19 February 09


Wholesome Pearl Barley and Beetroot Salad

Warm or cold;starter,main course or accompaniment, this recipe ticks all these boxes. It’s one of my favourite salads, it’s healthy and absolutely delicious. I make this dish in the summer to serve with a family BBQ or during the winter, slightly warm, with slow roasted shoulder of lamb.

My secret spice for this dish is sumac, which gives a slightly sour taste on the pallet and so complements the beetroot. The toasted sunflower seeds adds a gentle crunch to the salad andI like the different textures it offers. This dish is almost like a beautiful song, harmonious and well balanced.

I use a solution of vinegar, sugar, salt and oil to macerate the raw beetroot. This solution softens the hard fibrous beetroot. Macerating the beetroot means that no cooking is required, this keeps the fresh flavour of the beetroot.


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18 February 09


Velvet Chocolate and Beetroot Cupcakes with Chocolate Fudge Spread

The rich chocolate with a hint of beetroot is enough to suppress the guilt of indulgence. The fibrous beetroot enhances the richness of the chocolate and makes this recipe truly different but delicious. I love the earthiness of the beetroot which should remind you that chocolate is made by mother nature and not some man- made substance wrapped in purple foil. The oil enhances the moistness of the cupcakes, makes it slightly dense but bizarrely fluffy and light at the same time.

I love this recipe for many reasons  but another highlight is that it keeps well and does not go stale and tasteless after one day.

The chocolate fudge spread is a true winner in itself. For this recipe I have kept the spread smooth, but if you add roasted hazelnuts to the chocolate spread it will make this even more scrumptious. There is no  need to purchase chocolate


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18 February 09

Daniel Clifford of Midsummer House, Cambridge

The question that needs answering is-what can a top chef learn from a food scientist and vice versa?

Daniel Clifford of Midsummer House in Cambridge talks to Jane Parker from the School of Food Bioscience, University of Reading about flavours.

The flavours that Daniel puts to the test are  some that we would not naturally expect to see working together. To Jane’s surprise the choice of flavours works as she samples the dishes. Jane then asks is it science or is it mind over matter?

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17 February 09


Milk Tart

This recipe takes me back to my childhood. South Africans would know the name of this dish as Melk tert and not surprisingly the English translation is Milk Tart. There are some British versions of this dish (I’m not sure who borrowed the recipe from whom) and the classic Northern Custard Tart is the closest.

This recipe was given to me by Vernon, a young South African lad. I was particularly taken by the way that he wrote the recipe; he named it My Mother’s Melk Tert. He was so proud to share this recipe with me and I feel equally privileged to share it with you. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!


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