Teatime Background

 

The highlight of any day. I am too busy! I hear somebody say. NOBODY on earth is too busy to sit down and have tea or coffee or champagne. This is the ritual that saves lives, cures insanity, relieves stress, prevents war, breeds elegance, brings forgiveness, teaches patience and makes the mouth water. The moment the cake stand arrives, the world stops turning. Inside the heart is a tiny Christmas, inside the mind is world peace. Sweet or savoury, tiny or ridiculous, plain or perverse, sandwich or scone, bread or bun, cake or tart, chocolate or citrus, vanilla or caramel, this unecessary, unhealthy, untimely bite is EVERYTHING.

GIN SYRUP CROSTINI

BROWN BREAD CROSTINI WITH APPLES, BRIE + GIN SYRUP

I have served these crostini at breakfast, teatime, cocktail hour and midnight. Whenever they appear, that is the best time of your day

(24 crostini)

 

8 slices brown bread

5 tbsp grapeseed oil

2 green apples

2 tbsp dark brown sugar

6 tbsp gin

3 tbsp water

1 cinnamon stick

2 cloves

2 star anise

2 cardamom seeds

100g Brie

freshly ground black pepper

50 pistachio nuts, chopped

 

Use a champagne flute or glass with 5 cm mouth to cut 24 circles of bread

(Dry rest of bread and process into crumbs, store in airtight container)

Brush circles on both sides with pecan oil

Fry 12 at a time in hot pan until golden brown on both sides

(Can be kept in airtight container for 1 to 2 days)

Cut apples into slices and cut slices into small cubes

Heat sugar, gin, water, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and cardamom in large pan

Add apple cubes and let simmer until syrup starts thickening, you will need 24 drops of syrup, do not let syrup thicken too much

Spoon drop of syrup in center of each crostini

Place apple cube on top

Cut Brie into small triangles and place next to apple

Scorch brie with kitchen torch for a few seconds

Season with pepper and sprinkle with pistachio

CHRISTMAS COOKIES

ALL YEAR CHRISTMAS COOKIES

I know everybody says the same thing and everybody had the best grandmother and the best cookie recipe and you can still taste Christmas in every bite. Fine, but it is true of this recipe too!

(24 cookies)

160g soft butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

2 cups self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

2 tbsp brandy

1 cup dried cranberries (chopped if preferred)

50g candied citrus zest

8 red glacé cherries, quartered

8 yellow glacé cherries, quartered

8 green glacé cherries, quartered

Cream sugar and butter together

(I regularly replace the butter with grapeseed oil, start with 1/2 cup, add more if needed to get the right consistency)

Beat in vanilla and egg

Add flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves, mix until smooth

Add brandy, cranberries, zest and cherries, mix until combined

Use 2 teaspoons and place 4cm heaps of dough on a lined baking tray,

6 to 8 at a time

Bake in oven at 170˚C (fan) for about 9 minutes

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes

Transfer to wire rack to cool completely

Repeat process

These cookies are very soft when they come out of the oven!

And they stay chewy after cooling!

CINNAMON COOKIES

CINNAMON COOKIES

We used to call these Tough Time Cookies or Thank You Cookies, my grandmother made then whenever there was an emergency, a bake sale or simply very few ingredients in the house. These have been life-long favourites, people are always shocked when they learn how simple this recipe is. I cannot tell you how many cookies you get from one batch, we eat them straight from the oven, lukewarm and cooled, there has never been an opportunity to count them.

300g self raising flour

150g castor sugar

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

225 soft butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup raisins, chopped

 

Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt together

Use fingers to mix in butter

Mix in vanilla, mix in raisins

Shape dough into ball, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours

Roll into balls of 4 cm each

Arrange 8 on lined baking tray

Bake in oven at 170˚C (fan) for 8 to 10 minutes

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes

Transfer to wire rack to cool completely

Repeat process

 

 

By the way:  All cookies made in my kitchen start with the creaming of butter and sugar or the whisking together of oil and sugar, there is no reason these get made the other way round,

they simply do.

PROPERTY COOKIES

PROPERTY COOKIES

The best-smelling cookies I know, anyone who needs to be attracted (for any reason!) will come running. I have no idea how an estate agent runs a business without these.

(28 cookies)

 

200g soft butter

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

1 cup chopped almonds

1 1/2 cup self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 cup desiccated coconut

100g dark chocolate, chopped

100g milk chocolate, chopped

 

Cream butter, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract

Stir in chopped almonds

Add flour, baking powder and salt, mix until smooth

Mix in coconut and chocolate

Roll into balls of 3 cm

Arrange 8 balls at a time on a lined baking tray

Bake in oven at 170˚C for 8 to 9 minutes

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes

Transfer to wire rack and let cool

MACADAMIA COOKIES

MACADAMIA APRICOT COOKIES

Macadamia nuts, the most neglected of all the nuts, add a subtle saltiness to the apricot and white chocolate, a classic combination from my grandmother’s legendary cookie tin!

