Yvonne at Bonza Bay in East London 1960s

Yvonne's Recipes

Yvonne was a fantastic cook, and everyone could look forward to delicious meals and treats. Versatile and resourceful, her table was a mix of flavours, cuisine, home-grown veggies and even flowers. Here you'll find a few of her recipes, edited ever so slightly to water down the sauce and distinctively over-generous use of CAPITALS!)

Main course

Beef Wellington (individual)

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 4 slices of beef fillet ± 5cm thick
  • Ready made puff pastry
  • 120g pate
  • 1 beaten egg

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 15ml flour
  • 125ml red wine
  • 150ml beef stock
  • salt and black pepper

    Fry onions gently in a pan. Add flour to the juice and stir. Add red wine and stock. Simmer and season. Heat butter on high and seal beef slices on both sides.

    Roll out Pastry,cut squares to wrap the fillets. Spread Pate on top of the fillets. Place pate-side down on pastry. Fold into parcels and seal edges of pastry seam-side down on a wet baking tray. Brush with egg and decorate with bits of pastry. Make a hole in centre of each parcel.

    Bake at 220°C for 15-20mins.

  • Frittata

  • 15ml olive oil
  • small red onion finely chopped
  • 4 rashers bacon chopped and cooked
  • 1 red apple chopped finely
  • 125ml Ricotta cheese
  • 60 ml grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites, salt and pepper

    Heat oil, cook onion over a medium heat until soft. Add bacon and apple and cook for a minute. Sprinkle Ricotta and Cheddar, add eggs and stiff egg whites. Pour over the mixture and bake in a low heat until eggs are have set. Grill for a few minutes to cook the top.

    Can be put into individual patty pans, and the Ricotta can be replaced with Feta.

  • Haddock Bake

    A very important item in my Grandmothers kitchen in S.W.A (now Namibia). The mail train from the Union came twice a week and brought all the so called “goodies” to Windhoek. (Early years, I grew up with a large German Community pre W.W.11 and this was their version.)

    Her recipe for the bake serves 4, so you can halve it if required.

  • 450g smoke haddock fillets
  • 25g Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt / pepper to season
  • 150ml cottage cheese
  • 300g milk and 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs chopped parsley.
  • Sometimes when available fresh spinach was added.....

    Fish in a pan, water to just cover. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and poach gently until fish just cooked. Usually this is +/- just 15 minutes. Drain off liquid and place fish in a baking dish.

    Sprinkle cheese, salt/pepper to taste over the fish then remaining ingredients in a bowl, whisk then pour over the fish. Stand in a pan with water 2½ cm.......180°C. for 40 minutes.

    If you want the spinach version... Cream spinach. Top the fish prior to serving and add anything else but the kitchen sink...

    ...it's good...........

  • Roy Campbell's Bobotie

    Roy Campbell was a well-known South African poet who spent years in Spain. Memorable poems include 'Rounding of the Cape', 'Tristan da Cunha', 'The Zulu Girl' and best known for 'Horses on the Camargue'. He was a great entertainer and Ruth Burton passed on one of his recipes.

    PART A
  • 1 level teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 dessert spoon sugar and teaspoon ginger
  • 2 large onions, chopped

    PART B
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 handful seedless raisins
  • 2 tablespoons chutney
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • 1 large tomato, skinned and sliced

    PART C
  • 2 slices of bread, damped with water
  • 1 lb. raw mince

    PART D
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (Maizina in SA)

    Into a heavy pot combine all (A) ingredients stir until onions are clear - add (B)- lower heat and mix well until bubbling the add (C) mix well together. Place in a pie dish. Finally add (D) beating the eggs, milk and maizina pour this over the mince mixture and place fresh bay leaves on top and bake in oven 350°F until custard has set and turns golden. Serve with Rice, salads or vegetables.

    Am off into the garden now, lovely morning and trying to clean up the mess of the storm.

  • Cakes and Bakes

    Yvonne's shortbread

  • 285g (10oz) flour
  • 114g (4oz) cornflour
  • 227g (¼lb) butter
  • 227g (¼lb) castor sugar
  • sprinkle of salt

    Cream butter and sugar until perfectly blended and creamy. Slowly add the rest of the ingredients. Add a pinch of salt to taste.

