Month: December 2014

Christmas Deserts

I somehow volunteered to make the desert for the dinners and parties on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Not sure how I ended up with all the sweet selections but I do really enjoy making most foods.

Inspiration was easy after I found a few recipes In the paper as well as one for ice cream in the supermarket magazine. I do love a plum pudding with hard sauce but sadly few people seem to want to eat it.

I settled for a chocolate, raspberry and nougat ice cream served with a warm chocolate sauce and fresh raspberries. Our good friends Terri and Paul are gluten free which meant finding ice cream and nougat made with no wheat products. Good old Sara Lee ice cream fitted the bill and after folding through frozen raspberries ,chopped chocolate, and chopped nougat ,I returned the iceceam to the freezer overnight to set.

The desert for Christmas Eve required a little more effort. I lined a metal bowl with the best panettone I could buy ,in the middle I filled it with vanilla ice cream which I had folded in left over pudding crumbs .this mixture is then returned to the freezer overnight.Then on Christmas Eve I whipped up four egg white with one cup of sugar to make a meringue.

Fortunately my hosts had a blow torch and the bomb Alaska was easily finished off.it was then sprinkled with dried and candied fruits and served .
The table woofed it down and declared it delicious !

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Easy Christmas Desert

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As much as I love the classic Christmas Pudding sadly Olivia and Zoe are not so keen and I end up eating way too much pudding !!

One way of keeping the crowd happy but still keeping some of that Christmas tradition is by making a cheesecake with a plum pudding base ! This gives the creamy cheesecake a rich taste more reminisce of my idea of Christmas

It is also a great way of using up that left over Christmas cake or pudding.

Simply cut slices of pudding thinly – keep it to the thickness of a normal biscuit base.Fill out any gaps with small pieces of pudding.

Mix 750 g cream cheese, 3 eggs, rind and juice of one lemon, 300g sour cream, one teaspoon of vanilla. Blend in a food processor until smooth.

Pour this cream cheese mixture over the cheesecake and steam in a steamer 100c for 45 minutes. Cover to keep any moisture out, with foil.

Happy Christmas

Healthy Steamed Chicken with Shitake Mushrooms

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We often think of steamed food as being tasteless but depending upon what flavours we use we can make a simple healthy meal that also tastes delcious.

The use of a shitake mushroom above a button mushroom also adds depth to this dish and gives that stronger meatier flavour.

Brown rice that is toasted (lightly toasted in a saucepan with no oil) adds a nuttier taste.The finished dish has some lovely fresh herbs as coriander and chives, served simply with some steamed beans and broccoli.

Heat 500mls of chicken stock with one tablespoon of grated ginger, 50 mls soy, 100ml chinese cooking wine,2 star anise,. Once heated add four chicken breasts, one punnet of shitake mushrooms (sliced) and steam for approximately 10 minutes.

Slice the chicken breasts and serve the chicken with steamed rice and fresh herbs.

Mango Cheesecake

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What is it about Cheesecake we all love. is it the creamy mouth feel ? The mouse like consistency ?? I love both the baked variety and the uncooked Cheesecake. I do think sometimes the uncooked cheese cake can be a little too sweet !

In this version I have made a recipe that is normally not cooked and have steamed it , yes steamed. This cooks it through at a low temperature of 100c without loosing that creamy taste.

I then served it with pureed mango on the bottom of the plate with fresh mango slices on the top. For added texture there is a sand added which is simply praline which has been ground – this gives a little crunch.

Lastly passionfruit are in season so I have added a small amount on top for a tart taste.

My tips for making a great Cheesecake

1. Start with a good recipe – see my link below for a nice one! I chose this one because the addition of lime and ginger.

2. Always add some zest to the mixture – lime is excellent but lemon is also good. This helps with all that cream.

3. Keep the base moist but watch the butter ratio , try other bases such as xmas pudding and xmas cake – yummy for xmas day.

4. Dont make the base too thick – the cheese cream mixture is the hero.

5. If you have access to a steamer – steam it !! Just cover with baking paper so it doesn’t get wet.

6. Serve your cheesecake with a tart fruit to balance out the sweetness.

Try this one from bbd food