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Christmas countdown…cake!

Spicy Fruit Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

Spicy Fruit Cake by Yudhika Sujanani

I have never made a Christmas cake ahead of time and followed the ritual of pouring brandy over it every week….the cake just gets gobbled up by the gremlins in my family…and when they are tired of cake…they pull of the almonds on the cake!  Some things run in the family!  I used to do just that when I was a kid and it’s a little like karma coming back to bite!

 

Most families have a traditional fruit cake recipe that is served at Christmas.  I love the aromas of Christmas cake…the brandy with spices fill a home with festive cheer!

 

Tried and tested sometimes or should I say almost always works best…I do sometimes feel that I should try a new recipe which generally ends up in a disaster.  I can bake…I am mean I can REALLY bake…..a few years ago I tried a recipe from a really flash cookbook….and it was one of those really expensive one too….the cake looked like a rather large over-baked Ouma rusk!  I was devastated and got teased about it for months!

 

I find following a recipe pretty difficult and my mom was the queen of fruit cakes…this is her recipe with a few tweaks here and there…I love spicing up a fruit cake and have added cardamom to my recipe as well!

 

I sometimes also use a good glug of Jack Daniels to this recipe instead of the brandy!  You can serve this cake with brandy butter or custard.  I just have a large slice with a good cup of coffee! Oh and I make this cake a few times during the year…so calling it a Christmas cake doesn’t come easily!

 

A big congratulations to Lalisha Singh on winning the KitchenAid stand mixer competition!  She joins our Tania Joy Fredericks, Renuka Lallbahadur and Natasha Ramlugan as well as Kay Straightfill and Krivani Pillay in our winners hall of hame!!! Stay tuned for more competitions on the blog with great prizes from AMC cookware, KitchenAid and Spar!

 

Light Christmas Fruit Cake

 

Ingredients

375g soft butter

300ml brown sugar

6 eggs

500g Safari Cake Mix

250ml mixed nuts (I love pecans)

750ml cake flour

15ml baking powder

10ml cinnamon

10ml mixed spice

5ml cardamom

2ml nutmeg

2ml salt

125ml milk

75ml brandy or whisky

100g whole almonds, blanched

 

 

Here’s how

Pre-heat oven to 170°C.

Grease and line a 10 inch round cake tin with baking paper. Sift flour, salt and baking powder and add the spices. Place dried fruit and nuts in a mixing bowl. Toss together 30ml cake flour and the dried fruit and nuts. The dried fruit should be lightly dusted with flour to prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the cake.

Mix together the milk and brandy. Sift the dry ingredients.

Cream butter and gradually add brown sugar until light and fluffy. The sugar crystals should also dissolve slightly – I used the KitchenAid mixer for this!

Add eggs one at a time with a teaspoon of cake flour to prevent curdling.

Add half the flour to the butter and egg mixture followed by half the liquid. Repeat this process and lastly fold in the dried fruit and nuts.

Arrange the blanched almonds on top of the cake and press them into the batter gently.

Bake for 70 – 75 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. Turn out on a wire rack and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

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Back to Basics…

Yudhika..behind the scenes on Mela with AMC cookware

Yudhika..behind the scenes on Mela with AMC cookware

 

 

I simply love leftovers and even taking a few  lonely ingredients and turning them into a deliciously spicy meal.  South Africans are braai fanatics and like most homes there are always a few sausages, grilled steak and chops in the refrigerator.

 

Sausages and baked beans used to be a childhood favourite.  I am quite the ‘can fan’ and always have a well stocked pantry.  There are beans of all shapes and sizes in the cupboard….butter, baked, kidney, three beans and….my love for beans even earned me the name, ‘Bean Bomber’!

 

On Sundays episode of Mela, it was back to basics…taking a few store cupboard staples and turning them into an easy meal to deal with that nagging question, ‘What’s for Sunday Supper?’  If you missed the last episode of Mela on SABC 2, click here: https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-back-to-basics-with-pasta/

 

This is a one pot meal that will definitely become a Sunday night fave.  The sausages soak up the lovely tomato gravy, keeping them moist and spicing them up at the same time.  As I said on the show, allow two sausages for a greedy portion but even one would do nicely!

 

 

A big thanks to the AMC cookware team in Cape Town who keep the Holi Cow kitchen well equipped with the latest cookware!  Also a very big thanks to Mrs Pat Tarr and the Broadacres Superspar team for sponsoring the ingredients for my blog.

 

Before we move onto the recipe, just a quick update on the competitions.  The winner for the AMC competition will be drawn on Sunday, 3oth November after Mela!  Please stay tuned on twitter and Facebook for the announcement.  The KitchenAid stand mixer competition will be drawn on Sunday 13th December.

