Tag Archives: christmas cake

pandoro #christmas tree #trifle

pandoro #christmas tree #trifle

This year my Pandoro Christmas Tree Trifle will stand proud just like the Statue of Liberty right in the centre of my festive table – between the gammon, chicken and potato salad.

Pandoro Christmas Tree Trifle

I recently visited Miki Ciman at her La Botegga Deli at the Italian Club in Cape Town and she shared this very traditional Italian Christmas treat with me. Now, Pandoro is baked in a special star-shaped mould. When sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, it has the appearance of fallen snow on a mountain.

The two of us took the Pandoro out of its box before decorating it with Miki’s crème pâtissière, a glass of sherry and fresh berries. The transformation was this most magnificent Christmas tree trifle!

Bellisimo, lovely and easy to make.

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Visit Miki at the Italian Club
If you have not yet paid a visit to her deli at the Italian Club – put it on your to do list asap.   Miki is “old school” and she still makes all her pasta, cookies and other specialities by hand. She sits diligently each day preparing fresh gnocchi by hand in her deli. She also sells the best Italian fare from handmade mozzarella to charcuterie and a range of other products from her homeland.

Want to learn how to make cheese, pasta, gnocchi or salami?
Contact Miki at : 021 511 5956 (ask for La Botegga Deli) or 083 391 5792

Lovely Miki!

Lovely Miki!

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Pandoro Christmas Tree Trifle

1 large Pandoro
175 ml sweet sherry (or liqueur of your choice )
500 ml lemon crème pâtissière
fresh berries
icing sugar, for serving

Carefully cut Pandoro horizontally into 6 slices. Place the largest slice on a serving platter. Sprinkle over the sherry and spread a thick layer of crème pâtissière over. Top with the next largest slice, angling it so that the points of the star do not align. Repeat with sherry and crème pâtissière with the remaining layers. You can now place in your refrigerator until later. Just before serving put a lot of berries on top of the trifle, push some berries in on the sides of the cake. Sift icing sugar over the top and enjoy!

Miki’s lemon crème pâtissière
Makes 500 ml

40 g plain flour
100 g caster sugar
large pinch of salt
300 ml milk
4 egg yolks
zest of one lemon, thinly slice strips (not the white bits)
20 g butter

Sift the flour, sugar and salt and set aside. Beat 60 ml of milk and egg yolks. Scoop the flour mixture in and beat until smooth. Heat the remaining milk and lemon over low heat until it just starts to boil. Remove lemon peel and discard. Pour a third of the hot milk into the egg mixture and mix well. Throw everything in the heated milk and stir well. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens. Cook for one minute. Stir in the butter and mix well. Remove and let cool completely before using.

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Christmas cake on the #braai – the #ExpressoShow way

Christmas cake on the #braai – the #ExpressoShow way
How insane and fabulous is this? A delicious Christmas cake on the #braai. PS: All images taken with my mobile phone

How insane and fabulous is this? A delicious Christmas cake on the #braai. PS: All images taken with my mobile phone

I love cooking on Expresso Morning Show (live TV is my thing) and I LOVE the whole team from Paul (the talented producer & director) to Zola (innovative chef and stylist), Stephanie (the super stylist) and then the lovely down to earth but so energetic presenters Elana, Ewan, Graeme, Katlego, Leigh-Anne and Zoë. Not forgetting Ruan that gives me my coffee fix every morning, the dedicated cameramen, Lucian the vivacious floor manager / director and those brilliant make-up artists! They are like family to me, they make me really happy and I hope that I bring a ray of sunshine into their lives.

The recipe calls for beautiful seasonal fruit

The recipe calls for beautiful seasonal fruit

Anyway, the other day Zola gave me her recipe to make. She said: “Anél, I want you to bake a cake… on the fire.” My first reaction was that of odd disbelief (really?)… I nearly choked on my morning coffee but then I kinda fell in love with the idea. And now … I think it is genius! Zola’s recipe is perfect for a Christmas cake on the fire. It is made with seasonal cherries and apricots and with a dash of cream and it is a real festive treat.

Zola Nene the goddess of the Expresso kitchen. This #braai cake is her invention.

Zola Nene the goddess of the Expresso kitchen. This #braai cake is her invention.

Cooking with one of the hottest guys in South Africa is one of the perks ... just saying. But ladies he is a very nice guy too!

Cooking with one of the hottest guys in South Africa is one of the perks … just saying. But ladies he is a very nice guy too!

The way the two of us can carry on! Love you Elana, mother of Esther Beth.

The way the two of us can carry on! Love you Elana, mother of Esther Beth.

Beautiful inside and out here she is ... the HOT Leigh-Anne Williams. Today as gorgeous as a fresh apricot.

Beautiful inside and out here she is … the HOT Leigh-Anne Williams. Today as gorgeous as a fresh apricot.

Kat I had to steal this pic from your facebook. Why dont I have a pic with you? I don't know, but this man is one of the most talented MC's, TV presenters, singers and what he touch turns into gold. Watch the space. Here he is getting up to no good with Elana.

Kat I had to steal this pic from your facebook. Why dont I have a pic with you? I don’t know, but this man is one of the most talented MC’s, TV presenters, singers and what he touch turns into gold. Watch the space. Here he is getting up to no good with Elana.

Graeme is another hottie on the show. He has an infectious laugh and we have loads of fun when we braai together!

Graeme is another hottie on the show. He has an infectious laugh and we have loads of fun when we braai together!

Zoe is the latest addition to Expresso. What a beautiful, warm and lovely woman. You rock!

Zoe is the latest addition to Expresso. What a beautiful, warm and lovely woman. You rock!

