Desserts & Baking

Rum-and-raisin rusks

Makes about 50
20 minutes, plus overnight drying time and 13⁄4 hour’s proving time
35–40 minutes

“I decided to transform my favourite ice-cream flavour into rusk form. They’re really good dipped in a hot cup of spicy chai.”

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  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 cup water
  • ½ cup dark rum
  • 100 g Woolworths mixed seedless raisin selection
  • 200 g butter, melted
  • 1 t mixed spice
  • 2 x 10 g sachets instant dry yeast
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 kg cake flour

1. Combine the buttermilk, water, rum, raisins, butter, mixed spice and yeast in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) and stir. Allow to stand until the yeast starts to dissolve and bubble slightly.

2. Add the sugar, salt, bicarbonate of soda and vanilla and mix well. Add two-thirds of the flour and stir until combined. If you’re using an electric mixer, use the dough hook. Add more flour while mixing and kneading until the mixture comes together to form a workable dough. If the dough feels right, don't add more flour.

3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, loosely place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the dough and cover it with a damp cloth. Allow to prove for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

4. Once the dough has risen, shape it into even portions. Roll into balls and pack tightly in a single layer in a greased baking tray or loaf tin, almost like tiny rolls or mosbolletjies. Cover with a damp cloth and prove once again until doubled in size. This will take about 45 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake for 30–40 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Allow to cool just enough to work with.

6. Once cooled, gently separate the rusks, cut in half lengthways and place on a baking tray. Reduce the oven’s temperature to 90°C. Slowly dry out the rusks in the oven overnight or for

7. hours. They will be crisp and ready for dunking the next day! Store in a clean, dry airtight container and eat within two weeks.

Cook's note: To keep your present fresh, put the rusks in a cellophane bag, seal and place the bag in a wide glass jar with a lid. Attach a hand- written label with a piece of twine.

Find more rusk recipes here.

Photographs: Jan Ras
Food Assistant: Mia Wentzel

Khanya Mzongwana

Recipe by: Khanya Mzongwana

If you're anything like our deputy food editor Khanya Mzongwana, you're obsessed with uniqueness and food with feeling. Cook her family-tested favourites, midweek winners and her mouth-wateringly fresh takes on plant-based eating.

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