……BY BILLY SUTER……
TWO fine new recipe books worth checking out have been newly published by Human and Rousseau and are sure to make excellent stocking fillers for Christmas.
One is My Sweet Life by first-time author Faaiza Omar, a copy of which is to be won on this site. See the end of the article for competition entry info.
The other recipe book I received for review is 40 Years of Iconic Food by Dorah Sitole, who is the former editor and food editor of True Love magazine.
Sitole, who has published three other cook books and collaborated on others, saw her culinary journey start during childhood in the townships, and her book celebrates that experience and the next four decades of her fascination with food. Her recipes are inspired by visits throughout Africa and the rest of the world.
Sitole’s chance to transform her passion for cooking into a career came when she was appointed as a home economist at the Canned Food Advisory Service, which introduced her to writing for the food pages of magazines and newspapers.
She joined True Love magazine in 1987, and in the following years received several food industry accolades, including a South African Chefs’ Association President’s Award, for contributing to the country’s hospitality industry.
Now a freelance food writer, recipe developer and food stylist for food companies, she also presents TV shows and hosts cooking demos and workshops.
40 Years of Iconic Food sells for about R380. It offers 256 glossy pages with photographs, features various stages of her fascinating life, and has recipes to match her life chapters: traditional African, Township, Pan-African and Western.
Recipes range from Potato and Spinach Curry to Mango Trifle; Rhubard and Mulberry Crumble to Nasi Goreng; Mielie Bread to various dishes from Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya, Zanzibar, Botswana, Ghana, Senegal and Limpopo, among others,
Also here are recipes collected from countries beyond Africa – such as Salade Nicoise (from Paris), Baba Ganoush (Dubai), Pad Thai (Thailand), Deep-Fried Whole Fish: Galilee Style (Israel), New York Baked Cheesecake (US) and The Perfect Chocolate Fondant (London).
With my very sweet tooth, I was very attracted to My Sweet Life, subtitled “a simple master class of home baking”, first book by Faaiza Omar, a very talented, self-taught baker.
Passionate about baking all things sweet for some two decades, Omar, from Nelspruit, has curated her favourite recipes for My Sweet Life, a 208-page book inspired by flavours from Paris to Peru. It offers some hugely decadent and some quite unique bakes, her recipes bridging the gap between baking enthusiasts and pastry chefs with both easy and advanced recipes, simplifying some techniques.
Featuring some excellent photographs (by Annelize Nel) of some of Omar’s mouth-watering bakes, the book offers recipes for treats ranging from petits fours and celebration cakes to cheesecakes, brioches and desserts. It sells for about R450.
A friend, for my birthday, baked Omar’s Candied Ginger Cheesecake, which serves 12, and it was quite sublime, featuring a firm Ginger Biscuit base and sinfully rich taste explosions.
Adored by her Facebook fans and Instagram followers for her stylish take on sweet delights, Omar’s passion for baking started with her quest to master the art of the perfect macaron (her recipe for a chocolate and passion fruit variation appears in the book).
She keeps up with the latest in food and baking trends, new techniques and ingredients, by attending pastry master classes with world-renowned chefs, most particularly Pariaisian pastry chefs.
Omar acknowledges that some recipes in her book are not exactly a walk in the park, but ‘difficult’ desserts have been offered to encourage the more adventurous baker to master a challenge, she says. Take the elegant, layered Dulce De Leche and Banana Delice, for example – Omar’s recipe extends over two pages and four hours are recommended to create it. It looks (and, no doubt, tastes) amazing, though!
“Sometimes what may scare a home baker, like making macarons, can be achieved by taking it one step at a time. Remember it’s okay if you don’t master it the first time; keep trying. I have had countless failed baking attempts on my baking journey. The trick is to give it another go until you get it right,” says Omar.
When she is not in her kitchen, Omar hosts classes at her pastry school. In 2018, she baked her way to the Big Apple by winning the Lancewood Cake-Off challenge with her rose, pistachio and raspberry gateau, a variation of which is among the book’s recipes.
WIN A COPY OF FAAIZA OMAR’S ‘MY SWEET LIFE’ RECIPE BOOK
Care to put yourself in line to win a copy of My Sweet Life by Faaiza Omar, the impressive recipe book newly published by Human and Rousseau and valued at R450?
You simply have to be a follower of the SoSuterBill site to win. At no cost.
If you are not already a follower, simply leave your email address in the space specifically provided for this, towards the end of the cover page of this site, sosuterbill.com
You will then be a follower, and receive email notification whenever I file a new story.
Once you have subscribed (there is no cost), send your NAME, PHONE NUMBER AND FULL ADDRESS via email (NOT THIS SITE’S CONTACT FORM) to firstname.lastname@example.org and place the words ‘MY SWEET LIFE’ in the subject field.
Note that the competition closes at 6pm on Sunday, November 22. The winner will be contacted soon after and the book will be delivered to him/her. (The winner is K Huxtable).
NOTE: PLEASE READ ENTRY DETAILS CAREFULLY AS SOME PEOPLE ARE ENTERING COMPETITIONS INCORRECTLY.
ALSO NOTE THAT ONLY ONE ENTRY PER SUBSCRIBER WILL BE CONSIDERED.