Wednesday, February 22, 2012

From surf to turf

From Cape Town I flew to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe where my sister Vanessa and her husband collected me and two friends to take us down to their farm, Sentinel on the Limpopo River. It is a very special part of the world: a land of dinosaur fossils (including the most complete massospondylus speciman in Zimbabwe), ancient African kingdoms, bushman paintings, and magnificent wildlife. In the past, inhabitants of the house have included a young zebra, three lion, and an assortment of bizarre looking reptiles. I have snagged a photo from Vanessa's website, for my blog. Check out her website for some more really terrific photographs.

Tomorrow is Vanessa's birthday and her adopted son Robert has crossed the crocodile infested Limpopo to buy eggs in South Africa so I can make my chocolate almond souffle cake. Our eggs were too shaken up on the drive down from Bulawayo and the yolks were damaged so I couldn't separate the whites from the yolks.

Update: After nervously waiting about two hours for Robert to return with new eggs, I was greatlyrelieved when he arrived, in spite of not having found any eggs. I managed to whip some salvaged whites and fold them into the cake batter but no sooner had I put the cake in the oven when we had a power failure. The poor cake was bundled into the Landrover and taken to the camp kitchen to bake. It rose dramatically but collapsed as soon as we took it out of the oven. Delicious nevertheless but here is the recipe for those of you who live near shops and have proper kitchens and a reliable power supply:

Gauteau de la Reine (Queen cake- a French chocolate flourless cake recipe)

1. Melt 200 grams of butter with 200 grams of good dark chocolate

2. Cream six egg yolks with 200 grams of sugar

3. Mix 200 grams of ground almonds or hazlenuts with 3 tablespoons of Maizena corn starch, two teaspoons of baking powder and a pinch of salt.

Mix 1. and 2. Add 3. Whip six egg whites till very stiff and gently and briefly fold into mixture and pour into well greased round high cake tin with buttered paper lined bottom and stick in medium hot oven (350F or 180C) for 25 minutes. DO NOT OVER COOK. Should be very moist. Cool and dust with icing powder before serving. Nice with strawberries and rasberries and cream.

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