Category Archives: Desserts

#lowcarb Italian feast with #shareGalbani

#lowcarb Italian feast with #shareGalbani

gioie della tavola – the joys of the table

Italian Meatballs #lowcarb

The Italians know best when it comes to food and family. As a nation, their history, their customs and their love of family seems to have been forged around the dinner table. There is something so unique and so special about their traditions that I often feel that somewhere in my heritage or a previous life I must have been part Italian. When it comes to food, there is simply nothing better than sitting around a table with friends or family sharing a day filled with good food and wine – just like the Italians do.


Being on low-carb food regimen (…yes we are still going strong), you may think that preparing an Italian feast may prove a little tricky with all the pasta, gnocchi, bread and the likes. But as I gleefully found out that with the right cheese in hand and a touch of creativity, you can make a three course feast that is as good as any Italian mamma’s lunch.

Low-carb pizza
For starters, I had to create something that in a way imitated bread or pizza. I made a low carb base from cauliflower topped with generous pieces of Galbani’s fresh mozzarella. The cauliflower base was both crispy and extra cheesy, and the topping of salty pancetta mixed with the scented basil provided the perfect ‘antipasto’ for my Italian feast. Click here for how to video!

Low carb pizza

Cheesy meatballs with tomato sauce
Moving onto the main dish, I know that nothing beats a good, homemade Italian meatball served on a bed of pasta. I added grated Galbani mozzarella cheese to the meatballs. Instead of pasta I replaced this with zoodles. For those not in the know – and watching their waistline, zoodles are uncooked strips of zucchini and the perfect healthy replacement for pasta. Just ask your local supermarket for a supply as most stock them these days.

Low carb spaghetti and meatballs

Pears and figs with honey and lemon scented mascarpone
For dessert I kept it simple with whole pears and figs poached in a cinnamon and vanilla syrup. I flavoured the Galbani mascarpone with a dash of lemon juice. The fresh fruit paired brilliantly with the lemony mascarpone; it was subtle yet a little tangy.


It was a special and delightful kind of feast…and such a beautiful way to celebrate with friends and familia.


Low-carb pizza
(makes three small pizzas)
800 g cauliflower
3 large eggs
30 ml parsley chopped
250 ml (1 cup) Galbani mozzarella cheese, grated
75 ml (+- 1/3 cup) parmesan, grated
2.5 ml salt
2.5 ml ground black pepper
9 slices pancetta, crispy fried
250 ml (1 cup) Galbani fresh mozzarella, torn
15 tomatoes on the vine
olive oil
handful fresh basil
handful rocket
maldon salt

Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Chop cauliflower up in smaller pieces and blitz into a “rice” like texture in the food processor. Place cauliflower into a big bowl and cook (uncovered) in the microwave for 10-12 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave. Once cooked, allow to cool for a few minutes. Scoop cauliflower into a cheesecloth or clean dishtowel and squeeze as much liquid out as possible. The more liquid you get out, the crispier the pizza base will be. Put the cauliflower back into the bowl and add the eggs, parsley, grated mozzarella, parmesan, salt and pepper and mix well. Divide mixture in three to form three basis. Pat dough down into a baking pan on a sheet of baking paper. Make sure not to make your bases too thin. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
Take out and add the pancetta, mozzarella and tomatoes. Pop it back into the oven for a further 10 – 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Give it a good drizzle of olive oil and finish with some basil, rocket and maldon salt.