    Knead well. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

    Roll soft dough into a flat greased baking tray.. Prick with a fork. Leave in the fridge for 1 hour. Bake in the oven for 1 hour on a low heat.

  • Royal baking mix (RBM)

  • 7 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons Royal baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1½ cups white vegetable fat (Holsum in SA)

    Sift together dry ingredients into a large bowl. Rub in shortening until mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Store in an airtight tin, keep in a cool place for up to 8-10 weeks

  • Royal gingerbread

  • 1½ cups RBM
  • ¾ cup plain flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon spice
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

    Warm 2 heaped tablespoons of syrup to liquify in a small pan. Beat 1 egg and mix with ½ cup milk. Add this to the warm syrup, stir to mix (syrup must not be hot).

    Pour liquid into dry mixture, beat thoroughly until smooth.

    Add ½ teaspoon bicarb dissolved in a little hot water. Turn into an oblong loaf pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 180°C. Marshmallow topping: Place whole or halved marshmallows over the top as it comes out the oven. Return to oven as they begin to melt.

  • Puddings

    Apple and berry crumble

  • 175ml cake flour
  • 125ml sugar
  • 150ml oats
  • 100g cold butter
  • chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg

  • 500g peeled apples
  • 250g frozen berries
  • lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

    Food process the topping's dry ingredients except the walnuts. Then add the nuts.

    Toss filling ingredients together with the flour and sugar. Spread filling into dish, sprinkle the topping. Bake at 180°C for 40mins

  • Asyn Pudding

    Otherwise known as Vinegar Pudding, a similar South African version of the Malva Pudding.

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons smooth apricot or plum jam
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dates

  • ½ cup Vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

    Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and jam. Warm milk and pour over the chopped dates and raisins – set aside to cool. Sift together dry ingredients, add to the egg mixture alternately with milk and fruit mixture into the batter. Combine syrup ingredients and boil for a few minutes until syrup thickens slightly - it must not be too watery. Pour syrup hot into an oven proof dish. Spoon the batter onto the syrup. Bake at 175deg C for 45 minutes.

  • Brussels Cake

    Or 'Fly Cemetery Cake' as we knew it in Bulawayo

  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ lb margarine
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ½ cup castor sugar

    Rub margarine into dry ingredients. Beat egg and vanilla together. Mix into other ingredients. Softly knead the dough and divide into 2 and roll each portion into a square pan.

    Bake for ....

  • Bulawayo Pudding

  • ½ cup currants
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons syrup
  • ½ teaspoon bicarb
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • milk
  • cinnamon and mixed spice

    Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, then dry ingredients, syrup, soda, milk, spices. Fold in stiffly beaten egg-whites. Add currants. Steam for 2 hours.

  • Dutch milk tart

    Line 2 pans with Royal Baking Mix sweet pastry.

  • 1 egg
  • 2½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • cinnamon
  • flour
  • cornflour
  • butter

    Put milk on to boil. Mix flour, cornflour and sugar with a little milk. Add just before milk reaches boiling point. Boil until it thickens. Remove from heat and add the beaten egg and salt. Pour this mixture into the ready-line tins and bake in a hot oven. Sprinkle mixed sugar and cinnamon.

  • Honeycomb sponge

  • 80g Moirs jelly powder
  • 1 cup boiling water (225ml)
  • 2 cups milk (450ml)
  • 2 eggs separated
  • 50ml sugar, preferably Castor

    Dissolve jelly in boiling water. Heat milk in a saucepan to boiling. Mix egg yolks and sugar together. Add some of the boiling milk to the egg yolk mix, stir well and return to the saucepan. Bring all to the boil 1 minute and cool. Add jelly mix to this egg milk mix. Whisk egg whites until stiff and fold into the cooled jelly mixture. Put into a mould and refrigerate to set.

  • Pineapple Special

    The following recipe was given me by Ruth years ago. It was served at their Golden Wedding in East London

  • 1 large tin pineapple chunks (Chopped small)
  • 1 packet pineapple jelly
  • 1 tin unsweetened Ideal Milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup castor sugar

    Drain liquid from pineapple and measure 2 large cups of this liquid into a saucepan, bring to NEAR boiling point add and make the jelly... Allow to cool then add the pineapple pieces, whilst cooling beat the milk until stiff, then egg yolks and whisk the whites to a stiff froth. Add the ideal milk and egg yolks to the jelly and finally fold in the stiff egg whites. Garnish.

