Betty’s Kitchen was partly created to honour Bettina Mnyandu, a woman of great faith, compassion, patience and grace. Betty has been our housekeeper for 23 years, the latter 17 years being spent in a guesthouse. She is a chef of note, competent, stylish & with an impeccable sense of taste. Curries, cakes & cookies- Betty has no limits. Anyone who has eaten at Hedge House can testify to this.

A remarkable woman in every way- thank you Betty, we appreciate you!

For these reasons this food blog as well as the kitchen at Hedge House have been affectionately named after Betty. Not all recipes will be her tried and tested favourites but hopefully this blog will be a contribution from all the Hedge House food lovers! Many a time, however, Betty is tweaking the flavours with her perceptive palate to make the outcome just right!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Grilled Sweet Potatoes!

This is a really great way of enjoying sweet potatoes. The dish goes especially well with braaied meat!

4 sweet potatoes – washed and sliced (1cm thick rounds)
50ml Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and ground black pepper

50ml Olive Oil
60ml fresh Coriander
1 red chilli
Juice and rind of a lemon
10ml Cumin seeds – crushed a bit

Mix 50ml Olive Oil with garlic, S & P and toss potatoes to combine.
Grill (single layer) until charred, but edible!
Combine dressing ingredients and spread over

Friday, June 12, 2015

Chocolate Brownies

Quick and easy- my favourite! 

Makes 15- 18 brownies
150g                 Melted butter
150g                 GOOD quality dark chocolate
3 large eggs beaten
225g                white sugar
5ml                  Vanilla essence
60g                  Flour
100g                Pecan/ walnuts roughly chopped
Pinch salt

Cut chocolate & butter into small squares. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat (it must not boil).   When partly melted add chocolate, stirring until melted.
Remove from heat and allow to cool a little.
Stir in sugar, vanilla & beaten eggs.
Add flour, salt & nuts until well combined.

Scrape into rectangular or square metal cake pan which has been lined with baking paper or greased..

Bake at 160C for 40 min --- test with skewer. Depending on the oven it may need a little longer!

Allow to cool for 10 min.  Remove from pan and cut into squares.

Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

INDUSTRIAL CHEESE CAKE - another gem from Sheila Bennett

Industrial Cheesecake!

So called because it can feed a multitude!  About 7 – 8 people (dependent on the ages of your guests).   Remember – young males have huge appetites!

This pudding is best made the day before serving it as it needs time to set.

1 packet boudoir biscuits
1 carton (250 mls) whipping cream
1 tin condensed milk (not the Pick ‘n Pay one)
1 tub of creamed cottage cheese (the Lancewood one is best.  Don’t be tempted to use the low fat variety of cottage cheese as the pudding will not set)
70 mls lemon juice
orange juice (liquifruit is fine)

-                    Dip the boudoir biscuits quickly into orange juice and lay them next to each other, in a single layer, on the base of a serving dish.  (The one that I use is rectangular measuring 32 X 24 cm, and all, except 2 or 3 biscuits, are used)

-                    Beat the cream until stiff.

-                    In another bowl, beat together the condensed milk, the creamed cottage cheese, and the lemon juice until combined.

-                    With a metal spoon, fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture.

-                    Pour over the biscuits and place in the fridge.

-                    Serve with granadilla pulp, or strawberries.  Or drain a can of Cape gooseberries and lay them on top of the cheese cake.  Or do the same with a can of black cherries, reserving the juice.  You can thicken the juice up by heating it and adding a little cornflour.  When it is cold, pour over the cherries on top of the cheesecake.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hot Chocolate Sauce

Hot Chocolate Sauce

A favourite from my childhood! 

240g Chocolate- I use dark
90ml Strong filter Coffee
1T Oil
1T Brandy

Melt the chocolate with the coffee in a double boiler. 
Add the oil and brandy and blend well with a whisk. 
Keeps well in the fridge.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Crunchies – these are for you Jean!
3 cups of large flake oats – (Tiger Oats)
1 cup of coconut
2 cups of flour
2 cups of white sugar
Half cup of sunflower seeds
Step 2
Melt and allow to froth:
300g butter
1 heaped Tbs golden syrup
1tsp bicarb

Step 3
Combine mixture and bake 180 degrees for +/-20minutes

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Quick, yummy Ice Cream

Cream 500ml - whipped quite firmly.

