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Showing posts from December, 2011

Chocolate Vanilla Cheesecake

This was my greatest triumph at Christmas and it was so good I'm making another one for New Years Eve. The cheesecake is made in a 25cm springform tin so it serves at least 8-10 people, but as it's so rich you could probably stretch it out to serve 12. The other beauty of this dessert is it freezes really well, minus the cocoa powder topping, so it's a useful dessert to have stored away in your freezer to pull out for unexpected guests or impromptu get togethers.
When raspberries come into season I will try it again with a handful of raspberries in the cheesecake mix and a few TBSP of raspberry liqueur, that would be lovely I think.
Have a wonderful New Year. I will be resuming normal service on the blog next week.
CHOCOLATE VANILLA CHEESECAKE| Serves: 10 | Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 45 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes |
Ingredients: for a 25cm Springform tinFor the base85g Hot melted butter14 Dark Chocolate Digestives, blitzed in a processor to crumbsFor the…

Gingerbread House

Ever made a Gingerbread House? No, me neither so when I received an email from Tesco Real Food asking if I wanted to try making one...I thought why not, how hard can it be? Thanks to the How to video on the Tesco Real Food website it really wasn't that difficult at all (barring a small incident with a boiled sweet!). The video goes through everything in a step by step manner  - useful it it's your fist time. Granted, Kate does make it look effortless...and she doesn't have two excitable children wanting to join in the decorating but it's certainly not as tricky as I had first imagined.
My effort above obviously isn't going to win any prizes (I am artistically challenged at the best of times) but it's a lovely little project to do with the children on a wet and windy December afternoon, of which there have been plenty of those over the last few weeks!
As well as the How to Video guide, Tesco's are also offering advice on all matters cooking related via Twit…

Smoked Salmon Pate

A few weeks back you will remember I received this fab seasonal box from Forman and Field in association with Knorr. In it was some gorgeous London Cure Smoked Salmon, which I have duly transformed into an ideal Christmas Day starter to serve 8. A little smoked salmon goes a long way in this recipe, helping keep the costs down but not compromising on flavour or quality.
Will you be serving a starter on Christmas day, or do you and your family prefer to get stuck straight in to the main event?
SMOKED SALMON PATE | Serves: 8  | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: -  | Total Time: -  |
Ingredients:  200g tub of Cream Cheese200g Smoked salmon1 heaped TBSP of Horseradish sauceJuice of 1 Small Lemon3 TBSP Chives, snipped plus extra for garnish Instructions: Step 1; Blitz together all the ingredients in a processor, season and garnish with extra chives.Step 2: Serve with melba toasts or brown bread.| Author: Beth Sachs | Date: 12th December 2011 |

Christmas Chestnut Cupcakes

Last Christmas I bought some tins of Creme de Marron (sweet chestnut puree) but unfortunately they did no more than linger at the back of my baking cupboard.... until today that is. Getting into the Christmas spirit I was flicking through Delia's Happy Christmas this morning when I spotted a recipe for chestnut cupcakes using creme de marrons. I decided to adapt Delia's recipe a little bit to suit what ingredients I already had in the house and came up with these little treasures. 
If you're not keen on mince pies or heavy fruit cake, these would make a great sweet alternative.
CHESTNUT CUPCAKES| Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 30 Minutes | Total Time: 45 Minutes |
Ingredients:  150g Creme de Marron110g Soft Butter2 Eggs, beaten110g Plain Flour11/2tsp Baking Powder4 TBSP MilkTopping:100g Cream Cheese100g Sour Cream100g Creme de Marron (handily creme de marron usually come in 250g tins)Icing sugar to dust. Instructions: Step 1: Preheat oven to 170c and put 8 large …