Valentine treats you can make


Thandie Ngeju’s chocolate buttermilk cake

2 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
Pinch of salt
5 ml of bicarbonate of soda
125 g butter
250 ml water
125 ml oil
125 ml cocoa powder
2 large eggs
125 ml buttermilk or plain yoghurt

1. Sift flour , sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda.
2. Heat the butter ,water,oil and cocoa powder.
3. Bring to boil, remove form heat to cool.
4. Pour cocoa mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.
5. Whisk eggs and buttermilk together and add to the cake mixture. Pour mixture into 2 x 20cm round cake pans and back at 180 ‘c for 25 to 30 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning them out on to a wire rack.

250 ml dark chocolate and 250 ml cream
To make ganache, double boil together and then set aside.

To assemble cake
Put 1 round at the bottom and rub a little fresh cream that you’ve beaten up.
Put strawberries on to the cream and put another round cake on top.
Then pour  ganache on top and decorate with strawberries and choc shards.

Call Thandie Ngeju at 063 336 5467


Maya Britz’s Raspberry Custards

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Yield: 2-4

250ml fresh cream
4 Tablespoons of raspberries
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 vanilla pod, scraped
2 Tablespoons of caster sugar
Butter for greasing

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
2. Warm the cream with the vanilla pod and paste.
3. Remove from the heat and infuse for 10-12 min.
Grease 4 ramekins with butter.
Place the raspberries in the buttered ramekins.
Place the ramekins in a baking pan filled with warm water to come halfway up the side of the custard pots.
Lightly whisk the eggs and yolks with sugar.
Whisk in the warmed cream and strain into a jug.
Pour this custard over the raspberries.
Dust with a pinch of treacle sugar.
Bake for 20-30min or until just set.
12. Serve with a shortbread biscuit.

Jacque’s Bread at Pepper Grove Mall will have some lovely treats tomorrow for Valentine’s – make sure you get in early for their cheesecake and chocolate mousse gateaux, profiteroles and financiers and more!



Esme Basola’s chocolate truffles

30 ml butter
50ml icing sugar
22ml cocoa powder
500g milk chocolate, grated
2 egg yolks beaten very well
15ml rum or brandy
50ml chopped pecan nuts

1. Mix all the ingredients and let the mixture cool.
2. Press it out flat to a thickness of around 7mm.
3. With a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out heart shapes.
4. Dip in cocoa powder.
5. Serve with sliced strawberries.

There’s still space for tomorrow night’s Valentine’s Dinner at Esme’s Table: Wednesday 14 February at PJ Olivier from 7pm

Here’s the menu:

Strawberry Bellini
Amuse Bouche – Appetizer

Parmesan Soufflé in Phyllo pastry with Basil cream
Fried Black Potato Gnocchi with slow roasted tomato and herb cream
Pork belly roast (with crackling), spiced sweet potato fondant and Vegetable sides
Grilled fresh fish served with an Oyster Cream, potato rosti and a fine rocket and herb salad
Slow roasted Mushroom, Butternut and Baby marrow terrine with a herb cream and side dishes to choose
A chocolate and whole-nut meringue nest filled with run chocolate truffles and topped with glazed strawberries.

The cost is  R220  per person and booking is essential. Call Esme at 078 569 2175 or email her at Bring your own drinks and cash – no bar or credit card facilities available.


This Wonderbag recipe will allow for you to serve up something sweet for your loved one on Wednesday evening. The Wonderbag is perfect for this recipe because it’s not a direct source of heat so it won’t burn the chocolate, yet it will slow cook it while you work on other things…. such as Valentine’s Day Dinner!

Valentine’s Day Wonderbag Chocolate Dip

Serves 2
Preparation time 10 minutes
Stove time 10 minutes
Wonderbag time 1 hour

1 cup heavy cream
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate (chips or chopped baking chocolate)
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp kosher salt

Add the heavy cream to a medium pot over medium-high heat. Once the cream begins to bubble, add the chocolate and continuously stir until melted. Add the vanilla and kosher salt, and keep stirring.
Once the chocolate is smooth and bubbling, cover the pot, place in the Wonderbag and close. Slow cook in the bag for 1-3 hours.
Remove from the Wonderbag and dip strawberries, cookies, pretzels, or even bacon into the chocolate dip.

  • Recipe credit: Whitney Bond of

Pupils at Kuyasa Special School in Grahamstown make and sell wonderbags. Call them at 046 622 3066 OR order online from Wonderbag at

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