Taking a little Break

I will be taking a break from posting for the next month or so. But, I will be back with great new recipes very soon.


Peppermint Crisp Tart


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IMG_3088For many South Africans Peppermint Crisp is deeply nostalgic. Why? It’s probably got a lot to do with Peppermint Crisp tart – a lusciously creamy dessert that’s graced the table of countless South Africans over the years. Not only is it downright delicious, it’s also dead easy to make! A base of coconut-y Tennis Biscuits holds a rich and indulgent filling of whipped cream, caramel and sometimes condensed milk… topped off with crushed up pieces of a Peppermint Crisp chocolate bar. What’s not to love?

For those of you that are not South African or have never eaten one of these scrumptious and decadent desserts, fear not, you no longer have to feel deprived. Simply make your own.

The traditional recipe combines Orley Whip (similar to single cream, whips up to three times its original volume and can be stored in the fridge for up to three months) with Caramel Treat (caramelised condensed milk) and Peppermint Crisp (a chocolate bar from Nestle that features a filling of tightly packed, long and very brittle tubes of bright green mint-flavoured candy – tastes madly minty), layered with Tennis biscuits (shortbread-ish coconut-flavoured cookies).

You can substitute whipping cream for Orley Whip, American Cool Whip is a near-identical product. For caramelised condensed milk, you can use dulce du leche or you can make your own by boiling a tin of normal sweetened condensed milk or if in France, used a jar of confiture de lait. For the biscuits, any shortbready biscuit with a bit of added coconut will do but for the peppermint crisp, that you will need to buy from a shop that sells South African products.


Serves 6 to 8



  • 200 g /  7 oz Tennis biscuits
  • 125 g / 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 250ml /1 cup cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 360 g / 12 oz tin Caramel Treat (I used 1 jar Bonne Maman confiture de lait)
  • 150 g / 5oz Peppermint Crisp chocolate, roughly chopped



Place the biscuits in a food processor and whiz until reduced to fine crumbs
Add the melted butter
Blend together until the biscuits are fine and coated with butter
Press the biscuit crumbs into a springform cake tin or a pie dish (9″ / 23cm) and chill for 30 minutes
Stir 2 tablespoons whipped cream into the caramel, then spread over the biscuit crust
Spread the remaining cream over the tart
Sprinkle over the chocolate
Place in refrigerator until ready to serve



Duck confit crispy spring rolls


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Serves 8


6 sheets of filo pastry
2 legs of duck confit meat, off the bone and shredded
2 slices of cooked foie gras (optional), cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons smooth apricot jam
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce such as Tabasco or sriracha (to taste)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon water or orange juice
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon toasted, chopped almonds
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 210C / 420F
Mix the jam, hot sauce and the vinegar, add a bit of water (or orange juice) and set aside
Place the meat, ginger, Chinese 5 spice powder, shallot, parsley and almonds in a bowl
Season to taste and mix well
Delicately stir in the foie gras
Cut each sheet of filo into four
Place a spoonful of the mixture at one end of a filo rectangle, in the centre
Roll the filo around the filling until halfway along the filo sheet, then fold each side of unfilled pastry into the centre
Resist the urge to over stuff
Continue rolling into a cylinder and brush with the butter to seal
Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and brush with butter
Repeat with the remaining pastry sheets
Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes until golden and crisp
Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce