdog and Robin.) My food blog is called JessKa's Kitchen (pronounced like a lazy two-syllable Jessica without the i) and I’ve been blogging since 2011. My blog is home to all my favourite recipes, restaurant reviews and other food-related awesomeness. I’m based in Johannesburg, and by day, I’m a network engineer for one of South Africa’s telecommunications companies.

Barry Gerber (Cape Cook)

'My love for cooking stems out of my love for making other people happy'
I’m 45 years old and from Bellville, Cape Town. I grew up in Malmesbury, and still love the Swartland and West Coast very much. The people are like my cooking: honest, without pretence. I didn’t grow up watching my mother cook. I played outside like most boys. But when I left home at 18 I started cooking for myself and friends - sometimes with success; sometimes with disastrous results! My love for cooking stems from my love for making people happy. My cooking style is rustic, with influences from boerekos and the country-style cooking of France and Italy, with occasional attempts at fanciness.

Amy-Louise Rankin (20-something in Cape Town)

'I’m a wine-guzzling, food-loving word-nerd'
Growing up on a farm in Limpopo, I clearly remember the day my mom first brought home olive oil. Even then, I hated ‘fake food’ (read: processed cheese and polony). But my real culinary journey (and my ‘winecation’!) began when I moved to Cape Town to study 10 years ago, and had to teach myself how to cook. Once I started working in publishing, I was regularly invited to food events and launches. I started my blog, 20-somethinginCapeTown, to share my discoveries. Nine months ago, my husband and I blended our own wine for our wedding. I’d love to make a batch of beer one day, too. Until then, I’ll just keep consuming the wondrous products around me – making sure I occasionally run to stave off extra kilos!

Teresa Ulyate (Cupcakes and Couscous)

‘My goal is to spread the foodie love’
My passion for food had its roots in childhood. I have fond memories of baking mince pies and biscuits over the Christmas holidays, granny's apple pie and custard, mom’s muesli slowly baking in the oven… After school I completed a National Diploma in Food and Nutrition, then began working at an upmarket food store in Cape Town. After a brainwave, I approached the owners with a product idea. They agreed to give me a chance, so I grew a business with several product lines, including handmade chocolate truffles and iced tea. After selling my business to travel with my husband, I worked as a product developer for a food company in Cape Town until I had my daughter. As a busy mom, I tend to revert to the same recipes, but I plan to challenge myself, too... (And to share the results on my blog, of course.)

Nicola George (Wots For Lunch?)

‘I’m a Capetonian, food geek, lunch-box packer, software developer and more…’
It’s no surprise that I love food − my mom tells me it was even my first word! My blogging journey began with the Arthur Golden book Memoirs of a Geisha. After reading it, I developed an obsession with all things geisha, which developed into a fascination with Japanese culture and, eventually, bento meals. I discovered blogs like Cooking Cute, Just Bento and Adventures in Bentomaking and was inspired by the compact, balanced and cute packed meals they featured. In 2007 I created a blog on, but in 2010 I decided to go it alone and moved my blog to Wots For Lunch? I blog about the lunches I pack for myself, the occasional recipe, and lately I’ve been having fun with Instagram, posting monthly roundups of the food-themed photos I share there.

Tandy Sinclair (lavender and lime)

‘Food is about feeding the soul’
My journey with food started when I got to cook with my paternal grandmother and her aunts for the Jewish high holy days. My grandmother was an artist by profession and I always say that I found my art form in the kitchen. Since I moved out of home, I have created dishes in my kitchen like an artist. Some of them have not worked out well; some have gone on to win awards. In September 2009 I started a food blog and as it has grown, I have grown along with it. I try to use regional and seasonal produce wherever possible, and I support as many local farms, industries and shops as I can. To me, food is more than just about feeding the stomach: It’s about feeding the soul.

Zirkie Schroeder (PinkPolkaDot)

'Zirkie is my name, foodblogging is my game!'
I grew up in the beautiful bosveld town of Bela Bela. My Afrikaans mother cooked real boerekos. If she had her way, we’d have eaten meat three times a day. My mom enjoyed cooking and baking, and it wasn’t long before her interest became mine. At 12, I started making breakfast menus for my school holidays. Later I started cooking lunch and dinner, too. Food took a backseat when I started a career in the IT industry. After my son was born in 1995, I was often away from home for work. So in 2001, when I got the chance to make a career change, I bought a coffee shop. For seven years, I baked all the cakes, most of the muffins and all of the quiches myself. Friends and family kept requesting my recipes, so I decided to start blogging on Food24. To my surprise, my blog became popular.

Saaleha Bamjee (Electric Spaghetti)

‘I’m a freelance writer, designer, editorial consultant and amateur food photographer.’
When I'm not making, eating or taking pictures of food, I’m working towards completing an MA in Creative Writing (with a specialisation in Poetry) through Rhodes University. I’m based in Johannesburg.

Bradley Castle (The Hungry Chef)

‘I love to mix old-world recipes with new-world techniques to create something that’s even better than the original.’
I’m a self-taught chef who got into the industry because of my passion for food and my understanding of how to put somebody at peace with a plate of food. I make everything myself – from my own cheeses, artisan breads and stoneground, pure-butter puff pastries. I’ve cured my own meats and I’ve made my own sausages. My hunger for knowledge about food is ongoing, hence the name “the hungry chef”. I specialise in Indian curries, Thai foods, Mediterranean cuisine and cooking with sustainable seafood. I also love German and Korean foods.

