Friday, 25 December 2015

Merry Christmas

My trifle bowl has found a new use this Christmas,  a cute snow scene with cheeky elves. I'm also delighted with the figures for my Christmas cake. The decorations were both ordered from the Etsy site. Sent all the way from New York no less. 

Happy Christmas to everyone who views my blog, and I hope to carry on into 2016,




Saturday, 19 December 2015

Eggs Benedict




This is a perfect brunch for a lazy weekend or perhaps a breakfast on Christmas Day if you're eating your meal later in the day. I've always been afraid to try hollandaise sauce, but this recipe was very striaghtforwrd. It will no longer be something I only have for a hotel breakfast.  The recipe is from the BBC good food website.

Ingredients
Serves 2 
4 Eggs
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 English muffins, halved
a little butter for spreading
8 slices smoked salmon or ham
chopped chives, to serve


For the hollandaise sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp white wine vinegar
3 egg yolks
125g unsalted butter, diced

Method
  1. First make the Hollandaise sauce. Put the lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl, add the egg yolks and whisk with a balloon whisk until light and frothy. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk until mixture thickens. Gradually add the butter, whisking constantly until thick – if it looks like it might be splitting, then whisk off the heat for a few mins. Season and keep warm.
  2. To poach the eggs, bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the vinegar. Lower the heat so that the water is simmering gently. Stir the water so you have a slight whirlpool, then slide in the eggs one by one. Cook each for about 4 mins, then remove with a slotted spoon.
  3. Lightly toast and butter the muffins, then put a couple of slices of salmon on each half. Top each with an egg, spoon over some Hollandaise and garnish with chopped chives.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

This years table decoration

Although I'm not cooking Christmas dinner this year it's still nice to have a festive table for mealtimes throughout the Christmas period. I saw this idea on Facebook and thought it was a really simple, effective decoration. Tiny baubles are available at a reasonable price in lots of shops and most people have a few different sized wine glasses to hand. I think it still needs a touch of seasonal greenery to give a little more colour, but I love the overall effect with the candles. 



Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Ricciarellis



I'm starting to get into the Christmas spirit and have been doing a bit of Christmas baking for some friends coming around tomorrow evening. It's ages since I have made theses delightful biscuits, which are similar to a macaroon, soft, chewy with a beautiful almond flavour. This is a recipe from Nigellas 'How to be a Domestic Goddess'. They would make lovely homemade Christmas presents. I challenge you to just eat one. 

Ingredients
2 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
225g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
half tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond essence
300g ready-ground almonds
Icing sugar for dusting

Method
Whisk the egg whites and salt until they are stiff and dry; then gradually whisk in the sugar until you reach a marshmallowy consistency. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract and almond essence, along with the ground almonds; mix to a hard paste. Shape into small diamonds, dusting icing sugar over your hands to help form the lozenges. Lay on two baking sheets lined with greaseproof and leave to dry overnight. Heat the oven to 140ÂșC and cook the ricciarelli for 30 minutes. When cool, dust with icing sugar and serve. Makes about 34.