Compose Your Food



Black Forest Torta 

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The unsurpassable aspect of being South of the equator has to be the Sun! I’ve spent the last couple of months back in my home-city Durban South Africa and the unrivaled attraction is, the fun under the Sun never stops! My family simply entertain (pun intended) any excuse to celebrate the sunshine, with party after party, after party. When it comes to mirth and merrymaking, this family knows no sense of time …….. or reason. We live for a great get-together and whenever we do, I’m the one in charge of the cake! Whether it’s a birthday, celebration or a dinner party or at best a lazy lunch, I have come to live by Julia Child’s famous words about cake. Of course you know what they are but a mantra such as this deserves it’s special place on a food blog. “A party without cake is just a meeting”, she unashamedly declared and so during my stay, I recreated Black Forest Cake, making the most of the summertime cherry spell. Trust big-hearted Nature to impart the greatest gift I received while in SA, the fruit!

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Raspberry & Vanilla Millefeuille


Recently my Sister flew away and back to her life after a delirious summer together leaving behind an all too familiar void in my heart and my home. Weeks of wallowing in sadness accomplished nothing except a longing to be comforted so I turned to this sweet course for a supreme consolation. Amidst the gregarious cheese-eating, wine-drinking and sightseeing we managed during her stay here, exercising the right to pacify our sweet appetition was high on our list of summer holiday must-do’s with absolutely no shame. I dare to admit that pastry and gelato tasting put the girlhood back into adulthood with complete congeniality. Pasticcerie and Gelaterie are a rite of passage in these parts, charming tourists away from the sweltering summer Sun with the promise of happiness. We tasted our way down from the sea-side villages in the North of Italy to the French Riviera, sampling everything from Ice-creams to Bavarian creams, Granitas to Gateauxs and some of the finest Italian and French pastries there is to find. With inspiration running wild and sand still in my shoes, I recreated Millefeuille to pack away the holiday blues.

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Mother’s Day Blueberry Cake


“Thank You Mum for all Your Love”, are the words on our lips today as we celebrate what should be, a religious holiday. To all the Mothers in the world, whose arms are a safe haven for children big and small, I wish you a blissful and well deserved Mother’s Day.  It’s funny that no matter how old we get and where life takes us, our need for Mum goes with us, proving that her role as nurturer, protector and friend is a neverending story. Which begs the question, are there ever enough ways to show our appreciation?  This occasion has been at the forefront of my mind for days now, conjuring up all sorts of delcious ways that could’ve made my Mum feel extra special – even if she’s a thousand miles away there’s always that wish. I daydreamed about a garden tea with a special cake to celebrate her and though she can’t join me for a slice, this recipe was created especially to say, “Happy Mother’s Day Darling Mum!”

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Asparagus with Lemon Custard

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It’s that time of the year when there’s an asparagus dish on the table at least once a week because like so many people, I love it so much I don’t mind eating it everyday when in season. I suppose it wouldn’t be difficult too, asparagus is a cooks dream when it comes to versatility. Finding different ways to make the best out its spell is hardly boring because whether it’s steamed, roasted, grilled, pan-fried, baked in tarts and quiches, added to salads, pasta or rice dishes or simply pureèd into a vibrant spring soup, asparagus in every way is an unsung hero to the exhausted cook.

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Naked Easter Celebration Cake

Naked Easter Cake

Happiest and sweetest Easter wishes Everyone! What would Easter be without something pretty to eat? I have always loved the spirit of Easter for its cheery and colourful charm since I was a little girl and the magic of this season still captivates me even now. There’s a fairytale quality to Easter- bunnies come to life, eggs turn to chocolate and gardens become a place to hunt for chocolate treasure. It’s absolutely magnificent! I remember when we were growing up, humble marshmallow Easter Eggs were best things around at this time of year and back then it was such a joy if you had one. When I was about 8 years old, I was given a strip of 4 marshmallow eggs, I vividly recall not wanting to eat the eggs because I refused to ruin the wrappers. To a child it was mesmerising and I still remember it to this day – white Easter bunnies playing around in the green grass among colourfully decorated eggs and little toadstools with windows and doors that kept me up at night, wondering. I love recreating those feelings, even now as a grown up, when Easter comes around I want to be enchanted all over again and what better way to do it than through cake.

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The Genoise Sponge

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Every great fest deserves a celebration cake and if you are planning on making a layered Easter Cake as I plan to do for Sunday, then this is the cake you’ll need to start with. It’s all about creating even layers, (without waste) and the answer to creating the perfect sponge that gives you the freedom to slice beautiful layers like a professional, is the Genoise Sponge. Continue reading “The Genoise Sponge”

Strawberry Meringue Roulade


If you haven’t thought about what you’re taking to the Easter get-together that’s fast approaching, I think I have just the dessert that’s going to make you sparkle in the crowd. This strawberry meringue roulade with hazelnuts and hint of orange is the answer to all my dessert dreams. And in light of it’s lusciousness, I couldn’t think of a better dessert to welcome the most wonderful time of the year for me, Spring.

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Baked Camembert with Bread Rolls

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When celebrations come round and we anticipate the arrival of family and friends, one of the best things we can do for ourselves is get out some good cheese and bread to keep our guests from starving while the rest of the storm is being cooked up in the kitchen. These tender pull-apart bread rolls, served with bubbling baked camembert can be layed out with a variety of nuts, pickles and jams so that everyone is happily entertained before the main course.

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Hot Cross Buns


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You know something’s amiss when it’s only a few weeks to Easter and there’s no sign of Hot Cross Buns anywhere. Italians celebrate Easter with chocolate, lots of it! I’m talking about man size Easter Eggs made from kilos and kilos of chocolate, while their bread of choice during this National celebration is Colomba meaning “dove”. The traditional Colomba is baked in the shape of a dove as a symbol of peace to commemorate Christ’s resurrection. It’s similar to the Christmas Panetonne but with a flavour twist in the crust that’s covered with almond icing.  While it’s thoroughly enjoyable, for this South African however, the spirit of Easter is incomplete without the spiciness of a hot a cross bun.

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