Rosemary Gough (Homemade Heaven)

'Everything that is eaten in our home is always made from scratch.'
I have no problem writing (and talking) about food, hiking, other people, other places… actually I can fill your whole day with words – except about myself. Here goes! I started blogging in August 2007, as a way to share my life and recipes with my family, far and near. What started as the odd recipe and photo soon grew into an all-consuming hobby that interrupted family meal times! I now feed a household of seven people, ranging in age from 22 months to 58 years old (including two hardworking 18 year olds). While my blog Homemade Heaven had to slow down when life caught up with me, I’m still passionate about blogging and cooking

Natasha Silva (Eazy Peazy Lemon Squeazy)

‘I’m still in utter awe of the fact that I can combine two of my biggest passions in a way very few other people can.’
While I’ve always felt a strong pull towards writing (ever since my early teen-angst, diary-owning days!), I only recently discovered that my love for eating can actually take me places. I always seek out rustic classics with a twist. Being only 22 years old (nearly 23!), I have a lot to learn. At the moment, all I’m seeking are learning opportunities that can help grow my passion for cooking (as well as my skill, of course). I really enjoy trying out new recipes at home and discovering new dishes at new restaurants.

Andanté Wiehahn (Lekkerbek)

'Graphic designer by profession, PR by experience and food lover by passion.'
My family has always been obsessed with food. As a child, my parents each ran a restaurant. I recall falling asleep under tables, playing hide-and-seek in enormous kitchens and not thinking it strange to see a live crayfish being turned into our dinner. When I was 10 my mom asked me what I wanted to serve at my birthday lunch and I said artichokes (don’t think that went down to well with my tomato sauce-obsessed peers!). Four years ago, my mother, Wirie, had a concept for a gourmet gifting company, and that’s how LekkerBek started. In the meantime, I also met my husband Wiets. Together we have travelled the world tasting as many delicacies as our tummies (and wallets) would allow. Now I spend endless hours experimenting in the kitchen – it’s creative therapy.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Chicken liver parfait, tomato and coffee jam with crème brulee, spiced ice-cream and stewed fruit


For the dessert:

Spiced white chocolate ice-cream:
80g white chocolate; 8 egg yolks; 1/4 tsp Robertsons cayenne pepper;500ml milk
Stewed fruit:1 packet PnP dried fruits (all fruits except prunes, which go in liver parfait); 1/2 cup of sugar; 1 cup water
Vanilla-cinnamon creme brulee:1 vanilla pod, scraped; Robertsons cinnamon; 200ml cream; 100ml milk; 3 Tbsp sugar; 4 egg yolks
Tomato-coffee jam: 1kg tomatoes, skinned and pitted (reserve pips and inner flesh); 2 red peppers, roasted and skinned; 6 coffee beans; 1 tsp vinegar; 100ml olive oil; 150g icing sugar (placed over reserved pips and flesh and left in a warm place for 3 hours); Salt and pepper to taste; 1/2 tsp Robertsons cayenne pepper
Melba toast: 500g white bread flour; 15g fresh yeast; 15g sugar; 300ml warm water; 10g salt
For chicken liver parfait: 250g PnP chicken livers; 1 Tbsp olive oil; Prunes from the packet PnP dried fruits; 1 vanilla pod, scraped; 1/2 tspRobertsons ground cinnamon; Salt and pepper to taste; 50g butter; 50ml PnP cream

For spiced white chocolate ice-cream:

Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Cream chocolate into eggs with cayenne pepper. Add in heated milk and return to a low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens like custard. Leave to cool to room temperature, place in the fridge until cooled, then place in the freezer for about 4 hours. Remove and blitz in a food processor. Repeat this step 3 times, then leave in the fridge overnight for the ice-cream to set.

For the stewed fruits:

Place ingredients in a saucepan over a medium heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

For vanilla-cinnamon creme brulee:

Infuse vanilla and cinnamon in cream and milk on a low heat for about 30 minutes.
Cream together the sugar and egg yolks and then slowly add in the hot cream mixture.
Strain into ramekins and bake in the oven at 120 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes or until set. Take out of the oven and leave to cool.
Once cool, sprinkle with white sugar and brulee it with a gas torch.

For melba toast:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Combine yeast and sugar with water and leave to activate. (It usually takes about 10 minutes and you will see a froth develop on the top.) Mix this into the remaining ingredients and knead for 10 minutes. until the dough is smooth. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for about 45 minutes.
Knock it back, cut and shape into the shapes you want to make and leave to prove, covered again, for another 45 minutes.
Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. Take out and leave to cool. Cut paper thin and bake again in the oven for about 5 minutes, until toasted.

For tomato and coffee jam:

After the pips and flesh have macerated for 3 hours, strain off the liquid and add it to the remaining flesh of the tomatoes that have been finely cubed with the red pepper.
Add together with all the remaining ingredients and cook on a medium heat in a small saucepan until it has reduced to a jam consistency. Serve on top of the chicken liver.

For chicken liver parfait:

Saute chicken livers in olive oil until cooked all the way through. Add all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pipe into a serving glass.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pear frangipane, dark chocolate ice cream and Amarula custard

This is my new recipe for the freshly blogged competition, please follow the link to go and vote for my recipe


For the Amarula custard:

1 cup milk
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup Amarula

For the chocolate ice cream:

500ml milk
80g dark chocolate
10 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar

For the pear frangipane:

1 pkt PnP cream crackers
2 Tbsp white sugar
3 Tbsp butter
100g flaked almonds, ground into a powder
2 medium eggs
2 Tbsp cake flour
1/4 cup white sugar
80g butter
2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced

Amarula custard:

Heat up the milk to just below boiling point, remove from the heat, In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale then slowly whisk in the heated milk, return back to a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens like custard, then add in the Amarula and leave to cool or serve hot.

Chocolate ice cream:

Heat up the milk to just below boiling point, remove from the heat and add in the chocolate and whisk until combined. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale then slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture, return back to a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens like custard. Leave to cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge until cooled, then in the freezer for about 4 hours. Take it out and blitz in a food processor, repeat this step 3 times, and then leave over night for the ice cream to set.
Best of all is that no ice cream maker is needed for this!

Pear frangipane:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a food processor, blitz the cream crackers, 2 Tbsp sugar and 3 Tbsp butter until it resembles wet bread crumbs, this is the base for the frangipane. Line a 23cm tart tin with these crumbs.
Now in the food processor add all the remaining ingredients except for the pears and blitz together, spread this evenly over the crumb base, then slice the pears and arrange them on the almond base.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


The dish : Ostrich koftas – traditional Indian meatballs – paired with herbed cornbread, dried fruit compote and a red wine reduction
I’ve had a lingering love affair with fusion food since my rookie days as a virgin chef.
There’s nothing more satisfyingly risky than pairing x, y and z from vastly different continents and cultures…and discovering that, really, they were meant to be mixed after all.
Fusion food is the gastronomic equivalent of democracy. Every ingredient is equal – no matter what it looks like or where it comes from.
This week’s dish reflects everything I relish about Indian, South African and classic French cuisine : tasty, tantalising and pleasingly easy on the eye.
Ostrich meat, too, deserves pride of place on our dinner tables. It’s one of the healthiest animal protein sources available – yet so under-rated.
So, I threw together the traditional South African braai, a couple of Indian Koftas, a French plating and red wine sauce.
The result? Magic.
Ingredients for Herbed Corn Bread
500g Mealie Meal (I like the course braai pap, but this is up to your preference)
700g White Bread Flour
35g Fresh Yeast
50g White Sugar
25g Salt
50ml Olive Oil
2 Eggs lightly beaten
700ml warm Milk
30g Chives chopped
1 Onion finely diced

Method for Herbed Corn Bread

Get the braai ready, I have learnt that briquette’s work best when making braai breads.
Mix together 1 TBSP of the sugar with the fresh yeast and “cream” them together, add 1 TBSP white bread flour to this and mix for another minute, add this to the warm milk and leave to form a sponge on the top of the milk, it can take up to 10 minutes to do so.
mean while mix the mealie meal with the remaining sugar, flour, salt, chives and onion.
When the yeasty mixture has formed a sponge, add in the eggs and olive oil, mix lightly.
Add the yeasty mixture into the flour mixture and knead for about 5 minutes, leave the dough to stand in a draft free place for about 40 minutes, place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and stretch it into a big square about 60cm x 60cm, then fold the bottom half up to the middle, fold the top half down over that, fold the right side in to the middle and fold the left side over that, place back in a container and leave to proof for another 30 minutes, repeat this 4 times, after the 4th time leave to stand for 1hr30min, then take it out and place into a oiled potjie pot, leave to rest for 10 minutes then place this in the fire place with about 8 briquettes underneath the pot, and about 8 on the lid of the potjie pot, keep replacing  with hot briquettes for about 1hr 30 minutes until it is cooked.

Ingredients for Red Wine Reduction
500ml Drostdy-Hof Pinotage
500ml Beef Stock
1 Bay leaf
1/2 Onion finely diced
2 TBSP butter
1 tsp white sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Method for Red Wine Reduction

Sweat off the onions with the butter, add in the rest of the ingredients and let simmer on a low heat until it has reduced down to only a ½ cup of liquid, strain and it is ready to use

Ingredients for Ostrich Kofta’s
500g Ostrich Sausage out of the skin
3 tsp Mild Curry Powder (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 Onion finely diced
2 Eggs lightly beaten
½ cup Toasted Bread Crumbs
3 TBSP PnP Peach Chutney
Prunes for 250g packet PnP Mixed Dried Fruit finely diced
Salt and pepper to taste

Method for Ostrich Kofta’s

Pre-heat the oven to 180˚c
Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Divide the mixture into 12 equal size balls, roll them tightly and place onto a roasting tray rubbed with oil and bake in the oven at 180˚c for 12 minutes

Ingredients for Fruit Compote
250g PnP Mixed Dried Fruit – Finely diced
2 TBSP White Sugar
1 tsp Mild Curry Powder
2 TBSP PnP Peach Chutney
250ml Drostdy-Hof Pinotage
250ml Vegetable Stock
1 Cardomom Pod

Method for Fruit Compote

Place all the ingredients into a small sauce-pan and leave to simmer for until almost all the liquid is gone, take off the heat and keep aside until ready to serve.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Your votes needed!!!!!

