Lost in translation

2010-09-11 00:00

OOPS! After more than a two-year relationship with The Witness readers, I have no doubt they appreciate I am pedantic about the facts when giving away my recipes. “Never be accused of omitted ingredients” was my motto — please note “was”. The dreaded happened while I was in Spain soaking up more foodie facts to share with you. Relaying recipes from abroad wasn’t as reliable as I’d thought and I have been under fire since last week — the Spanish Inquisition you could call it. I am mortified, but I hasten to add that I’m astonished by the amount of phone calls I’ve had to field, and humbly admit I’m delighted that so many readers are trying out the recommended recipes. Please note the correction.



Yields about six portions


200 g white sugar

2 whole eggs

15 ml apricot jam

150 g cake flour

5 ml bicarbonate of soda

pinch salt

15 g butter

5 ml vinegar

100 ml milk


200 ml cream

50 g butter

150 g sugar

100 ml hot water


• Beat the sugar and eggs very well until light and creamy.

• Add apricot jam.

• Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and set aside.

• Melt the butter and vinegar together and then add to milk.

• Alternatively, add the milk mixture and the flour mixture to the egg mixture.

• Put mixture into an oven tray (18 cm x 22 cm) and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes. Take the foil off and bake for a further 15 minutes.

• Prepare the sauce while the pudding is baking. Heat all the sauce ingredients in a pot. Continue stirring until the sugar grains are dissolved. Pour straight over the malva pudding when it comes out of the oven­.



Yields about 1,3 litres


6 egg yolks

½ cup sugar

1 l cream

1 T glucose

1 split vanilla pod

2,5 ml vanilla extract-for flavour or 10 ml vanilla essence


• Beat the egg yolks and sugar with an electric beater until light and creamy.

• Allow the cream, glucose, split vanilla pod and extract to come to the boil. Take off the heat and allow the flavours to infuse (vanilla products are becoming more and more readily available to the public. Any good food shop should have them on their shelves).

• Add warm cream mixture to beaten egg yolk mixture and strain.

• If an ice cream machine isn’t available, place chilled mixture into the freezer. Whisk every 15 to 30 minutes until frozen to allow for a light, fluffy ice cream.


Red Velvet Chocolate Cake with Cream-Cheese Frosting


Yields 16 cm cake


2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 t baking powder

3 T cocoa

3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups castor sugar

3 whole eggs

1 t vanilla essence

Pinch fine salt

45 ml red food colouring

3 T luke warm water

1 cup buttermilk

1 t bicarbonate of soda

1 t white vinegar


• Preheat oven to 180˚C.

• Butter or grease and line a 16 cm x 4 cm cake tin.

• Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa; set aside.

• Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 15 minutes).

• Then add the eggs, one at a time, beating very well after each addition.

• Add the vanilla, salt, food colouring and the water. Beat well.

• Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, and mix until well combined.

• Then mix together the bicarb and the vinegar and add this to the batter.

• Bake for 25 to 30 minutes

• Remove from the tin when baking is complete. Allow to cool, then ice.


Yields 425 g of icing (enough for one velvet cake)


230 g smooth cream cheese

115 g unsalted butter

90 g of icing sugar.


• In an electric mixer cream together­ the butter and the icing sugar.

• After about five minutes of creaming, add the cream cheese, one tablespoon­ at a time.

• Mix the frosting until everything is well combined. Ice on to the cooled cake.

• The red velvet cake recipe needed three tablespoons of cocoa added to the ingredient list.

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