Kershni in the kitchen
AP I E T E R M A R I T Z - BURG mother of three ,Kershni Naidoo says entering the amateur baking series, The Great South African Bake Off, has changed her life for the better.
Now looking and feeling like a super-mom, Naidoo, 34, said she felt as if she could conquer any food-related challenge.
“I feel great knowing my kids can ask for something and instead of running to a bakery or mall, I am running to the kitchen to whip it up for them.
“And when it comes out of the fridge or oven, their eyes light up in delight. Sometimes, when they are with their friends and see something delicious, I feel honoured when they say ‘my mom can make that’.”
Naidoo, of Northdale, Pietermaritzburg, features in the baking series, which is screened on BBC Lifestyle, channel 174, every Tuesday at 7pm.
She said her first few weeks in the kitchen were tough but she was settling in.
“Week one was rough and bumpy but I get better and better with each passing week. I found my feet and try to do things simply.”
stay-at-home mom during the day and fitness instructor at night, has been baking for about four years.
“We used to buy beautifully decorated cakes for our children’s birthdays but the taste was not good, so I decided to give baking a go. I then went on to start a small business. Last year, I received a message from someone encouraging me to audition for the television series, so without expecting much, I applied.”
To her surprise, she made the cut.
“I received an email informing me that the judges wanted to see my work, so I forwarded them photographs and a telephonic interview, and a two day assessment in Johannesburg followed.
“It was frightening to leave my kids alone but I have an amazing husband (Sashen Dorasamy) and in-laws, who held the fort down, while mommy worked.”
Naidoo, who also bakes for charity events, encouraged others to try new things. She is often stopped by fans to take selfies and feels blessed by the well wishes of others. PUFF PASTRY: 480g sifted flour 500g frozen butter 120g corn flour 60g flour 1 tbsp. cream of tartar 315ml iced water 5ml lemon juice 1 egg yolk APPLE FILLING: 4 red apples 4 Granny Smith 150g apricot jam 30ml water 15ml lemon juice 1 tsp. cinnamon powder CUSTARD: 500ml milk 4 egg yolks 100g sugar 3 tbsp. corn flour 60ml water 2 tsp. almond essence ROYAL ICING: 250g icing sugar 1 egg white 1 tsp. lemon juice EGG WASH: 1 egg 20ml water 5ml oil ASSEMBLY: PUFF PASTRY: Grate 100g of butter into sifted flour. Rub in to resemble bread crumbs. Place bowl on stand with a dough hook. Beat water, egg and lemon in a jug, on high. Add water mix until a soft dough is formed. In a bowl put other flour and 1 tsp. cream of tartar. In a second bowl put corn flour and 2 tsp. cream of tartar. Set aside for rolling.
Roll out dough on a surface dusted with corn flour mix. Grate 100g of butter, sprinkle with flour mix. Fold right to centre; left to centre; bottom to centre; top to centre. Repeat process three times.
Cling wrap and refrigerate. APPLE FILLING: Cut apples in half and remove core. Cut apples into paper thin slices. Set aside. Heat apricot jam, water, lemon juice and cinnamon. Bring to boil. Add apple slices and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain out liquid. Set apples aside CUSTARD FILLING: Heat milk and almond essence. Beat egg yolks, sugar, corn flour and water. Add egg mixture to milk and whisk until custard is cooked and thickened. Set aside. ROYAL ICING: Beat together to form a thick paste. Reserve until needed EGG WASH METHOD: Beat egg, water and oil. Set aside. ASSEMBLY: Preheat oven 200°C. Roll out puff pastry and divide in fours.
Roll out a portion and cut into rounds to line muffin tin. Cut leaf shapes for tarts. Put leaves around each tart. Put 2 tbsp. of custard in each tart.
Arrange apple slices in the tart, layer from outside in, to resemble roses. Brush pastry with egg wash. Bake for 10 minutes on 200°C. Reduce heat to 180°C, bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 200°C. Roll out 2 portions of the pastry to line underside of a flan tin.
Roll out whatever pastry is left and cut out flowers and leaves. Brush pastry on the flan tin with egg wash. Bake flowers and leaves separately. Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C. Reduce to 180°C and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden.
Allow to cool before removing tin. Once cool, turn over, place tarts in pastry shell. Stick pastry flowers and leaves on, using royal icing.