I need your votes.........
As most of you know I have entered the Pick n Pay, Fresh Living, Freshly Blogged Competition, it is a great competition that is taking place from now until 23 September 2013, it involves you the public to vote for your favourite recipes and food bloggers which I hope is me, it is a quick and easy vote to do here is the link and just click vote for recipe.

Many thanks
The Hungry Chef

Monday, July 8, 2013

Freshly Blogged Voting has opened

Hello All,

Voting has opened today for the Freshly Blogged Competition, please go onto the site and vote for your favorite recipe, hopefully it is mine, but i do understand if it isn't. Here is the link to the site this is a very interesting competition and it a load of fun for myself and I am sure the fellow competitors feel the same, follow the competition week to week to see who gets voted off, who makes it through and who is tops.
Happy Cooking

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Christmas in July Dessert........Deconstructed Eton Mess

Before I get into part 3 of Christmas in July, I just want to mention to those of you who follow this recipe of the week loyally, I am taking part in a very interest cooking competition that is online from Freshly Blogged, the competition starts on the 8th July 2013, and I will be needing your votes to make it through to the next round, so please go onto the Freshly Blogged website and register as a voter and see what I am going to create in the weekly challenges.

Now for today’s dessert, a quick and sexy little dessert that has the Christmas flavours running through it, berries, brandy, cream, meringue hmmmmmmm everything you need, so myself and newly appointed pastry chef, Elri Booyse who I hope I get to work with for a decent while as she is talented and creative, sat and thought a little out the box and came up with this one….

Serves: 4
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 Hours

Ingredients for the meringue
4 egg whites
½ tsp lemon juice
200g castor sugar

Place the egg whites in a mixer and whisk until they start to form soft peaks, then add in the castor sugar a little at a time so that the last bit is totally incorporated before you add in the next bit, when it is at stiff peak add in the lemon juice.

Pipe onto a baking tray lined with grease proof paper and bake at 150˚c for 1 hour.

Ingredients for the Berry Compote
600g mixed berries
150g treacle sugar
1 vanilla pod scraped
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 cloves
100ml brandy
100ml water

Place all the ingredients into a pot onto the stove and let simmer for about 10 minutes until the liquid start to thicken, take off the heat and leave to cool.

Ingredients for the Amarula Creme
500ml Fresh Cream
100ml Amarula

Whisk the cream until it starts to thicken, then whisk in the Amarula and whisk until stiff peak.

Now to build your master piece, break up the meringue and place this at the bottom of your serving dish, I have gone with Martini glasses as they are sexy, then take a very little bit of the cream and spread a layer on top of the meringue, this will stop the red juices of the berry compote from going into the meringue so you will have a perfectly layered dessert. The place a layer of berries on top of that and then top it all off with the crème.

I have garnished this here with an edible flower and a bit of sugar work, but I think that will take a little more explaining in person to do, you can replace it with the pods of the vanilla you have scraped.

Bon appetite

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Freshly Blogged Competition

To all my avid blog readers I am proud to announce that I will be competing in the Freshly Blogged competition that will start from the 8th July 2013, I am very excited to be doing it as the competition format is going to be quite interesting, we will be given weekly challenges that you the public need to vote on your favourites each week on the Freshly Blogged website, then contents will get chopped until there is a final winner, which of course I hope is me.

So please stay tuned and go to the Freshly Blogged website to register as a voter.

P.S. I am really going to bring my A-game to the table of this one!!!!!!!!!

Many thanks
Hungry Chef Brad

Monday, June 24, 2013

Christmas in July Main Course..........Mild Venison and Prune Curry

Mild Venison & Prune Curry with Cranberry Chutney

This is part 2 of the Christmas in July menu, and to me there is nothing better in winter than good venison, it is fairly priced, easy to cook into comfort food and in many countries it is a Christmas meat as it is usually hunting season in winter. This is a nice warm dish that goes extremely well with good old samp.

Serves: 6
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 ½ Hours

Ingredients for the Curry
1,5 kg Venison goulash
3 TBSP butter
6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 thumb size piece of ginger finely chopped
2 onions roughly chopped
1 TBSP Mild curry powder
2 TBSP mixed garum masala
1 TBSP ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 TBSP ground all spice berries
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 tins whole peeled tomatoes
250g pitted prunes
2 cups good dry red wine
1lt good quality beef stock
1lt water
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the prunes and red wine in a bowl and microwave for about 1 minute, this will help the prunes to suck in the wine, then leave to stand for at least 3 hours before using.
Brown off the venison in the butter to start developing a good flavor base, take the venison out of the pot and add in the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes until they start to brown, then add in the garlic and ginger and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes, add back the meat along with all the spices, whole peeled tomatoes, beef stock and water. Leave to simmer on a medium heat for about 2 hours, then add in the prunes and red wine and let simmer for the remaining 30 minutes, check the season and adjust to your taste.

