Easter Feast- Prepare for Guilt-free Indulgence

Easter is a sensational time to visit Morukuru Family Madikwe! April is a temperate month in the Madikwe, with beautiful warm days and cool evenings, without the nip of winter. Easter is also traditionally a time for lots of treats and seasonal dishes… think Easter confectionery, hot cross buns and roast lamb. This year our kitchen is pulling out all the stops and spoiling our guests with some new seasonal recipes which have some secret super-ingredients ...in case you are worried about overindulgence and your waistline.

 Our kitchen, under the guidance of our Food and Beverage Manager Esmaralda Leonard, (Women of Madikwe) has developed a recipe for Dirty Chai Muffins. This recipe includes Ginger, Cinnamon and Nutmeg, which all have powerful benefits for body and brain. Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet and is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds. Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the inner bark of trees known as Cinnamomum and and has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. It has been used as an ingredient throughout history, dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. Nutmeg is a spice known for its pungent fragrance as well as a long list of health benefits, including its ability to relieve pain, soothe indigestion, relieve insomnia. Go on...have two!

When you are staying at one of the 3 properties you will have the opportunity to enjoy a fabulous bush breakfast, prepared, cooked and served in the bush. But we also like to mix it up and spoil our guests with a sit down breakfast at the lodge. Our team has created a scrumptious new dish called Cajun Eggs Benedict which includes a sprinkling of cayenne pepper. Cayenne peppers are a type of chili pepper and they belong to the nightshade family of flowering plants, which are closely related to bell peppers and jalapeños. These peppers boast an impressive nutrition profile, which includes a variety of antioxidants that are beneficial for your health.

Another seasonal addition to our menu is our Lemon Blueberry Cake which we plan on serving as a light dessert at lunch time or as a tea-time snack. Morukuru is famous for our Honey Cake but this one is a delicious alternative.  Blueberries are sweet, nutritious and very popular. They are often labeled a superfood because they are low in calories and incredibly healthy, being highin fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K. You can go ahead and have that extra slice because the lemon zest adds a healthy dose of vitamin C, a primary antioxidant that helps protect cells from damaging free radicals.

Before heading out on your evening game drive, you can enjoy afternoon tea and a snack. We will be serving Lavender cookies in fun Easter shapes. Lavender is a fragrant, edible herb which is known for its stress-busting properties. Bunnies, eggs and chickens add some Easter festivity and the lavender adds flavour as well as vitamins and minerals.

Our Chef Funi has come up with this amazing dessert! Chocolate Mousse Log with a Coconut Macaroon Nest, on a chocolate and pistachio soil served with macerated grapes and fresh baby mint leaves. Our mouths are watering just looking at the photos! Ending a dinner with a show stopping dessert is just another way we like to spoil our guests and this one has some interesting ingredients with some powerful properties. Did you know that Pistachios are technically a fruit?  The edible seeds of the Pistacia veratree contain healthy fats and are a good source of protein, fiber and antioxidants. Easter is celebrated with lots of chocolate and this recipe uses quality, dark chocolate which is loaded with antioxidants, fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a few other minerals. The coconut macaroon nests use desiccated coconut which is highly nutritious, rich in fiber, and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. We think indulging in this pudding is starting to look guilt free! Dirty Chai Muffins (Makes 12 large muffins) Ingredients For the muffins 5 tablespoons butter, room temperature 125ml vegetable oil 3/4 cup sugar 2 large eggs, room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee For the glaze:
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso
  • black pepper to grind on top of icing
Method
  • Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease 12 large muffin tins and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar by hand until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the eggs and then mix in the vanilla essence and all spices until well combined.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Alternate adding the flour mixture and the coffee into the wet ingredients, mixing only until combined.
  • Scoop batter evenly into prepared muffin tins.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until muffins are golden brown and spring back to the touch.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before frosting.
  • To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and espresso so it forms a thick glaze. Drizzle over muffins, then grind black pepper on top.
Cajun Eggs Benedict Ingredients for hollandaise sauce 15ml white wine 15 ml white wine vinegar ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon Cajun spice 250g butter melted, and foam removed 3 egg yolks Salt to taste Squeeze of lemon juice Method
  • In a small pan, reduce the wine and vinegar until alcohol is cooked out
  • Over a pot of simmering water, whisk the yolks with the wine and vinegar reduction and the spices until ribbon stage
  • Take of the heat and slowly incorporate the melted butter
  • Season to taste with salt and lemon juice
  • Make sure it’s a pourable consistency (like cream)
  • Put in your cream gun and charge with one gas chargers, shake a bit and then spoom over eggs benedict
For Assembly
  • 2 English muffins halved, grilled
  • 2 cooked chorizo sausages, halved and then half lengthwise
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped chives, for garnish
  Lemon Blueberry Cake  Ingredients 3 cups cake flour + 2 tablespoons cake flour, divided 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 225g salted butter, room temperature 2 cups granulated sugar 4 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla essence 1 tablespoon lemon zest 3/4 cup whole milk 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 cups wild blueberries, frozen or fresh Method
  • Preheat oven to 175°C. Butter and lightly flour two small round pans. Line with parchment paper circles.
  • Sift together 3 cups cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine milk and lemon juice.  Stir to combine and set aside for milk to curdle.  This is like making homemade buttermilk!
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high using the paddle attachment.  Beat until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low, add eggs one at a time.  Mix well after each egg.
  • Add vanilla essence and lemon zest.  Mix to combine.
  • Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Do not over mix.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  • In a small bowl, gently toss blueberries with 2 tablespoons cake flour to coat. Using a spoon or spatula, gently fold blueberries into batter, being careful not to break berries.
  • Divide batter evenly between the two round pans.
  • Bake for 30-33 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  • Let cool in pans for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
 Ingredients for the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting: 450g cream cheese, softened 225g unsalted butter, softened 4 cups icing sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 1 tablespoon lemon zest 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice Method
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add vanilla, lemon zest and juice and mix until combined.
  • Gradually add icing sugar, adjusting amount, until desired sweetness is reached. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Whip until smooth.
  • Assemble the Cake:
  • Place one layer of cake onto serving plate or cake stand and top with about one cup of lemon cream cheese frosting.  Repeat with second cake layer, more frosting and then last layer of cake.  Crumb coat and frost cake with remaining frosting.  Decorate with lemon slices, additional blueberries and edible flowers, if desired.
  • Store in refrigerator.  Serve at room temperature.
Garnish
  • Lemon slices
  • Fresh blueberries
   

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