Tag: Recipies

Things I have made for the Tea Garden or simply something delicious for home.

Rooibos cupcakes on a rainy day

Today the rain is pouring down. It has been pouring down since last night and will probably rain on and off all day and drizzle into tomorrow morning.

This can only mean one thing:

Its time to bake!



3/4 cups of castor sugar

125g soft butter

2 eggs

1 cup of rooibos tea made with 3 tea bags

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder


Cream sugar and butter, beat in eggs one at a time. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix till smooth. Half fill cupcake cases with the batter and bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg for about 15 mins or till a knife comes out clean. Cool and ice with vanilla or lemon icing.

Β Give some to a friend and make their day,

Share some with your mom

Or just curl up by the fire with a cup of tea and a few of these – take some time out for a bit of cupcake meditation πŸ˜€


Enjoy x x x



Raw Kei Apple mousse recipe

Dovyalis caffra is a wonderful tree. It is a fast grower and is also drought, frost, and salt tolerant and can therefore handle a bit of neglect once established and is also good for growing near the coast . They make an excellent barrier hedge as they have very long sharp thorns. You can see a bit more of them in my previous post. You need to plant both male and female trees for pollination to produce fruit. They have an abundance of fruit when in season, and its fun coming up with lots of interesting recipes for them. The kei apples are said to have very high antioxidant properties. The fruit is quite tart, sort of like a mix between an apricot and a loquat. They make great jam (high in pectin) and preserves, juiced, eaten raw, eaten raw with a pinch of sugar, used in fruit salad and puddings. In the following recipe I used the freshly pressed juice (I used an old-fashioned metal juicer) in an adapted version of this raw granadilla mouse recipe.

A really healthy, delicious, dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, guilt-free

rich and creamy, super tasty


Raw Kei Apple Mousse!


  • Half a cup of freshly squeezed/pressed ripe Kei Apples from a Dovyalis caffra tree.
  • 1 large ripe avo
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 tbs raw honey
  • a touch of vanilla pod seeds
  • a grind or two of rock salt
  • 2tbs of coconut oil
  • 1 tbs of cacao butter


  • Melt the coconut oil and grated cacao butter gently in a double boiler over a low heat or if you don’t have a double boiler, melt them in a bowl over a smaller bowl of hot water.
  • Combine all the ingredients plus the oil and butter into a blender till smooth and creamy.
  • Spoon into a bowl and chill in the fridge untill ready to serve.
  • Eat and enjoy the goodness!

Tasting a kai appleQuality control taste-testing a particularly juicy Kei Apple.

Foraging and harvesting in the gardens

This post is dedicated to Tai, Thandi, Jack and Rubi

School holidays are viewed with mixed joy and dread. There is the joy of no dark, cold, early morning lunchbox hunts and school runs but with it brings the dread of how to keep such keen little minds entertained the whole day! We kicked off our holiday with a Fynbos Flavour walk and garden tour at the nursery, picking and discovering new smells and tastes and textures. And, of course – getting dirty and eating lots of delicious food. The kids loved every second!

The Fynbos and veg forage and harvest begins….

Picking PelargoniumPicking Pelargonium leaves. The different scented leaves of the Pelargoniums are heavenly in iced teas and baking.

Mentha longifoliaMinty fresh! Indigenous Mentha longifolia.

Wild JasmineSmelling the sweetly perfumed scent of a wild Jasmine flower.

Carissa bushLooking for ripe Num Num or Carissa berries. The white milk that you see when you pick these berries are non toxic. The fruit is delicious and attracts birds and butterflies but this clever bush protects its berries with big spiky thorns.

Sour figSour figs or Carpobrotus edulis. This an amazing all-rounder. It provides snacks, medicine and is a super easy water-wise plant to grow! The tortoises love eating these succulent fleshy leaves.

ChrysanthemoidesSearching for some ripe Tick Berries. The Crysanthemoides monilifera is much loved by the birds and they have usually eaten all the ripe berries before we can find any! “monilifera” means “bearing a necklace” in Latin, referring to its cluster of berries. The berries are green until they ripen, turning into plump juicy black berries that look just like fat ticks.

Portulacaria afraTasting some spekboom leaves. The Portulacaria afra is a fascinating plant. The sharp tart flavoured leaves are edible and are a great addition added raw to salads or fried with a bit of butter and seasoning. It has many medicinal properties including the traditional use of increasing milk production in breastfeeding moms. Elephants love this juicy plant and its a great carbon absorber. It also soaks up the suns harmful rays, creating a happy healthy enviroment for animals and insects to live under.

Kai appleLucky us – there was a Dovyalis caffra with an abundance of its tasty fruit spilling over just waiting to be foraged. Dovyalis means Spear in Greek, and there are long sharp thorns protecting the fruit in these trees. Six nimble fingered hands soon got the hang of extracting the fruit though!

Kai applesThe old kai apples on the ground were declared perfect for magic potions.

Salad greensWe collected some salad greens from the veggie gardens. Coriander, different types of lettuce, spinach, baby beetroot tops, celery, fennel fronds, and edible flowers.

RadishesFat juicy radishes!

Tulbaghia violaceaWe dug for some wild garlic roots. This was quite an established patch, so we had to dig hard and carefully separate some of these roots to be scrubbed well and baked in the oven. As soon as the long leaves are bruised it gives of a strong garlic aroma. Throughout summer, these plants have beautiful violet flowers that can be added to salads and especially delicious in potato salad.

Purple carrotsWe found some crazy purple carrots! These have an amazing nutty taste, nothing like the tasteless orange carrots you find in the supermarkets. Best eaten raw, seconds after picking them and washing them off.

HarvestFood glorious food!

Rinsing the foodRinsing off the leaves and flowers.

Lavender and PelargoniumThe secret ingredients for the scones!

Making the sconesRolling and shaping and adding the petals and leaves to the scones.

Golden sugar-free flower sconesThis golden one is mine!

Fresh rainbow saladFresh rainbow salad – who could resist?

Carissa and Kai apple jam on flower sconesAnyone for a bite of Kai apple and Num num jam on warm buttered flower scones?

A foraged feast!After a morning of hard work, we sat down to a well deserved freshly foraged meal. Delicious!

Lunch time!All our foraged and harvested Fynbos Flavour walks are different, depending on whats growing in the gardens at the time of your visit.

Who knows what next seasons menu will bring…

Hope you will be at the table!

For health and strength

Hand in hand with the chilly nights and cooler days come the sniffles and sneezes. Today Kingoftheplayground woke with a cold, so we decided to make a sun tea. Sun teas are fun and easy to make and retains all the vitamins and enzymes. We picked indigenous mint (Mentha longifolia), spearmint, pineapple mint and Echinacea leaves and placed them in a jar with raw honey, lemon and a rooibos teabag. Left in the sun for a few hours, it was so deliciously aromatic and delightful that even a sick 5 and a half-year old drank it all up quite happily. If anyone has ever had to try feed a 5 and a half-year old….well, then you know what I’m on about.

Sun tea

Another amazing medicinal Must Have Growing in your garden indigenous plant is……………….*drumroll*

Artemesia Afra.

Wonder plant. Cure all. Super star.

Those are just my common names for them. The real common names are

English name: African wormwood

Afrikaans name: Wildeals

Zulu name: Umhlonyane

This beautiful grey-green lacy leafed plant is both easy to grow, has many medicinal properties and multiple uses. If you do not already have one growing in your garden, come and buy one as soon as you can! It is one of the oldest and best-know indigenous plant medicines.

They grow in full sun and are hardy perennials that grow up to 2 meters tall. They are also brilliant for your veggie garden as it repels bugs and insects. You can rub the leaves on your dogs and cats to chase away fleas, in your kitchen to get rid of ants and put in your grains to deter weevils. The fresh or dried leaves are used in infusions, decoctions, tinctures and compresses. Taken orally or inhaled in a steam bath, it is used to treat fever, colds, flu, sore throats, coughs, asthma, pneumonia and headaches. Casually awesome.

But please note NBNBNBNB do not take when breastfeeding or when pregnant. And don’t take often or in excess either.

Artemesia afra

The beetroots in our veggie garden are charging along. We have normal beetroot as well as the candy striped white and pink Chioggia beetroots or Disco Beets as we like to call them. The leafy green tops can be eaten and prepared like spinach. A win-win crop!

Beetroots in Good Hope Gardens

Well cuddle up, keep warm and don’t forget to go plant some medicinal plants in your garden pharmacy!

Fynbos walks and cupcakes.

A wintery chill is in the air. But the wind died down and the sun came out on the weekend so we went for a hike up the Fynbos Walk.

We walked and talked

and climbed and saw some stunning flowers and had a picnic and oohed and aaahed at the magnificent views…

And jumped off boulders like Big Boys.

…well, one incredibly happy body did….

