Sunday, 18 September 2011

Ina Paarman's Banana Bread

Sofia had the astonishingly good presence of mind to divert her procrastinating over her essay into something tastier. This banana bread has been signed off as 'excellent' by two generations of Youngleson cooks.


125 g butter
250 g castor sugar
2 extra large eggs
2 T (30 ml) yoghurt
1 t (5 ml) vanilla essence (vanilla extract is nicer and less synthetic though)
6 ripe mashed bananas
4 T (60 ml) chopped nuts - I'd suggest walnuts (optional)
250 g flour
1 t (5 ml) bicarbonate of soda
1/4 t (1 ml) salt

Cream together the butter and castor sugar until light and fluffy.
Lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add to the butter mixture, creaming it in gradually.
Add the yoghurt and vanilla essence.
Fold in the bananas (and nuts).
Sift the dry ingredients together twice (if you can be asked...). Fold into the banana mixture until well blended.
Pour mixture into a lined and greased loaf tin.
Bake at 180C (350F) for 50 minutes to 1 hour until golden brown and firm.
Leave to stand on tray until cool.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Portuguese fish coconut curry

This was sourced from Jane's Delicious Kitchen p. 34 by Jane Griffiths and cooked by Lucie tonight for the Cape Town famdam. Lucie made a few changes which we think improve the recipe.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
5 cloves garlic, diced
2 fresh red chillies, sliced
1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 x 400ml can coconut cream (but Lucie used 1.5 cans of coconut milk)
1 x 410g bottled tomatoes (but Lucie used half a large can of tomato puree)
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
juice of half a lime
2 teaspoons grated palm sugar
150g baby carrots, thinly sliced
100g fresh green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
750g firm white fish, cut into bite-sized pieces (Lucie used 1kg of Kingklip fish)
fresh coriander leaves

Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot and add the onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes until starting to turn brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until it softens. Add the chilli and ginger, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then add the spices, stirring until fragrant and sticky.
Add the coconut milk and simmer until slightly thickened. Add the tomato puree and bring to a simmer. Then add the lime juice, sugar and vegetables, and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes more. Finally, add the fish and stir through gently. Simmer until just cooked, for about another 5 to 6 minutes.
Serve over basmati rice sprinkled with fresh coriander leaves.


Saturday, 9 July 2011

Lucie's Rustic Hummus


1 can of chickpeas
Quarter teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
The juice of half a lemon
1 Tablespoon of tahini (sesame seed paste)
Salt and pepper
3 large cloves of garlic
Fresh coriander


Drain the excess liquid from the can of chickpeas and place the chickpeas in a saucepan. Add enough cold water to the pot to just cover the chickpeas, add the bicarbonate of soda and simmer on a low heat for fifteen minutes until the chickpeas have become soft and mushy. Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour off the remaining liquid. Use a wooden spoon to crush and beat the chickpeas into a rough paste. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and three to four tablespoons of water. Mix well and add more lemon juice or salt if necessary. 

If you would prefer a smoother hummus transfer the rough paste to a food processor and beat until smooth.

Serve warm and garnish with coriander. Best eaten with warm pita bread, sundried tomatoes, cucumber squares and falafel balls - delicious!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Lucie's Rice Pudding

Comfort food at its best? Rice pudding, of course. So here is the BEST rice pudding.

(serves 4 people, or five unusually small ones)
You will need:                                                                                                                                          125 ml (1/2 cup) risotto rice, 60 ml (4 T) sugar, 1 vanilla pod, 1 litre (4 cups) cream.
Tip risotto rice & sugar into medium deep saucepan. Add vanilla pod into rice with milk. Bring to boil, stir occasionally at first and more frequently towards the end until rice grains are tender & pudding is thick. Cooking time = approx. 25 min. Amount of milk may be varied. Remove from heat. Stir in cream. (Add vanilla essence now if you didn’t use a pod.) As the pudding cools, stir to prevent skin from forming. Dust a bit of cinnamon over the top.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Granny's vanilla sponge cake

This is definitely the best sponge cake around. The family has reached a consensus.


3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs

1 cup flour
pinch of salt
1.5 teaspoons baking powder

4 tbls butter
2 tbls milk
2 tbls water

Set the oven to 200 C.
Beat together the sugar and eggs for 10 minutes until thick and frothy. (most important part!)
Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder.
Bring water up to the boil.
Very gently, mix the flour into the egg mixture, alternately with the butter mixture.
Oil the cake tin(s) and cut greaseproof paper circles for the bases.
Pour into one or two cake pans.
Place immediately into the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes for 2 small cakes, or 25 minutes for one large cake.


