High Tea is served.

High Tea banner

What better way to end Women’s Month and welcome Spring? With a celebration, of course!

This Sunday (28th August), the forum company will be hosting  a high tea in the Johannesburg countryside at our gorgeous venue, White Light. Guests will be able to  indulge in a lavish array of savoury and sweet treats, accompanied by the perfect bubbly or cup of tea.

Our executive chef shared one of her secret recipes with us.  If you haven’t booked your tickets there are a few left so hurry and come indulge at the High Tea and then wow your friends at home with this great recipe!

Grapefruit and pomegranate tart

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1-2 pomegranates (depending on size) bank out the seeds.

1 crimson grape, cut out in both skinned and grains

1 tablespoon sugar

75 g green pistachios coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon honey

 

Cream:

5 dl whipping cream

1 tablespoon icing sugar

grain from 1 vanilla pod

peel of 1 lemon

 

Short crust:

125 g butter

100 g icing sugar

1 pinch of salt

250 g flour

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons water

Knead butter, salt and powdered sugar together. Add the flour and egg yolks. Getting water so the dough accumulates. Knead the dough is not too much, only to stick together. Getting it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Grease a cake tin (22 cm diameter) with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Roll out the dough between two pieces of wax paper. Line the tart mold. Line the tart with baking paper. Fill it up with dried beans and bake at 200 degrees about 30 minutes or until the dough is baked. Let the pie cool completely.

Mariner grapefruit slices for sugar in a half-hour period. Then mix pomegranates along with the grapefruit. Beat all the ingredients together for the cream foam. Fill the tart mold and decorate as with fruit and nuts exit to dip acacia honey over the cake.

Makes 1 tart

Delicious – we hope to see you  on Sunday!

Tickets via webticket: https://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=1464204970

Photo credit: Pinterest

Enjoy a Baked Cheesecake

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Ingredients:

 

FOR THE CRUST

85ml butter melted, plus extra for tin

1 packet digestive biscuits, made into fine crumbs

 

FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING

3 x 250g smooth cream cheese (Philadelphia is good)

250g caster sugar

3 tbsp plain flour

1½ tsp vanilla extract

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1½ tsp lemon juice

3 large eggs, plus 1 yolk

250ml carton soured cream

 

Process:

Preheat the oven to fan 160C.

Line the base of a 23cm spring form cake tin with parchment paper.

For the crust, melt the butter in a medium pan. Stir in the biscuit crumbs so the mixture is evenly moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack while preparing the filling.

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For the filling, increase the oven temperature to fan 200C. Beat the soft cheese at medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually add the sugar, then the flour and a pinch of salt

Continue by adding the vanilla, lemon zest and juice. Whisk in the eggs and yolk, one at a time, scraping the bowl and whisk at least twice. Stir the soured cream until smooth.

Brush the sides of the spring form tin with melted butter and put on a baking sheet.

Pour in the filling – if there are any lumps, sink them using a knife – the top should be as smooth as possible. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to fan 90C and bake for 25 minutes more. If you gently shake the tin, the filling should have a slight wobble. Turn off the oven and open the oven door for a cheesecake that’s creamy in the centre, or leave it closed if you prefer a drier texture.

Let it cool in the oven for 2 hours. The cheesecake may get a slight crack on top as it cools.

Run a round-bladed knife around the sides of the tin to loosen any stuck edges. Once completely cooled, unlock the side, slide the cheesecake off the bottom of the tin onto a plate, then slide the parchment paper out from underneath

Decorate with Berries!

If you have mini rings, make a bunch of small cheesecakes – how great do they look?

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Autumn Entertaining

Autumn was made for lazy afternoons spent soaking up the warm sun before we all go into hibernation for winter. It’s a time to embrace the vibrant rust and burnt orange colours, the brisk mornings, and hearty comfort foods.

When entertaining in Autumn, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Here are our top Autumn entertaining tips:

  1. Prepare a seasonal menu – Think farm style pot pie, wood fired lime and ginger braised beef cheeks, and roasted marinated winter heirloom veggies and butter leaves with pear crisps. For dessert we love a decadent apple and chocolate bread and butter pudding with hazel nut custard

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  2. Incorporate Autumn into your decor – Reflect the bounty of Autumn with floral arrangements that include seasonal vegetables and herbs like chard, beets, and artichokes.

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  3. Keep guests cosy – Have blankets available for guests to cosy into if you are hosting your meal on a particularly cold day.

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  4. Opt for a casual dining style – Autumn entertaining is perfect for casual, family-style serving.

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  5. A parting gift – As each guest leaves the party, send them home with a thermos filled with warm cider.

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And if you’re not the entertaining type, leave it all to us! Join us for our Farm-to-Table and enjoy an afternoon under the trees, treated to a scrumptious farm-style lunch created by the talented Forum chefs, using the freshest locally farmed ingredients and made with love.

Children will be spoilt with delicious kiddies fare and will be entertained with pony rides and games. Vegetarians are welcome.

