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Oom Koos sê dankie. (Jy sal ook)



BITTER+SOET – die boek

Dit is met glashelder oe en sagte emosie woorde wat bekende kos skrywer Niel Stemmet deel van sy ervarings, geheime en erfeniskos. Jy voel die warmte van herinnering en liefde wat by sy mond uitspoel soos n dik vla, soet soos die skaam-wit skuim laag op n Sondag malva poeding.  Honger in die geelwarm kerslig is ons oë op Niel terwyl die Kaap wind om die hoek ruk en hy voorlees uit sy nuutste boorling Bitter+Soet.

– “ Hy het die soplepel gevat, die sop na sy mond geneem. Hy het my soetsuurdeegbrood dik met botter gesmeer en stuk vir stuk in die sop gedoop en mond toe gevat. ‘Weet jy, Mietha, ek is meestal ongelukkig, maar as ek by jou is dan is ek gelukkig.’ Agter sy oë was daar n damwal water wat ek kon sien hy hard moes keer om nie oor te loop en sy gesig te verdrink nie. ”

Die verhaal van Mietha Klaasen vertel deur Niel Stemmet is n boek van ‘wondervroue’ en hulle ‘seën- en trooskos’. n Erfeniskosboek met blaaie wat swaar hang onder die reuk van vleis en dik snye plaasbrood. Soet, sag en seer, en so bitterlik mooi.


Winter came by today. Smacked me right in the face for not recognizing it, so obviously I had to right my wrong and hugged back with all my might.

I hugged in the form of molten chocolate cake slices with crème anglais.

1 x your top secret brownie recipe (or be lazy like me and buy a box of quality brownie mix)

250 ml fresh cream

1 vanilla pod (a whole one. Or some essence. But really the vanilla pod is perfect.)

80 g sugar

4 large egg yolks

Mix up the brownie batter and prep a cake tin with generous smears of butter. Get that beautiful baby in the oven. – It will probably bake the same amount of time as in your regular brownie tin as it’s a thicker bake and needs to be oozy and volcanic.

For the cream of angels, heat up the cream on medium heat with the scraped seeds and paste from the vanilla pod until bubbles start to form around the edges.

Whisk the yolks and sugar, slowly add the heated cream to the eggs little by little, continuously whisking, to avoid making a bowl of scrambled dessert.

Return the cream and egg blend back to the heat and whisk until the custard finds form and covers the back of a spoon.

Slice the brownies like a bread from the corner café, thick and crusty, and pour over the crème anglais just before you serve this hug with some milky tea.


In my younger days, tv was an absolute luxury. We had one, hidden in a double door oak cabinet with Manet and Monet for company, but it was never allowed to chat with said neigbours.

It was only recently that I discovered with a confession from mother, that it was for her own good the beast rarely roared to life. Nature’s babysitter even for adults.

We were visiting my mother’s sister who’s tv always hosted the best leather couch; when you sit down, it’s sweet surrender to the husky embrace of leather, tabacco and whisky. (For the story lets include poor old mahogany as well.)

While sinking into Utopia, the naughty kitchen adulteress, Nigella winked from the one eyed beast and I reached out to the golden light: Honeycomb.

I don’t have a sweet tooth but man oh flipping man does this sugar babe make me weak in the knees. (for those of you who don’t know what honeycomb is, think of a Crunchie, it’s that bubbling sugar sea sponge bar coated in milk chocolate)

Her Majesty called this hokey pokey if I can recall. And here’s the recipe.

100 g Sugar (white, brown, caster, pick your fancy)

4 T golden syrup (could probably be substituted with honey if you wish to be healthy but let’s just quickly clear this out: there’s NOTHING healthy about this recipe, mkay. Oh for the taste you say? Sure go wild you maniac.)

1 t bicarbonate of soda

Now, sugar can be sly. Mix your sugar and syrup/honey, THEN place on the heat in pot or pan. Please do not stick a spoon or utensil in the mix, if you want to stir, swirl your pan. If you spoon, there will be trouble and sugar won’t cooperate.

Prep a baking tray, bowl with baking paper and cooking spray.

Once the toffee has turned at the 150ºC mark, for those of you who have a candy thermometer, it has to be at the ‘cracking’ stage. Test in a glass of water with a drop. If it cracks, presto!

The following has to happen in one movement, no panic necessary, just rolled up sleeves and your favourite tune. Take it off the heat and immediately WHISK your bicarb into the fold then pour into your prepared container with the sprayed baking paper.

Please allow for it to cool before you look like a fool.
Crack and crunch to your hearts delight. Dip it in chocolate, crush it with a maximum packed pavlova, serve on top of a buttercream frosted birthday cake or try with Sunday pork belly.

PS. Store in an airtight container to avoid wet toffee.

Image: Flickr.