It is always best to cook this the day before eating as the flavours develop and mature.

Ingredients for the Cranberry Chutney
1 Tin Cranberries
2 TBSP white wine vinegar
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 cup sugar
1 clove garlic
Juice from 1 orange
2 sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes until it thickens.

Take off the heat and leave to cool before using. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

State of our Sea's

This is just a quick little fact about fish for those of you who didn't know this.

  • In 2012 the world produced 63 million tons of Beef and farmed 66 million tons of fish, that's right, farmed fish production has oven taken beef production world wide.
  • The current rate at which we are using our resources by 2030 we would need 1 1/2 earths to sustain what we are using!!!!
  • 90% of the worlds fish populations are over fished and reaching a critical point.
  • It takes 3kg of wild caught fish to feed and produce 1kg of farmed fish.
just some interesting facts to think about when you buy and eat fish, the scary part of it all is that if you go into any super market you will always see the same fish on the shelves and these are mainly the ones that are being over fished.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Christmas in July..........Starter: Cauliflower and Gorgonzola Soup

Cauliflower and Gorgonzola Soup

This is the first of a 3 recipe series that i will do one a week so by mid July you will have a wonderful "easy" Christmas in July menu to do at home.

I know it has been a while since I done the recipe of the week, and sometimes it just gets so difficult to do it as “life” happens, and in the hospitality business that can be a number of things. I recently took a much needed 7 day break in Cape Town with my father in-law and of course my 3 amazing girls. Now for those with a little zest for life will realize that you just cannot do everything there is to do in Cape Town in 7 days, but we did however accomplish many of the things like going to the Old Biscuit Mill Market on Saturday morning, we spent a day in the Wine Lands, went up the mountain to look back down the mountain again, went all the way to Cape Point, look at all the birds and animals at the World Of Birds, ate fish n chips at the Hout Bay Harbor, look at all the stunning fish at the Aquarium and spent a morning browsing around the V&A waterfront.

All of this is just want I needed to get my creative juices flowing again and start my winter thinking cap. So here I have done a very simple little Cauliflower and Gorgonzola soup with toasted walnuts and white truffle oil

Serves: 4
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

2 heads of Cauliflower, stems and all
1 small onion
1 lt good quality vegetable stock (rather make your own that the sodium rich store bought)
1 Wedge of Blue Tower Gorgonzola style blue cheese (much creamier than the Blue Rock)
8 walnut halves
White truffle oil to drizzle
Little extra blue tower for garnishing

Break up the cauliflower and place in a small pot with the vegetable stock and onion and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes, then put it into a food processor with the blue tower and blitz until smooth, it must be hot when you blitz it as this will make it more velvety.
Dish it up into your serving bowl, place the walnut halves in the middle of the serving bowl, top that with a little cheese and drizzle with white truffle oil.

A tasty and classy soup to be served in the winter at a dinner party.

Next week I will do a real winter warmer main course.

Bon Appetite 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lamb Liver Stroganoff

Lamb Liver Stroganoff

I know that I posted a “skinny chicken stroganoff” recently, about 2 posts ago, but I done this this evening for our Easy Monday Meal at The Links, and it was such a big hit, I tried a little myself and it truly is a classic that I think even the most stubborn non liver eaters would turn around and say, Ooh liver isn’t that bad, really easy to make consists of 2 parts, a base sauce and then the finishing of the liver.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep: 20 min
Cooking Time: 35 min
Serves: 6

Ingredients for base sauce
1 Small onion fine sliced
80g streaky bacon cut into batons
500g Mushrooms quartered
25g tomato paste
250ml dry red wine
250ml beef stock
1 clove fresh garlic
Small handful chopped parsley
A few sprigs of thyme
1 tsp paprika
250ml cream
1 small gherkin finely cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry off the bacon in a little oil, until it starts to go a little crispy, then add in the onions and cook until translucent, then add in the garlic, thyme and tomato paste, carry on cooking this for about 2 more minutes, then deglaze the pan with the red wine and add in the rest of the ingredients except the mushrooms and parsley, leave this to simmer gently for about 20 minutes, then add in the mushrooms and parsley and let simmer for a further 5 minutes.

At this point the base sauce is cooked and is ready to be used in either a beef stroganoff, chicken or as in this case a lamb liver.

Ingredients for Lamb Liver Stroganoff
Base sauce from above
1kg lambs liver cut into strips
2 small onions chopped
1 TBSP flour
5 TBSP sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry off the liver in two extremely hot pans, this is because as soon as you add in the liver the pan is going to lose all of its heat and the liver will stew opposed to frying, so better to use two pans to lessen this effect, as soon as the lamb is in the pan, add in the onions, toss once or twice until the lamb is coloured all around but not cooked through, divide the flour into the two pans toss until all the flour absorbs the oil, then add in the base sauce from the recipe above, leave this now to come to a strong simmer, then add the sour cream take off the heat and serve.

I have served it here with mashed potatoes and caramelized onions

Caramelized onions recipe
2 onions sliced
1 TBSP brown sugar
Oil for frying
1 tot of whisky

Fry off the onions until they start to colour, then add the sugar and cook for a further 4 -5 minutes then just before you take it off the heat add in the whisky and light it, let the flames burn out and you’re done.

Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese frosting and homemade chocolate truffles

Recipe of the week……….Red Velvet Cake

For those of you who know me quite well, will know that there is one thing in the kitchen that I really really don’t like doing more than other things and that is baking cakes, well it always turns out that I get asked to please bake the birthday cakes and always end up saying, sure no problem, well a dirty little secret, its not a problem, I just don’t like to measure things out and that’s why I generally don’t like baking cakes, but from what I have been told this one was a real show stopper, so I thought I would share it for those of you who like to bake.

This recipe was for 40 people, if you would like to scale it down, divide everything by 4 and that will yield a cake big enough to serve 12 easy. Good luck and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Difficulty: Medium to Hard
Prep time: 25 mins
Cooking time: 35 mins
Serves: 40 people

Ingredients for Red Velvet Cake
1kg Cake flour
4 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp salt
½ cup cocoa powder
2kg white sugar
1lt oil
8 eggs
5 cups buttermilk
6 vanilla pods scrapped
6 bottles red food coloring
4 tsp white spirit vinegar
2 cups hot strong black coffee (this is for you not the cake, just joking its for the cake)

Preheat oven to 160˚c
In a very large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt.
In a separate large bowl mix together the sugar and oil.
Then mix in the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and red food coloring, coffee and vinegar until well combined.
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, just until combined.
Butter and flour 3 x 25cm cake tins or 4 x 20cm cake tins, place then in the freezer for 5 minutes just until the butter hardens
Dived the cake batter evenly into the cake tins you have chosen to use.
Place them in the oven and have 4 shots of tequila and hope it doesn’t flop, just kidding, bake for about 30 minutes, when you insert a toothpick is should come out fairly dry from the middle of the cake.
Let cool on a cooling rack until the pan are warm to the touch.
Slide a knife or offset spatula around the inside of the pans to loosen the cake from the pan.
Remove the cakes from the pan and let them cool.

Now comes the fun part for me partly because you don’t have to be exact with your measurements and you know get to see how well you can hide any mistakes you have made on the exterior of the cake

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting
2,5kg Cream cheese
500g unsalted butter
10 cups icing sugar
4 vanilla pods scrapped
Zest and juice from 2 lemons

Whisk all the ingredients together until light and fluffy.

Then you can ice the cake to your hears desire, this one in the picture is 3 layers with frosting in between each layer, and for added WOW factor some homemade chocolate truffles on top, but these are not for the faint hearted to make as I have used a 70% couverture chocolate that is not tempered and still have to be tempered, but here is the recipe anyway for those of you that are keen to try it out.

Ingredients for chocolate truffles
1kg Lindt 70% chocolate
500ml double cream
Cocoa for rolling in

You need to melt the chocolate over a double boiler whilst mixing continuously until the chocolate reaches 45˚c then you need to cool it down to 27˚c and then bring it back up to 31˚c, then work with it. The main problem is if you over shoot the mark, you are going to have to start all over again.

Once you have tempered it add in the cream and mix thoroughly and quickly as it will thicken very quickly, then place it in the fridge for about 4 hours, take out and heat up a melon baller in some hot water and scoop out little chocolate balls, roll in the palm of your hand to get out any defects and then roll it in the cocoa, arrange then all over the top of the cake, this cake here has 100 of them on it.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Recipe of the week – Skinny Chicken Stroganoff

Recipe of the week – Skinny Chicken Stroganoff
My recipe this week, ”Skinny” Chicken Stroganoff with Sweet potato mash is inspired by Liezl Clause, as she has quite a good eating plan (not a diet, more of a life style change).  The nice thing about this eating plan is that there are still some of the “nicer” indulgences that you are allowed, in moderation of course, so I have gone through all of these things and come up with this lovely “skinny chicken stroganoff” recipe.

Difficulty:  Easy
Prep Time:  10 Minutes
Cooking time:  20 Minutes
Serves:  2

250g Skinless, boneless chicken breast
250g Mushrooms, cubed
1 small onion, roughly cubed
2 sprigs oregano
2 sprigs of thyme
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
1 TBSP tomato paste
1 gherkin, finely diced
1 leek, sliced
½ cup low fat cream cheese
½ cup fat free yoghurt
½ cup water
2 tsp paprika
1 tot whisky
Salt and pepper to taste
1 TBSP Olive oil
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and finely sliced (this allows them to cook in 15 minutes)
1 TBSP Cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the sweet potatoes until soft, add salt, pepper and cream and mash as to make mashed potatoes.
Heat a sautéed pan, start to fry off the chicken, when it starts to colour, add in the onions and garlic, continue to stir almost continually, as there is not much oil it will tend to stick quite quickly. Now add in the paprika, salt, pepper, leeks, tomato paste and herbs and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add in the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer for about 5 to 8 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pizza, Pizza, ooh lovely Pizza

This is the recipe that got me to the finals of the Global Pizza Challenge earlier this month. I love pizza, as it is a wonderful social food, and it is so easy to make.  Most people make it out to be harder than it really is. This ones inspiration comes from our financial manager here at St Francis Links, I think I made it for him for his birthday a year or two ago, it was a special occasion and he really loved it. It is a marriage of some really good flavours from the creamy gorgonzola, sweet onion marmalade, and the wild scent of truffle oil.
I must admit the finals of the pizza challenge was a lot more intimidating than expected – you stand in front of a crowd of about 100 plus, there are video cameras on you the entire time, and you’re competing with some of the biggest chef names in South Africa - needless to say, I had to have a calming beverage before my slot. In the end though it was fantastic and I definitely will do it again. So here is my pizza recipe.

