Here in South Africa our Summer holiday season is in full swing and the countdown to splendid Christmas entertaining has definitely started. Northern hemisphere menus are made up of all those gorgeous , rich, indulgent delights suited to freezing temperatures and time spent in doors. But under hot African skies we take a different view and focus on fresh, seasonal and lighter dishes which are best enjoyed outdoors basking in the brilliant weather and with great company.
We asked each team from our three properties to create a characteristic holiday recipe which will be served during the festive season.
Willie Malherbe, Executive Chef at AtholPlace Hotel & Villa is looking forward to serving up this Sesame seared tuna, spiced mango salsa with wasabi mayonnaise and micro herb salad.
“ Unlike Europe, Christmas time here in Johannesburg it is hot and sunny, so I decided to go for a colorful fresh, light dish for the festive Season” says Malherbe.
For the Tuna
4 x pieces of fresh tuna of 100g each (cylindrical shape about 5cm diameter)
4 x tbsp white sesame seeds
2 x tbsp black sesame seeds
1 x tsp salt
2 x tsp white pepper
2 x tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
For the salsa
1 x mango (peeled cut into brunoise)
2 x plum tomatoes (cut in quarters and seeds removed & diced)
½ x cucumbers (diced)
¼ x red onion (diced)
1 x tsp dried chili flakes
1 x tsp togarashi spice
1 x tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 x tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 x tbsp olive oil
Zest and juice of one lime
Salt and pepper
For the mango puree
1 x ripe mango (peeled and roughly chopped)
1 x cup plain sugar syrup
1 x tsp vanilla paste
For the Wasabi mayonnaise
1 x cup homemade mayonnaise (or store bought quality product)
2 x tsp wasabi paste
Zest and juice of one lime
1 x tsp togarashi spice ( red chilli pepper spice)
2 x limes (cut in half)
Selection of mixed micro herbs and leafs for salad. If unavailable use a combination of normal picked herbs.
( Serves 4 )
Start by preparing the salsa: combine all the salsa ingredients in a bowl, mix well, season to taste and refrigerate.
Next make the mango puree by combining the mango, sugar syrup and vanilla in a stand up blender and blend until smooth.
Mix a couple of teaspoons of the puree into the prepared salsa and reserve the rest for plating.
Next prepare the mayonnaise by mixing all the ingredients well and season to taste with salt.
For the tuna combine the sesame seeds, salt and pepper on a flat plate. Using a pastry brush brush the tuna pieces with the peanut oil and roll in the sesame seed mix and set aside.
Place a nonstick pan on a medium high heat.
Add the remainder of the peanut oil . Once the oil starts to smoke, sear the tuna pieces on all sides.
(Note that it will only take about 5 seconds per side, you only want to sear the tuna and not cook it through)
Once seared allow the tuna to cool down before slicing in thin slices against the grain.
To serve use a ring mold to shape the salsa on the plate (the addition of the mango puree to the salsa with allow it to keep its shape)
Next carefully place the sliced tuna on top, dollop a few teaspoons of wasabi mayonnaise and leftover puree on the plate and garnish with the micro leaf salad, lime halves and togarashi spice.
Serve with a great glass of sauvignon blanc.
Our manager at Morukuru Ocean House , Mari Bosman says this delicious Charlotte Cake is the perfect dessert for a hot, coastal day. Traditional Charlotte desserts are made from molds lined with cake or ladyfingers and filled with fruit , custard and cream.
