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 Salted Président 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.
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. Follow Chef Mynhardt on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and updates.
Did you know?
- For many, fruit cakes are not only an important element to the Christmas table, but it is also
enjoyed during wedding festivities.
- Provided your fruitcake is stored in an airtight container, some sources say it can age up to 25
- A piece of pineapple fruitcake is on display in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
The piece of cake travelled with the Apollo 11 crew to the moon but was not eaten during the
Chef Mynhardt’s Free State Fruitcake Recipe
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 Butter
100g whole red glacé cherries
100g whole green glacé cherries
5 eggs beaten
20ml vanilla extract
125ml KWV Brandy
625ml SASKO self-raising flour
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
• 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.