Today, with thanks to the inspiration from Ravishing Rayne, I embarked on making Decadent Cupcake for a Birthday Party order. I first followed the recipe given…but unfortunately for some reason or other they tasted a bit like washing powder(?) so the chickens had an interesting second breakfast. Then I adapted my own recipe (secret one, not telling) and the results were as follows:

<<<cupcakes with creamcheese icing and cranberry and edible glitter decorations Β Β Β  ****Β Β Β Β Β Β  ***Wheat-free rose cupcakes with pink chocolate icing and crystalized lavendar decorations>>>>>>

And Wheat-free chocolate cupcakes with a vanilla centre, choc ganache topping and mint choc ball to decorate.

And here they all are…….

A cluster of cupcakes?

A snuggle of cupcakes?

A comfort of cupcakes?

Well whatever it is, its time for tea!

Bye bye for now…Sweet dreams!

The best aubergine recipe and a garden club visit

I have been asked a couple of times for this recipe so I thought I’d be nice and share it with you too.

You will need:

Two organic aubergines …(these babies came from our garden)

And two free range eggs (thank chicken # 2 & 3) and a plate with seasoned flour ( I used a mix of rye and corn flour…wheat-free and all that)

  • Crack the eggs and mix them in a bowl.
  • Slice the aubergines up and salt them so they sweat a bit..
  • then heat some oil in a pan on medium-high heat.
  • Dip slices first in the egg and then in the flour and pop in the pan…like so:
  • Let it gently brown on both side and then drain on absorbent paper.


Deliciousness in minutes. Even those who don’t normally like aubergines will love these.

This week we had another garden club visit. They had a talk and 10% discount on the retail plants and relaxed in the tea garden in between.

It was drizzling a bit, that’s why one lady has a plastic packet on her head.

Then we fed them









Wheat-free of course.

The Home/Tuise photographer and creative designer came over again to shoot the exterior of the Ecolodge and the interior of our bedroom. Apparently we have a Bohemian/Eclectic style happening. Cute label for secondhand loves! So don’t forget to buy the September issue of Home/Tuis magazine because that’s when the Ecolodge will feature in it…its their Eco-edition.

Thats a while off, in the meantime, this weekend we will have the honour of Petra Van de Casteele from Country Life magazine and her family visiting us in the Ecolodge for the weekend. She wrote ‘Celebrating Fynbos’ amoungst other magical articles and books. Nervously wondering what to serve them at the tea garden after they go on a guided fynbos walk. Maybe scones, a variety ofΒ  indigenous flower jams and fynbos tea? Mmmm.

As Kingoftheplayground would say: ” I better get crackalacking outta here”and go hunt for flowers.

Pecan & white chocolate cake

This recipe is for my sister. Sister # 2 cause she asked nicely. More and more people are gluten intolerant and find it hard to find any wheat-free treats that are in the pastry/bakery section. Go on…try this. Go buy a wheat-free something in the shops…did you enjoy it? No. Did you feel satisfied afterwards? No, cause it probably tasted like a loo roll with carob on it.

Here’s what we had last night for Bossladys birthday: A wheat-free Pecan and white chocolate cake.

Taskmaster is gluten intolerant so everything I make is minus wheat. Sounds hard, but really simple – Just Substitute.

Wheat flour is really bad and bleached and etc, blah blah blah anyway, so just use rice/millet/quinoa/corn/almond/chickpea/rye(not gluten-free) potato/and the list goes on/ flour instead.

Recipe for Pecan & white chocolate cake:

  • Preheat oven to 180 deg cel.
  • In mixing bowl cream:

250g butter

250g sugar

  • Add

3 eggs

  • Mix well. Add

1 tsp vanilla/caramel essence

290g rice/rye/millet flour or mixture of all for best results

100g ground pecans

3 tsp baking powder

185ml milk/cream/buttermilk

Mix untill combined.

Pour into greased baking tin and bake for +- 40 mins or untill knife comes out clean.

Topping for the cake:

handful of white chocolate

1 Tbs butter

  • Melt over a low heat on the stove. Pour evenly over the top of the cooled cake. Let it set.


100g butter

2 tbs cream

2.5 cups sifted icing sugar

1 tbs vanilla essence

drop of milk

  • Cream all ingredients together and ice cake.

1 packet of flaked almonds

  • Press the flakes around the side of the cake to decorate.

So, there we go. Tea anyone?

Heres a photo to brighten up your day…Kingoftheplayground – sweet deprived child of the bush – after a homemade chocolate escaped off the table….hmmmm.