An evening of South African food, wine and food photography

I first met South African Tracey, back in January at the London Cooking Club, comfort food night and later at some foodie events. Together with Luiz, The London Foodie and London Cooking Club founder, and Jeanne, very successful South African food blogger CookSister,  they organised a supper club night to celebrate South African food and wine. Tracey and Jeanne provided twelve delicious recipes, which the guests chose one from a suggested list, cooked and brought to Luiz’s house on the night.  I chose one of my favourite foods: ice cream. The pawpaw ice cream was paired with Dr G’s milk tart, easy to make and very tasty. Perfect ending for very hot summers night.
The night started with some pleasant finger food, timbales made with angel hair pasta and 
chard, it’s a kind of savoury scone cooked by Tiffany.  The vegetarian samosas had a modern take and were served with a yogurt and pickle sauce served with matching wine. They were divine!
Canapes: pancetta, chard & pasta timbales and goat cheese & coriander pesto samosas
Timbales – utterly delicious
Tracey explaining about South African food and spices
Jeanne handouts on food photography
Jeanne educating us on wine and basic food photography
Part of table setting – nice napkins!
Heating up the very unusual avocado soup
Warm avocado soup with Biltong, delectable! Jeanne’s recipe
Pickled fish by Luiz
preparing the bunny-chows
no bunnys in sight
Chicken garam-masala filling for the bunny-chows
the bunny-chows  fast / street food
mini chicken bunny-chows with home made garam masala by Tracey
You used the inside of the bread as ‘cutlery’ to eat the garam masala filling. This food originated in the Durban Indian community. During the apartheid regime Indians were not allowed in certain shops and cafes and so the shop owners found a way of serving the people through back windows etc. This is no longer the case, but this dish still being served in South Africa.
The lovely hosts: Jeanne, Luiz and Tracey
Jeanne’s made up ‘studio’
Mains: beef bobotie recipe below, prawn curry with fish masala and sambals
braised lamb shanks with Pinotage, boereboontjies and yellow rice with raisins
My dish: 
PawPaw Ice cream the recipe:
250 g condensed milk
500 ml of double cream
1 cup of pawpaw pulp
4 egg whites stiffly beaten
Mix the condensed milk, double cream and pawpaw pulp (blitzed and sieved),
slowly fold the egg whites. Freeze for at least 24 hours.

I used Brazilian variety papaya

milk tart and pawpaw ice-cream – recipe below
We all brought a matching wine with our courses, mine was Graham Beck, kindly suggested by Luiz;  high quality, non vintage South African sparkling wine made from Chardonay and Pinot Noir grapes, the two varieties are blended separately and then cross blended, bottled and then left for 24 months to undergo secondary fermentation in the bottle. Available at some Waitrose, John Lewis Food Hall Oxford Street, online and Bibendum. It’s very fresh, light and creamy. Perfect ending to our fabulous feast. Thanks and cheers to Luiz and Dr G for being such charming and very welcoming hosts. Again thanks to Tracey and Jeanne for the lovely recipes, organisation, sharing their food, wine and photographic knowledge. Hopefully, from now on no more orange food pictures! 
More delicious recipes: 
Pancetta, spinach and past timbales
12thin slices of pancetta
12 Swiss chard leaves, well washed
250gr fresh thin past (angel’s hair)
4 free-range eggs
250gr mascarpone  and  blue cheese mixed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
 clove of garlic, crushed
salt ad milled black pepper
Coat a 12- muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray and line each one with a slice of pancetta.
out the tough core of the Swiss chard leaves, then blanch in a large
saucepan of boiling salted water. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon
and cool. 
the pasta into the same saucepan of boiling water. Cook for about 3
minutes, until the pasta is just tender, drain and cool.  
the leaves dry, then open out ans place a leaf open the pancetta in
each muffin pan. Beat the eggs with the mascarpone mix. Stir  the
parmesan cheese, garlic and season to taste. Mix with the pasta. Turn
into the prepared muffin pans. Bake at 190C for about 30 minutes, or
until slightly puffed, set and browned. Makes 12 muffins.
Durban Bunny-Chow
are usually served in a quarter of a hollowed-out white loaf. One loaf
serves four. You can use brown bread or rolls for  starter or cocktail