(26 cookies)

 

125g soft butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 cup self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 tbsp bourbon

150g dried apricots, chopped

100g macadamia nuts, chopped

100g white chocolate, chopped

 

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together in mixing bowl

Whisk in egg

Stir in flour, baking powder and salt

Mix in bourbon

Add apricots, nuts and white chocolate,

Use teaspoon and spoon small heaps of dough onto lined baking tray,

6 to 8 at a time

Bake in oven at 170˚C (fan) until golden, about 9 minutes

Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes

Gently transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely

SUGAR COOKIES

These days sugar is the nr 1 enemy when it comes to healthy living and proper dieting. To use the word “sugar” in the name a cookie will scare many. But these delights are no more sinful than any other cookies, and dusting them with a little bit of casting sugar simply makes them look as if they are from a fairy tale. Rest your galloping heart.

(20 cookies)

 

120g soft butter

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp whiskey

1 1/2 cup self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

75g all bran flakes

100g dried cranberries, chopped

a few tsp icing sugar

 

Cream butter, honey and sugar together

Beat in egg, vanilla and whiskey

Stir in all bran flakes

Add cranberries and mix

Line baking tray with baking paper

Place teaspoons of dough on tray, 6 to 8 cookies at a time

Baking in oven at 170˚C (fan) until golden brown, about 8 minutes

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes

Transfer to wire rack to cool completely

Dust center of each cookie with icing sugar

ORANGE ZEST COOKIES

Do not underestimate these little secrets, they look old-fashioned, but the taste is oh, so modern. They are simply bursting with everything orange.

125g soft butter

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup orange marmalade

finely grated zest of 1 orange

2 tbsp orange juice

1 tbsp orange liqueur

1/2 cup candied orange zest (cut into cubes)

2 cups self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

 

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together in large mixing bowl

Stir in marmalade, fresh zest, juice and candied zest

Add flour, baking powder and salt, mix until smooth

Mix in walnuts

Use hands and shape dough into ball, cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes

Roll into 3 cm balls

Arrange 8 balls at a time on a lined baking tray, flatten slightly with fork

Bake in oven at 170˚C (fan) until golden brown, 8 to 9 minutes

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes

Transfer to wire rack to cool completely

CHOCOLATE PECAN CRATER COOKIES

CHOCOLATE PECAN CRATER COOKIES

A really mature, not to sweet, deliciously dark, fantastic looking, sensual treat. Make them while on your own, eat two cookies while they are still lukewarm, place twenty in a glass jar, tie a bow around the neck (the jar’s), eat the final two and then deliver the gift to someone you really, really like.

(24 cookies)

 

140g soft butter

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup whiskey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp cocoa powder

80 milk chocolate, chopped

100g pecan nuts, roughly choppped

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup icing sugar

 

Cream butter and brown sugars in mixing bowl

Stir in whiskey and vanilla

Add flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, mix until combined

Mix in chocolate and nuts, use hands if necessary

(On a hot day, cover dough and refrigerate for 15 minutes)

Pour white sugar and icing sugar into two shallow bowls

Use a teaspoon to break off pieces of dough

Roll into 3cm balls

Roll each ball in sugar and then in icing sugar

Arrange 8 cookies at a time on a lined baking tray

Bake in oven at 170˚C (fan) until cracks appear, about 9 minutes

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes

Transfer to wire rack to cool completely

CHOCOLATE GINGER MUESLI COOKIES

CHOCOLATE GINGER MUESLI FOOD STALL COOKIES

I firmly believe that it is impossible to put on weight while travelling, so whenever we travel between shows, there is not an airport vendor machine, next-to-the-road food stall or deli counter in an entertainment centre that I can resist. Every opportunity I get, I continue my search for the ultimate delicious-looking, unevenly shaped, energy-giving, fantasy-promising cookie. If I had a food stall, this would be the cookie I sell.

(32 cookies)

 

300g very soft butter

200g light brown sugar

2 tbsp vanilla extract

400g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 cup muesli

130g dark chocolate

1/2 cup preserved ginger, drained and cut into pieces

 

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together in mixing bowl

Add flour, baking powder and pinch of salt, mix with fork

Stir in muesli

Cut chocolate roughly into pieces with serrated knife

Add chocolate and ginger to dough and mix until combined

Use hands and shape dough into ball

Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes

Cut into quarters, divide each quarter into 8

Roll into balls

Arrange 8 balls at a time on a lined baking tray

Slightly flatten each cookie with a fork

Bake in oven at 170˚C (fan) until golden brown, 9 to 10 minutes

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes

Carefully place on wire rack to cool

 

CHOC CHIP COOKIE COOKIES

CHOC CHIP COOKIE COOKIES

Many years ago every theatre I loved and worked in, had a coffee shop or foyer counter where gigantic choc chip cookies in white paper bags were sold. To bring back even more memories, I added Romany Creams to this recipe, one of the definitive smells of my childhood!