    This mixture doubles in bulk, so use a large bowl and chill to set in fridge.

  • Pumpkin fritter

  • 50ml? mashed pumpkin
  • 62ml? flour
  • 10ml baking powder
  • 1ml salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • cinnamon sugar

    Combine pumpkin, flour, baking powder and salt to form a smooth batter. Add egg and beat well. Drop spoonfuls into hot oil. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

  • Syllabub

  • 1 lemon
  • 120ml sherry
  • 40ml brandy
  • 90ml castor sugar
  • 250ml double cream

    Peel Lemon and squeeze the juice. Place peel, lemon juice, sherry and brandy and leave overnight. Next day strain into a large bowl and add sugar until dissolved.

    Gently add the cream, whisk until it peaks and spoon into individual glasses. Serve with wafers.

    Serves 4.

  • Tiramisu

  • 6 eggs
  • 250ml strong coffee
  • 90g sugar
  • 250g finger biscuits
  • 45g cocao powder
  • 500g mascarpone cheese

    Separate Eggs. Whisk yolks and sugar until thick and creamy. Whisk egg whites until stiff. Add mascarpone to the yolk mixture, carefully. Dip finger biscuits into coffee and line the base of a bowl. Fold yolk and cheese mixture into egg whites. Add a layer of cheese-egg mixture to the layer of biscuits, then continue. Finishing off with a layer of mixture. For 4-6 hours refrigerate. An hour before serving sieve cocoa over the tiramasu. Replace in refrigerator until ready to serve.

  • Fruit Tiramisu

  • 15 or 16 sponge fingers (Boudoir Biscuits)
  • 250g each of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
  • 2 ripe peaches cubed with juices reserved.
  • 30 ml fresh orange juice
  • 400g fat-free cottage cheese.
  • 400g marcacapone cheese.
  • blueberry jam
  • a few Amereti Biscuits
  • orange liqueur.

    However my version..............

    Instead of the peaches, orange juice and orange liquor... use strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cherries... plus cherry brandy (Kirsch), fresh double cream, mascarpone and cottage cheese.

    Line the bottom of a glass baking dish with the sponge fingers. Sprinkle with strong coffee. Instant with hot water..Prepare the fruit. Halve the strawberries and stone the cherries. Add the kiirsch and toss the fruit thoroughly... Spread the fruit over the sponge fingers. Put all cheeses (cottage and mascacapone) and beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread this over the fruit layer... Whip the cream until fluffy and spread over the cheese mixture. Crush the Amaretti biscuits and sprinkle the crumbs...

    OR you can pipe the cream around the base of that cheese mix and sprinkle with sifted cocoa.


  • Fruit Ricotta Tiramisu

  • Sponge fingers
  • 250g each of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
  • 2 ripe peaches cubed, juices reserved
  • 5ml vanilla
  • 30 ml fresh orange juice
  • 15ml orange liqueur
  • 550g ricotta
  • 400g mascarpone
  • 10ml blueberry conserve
  • Amaretti biscuits

    Line bottom of a 30x18 cm clear glass baking dish with a layer of sponge fingers. Halve the strawberries + with all the berries in a bowl.

    Add peach cubes with their juices, sprinkle half the vanilla extract and the orange juice and liqueur. Toss with two spoons until combined, spread the fruit over sponge fingers.

    Put Ricotta and marsacapone cheese into a blender with the remaining vanilla and blueberry conserve process until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Spread this mixture over the fruit.

    Crush the Amaretti biscuits and sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the cheese layer. Cover and chill 2 hours before serving. Finally sieve cocoa powder over the top.

  • Snacks

    Herby potted cheese

  • 60g butter
  • 5ml fresh thyme
  • 2ml dry mustard
  • pinch grated nutmeg
  • 60ml cream
  • 375g grated Cheddar cheese
  • 45ml sherry, wine or port to taste

    Melt butter add thyme, mustard and nutmeg. Cook for a minute or two. Remove from heat and add cream. Combine all in a food processor until smooth. Spoon into a serving bowl cover and refrigerate.

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