To Keep the Foodies Busy

March is a busy month for foodies. Mother’s Day, St Patrick’s Day will keep many of you up to your ears in flour and eggs. Here are a few recipes to use as inspiration.

Victoria Sandwich
2kg corned beef brisket (ask your butcher)
5 black peppercorns
2 cloves
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1 onion, peeled and left whole
1 onion, peeled and left whole
2 bay leaves
1-2 star anise
1 pinch salt
6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
1 white cabbage, cleaned, cored and cut into small wedges
4 large carrots, peeled
30g chopped, fresh
30g butter

  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and prepare a nine inch cake tin by spraying it with baking spray and placing a disc of parchment paper on the base.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a paddleattachment, cream together the butter and sugaruntil it is very light and almost white in appearance(this will take a few minutes). Add the eggs one at atime and beat well in between each addition.
  • Sift the flour onto a piece of parchment paper andthen add it to the butter mixture. Add the hot waterto the mixture as the machine brings all thistogether into a homogenous batter.
  • Spread the mixture into the prepared cake tin andflatten out the mixture so that it is even. Place into the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or untila skewer inserted into the top of the cake comes outdry. Remove cake when baked and allow it to cool inthe tin. 
  • To make the icing, place the icing sugar, softenedbutter and vanilla into the bowl of an electric mixerfitted with a paddle blade and mix slowly. Add themilk and beat into a smooth white fluffy frosting.
  • When ready to finish the cake, cut the sponge in halfand spread the bottom half with the strawberry jam.Using a piping bag not fitted with any piping tip, pipeon the whipped vanilla frosting in concentric circlesfrom the centre outward.
  • Place the top half of the sponge on top and dustwith icing sugar. Serve immediately.

Corned Beef and Cabbage
250g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
4 large eggs
250g Self raising flour, sifted
20g hot water
100g strawberry jamgood pinch paprika
100g unsalted butter, softened
460g icing sugar, sifted
60mls milk
4g vanilla

  • In a large saucepan, place the beef brisket, peppercorns, cloves, crushedand chopped garlic, cinnamon stick, onion, bay leaves, star anise and salt.
  • Fill the pot with water to cover everything completely by a good threeto four centimetres. Slowly bring to a boil and continue cooking for anadditional 20 minutes after the boiling begins. Using a ladle, skim thetop of the water to remove any residue that floats to the surface.
  • Reduce the temperature to a rolling simmer and continue cooking fortwo to three hours, until the beef brisket can be pulled apart with a fork. brisket and serve. Strain the remaining liquid and serve in a sauce boator pour a small amount over the top of the meat when servng.
  • When the meat is cooked, add the potatoes and cabbage and slice thecarrots into one centimetre wide slices and push all of this below thesurface of the liquid.
  • Simmer for an additional 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cookedthrough (judge by pushing a knife into the pieces). Stir in the butter andparsley. Remove the pot from the stove.
  • When all the mixture is piped, place the truffles into the refrigerator for30 minutes to firm.
  • Use tongs and a meat fork, remove beef brisket from the pot and placeonto a serving platter. Cover with tin-foil and allow to sit for ten to 15minutes. Place cooked potatoes, cabbage and carrots around thesides of the brisket and serve. Strain the remaining liquid and serve in a sauce boat or pour a small amount over the top of the meat when serving.

Cinnamon Buns
250ml milk, warmed but not hot
2 eggs, room temperature
75g unsalted butter, melted
450g all-purpose flour
5g salt
100g caster sugar
15g  dried yeast
75g unsalted butter, softened
90g cream cheese, softened
60g unsalted butter, softened
200g icing sugar, sifted
2-3 drops vanilla extract
pinch salt
210g brown sugar, lightly packed
20g cinnamon, ground

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • Place the eggs, warmed milk and the dried yeast in an electric mixer.Allow the mixture to sit for ten minutes. Add the butter, the sugar, thesalt and finally the flour.
  • Mix to a dough slowly and then mix on higher speed for four minutesuntil dough is smooth and elastic. Remove the bowl and cover it with adamp cloth. Allow the mixture to double in size in a warm area.
  • When doubled, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. In a smallbowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough into a largerectangle about one cm in thickness.
  • Melt the remaining butter and brush it across the entire top surfaceof the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon mixture ontop of this. Starting from the furthest edge away from you, rollthe dough forward into a rolled log.
  • Cut the rolled dough into 12 even portions and place these, rolled endupward, on a baking tray, with pieces fairly close together. Cover witha moist cloth and let rise until nearly doubled in size in a warm area.
  • Bake the cinnamon rolls in the oven until golden brown, about 15minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together the creamcheese, butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Brush this frostingon the warm rolls before serving immediately.

Baked Potato Skins
4 baking potatoes, large size
60g vegetable oil
20g parmesan cheese, powdered
pinches salt and fresh
cracked black
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
and finely
good pinch paprika
8 turkey bacon strips, cooked and
chopped into small cubes
180g cheddar cheese,
finely shredded
60g sour cream
4 spring onions, sliced

  • Pierce the outside of the potatoes with a fork. Wrap each one in tin-foil and bake them in a hot oven (200 degrees Celsius) for approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Test with a knife to ensure they are baked completely and the inside is soft. Remove and allow to cool.
  • Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, use a spoon to scoop out potato flesh, leaving a shell with a very thin amount of potato inside. Place the potato skins on a greased baking sheet.
  • When chicken and shrimps are cooked, add the carrots and cabbage.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the oil, parmesan cheese, salt, freshly crushed and finely chopped garlic, paprika and pepper. Mix this together. Coat the skins by brushing them with this mixture on both sides. 
  • Bake the skins at 220 degrees Celsius for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn them upside down and bake again until crisp.
  • While still hot, sprinkle the cheddar cheese inside the crisp potato skins and then sprinkle with the chopped turkey bacon pieces. Bake two minutes longer or until the cheese is completely melted. Serve with sour cream and chopped spring onions immediately on a platter.

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