Cheesy meatballs with tomato sauce
500 g mince
1 onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
170 ml (2/3 cup) Galbani mozzarella, grated
1 egg
handful of finely chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, grated
5 ml salt
2.5 ml pepper
5 ml psyllium husks (you find this at any good grocery store)
Tomato sauce
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, whole
handful fresh basil
900 g Rosa tomatoes
black pepper
500 g courgette noodles, cooked as per packet instruction (I prefer it raw)
olive oil
handful of Galbani mozzarella, grated

Mix all the meatball ingredients very well together, form into golf ball sizes. Set aside
Add the olive oil, garlic and basil leaves to a large pan. Heat very slowly on low-medium heat – we want to infuse the oil with the garlic and basil. Infuse for about 5 minutes –don’t burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes, turn up the heat to about medium high and cook for +- 20 minutes without the lid. You will see the tomatoes will start to burst open and infuse with the olive oil. Season generously with salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Add the meatballs and cook another 20 minutes or until done. Stir carefully now and then but don’t break meatballs. Scoop courgette noodles in a large serving bowl and top with the meatballs and sauce, finish with a drizzle of olive oil and grated mozzarella.

Pears and figs with honey and lemon scented mascarpone
3 lemons, zested and juiced
250 ml honey
3 cinnamon sticks
seeds of one vanilla pod
1 L water
6 pears, skin on
18 small fresh figs, skin on
250 ml Galbani mascarpone
pinch of salt

Place the lemon zest, honey and cinnamon sticks, vanilla seeds and water in a pot and bring to boil. Add the whole pears to the boiling liquid and turn down to simmer. Let it poach until the pears are soft (about 45 minutes). Switch off the heat. Add the figs for only three minutes to the hot liquid. Transfer the fruit into a serving bowl. Continue cooking the liquid until a thin syrup. Discard the spices and pour over the figs and pears. Mix the mascarpone, the juice of the three lemons and salt together (I used all the juice, but taste till you like the it). Serve dollops on the fruit.

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green + gold cake for our #proteas – #NZvSA #ProteaFire

green + gold cake for our #proteas – #NZvSA #ProteaFire
My tribute to our Proteas

My tribute to our Proteas

Are we not all proud of South Africa’s #cricket team the Proteas? According to my husband it is taboo to talk about rugby, unless of course you are talking about the Rugby 7’s. It is ok to talk about the cricket though.

The other day, a client asked me for a Protea cake – something he could show off to his Kiwi visitors after the game against the Black Caps. He was confident our boys in Green and Gold were going to take the cake with some ease and overs to spare. He was so right!

Creating the cake
I have to admit, it was a challenge for me to create something that would make our boys proud, but with a light green icing, some edible gold leaf (you can find this at art shops) and some proteas, I think I managed. Do not ask me the measurements for the green icing colour – I added drop for drop until I was happy with the colour.

I used Donna Hay’s chocolate buttermilk layer cake recipe and her frosting for between the layers. I had to double the recipe in order to attain the right height for the cake. It’s really delicious, moist and dense.

Donna Hay’s chocolate buttermilk layer cake

1 cup (250 ml) water 125 g butter, cubed
1/3 cup (35 g) cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups (300 g) flour, sifted
1 t (5 ml) baking soda, sifted (bicarbonate of soda)
2 cups (440 g) caster sugar
2 eggs ½ cup (125 ml) buttermilk
1 t (5 ml) vanilla essence/extract
Chocolate cream cheese frosting
100 g unsalted butter, softened
500 g cream cheese
2 cups (320g) icing sugar, sifted
½ cup (50g) cocoa, sifted

Pre-heat oven to 160 °C. Place water, butter and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the butter has melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Place flour, baking soda and sugar in a bowl, add the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine. Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk again. Divide mixture between 2 greased and lined 20cm round cake tins, then bake for 40-45 min or until baked through when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out the cakes onto wire racks and allow to cool completely. For the frosting: place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl. Using an electric mixer beat for 6-8 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and cocoa and beat for a further 6-8 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
To assemble, slice off the round tops of each cake layer to produce 2 smooth, flat layers (I use a sharp long bladed knife). Place one layer on a plate, spread with frosting, then put remaining half on top and cover with frosting.

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#cremora tart trifle

#cremora tart trifle


This ladies and gentlemen, is one of those spur of the moment creations. I combined the old faithful trifle with another old faithful – Cremora tart. Everyone loves both, I thought…so why not combine them? It is utterly delicious and you have to give it a try this Christmas.