Whole spices

  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cardamom pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 onion, chopped

Fine spices

  • 3 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon hot ground pepper (like cayenne)
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric

The meat

  • 2 tomatoes, medium, chopped
  • 2 lbs leg of lamb, in cubes (or beef)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 2 potatoes, large, in cubes
  • cilantro (optional)


  1. Fry all the ingredients listed under “Whole Spices” until the onion is glassy.
  2. Add the list called “Fine Spices”.Stir and fry
    until the spices stick to the bottom of the pot. If you have a good
    Teflon-coated pot, go and buy a cheap one first.
  3. Now add the tomatoes, and stir until everything sticking to the pot bottom comes loose.
  4. Add the meat, ginger, garlic and curry leaves.
  5. Simmer for half an hour or more, until the meat is almost tender, then add a little water and the potato cubes.
  6. Simmer until meat is tender.
  7. Now prepare the bread.
  8. It should be the unsliced rectangular loaf with the flat top, known in South Africa as a “Government sandwich loaf”.
  9. You could cut the bread across into two, three or four even chunks, depending on how hungry the eaters will be.
  10. Whatever you decide, with a sharp knife cut
    out most of the soft white bread, leaving a thick wall and bottom. Keep
    the bread you removed.
  11. Ladle the curry into the hollows, and then put
    back on top the bread you removed. You could use this bread to help
    eat the curry, as “this is ALWAYS eaten with the hands”.
  12. Actually, any kind of curry goes into a bunny chow. It depends on the cook and your tastes!.

Milk Tart (Melktert)


  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar


  1. Preheat
    the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Coat a 9 inch deep dish pie
    plate with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  2. In a
    large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg
    yolks and beat until light and fluffy. Sift in the cake flour, baking
    powder and salt, and stir until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and
    milk. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks using an
    electric mixer. Fold into the batter. Pour into the prepared pie plate,
    and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top.
  3. Bake for
    25 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325
    degrees F (165 degrees C). Continue to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or
    until the center is set when you gently jiggle the pie. Serve hot or



  1. June 6, 2011 / 12:10 pm

    Oh I LOVE it!! What a fab post, and so QUICK :o) It was a wonderful evening – such a pleasure to meet you and loved your ice-cream (with the pink sparkles!!). I also love the photos in the post – not often I get to see myself "in action"!! Can you possibly mail me a high-res version of that snap of me, Luiz & Tracey?? Would really appreciate it! 🙂

  2. June 6, 2011 / 3:24 pm

    Wish I had been able to come but the celebration weekend away with the in-laws had been booked for a long time!

    I so hope this theme is repeated so I can come!

  3. Tracey
    June 6, 2011 / 4:12 pm

    Thanks so much Rosana. This is fabulous!!! Thanks for sending the pics too… looking forward to seeing you again soon.

  4. Hanna @ Swedish Meatball
    June 9, 2011 / 7:52 am

    This looks absolutely amazing – wasn't quick enough to snatch a place to hopefully next time! Everything looks truly special.

  5. Hanna @ Swedish Meatball
    June 9, 2011 / 7:53 am

    Ooooh and also – what were some of the top food photo tips that came up?

  6. June 9, 2011 / 8:36 pm

    Thanks everyone for reading, for the comments, for twitting and RTs too.

    Hi Jeanne, I emailed the hi res. Thanks again for the lovely time. Must get together soon.
    Kavey, I hope so too. It was inspiring. Very glad I went. Delicious food.
    Tracey, looking forward to seeing you soon too. Please keep me updated with any news.
    Hanna, It was fantastic. Do contact Luiz to book a place. Jeanne gave us a handout and showed us the cameras settings, which varies from camera to camera etc. Must get together soon too.

  7. Selena
    June 8, 2012 / 9:25 pm

    This was a perfect event. The images show the real happenings at this event. What spices do you used for food preparations?