Fabulously faking it

By Kirstin Buick
23 September 2013

Our new bloggers, Mari-Louis Guy and her brother, Callie Maritz, are food gurus and parents with hectic lives. Mari-Louis blogs about their favourite recipes, cookbooks and gives advice on how to prepare meals to make life easier. Meet Mari-Louis Die broer-en-susterspan Mari-Louis Guy en Callie Maritz. The brother and sister super-team, Mari-Louis Guy and Callie Maritz. Photo: Martin de Kock Home is where the heart is

I am the 46-year-old mother of three kids, aged 8, 4 and 2, who are at different schools.

My work as a freelance food stylist and cookbook author means I have to be on my creative toes every day, and each of those days I’m on a different location or set, working with a new client and set of creatives.

My wonderful husband captains a mega-luxury yacht in the Mediterranean, which leaves me mom alone for long stretches when he is at sea.

It might sound strange to some people, but I work with my only sibling, the very cool Mr Callie Maritz, and in the six years since we both returned to African shores, together we have authored and styled five cookbooks, worked on close to 200 television commercials and videos and produced countless images of food.

I am a busy, busy girl.

You might think that I yearn for more sleep, for calm, for rest between the busy days, but I pretty much just want cake.

I want cake for breakfast, then I want to do more again. See more, learn more, love more, read more, write more, laugh more, bake more, eat more and somehow look good doing all these mores.

I want to be all things at once: a doting mother, an unselfish lover, good daughter, caring sister, gregarious and available friend and a super hostess.

Through all this, I remind myself every day of the best advice I ever received: Life is a juggling act. At any given time, you will have many balls in the air.

Work commitments, homecare, car maintenance, social plans etc are all rubber balls. Everything to do with your family is a glass ball. Handle them with extreme care. Rubber bounces and glass breaks, so make sure you never let go of the glass balls.

But back to cake.

Food has always been central to my journey. From growing up in a small-town hotel, through my studies culminating in an honours degree in home economics, five years working on and testing new food products for a major supermarket chain, 11 years as a private chef on mega yachts and now a food stylist and writer.

The sad truth, though, is that it is all too easy to overlook life’s triumphs and instead define yourself by small daily failures and worries. It is similar to the TV ad in which women find it easy to point out faults with their bodies but are slow to express what they like about them.

My husband and I struggled for many years to have kids. I even dubbed myself the Infertility Queen. Life has since rewarded us with the three most perfect children and each day we revel in our part as parents, but I still feel poisoned in mind and body after years of fertility treatment and the feeling of complete failure.

I have been happily married to a wonderful man for 23 years. My parents split when I was a teenager, and I still cannot shake the feeling that all could go terribly wrong. That I come from a broken home still defines me. That disillusioned, lonely girl will always be with me. I am a terrible homemaker. Like the typical stylist, my house is filled with stacks of beautiful pottery, crockery and cutlery, but I cannot seem to arrange anything coherently. I am convinced stuff jumps out of cupboards when I enter the room. However, baking remains my happy time. When small stuff gets to me, I switch on my oven and cake mixer, choose one of my myriad cake tins and bake. So let’s get to it! This is one of our favourite recipes: Zebra Cake Anthony, an advertising executive in London, bought our first book, Cakes to Celebrate Love and Life. He liked one recipe so much that he made contact online. We chatted and eventually met him for drinks when he visited Cape Town. This is Anthony’s recipe – we refer to it now as our global village cake. We loved it so much we included it in our recipe book Cooking for Crowds.

Zebra cake

Serves 12

Cake

280 g (2 c) cake flour

5 ml (1 t) baking powder

4 eggs

200 g (1 c) sugar

125 ml (½ c) milk

250 ml (1 c) vegetable oil

5 ml (1 t) vanilla essence

30 g cocoa powder

zest of 1 orange

Chocolate buttercream icing

60 g cocoa powder

125 g butter, melted

385 g icing sugar, sifted

80 ml (? c) milk

5 ml (1 t) vanilla essence

INSTRUCTIONS

Cake

1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease and line a 23-cm round cake tin.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder. Use an electric mixer with whisk attachment to beat the eggs and sugar until pale in colour. In a separate bowl, mix the milk, oil and vanilla essence.

3. With the motor running, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the egg mixture, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until combined.

4. Divide the batter into two equal parts in two bowls. Fold the cocoa powder and orange zest into one batch to make a chocolate mixture. You now have a chocolate and a plain mixture.

5. Dollop a large spoonful of plain batter into the centre of the cake tin. Dollop a large spoonful of chocolate batter directly on top. The weight of the top batter will weigh down the bottom batter and spread out in a concentric circle. Continue adding alternate batter colours in this manner, always waiting for the pile to spread before adding another spoonful. Give the pan a good whack on the countertop to settle the batter.

6. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the centre of the cake springs back when gently pressed.

7. Serve the zebra cake plain or with chocolate buttercream icing.

Chocolate buttercream icing 1. Stir the cocoa powder into the melted butter until it’s a smooth paste. Put this in the bowl of an electric mixer. Use the whisk attachment and beat at medium speed while alternately adding icing sugar and milk – always start and end with icing sugar. Beat until the mixture is a spreading consistency. Add a splash more milk if required. Stir in the vanilla essence.   West Coast inspiration

A recent study showed that the average user of cookbooks makes about two recipes in each of their cookbooks. So we decided to each try one recipe from each of the new books we found.

This might not have be the most scientific way to review books, since our decisions about which recipes to make would depend on whether we craved sweet or savoury, or even simply where the book opened, but we figure it’s more than what you would have made from the book had you only seen it in the shops.

