South African Food - Malva Pudding

We have very close to South Africa. My husband is a born and bred Saffa and a lot of his family and friends are still out there. We’re lucky enough though to get many visits from them all. The boys as yet haven’t visited daddy’s country and I cannot wait for the chance to take them over and show the sheer beauty of the country.

Our own little favourite part is the Drakensburg Mountains with its beautiful peaks and views, which also happens to be the basis for Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. We spent our honeymoon here and it’s the first place we head to when we land. Of course the Drakensburg (dragons mountains) also encloses Lesotho – a unique principality bordered by these beautiful peaks.

One of the many things I miss from this stunning country is the food. From the bobotie to the potjie (a cauldron cooked over a fire) to the historical bunny chow – a loaf hollowed out and filled with curry – used when during the apartheid regime as a way around the workers not being allowed to use cutlery. It is still incredibly popular today and if you visit its worth a special trip to just try one.

Of course the main reason for the post is to introduce you to their amazing desserts. From KoekSisters (the best doughnuts ever) to Milk Tarte a firm favourite of ours is the gorgeous Malva Pudding. Rich and easy to make it’s the perfect recipe all year round to serve. Its also great with gluten free flour!

Malva Pudding

6 1/2 ounces sugar (3/4 cup, 200 ml, or 180 g)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon apricot jam
5 ounces gluten free self-raising flour (150 g)
1 tablespoon butter (a generous tablespoon)
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/3 cup milk


3/4 cup fresh cream (200 ml)
3 1/2 ounces butter (100 g)
3 -5 ounces sugar (90 - 150 g)
1/3 cup hot water (90 ml)
2 teaspoons vanilla essence


Preheat oven to 350 deg F/180 deg Celsius.

Grease an oven dish. I used a 7 x 7 x 1 1/2 inch Pyrex dish. (18 x 18 x 4 1/2 cm) Beat or whip the sugar and eggs. It's quickest in a food processor, or use electric beaters. Beat until thick and lemon coloured, then add the jelly (jam) and mix through. Melt the butter (don't boil) and add the butter and vinegar to the wet mixture. Sieve the flour and add this with the milk to the egg mixture in the processor or mixing bowl. Beat well. Pour into an oven-proof dish and bake until pudding is brown and well-risen -- depending on your oven and oven dish this will be between 30 - 45 minutes. In a pot, melt together the ingredients for the sauce, and stir well. Pour it over the pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven.

If you’re looking for a country to visit next year this by far is a firm favourite of ours. Aside from the beautiful weather South Africa is a perfect holiday destination which has a little of everything to offer you. It’s a country which needs to be explored! 

Furchester Magazine Review

Launched today and available in all good shops The Furchester Magazine is the latest childrens comic from the BBC & Cbeebies. Aimed from about 3-6 years it’s a great way to keep up to date on all the crazy goings on at the hotel.

Starring Elmo, the cookie monster, Phoebe and their family this is a great tie in with the popular show. It is published every 4 weeks and retails at £2.75. The first copy comes with a great little kit which allows you to make your own monster portraits and create your own monster hotel. A perfect time filler for the rain showers we keep having!

The boys loved the fact that the magazine came with stickers and activity’s to do throughout the pages. It made it a lot more fun and they didn’t just play with the added toy on the front. The magazine is the great quality you would expect from the BBC brand and is aimed perfectly at the children to capture their attention. My youngest did need his elder brother to help him out over a couple of the pages and to read the story to him but he quite happily played the games and mazes on his giving me a nice 10 minute break!

The colouring pages are big and cheerful and actually allowed the crayon colours to stick we cheered my youngest up. We’ve recently had comics with colouring pages where they are too shiny to colour! While he didn’t pick it up and read it in one sitting it has been picked up and flicked through and new pages discovered each time.

The Furchester Magazine is a great new addition and will become a firm favourite for all those that already love the show! It’s a great standalone magazine and you don’t need to be a fan to buy it and have fun! 

Cordless DIY

A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to be sent the Ryobi Compound Mitre Saw to review. A fabulous piece of technology the Ryobi Mitre Saw works without the need for cables!

Allows you perfect angles every time! No bodge jobs!
 It is one of only a small number of cordless mitre saws on the market and having been sent to a review one previously only a margin cheaper it is one of the best around. It is part of the Ryobi ONE+ family of tools which allows you to use one battery among a range of different tools. Therefore you can use one of your previous tools batteries to power this machine. A fabulous way to save money you spend on other DIY around the home! On a fully charged battery you can cut up to 69 cuts! 

It also features a laser guide for repeat and accurate cutting. The only issue we had with the laser is that my husband enjoyed working outdoors on the grass (the joys of no cords!) and couldn’t see the laser of course in the bright sun! However the minute you took it inside it shone out and was great to use.

See no cords! And very light to carry too.
What has impressed us the most though is the cutting! When you buy Ryobi you know you’re buying a great name and a wonderful brand but even so we adored the cut it gave. Unlike some other saws there was no vibration and you didn’t have to fight the saw and could concentrate on the project in hand rather than trying to control it. The cut was as professional as I have seen among any wood layers.

Isn't that cut beautiful? 
The Ryobi Mitre Saw is fabulous in the set up. It really is a case of pick it up and cut. We haven’t once had a bad cut,  we think due to the blade, the laser technology and the measured base plate. It is more to be used for smaller projects and of course is designed perfectly for skirting boards and cutting wood flooring. It can really only handle a depth of 1” but we have a project coming up which shows just how useful it is to make projects around the house. Perfect for creating designer bookshelves, wine storage, bespoke tables and other useful objects around the house. Mainly down to its wonderful angle cutting. 
And of course being cordless you can take it from room to room!

A fabulous powerful and robust tool is makes a perfect edition to any bodies power tools range! Stay tuned to see one of our projects we ran up on it!