The difference between bitterballen and kroketten is the shape and only the shape. These Dutch delicacies are delicious as a snack, light lunch or eaten whenever the craving takes hold of you. Homemade bitterballen/kroketten are a mission to make BUT it is worth every ounce of energy that goes into the making!
1kg beef shin (beef shank), bone in 3 onions, sliced into quarters 45ml beef stock powder salt and pepper 10ml parsley, chopped 250g butter 90ml flour 500ml panko/dried breadcrumbs 2 eggs vegetable oil for frying
Place the beef shin (with the bone) and onions in a large saucepan and fill it with enough water to cover the meat. Add 10ml salt and bring to a low simmer. Cook the meat for about 4 hours – it should literally fall from the bone. The shin benefits from being cooked low and slow in order to break down all the fibres and turn it into unctuous, gelatinous meat which in turn thickens the sauce in which it is cooked. Take the meat from the saucepan and set aside. Pour the broth through a fine sieve, season to taste with salt and pepper and then add the stock powder so that you have a salty broth. Add the chopped parsley and set aside. Pull the beef into very fine shreds and cut into small pieces necessary. Now add the butter to a clean saucepan set over high heat. Add the flour a little at a time while stirring constantly. Cook the mixture for 1 minute. Pour the beef stock into the saucepan in a very thin stream, while whisking, JUST until you have a very thick sauce. Take the sauce from the heat, stir in the meat and mix through. Pour the mixture into a large roasting tin and allow it to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and break the eggs in another. Whisk the egg together. Shape about 80ml of the beef mixture into cylinder/round shapes, dredge each one in the breadcrumbs, egg and breadcrumbs again. Fry the kroketten in 180℃ oil, until golden. Serve with a good mustard.
This is one of the easiest ways of roasting a chicken and will leave you with juicy, fall-off-the-bone meat and a delicious gravy.
1 whole chicken 10ml salt 30ml vegetable oil 30ml butter 60ml sage leaves, roughly chopped the juice of two lemons one garlic bulb, halved horizontally 500ml buttermilk 100ml milk
Preheat your oven to 190℃. Wash and dry the chicken and rub the salt over the entire bird. Add the oil and butter to a saucepan over high heat and brown the chicken, turning it as you go along. Turn off the heat and add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan. Put a lid on/cover with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and cook uncovered for a further 50 minutes. Place the chicken on a serving dish. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh/sieve and serve it on the side with the chicken.
220g best quality dark chocolate (I use De Villiers Chocolate), chopped 125g butter, cubed 5 eggs, separated 190ml sugar 10ml vanilla 2,5ml salt 30ml cocoa powder
Preheat your oven to 170℃ and spray a 22cm loose bottom cake pan with cooking spray. Dust the pan with cocoa powder ensuring the bottom and sides of the pan has an even coating of cocoa powder. Set aside. Add the chocolate and butter to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir every now and then until the chocolate has melted completely and the mixture has amalgamated. Take the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool. Add the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the whites on medium until it reaches soft peak stage. Increase the mixers speed and add the sugar a spoonful at a time. Beat until medium stiff peaks and set aside. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, to the chocolate mixture and beat well with a spatula after each addition. Add the vanilla, salt and cocoa powder and mix together. Now fold in the egg whites by adding a third of the mixture at a time. Mix/fold until no white streaks are visible. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it around evenly. Bake for 50 minutes. The edges of the cake will pull away from the sides of the pan once it is done. Cool the cake in the pan before unmoulding it. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
(Patates Fournou Lemonates) Unlike traditional roasted potatoes these lemon potatoes are soft, moist, tender and melting. The zing from the lemon cuts through the richness of lamb or meat dishes and is truly more-dish! This to me, is the essence of everything I love about Greece – do your tastebuds a favour…
12 potatoes, peeled 90ml olive oil finely grated zest of 2 lemons juice of 2 lemons 10ml salt a handful of thyme leaves
Preheat your oven to 180℃. Quarter each potato lengthwise and spread them in a large roasting tin. Drizzle with the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and sprinkle over the salt and thyme leaves. Mix together with your hands so that the potato is covered with the mixture. Roast for 1 hour, turning once or twice during cooking. Add another sprinkle of salt and serve.
