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Saturday, 30 December 2017
How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
chocolate mince pies (after being persuaded by Sylvia that Santa really loves our recipe which is unlike anyone else's). If I made the pastry with an egg yolk I had a leftover egg white so this was what was needed for Cakelaw's Spiced Christmas Nuts. Ironically I forgot the egg yolk and didn't really need to make the recipe but was curious. Then I tweaked the spices for less heat and varied the proportions. I also baked them at the bottom of the oven which was too hot. So all in all they weren't quite as tasty as I had hoped and I didn't get the desired roasted crunch. They were nice but needed more attention.
Bailey's biscuit fudge and that extra bag of choc chips I had bought by mistake when I forgot I already had one. Although I wanted more coconut, others assured me it was just fine. And this was most excellent. Though how can you go wrong with chocolate, condensed milk and coconut!
And it is too late for you to make these for this Christmas but it is not too late to make them for New Year's Eve. As this will be my last post this year, I wish you a very Happy New Year's Eve and will be back soon with my round up of 2017.
More recipes for festivities, entertaining and gifts on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Caramel apple trifle
Cashew cheese stuffed dates (gf, v)
Christmas dessert cheese platter
Parsnip nut roast (v)
Potato parsley stars (gf, v)
Smoky seedy coconut bacon nuts (gf, v)
Vegan nutella with coconut condensed milk (gf, v)
Zimsterne (Cinnamon stars) (gf, v)
Vegan Nut Roast
Adapted from Belle Rivas via the Vegan Society
2 tsp oil*
1 onion or leek, chopped
225g finely chopped mixed nuts*
2 tbsp ground almonds
2-3 tsp herbs and spices*
2 tsp vegemite (or yeast extract)*
1/2 cup hot water
Seasoning to taste
Fry onion in oil. Mix with nuts, almonds, breadcrumbs, and herbs and spices. Mix vegemite into hot water and add to mixture. Season. Scrape into a greased and lined loaf tin. Smooth top with the back of a spoon. Bake at 180 C for 30 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch.
NOTES: There are many variations to this nut roast. This time I used 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp truffle oil that I added after frying. The mixed nuts can be any combination - almond and cashew work well. I blend mine until they are part ground and part very finely chopped as I think the ground nuts help hold it together. I used 1 tsp dried sage, 1 tsp seeded mustard and would have used 1 tsp smoked paprika (but it was lost so I used 1 tsp seasoning mix which was probably a bit much seasoning but I got away with it.) If you don't have vegemite or yeast extract you could use stock power or extra seasoning.
Coconut rough fudge
Makes a lot
1 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
300g chocolate chips
300ml condensed milk
Toast coconut on dry frypan until it turns light golden brown (it will change colour quickly so stir constantly). Set aside. Melt choc chips and condensed milk together. I do this in a heat proof bowl in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time but it could be done on the stovetop over low heat. Stir in toasted coconut. Spread in lined tin (I used a 20cm square tin but only used about 2/3 of it but the fudge is stiff enough to stop it spreading over the whole tin). Leave in fridge overnight or for 4-6 hours to firm up and then slice into small pieces.
NOTES: I used desiccated coconut but would like to try shredded coconut (like in Create, Bake, Make) for more texture - though I was told by others that desiccated coconut was just right. I used dark choc chips because it is quite sweet with the condensed milk but you could make it richer by using a good 70% chocolate or sweeter by using milk choc chips. You could sprinkle the fudge with more coconut but I forgot about this til it was set. To make it vegan use a vegan chocolate and a coconut condensed milk.
Sweet and Spicy Nuts - work in progress
Adapted from Laws of the Kitchen
1 egg white beaten until fluffy
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp freshly ground gold salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
shake of cinnamon
400g raw almonds
Mix all ingredients in a medium to large mixing bowl adding the nuts last. Line a large roasting tin with baking paper and roast at 160 C for 15-20 minutes. Nuts will crisp up as they cool.
NOTES: I used almonds but mixed or other nuts would work too. I would like to try this recipe with aquafaba to make it vegan. I found the spices and sugar weren't as prominent as I had hoped - probably because I reduced them - so I would increase (double?) these next time.
On the Stereo:
Christmas in the Heart: Bob Dylan
Thursday, 28 December 2017
Christmas has come and gone. I hope you had a good one. We are now in the week of sleep-ins, movies and festive leftovers. Here is a little recap of our Christmas.
nut roast, cranberry nut rolls, chocolate mince pies, panforte, pizza, spiced nuts and fudge.
Biggest disaster was when I was about to put the panforte in the oven and saw the figs were still on the chopping board! Which I guess is why I shouldn't leave it til I am watching Carols by Candlelight after dinner.
A few of the recipes to come soon. Did I mention I now have 5 weeks leave. Woo hoo! I live in hope of more time for blogging.
