The French Affair, Jan Hendrik Van Der Westhuizen

The French Affair

The French Affair By Jan Hendrik Van Der Westhuizen is subtitled tables of love. I find this quite appropriate as the book was loaned to me by his father-in-law Nico. When I look at Grant all I can see is love on his face when he is near to Jan. By all accounts, Jan is a photographer first and a great chef second. The recipes in this book have personal anecdotes and some include additional notes. Some also include well selected quotes from famous personalities including Nelson Mandela.

The French Affair
Chapters are divided into:
  • love on a page
  • gables & gooseberries
  • copper pots & cobblestones
  • pastel blues & apricots
  • sugar & spice
Recipes that caught my eye:
  • creamed green beans (p49)
  • baked orange pudding with passion fruit and coconut sorbet (p55)
  • loquat cobbler (p61)
  • spice & sweet wine biscuits (p79)
  • cauliflower & Roquefort soup (p95)
  • rainbow trout & watercress quiche (p116)
  • homemade pasta with oxtail sauce (p128)
  • poached plums with Grand Mariner (p131)
  • apple & berry crumble (p132) favoured by Nico
  • mint leaf ice cream (p138)
  • carrot cake (p147) favoured by Nico
  • rabbit & mushroom ragout (p175)
  • red wine-poached pears (p187)
  • pine kernel & flower honey tart (p202)
  • oysters baked with champagne cream (p226) favoured by both Nico and me
  • mackerel & bacon endives (p229)
  • sweet red pepper, anchovy & tomato tart (p241)
  • marinated seafood salad (p251)
  • seared tuna with soy sauce (p255) which is a regular feature at Nico’s
  • gluhwein sorbet with summer berries (p261)
  • Monaco moelleux chocolat (p273)
  • Turkish delight pavlova (p274)
  • quince preserve (p281)
  • whole green fig preserve (p281) favoured by Nico
  • saffron guavas & crème frâiche-honey ice cream (p284)
  • bloody Mary tomato relish (p287) favoured by both Nico and me
  • French vinaigrette (p291)
Spicy Tomato Relish
What I made:

I made a huge jar of the bloody Mary tomato relish and I will be giving some to Nico the next time we see him as thanks for letting me read this book. I adapted the Monaco moelleux chocolat to make a gluten free chocolate mousse cake for father’s day for Dave. Both recipes were easy to follow and the results were great.

My verdict:

I love Jan’s instructions for us to bloom where we are planted. His recipes are adapted from his childhood memories, his time in the Cape and his love affair with France and the French Riviera. The acknowledgements page is just beautiful in the way Jan Hendrik gives thanks. The photographs are stunning and include more than just recipe photos, they also include beautiful family photos and photographs of the farm.

Chocolate Mousse Cake
Publishing information:
ISBN 9781432301972
Format Hardback 
Published October 2013

Winner of the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbook award in the best French cuisine cookbook in South Africa category.

Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime July 12:

Top of Page