Recipes, Techniques

South African Tipsy Tart (or Cape Brandy Pudding)

Tipsy Tart is a South African dessert from the Western Cape area that is usually eaten around Christmas. It also goes by the name of “Cape brandy pudding” or “dadelpoeding”, which means ‘date pudding’ in Afrikaans. Usually soaked in a thick brandy syrup, this cake is served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and can make a delicious substitute for the traditional English Christmas cake, the Anglo-Saxons are so fond of…

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Recipes, Techniques

Gingerbread Cake with Fudge Icing

When one thinks of Christmas, one inevitably thinks ‘gingerbread’. Whether it be crisp and crunchy gingerbread cookies stuffed in a stocking, soft and sticky gingerbread cake one eats on Christmas day or gingerbread flavoured hot chocolate you sip in front of a crackling log fire while you listen to Christmas carols, gingerbread has always been a holiday favourite, announcing the beginning of the festive season

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Announcements, Recipes, Techniques

Halloween Pumpkin Cake

Hallowe’ en has arrived and everybody is frantically buying their last-minute pumpkins to carve as jack o’ lanterns and decorate their houses and gardens… Jack o’ lanterns are named after carved pumpkins, squashes, turnips and other root vegetables of the sort and are associated with the strange lights flickering over peat bogs. They are a yearly Hallowe’en tradition in America that originally came from the Irish legends of Stingy Jack and are used in many different kinds of folklore stories. The headless Horseman, for instance ( from ” The legend of sleepy Hollow” written by Washington Irving), is often depicted with a pumpkin or jack o’ lantern in lieu of a severed head…

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Techniques

Magical Tree Stump Cake

In mythology, religion and folklore stories, trees are often considered sacred and possess an almost magical-like nature. In many parts of the world, travelers consider certain types of trees to be wishing trees, others revere and respect them like Gods and associate them with oracles. Some are even convinced that trees and their surroundings (woods, forests and the animals that inhabit them) are haunted by spirits and that sacrifices should be made to maintain the equilibrium and peace. Over the centuries, writers have many a time used trees, woods, and forests in children’s literature and fairy tales. Such stories often feature entities such as elves, goblins, dwarfs, talking animals and use magic and enchantments. Enid Blyton, for instance, wrote the first of many children’s novels called “The Enchanted Wood” at the beginning of the XXth century. The other famous author who set his novels at the edge of a magical forest with mythical beasts and talking animals was C. S. Lewis with his famous “Chronicles of Narnia”… Continue reading “Magical Tree Stump Cake”

Recipes, Techniques

Magical Toadstools

A toadstool is a poisonous fungus with a round top and narrow stem. Other words such as mould, wet rot and toxic also come to mind when referring to this inedible mushroom. The “toadstool” was named around the XIVth century in German folk tales and fairy stories after “toads” which were extremely colourful (much like the toadstool) yet considered highly poisonous themselves, often seen sitting on toadstools waiting to catch a fly with their long tongues. Yet, toadstools often play an important and magical role in children’s stories: They are represented in fairy tales, where many a cheeky gnome has fallen asleep under the large red cap of a mushroom, seeking shelter from the rain or on beautifully illustrated Christmas cards for end of year seasonal greetings…

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