Sunday, 27 November 2011

...that festive feeling!

So today I have been feeling very 'Christmassy' and have therefore decided to completely over-indulge in delicious goodies (as is only proper when feeling festive!)

My parents came over for dinner, so I made a Christmas Ham - I boiled it in 2L of Coca Cola for about 1 hour 30mins/2 hours with an onion, peeled and chopped in half. I left it to simmer and then took it out of the pan; slicing off the top layer of fat, scoring and then smearing in 2tbsp black treacle, 2tsp of mustard powder and 2tbsp of demerera sugar - you can add cloves too but I didn't have any and it still tasted yummy!

I also made Christmas carrots to accompany this festive dish. Christmas carrots are my second favourite vegetable dish (sprouts being my first of course!) as they taste so warming and delicious. Basically boil up some carrots, then when they're cooked throw them in an oven dish with a sprinkling of cinnamon, cumin, some garlic, salt, pepper, butter and lemon juice and leave them to cook for about 10 mins on about 160ish.. I just sort of bung them in the oven and guess when they're cooked.. they really are divine and if you try something new this year for your Christmas dinner, make these carrots.. you won't be disappointed!

I also made some mince pies - the mince meat had been made well in advance (back in September - where does the time go?!) so it was just a case of making the pastry and then popping them in the oven! 12 oz plain flour 8 oz butter (they used hard margarine in the 1950s but there are limits...) 2oz caster sugar 1 egg 1 pinch salt Combine the butter with the flour and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs - add the caster sugar then add the egg (I normally just use the yolk) You can use whichever pastry you want really.. I then baked them for 12-15 minutes at about 170.

I also made some yummy shortbread buttons which would be the perfect give to give someone in a cute little bag for a small Christmas present (I will do a blog next weekend on homemade foodie Christmas gifts!)

They were really simple to make! I basically creamed 125g of butter with 50g of caster sugar - added a little lemon zest and added the flour until it formed a dough (it needed a little bit of help so I added a splash of milk!) I then baked at 170 for about 10 minutes.. et voila! You can add a sprinkling of caster sugar as they come out of the oven if you like for a bit of extra sweetness.

Finally I made a Victoria sponge for dessert.. I have been searching EVERYWHERE for duck eggs.. much to the bewilderment of many a shop assistant I have asked, but I eventually found some (by pure luck!) last night in Tesco! Hurrah! They're a lot bigger than standard chicken eggs, and their shells are thicker so they last longer.. they're apparantly meant to make cakes even fluffier so I thought I would put it to the test with a sponge cake.. and I'm so glad I did!

I won't bore you with the details of how to make a sponge, I'm sure you all know! For my filling I just spread on a copious amount of jam and I beat 300ml of double cream with a splash of vanilla extract and 30g of icing sugar.. deeelicious!!