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Easter is literally on the doorstep, friends and family are about to descend with a vengeance and suddenly, what to cook is the hottest topic of conversation! How did we get to this point in the year so quickly? Wasn’t it Christmas just last week? That’s the problem with time; it gallops along at such a fast pace that before you know it, the year has passed in a veritable blur! Not that we are complaining because time with family and friends is the perfect opportunity to overindulge by eating good South African food washed down with your favourite tipple.

Tasty new favourites

Braai bakes

Fellow Saffas agree that the one way or, in fact, the only way to socialise is with a braai! And they would be right, no argument from us. There’s nothing better than sitting around the smokey coals, chatting and laughing about things while the vleis cooks, beer in one hand and a stukkie biltong in the other! And let’s not forget the enormous bowls of potato slaai and sousboontjies that are always on standby, ready to be devoured. What would a braai be without them? It sounds like the perfect anytime get together! However, while super tasty, traditional favourites sometimes need a little shakeup! That’s not to say traditional dishes are out the window, but sometimes it’s lekker to have a little variety for special occasions and holidays. After all, variety is said to be the spice of life!

A-maizing upside-down braai bakes

That’s where upside-down braai bakes make their entrance onto the braai scene. Made from maize meal (mealie meal) and combined with decadent ingredients, these bakes can be a savoury main or mouth-watering dessert; the choice is yours! They literally provide the variety needed to spice up your braai-time get-togethers. So without further rambling, let’s jump into a recipe that will turn your guest’s tastebuds upside-down in more than 2 ways!

Maize meal dough

The below method makes enough maize meal dough for one upside-down bake. Simply double the ingredient quantities below if you want to make both the savoury and sweet versions.

What you need

  • 1 cup maize meal (White Star)
  • 2 cups plain full-fat/double cream yoghurt
  • 79 ml sunflower oil
  • ¾ cup self-raising flour

What to do

  • First, sift the self-raising flour to remove any lumps
  • In a large bowl, combine the maize meal, plain yoghurt and sunflower oil.
  • Next, add the self-raising flour slowly, mixing continuously to prevent lumps.
  • Once you have added all the self-raising flour, mix the batter until it has a smooth consistency.
  • Cover with cling film and set the batter aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Boerewors and onion upside-down bake

This tasty boerie bake will have your guest licking their fingers and plates!

What you need

  • 500 g uncooked boerewors- sliced into thin chunks
  • 1 large red onion thinly sliced
  • 60 g melted butter (salted)
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 sheet baking paper
  • 1 sheet foil
  • 1 iron skillet/pan

What to do

  • Take a large heavy-bottomed skillet or pan, line it with baking paper, and set it to one side.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the sliced, uncooked boerewors, sliced onion, melted butter and balsamic vinegar. Mix thoroughly to ensure the butter and balsamic vinegar coat the meat and onions.
  • Spoon the boerewors mixture into the lined pan, and use a spatula to spread the ingredients evenly to form a base.
  • Next, spoon the maize meal dough generously over the meat base.
  • Cover the skillet with foil and place on the braai coals for approximately 1h -15min.
  • Remove from the coals and allow the pan to cool slightly. 10 minutes should do it!
  • Finally, take a wooden cutting board or plate, place it on top of the skillet and holding it in place with your hand, tip the skillet upside down.
  • Your boerie bake should tip out easily onto the board or plate. Now, simply peel off the baking paper to reveal a gorgeous upside-down boerewors bake!

Apple & cinnamon upside-down bake

This apple bake is the perfect ending to a sumptuous braai or an elegant meal.

What you need

  • 2 medium apples (green), thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 114 g melted butter (unsalted)

What to do

  • Line the skillet with baking paper.
  • Place the sliced apple, cinnamon, brown sugar and melted butter into a mixing bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly to ensure the butter, sugar and cinnamon coat the apple pieces thoroughly.
  • Layer the coated apple pieces in the lined pan and spoon dollops of maize meal on top to create a smooth pie-like covering.
  • Cover the pan with the foil and place on the warm coals for approximately one hour.
  • Then remove the pan and set it to one side to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Place a wooden chopping board or plate on top of the skillet, then holding it in place with your hand, tip the skillet upside down. Peel the baking paper off your heavenly upside-down apple bake.
  • Serve with lashings of chocolate or vanilla ice cream. However, a gorgeous dollop of fresh cream and a sprig of fresh mint will provide the pazazz needed for those elegant dinner affairs!

Whichever version of upside-down bake you decide to use to entice your guest’s taste buds, they will be coming back for more than a second helping! Happy cooking, everyone from us at FinGlobal.

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