‘The Classic South African Cookbook’, published by Struik Lifestyle, is exactly that – classic home cooking for South Africans the way they eat now. In line with the country’s diverse cultures, which often blend more harmoniously in the kitchen than in any other sphere of life, this book is a kaleidoscope of our modern lifestyle with influences from grandma’s kitchen, popular Mediterranean cuisine, as well as both Indian and African culture.
No matter what your roots may be, this book sets a foundation for good, honest, carefree home cooking, incorporating all the well-loved and familiar favourites. The more than 170 recipes have been refined to guarantee mouth-watering results, no matter your skill level. Only fresh and locally available ingredients are used, while the various techniques are carefully explained – a real boon to those just setting out on their culinary journeys. Best of all, every recipe is accompanied by a full-colour photograph.
Author Melinda Roodt and her husband Gerhard are senior pastors at the Delta Community Church in Vereeniging.
Melinda is also a public speaker and serves on the boards of a number of charitable organisations working to assist abused women and children, crime victims, orphanages, old age homes and the underprivileged generally.
She is also a musician and oversees and directs three bands. As a seasoned host and organiser of various conferences, catering for a few hundred people at a time, Melinda has run several cooking courses at her home, teaching more than 360 women to cook delicious homemade food.
And if all that isn’t enough, she manages her own rusk and biscuit label, Mel’s Kitchen, and undertakes oil painting commissions. In between, this mother still finds time to garden and ride horses for relaxation
Moist chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing
Makes 1 cake
375ml cake flour
375ml white sugar
90ml cocoa powder
15ml baking powder
A pinch of salt
180ml boiling water
180ml sunflower oil
6 extra-large eggs, separated
For the chocolate buttercream icing:
325g soft butter
750g icing sugar, sifted
150g cocoa powder, sifted
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and grease two 24cm spring-form cake tins.
2. Sift all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
3. Add the boiling water and oil.
4. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the egg yolks one at a time.
5. In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.
6. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter with a large metal spoon.
7. Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and bake for 20–25 minutes until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
8. Leave the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes to cool and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
9. To make the icing, cream the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale.
10. Add the icing sugar in batches and keep mixing until pale and fluffy.
11. With the mixer set on low speed, add the cocoa powder and beat until combined, light and fluffy. Do not overmix.
12. Place one of the cooled cakes on a cake plate and slightly trim the surface if it is too rounded.
13. Spread a third of the icing over the top in a thick layer and position the second cake on top.
14. Ice the whole cake, top and sides, with another third of the icing.
15. Spoon the remaining icing into a piping bag with the desired nozzle and decorate the cake.
This cake is really moist and is best enjoyed the day after baking.