The Cape Winelands has a rich heritage of baking. According to the Cape Winelands Cuisine book, the early Cape had experienced bakers and an impressive array of quality baking despite a lack of ovens and commercial raising agents.
Being on the spice route, ginger, cloves, aniseed, allspice and cinnamon were often used in baking, while cooks also used lemon and naartjie peel as well as homemade orange blossom and rose water to flavour recipes.
Establishing a garden at the Cape was the reason for the settlement, so no surprise that fruit and vegetables were favourite ingredients in local recipes for bakes and puddings. Tarts and desserts with apple, apricots, plum and citrus were popular, preserved fruit was served with savoury cheese cakes and dried fruit such as raisins and sultanas were often used in baking.
Other favourite recipes that are still with us today are koeksisters, poffertjies (puffs) made from choux pastry, pumpkin fritters, tamboesies, kolwyntjies (cupcakes) and of course Cape Brandy tart.
Visit the La Motte Bakery for a tempting array of sweet treats such as lemon meringue tartlets, fruit galette, carrot cake, éclair with rose ganache and "Ystervarkies", to name but a few.
If you feel like celebrating your heritage by baking one of these traditional favourites, try some of the recipes from our Cape Winelands Cuisine cookbook:
Featured pic by Georgia East