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Smoked Flavours

Have you ever been to a local burger restaurant that has the most delicious smoked mayonnaise? Or have you tried to make smoked food and realised that it is actually a lot of effort? I never thought that I would be able to make delicious smoked food, and it has nearly always been my choice of flavours when we are able to eat out.

And then, I discovered Smoked Flavours. Made from 100% wood chips, Smoked Flavours is an easy healthier way to get a traditional smoky flavour into any meal. It is ideal for meat, marinades, sauces, basting, cheeses, dips. Their products instantly adds smoke flavour to almost any food that would benefit from real smoke flavour and aroma. Dash or brush on any meat, poultry, or vegetable – since it is very concentrated, use sparingly as a few drops will be sufficient. These are made from smoldering damp wood chips to generate as much smoke as possible. This smoke is then funnelled into a condenser where it is cooled and so results in the formation of condensation. This condensation is collected, filtered and purified. The end product is highly concentrated liquid smoke which has the same flavour of the wood type used, you are then able to achieve the same taste that would be generated by traditional smoking processes. Hickory & Mixed Hardwood are vegan & vegetarian friendly.


Your name: Theunis Kruger

Business name: Smoked Flavours Pty Ltd

Social media handles: Facebook, Instagram and Website

How did this business start: My interest in liquid smoke started in late 2012 when I found a recipe online for Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken) where one of the key ingredients was liquid smoke. I searched high and low for it in South Africa but came up empty handed, this was when I searched for international manufacturers. Once I finally received my first bottle and was able to complete the Chicken Makhani I was hooked.

Soon I was trying it on steaks, beef burgers, chicken breasts and even pasta sauces. Liquid smoke’s versatility got me thinking and I realised that there was a gap in the market, this is when I started researching it in earnest.

It contains no PAHs (potentially carcinogenic components) and adds no calories or fat. It works wonders in curries, vegetarian dishes, sauces, cheese, dips, and marinades or even directly on meat or fish – giving indoor cooking the flavour of outdoor cooking. Plus it’s kosher and halaal. Some flavours are also suitable for vegans.

The manufacture of liquid smoke is quite complex and goes through a few stages before it becomes the great tasting product we know. It is 100% natural wood flavour and there are no artificial flavours.

Damp wood chips from your selected wood type are heated to smouldering point in a large retort, this generates more smoke than actually setting the wood alight. This smoke is funnelled into a compression chamber where this rapidly cools the smoke, causing condensation. This condensation is filtered purified and aged for anything from a few months to a year.

We have different variants; Mesquite, Apple, Cherry, Hickory, Mixed Hardwood and European Beech. Hickory is the most popular wood used for smoking and so is the one most people are familiar with. It works well with meat and sauces/marinades for pork, chicken & beef. Mixed hardwood is a combination of hickory and oak, both are hard woods so this works on the same items as the Hickory. Finally the European Beech is a softer wood and so is therefore a good all-round smoke that can be used on meat, sauces, marinades as well as seafood, fish and cheeses & dips.

The possibilities of what can be achieved with liquid smoke are endless, if you have an imagination you will be able to create some spectacular meals.
The European Beech in particular enables you to get a smoky flavour into things that you would never associate being enhanced by the flavour of smoke. Last year a catering customer of ours made a Smoked Cardamom Ice-cream! There is also a rage in the US where liquid smoke is being used in cocktails.

Which is your personal favourite product: Extremely difficult to say; I use every product myself! The smoked salt and olive oil we use on a daily basis as it provides a more complex flavour and different notes to any dish. Cherry is a favourite on nachos, Hickory and Mixed Hardwood on meats, Beech on everything and I like using the Apple to give a more pronounced smoky note to gammon, especially when prepared in the oven or a pressure cooker. Pulled pork is transformed with Beech added to it!

What have been your most popular products: Hickory and Mixed Hardwood are certainly the better sellers as most people are familiar with Hickory smoked meat products. European Beech is the most versatile of the flavours, which makes it very popular for retail and commercial applications, especially for burger sauces and vegan protein options.