Difficulty: Easy to Medium
Makes: 2 Medium sized pizza
Prep time: 30 minutes (plus 3 days for the dough to ferment)
Cooking Time: 5 Minutes (in a pizza oven that is around 320˚c) or 15 minutes in a home oven at 220˚c
Pizza Dough
500g Stone ground MN100 flour (white bread or Italian 00 flour)
5g fresh yeast
15g pure salt (preservative and additive free)
300ml water

Pizza Sauce
1 tin whole peeled tomato
10g Fresh oregano
10g crushed garlic
10g Salt
5g Black Pepper
25ml tobasco sauce
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

Pizza Toppings
300g Fillet Steak
2 TBSP black bean paste
4 TBSP Soy Sauce
2 TBSP Honey
1 TBSP Black Pepper crushed
5g fresh garlic

200g Buffalo Mozzarella
200g Dolce Latte Gorgonzola

Rocket Garnish
30g Rocket
10ml White Truffle Oil
3ml Tarragon Vinegar

Onion Marmalade
250g Sliced Red Onions
200ml Dry Red Wine
200g White Sugar
1 Cardomom pod
2 cloves
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
Start with the dough, mix the yeast with the water, mix the salt and the flour, now combine everything and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes, then place in a container at least 2,5 times the size of the dough, cover with a damp tea towel and place in the fridge for 3 days to ferment.
Take out 2 hours before use to come to room temperature.  Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces, be extremely careful to not knock out the air that is in the dough, then with your finger tips gently stretch the dough into shape, it should be quite thin in the middle with about a 1 inch border that is thicker.
This is called a Neapolitan pizza dough, I first ate it at a wonderful pizza restaurant call Buratta in the Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town, and fell in love straight away, I think it is the best pizza base to use.
 …now for the pizza sauce, cook out the whole peeled tomatoes for about an hour at a very low heat, this is to remove the excess water from the tomatoes, once you have done that, place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Once you have shaped your pizza base, spread this over it.
….for the filler you will mix all the ingredients together and marinade the fillet for at least 2 hours, then slice the fillet about 5mm thick and arrange over the pizza, the crumble the gorgonzola and tear the mozzarella over the pizza, to make a good layer of cheese.
…take all of your onion marmalade ingredients place in a small pot and simmer until it has reduce down to a syrup and clings to the onions.
….to finish bake the pizza as above, when you take it out and it is still hot arrange the onion marmalade over the top, then mix together the rocket, truffle oil and tarragon vinegar and garnish the pizza with it. Cut and serve.
Bon Appetit!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chicken Tikka Masala

Recipe of the week……….Chicken Tikka Masala

As far as my knowledge goes about Chicken Tikka Masala is that it is known as the national dish of Britain and came about into existence through a gentleman that used to frequent an Indian restaurant and always ate the same chicken Tikka dish but always complained to the chef that it needed a sauce of sorts to go with it as it is dry, so eventually the chef had had enough and went back to the kitchen, put some tomatoes and spices into a pot cooked it up quickly and pour it over the chicken Tikka and the rest is history……

Difficulty: Medium
Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time 2 hours

Chicken Tikka Masala


For marinade:
500ml thick Greek yoghurt
1/2 Cup Chopped Coriander
¼ Cup Chopped Ginger
¼ Cup Crushed Garlic
½ Cup Garam Masala
¼ Cup Crushed Chilli’s or 2 fresh red chilli’s finely chopped with seeds
¼ Cup Lemon Juice
2 kg Chicken Breast Fillet cut into chunks, or chicken thighs (chicken on the bone with skin on to me makes much tastier curry)

For the sauce:
1 Onion finely chopped
2 TBSP crushed Garlic
2 TBSP Ground Cardomom
2 Tins Whole peeled tomatoes
¼ Cup Garam Masala
2 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like it hot add more)
¼ cup brown sugar
500ml cream
Salt to taste
½ cup flaked almonds

blitz the chopped coriander and all other marinade ingredients (except the yoghurt) to a smooth paste in a food processor.
Pour the above mix into a large bowl and add yoghurt. Mix well. Add the chicken and mix well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate. Allow to marinate overnight.
Preheat your oven to 220˚c. Place the chicken onto a roasting tray and roast until cooked through.

