Nostalgia, like food, is an endless journey to me. So, it makes sense that, in my mind at least, the two are inseparable. My greatest culinary inspiration has always been those treasured memories around the kitchen table, feeling the house grow colder as the day gives way to a chilly winter’s night, and breathing in those wintry, spicy fragrances that usually filled the house at that time. Melkkos (literally translated as “milk food” and also known as melk snysels), has always been one of those van der Westhuizen dinnertime treats on a Sunday night that was comfort cooking and comfort eating in equal measure. I mean, it’s essentially a bowl of cinnamony pancake ribbons drenched in warm milk that thickens as it gets better acquainted with the flour coating the dough. It was as much a part of my childhood as a plaster over a grazed knee, and to this day, remains one of my ultimate favourite homemade meals.
240 g (500 ml) cake flour
pinch of salt
15 ml milk
2 litre full cream milk
15 ml butter
100 g (125 ml) sugar
20 ml cinnamon
Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the eggs and milk.
Mix until a dough forms, then knead until it reaches an elastic consistency and cover the dough with a damp kitchen cloth. Let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into two spheres. Roll the dough out onto a floured surfaced, getting it as thin as possible. Sprinkle some flour over the rolled out dough and roll it up into a long roll (think Swiss roll). Then, slice the roll into 2 mm slices before unrolling each slice. It should look like uncooked fettuccini.
Pour the milk into a large saucepan and bring it to a boil. (Keep stirring the milk as it warms up to prevent it from burning onto the bottom of the saucepan.)
Once the milk is boiling, add the dough ribbons. Stir gently and let it simmer in the milk for about 15 minutes until soft. Add the butter and mix through.
Mix the sugar and the cinnamon in a bowl. Spoon the melkkos into bowls and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.