Maverick Life


Classic beef burgers followed by chocolate mousse pie: A recipe by chef Sinoyolo Sifo for a mouthwatering evening

Classic beef burgers followed by chocolate mousse pie: A recipe by chef Sinoyolo Sifo for a mouthwatering evening
"Sifo: The Cooking Husband" book cover and recipes. Images: Supplied. Image Composite: The Reading List

With his new book, Sifo: The Cooking Husband, Sinoyolo Sifo’s goal is to break the gender stereotypes that surround male figures in the kitchen and encourage more men to cook.

Sifo is a pharmacist by profession, and a self-taught home cook and social-media food influencer by passion. Growing up in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, he developed his enthusiasm for food from watching his mother cook, and helping his father work in his butcheries during school holidays. 

Motivated and inspired by his wife, Nondumiso, Sifo began his food journey in 2020, and he continues to amass an ever-growing following of people who love his easy-to-make, hearty and delicious meals.

Sifo: The Cooking Husband is a book inspired by the nostalgia of home and family, bringing together a selection of almost 70 recipes, each one simple and accessible, wholesome and delicious. There are scrumptious breakfasts, indulgent pasta dishes, hearty stews, quick lunches, impressive dinners, decadent desserts, as well as traditional South African dishes and some childhood favourites.


Sifo’s Beef Burger with Burger-Mayo Sauce

This is hands down my favourite burger, hence the name. If you are looking to impress your loved ones with a homemade take on a classic favourite, I highly recommend this recipe. Chargrilling the beef patty on the braai adds a unique smoky flavour to the meat.

Makes 4 thick patties 

For the burger patties

  • 250g lean beef mince
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp (5ml) crushed garlic and ginger
  • 10g fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) wholegrain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) barbecue spice
  • 1 tsp (5ml) paprika
  • 1 tsp (5ml) dried mixed herbs
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) garlic powder
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) ground cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese

For the Burger-Mayo Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) butter
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) barbecue spice
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) barbecue sauce
  • 1 tsp (5ml) honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the burgers

  • 4 large hamburger buns
  • 100g lettuce leaves
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced

For the burger patties

  1. In a large bowl, combine the beef mince, egg, crushed garlic and ginger, parsley, and wholegrain mustard. Then add the barbecue spice, paprika, mixed herbs, garlic powder, cumin, and salt and pepper. Mix by hand until all the ingredients are well combined and the meat mixture is smooth.
  2. Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal portions. Using your hands, shape each portion into a ball and place on a tray. Using the back of a spoon, press down on the centre of each patty to create a shallow hole.
  3. Cover the patties with cling wrap and transfer to the fridge. Refrigerate for 1 hour, while you prepare the fire for the braai.
  4. When the braai is ready, place the patties on a grid over the hot coals. Cook to your liking, 6–7 minutes for a medium-well-done burger. Flip the patties at least once, halfway through the cooking time.
  5. When you have 1–2 minutes left of the cooking time, place a slice of cheese on top of each patty. When the cheese has melted, remove the patties from the heat and set aside to rest for 2 minutes before serving.

For the Burger-Mayo Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for 4–5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
  2. Stir in the barbecue spice and remove from the heat.
  3. Add the mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and honey, and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble your burger

  1. Cut each bun in half. Place a patty on each bun.
  2. Layer with lettuce leaves, sliced tomato, red onion and Sifo’s Burger-Mayo Sauce.


Chocolate Mousse Pie

When I am hosting dinner at my house, this is my favourite dessert to make. The mousse has a rich chocolate flavour and very smooth texture. I usually add cream on top to balance out the sweetness.

Makes 1 pie

For the pie crust

  • 1 pack (200g) Tennis biscuits (or coconut tea biscuits)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) butter, melted

For the mousse

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) butter
  • 300g semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 2½ Tbsp (37.5ml) brown sugar
  • cup (250ml) whipping cream, cold
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence
  • chocolate shavings, to decorate

For the pie crust 

  1. Using a food processor, crush the biscuits until fine (see Notes and Tips). Mix the butter with the crushed biscuits until a crumbly mixture forms.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a round 23cm pie dish. Press the mixture down into the bottom and sides of the dish until compact. Set aside.

For the mousse

  1. In a large glass or enamel bowl, create a water bath to melt the butter and chocolate chips (see Notes and Tips). Stir continuously until the chocolate has cooled slightly. Stir the egg yolks into the melted chocolate.
  2. In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg whites and brown sugar until foamy and soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the melted chocolate.
  3. In another large bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Stir in vanilla essence. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture, but keep some cream to use as topping for the mousse pie.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
  5. Remove from the fridge and decorate with the remaining cream and chocolate shavings.

Notes and Tips:

If you don’t have a food processor, place the biscuits in a plastic freezer bag and crush them using a rolling pin. 

The water bath method is commonly used to gently and safely melt chocolate using steam. Simply chop the chocolate into small pieces and transfer to a heatproof glass or enamel bowl. Then, fill a small pot or saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water has begun to boil, switch off the heat. 

Place the glass bowl of chocolate over the hot water, and allow it to rest there until the chocolate has melted, using a spatula to stir it along. To avoid burning yourself, use an oven mitt or kitchen towel to hold the hot bowl. DM/ ML

Sifo: The Cooking Husband by Sinoyolo Sifo is published by Penguin Random House SA (R330). Visit The Reading List for South African book news – including recipes! – daily.


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