Caffe Hausbrandt serves ice cream de la creme
Andre Burgener has been immersed in all things food since she took over the making of the family's lunch box sandwiches aged eight (her mom could make a mean creme brulee and a staggering souffle, but could never butter the bread all the way to the edges.
I USED to need a stiff drink before I entered the portals of Melrose Arch in Johannesburg.
Now I enter it with merry abandon, almost running to my destination. The place I run to is a very tiny shop, a most unlikely inhabitant of this Stepford suburb, on the bottom layer of the North Mall. It's called Caffe Hausbrandt, so you expect a Germanic joint, but it's not.
The name comes from their Italian coffee brand, which hails from far up north, near the border. Anyway, enough geography - my absolute glee has to do with their ice cream. It's been years since I had ice cream like this locally. I am so damnably sick and tired of yet another place opening and claiming to sell real Italian gelato, or real old-fashioned ice cream. You know what? They're all liars. The stuff is never better than tub ice cream, and not nearly as nice as el cheapo soft serve.
Here though, you will find the real thing: dense, silken, mouth-filling stuff that stops you in your tracks. Pistachio, straciatella, chocolate, and most tellingly the vanilla (usually an un-flavour) are all sublime. And I don't use the word lightly. Call Caffe Hausbrandt on 011-022-4786. Also at 32 De Waterkant Street and Greenmarket Square, Cape Town.
BUT SKIP THE ICE CREAM HERE PLEASE
Iced coffee should indicate one of two, and only two drinks. The first is a long, milky but still strong coffee, full of ice cubes. The second is as per the first, but without the milk (in a Spanish version, this version may hold a lemon wedge, which is weirdly lovely).
Either option may contain a little sugar. But for some reason, when I order iced coffee, I keep getting something full of ice cream. A coffee milkshake, in fact. Sometimes it's made with coffee "flavour". When did this weird habit start? It's abominable. Always, always complain. Perhaps we may see the return of proper iced coffee.
COOKING THE BOOKS
This book is a labour of love which you won't find in all the usual places: An Ode to Oranges is a self-published, big, fat tome which features, as you've no doubt guessed, wall-to-wall orange recipes. It's not a gimmick plucked from the air.
Author Linda Hatting lives on a heart-stoppingly beautiful orange farm in the Midlands, and somewhere during her cooking forays with the abundant fruit, the idea for a cookbook emerged.
Many restaurants and producers in the Midlands are featured, and it's altogether a totally charming enterprise.
Don't expect high-end photography, but do expect very good, very workable and even inspired recipes. I especially loved the red lentil, carrot and orange soup and the rhubarb, pecan and orange crumble. To order a copy, or find out more, mail firstname.lastname@example.org.