(12 large cookies)

 

150g soft butter

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp balsamic reduction

6 Romany Cream cookies, crushed

2 cup self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

100g dark chocolate, chopped

100g milk chocolate, chopped

100g white hocolate, chopped

 

Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and balsamic vinegar together in mixing bowl

Add crushed Romany Creams

Stir in flour, baking powder and salt,

Add chocolate and mixing into cookie dough

Use hands to shape into a ball, cut ball into quarters

Divide each quarter into 3, shape into balls

Flatten balls and place 3 cookies on a lined baking tray

Bake in oven at 170˚C (fan) for 9 tot 10 minutes

Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes

Transfer to wire rack to cool completely

GASCOGNE COOKIES

GASCOGNE CITRUS COOKIES

This is an adaptation of a French recipe. The French use a much finer corn meal, but made with our traditional courser maize meal, these cookies have a great texture. After a much too hard first effort, I reduced the original amount of corn meal and added some coconut. For those without a really sweet tooth, these cookies are also delicious with a little less sugar.

(about 24 cookies)

 

2 eggs

300g sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g soft butter

100g maize meal

50g desiccated coconut

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp lime juice

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

finely grated zest of 1 lime

200g selfraising flour

 

Cream eggs, sugar and vanilla together

Add butter and mix until smooth

Mix in maize meal and coconut

Stir in juice and zest 

Add flour and mix

Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes

(On a really cool day this is not necessary)

Line baking sheet with baking paper

Roll dough into balls of 3,5 cm

Arrange 6 at a time on baking tray

Bake in oven at 180˚C (fan) until edges start to brown, about 9 minutes

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes

Transfer to cooling rack

HAZELNUT FIG COOKIES

HAZELNUT FIG COOKIES

These cookies are really soft when they come out of the oven. And they stay chewy when cooled. These are the most requested cookies from my arsenal!

(about 24 cookies)

 

 

160g soft butter

1 cup soft brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp orange marmalade

1 1/2 cup selfraising flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup raw oats

100g hazelnuts, chopped and lightly toasted

9 soft dried figs, chopped

Cream butter and sugar together

Whisk in vanilla and egg

Add flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon, mix until combined

Mix in oats

Mix in hazelnuts and chopped figs

Line oven tray with baking paper

Use 2 teaspoons and place 4 cm rounds of dough on oven tray, 4 cm apart

Bake in oven at 165°C  (fan) until golden, 10 to 12 minutes

Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes

Carefully transfer to wire rack and let cool completely

Brown-bread-scones-with-baked-figs

BROWN BREAD SCONES WITH
BAKED FIGS + CAMEMBERT

 

SCONES:

 

200g brown bread flour

150g selfraising flour

pinch of salt

2 tsp baking powder

85g soft butter, cut into small cubes

1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar

1 egg

175ml milk

extra flour

 

Combine flours, salt and baking powder in mixing bowl

Add butter and rub with fingers until crumbs form

Mix in sugar

Whisk egg and milk together in a small jug

Make a well in the flour, add the milk

(leave a little in the jug, about 1 1/2 tbsp, for glazing)

Mix together with a fork

Dust working surface and hands with flour

Remove dough from mixing bowl and put on surface

Fold the dough over a few times and form a ball

Dust rolling pin with flour and roll out dough until 1,5 cm thick

Take a cutter or a glass, 4,5 cm wide, and dip it into flour

Cut out scones, about 12

Brush tops with egg and milk mixture

Line baking tray with baking paper

Arrange scones on tray and bake in oven at 170˚C (fan) until golden brown,

about 10 minutes

Remove from oven and place prepared figs in the oven

(Scones not eaten on the day will feeze very well)

 

BAKED FIGS:

 

(Serve one fig per scone)

For 6 servings:

125g Camembert, for smaller figs you will use less

crushed peppercorns

honey

 

Cut Camembert into small wedges

Cut a cross into the top of each fig

Push a Camembert wegde, thin side down, into each fig

Arrange on baking tray or in oven dish

Bake in oven until cheese starts to melt, 2 or 3 minutes

Season lightly with pepper and drizzle with honey

Serve immediately

Lime-cookies-with-Mascarpone

LIME COOKIES WITH MASCARPONE

18 COOKIES:

 

2 tbsp lime juice

1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup soft butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp finely grated lime zest

