Divas cook their hearts out – the final challenge!

December 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

This Saturday, the Divas get to cook their hearts out in the final challenge before we reveal who the Ultimate Dinner Diva is of 2012!  The Dinner Diva pantry was stocked with the most delicious, fresh, seasonal and local ingredients and the top three – effervescent Kristy, inspriring Anél and full of flavour Italian Mama Janice – had full access to the pantry to cook an impressive two course meal.  As usual, I will post their recipes next week :)

Remeber to watch this Saturday, 8:30, SABC 2 (DSTV Channel 192). 

Oh, and as promised, here’s last weeks’ recipes.  


Buttermilk Crumpets 

These crumpets are the perfect canvass for adding your own sweet or savoury combinations. You can omit the pepper and add 30 ml castor sugar for a sweet crumpet. And of course, to up the savoury, you can add (to taste) dried or fresh chopped herbs, red chili flakes and onion or garlic flakes.  

  • 250 ml Sasko Cake Flour
  • 5 ml baking powder
  • 2.5 ml salt
  • generous grinding of white pepper
  • 30 ml melted butter
  • 1 jumbo Nulaid egg
  • 180 ml buttermilk
  • a little oil for the pan

Sift together the flour and baking powder and stir in the salt and pepper. Whisk the butter and egg into the buttermilk and add to the dry ingredients while stirring with a wooden spoon. Don’t over-mix the batter. Let it stand for 30 minutes. If it thickens too much in this time, lightly whisk in a little milk or water – it should be like thick pancake batter. 

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan, brush with a little oil and drop spoonsful of the batter onto the hot surface. As soon as some bubbles appear on the surface, flip the crumpets with a spatula and cook the other side briefly, until golden. 

Keep the cooked crumpets warm in a low oven while continuing to use up all the batter.  Serve warm alongside a tray of fresh blueberries, butter, mascarpone, honey or maple syrup. 

Makes about 6 – 8 crumpets, depending on size 

Chef’s hint: To the sweet variety, add a small handful of blueberries to the uncooked side after you’ve flipped the crumpets for the first time … or chocolate chips for a bit of decadence. If you’re cooking the savoury variety, add a handful of cooked corn kernels and small dice of strong cheddar cheese to the batter for a really local favourite. 

Hollandaise Sauce 

  • 45 ml white wine vinegar
  • 15 ml water (plus extra, in case)
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 large Nulaid egg yolks
  • approximately 325 ml warm, melted butter
  • salt
  • a little lemon juice
  • ground white or black pepper
  • pinch paprika or cayenne pepper (optional) 

Over high heat, cook the vinegar and water with the peppercorns and bay leaf in a small pan until reduced to 20 ml.  Set aside to cool. 

In a separate bowl, cream the egg yolks with 30 ml of butter and a pinch of salt.  Strain the vinegar into the eggs, and set the bowl over a pan of boiling water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Now turn off the heat. Whisk the egg mixture until it appears double in volume and fall in ribbons from the whisk. Remove the mixing bowl from the simmering water and place it on a folded kitchen towel. 

Gradually add spoonsful of the warm butter into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a few drops of water to thin the mixture enough to whisk in all (or most of) the butter. And if the sauce splits or scrambles, add a spoonful of tepid water and whisk furiously. Normally, the split or scrambled sauce will return to a smooth consistency.  

When you are happy with the consistency, season the sauce with lemon juice, salt, pepper and some paprika or cayenne, if using, and serve immediately. 

Yields approximately 400 ml sauce 

Local Eggs Bennie

  • 4 large savoury Buttermilk Crumpets (see recipe with savoury variations)
  • 8 thin slices Gypsy or peppered ham, lightly grilled or sautéed
  • 4 perfectly poached (and warm) jumbo Nulaid eggs
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • freshly-made Hollandaise sauce (see recipe)
  • finely chopped chives 

Place a crumpet on each of four plates. Top each crumpet with a portion of the grilled ham and on top of the ham, a poached egg. Season the egg then drizzle with a portion of the Hollandaise sauce. Garnish with the chives and serve at once. 

Yields 4 portions (or two doubles for a large appetite :)  

Guava Sorbet

You need an ice cream maker for this – an inexpensive one like Krups. We got ours from Hirschs.co.za  at R200 cheaper than anywhere else online. 

  • 2 x 410 g cans of Rhodes Guavas in Syrup
  • 125 ml castor sugar
  • 30 – 45 ml lemon or lime juice
  • 2 egg whites, stiffly beaten 

Drain the Rhodes Guavas in Syrup and reserve the fruit. Place in a blender with the sugar and lemon or lime juice and blend until smooth. Push the mixture through a sieve and place in a mixing bowl. Fold in the egg whites and transfer to an ice cream machine. Process until firm then scoop the sorbet into serving glasses or containers of your choice. Store in the freezer until required. 

Serve garnished with: 

  • Mint leaves or a mint jus
  • Ginger chips (*)
  • Rhodes pineapple pieces mixed with mint and granadilla pulp
  • Rhodes pineapple pieces mixed with glazed ginger brunoise (**)
  • Lime slices or zest 

(*) Fry thin slivers of fresh ginger in a little oil until crisp, dry on paper towel then dredge liberally with castor sugar.

(**) Cook tiny diced pieces (size of matchstick heads) fresh ginger in sugar syrup until translucent and sticky. 

Yields 6 – 8 servings

You can find more Diva-licious recipes on I Love Cooking.

Happy holidays!


2 responses to Divas cook their hearts out – the final challenge!

  1. Lovely post as always the recipes are particularly useful and I can’t wait to give the guava sorbet a try. Hope you fabulous ladies are all well xx

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