Tag Archives: Christmas

Rocky Roadkill

A word of warning – this blog post comes under the heading “Kitchen Disasters” rather than “Recipes you’ll Love”. Not a great one to break the long drought of blog posts lately, but one that might possibly show you that I am far from domestic goddess today.

The festive season is upon us and saying it has been a busy week or two would be a huge understatement. It’s Friday afternoon, the kids have come home and are behaving quietly in their rooms,  and in an attempt to bring on the weekend I thought I would embark on a bit of festive cooking.

“Bring a plate of something sweet”, the invitation to Year Three Parents drinks said, so I thought Rocky Road would be a good one to make. Everyone loves a bit of Rocky Road right?

I followed the recipe but found myself getting deeper and deeper into a mess with each step!

First up was roughly chop marshmallows. No problem. Thermie can do that and it’ll be really quick and easy. Well, if you want a huge single lump of sticky marshmallow, it was great. Meanwhile I have the coconut and slivered almonds in the oven toasting. My next brain wave was to coat the marshmallow in the coconut to make it separate into bits now that I had rechopped it by hand. Good idea in theory, but I had it everywhere. All over my hands, stuck on the board, the knife and still pretty much sticking together in one big lump.

Press on Kylie, it’ll be ok! Next step, add the toasted nuts and chopped Turkish Delight and set aside until needed. In go the nuts, in goes the Turkish Delight. Now melt the chocolate. I set the Thermomix to work on the chocolate without a problem and turned back to my nutty, turkish, marshmallow mixture. Just when I thought I was getting somewhere, the hot nuts have now melted the marshmallow and the turkish delight and it is a bowl of sweet, gooey slop.

Chocolate melted. Pour that into the mixture and it further melts the mess and we have Rocky Road!

This is what it should look like…

rockyroad3-795634

 

… and what it actually looks like.

20131129-165221.jpg

Here we have Rocky Roadkill.  NOT going to Year Three Drinks tomorrow night. Suddenly I’m not feeling so festive anymore. I’ve lost my Christmas mojo. I’m sure it will return…it MUST! I have too many gifts and offerings to make over the coming weeks. I will post again when I have success.

A note to you all, don’t let your hot nuts touch the marshmallow. That’s my tip for today!

Advertisements

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

I have experimented this afternoon with Donna Hay’s recipe for Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies.

I will say up front that these cookies really, really delicious. Light, crispy chocolate cookies with choc chips and a hint of peppermint from the chopped candy canes. Very Christmassy and very yummy.

I adapted parts of the recipe for thermomix usage which I will share below, along with a link for Donna’s original recipe. I found it in the Christmas Dec/Jan 2009 issue of the Donna Hay magazine and it is also on her website.

I have had a long love affair with Donna Hay’s cookbooks and magazines. I drool over the gorgeous pictures and love the simplicity of her ingredients and methods. Mostly, I am just drawn in by her food styling. She is a master. I even met her once and had my cookbook autographed (minor claim to fame – I was excited!)
I love that most of the time I can replicate the recipes just like my idol, convincing myself that I too am a Donna Hay-like domestic goddess.

I was sure of it….until today. I am at the pointy end of my Christmas preparations. Doing all I can in advance, but not so soon that things go stale. My plans possess military precision and everything must go to plan with so much to do in such little time.
So here is Donna’s photo of the cookies.

20121221-175629.jpg
Before we cross to my finished product, let me reiterate to you that they really are delicious.
Here are my cookies. All four trays of them.

20121221-175802.jpg
What happened to my lovely chopped candy cane rounds adorning each little cookie? They melted, that’s what. How did Donna achieve such perfection? I too could wrap my little cookies in white paper and put a red ribbon around them, but nothing gets past the fact that my cookies are vastly inferior in appearance. Too embarrassing for gifts and I am running out of time. I suspect Donna has added her candy cane pieces to the cookies immediately after they come out of the oven, before they harden. My Christmas baking bliss has turned into Christmas stress.
On the upside, they do taste jolly good. The kids will still love them.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies Thermomix Style<strong

Ingredients

110g butter, chopped
175g brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
120g dark chocolate, melted
280g dark chocolate, chopped
150g plain flour
25g cocoa
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
120g chopped candy canes

Method

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius.
Place butter and sugar in TM bowl. Mix for 1 minute at speed 4.
Add egg and vanilla and mix for 10-15 secs on speed 3. Set aside in large mixing bowl.
Add dark chocolate for melting into clean TM bowl. Grate for 5 secs on speed 9. Melt for 1 minute at 50 degrees on speed 3.
Add melted chocolate, flour, cocoa and bicarb to butter mixture and stir until just combined.
Spoon onto trays lined with baking paper and top with chopped candy cane pieces. Keep your cookies small and well spaced as they will flatten and spread. Bake for 12-15 mins or until cookies are firm at edges. Cool on trays.