1 3/4 cup selfraising flour

Mix lime juice and milk together, let stand for 5 minutes

Cream butter and sugar together in mixing bowl

Whisk in eggs and vanilla

Whisk in milk mixture and zest

Fold in flour

Line baking sheet with baking paper

Spoon batter for 18 cookies onto baking paper

(or half the amount depending on size of tray)

Bake on oven at 170˚C (fan) for 8 minutes

Let cool for 5 minutes before placing cookies on cooling rack

 

MASCARPONE TOPPING:


250g fresh mascarpone

1 heaped tbsp lemon curd

54 blueberries

2 tbsp grated lime zest

Mix together mascarpone and curd

Spoon on top of each cookie

Sprinkle with zest

Arrange blueberries on top

PEAR-AND-COGNAC-CAKE

PEAR AND COGNAC CAKE

The light batter makes for a delicious and moist cake and if the pears are very ripe,
they might sink to the bottom, that is not something to worry about in this lifetime!


5 ripe pears

2 tbsp flour

1 cup light brown sugar

120g very soft butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs

120ml fresh cream

1 1/4 cup selfraising flour

1/4 cup cornflour

1 heaped tsp baking powder

80g walnuts, finely chopped

4 tbsp cognac

Peel pears and cut into small cubes

Toss cubes in 2 tbsp flour

In a mixing bowl, mix sugar, butter and vanilla

Add eggs and fresh cream, beat well

Mix selfraising flour, cornflour and baking powder together

Add to egg mixture and mix until smooth

Mix in walnuts and pears

Line bottom of 22cm non-stick springform pan

Pour batter into pan

Bake in oven at 170˚C (fan) for 40 to 45 minutes

(Cover loosely with foil if cake browns too quickly)

Drizzle hot cake with cognac

Let cool in pan

Apple-and-oats-teatime-cakes

APPLE + OATS TEATIME CAKES

These are somewhere between cupcakes and muffins; it only takes a few minutes before they are in the oven.

 

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup grapeseed oil

2 eggs

1 tsp vanila extract

1/2 cup plain yoghurt

2 cups selfraising flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup oats

pinch of salt

1/2 cup milk

1 green apple

juice of 1/4 lemon

 

 

Whisk together sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla

Whisk in yoghurt

Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, oats and salt

Mix until smooth

Mix in milk

Finely chop apple and sprinkle with lemon

Fold into batter

Grease and flour medium 12 tot 14 muffin pans

Spoon batter into muffin pans until just over half-full

(there will be batter left for 2 more cakes which I usually bake in paper cups)

Bake in oven at 170˚C (fan) until golden brown, about 14 minutes

Cheddar-Muffins Recepe

CHEDDAR ZUCCHINI MUFFINS

Easy and delicious, great for at breakfast or brunch, serve warm or at room temperature. These also freeze very well.

 

230ml plain yoghurt
1 egg
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 tbsp milk
2 cups selfraising flour
1 cup brownbread or wholewheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg
130g zucchini, grated
100g cheddar, grated
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Beat yoghurt, egg, oil and milk together
Add flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and nutmeg, mix well
Mix in zucchini and cheese, this will take some effort, this is a very sticky dough
Fill 12 tot 14 well-greased muffin pans about 3/4
Bak in oven at 170˚C (fan) until golden, about 30 minutes
Let cool in pans for 15 minutes before removing

Balsamic-Pecan-Cookies

BALSAMIC PECAN NUT COOKIES

Makes 14 large cookies. Do not serve when there are more than six people in the room, although each cookie is of a generous size (and taste), there will be seconds!

150g very soft butter

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 cup selfraising flour

pinch of salt

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

100g pecan nuts, chopped

1/2 cup sultanas

 

Cream butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl

Add vanilla and vinegar, mix well

Ad flour, salt, ginger and cinnamon, mix until smooth 

Mix in nuts and sultanas

Line bottom of oven tray

Spoon 6 heaped teaspoons of micture onto tray

Bake in oven at 170˚C (fan) until golden brown, 9 to 10 minutes

Remove from oven

Let stand for 5 minutes to cool

Carefully transfer onto wire rack to cool completely

April-Cookies

APRIL COOKIES

We used to make these for Easter, now I make them all year round. 

Don’t be fooled by the simple ingredients, these little wonders are addictive!

225g soft butter 

150g caster sugar 

1 tsp vanilla extract

300g selfraising flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1tsp ginger

pinch of salt

1 cup chopped raisins

1/2 cup chopped glacée cherries

 

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together

Add flour, cinnamon, ginger and salt, mix until smooth

Mix in raisins and cherries

Shape dough into a ball, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours

Roll into 32 balls

Line 2 or more baking sheets with baking paper

Arrange balls on baking sheets

Bake in oven at 175˚C (fan) for 12 minutes