Almond tart

Blocks of almond tart dusted with icing sugar.

Making these cookies is rather like going back in time for me! This is one of my mother’s recipes that my family have enjoyed for as long as I can remember. (Even now, if you were to have a peek in her biscuit tin there is a good chance you would find some of these inside.) There was often a block of almond tart tucked in my lunchbox or gobbled up as an afternoon treat after school.

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Iced cappuccino crunch brownies

 Cappuccino brownie recipe

Earlier this month I attended the Good Housekeeping Celebrity Bake Stars event at D’Aria in Durbanville. There were bubbles and nibbles and foodies galore, and the audience was treated to a demonstration by Zola Nene and Clement Pedro who shared loads of fun recipe tips and tricks.

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Spiced apple slices

Earlier this year we had a few days away with friends in the lovely little town of Montagu. On the drive back to Cape Town my daughter wanted to see where all the apples are grown, but got more than she bargained for when we drove past orchard after orchard full of trees bursting with thousands of apples. She was absolutely delighted (and it was a beautiful drive)!

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Cranberry and white chocolate crunchies

There is a very simple story behind this one. Last weekend we were invited to a Christmas picnic with some playgroup friends and I was asked to bring a plate of sweet eats to share. “Fantastic!” I thought, right up my alley. Crunchies are usually always a hit with adults and children, and the fact that I was having a crazy weekend and needed something I could make in a jiffy made them even more perfect. I have a wonderful basic crunchie recipe which I have previously adapted to make chocolate crunchies and today I wanted to share the Christmas version that I made for the picnic.

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Macadamia and cranberry chocolate squares

I made these sumptuous squares of chocolatey goodness over the weekend and they were just too good not to share! The original recipe comes from “Ottolenghi – The Cookbook” and I adapted it to use ingredients that I had to hand. In the Ottolenghi version they included chestnuts and dried figs (which sounds utterly delicious!), but I opted for creamy macadamias and tart cranberries as these also taste fantastic with white chocolate. I also used chocolate coated digestives instead of the regular ones just to up the chocolate even more – go big or go home, right?

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Lemon and pistachio cupcakes

Fresh lemon cupcakes with pistachios.
Spring seems to have settled in properly now, in fact it feels more like summer this week. Sunny skies, short sleeves and (ah-choo!) hay fever – happy days! Except for that last point, hay fever – feel free to be on your way any time now. That biting morning chill that we became accustomed to in the winter months has all but gone and the promise of a glorious summer is quite literally in the air.

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Pumpkin spice cookies

While there is no denying that the arrival of summer is highly anticipated at the end of each year, I have to admit that I rather look forward to the autumn season. A welcome respite from the heat, beautiful red and brown leaves dotting the trees and an excuse to start enjoying some favourite comfort foods are just a few of the things that come to mind.

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