Tell me a bit more about these product flavours: Liquid smoke in not readily available in South Africa and smoked food is becoming increasingly popular. Liquid smoke enables you easily add a smoky flavour to any meal by adding it during the cooking process or even to prepared meals.
It is made from real wood chips and contains no artificial flavourings or colourants. The same taste you get from a traditional smoker, is the same taste you get from our liquid smoke.
 Hickory – most familiar smoke flavour, used on bacon, ribs & chicken breasts. Best results when used with “heavier” meats like beef & pork. Ideal for marinade, basting, potjie, soup or pasta sauce.
 Mesquite – Best results when used with “heavier” meats like beef & game. Ideal for marinade, basting or potjie
 Hickory & Oak – Common woods used for smoking, good with red meat, pork & game. To be used in marinade, basting sauce, pasta sauce or biltong recipe.
 Beech – Very versatile and mild liquid smoke and so the liquid smoke works well when used to flavour fish, mayo, dips, butter or cream cheeses with no bitter aftertaste. Made with hardwood chips.
 Applewood – Probably the most used fruit smoke wood, the flavour is milder and sweeter than Hickory. Ideal for poultry, beef, pork (especially ham), game birds, lamb and some seafood. A mild with a subtle sweet, fruity flavour.
 Cherrywood – Slightly sweet fruity smoke that’s great with just about everything. It is a very dark liquid smoke so will impart a deep, golden-brown finish to the meal. A sweet mild, fruity flavour.

Where can people purchase these from: We have a list of distributors (expanding all the time) across South Africa, with further expansion planned for Namibia and Botswana. We have our products available through our online shop as well; we ship to your door for a nominal fee. www.smokedflavours.co.za/shop or www.smokedflavours.co.za/stockists

Do you have any recommended recipes to try these out: My personal favourite and biggest crowd pleaser is Beech smoked mayo; it makes any dip come alive and burgers are no longer made in our house without it!! You can download our free recipes here.

What are the different products you have available:
• Liquid Smoke: Apple, Beech, Cherry, Hickory, Hickory & Oak, Mesquite – 125ml
• Smoked Salt: Hickory smoked salt – 100ml & 325ml
• Smoked Olive Oil: Smoked olive oil & Chilli smoked olive oil
• Liquid Smoke: Bulk packaging for commercial applications.

What makes your products so unique: It is immensely versatile and can be used for anything from curries, marinades, sauces, ice-cream, cocktails, chillies, olives, cheeses, meats, tofu… You see what I mean?!

Who do you think would enjoy these: Anyone with a love for food and an adventurous taste palate, as well as vegetarians and vegans. Our products are sourced from reputable production facilities in the US and Europe with Kosher and Halaal certification from the manufacturers. We are in the process of obtaining local Halaal certification from SANHA as well.

Quote you live by: Cooking is an act of love.


We are going to be launching a competition this week, so make sure you keep an eye out on our social media! No house should be without these products, and I can definitely recommend the Smoked Olive Oil and Smoked Salt for everyone – we can’t imagine making meals without them now and have definitely experimented in every possible way with seeing just how far we can push our tastebuds and what does really work for us. So far we have loved it all.

Thank you Theunis for this great product. I can’t wait to see more recipes and experiments with everything available, and to see these more readily available in restaurants and friends’ kitchens.


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Bean Stew

Guys, this lockdown has got all of us thinking about our finances, our future, and how to spend our free time.  I have been loving spending a little extra time in the kitchen, and trying out recipes that I don’t usually – or trying out new recipes that can ensure our food stretches a little further and lasts us for a few meals.

This bean stew is one of husbands favourites, and I added some bacon bits this time (yum yum!), although the original recipe is from my vegan friend so this would be perfect for Meat Free Monday.  You can also chuck in some Chick Peas to an alternate texture.  It’s quick, easy, and super delicious.


