Pastry and Technique

Mango & coconut torte, vegan meringue, coconut and vanilla sorbet and mango salad

Vegan Dessert

Date crust filled with a creamy coconut filling topped with a mango glaze, served with a refreshing coconut and vanilla sorbet and a vegan meringue made from aquafaba to give an element of crunch (still one of our best discoveries of 2017) and a mango mint salad to complement the nutty and sweet flavours from the torte and meringue.

Chef Kirsten in pastry has been tasked to create a whole lot of dairy/egg free dessert/tea items for the tea selection as well as a la carte dessert options. Making these vegan items friendly to the palate has proven popular to even the normal guests, this dessert is currently featured on the Planet menu, but it does look like it will have to find a permanent home.
So ditch the dairy and eggs but not the flavour with this mango and coconut torte. Great for a hot summers day.

With the chickpea aquafaba, Kirsten has also managed to make the most beautiful macarons which is now featured on our vegan tea selection.

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Christmas Pudding With Cherries and a Brandy sauce

Christmas pudding Photo Credit

Christmas pudding
Photo Credit

Our pastry chef Craig did this recipe a year ago for Crush, there is still enough time to pull this off.

Traditional Christmas pudding with cherries and brandy butter sauce
Yields 1 medium size Christmas pudding
Servings 5-8 people

Easy (Just time consuming)

Christmas pudding

½ cup Currants
1 cup Sultanas
1 cup Raisins
2 Tbls mixed orange peel
8 each Prunes
2 Gannysmith apple (grated)
2 tsp Chopped stem ginger
2 oranges segmented
2 each lemon zest grated
2 each orange zest grated
10 Tblsp Grand Marnier or any orange  liqueur
10 Tblsp Brandy
10 Tblsp Dry sherry
10 Tblsp Dark rum
10 Tblsp Madeira or any sweet wine
10 Tblsp Guinness
10 Tblsp Ale
1 cup Dark brown sugar (Demerara)
3 Tblsp mixed spice
4 Tblsp ground almonds
4 tsp Suet or Veg suet if preferred
4 tsp bread crumbs
1 cup flour
6 eggs

Soak the fruit, grated apple, mixed peel, ginger, orange segments and the zest with all the alcohol for 5 days. Turning the fruit once a day so the alcohol can soak evenly through the fruit.
Place the fruit in the mixer and add the rest of the ingredients, mix well
Line a mould, I used a small normal mixing bowl for this shoot, but any mould that fits the mix will do. Fill the mould and cover with silicon paper, then with tin foil. Steam the pudding for 3.5 to 4 hours

Brandy sauce
Yields 550ml
Serves 5 to 8

1 cup Milk
1 cup Cream
4 Tblsp Sugar
4 tsp brandy (or be naughty and add a few more)
1tsp butter
1Tblsp corn flour

Boil the 50ml milk, cream and butter together. Add the remaining milk to the cornflour and bring it to the mix thickens. Then add the sugar and the brandy and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Take off the heat and cover plastic wrap to stop a skin from forming.

Drunken Cherries
Serves 5 to 8
1 ½ cups pitted fresh cherries
1 cup brandy
½ cup sugar
1 orange zest
½ cup juice
1 vanilla pod
1 cinnamon stick

Place the ½ the brandy with the orange juice, zest, sugar, split vanilla pod and cinnamon in small pot and dissolve the sugar .Once the sugar has dissolved add the cherries and cook for 3 min. Take off the heat and add the remaining brandy. Let cool. Place in a air tight container or jar and use when needed.

Photo Credit

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Brandy pudding samosas

Rudi Heritage2


One of my favourite desserts is a brandy nut pudding with vanilla ice cream. Made this the for the first time for for a heritage shoot, thought about combining two favourites one a dessert and the other a samosa was born.
This is also a lekker way of using up those left over desserts.
16 ea

1/2 Cup -pitted dried dates
1tsp -Bicarbonate soda
½ cup -Boiling water
3 Tblsp – Brandy
2 Tblsp -Butter
½ cup-Castor sugar
1 large egg
½ cup-Flour
pinch salt
1 tsp- Baking powder
¼ cup-Pecan nuts

½ cups -Milk
2 Tbsp -Sugar
1½ Tbsp -Butter
¼ cup brandy

Turn the oven on to 175°C. Place the dates in a bowl and sprinkle the bicarbonate soda evenly over them, pour the boiling water and brandy over the dates and let it stand until it has cooled. In a mixing bowl place the butter and sugar on a high speed and whisk until pale in colour. Add the egg. Sift the rest of the dry ingredients and fold in to the egg mix. Place in already greased dish and bake for approximately 30-40min. Once cook allow to cool slightly and then pour over the sauce.