For the pasta: Cook the pasta, drain and return to the saucepan in which it was cooked. Crumble the feta over the pasta and mix together. Add the egg whites and mix through. Set aside.
For the meat sauce: Place a heavy bottom saucepan on medium-high heat and add the olive oil and onion. Fry for 2-3 minutes and then add the garlic, tomato paste and minced beef. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring and breaking up the beef while browning it. Add the red wine, tomatoes, sugar, bay leaf, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is thick. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon quill and take the mixture from the heat. Allow to cool slightly.
For the Béchamel Sauce: Place a saucepan on medium heat and add the butter to melt. Add the flour and stir the paste around for 2 minutes while cooking. Add the milk and whisk until the sauce has no lumps and has thickened. Remove from the heat and add the nutmeg, salt and half the cheese. Whisk until smooth. Cool the sauce for 5 minutes and then whisk in the egg yolks.
Preheat your oven to 180℃ and spray an oven dish of 23cm X 26cm with cooking spray. Spoon the pasta into the dish and spread it into an even layer. Spoon the meat sauce on top and then top it with the béchamel sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top in an even layer. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. The Pastitsio can be served at room temperature.
These pork chops are so easy to make and really delivers on taste! Serve them on noodles, rice or mashed potato.
83ml sugar 83ml apple cider vinegar 45ml pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple) 45ml tomato sauce (ketchup) 5ml Worcestershire sauce 15ml soy sauce 20ml cornstarch 125ml water
1 onion, sliced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 15ml fresh ginger, grated half each of a red, green and yellow bell/sweet pepper, sliced 1 tin of pineapple pieces
6 pork chops
Preheat your oven to 180℃. Add the sugar, vinegar, pineapple juice, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy and cornstarch to a mixing bowl and stir to mix together. Add the water, stir through and set aside.
Put a cast-iron pan (skillet) on medium heat and add a dash of vegetable oil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and sweet pepper and fry for 4 -5 minutes. Add the pineapple pieces and pour the sauce into the pan with the onion mixture. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for 5 minutes.
Warm another pan on medium-high heat and brown the chops, about 2-3 minutes per side. Immediately place the fried pork chops in the sauce. Keep going until you have browned all the chops. Cover the pan with the chops and the sauce and place in the oven for 25 minutes. Scatter some sesame seeds and coriander leaves over before serving on rice, noodles or mashed potato.
This is the perfect make-ahead dessert when entertaining as it needs to rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours before baking. With its crunchy outside top and soft, squidgy inside it is best served in small portions as it is very rich. Leftovers are equally good when cold!
10 slices white bread, 0,5cm thick 160g dark chocolate, chopped 75g butter 450ml cream 60ml dark rum 110g caster sugar a pinch of cinnamon 3 eggs extra pouring cream for serving
Grease a 18cm X 28cm ovenproof ceramic dish. Remove the crusts from the bread slices and then cut each slice into 4 triangles. Set aside. Add the chocolate, butter, cream, rum, sugar and cinnamon to a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir the mixture every now-and-then until the butter and chocolate has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the bowl from the heat and give it a good stir to amalgamate the ingredients. Put aside. Add the eggs to a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Pour the chocolate mixture over the eggs in a thin stream while whisking continuously. Remember: pour slowly, whisk quickly. Spoon a 1cm layer of chocolate mixture into the base of the baking dish and arrange half the bread triangles in overlapping rows on this chocolate layer.
Pour half of the remaining chocolate mixture as evenly as you can, over the bread. Arrange the rest of the triangles on top of this layer, finishing off with a layer of chocolate.
Gently press down the bread with a spoon so that it gets covered evenly with the liquid as it cools. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and allow to cool completely. Place the dish in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Cooking the pudding: Preheat your oven to 180℃. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the pudding for 35 minutes. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving with pouring cream, custard or ice cream.
For the buns: Line a large baking sheet with baking paper and put aside. Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Warm the milk until tepid and pour it into a mixing bowl. Add the butter, instant yeast and sugar to the milk and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the mixer on to a low speed and add the liquids. Mix/knead for about 3 minutes. The dough will be very sticky! Turn the mixer to medium speed and knead for another 6 minutes. You are aiming for a soft, smooth, elastic dough. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces – weigh them on a scale, they should be around 60g each. Roll each portion into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten the dough ball slightly with your hand. Now make an indent with a small cup/glass, pushing down onto the dough. Spray some plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover the buns lightly. Set aside in a warm place for 90 minutes.
