Tag Archives: breakfast

“His and hers” flapjack stacks with caramel sauce

19 Mar

Flapjack stacks, big and small, with berries or bacon, covered in thick caramel sauce (picture by Tasha Seccombe)

Do you ever make a special breakfast for your loved one on a Saturday morning? I must confess: I rarely do. I usually just relish the idea of not getting up too early over the weekend, planning a day of leisurely Winelands drives with my family or maybe a visit to a market involving minimal effort. Or maybe just a day away from the stove (although the stove is my other longterm lover…).

But wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to the smell of a really special breakfast, made by your loved one? Or better yet: waking up your loved one with a really special breakfast that you made yourself? We don’t need to have special days like Valentines Day to spoil our better halves. I promise you: taking the initiative to treat your guy/girl to a special wake-up treat just might score you the kind of serious brownie points you need. It’s on the same level as surprising him with tickets to the game, or pitching up at her office with a bunch of fresh flowers.

So, whether you are a really hungry bacon-kind-of-guy, or a more dainty blueberry-kind-of-girl (or vice versa), everybody loves flapjacks and no-one can resist thick old-fashioned caramel sauce. This light flapjack batter can make the smallest of Russian blinis, or the largest American pancakes – it is really versatile and easy enough for even an inexperienced cook. All you need is a non-stick pan and a stove-plate on medium heat. The rest is elementary, my dear.

Man-size flapjacks with crispy bacon and thick caramel sauce (picture by Tasha Seccombe)

PS: The caramel sauce is great on EVERYTHING (even on it’s own, eaten with a spoon from the jar). So store it in the fridge and it will keep for at least 2 weeks. Actually, I will be surprised if you have the willpower to keep it that long.

Flapjack batter: (recipe from The A-Z of Food & Cookery in South Africa by Sannie Smit & Margaret Fulton)

  • 500 ml (2 cups) self-raising flour
  • 2,5 ml (1/2 t) salt
  • 10 ml (2 t) sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 450 ml milk
  • 60 g butter, melted

Method:

  1. Sift flour and salt together in a bowl, then sprinkle sugar over.
  2. Lightly whisk eggs with milk, then pour over flour. Stir until all the flour is moistened, but still lumpy.
  3. Lightly stir in the melted butter.
  4. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and spray once with non-stick spray (or lightly wipe with oil). Pour in batter to make pancakes: 15 ml at a time for small flapjacks or roughly 50 ml for large flapjacks. Tip: for large flapjacks I gently spread the batter into a circle just atter pouring it into the pan.
  5. Cook until bubbles start to form on the top, then flip over and cook on the other side until golden brown.
  6. Serve stacks of flapjacks with caramel sauce (or maple syrup) and bacon, or blueberries and whipped cream.

My favourite caramel sauce:

  • 125 g butter
  • 250 ml (1 cup) firmly packed treacle sugar (or soft brown sugar)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) cream

Method:

  1. Melt butter on medium heat on the stove top, then add sugar and stir until dissolved.
  2. Bring to the boil, then boil for 3 minutes (it will look “foamy”) while stirring well.
  3. Remove from heat, then stir in cream. Stir very well until fully incorporated and glossy. Serve hot or at room temperature (sauce will thicken on standing). Store in the fridge.
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Poached summer fruit with spiced yoghurt

28 Feb

Poached nectarines, pears and strawberries with cardamom and cinnamon spiced yoghurt (picture by Tasha Seccombe)

While the days are getting slightly shorter as we move towards the end of February in the Cape, the bountiful summer fruit harvests are almost beyond their peak. I love buying large lugs of locally grown fruit from Blue Jay Farm Stall around the corner from where I live. For a small household, it is almost impossible to eat all the fruit while it is still at it’s freshest, so it is time to make one of my ultimate breakfast treats: poached summer fruit with spiced yoghurt.

It is amazing how the colour of fruit change when you poach them – some intensify, like peaches, while others become a softer shade of pink, like strawberries. I just adore the texture of poached fruit when they are truly poached to perfection: not mushy, but soft and evenly delicate. I serve them for a real breakfast treat with double-cream greek yoghurt, lightly spiced with cardamom, cinnamon and honey. You can also serve them for dessert, with spiced mascarpone or thick cream.

It is always best to use fresh vanilla pods in your poaching liquid, but if you – like me – don’t always have access to the beautiful yet expensive real vanilla pods, just use a teaspoon or 2 of vanilla essence.

There is no need to skin your fruit – the skins are really good for you, and it means a lot less effort!

Ingredients for poached fruit:

600 ml water

375 ml (1 and a half cups) sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla essence (or seeds of 1 vanilla pod)

3 peaches, 3 pears, and a cup of strawberries (ripe, fresh fruit)

Method:

  1. In a medium-sized pot on the stove top, heat the water, sugar and vanilla and bring to a simmer.
  2. Half the large fruit and remove the pits/stones. Remove green tops from strawberries and keep them whole.
  3. Start with the larger fruit, and cook them in the liquid in batches, about 3-5 minutes at a time, untill just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cook the strawberries last, for just 1 minute, remove and set aside. Reserve the cooking liquid.
  4. Cool the fruit and liquid slightly, then return the fruit to the liquid to cool completely in the fridge.

Ingredients for spiced yoghurt:

  • 250 ml (1 cup) double cream greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine cinnamon
  • seeds of 3 cardamom pods (remove husks and use a pestle and mortar to pound the seeds to a fine powder)
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Method:

Mix all of the ingredients for the spiced yoghurt together. Taste, and add more spices if desired. Serve with the poached fruit and a little of the poaching liquid.

Tip: the poached fruit will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for a few days. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Credits:

This post was written especially for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Recipe development and preparation: Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Photographed by Tasha Seccombe

Styling: Nicola Pretorius, Ilse vand der Merwe and Tasha Seccombe

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