Ma Olivier and her daughter Gaylee prepared a fruit cake, she believes that a lot of people think that a fruit cake is only for Christmas. In her household they have it for Easter too.
As I was busy taking pictures I noticed a lot of love going into making this cake….and it was wonderful watching mother and daughter in the kitchen……..
I had a chat with Ma Olivier about her cooking and inspiration behind her dishes.
When did you learn to cook / bake?
“I started to learn the skill of cooking and baking after I got married. After my husband and I got married we spent four years at my mother in law’s house. In that period mother in law taught me everything I know about cooking. She used to let me cook and just be there to guide while she was doing her needlework. Those are my fondest memories being in the kitchen. Now I enjoy cooking for my children and husband and cooking doesn’t feel like a chore because the whole family gets to participate”
Do you teach your children how to cook?
“Yes, I’ve taught my children how to cook and now that they are grown up I don’t do much cooking. They cook for me and its all thanks to training them from an early age.”
Ma Olivier’s children are all grown up now and two of them have pursued careers in food. One is a food scientist and the other is studying towards becoming a chef. It’s all thanks to all the time spent with mom in the kitchen. I asked her to share her tips about cooking and life in general: ” Teach your children how to cook from an early age to equip them for life and marriage. ”
Every foodie I know is/was inspired by someone in their lives. It’s inspiring to witness the transfer of skill and the love of cooking from generation to generation. In this case Ma Olivier learnt to cook from her mother in law, she then passed on the skill to her own kids who are now passionate foodies in their own right.
I sincerely enjoyed spending time with the family and they really inspired me. Besides being a family that cooks together, they are very close and there’s so much love between them. Even their dog , Milo is a happy chappie, a typical Cape Town dog with missing front teeth! I’m really not joking, his front teeth are missing LOL!
Ma Olivier’s Economical Fruit Cake Recipe
Adapted from Kos en Kookkuns – 1981
500g fruit cake mix
80g red cherries
30g almonds, crushed
250ml boiling water
5ml bicarbonate of soda
500ml (2cups) cake flour
3ml baking powder
2ml coriander, ground
2ml ginger, ground
2 eggs, beaten
25ml brandy, optional
- Prepare 180mm cake pan. Line the pan with a greaseproof paper.
- Cook the fruit mix, cherries, almonds, butter, sugar and water for 5-7 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
- Add the bicarbonate of soda into the mixture, let completely cool down.
- Sift the other dry ingredients.
- Fold in the dry ingredients alternating with the egg bit by bit into the fruit mixture.
- Add brandy and mix.
- Transfer the mixture into the cake pan.
- Bake at 150۫C for 75 minutes.
- After removing from the oven let cake sit in the pan for 10-15 minutes.
- Transfer into a cooling rack.