Book: Everyday Delicious – inspired by the West Coast

Writer: Christine Capendale

Designer: Petaldesign

Photographer: Myburgh du Plessis

Stylist: Sonja Jordt

Author Christine Capendale is from the West Coast, like us, which means we weren’t exactly objective in our opinions.

Callie chose to make Rare Roast Peppered Beef Fillet served with Rocket and Horseradish Sauce. He was impressed. It is just his thing – an easy recipe with bragging value. The sauce can be made a day ahead and that’s the sort of thing that’s important to Callie. The way I know him, he doesn’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen on the days he has guests. He’d rather enjoy a beer, make small talk and ask stupid questions such as, “What did us Capetonians put on our hamburgers and sandwiches before we knew about rocket?”

I tried Fragrant Roasted Mussels. My son, now eight, became obsessed with mussels on a visit to France at age four. I am still asked to make mussels almost every week. Christine’s method is delicious and quick, with a nice West Coast flavour. Drizzle some hot sauce over the mussel (I like sweet chilli sauce) and bake until bubbling and dark brown. Serve with ice-cold white wine. PS: See below how you to enter to win a copy of this book.  

Rare Roast Peppered Beef Fillet served with Rocket And Horseradish Sauce

Serves 6

PEPPERED BEEF FILLET

1,2 kg trimmed beef fillet (must be whole fillet, not medallions)

20 ml (5 t) olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

black pepper (use a lot)

ROCKET AND HORSERADISH SAUCE

150 ml rocket leaves

50 ml (10 t) creamed horseradish

2 cloves garlic

50 ml (10 t) olive oil

salt and black pepper

20 ml (4 t) fresh cream

125 ml (½ c) Greek yoghurt

INSTRUCTIONS

PEPPERED BEEF FILLET

1. Combine the olive oil, garlic and black pepper and rub into the fillet. Leave to marinate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 200 °C.

3. Place the fillet in a roasting pan and roast uncovered for 20 minutes. Leave to rest for 30 minutes and then season with salt.

4. Slice into thin slivers and serve on a bed of salad leaves with sauce on the side.

ROCKET AND HORSERADISH SAUCE

1. Use a food processor to pulse together the rocket, creamed horseradish, garlic, olive oil, salt, black pepper and cream. Stir in the Greek yoghurt. This sauce is best when made the day before. It becomes quite thick and lasts in the refrigerator for about 4 days.  

Grilled spicy mussels

Serves 6 as a starter

125 ml (½ c) good-quality mayonnaise

5 ml (1 t) Tabasco®

5 ml (1 t) chopped chilli

5 ml (1 t) garlic-and-herb seasoning

15 ml (1 T) sweet chilli sauce

500 g frozen mussels on the half shell, defrosted and washed well.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

2. Mix the mayonnaise, Tabasco®, chilli, seasoning and sweet chilli sauce. Top each mussel with a teaspoon of mayonnaise mixture. 3. Place the mussels on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until the bubbling topping is golden brown. Enjoy hot or cold.  Win! Two readers who answer the question correctly will each be sent a copy of Everyday Delicious. SMS the answer with your name and address to 34923 by 5 pm on 4 October. Question: What area of South Africa inspired this recipe book? You may enter as many times as you like and each SMS costs R1,50  

FlamkuChen

You’ve probably seen or tasted Flamkuchen at food markets This is a German-style pizza related to the conventional pizza but with a much thinner, crisper base, usually with a topping that includes crème fraîche. It is light and any topping is suitable, so it’s perfect for market days. Make your own with the recipe below and use the video as a guide. The recipe is included in our cookbook Make, Give, Sell. FlamkuChen

BASE

125 ml (½ c) lukewarm water

10 g (1 packet) instant yeast

5 ml (1 t) sugar

125 ml (½ c) milk, at room temperature

30 ml (2 T) olive oil

pinch of salt

280-350 g cake flour

Topping

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tubs (250 g each) crème fraîche

125 g Gruyère cheese, shaved

12 slices Serrano ham

1 onion, thinly sliced

wild rocket for garnishing

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine the water, yeast, sugar, milk, olive oil and salt In the bowl of an electric mixer and use the paddle attachment to mix on low speed for 1 minute. Add 280 g (2 c) flour. Cover the top of the bowl with a tea towel to prevent splashing. Mix at medium speed for 3 minutes to make a soft dough. Add more flour if needed.

2. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes, adding more flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

3. Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes or until it has doubled in volume.

4. Preheat the oven to its highest setting. Lightly grease a large baking tray.

5. Knock down the dough and divide into eight equal pieces. Roll out each on a lightly floured surface until very thin, about 2 mm thick.

6. Place two or three pieces of rolled dough on the baking tray at a time (however many will fit) and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is crispy and golden.

7. Add toppings of your choice and pop back into the oven if desired. Serve.

TOPPING 1. Mix the garlic into the crème fraîche and spread on the cooked crust. Sprinkle on Gruyère cheese, add the ham and top with onion slices. 2. Garnish with rocket leaves when the flamkuchen comes out of the oven.  Tip: Any good cured ham such as prosciutto or black forest ham works a treat.

Watch this video for a guide on how to make Flamkuchen.

- Mari-Louis

Mari-Louis Guy is a freelance food stylist and cookbook author, who, with her brother Callie Maritz, works under the name, Cakebread.

Share your experiences and recipes with her at cakebreadct@gmail.com or find her on facebook at Cakebread = Mari-Louis Guy and Callie Maritz.

For bookings and commercial work, contact Callie on 072-784-1226.

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