Dessert indulgence in the desert – Milktart Cheesecake

Dessert indulgence in the desert – Milktart Cheesecake

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Have I told you about the time…

… when on a trip to Graaf-Reinet during our first assignment in South Africa, we ate four desserts between the two of us? Really. Graaf-Reinet is a green oasis of a town in the high desert region of the Karoo. The town fathers created a canal system that diverted water from the river past all the houses in town, allowing people to grow gardens and trees in an otherwise arid land. It’s a safe place where you can wander the streets at night, marveling at the trees and lushness after the heat of the day spent hiking and exploring the surrounding scenery. We love this little place for its uniqueness, breathtaking scenery, and gourmet food in hidden restaurants and cafés.

On the evening in question we visited the Calendonia, a restaurant within walking distance of our guest house. After enjoying a delicious meal and a bottle (or two?) of South African red, we decided there was just enough room left for dessert. There were three items to choose from on the menu: chocolate salami, malva pudding (?) and milktart cheesecake. They all sounded divine so, without further ado we ordered all three. Oh my word! They disappeared much too quickly. We really hadn’t had enough to satisfy our sweet tooth so to round out the meal we just had to order another serving of the milktart cheesecake. It really was that good.

Feeling giddy about our indulgence, we rolled home that night to very sweet dreams. 

Fast forward a few months and we hadn’t found anything like it anywhere else and were kicking ourselves for not asking for the recipe when we were there when my mom came to see us. She asked for advice where to visit. Having no ulterior motive at all, we sent them to Graaff-Reinet for the scenery and game viewing (if you are very lucky you can see free roaming Mountain Zebra) – oh, and the food is good, too. And, by the way, if you happen to stop by the Caledonia, please ask for their milktart cheesecake recipe. Ahem.

At the restaurant they remembered the couple that had ordered four desserts quite well (blushing moment) and were happy to share their secret with us. The restaurant has since closed and the proprietors moved on so we were very pleased to get the recipe when we did.

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