Ingredients for Mousse:
2 ½ Cups Mixed Berries
½ cup granulated sugar
Juice from 1 Medium Lemon (2 Tbsp. for mousse + 1 Tbsp. for Syrup below)
4 Gelatine Leaves
3 cups heavy whipping cream
6 Tbsp. powdered Sugar
Ingredients for Sponge Cake:
4 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup cake flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1 packet Lady Fingers
3-4 Tbsp. 4 Berry Jam
Ingredients for Simple Syrup (Stir together):
1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. sugar
Topping for Charlotte Cake:
Fresh Mint Leaves and Granadilla Pulp
Make the Syrup First:
- In medium saucepan, combine the mixed frozen berries and ½ cup sugar. Cook stirring occasionally until jam consistency. Remove from heat and strain through a sieve, pressing on the fruit with a spoon to extract as much berry juice as possible
- Into the Berry syrup, stir 2 Tbsp. of lemon juice and add 4 sheets of gelatin leaves. Pour syrup back into saucepan and place back over medium heat, whisk until gelatin is dissolved. Do not boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Making the Sponge Cake:
- Line a 9” springform pan with wax paper. Preheat oven to 180°C. In the bowl of your mixer with the whisk attachment on high speed, beat 4 eggs for 1 minute. Gradually add 2/3 cups sugar and continue beating on high 7 minutes until thick and 3-4 times in volume.
- Stir together cake flour and baking powder then sift flour into whipped eggs in 2 additions, folding to incorporate between each addition. Scrape from bottom to catch any hidden pockets of flour and fold just until incorporated – Don’t over mix. Bake at 180°C for 23 minutes or until top is golden and springs back when touched lightly.
- Once it’s out of the oven, remove cake from pan by sliding a thin edged spatula around the edge. Transfer to wire rack, peel of wax paper and cool to room temperature. Slice cake in half.
Making the Sponge Cake:
- Cover springform pan with plastic wrap. Trim of half inch all around the edge of both cake layers (I used kitchen scissors) and place the first layer into the bottom of your springform pan. Trim about half inch of one end of all Lady Fingers. Place lady fingers in a tight ring, cut side down, around the cake base then brush cake with 1/3 of the simple syrup. Brush backs of ladyfingers with 1/3 of syrup as well. Spread 1 ½ tbsp. of 4 berry jam over cake. Set aside.
- With the whisk attachment, beat 3 cups heavy cream with 6 tbsp. icing sugar on high speed until thick and spreadable. Remove 1 ½ cups of whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and refrigerate to use as topping later.
- Once berry syrup is completely at room temperature (Don’t wait too long or it will thicken and become difficult to blend), Fold into remaining big batch of whipped cream adding one ¼ of the berry syrup at a time and folding between each addition. This is your mousse.
- Spread half of the mousse over cake layer into the springform pan. Top with second cake layer, brush with remaining simple syrup and spread with 1 ½ Tbsp. berry jam. Add remaining mousse. Decorate top of the cake with the whipped cream, Mint leaves and Granadilla Pulp. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (3 Hours or overnight). To serve, remove springform wall and plastic wrap.
A lovely South African Method Cap Classique or traditional dessert wine is a perfect partner to this light and fresh pudding.
Our team from Morukuru Family Madikwe created this festive bread Christmas tree made from brioche style bread rolls which are the perfect accompaniment to a glorious bush meal cooked over the coals and under the African stars.
Rosemary Brioche with Red Pepper and Sundried Tomato Pesto
1 tbs active dry yeast
3 ½ cups cake flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
5 large eggs
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
½ cup lukewarm water
- In a small bowl whisk water and yeast. Let it sit until the yeast becomes active and bubbly – about 10 minutes
- Add sugar, flour and salt. Mix them well
- Add eggs, one at a time
- Add butter and rosemary
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth
- Lightly grease the bowl and place the kneaded dough in and cover with plastic wrap
- Put in in a warm place until it has doubled in size – about an hour
- Divide them in equal rolls
- Place them on a baking tray and bake them at 180 degrees until golden brown in colour
- Cool them on a wire rack
- Serve and enjoy
Red Pepper and sundried tomato Pesto
125ml olive oil
2 red peppers
100g parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic
150g sundried tomato
Salt and pepper to taste
- Roast the pepper with olive oil in a pan at 150 degrees until it is soft for about 20 minutes
- Peel and clean the pepper
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix together until smooth
- Season to taste
- Eat and enjoy
Happy cooking form all of us!