I’m not going to lie, I love when the going is easy; when there’s not much for me to push through and deliver on and I’m able to couch through a season of Frasier in one sitting with a pot of  single-origin Guatemalan and plate of cheese and crackers. Yes, I have simple tastes.

However, I have moments where I say yes to things. Things that are challenging and demand that I deliver; like layer cakes and partnering with a great South African brand.

The Stork Bake team asked me to develop a recipe using their no-fail shortening and I settled on one of my favourite things to have with coffee (apart from crackers and cheese); the custard slice. Now, not everyone calls this custard slice. This is actually a version of the Russian Medovik, a layered dessert made using condensed milk and honey. I don’t know how this filtered through generations of South African Indian families to become the much-loved celebration cake typified by layers of green and pink-coloured custard, but I am grateful to whichever great-granny decided to appropriate and remix. In this version, I scent the dough and the custard with cardamom (I know, I’m such a cliché), and add rose syrup for a festive vibe.

Don’t be intimidated by the layers. I find it much easier make the rounds by rolling them out directly onto parchment paper (as thin as you can get them) and using a plate to trace out those perfect circles. If you’re feeling especially celebratory, double the recipe and stack them up high.

Note: Except for my self-portraiture work (*cough* exercises in vanity), I’m not often in front of a camera lens. I must thank the Stork Bake team for these wonderful images of me looking very capable.

Cardamom and Rose Custard Slice
Serves: 8
Cook Time: 0h 45m

For the Biscuit:

  • ½ cup Stork Bake
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt

For the Rose custard:

  • 400ml coconut milk
  • ½ cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons rose syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons cornflour

For the Biscuit:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 160 degrees if using a Thermofan oven.
Cream Stork Bake and sugar until pale.
Add the eggs one a time, mixing well after each addition.
Sieve in the flour and add the cardamom, baking powder and salt.
Combine all the ingredients into a soft dough.
Divide the dough into six balls.
Cut six pieces of parchment paper to fit your baking trays.
Working on the parchment paper, roll out each dough ball with a flour-dusted rolling pin into a round approximately 4mm thick and with the circumference of a side-plate.
Dust with additional flour if the dough becomes too sticky to work with. For a perfect circle, place a side plate over the rolled out dough and cut around it with a sharp knife.
Roll the scraps into the unused dough.
Transfer the completed circle with its parchment paper to the baking tray and bake each one for about 5 minutes or until the edges just begin to colour.
Repeat process for all the rounds.
If there are any dough scraps left over, roll out in smaller round and bake. This can be used as a biscuit crumble to garnish.

For the Rose custard:
Combine all the ingredients.
Place on a medium-heat hob and cook until the mixture has boiled and has thickened to the consistency of pouring sauce.
Allow to cool.

Place a round on a serving plate. Spoon over the custard, until it drips over the sides of the biscuit. Place another round on the custard. Repeat until all the layers have been used up. Pour remaining custard over to finish.
Set in fridge overnight.
Garnish just before service with a drizzle of rose syrup, biscuit crumbles and dried rosebuds.
Slice and serve.

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Art Director and Stylist: Katelyn Williams
Food Stylist Assistant: Cassandra Upton
Photography: Supplied by Stork Bake
Hair and Make-up: Chantelle Landman

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