Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Martha Stewart Part 1

The next few blog posts are going to have some commonalities. This week, I am taking on two projects which I'll be writing about. Both are going to be domestic goddess-like in nature and both project ideas came about through conversations with my personal trainer Lauren.

I realize as I'm writing this that I never closed the loop with all of you regarding my personal training. I had three of my six free sessions with Jeffred and then my remaining three were with Lauren. I selected her randomly by looking at photos of all of the trainers on a wall at the gym. My logic was that it might be nice to try having a woman trainer. I figured if I can't have Wilson I might as well change it up entirely. After the three free sessions went well, I continue to work with Lauren once a week. I don't want to be one of those annoying people who think everything that she is doing at that moment is the best thing, but I will say having a female trainer has been good for me. Lauren focuses on my problem areas and when I work out with her I never feel like I am going to throw up. That doesn't mean it's not hard but it does mean that I don't have to do push ups, pulls ups or the dreaded ropes anymore. Instead she focuses on very targeted exercises for my abs, arms, thighs and butt. We also talk throughout the workout. Sometimes I think she might forget to count my reps because we get so involved in talking. 

The first project I am taking on this week is to cook two South African dishes. Bobotie and lekker malva pudding. Bobotie (pronounced boo boo tea) is a dish that incorporates Dutch and Cape Malay influences. It's made with spiced ground meat (called mince here) either beef or lamb can be used (I used beef), and it has an egg topping. OK, maybe it doesn't sound that appetizing but Lauren told me that although she is now a vegetarian, the one meat dish that she misses eating is bobotie.  If that isn't a ringing endorsement I don't know what is! The second dish is a dessert called lekker malva pudding. Malva pudding is a very popular desert here and I have eaten it in restaurants (I have not eaten bobotie.) When I told Lauren that I wanted to try to make some traditional South African dishes she told me about bobotie. Then, I mentioned that I liked malva pudding and against her better judgement (she is trying to make my ass smaller remember) she told me about her favorite lekker pudding recipe. Lekker means good in Afrikaans. She then went to all of the trouble of calling up her relatives and getting both of these recipes for me. 

A few thoughts about the recipes. First it's interesting how many similar ingredients these recipes use. It must be that these are the type of ingredients that were easy for people to come by back when these dishes were created. It might also mean that you are not supposed to make them both on the same day. Second, it's strange to cook something that you've never eaten before and something that you've never even seen before. Now I know how Julie Powell must have felt! Finally, I think the lekker pudding would be a delicious Thanksgiving dessert in addition to the pumpkin pie for my American readers to try. 

1kg minced beef or lamb - equals 2.2 pounds
1 thick slice white bread, cut off crusts - I bought a loaf of unsliced bread and cut a piece about the width of two regular slices
250ml milk (slightly more than a cup divided in half)
2 onions, chopped
30ml butter (6tsp)
30ml rajah curry powder (6tsp) - rajah is a brand of curry powder. Any kind will do!
10ml salt (2tsp)
Pinch of pepper
Juice of 1 lemon or 30ml vinegar - I used a lemon
5ml brown sugar or 15ml apricot jam - I used 3tsp apricot jam but you could use 1tsp brown sugar
2 eggs
Bay leaves - I even bought a new bottle of bay leaves. I think the one I had was from the 90s.

Serve with
Chutney - I bought a bottle of chutney. I meant to make rice but I forgot. I think bobotie would also be good with potatoes
Slice banana (optional)
Chopped tomato and onion with vinegar

Preheat oven to 160'c equals 320'f
Soak bread in 125ml milk (about 1/2 cup) until very soft, mash with fork.  
Sauté onion in heated butter. Add curry powder and seasoning and cook for 2 min.
Add lemon juice or vinegar, soaked bread, brown sugar or apricot jam, and meat. Cook until meat changes color. I cooked it through so I could taste it and see if I liked the seasoning.
Stir with a fork to remove the lumps. Pour meat mixture in greased pie dish.
Beat eggs and remaining milk together and pour over meat.
Arrange bay leaves on top and bake for 30 minutes. 

bread soaked in milk and then mashed
Cooked meat mixture with onion and seasoning
bobotie fresh out of the oven
Mrs. H.S. Ball's Chutney. Mrs. Balls, hahaha
On the plate with a crisp garden salad
Lekker Malva Pudding
1 cup apricot jam (smooth) - this comes in a can and is the consistency of grape jelly
1 cup milk - I used whole milk
1 cup flour (self raising)
2 eggs
20ml butter, (5tsp) melted
15ml vinegar (3tsp)
5ml bicarbonate of soda - this is baking soda

2 eggs
2 cups cream
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 180'c equals 356'f  - I think 350 would be fine
Mix apricot jam, milk, flour, eggs and butter
Mix vinegar and bicarb
Mix all together
Bake in oven mixture is brown and firm, about 45 minutes - in my oven it only took about 30 minutes
Remove from oven to cool (if time allows). Is better if you can.

Beat sauce ingredients together and pour over pudding mixture. Place back in oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, until sauce is brown on top - in my oven this took about 20 minutes
apricot jam
The fun chemical reaction of vinegar and bicarbonate 
The cake part. I got it out of the oven just in time.
With the sauce on top before baking
The finished product. Yum! Yes, these two dishes kind of look alike with their egg topping. But they taste completely different. 


  1. Update. The pudding is much tastier cold the next day. I like the consistency of the custard topping better cold. I actually need to leave the house to stop myself from eating it.

    1. Okay, I will give you the benefit and try your malva pudding, as I LOVE that dish. But I DO think that my recipe is the best. How can it not be, since it uses Amarula as topping. OMG it is so good. Oh, and the other day I was at someone's house who had an interesting variation of it: Putting the batter in individual muffin cups to have individual puddings - lekker with the crusty outside, you just have to bake a bit shorter. Anyway, here is my recipe:


      Malva pudding:
      • 1 egg
      • 250 ml sugar (220 g)
      • 1 tbs smooth apricot jam
      • 2 tbs softened butter
      • 250 ml flour (160 g)
      • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
      • pinch of salt
      • 250 ml milk
      • 1 tsp vinegar

      Amarula sauce:
      • 125 ml melted butter (1 stick)
      • 200 ml cream
      • 125 ml caster sugar (1/2 cup)
      • 80 ml Amarula

      Beat egg and sugar until creamy, then add jam and butter, stirring to combine thoroughly.

      Sift together the dry ingredients and pour them into the egg-and-sugar mixture. Stir to combine.

      Pour in the milk slowly. When the mixture is combined, add the vinegar.

      Pour into a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 180°C (350 F) for about 45 minutes.

      Remove foil and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

      To make the sauce, combine the butter, cream and caster sugar in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce thickens – this will take a few minutes.

      Take the sauce off the heat and add the Amarula.

      Pour the sauce slowly over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven. Once the pudding is saturated with sauce, pour the remainder into a jar for guests to add. Serve immediately, with custard on the side.

      With Thanks : http://blog.getaway.co.za/food/amarula-malva-pudding-recipe/

    2. That sounds incredible. I will have to try it! Thank you for the recipe.

  2. These are two dishes I have been meaning to try for ages! Thanks for prompting me to give them ago, I will also share in my newsletter (Translating Me) so we can combine to get the perfect recipe!

  3. Excellent Hannah! I look forward to reading your thoughts on these dishes. Enjoy!


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Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.