Braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Peppermint Crisp pudding

The makings of true South African culture.

by: Dianne Bibby
 
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If you’re old enough to still remember this slogan, you’ll also know that in the meanwhile, Chevrolet left the building, only to return many years later to the delight of die-hard Chevy enthusiasts.

Our nation’s love of braaivleis, rugby and sunny skies however, has never waned. Partnering with Heritage Day, we’ve simultaneously instituted a National Braai Day. Who would’ve thought? A specific day set aside to do what most true-blooded South African males love most. Stand around a blistering fire shrouded in smoke, cooking their own food, while a little salad tossing by us ladies, leaves us free to lounge on the patio sipping frosty pink drinks! Girls, this is a scoop. I’m thinking perhaps there was some female engineering behind this Braai Day affair?
 
Braai vs barbecue

For those not familiar with ‘braaing’, a barbecue is the accepted equivalent. I’ve been told by American friends, that most states in the US have their own particular style of barbecue that’s unique to that region, although barbecuing scenes in American sitcoms always seem to involve hamburger patties and sausages. Could that be a barbecue???? Certainly not here. An authentic South African braai is much like poker. You’re either all in or what’s the point? We go big like pork chops, boerewors, juicy rib-eyed steaks, sosaties and lamb chops. If that’s not quite enough, perhaps a rack of smoky ribs? Oh yes, let’s not forget the popularity of that poor bird with the beer can stuck up it’s #$@!
 
Side dishes

Apart from the meat we have a whole host of side dishes that are just as important as the meat. Braaibroodjies are char-grilled over the coals, traditionally made with standard government white, sliced tomato, cheese and onion. In the days before Banting, it was perfectly acceptable if not obligatory, to also have potato salad and pap tert jostling for space. Pap tert is literally that, porridge tart. I know it sounds rather unappetizing, but it’s totally worth ditching any carb-free regime for.

At a recent family braai, my brother’s partner made a corruptible pap tert. When I asked how she made it, the response was, ‘You don’t want to know.’ This is never a good sign, right? Suffice to say it involves layers of cream-enriched cornmeal porridge, caramelized onions, cheese, bacon and sweetcorn. Yes, dangerous is how we like it!
 
You’d think that after the heftiness of this ample feast, dessert would be out of the question but, as every child knows, there’s a special space in the human body reserved exclusively for dessert. So with a welcome sign of relief, operation pudding is a-go!
 
Our favourite childhood desserts were quite simple and uncomplicated. The options were minimal but heavenly nonetheless - ice cream and chocolate sauce or a pineapple and jelly mousse ring creation. A very 80’s style dessert that literally everyone made repeatedly until thankfully, it fell from grace and favour. And then, there was that dessert. You know the one….. Peppermint Crisp pudding! Made from ingredients that should be illegal but are overwhelming pleasing for any sweet-toothed dessert lover.

Layers of Tennis biscuits sandwiched between whipped caramel cream and splintered shards of Peppermint Crisp chocolate. Whoa!! As you can imagine, Sunday post-braai siestas were instituted as a matter of necessity. Any thought of productivity was severely stunted by the feast that was. Carrying the leftovers indoors was literally all that we were good for.
 
Summer is synonymous with ice cream, so I’ve given this classic Peppermint crisp pud a remake. Say hello to the Peppermint crisp ice cream pudding cake. Just as simple to make as the tart, but in ice cream form. It’s a no-churn, supremely creamy ice cream cake that’ll be this summer’s must make dessert.

Enjoy!

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