For a chocolate cake, take out a couple of tablespoons of flour and replace it with cocoa.
Passionfruit icing is delicious.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Delia's Old-fashioned English Custard Tart

For the shortcrust pastry:
 5 oz (150 g) plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
 pinch of salt
 1 oz (25 g) softened lard
 1½ oz (40 g) softened butter
For the filling:
 3 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
 1 pint (570 ml) single cream
 2 oz (50 g) caster sugar
 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
 1½ whole nutmegs, freshly grated
 1 level teaspoon softened butter

 You will also need a 2 inch (5 cm) leaf cutter, a tin that has a rim and sloping sides (1½ inches/4 cm deep, with a 7 inch/18 cm base and a ½ inch/1 cm rim), lightly greased, and a medium-sized, solid baking sheet.

To make the pastry, first of all sift the flour with the pinch of salt into a large bowl, holding the sieve up high to give it a good airing. Then add the lard and butter and, using only your fingertips, lightly and gently rub the fat into the flour, again lifting the mixture up high all the time to give it a good airing. When everything is crumbly, sprinkle in about 1 tablespoon of cold water. Start to mix the pastry with a knife and then finish off with your hands, adding a few more drops of water, till you have a smooth dough that leaves the bowl clean. Then pop the pastry into a polythene bag and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C) and pop the baking sheet in to pre-heat on the centre shelf. After that, roll the pastry out into a circle on a surface lightly dusted with flour, giving it quarter turns to keep its round shape; it's a good idea at this stage to put the tin lightly on top of the pastry – the size needs to be 1 inch (2.5 cm) bigger all round. Now transfer it, rolling it over the pin, to the tin, and press it lightly and firmly around the base, sides and rim. Now take a sharp knife and trim the overlapping pastry. Then press the rim of the pastry so that about ¼ inch (5 mm) overlaps the edge. Next, roll the trimmings and cut out about 24 leaves, making veins in them with the blunt side of the knife. Now brush the whole surface of the pastry case with some of the beaten eggs, arranging the leaves all around the rim, overlapping them. Brush these, too, with beaten egg. Now prick the base of the tart with a fork, then place it on the baking sheet and bake on the centre shelf for 20 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and golden. Check after 4 minutes to make sure that the pastry isn't rising up in the centre. If it is, prick it again a couple of times, pressing it back down with your hands. After 20 minutes, remove it from the oven, leaving the baking sheet there, and reduce the temperature to gas mark 3, 325°F(170°C). Now place the cream in a saucepan and bring it up to a gentle simmer, then whisk the beaten eggs and sugar together in a large heatproof jug using a balloon whisk – but not too vigorously because you don't want to make bubbles. Then pour the hot liquid over the beaten eggs, add the vanilla extract and half the nutmeg and whisk briefly again. Now place the pie tin back on the baking tray with the oven shelf half out and have ready the rest of the grated nutmeg on a piece of foil. Carefully pour the filling into the pastry case (it will be very full) and scatter the rest of the nutmeg all over, then dot with the softened butter and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the filling is golden brown, firm in the centre and slightly puffed up. Serve either warm or, as I actually prefer it, cold.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Madhur Jaffrey's Singapore Prawn Curry

It sounds like a lot of ingredients, but it is really simple to make. It's quite a light and fresh curry that goes really well with basmati rice. Also is nice without the chilli (Katie).

Serves 6

4 tblesp corn / peanut oil
1 teasp whole cumin seeds
1/2 teasp whole fennel seeds
1/4 teasp whole fenugreek seeds
10-15 fresh curry leaes
3 good sized shallots finely sliced into slivers
4 cloves garlic finely sliced into slivers
1 medium tomato, about 180g, peeled and finely chopped
1 teasp fresh ginger peeled and finely grated
1 tblesp ground coriander
1 teasp ground cumin
1/2 teasp ground tumeric
1 teasp cayenne pepper
1 tablesp bright red paprika
1 tblesp thick tamarind paste or 2 teasp lemon juice
1 teasp salt (I usually put less in and add later because thats a lot of salt)
900g raw headless (1400g if head on), shell-on prawns, peeled (I usually buy nice fresh peeled ones as I am lazy)
400ml coconut milk (shake can well)
a handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Pour the oil into a wide pan and set over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the cumin, fennel and fenugreek seeds. Five seconds later, put in the curry leaves. Stir once, then add the shallots and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium and fry, stirring, until the shallots have softened and are golden. Stir in the tomatoes and ginger, and cook until the tomatoes have softened, mashing them with the back of a wooden spoon to help the process along. Add the ground coriander, cumin, tumeric, cayenne pepper and paprika. Stir once, then add 250 ml of water, the tamarind paste (or lemon juice) and the salt. Stir and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer very gently for 10-15 minutes. This sauce may be prepared several hours in advance, if desired.

Just before serving, heat the sauce through, then add the prawns and the well-stirred coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, stirring as you do so. As soon as the prawns turn opaque, turn off the heat. Stir in the chopped corriander and serve.