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I love OYSTERS and I like my oysters 'Au Naturel'. To get that right takes great care, understanding and skill, and of course the presentation is vital.

The ideal is to take a walk along a pristine beach, pick a few oysters off the rocks, shuck and enjoy. So, when I ask for Oysters in a restaurant, I am asking for the vision, smell and taste a of that pristine beach, on a plate.

Crushed ice emulates the white breaking surf; salt - the smell of sea and sand; a twist of lemon - the cleansing sea breeze and a touch of finely ground black pepper (one turn of the grinder) - the hint of warmth from the sun.

Don't throw some oysters on a plate .... transport me!

'To master simplicity, master complexity.'

As for tabasco, I don't get it. I enjoy the condiment on a variety of dishes, but not here. Perhaps for those who like the feel of scorching sand on bare feet ... or a sunburn?

Apparently, artificial oyster beds were being formed in China long before they came to be cultivated by the Romans. That means that we have been enjoying the art of eating oysters for about 1900 years.

For a fascinating, all encompassing history of the Oyster:

oysters and all about them

image: wikipedia commons

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Thursday, October 1, 2009


This is one of those quintessential South African puddings, which you will find in most good restaurants, particularly in the Cape where the Dutch culinary roots run deep.   It is essentially a very homely dish, and not one to include in a restricted calorie diet!   One of the  variants of Malva pudding is Tipsy Tart which includes brandy. 


The Pudding
250 gr Castor sugar
30 gr Butter
2 Eggs
150 ml Milk
15 ml Apricot jam
40 gr Grated chocolate
20 gr Cacoa powder
280 gr Flour
5 ml Bicarb of soda
pinch of Salt

The Sauce
250ml Cream
125ml butter
125ml sugar
125ml water/Orange juice/Sherry/Brandy
Kiwi fruit, crushed,roasted nuts and poached apricots for presentation.

Method :

The Pudding
Beat the eggs, add sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Mix in the jam.
Sieve the dry ingredients twice.
Melt butter and add milk.
Fold the dry ingredients into milk mixture
Fold this wet mixture into the egg mixture.
Pour mixture into the moulds.
Bake at 180 C for 35-40 minutes.

The sauce
Boil sugar, butter and water/orange juice/sherry/brandy ( 60ml water plus any combination of ) until syrup forms. Remove from heat, add brandy. Pour hot syrup over just baked pudding. It should be completely absorbed.

Custard to serve
600ml Milk
6-8 Egg yolks (depending on the size of eggs)
50g Sugar
1-2 Vanilla pods

Split the vanilla pods lengthways
Scrape out the vanilla seeds.
Bring milk almost to the boil, remove from the heat and add the vanilla seeds and pod(s).
Allow to stand for 15 minutes to infuse
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, beat until thick and creamy.
Remove the vanilla pod(s) from the milk and slowly beat into the egg mixture.
Place in a heavy based saucepan and cook over a low to medium heat (do not allow to boil) , stir constantly, until the custard thickens. 

Presented here on custard, with drops of strawberry coulis; topped with fresh, whipped cream, flaked, browned nuts and kiwi fruit slices


IMAGE: M.Muellers

1 comment:

  1. I am a culinary pleb - but this Malva pudding looks awesome! Carmen is going to give it a go. Thanks for posting it!


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