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Sour lemon pound cake with cream cheese frosting and blood orange and grapefruit salsa

Turn the humble pound cake into something elegant and special. Adding sour cream grants a sweet and tangy flavour while blood oranges and grapefruits give it a burst of summer colours.

Dark wicked chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and figs

This decadent confection is wickedly rich, and adding fresh figs makes for a dramatic presentation. The quality and high cocoa content of chocolate are essential to infuse the cake with a wonderful fragrance.

Poached red wine pear tart with almond filling on sucrée pastry

You wouldn’t drink cheap plonk so why use it for baking? Opt for aged red wine for this recipe to poach the pears. You get best results using Packham pears from South Africa as they still retain a firm texture after cooking.

Banana cake with gula melaka butterscotch

Instead of brown sugar, try gula melaka—go for a pure, unadulterated version that has not been mixed with white sugar—for a richer fragrance. To achieve a hard and crusty cake surface, bake only on the day that you are serving this as bananas tend to get soggy in the fridge due to contact with moisture.

Passionfruit soufflé

Cookbooks usually recommend that you beat the eggs whites for souffles till they form stiff peaks. But the real secret is to stop when the texture becomes creamy and fluid.

Smoked salmon with daikon and wasabi dressing

Pull off skin and place onto braised daikon, drizzle with dressing and garnish with daikon sprouts…

Roasted black angus beef with truffle mash and shallot glaze

This roast is a crowdpleasing stalwart that also adds an aphrodisiacal touch.

Lobster bisque

Saute the lobster heads and legs in olive oil in a heavy base pot for 5-7 minutes. Stir from time to time and crush heads with wooden spoon…

Pineapple crackers

Cherkas says: “Pineapple crackers with foie gras is simply a great combination: sweet and sour pineapple with roasted smokey foie gras mousse.”

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