In the bustling world of food enthusiasts, Landi Govender, the creative force behind The Tocka Blog, has emerged as a passionate advocate for culinary exploration.
Born in Durban and currently residing in Johannesburg with her family, Landi’s journey from a career in graphic design to becoming a celebrated foodie expert, blogger, and photographer is as vibrant as the flavours she brings to life in her kitchen.
Landi’s love affair with cooking and baking can be traced back to her childhood, where her dearest grandmother played a pivotal role. The vivid memories of watching her grandmother skillfully bake and decorate the iconic vanilla hot sponge cake and roll out perfect rotis ignited a passion that would later define her career.
A leap of faith into the food industry
In 2018, facing a career crossroads, Landi turned to her love for food as a creative outlet. The Tocka Blog was born, initially serving as a platform to share the daily meals she prepared for her family. Over time, it evolved into a hub for food photography and videography, attracting collaborations with renowned brands and publications.
Landi’s journey in the food industry has been marked by numerous highlights, including features in magazines, online publications, and even hosting a cooking demo on live TV. However, the path wasn’t without its challenges. Learning the ropes of photography and balancing the demands of being a mom were hurdles she gracefully overcame through perseverance, education, and effective time management.
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The Tocka Blog: A culinary canvas
The Tocka Blog is Landi’s canvas where she paints mouthwatering recipes and shares her deep passion for food. Inspired by diverse cultures worldwide, she finds the essence of her dishes in the captivating stories behind them.”I find inspiration in the diverse cultures from around the world, particularly when it comes to food. I love how there’s a captivating story behind every dish. Each culture offers a great quantity of tastes and techniques that never cease to amaze me,” says Landi.
A flavourful palette
When asked about her absolute favourite dish, Landi’s choice is a bowl of Penne Arrabbiata, generously adorned with extra Parmesan and EVOO. Her pantry staples include an array of spices like masala, Kashmiri chilli powder, ground cumin, coriander, and tumeric, along with whole cinnamon, bay leaves, and curry leaves – the essential elements that make up her perfect curry. “I love my spices and delicious curry,” Landi adds.
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Looking to the future
As Landi continues to delight her readers with delectable recipes and culinary adventures on The Tocka Blog, she hints at an exciting venture in the pipeline. A cookbook, featuring a collection of her favourite recipes, is on the horizon, aiming to bring her culinary expertise to a broader audience.
Landi Govender, the culinary artist behind The Tocka Blog, has seamlessly blended her love for food, photography, and storytelling into a mesmerising journey. From the influence of her Grandmother’s kitchen to triumphs in the food industry, Landi’s story is a testament to the transformative power of pursuing one’s passion. As she continues to evolve in the culinary landscape, we eagerly await the next chapter in her flavourful adventure.
Make this Ricotta, Blueberry & Polenta Cake:
- 150g cake flour
- 90g Polenta
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 140g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 190g white sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 250g ricotta cheese
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 170g blueberries
- Icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180C. Prepare a 20cm cake pan with baking paper.
Whisk the cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.
In the large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time.
Add the ricotta cheese and lemon zest and beat for a minute.
Fold in the flour mixture until combined, then fold in the berries.
Fill the prepared cake pan with the batter and smooth the top using a spatula.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then place the cake onto a rack to cool completely.
Dust the cooled cake with icing sugar. Serve with a dollop of cream and enjoy!
Feature image: Supplied