 

Yudhika's Sausage and Bean Pasta...back to basics on Mela

Sausage and Kidney Bean Pasta

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

 

600g cooked sausages

40ml sunflower oil

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

5ml cumin seeds

1 large onion, finely chopped

5ml coarse salt

4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic, crushed

10 -15ml Curry Me Home Nan’s Lazy Day Masala

1 x 400g tin tomatoes, chopped

1 x400g tin red kidney beans

500g penne pasta, cooked and cooled

75ml fresh cream

Fresh coriander or curry leaves, to garnish

Here’s how:

 

Heat the sunflower oil in a AMC paella pan.

Fry the bay leaf and the cinnamon stick for few seconds.

Once the bay leaves turn a shade darker, add the cumin seeds.

Fry until the seeds begin to splutter and then saute the onion with salt until pale golden in colour.

Add the crushed garlic and stir for a few seconds, then stir in the mixed masala.

Add the tomatoes and cook until the sauce thickens – the tomatoes should break down completely.

Add the drained red kidney beans and  pour in 250ml boiled water.

Break the sausages into the sauce and simmer for another 2 – 3 minutes.

Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and simmer until the pasta is heated through – add more water if the sauce is too dry.  Pour the fresh cream into the pasta sauce and stir.

Garnish with fresh coriander or curry leaves.

 

Traditional Lamb Curry….

Traditional lamb curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Traditional lamb curry by Yudhika Sujanani

Ten days to Diwali…the countdown has begun! It’s time to start planning the menu, and to start hauling out those tried and tested recipes. The next ten days are going to be manic in ‘Holiwood’ – the Diwali orders are piling up and so are the recipe requests….the AMC giveaway on the blog has created quite a stir…click here for more, https://yudhikayumyum.com/competition/amc-giveaway/. There are two of my supplements out this Wednesday, 15 October in the Post Newspaper so don’t forget to diarise the date and pick up your copy! I just love the buzz and hearing from all of you…thanks for the lovely emails and comments!

I am delighted to say that yesterday’s episode of Mela was the most popular so far. The recipe for Durban Naan bread is the most viewed recipe on the blog and it just goes to show that old is gold! For the longest time, I felt that my food loves were not sophisticated enough…I am a simple eater and old-fashioned food is my best….as someone on twitter said…move over Chip and Dip…it’s time for Raan and Naan….click her to watch the clip from Mela, https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-raan-and-naan/ and here for the recipe:https://yudhikayumyum.com/2014/10/12/melas-raan-and-naan/

A word of warning…..I am going to be blogging lots…just so you get some great ideas for your Diwali feast…so fasten your seat belt..this is going to be amazing ‘blog party’…stay tuned for the latest competition…details posted later today!

Lamb curry is one of my favourite curries….you can add potatoes to this if you like. A lamb dish always makes an appearance at our Diwali table…and so does fish, prawn and vegetarian…plus a decadent sweet offering! You can use shoulder, knuckles or leg for this recipe…I used the lamb shanks…I asked Mr Pat at Broadacres Spar butchery to slice each shank into three knuckles! This is one of my favourite cuts and it even works well in Lamb breyani. Leg of lamb is my least favourite cut for curries.

Traditional Lamb Curry

Serves 6 – 8

2kg lamb shanks

75ml sunflower oil

2 x 2.5 inch pieces of cinnamon

1 large bay leaf

2 cardamom pods

5ml cumin seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

10ml coarse salt

30ml crushed ginger

15ml crushed garlic

50ml red chilli powder

10ml ground coriander

7ml ground cumin

5ml garam masala

2,5ml tumeric

3 tomatoes, blanched and chopped

Fresh coriander to garnish

Here’s how I do it:

Cut across each shank into 3 pieces.

Heat the sunflower oil on medium in an 30 AMC pot.

Add the cinnamon sticks, bay leaf and cardamom pods.

Fry the whole spices for a few seconds until fragrant, then add the cumin seeds.

Add the onion, then stir in the salt and sauté until golden brown.

Add ginger and garlic paste and stir before add all ground spices.

Place the lamb in the spice paste and stir well to coat the piece.

Remove from heat if necessary while you do this.

Stir the meat ensuring that the spices and lamb do not stick and burn.

When the mixture does begin to stick, add boiled water and leave to simmer for about 60 – 90 minutes or until the meat is tender – I simmer the lamb on a very low heat to make sure it’s meltingly tender!

Add the chopped tomato and simmer until they soften and form a thick sauce.

Adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh coriander.