It is hot again today so we will head to the pool to cool off and try to forget just how close we are to the end of 2017. Meanwhile, I leave you with some Christmas quicklinks for some entertainment and food for thought:
- Boozy Bailey's Real Hot Chocolate with Festive Christmas Marshmallows - Gluten Free Alchemist
- Dazza's Deep Fried Christmas Dinner review - Get Battered
- It's Christmas so splurge a bit - it will do you good - The Age newspaper, 15 Dec 2017
- What the loss of a loved one at Christmas time has shown me - Essential Kids
- 16 tweets that sum up that weird week between Christmas and New Year's - BuzzFeed
Sunday, 24 December 2017
Then headed off for a doughnut. I really wanted to check out the Doughnut Time Christmas selection but they had closed. Krrispy Kreme (above) ran out of their Christmas doughnuts. So we had Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Sylvia had part of mine because after a taster of the sweet cream and cookies, she chose it and then decided she didn't like it. My new york fudge was excellent.
I hope you have your festivities organised or just about. (And if you don't celebrate, I wish you a relaxing day tomorrow or at least respite from the Christmas songs in the stores.) And I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas with lots of good food and good company. We are off to share Christmas dinner with family tomorrow. Meanwhile Carols has almost finished and I still need to wrap some presents. Back soon to share some Christmas food.
Friday, 22 December 2017
It suited me to make an easy no bake slice that could be made quickly after I baked a batch of gingerbread for Sylvia's class party. It would have suited me not to turn the oven on at all after a 36 C day but there were orders to be fulfilled.
They are such nice people that they all told me how much they loved the fudge. It was quite rich and a little alcoholic but one of my colleagues was surprised later to hear it had any alcohol in it. So it is for adults, but will suit the faint of heart.
Just in case you think I am exaggerating, it is 50 years on the weekend since we lost Australian Prime Minster, Harold Holt in Cheviot Beach just up the Mornington Peninsula and his body was never found.
Fortunately the food was less scary. Generally it was pretty good with lots of salads, arancini balls and lamingtons. I did learn that when you order a vegetarian meal at a sit down dinner, it is best not to go off talking to colleagues on the other side of the room. And I managed to be on a table the came 2nd in the trivia quiz.
So you see it has been a crazy busy time and the next few days will continue to be crazy. If you want an easy last minute festive gift for adults, I highly recommend this fudge. It is pretty adaptable to different liquors or add ins. I hope to be back before Christmas with a few more festive photos. Hope your holiday preparations are going well.
More fudge on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Black bean cacao fudge (gf, v)
Caramel fudge (gf)
Chocolate layered fudge (peppermint or caramel) (gf, v)
Hedgehog fudge with dried cherries
Nutella fudge (gf or vegan version (gf, v)
Baileys Biscuit Fudge
Adapted from taste.com.au and Olive Magazine
1/2 cup cranberries
1/3 cup slivered almonds
200g dark chocolate
1/3 cup condensed milk
4 tbsp Baileys Irish cream
1 dessertspoon of butter
Line a 15cm square tin. Break up or cut shortbread into chunks. Measure out cranberries and almonds (because you want to be prepared to mix them in before chocolate mixture thickens). Gently melt chocolate, condensed milk, Baileys and butter. Mix in shortbread, cranberries and slivered almonds. Scrape into prepared tin and use the back of a spoon to smooth down the mixture into the tin. Chill until firm - I did this overnight. Slice into small chunks - I sliced mine 6 x 6 so I had 36 pieces. Wipe knife occasionally and dry if you want your pieces to look neat when you slice them.
NOTES: I used Lindt chocolate - 100g of 78% dark chocolate and 100g of sea salt dark chocolate. This fudge is as rich as the chocolate you use. I also used margarine rather than butter. I didn't measure it very precisely, hence calling for a dessertspoon of butter. Feel free to substitute the liquor of your choice or different add-ins. I probably could have had some more add-ins but I liked having lots of fudge around them.
On the Stereo:
Dr. Demento Presents the Greatest Christmas Novelty CD of All Time - Various Artists
Wednesday, 20 December 2017
When we decided to make cupcakes, instead of heading to my computer - which was in computer hospital, Sylvia and I sat browsing cookbooks from the shelves. It is far too long since I have done that. (I'd like to say it has made me realise I should do it more but now my computer is back I am already back to my online ways even if I haven't had much time for blogging.)
We made them to take to a local carols service to attend in lieu of the one that was cancelled the previous weekend. Sylvia packaged up the cupcakes very nicely but when we took them out at the carols, they were a little mis-shapen.
More gingerbread recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Gingerbread houses (small) with vegan royal icing
Gingerbread squares with peel (v)
Plum gingerbread sponge pudding
Rebecca's gingerless gingerbread
Sticky Gingerbread Cupcakes
Adapted from The Family Circle New Muffin Cookbook
Makes 12 cupcakes and 24 mini muffins
2 cups white self raising flour
3/4 cup wholemeal plain flour
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
2/3 cup treacle or molasses
100g butter or margarine
1 cup buttermilk (we used soy milk with a tsp of vinegar set aside at beginning)
1 egg lightly beaten
Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Melt treacle and butter together. Mix with remaining wet ingredients and fold into dry ingredients. Spoon into lined muffin trays. Bake at 200 C for 20-25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Cool on a wire rack.
NOTES: Our cupcakes were dairy free because we used dairy free margarine and instead of buttermilk I mixed soy milk with a tsp of cider vinegar and set it aside to curdle at the start. Icing and sprinkles are optional. We iced our cupcakes with buttermilk but I would have preferred a lemony cream cheese frosting if I had been better organised.
On the Stereo:
White Christmas: Bing Crosby