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Cooking with South African Brandy
Fine Drinking Translates to Sweet Desserts

South Africa Cape Wines SA Tourism Image Library: Western Cape
©SA Tourism Image Library
Photographer: Jeroen Luyk

The brandy of South Africa has gained recognition as one of the best drinks in the world. It is wonderful to relax after a feast with a traditional glass of brandy to complete the meal.

Cooks in South Africa have taken this to new heights with their dessert recipes that add brandy to fruits and pastries for a taste that makes sweet even better.

Here are a few to sample:

Apricots in Brandy (Boeremeisies)
500 grams fresh or dried apricots
140 grams white sugar
brandy to cover

Mix the apricots and sugar together and add sufficient brandy to cover. Pack into hot, dry, sterilized jars and leave to mature for at least 14 days before use.

Cape Brandy Pudding
250g dates, roughly chopped 250ml water
5ml bicarbonate of soda 100g butter, softened
200ml castor sugar 1 egg
250ml flour 5ml baking powder
100g pecan nuts, chopped
250ml sugar 120ml water
120ml brandy 5ml vanilla essence
30ml butter

Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine dates with the water and bring to the boil. Remove and add the bicarbonate of soda. Cool. Cream butter, sugar and egg well. Sift flour and baking powder and add to creamed mixture with cooled dates and mix well. Mix in the nuts and pour into greased ovenproof dish. Bake until skewer comes out clean. Serve with cream or custard. Serves 6 - 8

Christmas Pudding
Christmas Steam Pudding With Hard Star Sauce (Serves 12)
50 g glacé cherries (washed, drained and quartered)
500 g fruitcake mixture
100 g prunes (soaked in brandy, pitted and chopped )
1 apple (cored and grated)
50 g brazil nuts (chopped)
125 g self-raising flour
60 g toasted fresh breadcrumbs
20 ml mixed spices
5 ml ground cloves
100 g butter
125 g soft brown sugar
2 eggs - extra large (beaten)
100 ml brandy

250 g (250 ml) butter
5 ml vanilla essence
400 g (750 ml) icing sugar, sifted
75 ml brandy
glacé cherries, washed, dried and halved

Method: Mix the cherries, fruitcake mixture, prunes, apple and nuts. Mix flour, crumbs, spice and cloves. Add the fruit mixture, mix well and set aside.
Whisk butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar and cream well. Add eggs one by one and beat well after each addition. Add the fruit mixture and mix well. Spoon mixture into a well buttered 3 litre stainless steel bowl. Cover with a double layer of aluminium foil and secure with string.
Place a plate upside down in a large saucepan. Insert the pudding into the saucepan so that it rests on the plate. Fill the saucepan two-thirds with water. Make sure that the water is added along the side of the saucepan preventing it from falling on the pudding. Cover and steam for 5 hours at medium heat. Check the water content from time to time and add extra water if required. Remove pudding, uncover, turn out and serve with Christmas hard star sauce.

Cape Tipsy Tart
South African Date & Nut Pudding
250 g dates, stoned and finely chopped
5 ml (1tsp) bicarb of soda
250 ml (1 cup) boiling water
125 ml (1/2 cup) butter
250 ml (1 cup) sugar
2 eggs beaten
500 g cake flour
5 ml (1 tsp.) baking powder
2 ml (1/2 tsp.) salt
250 ml (1 cup) walnuts or pecans, finely chopped

250 ml (1 cup) sugar
15 ml (1 TBS) butter
150 ml water
5 ml (1 tsp.) vanilla essence
pinch salt
125 ml (1/2cup) brandy

Divide dates into 2 bowls, add bicarb to 1 and pour boiling water over, and leave to cool. Cream butter and sugar together and add eggs, beat well. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt and fold into creamed mixture. Add dry portion of dates and nuts and mix well to combine... Stir in cooled bicarb and date mixture and pour into a greased baking dish (large) and bake in a pre-heated oven 180c (350f) for about 40 minutes. For Sauce... Heat sugar, butter and water together in a pan for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla, salt, and brandy. Pour sauce over pudding as soon as you do take it out of the oven and serve hot (preferable) or cold with thick cream.

This South African Recipe was posted on the Ethnic/International Recipe Exchange as well as by Maatjie Greeff on another South African recipes directory and several other resources. The credit goes to all of them for a great brandy dessert dish.

Sources & Other Online Resources:

Collection: S. African Recipes

South African Cuisine & Recipes

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