Ingredients:
2 tablespoons Oil (sunflower, canola or olive)
1 Onion (chopped)
2 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
2 chopped Chillies/Chilli Flakes (optional & according to taste)
2 heaped dessertspoons Tomato Puree or Paste
1 Stock Cube (veg or beef) dissolved in 250ml boiled water
2-3 tins of Beans (black or speckled) (drained)
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons Sugar

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Method:
1) Sauté onions in oil on medium heat, until softened.
2) Add garlic & chillies (if using) to onions & sauté for a few seconds.
3) Add tomato puree/paste to onions & garlic & allow to cook for +- a minute (remember to stir, to make sure the mix does not burn).
4) Pour in about a quarter of the stock & stir it in, to prevent the mixture from drying out.
5) After a minute, add the drained (but not rinsed) beans plus the rest of the stock & give it a stir.
6) Add the salt, pepper & sugar, then stir in.
7) Place the lid on the pot & allow to cook at a medium heat, until most of the liquid has reduced.

NB : Remember to keep an eye on the stew while it is cooking & stir frequently because beans will catch & burn very easily.

Serve with rice or mash & enjoy!!  It should produce 4 to 6 decent servings.

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This is a staple in our house, and we have really been enjoying it during lockdown – you can buy nearly all the ingredients in the house and have them ready in the pantry for the next meal.

Enjoy!


 

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Marshmallow Icing

This is the icing my mum has made for me ever since I can remember!  They were on all my birthday cakes, & she would often make cakes for us through high school & we would still fight over who got to lick the bowl once she had iced the cake.

You need a double boiler, or a make-shift version of one, as this is what really makes the icing work.  And an electric beater – if not, rope your husband in to do the beating with a whisk (as I had to early this morning!).

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Ingredients:
1½ cups Sugar
¼ tsp Cream of Tartar
⅛ tsp Salt
⅓ cup Water
2 Egg Whites
1½ tsp Vanilla Essence

Method:
1. Place sugar, cream of tartar, salt, water and egg whites in the top of a double boiler.
2. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute.
3. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan (if this happens, your frosting could become grainy).
4. Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes.
5. Beat in vanilla.
6. Use this immediately to ice the cake as it sets/hardens quite quickly.

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I usually make my mum’s flop-proof chocolate cake with this icing on top & it is absolutely divine.  Enjoy!


 

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Children’s Biscuits

Last night husband said he felt like something yummy, but we didn’t have anything available on hand.  I searched through our cupboards & found a few ingredients to make his favourite childhood treat – Children’s Biscuits aka Smartie Biscuits aka Butter Biscuits.  They are so easy & super delicious.  Although he wasn’t happy with the size of the first batch I made so the next few were much bigger – I think his memory is a bit skewed as to the comparison from when he was much smaller himself…

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Ingredients:
500g Margarine/Butter
1 ½ cups Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
4 ¾ cups Flour

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Method:
1. Cream margarine/butter and sugar.
2. Add vanilla essence and sifted flour.
3. Beat until smooth (quite a stiff dough).
4. Roll into balls, place on baking sheet and press down with a fork.
5. Decorate with Smarties.
6. Bake at 180° for 18-20 minutes.

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We initially pressed the Smarties into the biscuits, but then husband requested I add them to the dough & we then get a surprise as to whether there will be some chocolate in the cookie we’re eating.  You could even add chunks of chocolate bar, cocoa powder, chocolate drops, or anything yummy that you would like.  Hundreds & thousands also work a treat!

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This recipe also allows you to fill your entire cookie jar, so you don’t need to bake on a daily basis – unless you can scoff them in one go!


 

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Easy Microwave Fudge

If you are anything like me, this nationwide lockdown has made me eat my feelings.  I have found every excuse under the sun to bring out my recipe book and try something new – and majority of the time it has eased my sweet tooth.  There is not much available at the shops in terms of baking ingredients, so I boxed clever and made a staple that I could actually find the ingredients in my grocery cupboard.  PLUS you can make it in your microwave, and it is so quick and easy that you will find yourself reaching for this time and time again.  Just please be careful of the hot sugar – this can cause serious burns and I would hate for any of you to get injured.