Add anything you fancy - chopped or broken up...



Stir in and freeze

Defrost for 15 mins before serving.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lamb Shanks My Way

Lamb Shanks My Way

For Vicki

This is a Jamie Oliver recipe that I adapted to make more interesting and spicy.
We served it with roti and fresh coriander and it was memorable!

4 lamb shanks
Tin Indian Tomatoes
Flour to coat mixed with
dried chilli flakes
fresh rosemary
dried origanum 
10ml   crushed coriander seeds (rolling pin!)
2 onions , sliced
3 cloves garlic – crushed
1+ T grated ginger
Sprig fresh curry leaves
S & P

After rolling shanks in seasoned flour, fry to brown in Olive Oil.

Remove from pan and adding a little more oil if necessary, fry onions, garlic and ginger until well softened. Then sprinkle with 25ml cake flour and stir.
Add the tin of Indian tomatoes and a little water and return shanks to the pan.

Bake at 160 for about 2 hrs, with the lid on.

When ready the meat will fall off the bone. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse 

Sheila Bennett gave me this recipe about 25 years ago.
I wish I knew how many times I have made it!
Delicious with berries or crumbled Peppermint Crisp.

200g dark chocolate - melted
4 eggs - separated
125ml cream
1 T butter

Whip egg whites - stiff
Whip cream
Add butter to melted chocolate.
Whisk, then add yolks and blend well.
Fold in cream and then egg whites.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake - Moist and memorable

2 cups cake flour                              2 cups grated carrot
2t cinnamon                                      2 cups dark brown sugar
2t bicarb                                            4 eggs
2t baking powder                              1 cup sunflower oil
1t salt                                                 1 cup chopped pecans


60g butter
250g icing sugar
60g cottage cheese                               Blend all together
1t vanilla
Pinch salt

For the cake

Sift dry ingredients except sugar together.
Mix sugar and oil.
Add dry ingredients alternately with eggs to sugar and oil
Mix well after each addition.
Add carrots and nuts.

Pour into greased 20 X 20 cm cake tin.
180 for 30 mins then reduce to 160 for 40 mins.

30 Day Muffin mix

30 DAY MUFFIN MIX -  a most useful recipe!
Thank you Noeleen!

BEAT:  2 eggs
            1 cup dark brown sugar
            1 cup oil   
MIX:    2 cups digestive bran
            2.5 cups flour
            .5t salt
            2.5t bicarb
ADD :   2 cups milk
            1t vanilla
            raisins,chopped dates,dark chocolate chips, coconut,
            and 2 mashed, elderly bananas.
           Anything else you fancy. Top with a few Pecan pieces

Muffin tins, sprayed. 180 for 20 mins


NAGMAAL - a butterscotch dessert recipe from my English mother Mary!
Better than Malva! Spongy & light.

3T butter
60ml flour
1 ½ cups milk - warm
Melt butter, add flour and milk and  make a smooth roux.
It must be quite thick.

Separate 3 eggs
Beat whites with a pinch salt, gradually adding ¼ cup castor sugar, until stiff
Beat yolks with ¼ cup castor sugar until thick and light.
Add roux gradually to yolk mix beating all the time.
Fold whites in with 1t vanilla.

Pour into a shallow ovenproof dish ( UN-GREASED) and place in a larger pan of hot water.
Bake 180 for about ½ hour until set and pale brown.
Whilst baking make sauce.

250ml cream
1T butter                             Melt all together, stirring to dissolve sugar.
1 cup dark brown sugar

Slice into squares and pour sauce over into cracks.

 May be made ahead of time and placed in a warm oven for a while before serving.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Romany Creams

Romany Creams –easy and much better than the ones out the box!!

250g Stork marg brick
1 1/3 cups white sugar         
1t vanilla
2 eggs

1 cup sifted cake flour
½ cup sifted cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups coconut
3 ½ cups oats
1 t each Bicarb & Baking Powder
Pinch salt
Roll into balls and press down with a fork.
170 degrees for about 15 mins.

