I love the variety of recipes on Hein’s site, and they are definitely the kind of dishes I like to cook at home. Have a look at Hein’s twist on two of my all time favourite dishes: Celebration Chicken Pie and Lemon Meringue – oh my! This week I find out a little bit more about Hein, the man behind the scenes, and he shares one of his luscious ice cream recipes. Temperatures have been soaring in Cape Town and I could not think of anything better to enjoy in this weather! I have been wanting to make home made ice cream all summer so this post seemed like the perfect excuse for a well overdue go at the old gelato.
1.) Congratulations on a beautiful blog! Why did you decide to start “Heinstirred” in 2012?
2.) Going back a little bit, when did you first discover your passion for cooking? What was it that sparked your love for food?
I am sure I was born really hungry and with a desire to make food. There are some very embarrassing home movies of me as a podgy toddler happily eating spoonful after spoonful of pumpkin (which is still one of my favourite vegetables). I loved cooking from a young age and was lucky that my mom always allowed me in the kitchen.
4.) Tell us a bit about your creative process, where do you get your inspiration when creating a new dish?
It usually starts with what I want to photograph and then fit that in with whatever time of year we find ourselves in. As I look at other blogs, Pinterest and recipe books etc. I make a list of things that I’d like to do for the blog (and what I want to eat). I then play with the idea in my head for a while, write a basic recipe, make the dish, write a more detailed recipe as I make it, style it and photograph it. It’s usually a one day exercise from beginning to downloading the pics. I then don’t look at the pics for a week and only do some editing then.
5.) I love the variety of recipes on your blog – everything from healthy salads to meat to decadent sweet treats. If you had to pick a favourite though do you prefer preparing sweet or savoury dishes?
Sweet! Without a doubt. I do try to make the sweet dishes really special and have rediscovered my love for baking through the blog.
6.) If I was to peek inside your kitchen cupboards what are some of the ingredients I would always be likely to find? What are your kitchen essentials?
Olive oil. Vanilla extract. Ground almonds. A bottle of home made Bahārāt spice mix (which is my new favourite thing and goes on or in everything at the moment). A few bottles of chilli jam which I make once a year. There has to be an emergency bottle of bubbly in the fridge. And ice cream.
I have slowly been building up a prop collection. Flea markets and home stores are some of my least favourite places but I will usually make a flying visit to Milnerton Market and see if something catches my eye. And I will browse home stores once in a while to see what they have. I do try not to spend too much money on it. I’ve had some background boards made which is very handy and have now started playing with fabric to soften my photos a bit.
8.) Tell us about some of your favourite foodie spots in and around Cape Town.
I love Orinoco on Bree Street. Overture is my favourite fine dining spot. De Grendel is a favourite as well. I am addicted to ice cream so it is always nice to see what The Creamery gets up to. I must admit that I have not done the markets for a while but The Palms is a relaxed favourite. I will hit Neighbourgoods very early on a Saturday to get some bread from Woodstock Bakery, a scoop from The Creamery and then get out of there!
9.) Describe a typical day in the life of Hein.
Ha! Incredibly boring! I work from home so in the office at 7am and usually go to gym around 9. Then it is back in the office. And work is interspersed with quite a bit of time on Twitter (!). One day a week is set aside for a new post on the blog and I then cook, style and photograph a whole post.
10.) And finally, do you have any parting words for aspiring cooks out there?
Eat! Taste! Cook! If it flops you can either cover it in a white sauce and make a pie, or make a trifle.
HONEY ROASTED NECTARINE AND LAVENDER ICE CREAM
Recipe by Hein van Tonder
- 4 nectarines or peaches
- 8 tsp honey
- 250ml whipping cream
- 375ml milk
- 1 tin (385g) condensed milk
- 15 lavender leaves
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp honey
- pinch of salt
1.) Preheat your oven to 200ºC. Halve and stone the nectarines. Add a teaspoon of honey to each nectarine cavity. Roast for 30 minutes and then set aside to cool. Blitz in a food processor – not too much so that you still have small pieces of nectarine in the ice cream.
2.) Place the cream, milk, ¾ of the condensed milk, lavender leaves and vanilla extract in a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Turn off the heat.
3.) Whisk the egg yolks and remaining condensed milk together until pale and thick. Add a ladle of the cream mixture (avoid adding the lavender leaves) to the egg and whisk well. Add another two ladles of cream mixture to the egg mixture, whisking well between each addition.
4.) Whisk the egg mixture back into the remaining cream mixture in the saucepan. Stir over a low heat for approximately 15 minutes, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
5.) Pour the mixture through a sieve to remove the lavender leaves which you can discard. Add the processed nectarines, a tablespoon of honey and a pinch of salt. Mix well and leave to cool for at least 6 hours. Churn in an ice cream machine as per the manufacturer’s instructions.