Ingredients:
125g Butter
400g (500ml) Sugar
1 can Condensed Milk
5-10ml Salt
25ml Vanilla Essence
10ml White Vinegar

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Method:
1. Line a pan with silicone paper or foil.
2. Spray with Spray & Cook.
3. Microwave the butter for 1 minute in a deep microwaveable dish at 100% power.
4. Add the sugar, condensed milk and salt (to taste).
5. Do not stir, then microwave for 1 minute on 100% power.
6. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
7. Microwave for 10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes.
8. Add the vanilla essence and vinegar.
9. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens.
10. Spoon into your pan, and smooth out.
11. Leave to cool slightly, and cut into squares before the fudge gets too hard.
12. Leave to cool completely and turn out from pan.
13. Break into blocks and enjoy!

 

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This is honestly the easiest fudge recipe, and we have been making this since I was a small child.  I love that you can make it in the microwave as well so you don’t have to stand for ages stirring the mixture in the pot.  I add the salt to help break the extreme sweetness, but my mum has been known to add coffee or nuts too.  Let me know any additions that you add too – I am sure I will be making this a few more times over the coming weeks…

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Chocolate Brownie

I love nothing better than a soft squishy brownie, that literally releases a volcano of flavour as you bite into it.  I whipped some up yesterday afternoon & cooked them in two different ways – in muffin tins as individual brownies, & then in a cake tin to cut triangular ones.  The different tins allowed for different baking times, so the ones we baked for a shorter time so they were yummy & gooey in the centre, & the others were more cripsy & firm.


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The Best Chocolate Brownies Ever

Mix in one bowl:

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted Flour
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 5ml Salt
  • chopped Pecan Nuts OR Lindt balls (optional)

In another bowl mix & beat:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup Oil
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 7.5ml Vanilla Essence

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, & put it in a greased shallow bowl or as cupcakes.

Set the oven to 170°C, & bake for approximately 17 minutes.  The secret is to watch them baking & take them out as soon as the outside is done, leaving the the centre soft & moist.  You may have to try this several times to get it exactly right, as all ovens differ.

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Extra:  I also added a scoop of O’Nutricia Collagen!  Yum.

You can also make some icing, or add cream/ice-cream, or sprinkle icing sugar on top to make them even more decadent.


We (i.e. husband & myself) finished half of the brownies before we left for our New Year’s Eve celebrations – they are even better when they are warm & gooey, but there is no harm in trying to save some for the next day.

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Pumpkin Pie

I was given this recipe from a family member following a Christmas dinner, & whenever I have made it since it has been a huge hit!  Yesterday we had our Christmas lunch with our friends, & it reminded me again of how popular & yummy it is – so I knew I had to share it with you.  Perhaps you could even make it for your next family celebration?


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Ingredients:
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Cake Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ginger
Pinch of Salt
2 Eggs
1 cup Cream
100g melted Butter
2 cups cooked, mashed Butternut/Pumpkin

Sauce:
5 tsp Butter
1/4 cup Cold Water
1 cup Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Milk
2 Tbl Maizena Corn Flour

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Method:

  1. Set oven to 160°C.
  2. Sift dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl; mix the eggs, cream & butter.  Add the butternut & mix.
  4. Add the dry ingredients & mix.
  5. Place the mixture into a greased oven dish & bake for 2 hours.
  6. While the pie is baking, mix all the sauce ingredients together & cook in microwave a little bit at a time until thick.
  7. Once the pie is cooked, pour the sauce over the top.
  8. Place back in the over for roughly 10 minutes until the sauce has soaked in & the pie is baked through.
  9. Enjoy!

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This can be served as a main with your meat & veggies, but also enjoyed as a dessert with cream on top.

I am sure that you will love it!  Please tag me in your pics when you try it yourself.

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