Melt  200g dark
chocolate and “glue” together in pairs when cool.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bircher Muesli Hedge House Style

100g raw oats                                                       
2T sultanas/cranberries/Turkish apricots chopped                Soak this overnight
300ml freshly squeezed orange juice or apple juice.

In the morning add about 1 cup vanilla yoghurt and
2 peeled, grated apples
seeds, nuts....whatever you fancy

SO easy and delicious

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stop me Starving Squares - Betty's Kitchen version

Stop me Starving Squares

2 cups self raising Flour
1 cup oats
2 eggs
2 cups fruit mix, cranberries, orange peel, nuts, choc chips, seeds - whatever you have
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut
200g melted butter
1t almond essence

Mix together and press into 45x30cm tray.
Bake for about 30 mins until golden @ 180 degrees

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chunky Moroccan Tomato Soup

Yesterday Audrey and Helen came for lunch and this is what we served.
It was delicious and they wanted the recipe....

Chunky Moroccan Tomato soup 

Serves 12 (2 generous ladles each)

45-60ml olive oil
3-4 cloves
2 onions, chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small chunks
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
10 large, ripe jam tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
15ml sugar
15ml tomato puree
5-10ml ras el hanout - (Moroccan spice)
2,5ml ground turmeric
1.8 litres vegetable stock
A big bunch of fresh coriander chopped
A handful dried egg noodles broken into pieces
Salt and ground black pepper
60-75ml creamy yogurt to serve

In a deep, heavy pan, heat the oil and add the cloves, onions, squash, celery and carrots. Fry until they begin to colour, then stir in the tomatoes and sugar. Cook the tomatoes until the water reduces and they begin to pulp.

Stir in the tomato puree, ras el hanout, turmeric and chopped coriander. Pour in the stock and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are very tender and the liquid has reduced a little.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Butterscotch Sauce

Butterscotch Sauce

This recipe was given to me about 30 years ago by my friend Anne Naylor.
Today I served it with ice cream and berries  for a conference dessert and ...they wanted the recipe!!
It keeps well in the fridge - just heat gently (microwave fine) before serving.

25ml butter
125ml cream
125ml dark brown sugar
125ml golden (maple) syrup

Blend all together over low heat then gently boil, stirring, for 10 minutes

Sunday, April 7, 2013



250g Stork brick
200g dark brown sugar (can use less and add some marmalade)
250ml buttermilk/plain yoghurt
1 egg, beaten
500g self-raising flour
50g oats
50g raisins
30g bran (digestive)
30g wheatgerm
50g almonds and cashews chopped
Sunflower seeds/linseeds/sesame - handful
5ml baking powder
2ml salt

Melt marg. And blend in sugar to partly dissolve.
Add buttermilk and eggs
Add remaining ingredients.
Dough should be soft and moist and not stick to side of bowl whilst mixing.
180 for 1hour
Break into pieces and put on racks.
Dry @ 130 for 30mins, then 100 until dry (1-1.5 hours)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Almond Biscuits

Almond biscuits

250g butter
190g sugar     cream together

250g sifted flour
1t almond essence
100ml crushed almonds

Mix together and form balls.
Place on baking tray, press with fork.
160 for 20mins
Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar whilst warm.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

I tin Indian Style diced tomatoes
1/2 tin plain diced tomatoes
60ml Ghee
1.2 kg chicken fillets
10ml each- cumin seeds,butter chicken masala (or curry powder), paprika
5ml cinnamon
20ml grated fresh ginger
Fresh curry leaves
Pinch dried chilli
10ml seasoned salt
15ml palm sugar
15ml lemon juice
90ml plain yoghurt
10ml garam masala
Fresh coriander

Blend tomatoes with curry leaves.
Heat half the ghee and  add chicken fillets - fry to seal - pale beige.
Slice fillets into smaller pieces.
Reduce heat, add rest of ghee,spices and ginger(not garam).
Sizzle briefly, then add  tomatoes,salt and sugar.
Cover and simmer slowly for 20 mins.
Add chicken then simmer for 10 mins more.
Add garam, lemon juice and yoghurt.
Swirl to blend in.
Garnish with coriander.

Serve with roti and Basmati rice