23 Sep Chef Mynhardt’s heavenly fruitcake to warm hearts this festive season
For the fourth year, Chef Mynhardt Joubert will again set the stage for a sweet soirée with his iconic Free State fruitcakes. All for a very special cause and just in time for the festive season.
In aid of Monte Christo Miqlat (MCM), a non-profit company (NPC) situated in the Western Cape’s Paarl, Chef Mynhardt will partner with MOIR’S, SASKO, KWV Brandy and Président Salted Butter in creating his beloved fruitcakes that fans have come to love.
“The organisation we are supporting this year, MCM, is doing incredible work. Our goal is to annually reach new communities with new needs,” says Chef Mynhardt.
Since 2002, MCM has been empowering impoverished families through holistic sustainable development programmes. In 2018, the charity distributed more than one million meals in the Drakenstein Valley alone. Aside from nutrition, MCM also provides sport programmes for young and old, a community care centre, after-school daycare, and facilitates care for the homeless.
Growing up in the Eastern Free State, Chef Mynhardt’s mother and grandmother played an integral part in his love for creative and inspiring cooking. The magic behind his annual Free State fruitcake recipe is no different and is bound to tickle taste buds all over South Africa this festive season.
“Christmas in South Africa is synonymous with cutting a fruitcake and sharing the sweet treat with loved ones. A few years ago, my sister sent me the most stunning fruitcake all the way from Bethlehem, and this fruitcake still resembles family to me. I believe we all have particular smells stored in our memories from the kitchens of our youth, and these have the ability to provide immense comfort. I found this again this year, a year with its fair amount of challenges!
“While baking these cakes, the familiar smell permeated my home and I was transported back to the home of my youth and to my family’s love and support. In a small way this comfort will now be paid forward with proceeds from cake sales going towards MCM. And perhaps there is some extra comfort to be found in the fact that these cakes are really baked with so much love and reverence for the family unit – whether we have it by blood or choice, and this is really what the festive season is about,” adds Chef Mynhardt.
With these cakes layered with so much genuine love, it’s no wonder that Chef Mynhardt’s love for the sweet delicacy has become somewhat of a tradition around festive tables.
Says Chef Mynhardt: “Our secret to a fruitcake with a difference? We bake with love, constantly keeping in mind the deserving people who will benefit from each and every cake sale. It’s an absolute highlight and the perfect opportunity to reflect on the year passed. A recipe only becomes something truly special when you pour your heart and soul into it.”
Only a limited amount of Chef Mynhardt’s festive fruitcakes are baked each year and are sold for R350 per cake. Secure yours by placing an order online or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chef’s Festive Tables
These cakes are also being launched as a prelim to Chef Mynhardt’s popular Festive Tables. Bookings are now open for November and December festive lunches and dinners. These intimate long-table events reflect Chef Mynhardt’s principle of generosity and allow for 20 to 30 guests to indulge in an unforgettable dining experience.
Bake Mynhardt’s fruitcake
- 250ml water
- 310ml soft brown sugar
- 1kg fruit cake mix (dried fruit and nuts)
- 250g chopped dates
- 250g golden sultanas
- 250g roughly chopped cashew and macadamia nuts
- 7ml MOIR’S baking soda
- 250g Président Salted Butter
- 100g whole red glacé cherries
- 100g whole green glacé cherries
- 5 eggs beaten
- 20ml MOIR’S vanilla extract
- 125ml KWV Brandy
- 625ml SASKO self-raising flour
- 5ml salt
- 5ml cinnamon powder
- Preheat oven to 120°C (250°F) and butter the inside of a high 25cm cake tin.
- Line the tin with three layers of baking paper and re-butter the inside.
- Slowly heat the first eight ingredients to boiling point and let it simmer for five minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool. Add the red and green cherries.
- Combine the eggs, vanilla and brandy, and add it to the mixture.
- Add the flour, cinnamon and salt, and mix well.
- Spoon the mixture into the pan and bake for two hours.
- Let the cake cool in the pan and turn it out. Sprinkle a bit of brandy over the cake and place it in an airtight container.
- Regularly sprinkle over some more brandy to keep the cake moist.