4 eggs at room temperature 200g sugar 180g butter, melted 100ml extra-virgin olive oil 150ml milk 400g flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder a generous pinch of sea salt the grated zest of a an organic orange the grated zest of an organic lemon 300-600g sweet little grapes (or blueberries)
Preheat oven to 175°C. Butter the bottom and the sides of a 25 cm baking dish. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs and the sugar until creamy. Add the butter, the oil and the milk. Add the grated citrus zest. Finally whisk in the flour, the baking powder and the salt. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.
With a wooden spoon or with a spatula mix in 200g of the grapes, then pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and spread the remaining grapes onto the batter. They will slightly sink in. Bake for another 30 minutes until golden brown.
Enjoy with a good glass of Pinotage Bon Courage Estate 2014.
500g wild mirabelles (or any stone fruit), stoned
150g butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons muscovado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or crème fraîche for serving
Preheat oven to 180°C.
In a large bowl, use your hands to combine 3 tablespoons of the butter, the muscovado sugar and the pinch of salt. Spread the mixture on the bottom and the sides of your pan.
Distribute the mirabelles on top of the butter layer.
In the same bowl whisk the remaining butter (ca. 110g) with the sugar until smooth. Whisk in the eggs, then the milk.
Add the flour, the baking powder and a pinch of salt. Whisk in until just combined.
With a rubber spatula gently scrape the batter over the mirabelles. Be cautious not to mix them into the batter.
Bake for ca. 45 minutes until the cake is golden brown. Let it cool for 30 minutes. With a knife loosen the cake from the pan. Put a serving dish on top and carefully turn the pan over. If there are mirabelles sticking to the pan, use a spoon to put them back on top of the cake.
Enjoy with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or crème fraîche.
This is one of the soups I prepare when I’m craving a “juicy” detox week, but the temperatures are still too low to fully enjoy the raw freshness.
red pepper, potato and pear soup
4 red bell peppers, halved, cored and seeded
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves
a sprig of thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pear, peeled, cored and diced
ca. 1,5l vegetable broth
parsley, finely chopped for serving
Put the bell pepper halves skin-side up on a baking sheet and roast until the skins are blackened . (I use the fan grill at 220°C).
Immediately transfer the pepper halves into a bowl and cover tightly with a plastic wrap. The steam will help to loosen the skin. Rub off the skin and chop the roasted and peeled peppers.
Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic, potatoes and thyme. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. cook until the vegetables have softened, for about 15 minutes. Discard the sprig of thyme.
Add the peppers, the pear and the vegetable broth. Let it simmer for 15 minutes. Puree the soup.
Mix the flour, salt and spices. In a pot melt the butter and the sugars, then pour the melted sugar/ butter mixture into the flour. Be careful and let it cool before you start kneading with your hands. If the consistency is still too crumbly, add more sugar syrup.
With the dough flattened, cut the templates and place into baking trays. One tray at a time, slide into the oven at 180°C for 12-15 minutes. As one is heated, the others can be cut.
Continue until all pieces are cooled and solid.
When all the pieces have cooled, mix a thick sugar syrup to act as glue, combining the pieces to construct your desired layout. Make sure to hold in place until you’re sure they won’t fall! The thicker the syrup, the less time this takes.
Tons of glue! (4 packages of icing sugar mixed with water to a glue-like consistency)
A bag of Haribo Colorado sweets (infinite possibilities!)
A box of Smarties, silver pearls and sugar patties, meringues
Goji berries, red peppercorns, star anise and cinnamon stars
Use your imagination when decorating! We crafted lanterns by slicing licorice haribo sweets, moulding and sticking yellow, flame-like sweets onto the ends.
A knife, steady hands and anything else in your kitchen you deem useful!
I just adore pears. Cute butt shapes and so many ways to prepare them. They are delicious with game, paired with elderberries and quinces for jam , poached or simply eaten out of hand.
My pear tree had very little water and a lot of sun this summer and proudly presented me with seven (wow!) ripe pears. Here’s the recipe how I poached them with some lovely spices for my birthday lunch.
poached pear with vanilla and cinnamon
6 pears (Williams or Conférence)
1l red wine
1-2 sticks cinnamon
1/2 vanilla pod
Put the sugar and the wine into a heavy saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low.
Peel the pear leaving the stalk on.
Add the pears , the cinnamon and the vanilla pod.
cover with a lid and bring again to a boil. Turn the heat right down and simmer for 30 minutes. Let the pears cool.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or panna cotta and a drizzle of the poaching liquid.