Monthly Archives: December 2016

Spiced Hot Toddy Cake

This is such a lovely, festive cake. The ground almonds and the syrup absorbed by the sponge ensure that it’s gorgeously moist and the spices are so Christmassy. Then, you get the icing, which delivers a deliciously intoxicating whisky kick! I’d never seen a recipe like this before but we’ll definitely be having this one again – yummy!

Serves 12

What you need…

1 x 2.4 litre bundt/savarin baking tin, liberally buttered

250g unsalted butter, softened

250g soft light brown sugar

5 happy eggs

150g ground almonds

100g self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Seeds from 5 cardamom pods, crushed

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

Pinch ground cloves

for the syrup

100ml whisky

30ml runny honey

Juice 1 lemon

for the whisky icing

120g icing sugar

40ml whisky

What to do…

Heat your oven to 180° / 350°f / gas 4.

Into your food processor tip the butter and sugar and whizz until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, use a balloon whisk to gently beat your eggs together in a jug.

Gradually pour the eggs into the mixture, ensure that each bit is fully incorporated into the mixture before you pour any more in.

Tip in the almonds, flour, baking powder and spices and whizz to mix evenly.

Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the syrup, in a small bowl use your balloon whisk again to mix together the whisky, honey and lemon. Use a skewer to poke holes all of the cake and then drizzle over the syrup until it is all absorbed.

To make the whisky icing, use another bowl and mix together the icing sugar and whisky to form a smooth, slightly runny icing and then drizzle it all over the cake. Leave to harden slightly and then tuck in with a nice cup of tea, a wee dram or just all by itself: behold a little (or large) slice of Christmas spice – it’s Christmas – have another slice!

 Inspired by…

Delicious magazine

 How easy…

Very little effort for a very lovely outcome

Brandy Ice Cream

Do you think it’s possible to adopt Mary Berry? Even just for a little while: not only is she a national treasure but she’s a heroine in this kitchen. This no-churn (I don’t churn – too much of a faff) brandy ice cream is stupendously easy and spectacularly gorgeous! I made the first lot with the intention of indulging in it over Christmas with Christmas Pudding and Mince Pies. Not a chance – it’ll be gone waaaaaay before then. Another batch has been scheduled – it’s that good! Eat it with festive treats, as part of an Affogato (dollop of ice cream topped with an espresso shot and a little dribble of brandy in this case) or just straight from the tub with a spoon: all to yourself!

 Serves 8 supposedly!

What you need…

 4 happy eggs, separated

100g caster sugar

300ml double cream

2 tablespoons brandy

What to do…

Using your handheld electric whisk, beat the egg whites until light and stiff and then, whilst still beating at high speed, gradually add the sugar, a little a time, until the mixture is a thick and glossy meringue. Gently whisk together the egg yolks and then fold them into the meringue.

Whisk the cream and brandy together until thick. Fold into the meringue.

Freeze in a flat plastic box overnight. Feel free to lick out the preparation bowl but for some reason, it’s not nearly as tasty as the final ice cream – don’t know why, just sayin’.

Share with friends or indulge all by yourself – very yummy!

What to check…

This recipe contains raw eggs, not suitable for all.

Tip…

You can freeze it for up to 1 month but once you know it’s there…that’s most unlikely!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

Spectacularly!

 

Risotto with Scallops and Black Pudding

There’s something about the happy marriage of scallops and black pudding: just yummy! And in this risotto, they are really scrumptious: the earthy black pudding and the sweet scallops mixed in with the rich, creamy risotto – ooooh, just lovely!

Serves 4

What you need…

750ml hot water from the kettle

2 fish stockpots (I use Knorr)

25g butter

1 shallot, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 leek, washed and diced

250g Arborio risotto rice

50ml dry white wine

1 dollop mascarpone

50g Parmesan, freshly grated

4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

12 slices black pudding

12 scallops (out of shells)

What to do…

Use a balloon whisk to dissolve the fish stockpots into the hot water to create your fish stock.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and sweat the shallot, garlic and leek without colouring.

Turn the heat down and add the rice, stirring to coat in the butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Then start to add the stock, one ladle at a time, waiting for each ladleful to be absorbed before adding any more – this should take 15 – 20 minutes. The rice should be cooked but still retain some ‘bite’. Add in the mascarpone and Parmesan together with the parsley and seasoning. Taste and adjust the cheese content and season to suit.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat the oil and when it starts to smoke, add the black pudding, cooking it for 3 minutes before turning over and adding the scallops to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, turning the scallops once.

Serve your delicious risotto with your lovely scallops and black pudding and just enjoy the sheer yumminess that is this combination!

Inspired by…

James Martin

How easy…

Very easy and very relaxing to make as long as you have the time that the arborio needs to get to that lovely oozy, delectable state!