Monday, 26 December 2011

Stripey jellies

Not being a fan of either cold custard or cream I've never been a trifle person. At Christmas I have often been offered jelly as an alternative to trifle and the jellies at my father's house were always the best. Rather than sticking with a single colour my father would make stripey jellies in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

This year we found some lovely vegetarian jelly crystals made by weight watchers so I decided to have a go at making stripey jellies. Unfortunately they don't seem to make a green jelly, but I managed three colours with blackcurrant, strawberry & raspberry and orange jelly:

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Mulled wine (2 colours)

Water - 850 ml
Granulated sugar - 115 g
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Whole cloves - 8
Oranges - 2 (unpeeled), quartered
Red wine - 1 bottle
Orange slices

1) Place the water, sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves and oranges in a large pan and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid, turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes.
2) Leave to cool and then strain into a container. The syrup will keep in the fridge for a week.
3) Heat in a large pan with the bottle of red wine and orange slices.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Feta, pomegranate and leaf salad (2 colours)

This is a really quick and easy salad to make at this busy time of year.

Mixed leaves - 2 large handfuls
Feta - 1/3 pack
Pomegranate arils (seeds) from half a pomegranate

1) Arrange the leaves on two plates. Crumble over the feta and sprinkle the pomegranate arils on top. Serves 2.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Rudolph the red-nosed potato

I saw a picture of something similar on the internet last year and decided that we simply had to make reindeers out of baked potatoes. The feet are celery, eyes are peas, antlers are pasta and noses are cherry tomatoes.

As Ian put it "who says you shouldn't play with your food?!"

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Cranberry and citrus sorbet (2 colours)

This lovely seasonal sorbet, being quite strong in flavour is best in small quantities, say served with some fruit or biscuits. For the recipe, see Cannelle et Vanille.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Coconut macaroons (0 colours)

Eggs - 2
Dessicated coconut - 225 g
Caster sugar - 140 g
Glace cherries - 6, halved

1) Beat the eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add the coconut and sugar and stir well. Set aside for 20 minutes.
2) Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Wash your hands in cold water and form the coconut mixture into 12 pyramids. Place these on the baking sheet. Keeping your hands cold and slightly damp helps to stop the mixture sticking more to your fingers than the cakes.
3) Place a glace cherry half on top of each macaroon and bake for 25 minutes or until golden (keep an eye on them after 20 minutes). Makes 12.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Black forest trifle (1 colour)

It's December, our tree is up and half the Christmas cards are in the post. There are so many Christmassy recipes that I want to try that I couldn't possibly cook (and eat) them all in the traditional festive period so I shall start early...

I've never been a fan of cream or cold custard so this is the only trifle I've ever liked.

Chocolate swiss roll (not the kind coated in chocolate) - 1, sliced
Tinned black cherries - 400 g tin, stones removed
Chocolate angel delight - 1 pack
Milk - 300 ml

1) Arrange the swiss roll slices on the bottom of a trifle or similar dish.

2) Pour over the juice/syrup from the tin of cherries and then arrange the cherries on top.
3) Make the angel delight with the milk as per the instructions on the packet and then pour over the cherries. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serves 6.