Cremora tart trifle
Serves 8-10
1 packet strawberry jelly
250g Cremora
250 ml ice-cold water
1 tin condensed milk
180 ml lemon juice
1 Swiss roll
150 ml sherry
500 ml thick custard
200 g strawberries
15 fresh cherries

Prepare the jelly as per the instructions on the packet and allow this to set. Place the Cremora in a bowl and add the ice water. Whisk this well then add the condensed milk and continue to whisk until smooth. Add the lemon juice – just a little bit at a time until all the juice has been mixed in and the mixture has thickened. Place the bowl in a refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cut the Swiss roll into thin slices and layer this in a pudding bowl. Sprinkle with sherry. Spoon half of the Cremora tart mixture over this. Then pack another layer of cake and sprinkle with some more sherry. Add sliced strawberries on top of the cake. Spoon the custard over. Add a last layer of cake and sprinkle with sherry. Now scoop the remaining Cremora tart mixture over. Loosen the jelly with a spoon and spread this over the top of your trifle. Finish with fresh cherries.

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Wie van julle onthou paddaeiers of padda-ogies? Daardie heerlik soet vla met deurskynende vanilla sago-pêreltjies wat lyk soos klein paddaeiertjies of soos ‘n stringetjie pêrels wat in die melk gebreek het. Wanneer jy die klewerige balletjies proe en die suur streepseltjie appelkooskonfyt jou tong kielie kan die wêreld mos maar vergaan. Of wat sê ek nou? Dit maak jou hart en maag warm, en as ma my nou nog vra wat ek vir ‘n soet dingetjie wil hê, sê ek sommer baie vinnig: “Sagopoeding, Ma.”


Ma Babs maak al jare my Tannie Miena van Harrismith se sagopoeding. Ta Miena het ‘n romerige mengsel van sago, melk, suiker, eier en vanilla gemaak; die eierwitte styf geklop en dit dan met groot slae ingevou om ‘n wolk-lig sagopoeding te vorm. Sy het dit dan ‘n groot emalje skottel gegooi en met oranje poeletjies appelkooskonfyt afgerond. Ai ja jai, dit is mos nou koningskos.

Sagopoeding van 1909
Sagopoeding kom van ver af en in 1909 is die volgende resep in Oranje, Kook-, Koek- en Recepten-Boek voor Zuid Afrika neergepen: “ ½ bottel melk, 3 eetlepels suiker, 3 eetlepels sago, de schil van ½ lemoen, 4 eiers, 1 ½ lepel boter, weinig noot; zet de melk en lemoenschil op de vuur tot de melk naar de schil smaakt. Haal die schil uit, doe de sago en suiker in en kook 15 minuten stadig, laat afkoelen en doe de eiers en boter bij, roer goed. Bak ½ uur.” As jy 1909 se sagopoeding wil maak: ‘n bottel is 750ml, weinig noot beteken ‘n knippie neutmuskaat en doe beteken voeg by.

Sagopoeding van die Ooste

In Gua Musang in Maleisië het ek die rare soet oosterse parfuum van Pandanblare ontdek toe ek my eerste happie Sago Gula Melaka proe. Die sago was in water sag gekook en bedien met ‘n stropie van palmsuiker en kokosneutmelk wat met Pandanblare gegeur is. Vreemd, heerlik en Oosters. Pandanblare het ‘n unieke smaak en word volop in die Maleisiese kookkuns gebruik, maar is ongelukkig nie in Suid-Afrika beskikbaar nie. Google het my toe heeltemal van die wal in die sloot gehelp (hoekom leer ek nooit nie!), want toe ek die Pandanblare met lourierblare en toe weer ‘n volgende keer met tarragon vervang was die poedings totaal en alle mislukkings.