Here is Donna Hay’s Chocolate Candy Cane Cookie recipe.
If anyone has greater success with cookie appearance, please let me know what you did differently. In the meantime, cheers to everyone with more Christmas Cheer than Christmas perfection!

Fruity Pear Mince Tarts

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas so some Christmas baking was in order. I’m trying out the Fruity Pear Mince Tarts from the Festive Flavour booklet by Thermomix.

I’m blogging as I bake so we shall see how they turn out.

I began by making the almond pastry from the EDC book. A few minutes and its done! Such a breeze! Into the fridge for 15 mins and then I pressed it into greased muffin tins. Voila! The recipe asks for an egg yolk, but save your egg white for the marzipan stars.

20121215-162556.jpg
On to the Fruit Mince.
There is nothing that says Christmas more than the smell of fruit mince, especially home made! The delectable concoction comprises of orange zest, pears, sugar, craisins, currants, glacé ginger, flaked almonds, orange and lemon juice, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and brandy. Is your mouth watering yet? Let me tell you, I wish you had smellavision to get a whiff of this while its bubbling away!

20121215-163236.jpg
For the tart tops I need to make marzipan stars…well, circles in my case because I’ve lost my star cutter. Circles will suffice! Blanched almonds are required for the marzipan, however if like me, you only have raw almonds, have no fear – you can blanch your own!
Just throw your almonds in the Thermie, cover with water and put on for 4 mins, Varoma temperature on reverse, speed 1. Drain and throw your blanched nuts into a clean tea towel, give them a rub and like magic, those little nuts just slip out of their skins. Another Thermomix money saving trick!

Once again the marzipan is super fast to make and rolls out really easily. Ensure your board is sprinkled with cornflour before rolling out because the marzipan is sticky. I think I’m ready to put these tarts together!
Fruit mince into tart cases.

20121215-170349.jpg
Top with marzipan circles… Or stars if you must!

20121215-171116.jpg
And into the oven until golden.

Using the given recipe, I would make double the almond pastry as I have plenty of fruit mince and marzipan left for a second batch.

A few minutes to go and they are beginning to smell delicious…

I guarantee you will never buy store bought fruit mince or mince tarts once you have made these. I used to avoid recipes where you had to make pastry. Not any more!

20121215-182715.jpg

20121215-182809.jpg
Here is the link for the Almond Pastry The EDC cookbook adds in half a teaspoon of mixed spice as well.

Here is the Fruity Pear Mince Tart</a
recipe

Here is the Marzipan Stars recipe

I can’t wait to adorn my Christmas table with these!

European Roast Turkey

You may be familiar with the large frozen turkey in my freezer. It’s still there. Taking up way too much room.
But, relief is on the horizon!

My dear mother-in-law read my last turkey post and took pity on the poor unwanted bird, and declared a home for it in her freezer until the 25th! Hooray! Moving day is hopefully in the near future. M, if you are reading this, your turkey awaits!

She got so excited about this new addition to her family (yes, it is that large that it warrants a respected place in the family), that she promptly sent me the recipe for her traditional Christmas Turkey.

We have it every year on Christmas Day. It’s a labour of love in the Aussie summer heat, but its warmly welcomed onto our table and into our tummies with many an ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’!

What makes it special is the delicious fruity stuffing inside and crispy bacon on the outside. It’s a fantastic combo, salty and sweet, perfectly complementing the succulent turkey meat.

Here’s my mother-in-law’s Russian recipe.

Ingredients

One (5.5-6.5 kg) fresh whole turkey
500-750 gram bacon
3-4 Granny Smith apples peeled and chopped
250-300 gr. pitted prunes
250-300 gr. dried apricots

Directions

1. Rinse turkey with cool water and dry with paper towels.
2. Preheat oven to 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit
3. Combine apples, prunes and apricots and stuff turkey cavity
4. Place turkey on a rack inside a large baking dish and then wrap in bacon.
5. Cover in alfoil and put in the oven.
6. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 2 1/2 hours.
7. Remove alfoil. Baste turkey with pan juices. Cook another 30 to 60 more minutes, basting after 30 minutes. Allow bacon to crisp.
8. To check that the turkey is cooked, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. The temperature should reach 180. If legs are not yet fully cooked, baste turkey, return to oven, and cook another 20 to 30 minutes.

When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter and let rest for 20-30 minutes.

My mouth is watering already thinking about the masterpiece my frozen turkey will become.

20121204-221132.jpg

%d bloggers like this: