Monday, 22 December 2014

Festive-blog-athon Day Twenty Two: Things To Do: Xmas Recipes

Today's festive post is all about Things to do: Xmas Recipes.
is a few Recipes that I loved the most and wanted to share with you all!
Enjoy and Be Merry!

Xmas Cocktails
Toast Christmas Morning with a simple glass of Mimosas
- Half a glass of Champagne or Sparkling Wine
- Topped with Fresh Orange Juice.

Appleberry Mulled Wine
Makes enough for 12 Glasses
2 x 75cl bottles red wine (such as Merlot; better quality wine makes all the difference)
1ltr good-quality cloudy apple juice
115g caster sugar
1 long cinnamon stick, snapped in half
2 star anise
3 tbsp orange Curaçao or Cointreau
a handful or so (about 100g/4oz) frozen mulled fruit or fruits of the forest or Black Forest fruits
3 small red-skinned apples, sliced into rings

Pour the wine and apple juice into a large saucepan and add the sugar, cinnamon stick and star anise. Heat gently, stirring once or twice, until the sugar has dissolved, then continue heating gently for another 15 minutes.
Just before serving, swirl in the Curaçao or Cointreau, throw in the frozen fruits and add the apple slices.

Xmas Desserts

Chocolate mint loaf cake

Prep: 1hr 30mins
Cook: 40mins
Serves 10

2 x 85g salted butter, plus extra for greasing
2 x 50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
2 x 120g plain flour
2 x 140 golden caster sugar
6 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 large eggs
284ml carton buttermilk

For the icing
300g box After Eights, broken
50ml double cream

To decorate
turquoise food colouring
300g Regal-Ice Ready to Roll icing
1 tsp peppermint extract

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base and sides of a 22cm square tin. Melt 85g butter and 50g chocolate together in a small pan. Mix 120g flour, 140g sugar, 3 tbsp of the cocoa and ½ tsp bicarbonate in a bowl.
Whisk together 1 egg with half the buttermilk (about 140ml). Scrape the melted chocolate mixture and egg mixture into the dry ingredients, along with 100ml boiling water. Whizz briefly with an electric whisk until lump-free. Scrape into the tin and bake for 18-20 mins until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the tin for 15 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling while you repeat steps 1 and 2 to make a second cake. Cool both completely.
To make the icing, melt the After Eights and cream together in a saucepan. Cool, then chill until spreadable.
Trim the cake edges, then halve to make 4 rectangles. Use half of the icing to sandwich the layers together, then spread the rest over the top and sides.
Knead some colouring into the ready-to-roll icing with the peppermint extract. Roll out on an icing sugar dusted surface, then lift over to cover the cake, smoothing with your hands.
Trim excess icing, then scatter with decorations.
Chill again for 1 hr to firm up, then serve or keep in the fridge, removing 30 mins before serving.

Chocolate Orange & Cranberry Red Velvet Bombe

This stunning festive dessert makes a great alternative to Christmas pudding, with a hidden cream cheese and cranberry filling.
Prep Time: 1hr 10mins
Serves: 15
175g butter, very soft, plus extra for greasing
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
200g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp baking powder
75g buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 x 10g tubes red food colouring (make sure it’s a bake-safe variety – we used Dr. Oetker)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

For the ganache and filling
450ml double cream
zest 2 oranges
100g bar white chocolate, finely chopped
100g bar dark chocolate, finely chopped
200g bar milk chocolate, finely chopped
180g tub cream cheese
3 tbsp icing sugar
50g dried cranberries, plus extra to serve
sprinkles and edible glitter (optional), to decorate.

Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease 2 x 16cm hemisphere cake tins, then dust with flour and shake out the excess. Stand the tins on two ramekins placed on a baking tray to hold them steady. Put the cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and whisk together until smooth and evenly coloured bright red. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 45 mins. Remove from the oven, cool in the tins for 10 mins, then tip onto a wire rack and leave until completely cold.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate-orange ganache and the filling. Pour the cream into a saucepan, add the orange zest and heat until just steaming. Put half the white chocolate in a bowl, and the dark and milk chocolates in another bowl. Pour 50ml of the hot cream over the white chocolate (strain it if the orange zest is in big strands), and the remaining cream over the dark and milk mixture. Leave the bowls for 1-2 mins, then stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool for 10 mins.
Put the cream cheese in a bowl and whisk lightly to loosen. Add the icing sugar and the cooled white chocolate and cream mixture, then blend until smooth. Stir through the cranberries, then chill.
When the cakes are cold, you can start assembling. With the cakes flat-side up, use a 7cm biscuit cutter to mark a circle in the centre of each. Use a spoon to gently scoop a dip in each cake, about 4cm deep (save the crumbs for cake truffles – see tip, left.) Remove the cream cheese mixture from the fridge and use to fill the cavities in the cakes, spreading a little onto the flat surfaces too, to help them stick together. Invert 1 cake onto the other to create a sphere, and place on a wire rack set over a baking tray (this will catch any chocolate drips).
To ice the cake, the chocolate ganache needs to be the right consistency – pourable but not too runny. If it has set a little too much, place in the microwave for 10-20 secs, then mix until smooth; if it is too runny, chill until it has firmed up a little. Pour half the ganache over the cake, letting it cover the sides and run into the tray below (use the chocolate drips for cake truffles, see Tip). Cover the whole surface using a palette knife. This is just the first coating, so won’t fill the gap between the sponges. Chill the cake for 20 mins or until the ganache has firmed up a little.
Remove the cake from the fridge. Cover the gap around the middle with the remaining ganache, smoothing it all over with a palette knife. Return to the fridge for another 20 mins until firm, then transfer to a serving plate.
Melt the remaining white chocolate in the microwave in short 10-sec bursts. Drizzle over the top of the cake, then scatter with dried cranberries, sprinkles and edible glitter, if you like. Chill if not serving straight away – it will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Remove from the fridge 30 mins before serving.

Don't forget to keep up to date with other festive-blog-athon post by heading over to Katie's blog : Here!

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