Me braaiing outside the Expresso studio .... and having lots of fun

Me braaiing outside the Expresso studio …. and having lots of fun

We can do absolutely nothing without Lucian. He organises the cameras, the lights, counts us down. All in all one of the nicest and friendliest guys I know.

We can do absolutely nothing without Lucian. He organises the cameras, the lights, counts us down. All in all one of the nicest and friendliest guys I know.

Ruan is the first person you see in the "green room". He manages the people before they go on set. The sweetest guy, more of a model I say (you will recognise his face on some TV ads) - and he makes a mean coffee!

Ruan is the first person you see in the “green room”. He manages the people before they go on set. The sweetest guy, more of a model I say (you will recognise his face on some TV ads) – and he makes a mean coffee!

TIPS FOR BRAAIING CAKE ON THE FIRE: Do remember that your braai coals must be of medium heat – otherwise this cake is going to end up something of a charred creation. All you need do is make a gap for your pot to nestle the pot in-between the coals. Do not put the pot directly on the coals. Then once on the fire place around 5 to 6 coals on top of the pot lid.

Christmas cake on the #braai - the #ExpressoShow way
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 60 ml Demerara sugar
  • 60 ml maple syrup
  • 60 ml butter
  • 8 ripe apricots, halved and pitted
  • 200 g pitted fresh cherries
  • For the sponge
  • 120 g butter, softened
  • 120 g Demerara sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 eggs
  • 175 ml plain yoghurt
  • 160 g cake flour
  • 5 ml baking powder
  • 5 ml bicarbonate of soda
Instructions
  1. Heat braai coals to medium heat. Grease a medium-sized cast iron pot very well with Spray and Cook. Grease the 60 ml butter onto the bottom of the pot then sprinkle 60 ml Demerara sugar over this and drizzle with 60 ml maple syrup. Arrange the apricots (cut-side down) on top of the syrup then place the cherries in the gaps in and around the apricots. Make the sponge by creaming together the butter, sugar and lemon zest. Whisk the egg together with yoghurt. Sift together flour, baking powder and bicarbonate soda. Fold dry and wet ingredients alternately into the creamed butter and sugar. Spoon the batter carefully onto the fruit then cover the pot with the lid. Make a gap amidst the coals and nestle the pot into the gap. Place some coals on top of the lid then leave to cook for 45 minutes. To check to see whether your cake is cooked insert a skewer – if it comes out dry, your cake is baked. Remove from the coals and allow it to cool for 10 mins in the pot before turning it out upside down. Serve with a dollop of plain cream mixed with vanilla.

 

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robben island #christmas cake

robben island #christmas cake

robben island christmas cake

Watch me make this by clicking here.

{honour + understanding}
I was so honoured when Expresso asked me to demonstrate the Robben Island Christmas Cake on the day that Cape Town are going to have a memorial service. After reading this fantastic extract below from Anna Trapido’s book Hunger for Freedom I had to try this myself. I made my version that tasted absolutely delicious … but I am sure not as good as the real deal {see my version of the recipe at the bottom of this page}.

Please read this piece below. It will make you smile and bring some understanding of the food situation Madiba and his fellow comrades faced.

Rest in peace Tata.

{extract from hunger for freedom by anna trapido}
“The monotony of the Robben Island diet was occasionally broken by the observance of religious ritual. Those priests who were brought into minister to the prisoners were legitimately allowed to bring food items in honour of specific festivals. Many prisoners, Madiba included, developed fluid religious affiliations in order to take advantage of the temporary respite from prison food. Laloo Chiba, a fellow inmate to Nelson Mandela, recalled: ‘The authorities would come around and say, “How many people are observing Eid?” And hell, everybody was suddenly converted or Hinduism or Islam or whatever it was, including Madiba and Walter Sisulu! Madiba genuinely respected all religions and he did use to attend all types of service so it was a show of respect for other people’s religion, not just about the food. But we were all born again quite often! Muslims, Christians, Hindus: we were everything! While most of the food for ecclesiastical eating came in from the outside, there are rare examples of prisoners making their own festive food. In 1978 Laloo Chiba took on the role of Chrismas cake-maker. It was not a cake in the conventional sense of the word but all those who tasted it swear that it was delicious”. {see laloo’s recipe below}

????????

{laloo chiba’s robben island christmas cake}
Serves 6-8
4 loaves Sasko white bread
10 tbsp cocoa powder
10 tbsp white sugar
200g currants or raisins
750ml Phuzamandla*

Break the bread into pieces and place inside an old biscuit tin. Sprinkle with cocoa, sugar and currants. Soak in phuzamandla for at least 12 hours. After 6 hours place a food plate on top of the mixture and put a stone on top of the plate in order to weight down and compact the cake. Allow the cake to solidify overnight. Slice and serve.

Phuzamandla
Makes 1L

4 cups water
½ cup mielie meal
½ cup iron fortified sorghum
4 tbsp powdered yeast

Bring the water to the boil, add the mielie meal and sorghum, reduce the heat and simmer until cooked (about 30 minutes). Leave to cool. Add the yeast and mix well. Dilute with water to pouring consistency. Strain and drink.

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my version of the robben island #christmas cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 9 slices of white bread
  • 5.5 Tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp currents
  • 500ml full cream milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp salt
  • icing sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C.
  2. In a small non stick bread pan break three slices of bread, sprinkle with a 1.5 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp cocoa powder and 1 Tbsp of currents.
  3. Repeat the next two layers doing the same.
  4. Push the bread mixture down with your hands.
  5. Mix the milk, eggs, vanilla essence and salt together. Pour over the bread.
  6. Bake in oven for 50 minutes.
  7. Turn out of pan, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve immediately.

robben island christmas cake

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