Bas and Suga visit CapeNature reserves for more food adventures!

by CapeNature

Bas Newman; pastry chef and food stylist and well-known radio personality Suga, have joined forces to explore food and lifestyle themes in a culinary adventure in and around Cape Town.

The two foodies bring a dynamic and positive energy to everything they do and we invited them to CapeNature reserves around the Western Cape to share their insights on local ingredients and delicacies in the regions.  And of course, we managed to persuade them to share some truly delicious recipes while they were there!

Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve

Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve was the first stop for Bas and Suga Food Adventures and our dynamic duo savoured the pristine natural beauty of the area before enjoying some putt-putt, tennis and an invigorating soak in the jacuzzi.  Luckily for us, they also managed to do some cooking in-between.

Here’s the recipe for that yummy lavendar and honey marinated chicken, with a strawberry, goats’ cheese and black pepper salad.

The chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, spatchcocked
    small bunch of lavender flowers
    grated rind of orange
    100ml orange juice
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    25ml honey
    30ml olive oil
    10ml fresh thyme, chopped

Mix together ingredients and rub over the spatchcocked chicken, which has been seasoned lightly with salt and pepper. For best results, marinade, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.  The next day, remove from the marinade and place onto a grill and braai to perfection.

The salad

  • 300g strawberries, halved
    80g wild rocket
    half a lemon, squeezed
    black pepper
    micro greens
    10 mint leaves, chopped
    drizzle of honey
    olive oil, drizzle
    2 tablespoons balsamic reduction
    100g Chevin goats’ cheese with black pepper

Mix together the chopped mint leaves, olive oil, pepper, salt, honey and lemon juice and balsamic reduction. Pour over halved strawberries and allow to macerate. In the meantime, toss together the micro greens and rocket leaves and slice the goats’ cheese. Finally, toss the macerated strawberries with the salad leaves and top with the goats’ cheese.

Serve the chicken, portioned with the salad and enjoy.

Kogelberg Nature Reserve

Next, Bas and Suga Food Adventures travelled to Kogelberg Nature Reserve, right at the the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom and considered by many to be the most beautiful of CapeNature’s protected areas, with exceptional diversity and quality of fynbos.

Bas and Suga settled into their glass fronted eco-cabins which afford occupants breath-taking views of the reserve, which is a World Heritage Site, before finding out more about the area from staff, and of course cooking up a storm!

On the menu this time was a simply delicious naked vanilla butter cake topped with figs in a fynbos honey syrup.  Here’s how it was made:

Cake Ingredients

  • 500g Butter
    oranges, zested
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    6 eggs
    4 cups sugar
    6 cups flour, sifted
    2 tablespoons baking powder
    1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
    1 cup milk

Butter Icing

  • 500g Butter
    1 kg Icing sugar


  • Figs in Fynbos Honey
    Gold Dust

Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease and line 3 x 20cm round cake tins. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between additions. Sift together the dry ingredients and add alternately with the milk to the sugar and butter mixture until combined. Divide evenly among your prepared cake tins and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for a few minutes before turning out to cool completely.

Soften the butter and slowly add the sifted icing sugar and beat until pale. Mix through the orange zest and juice and set aside until use.

To assemble

Cut each cake in half to create 4 rounds of cake. Place one round of your cake on your serving plate or cake stand. Layer some of the butter icing and top with another layer, allowing some of the icing to spread to the edges. Repeat the process and top with the final round of cake. Smooth the icing around the cake, to give it the naked effect. Top your cake with halved figs, drizzle some honey and dust with the edible gold dust.

Bas and Suga will be visiting other CapeNature reserves over the coming months, using the finest local ingredients to take their cooking adventures to the next level.  So, for more on the best holiday getaways and the most delicious local recipes, watch this space!

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