Naartjie syrup:
1½ cups freshly squeeze naartjie juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Vanilla pod
1 cinnamon stick

Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to the simmer, reduce by a ¼ and take of the heat, let it stand to cool over night.

To finish
16 strips samoosa pastry
Flour slurry
Cut up brandy nut filling

Place filling at edge and fold into neat triangles, secure at end with flour slurry
Deep fry until golden brown and remove and place on kitchen paper cool slightly
serve with vanilla ice cream

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Angry Pudding

Angry Pudding

With all the hot cross buns coming our way in the next couple of months why not try this angry recipe.

We first did this for a shoot a couple years ago for Crush online when chef Vix was in pastry.
Serves 12

Angry pudding

12 hot cross buns
10 ea egg yolks
1 l cream
1 ea vanilla pod
1 ea cinnamon stick
¾ cup castor sugar
5 ea egg white
¾ cup castor sugar
1/3 cup roasted shelled peanuts
100 g milk chocolate chopped
100 g peanut snack broken into chunks

● Bring the cream to the boil with the vanilla and cinnamon stick
● Whisk the yolks and 150 g castor sugar, when the cream has boiled temper it onto the yolks and strain through a chinoise
● Cut the hot cross buns in half and arrange in an oven proof dish, sprinkle the peanuts and chopped chocolate in between the slices of hot cross bun
● Pour the hot egg custard over the hot cross buns and let it soak for 20¬30 min
● Place in an oven at 170 C for 20¬30 min until there is no more liquid custard
● Whisk the egg whites and 150 g sugar into a stiff meringue and pipe onto the warm pudding, burn with a blow torch or under a hot grill until golden brown
● Garnish with the peanut snack, serve warm with cinnamon ice cream or vanilla ice cream

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Togara does it again!

Best bread 2015

Best bread 2015

We did it again, thanks to our brilliant head baker Togara Mabharani, winning the best bread category competition for the second time since the introduction of the competition. Togara walked away with some amassing prizes sponsored by KitchenAid

The competition in its third year and the awards celebration was held at the Southern Sun Cape Sun, Friday 14th August 2015.

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Introducing Craig Hibbert


Craig Hibbert

Craig Thomas Hibbert

I have never seen him angry, I have never seen him stress and he does not panic! NEVER!.

But a chef must have a weakness, in his case it is the love of making macarons and the anger that he shows when Man United is a goal down.

In September 2014 Craig returned to The Belmond Mount Nelson as the Executive Pastry Chef a position he aspired to since initially working at The Mount Nelson almost 16 years ago under Wade van der Merwe at the time.

Before he started to carve a career in the kitchen he completed an advertising diploma in graphic design before joining the madness.

His culinary career started as an apprentice in 1997 at the Cape Grace under Grant Cullingworth. Working his way around all the sections of the kitchen he found his passion in Pastry, as it was an amazing avenue to channel his creativity.

He left South Africa for London, working at the Dorchester and expanding his repertoire. Returning to South Africa in 2002 to get married, he and his wife, also a chef, returned to the UK to work at the new The Grove Hotel.

He and his wife returned to South Africa, where he was offered his first executive pastry position at The Palace of the Lost City and then relocated to Cape Town as a much larger family, where Craig took the position of Executive pastry chef at The Westin working again with Grant Cullingworth.

Look out for Craig’s favourites on the afternoon tea buffet like peppermint crisp crémeux, passion fruit delice, streusel crusted eclair and the yummiest home made strawberry jam served with clotted cream and warm baked scones

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Strawberry Jam


Strawberry Jam and scones

Strawberry Jam and scones

Tea is not quite the same with out home made strawberry jam, nothing beats it….maybe homemade apricot jam. We make the jam only for scone service served at tea.

Served with fresh cream or clotted cream. The recipe below is from our pastry chef Craig Hibert

Home-made strawberry Jam (Chef Craig’s Recipe)

Yields 6 bottles (1000g)


3kg Fresh strawberry
2kg Sugar
1 each Vanilla pod
75g Apple pectin
500g Sugar
100g Lemon juice


Take 1kg of the strawberries and blend to a purée
Boil the purée, the remanding strawberries, Vanilla pod and 2kg of sugar for 40min
Whisk to break up
Mix the 500g sugar with the pectin until well combined
Whisk the hot purée with the pectin mix (tip: combine slowly while whisking to stop lumps forming)
Place back on the heat for 20min, stirring every now and then to stop it burn on the bottom
Add the lemon juice and boil for a further 5min
Sterilize the jar by steaming the or boil in boiling water for 15min
Fill the jar and steam for an extra 5min to seal the jar

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