Sunday, September 10, 2006

Main Ingredient

Main Ingredient
Gourmet Ingredients & Fine Wines
Shop 5, Nedbank Centre, 15 Kloof Rd, Sea Point 8005, Cape Town, South Africa
Phone: +27 21 439 5169 Fax: +27 21 439 5169

Signal Hill in spring
Time and good rains are great healers. Some of you may remember a picture of these trees silhouetted by fire in our newsletter at the end of January. Now the flowers are blooming and there is a wonderful green covering on the hillside.
We’ve had lots of requests for the Daquois recipe, so here it is. It is very simple indeed to make, almost fail-proof, but it does take a couple of hours to cook. You can make the meringue a few days in advance, but store in an air tight container to keep it crisp and dry.
Hazelnut Daquois
50g hazelnuts – whites of 4 jumbo eggs, at room temperature – pinch of salt 225g caster sugar
Roast the hazelnuts in the oven for 10 minutes at 180ºC. When nice and toasted remove them, wrap in a tea towel and rub off the skins. Chop quite finely.
Beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until standing in soft peaks then slowly fold in the sugar and beat until you have good glossy meringue. Add all but 1 T of the chopped nuts. Using baking paper or silicone mats, spread out the meringue into three even 20cm diameter circles – make sure they do not touch each other. Sprinkle on the reserved nuts. Put into the lowest temperature your oven will cook at and bake for 2 hours. Cool.
Filling: 200ml cream – 1 to 2 T liqueur
Whip 200ml cream till stiff, then add 1 or 2 T of a good liqueur (Frangelico, Amaretto, Grand Marnier, Drambuie all work well). Put one meringue round on a decorative serving plate, spread with half the cream, add another meringue round, the rest of the cream then add the best one to the top. Put a spoonful of cream in the middle and top with a perfect strawberry or the fruit you are serving with the Daquois. Only assemble 2 hours or less before serving the dessert or it may start to collapse.
Accompany with a bowl of fresh strawberries or raspberries or anything else delicious. Add sugar only if the fruit needs it and add a T of the same liqueur. Be careful to match your fruit to the alcohol. For instance, Tia Maria coffee liqueur does not go with everything!
Mooiplaas, who produce really excellent wines In Stellenbosch’s Bottelary Hills area are looking for a really classy upmarket name for their top of the range red blend (55% Cabernet Franc, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% each Merlot & Shiraz). You can win a case of the wine if the name you suggest is the one they finally use. To enter, you have to visit the farm to taste the blend and fill in one of their entry forms. No hardship there as the farm really is “mooi”. The winning name will be announced here when it has been chosen, along with the winner. Phone the farm on 021 903 6273 if you need directions. The tasting room is open 9 – 4.30 Monday to Friday, Sat 10-2. Closing date is Monday 18th September, giving you a nice way to spend a Saturday tasting good wines.
Italian black olives with the pips removed, Italian Chicken stock cubes at last, Crème de Cassis from Dijon, lots more Puy lentils and Flageolet beans. We have the new release of Whalehaven Viognier/Chardonnay. New to our wine range are Mooiplaas Cabernet and Chenin Blanc, Iona Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (Outstanding) and Iona Merlot Cabernet. The Iona wines will both be open for tasting on Saturday, along with the new release of Cowlin Sauvignon Blanc (aka Poodle’s Passion) and Cabernet Merlot (Jack’s Jug). Don’t be put off by the names of the last two, they are really good wines. We have also added Katbakkies Chenin Blanc and Viognier to our range. These wines have been made by Andries van der Walt in collaboration with Teddy Hall, who has produced some of our best Chenin Blancs.
Last night, we went to a wine trade show, and once again made some very interesting discoveries. In addition to some old favourites, like Bellevue’s Malbec and Etienne le Riche’s excellent Cabernet, we have some great things to look forward to. Two of them are from the Pinot Noir grape, which we believe is less well suited to our climate than most other reds. Ross Gower will release a light pink sparkling Pinot Noir before the end of the year, and we predict that it will be a great hit. It is very delicate and elegant in colour and taste, with a light dry strawberry character. Fryer’s Cove is a wine estate so far up the West Coast that they should not be able to make quality wine; but they are so close to the beach that the cold Atlantic Ocean tempers the effect of latitude and they are able to make very good wines from cold-loving varieties like Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. We were very impressed with the quality of the Pinot and have ordered it.
Tutored wine tastings
On Monday, the lecturer at the Cape Wine Academy’s course in the shop was the youngest person ever to become a Cape Wine Master: Brad Gold. We were very impressed, as were the students, by his ability to impart a great deal of knowledge in simple terms, made even more palatable by a good sense of humour. Brad is running a series of wine tastings, each with a specific theme. Students of wine, especially those who intend taking the Diploma exams, are well advised to attend every tutored tasting they can, and these should be a great help to you. They also make it affordable to taste wines which would normally be out of reach of most pockets. If you’d like to be added to his mailing list, send him a message at
Durbanville Celebrations
Durbanville Wine Valley has just announced the second Season of Sauvignon Blanc, a celebration of Sauvignon from this area which is so well-respected for quality sauvignons. There will be a very full programme of events running from 15th to 17th September. Visit for more information or contact the Durbanville Wine Valley Association on telephone 083 310 1228 or e-mail
Among the many events in the programme, De Grendel estate will host sushi lunches with their delicious sauvignon blanc on Saturday, 16th September and Sunday, 17th September, between 12h00 and 15h00, at a cost of R150 per adult (R75 for children under 16). Only 30 tickets will be available per day. Our friend, Mark Oosthuizen, the well-known sushi chef, will make the sushi. Contact De Grendel to make reservations at 021 558 6280.
Lynne and John
7th September 2006
Remember, if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you!
and, if you’re not in Cape Town, we can send it to you

Our Adamastor & Bacchus tailor made wine, food and photo tours take small groups to wine producers who are not usually open to the public. Tours can also be conducted in German or Norwegian.
Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure.
All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters are © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus
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