Thursday, 31 December 2009
Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Served 8 - 10
1 small red cabbage, finely chopped
4 small apples, peeled cored and sliced
2 small onions, finely sliced
2 handfuls of fresh cranberries
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground allspice
250ml red wine
3 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
100g caster sugar
60g butter, cubed
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 2. In a large casserole dish, layer the cabbage, apples, onions and cranberries so that they are evenly distributed. Add the cinnamon, spices, wine, sherry, vinegar and sugar and stir well. Place the cubes of butter on top of the dish, cover and bake for 2 - 3 hours until the cabbage is soft. This cabbage freezes well.
Monday, 28 December 2009
Brown Bread and Amaretto Ice Cream
Makes approx 600ml
5 egg yollks
100g caster sugar plus 2 heaped tbsp caster sugar
400ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod
5 slices brown bread
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Whisk together the egg yolks and 100g caster sugar until light and very creamy. In a large heavy based saucepan, heat the cream, milk and vanilla and bring to the boil. Pour the hot cream over the whipped egg yolks and whisk again. Return to the pan for 2 - 3 minutes to thicken. Leave to cool completely then add half the Amaretto. Blitz the bread in a food processor to fine bread crumbs. Place the crumbs in a large saute pan and toast with the cinnamon and remaining 2 tbsp caster sugar until the bread is crispy, taking care that it does not burn. Heat the sultanas in a saucepan with the remaining Amaretto until the sultanas are plump and the alcohol has evaporated. All the crumbs and sultanas to cool completely. Churn the ice cream base in an ice cream maker until almost frozen and then add the sultanas and toasted crumbs. Churn until frozen and then store in the freezer until you are ready to eat.
Saturday, 26 December 2009
In addition to cooking Christmas lunch on Thursday I just about managed to rustle up a birthday cake for lovely Joy in our village who was celebrating her 70th birthday. I know this is similar to cakes you have seen on this blog before but just thought that I would share the pictures with you for a change from all the Christmas festivities around at the moment. I love the dainty yellow birds and the floppy pink bow!
Friday, 25 December 2009
Thursday, 24 December 2009
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 12 -15 minutes
115g/4oz butter, softened plus extra for greasing
115g/4oz caster sugar
1 egg yolk
100g/3½oz plain flour, sifted
1tsp baking powder
200g/7oz white chocolate, chopped
55g/2oz hard amaretti biscuits, crushed
Gold edible glitter for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190/375C and grease and line two baking trays. Using a mixer cream together the butter sugar and egg yolk until light and creamy. Add the flour, cocoa and baking powder and whisk again. Add the white chocolate and crushed amaretti biscuits and bring the dough together with your hands adding a little milk if too dry.
Pull off 15 small balls the size of walnuts and place on the baking trays with a gap between each cookie. Press each cookie down with your fingers. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool using a spatula, then sprinkle with edible glitter.
Great Grandma’s Christmas Pudding Recipe
Preparation time 30 minutes, plus stirring and steaming, Makes 2 puddings
½ lb/225g suet (vegetarian suet for those who prefer it)
½ lb/225g currants
½ lb/225g granulated sugar
½ lb/225g sultanas
5oz/140g self raising flour
1 large cooking apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
3 large eggs
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
A good rub of grated nutmeg
½ tsp mixed spice
A pinch of salt
½ pint/300ml Guinness or other strong beer
2 tbsp brandy
Mixing the pudding is best done in a very large bowl. Something like a jam pan would be ideal as you need plenty of room to stir everything in. Place all the ingredients in the bowl and mix, making sure that everyone in the house has a stir and makes a wish. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a cool place for 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop.
Spoon the mixture into two pudding basins and cover the top with a double layer of greaseproof paper and foil, folded tightly to seal. Tie string round the top rim of the basin and over the top to make a handle so that the pudding can be lifted out of the pan easily.
The puddings will need to be boiled for at least 7 hours each but this can be done in stages, whenever you have time. Just keep the pudding in the fridge in between cooking sessions. Place the pudding in a saucepan quarter filled with water or in a sealed steamer above a pan of water. Remember to put your kitchen timer on to remind you to check the level of water in the pan every half hour so that the water doesn’t run out and the pudding burn as this would be a waste of all your hard work. The pudding should be a dark brown colour when cooked.
Thepuddings will keep for at least a year in a fridge so you can save one for next year. When you are ready to eat the pudding, heat in a pan of water (as above) for an hour to ensure that the pudding is warmed through. To serve, remove the greaseproof paper and foil cover and slide a knife around the edge of the bowl. Place a plate on top of the bowl and invert holding both the plate and the bowl tightly. Decorate the pudding with a sprig of holly. To flambé, heat 1 tbsp of brandy in an old spoon over a flame. It will ignite so be ready to quickly tip over the pudding when it does and rush to the table so that your guests will see. Serve with brandy butter and brandy sauce!
Friday, 18 December 2009
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Pear and Salsify Soup with smoked salmon
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
400g salsify, peeled and chopped
3 ripe pears, cored peeled and chopped
2 tbsp sweet sherry
1 litre vegetable stock
salt and pepper to season
200g smoked salmon, cut into thin strips
Creme fraiche or double cream to serve
In a large saucepan melt the butter and add the onions, salsify and pears to the pan and cook over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes until the onions and salsify turn a golden brown (but take care not to burn them) Add the sherry and cook for a few minutes then pour the stock into the pan and season well with salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes until the salsify is soft. Blitz with a hand blender to a smooth puree and add the milk. Pour the warm soup into bowls and top with strips of smoked salmon and a drizzle of cream or spoon of creme fraiche. A sprinkle of fresh chives would be lovely too (sadly I had none today!)
Monday, 14 December 2009
Friday, 11 December 2009
Serves 8 - 10
4 large eggs whites
½ tsp cream of tartar
250g/9oz caster sugar
1tbsp powdered gelatine
750 double cream
200g/7oz cream cheese
Juice and zest of 5 limes
Juice of 1 small orange
3 tbsp tequila
3 tbsp good quality lemon curd
a few drop of green and yellow food colouring (not too much!)
white chocolate curls
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3/160°C/325°F and grease an 8in round spring form tin with a little butter. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks then add the cream of tartar, whisking again. Add the caster sugar a little at a time whisking to form a glossy meringue. Pour the meringue into the cake tin, making a well in the center and the sides higher so that it will contain your lemon filling when cooked. Bake for 1 – 1 ½ hours until the meringue is crisp. Allow to cool in the tin. When the meringue has cooled, place 400ml of double cream, the cream cheese lime juice and zest, orange juice, a few drops of green food colouring and the tequila in a blender and blitz until smooth. Quarter fill a small saucepan with water and heat gently. When the water is simmering, mix the gelatine and 2 tablespoons of cold water together in a mug and place the mug into the sauce pan to gently heat the gelatine. Stir the gelatine until it dissolves but do not overheat otherwise it will loose its setting quality. Whisk into the lime mousse mixture and then pour into the meringue shell. Whisk the remaining 350ml of cream to stiff peaks and then fold in the lemon curd and a few drop of yellow food colouring if you wish. Pipe into small stars on top of the lime mousse and leave in the fridge to set for 2 – 3 hours. Dust with edible glitter and white chocolate curls for a sparkly dessert!
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
tree - they look very cute!