Wednesday, 28 September 2016

If You Make One Thing This Week...Georgian Khachapuri...

The first time that I heard about Khachapuri (also called Hachapuri) was from Nigella Lawson's beautiful book 'Feast'. I bought this book way back in 2004/5, not long after it was released. The chapter titled 'A Georgian Feast' totally mesmerised me. I searched for more information on Georgian cuisine, but came up with very little.

One of the first recipes that I tried from that chapter was 'Nana's Hachapuri'. One bite of this delicious bread and I was greedy for more... more information about this beautiful cuisine. A few years later, on an overseas trip, I read about a Georgian restaurant in a local magazine and immediately made plans to visit. One of the first things that we ordered was Khachapuri, and I was not disappointed. The Khachapuri that I had there, was quite different to the one in Nigella's 'Feast', but it was really, really good.

Back home, I set about experimenting and this is what I eventually came up with, with some help from the internet of course.

This recipe is the perfect Sunday brunch meal if you add the eggs.

4 cups strong bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 packet instant yeast (7 grams)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
enough warm water to make a soft dough

I simply place all the ingredients, minus the water, in the bowl of my food processor, and pulse to combine. Add the water, (about 2 cups) and mix until a soft dough is formed. Remove dough from the bowl, and knead for a few minutes, until it is smooth. Place in an oiled container, cover, and leave in a warm place to rise until it is doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the filling. For this you will need:
200 grams mozzarella cheese, grated
200 grams feta cheese,crumbled
50 grams ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten

Combine all the above and mix well.
Note: I use an Egyptian brand cheese that is much creamier than Greek feta, but you can substitute with feta if that is not available.

You will also need:
Eggs, optional
Olive oil
Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Turkish hot pepper flakes, optional

About 20 minutes before you are ready  to bake, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 200 degrees C. Knead your dough briefly, and divide into 7-8 small balls. Roll each ball into an oval shape, about 1/4 inch thick.Turn the sides up and pinch the edges closed to form a pointed oval shape.Divide your filling between the oval loaves, and spread out evenly. Place on the pizza stone and bake until puffy, but not quite browned yet. If you are adding eggs, make a slight indent in the cheese and  break 1 or 2 eggs into each indent. Return to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese is blistered and the eggs are just set.
When ready, remove from the oven and brush with some olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and some Turkish hot pepper if desired. Serve at once.

Note that this is quite a large recipe, but we love having leftovers so I usually make the full recipe. You can easily halve the recipe if desired.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Rose & Raspberry Sorbet Popsicles...

I love popsicles...I make them all Summer long (and Winter!). I find that they are so much easier than scooping ice cream or sorbet into a bowl, less fuss, less hassle, less mess and no melting, half empty tubs forgotten on the kitchen counter...

1 Cup of sugar
1 Cup of water
2 Tablespoons of honey
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
400 grams of raspberries,fresh or frozen
1 Cups of water, extra
1 Tablespoon of rose water, or to taste

If using frozen raspberries, allow to defrost. 
To make the sugar syrup, bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove from heat and stir in the honey and lemon juice. Allow to cool completely. 
Blend the raspberries with the remaining cup of water. Push through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the seeds. Whisk in the sugar syrup and chill well. Just before churning, stir in the rose water. Freeze in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturers instructions. Set in popsicle moulds, or alternatively,scoop into a tub.

Note: If you are using popsicle moulds, you do not HAVE to churn in an ice cream maker. Simply pour the mixture directly into the moulds,but I find that the texture is much nicer when churned.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

If You Make One Thing This Week...Turkish Rose, Pistachio and Berry Cheesecake...

For a long time, I have been toying with the idea of a cheesecake with Turkish flavours. I finally got around to making it this week. I had originally planned on placing the cheesecake on a biscuit base, but decided to try a pate sucree base instead and I am so glad that I did! It turned out really well...

For the tart base you will need:
300 grams Cake Flour
100 grams Icing Sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tablespoon Ground Almonds
Pinch of Salt
150 grams Butter, diced into 2cm cubes and well chilled
2 Egg Yolks, lightly beaten
Iced Water, if required

Sift the flour. Add to the bowl of a food processor. Add the icing sugar, ground almonds and salt.
Pulse for a second to combine. Add the butter and pulse till the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the egg yolks and pulse till the mixture just comes together. Add water if required.
Form pastry into a ball, wrap well and refrigerate for one hour. Remove dough from the fridge and roll out to a 4 mm thickness. Line the tart pan with the pastry. Chill well for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Prick the base with a fork and line with baking paper. Fill with baking beans and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, till done. Remove the baking paper and beans and return to oven till golden, about 10 - 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Note: the pastry can be made the day before.

For the cheese cake:
450 grams Cream Cheese
25 grams Cake Flour
150 grams Castor Sugar
Pinch of Salt
2 Eggs
125 grams Creme Fraiche
1 1/2 teaspoons Rose Water
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice

Grease a 20 cm spring form tin and line the base with a circle of baking paper. Grease the baking paper as well. Wrap the outside of the tin in a double layer of heavy duty foil. Wrap well, making
sure that no water can get in. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.
Place the cream cheese, flour, castor sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until well combined. Add the eggs and beat in well. Add the Creme Fraiche and beat until well combined. Pour
into the prepared tin and place in a roasting tin. Fill with boiling water to come halfway up the sides
of the tin and carefully place in the oven. Bake for 45 -50 minutes. Note that the edges of the cheesecake will be firm but the middle should still have a slight jiggle to it. Remove from the oven and take out of the water bath and place cheese cake back into the oven. Turn the oven off and leave the cheese cake inside until completely cold. Remove from the oven, wrap the cheesecake well
and freeze until solid.

To assemble:
250 grams Creme Fraiche
50 grams Pistachios, toasted and finely chopped
Raspberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Edible Flowers, Macarons and Turkish Delight, to decorate.

Whisk the Creme Fraiche until creamy. Spread a thin layer over the base of the tart. Sprinkle with the pistachios. Remove cheesecake from the freezer and unwrap. Spread the remaining Creme Fraiche over the top and side of the cheesecake and place in the centre of the tart base. Decorate as desired.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

6 Reasons to Love Real Techniques...

When Real Techniques came to South Africa, I was super excited! I could not wait to get my hands on some of these raved about brushes. Designed by Youtuber's, Sam and Nic Chapman, these brushes are awesome! I've been using them for a few months. I currently own the 'Core Collection' and the 'Starter Set', and I have every intention to add to my collection.  

Here are six reasons why I love Real Technique brushes:
1. They are easy to clean. 
2. The brushes are made of a synthetic material (Teklon).
3. The range includes every type of brush imaginable.
4. The soft bristles are ultra plush and always produce flawless results.
5, Each brush head is hand cut to perfection, allowing for easy application and a range of different looks.
6. The names of each brush are on the handles making it easy to pick the correct brush.  

The 'Starter Set' is perfect to ensure your eye makeup is flawless. It includes the following:
A crease brush
A base shadow brush
An accent brush
A fine liner brush
A brow brush

The 'Core Collection' is ideal to create a flawless canvas and it  includes the following brushes:
A contour brush
A Foundation brush
A detail brush for concealer or lipstick
A buffing brush

The brushes are available at:
 For more information about these brushes visit the Real Techniques website (