For the crème pâtissière: Add the corn flour to a small bowl and pour a small amount of milk in to the bowl while stirring. You want to make a slurry, which is basically a runny, pourable paste. Put aside. Add the egg yolks and 50g caster sugar to a mixing bowl. Stir the corn flour slurry into the egg mixture. Set aside. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and add the other 50g caster sugar. Place the saucepan on medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Take the saucepan from the heat as soon as tiny bubbles start to appear around the edges of the pan. Drizzle the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking vigorously. Pour slowly, whisk quickly! Now pour the mixture from the mixing bowl, back into the saucepan and place it on a medium-low heat. Stir continuously until the mixture has thickened. Allow to cook for 30 seconds before removing it from the heat. Add the vanilla and stir to mix. Pour the crème pâtissière into a shallow bowl and place some plastic wrap directly on the surface. This will prevent a skin from forming while the custard cools down. Place in the refrigerator and allow to cool completely.
Preheat your oven to 180℃. Take the same cup/glass that you used to make the indents in the buns, and press down onto the exact same area again. Brush the buns with egg wash. Whisk the cold créme pâtissière to soften it. Spoon about 20ml or more if you can, of crème pâtissière into each round indent you have made. Bake the custard buns for 20 minutes. The custard filling will rise up as it bakes but do not panic, it will fall back on itself once it cools. Cool the buns to room temperature. Sieve with icing sugar and serve with coffee.
These pancakes are not cocoa-chocolatey-looking but actually contain real chocolate in the batter!! Whether you serve them with ice-cream, fresh fruit and Chantilly cream or plain, from-the-pan, you will love them! Yields about 12 pancakes depending on the size of your pan.
80g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa 250ml + 100ml milk 90ml caster sugar 200g cake flour 100ml water 3 eggs 2,5ml vanilla butter for frying
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add it to a small saucepan. Pour in 100ml milk and place on a very low heat. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has melted completely and remove from the heat. Add the 250ml milk and caster sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Set aside. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Pour the water, eggs and vanilla into a jug and whisk it together. Pour the egg mixture into the flour in a very thin stream while whisking. Pour slowly, whisk quickly …. you don’t want lumps in your batter! Now whisk in the chocolate mixture in the same way. Cover the batter with a tea towel and allow to stand for one hour.
Heat a frying/crêpe pan until it is very hot. Add a knob of butter and swirl it around so that it covers the surface of the pan. Pour in a ladleful of batter and swirl again to evenly distribute in the pan. Turn the heat down slightly and cook the pancake for 1 minute. Turn the pancake over with a spatula and cook for another 30 seconds. (The combination of sugar and chocolate burns really easy!!) Keep going with the rest of the batter until you have a heavily stack of chocolate pancakes. Serve warm.
This is an old favourite which most of us have eaten in one form or the other. The addition of the chocolate layer on top adds a creaminess and turns a kids-party-favourite into an adult snack! Keeps well in a sealed container at room temperature.
2 X 200g packets plain biscuits 250g butter 60ml condensed milk 30ml golden syrup 45ml cocoa powder, sifted 30 sugar 160g dark chocolate; I used De Villiers Dark Chocolate, Intense 160g white chocolate; I used De Villiers White Chocolate, Raspberry, Vanilla and Almonds
Line two 20cm X 20cm baking tins with baking paper. Put the biscuits into a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Pour the biscuit pieces into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, condensed milk, syrup, cocoa powder and sugar to a small saucepan and melt together over a low heat. Stir the mixture until completely smooth and amalgamated. Pour the runny mixture onto the biscuit pieces and mix well, making sure that all the pieces are covered in it. Divide the mixture between the two prepared baking tins and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Press down to compact the mixture. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Chop the dark chocolate into small pieces and add it to a heatproof bowl that sits on a saucepan of simmering water. Stir every now and then until the chocolate is melted. Pour onto one of the baking tins with brownies. Repeat the process with the white chocolate and pour over the other batch of brownies. If you want to prettify the brownies with edible flowers, now is the time! Place the two baking tins in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Slice before serving.