Date: Sunday, 22 May 2016

Address: White Light, Rem Portion 17 | Farm 534 | Nooitgedacht

Pine Valley Road | Lanseria

Situated in Lanseria off the Elandsdrift road. GPS Coordinates -25.970552,                                    27.910843

Time: 13:00 pm

Price: Adults (14+) R420

8-13 years old R180 (eat from the adult buffet)

4-7 years old R80 (eat from the adult buffet)

Book via webtickets or contact Hazel on 011 492 38 88 / email events@theforum.co.za

Here are a few more of our favourite autumn decor ideas:

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Heirloom Vegetable?

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When you decide to grow your own vegetables, you have two main types of seeds to choose from: modern hybrids or heirloom varieties. Hybrid seeds are created by crossing two selected varieties. These seeds usually have a higher yield, greater uniformity, grow quicker and deliver all their vegetables simultaneously (making picking an easier process).

The other option? An “heirloom”. The definition is open to dispute. But the term is usually applied to fruit, flower or vegetables varieties that were being grown before World War 2. Heirloom vegetables are old-time varieties, open-pollinated, and handed down through multiple generations of families. Open-pollinated means seeds you collect from one year will produce plants with most of the characteristics of the parent plant. This is no longer true of Hybrid varieties which in most cases haven’t been bred to reproduce themselves.

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Why are heirloom vegetables still in existence then? The reasons are numerous; flavour, nostalgia, biodiversity, specific functions and most importantly flavour!

Heirloom vegetables offer a spectacular range of flavours and shapes. They may be more tart or more sweet, green instead of supermarket red, long instead of the standard oval, ribbed or striped rather than smooth. Often they have a depth and complexity of flavour you can’t find at the grocery store. “A lot of the breeding programs for modern hybrids have sacrificed taste and nutrition,” says George DeVault, executive director of Seed Savers Exchange, the leading non-profit organisation dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom and other rare seeds. “The standard Florida tomato is a good example. Instead of old-time juicy tangy tomatoes, it tastes like cardboard. It was bred to be picked green and gas-ripened because that’s what was needed for commercial growing and shipping.”

To the gardeners who love them, it matters that the ‘Mortgage Lifter’ tomato came from a man who bred his own tomato plants, selling enough of them to pay off his mortgage. Many heirloom vegetables have their own unique story as to why the variety was grown in the first place. Often it is very site specific, as a result of factors at the time. Not only the need to pay off a mortgage during the great depression, but heirlooms have adapted to specific growing conditions and developed disease resistance over a long time.

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A further reason to grow heirloom vegetables is to preserve biodiversity. Just as the world’s animal populations are declining, so have many of the crops become lost. As commercial practices concentrate their crops into fewer and fewer varieties, our ability to produce food in the face of drought, unusual diseases and pestilence declines.

We grow our vegetables near our venue White Light with what is called “organic gardening,” based on manure and mulch. This used to be standard practice for all growers, who accepted risk and variation from weather, insects and disease. This approach is more labor-intensive, less hardy to some diseases and gives us lower yields.

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What we do get is unbelievable flavour, sun spots, insects scurrying around, and all sorts of different shapes and sizes.

Seed breeders are trying to find the best of both worlds, crossing modern hybrids with older, more flavourful heirlooms. These new hybrids are less risky, but they also aren’t open-pollinated, so you won’t get consistent results by saving the seed.

We use a mixture of our organic heirloom produce and hybrid grown vegetables. What are your preferences and experiences? Please let us know what you think are the best varieties? Email info@theforum.co.za

There are certain places you might want to check out to get heirloom seeds locally. These places include: local farms, seed exchanges, and botanical gardens.

Here are a few local websites:

http://www.silverhillseeds.co.za/Currency.asp 

http://livingseeds.co.za/vegetable-seeds

http://www.organicseed.co.za/

http://www.soughtafterseedlings.co.za/

https://sites.google.com/site/mahlathiniorganics/seed-catalog

http://www.seedsforafrica.co.za/

 

rice paper parcels with smoked chicken, chilli, ginger and coriander

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Rice paper parcels are easy to make and guests love them. They are great for cocktail parties.

Ingredients:

8 Rice paper sheets

Warm water

1 Smoked chicken breast, cut into thin strips (±180g)

2 Green chillies, seeds removed and thinly sliced

120ml Fresh coriander, whole leaves, stalks removed

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Method:

Soak the rice paper in a bowl of warm water, one sheet at a time to rehydrate. Drain on paper towel and transfer to a clean work surface. Place a few thin chicken breast strips in the centre of the rice paper and top with chilli, 1/2 tbsp ginger and 1 tbsp coriander as a seasoning. Fold the rice paper to enclose the filling and form a parcel. Continue with the remaining rice paper and ingredients. Serve on a platter with soy sauce as a dip. Flavour the soy sauce with lime juice and zest.

Serves: 2 – 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes

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