Sago met kokosneutmelk en koejawels

Ek het tog bly speel met die kokosneutmelk en het toe uiteindelik ‘n wenresep ontwikkel. Ek het sago in kokosneutmelk en vanilla saadjies sag gekook en met verlydelike soet koejawels bedien. Die keer moet ek erken was dit ‘n reuse sukses. Tot my Ier sê dit is een van lekkerste kombinasies wat hy nog geproe het. En, as die Ier so sê dan is dit so.

Tannie Miena se sagopoeding
My gunsteling sagopoeding bly maar my Ta Miena se sagopoeding. Dit kom met pragtige herinneringe, maar haar reseppie kry ‘n ongesonde hoeveelheid suiker in – een koppie suiker op drie koppies melk. Nee genade mense, dit was darem te erg! Ek het die suiker toe met die helfte verminder en het ook vars vanilla saadjies bygevoeg. Die appelkooskonfyt het ek in die mikrogolf gesmelt om ‘n heerlike stropie te vorm.
Ek is lief vir enige sagopoeding, of die eierwitte ingevou of as ‘n meringue bo-op gebak word, of dit uit die Ooste in die vorm van Sago Gula Melaka of uit my Ta Miena se plaaskombuis kom – vir my bly dit nog steeds die mooiste en lekkerste stringetjie pêrels wat in ‘n melkweg los gebreek het.

Wat is Sago?
Sago is ‘n stysel wat uit die middel van sagopalm se stam gehaal word. Dit word dan verwerk in klein ronde korrels wat ons as sago ken. Jy kan tapioka as plaasvervanger vir sago gebruik.

Geurmiddels vir sagopoeding
Amandelgeurmiddel, kaneelstokkies, lemoenskil, neutmuskaat, suurlemoenskil, vanilla saadjies of geurmiddel

Wenke om sagopoeding te maak
-Gebruik ‘n swaarboompot. Dit help dat die sago nie vasbrand nie.
-Bring die sago stadig tot by kookpunt. Moet nie haastig wees nie, dit sal brand.
-Roer aanhoudend.
-Maak ‘n dubbele hoeveelheid. Daar is nooit genoeg sagopoeding op die tafel nie.

Sagopoeding met appelkooskonfytstroop
Bedien 4-6
750 ml volroom melk
½ teelepel sout
9 eetlepels sago, vir 15 minute in water geweek en gedreineer
½ koppie wit suiker
saadjies van ½ vanilla-peul
3 eiers, geskei
½ teelepel vanilla-geursel
3 eetlepels appelkooskonfyt, vir 20 sekondes in mikrogolf gesmelt

Kook geweekte sago vir 15 minute in melk tot sag. Roer aanhoudend. Voeg suiker, sout en vanilla-saadjies by en bring weer tot kookpunt. Klits die eiergele en voeg vier eetlepels van die warm sago-melkmengsel by die eiergele en roer goed. Gooi nou die eiermengsel stadig by die orige sago-melkmengsel terwyl jy vinnig roer. Kook vir 3 minute. Voeg die vanilla essens by. Klits die eierwitte styf en vou by die sagomengsel in. Bedien met appelkooskonfytstroop.

Kokosneutsago met vanilla-koejawels
Bedien 4
400 ml kokosneutmelk
5 eetlepels sago, vir 15 minute in water geweek en gedreineer
3 eetlepels wit suiker
saadjies van ½ vanilla-peul
¼ teelepel sout
blik ingelegde koejawels (420 gram)
3 eetlepels demerara suiker – sagte donkerbruin suiker
¼ teelepel vanilla-geursel

Kook geweekte sago vir 15 minute in kokosneutmelk tot sag. Roer aanhoudend. Voeg suiker, sout en vanilla saadjies by en bring weer tot kookpunt. Kook vir 2 minute en haal van stoof af. Gooi die sous van die koejawels in ‘n potjie, voeg die suiker en vanilla essens by. Kook oop vir 5-8 minute tot ‘n stroop. Sit die koejawels by die stroop en verwarm deur. Gooi sago in bakkies en bedien met ‘n lekseltjie stroop en warm koejawels.

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