To make the sauce: Heat the oil in a deep pan on a medium heat and add the onion. Cook till soft.
then add the cardamom and the garlic. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the garam masala, brown sugar, tinned tomatoes, almonds and mix well. Cook for around 1 to 2 hours on a low heat.
Add the grilled Chicken Tikkas (chunks/ pieces) and stir. Cook for 10 minutes.
Add the cream and mix well. Turn off the flame.
Garnish the dish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot naan breads, sambals and chutney.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Beef Carpaccio with Roasted Red Pepper Sorbet, Fresh Figs, Pecan Nuts and Parmesan shavings

Beef Carpaccio with Roasted Red Pepper Sorbet
I don't often go over the top with plating but this dish was a little inspiration that i got from 4 different things, firstly fresh figs which I just got hold of, Beef Carpaccio which I have been making myself and had some in the freezer, a beautiful red pepper sorbet that I had left over from Valentines supper and then finally some good European guests that have been supporting us since we opened, and it was their final night before heading back home, so I decided I will spoil them the a little tantalizing starter.

It is home cured beef carpaccio with fresh figs, white truffle oil, tarragon vinegar, basil oil, endives, mint, basil toasted pecan nuts, chevin goats cheese, Parmesan shavings and balsamic reduction. Here is the recipe for the red pepper sorbet.

500g Red Peppers cut into quarters and seeded
1 small onion roughly chopped
80ml Water
80ml White sugar
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 tots vodka
1 TBSP honey
dash of lemon juice
and a seeded red chilli (optional)
1 cup of ice

I start off by rubbing the peppers with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasting them in a pre-heated oven at 220˚c for about 15 minutes until nice and dark, then close them in a bag and leave to sweat for 5 minutes then remove the chard skins.

Heat the white sugar and water and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature, or place it in a ice-bath to bring the temperature down quicker, now place all the remaining ingredients into a food processor and blitz at a high speed whilst slowly adding in the sugar syrup.

Now take the puree'd mixture and place it in the freezer until it sets, then remove it from the freezer blitz in the food processor again until smooth and return back to the freezer and leave overnight to set.

and that's it red pepper sorbet, I find this sorbet goes very nicely with seared tuna steak as well.

The First "Be The Chef Night" at St Francis Links

The Girls in action making big flames in the kitchen!!!!!!
 On the 5 March 2013 I played host to 9 ladies who spent in the evening in my kitchen at St Francis Links, they had come for an evening of wine, food and laughs and I think that got all of which they had come for!!!

The theme was Italian and the girls had to prepare and cook there own supper with my guidence and teachings along the way their menu was the following:

Roasted Butternut, Goats Cheese and blistered Cherry Tomato Ravioli
with pepperonata and parmesan shavings

Fricassee of Rabbit with mushrooms, white truffle oil, onions, garlic, white wine and cream on a bed of gnocchi


They learnt to make saffron pasta dough, how to make ravioli's, pepperonata, fricassee of Rabbit, Gnocchi and tiramisu. 

Although the night was not only about cooking, is was about getting together and having fun (which this group of girls know how to do)

after all the prepping and slogging and slaving, whilst they drank wine (just joking) we all sat down and enjoyed the meal that we had prepared together.

It really turned out to be a great evening and something that I will be doing at least once a month.

The finished Gnocchi

Dan showing the girls how to work a pasta machine (she is Italian)

Taking turns in rolling the pasta dough

Learning to make rabbit stock

Making sure there is enough wine in the system

The stations all set up and ready for the arrival

The welcoming station as the girls arrived.

Fresh Fig Frangipane Tart

Recipe of the week………Fresh Fig Frangipane Tart

I love this time of year when the figs are coming to the end of their season and you can get them dirt cheap, I picked up a punnet of 1kg fresh figs for R22, so I will make jam out of a couple for cheese boards, I have made this beautiful Fig Frangipane Tart as the dessert of the day, and I shall preserve some as fig preserve is amazing, I think I will also do a nice fig salad as a special running over this weekend.

Difficulty: Medium to Hard
Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cooking Time: 40 Minutes

Short Crust Pastry
500g Cake Flour
400g butter cubed and frozen for about 1hour
1tsp white sugar
1 tsp fine salt
½ cup ice cold water

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and then add the butter and until mixture resembles bread crumbs, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 TBSP at a time, mixing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little more water and pulse again. Note that too much water will make the crust tough.

Remove dough from the food processor and place in a mound on a clean surface.  Work the dough just enough to form the disks, do not over-knead. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These small chunks of butter are what will allow the resulting crust to be flaky. Sprinkle a little flour around the disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.

Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make the rolling out a bit easier.

Take you short crust roll it out and line your 24cm tart tin, poke a couple of hole in the bottom of the pastry with a fork and then blind bake it at 180˚c for 15 minutes.

Frangipane Filling
125g Butter
125g Caster Sugar
2 Whole Eggs
1 Egg yolk
1 TBSP Almond Liqueur (optional)
Zest of 1 lemon
120g Ground up Almonds (just buy flakes and blitz them in the food processor until fine)
40g Cake Flour
10 Rip Fresh Figs

Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time only adding another one in when the previous one has incorporated totally. Add the almond liqueur and lemon zest if using. Now fold in the ground almonds and cake flour until incorporated, be gentle so that you don’t knock out all the air.

Spread this mixture on the ready baked short crust base until it reaches ¾ the way up the sides, cut the figs in half and arrange them in the paste with the cut side facing up.

Bake in the oven at 160˚c for about 30 minutes. Take out and let cool slightly cut and serve with some mascarpone mixed with some fresh mint or even some crème Fraisch or just whipped cream.

Bon Apeptite