FOR the fourth year, chef Mynhardt Joubert will 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. Read about Eat Play Drink Cape Town’s first experience with the cake, and the importance of the brandy, here.
In aid of Monte Christo Miqlat (MCM), a non-profit company (NPC) in the Western Cape’s Paarl, Chef Mynhardt has partnered with MOIR’S, SASKO, KWV Brandy and Salted President 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 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, 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,” says Mynhardt. “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.”
With these cakes layered with so much genuine love, it’s no wonder Mynhardt’s love for the sweet delicacy has become somewhat of a tradition around festive tables. “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,” he says. “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.”
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.