Christmas Cooking

Nicole’s Festive Nougat

nougat

Nicole's Festive Nougat
Author: 
Cuisine: Christmas Cooking
 
Try using anything you want in place of the nuts – pistachios, almonds, ginger, hazelnuts, glazed cherries and more, or even a mixture of many of these. Make sure you slightly toast your nut selection first before adding to mixture.
Ingredients
  • 1 egg white
  • 400g honey
  • 100g Pistachio
  • 100g Dried Cranberries 50g white chocolate
  • 150g Pecans
  • 150g Macadamias
  • 60g coconut oil
  • 40g Mayple syrup
  • 25-30g Chinese Five Spice Sea Salt
  • 2 to 4 piece confectionary rice paper
Instructions
  1. Add 1 egg white to bowl and mix 2 sec, speed 2,
  2. Add 400 grams honey, then insert butterfly. Cook, 60 mins, 100 Speed 2, With MC off
  3. Quickly remove butterfly out, add in remaining ingredients and mix 5-10 sec, reverse speed 3. You may need to finish this step by hand with a spatula if it starts to set too quickly
  4. Place a layer of rice paper on your bread mat (or baking paper) spoon mixture liberally over rice paper.
  5. Place another piece of rice paper on top, followed by a piece of baking paper and press or roll out to desired thickness.
  6. Let set in fridge for approximately half an hour then slice up, trimming all edges first, then into 2-3cm strips.

 

Christmas Planning & Recipe Ideas Countdown

arwen

It’s almost here – again! How on earth did that happen?

So obviously you are wanting to plan for food for the big day & any celebrations with family & friends leading up to Christmas 🙂 So I bring to you some inspiration & ideas to get you through this crazy busy time 😉

The Festive Flavours Cookbook & Chip is really great with some really good ideas for making your own gifts too like flavoured salts or spice rubs or flavoured sugars.

festive-flavour-book-1

The Festive Flavours Cookbook is one of 4 books currently available to purchase in a book bundle saving you money. There are also lots of other great gifts available from the Thermomix online shop.

One of my favourite recipes from the Festive Flavour Book is  the Pork & Chicken Terrine & I am definitely making that again – it was really delicious, it has cranberries & pistachios in it too.Terrine

Our family love my Thermie green avocado dip & this year I will be making the warm roasted cauliflower hummus from Dani Valent Cooking – speaking of which, wouldn’t a subscription to this site be a great gift for Christmas – there are already over 40 recipe videos available (index here) with a new one added each week, Dani Valent also has a Christmas ebook available to purchase for $15 or it’s free to her subscribers. See some of her recipes on my post called my addiction to Dani Valent Cooking 🙂 I am almost certain we will be having the Basque Cheesecake on Christmas day too!!

Also don’t forget about the recipe platform now called Cookidoo – what a great way to plan out your dishes for the festive season – if you haven’t signed up yet it is really easy to use with a great shopping list feature too. Here is the link to sign up to Cookidoo & you will get 1 free recipe collection when you sign up.

I am having a fun countdown on my social media pages sharing a different recipe idea each day – I hope you enjoy it & get some great ideas to use for your special day 🙂 Merry Christmas everyone!!

Day 1 recipe is my friend Kelly’s Dutch Spice Speculaas recipe here

speculaas

Day 2: Strawberry & Rosewater Sorbet for Cocktails or Mocktails

Strawberry & Rosewater Sorbet

Strawberry & Rosewater Sorbet

 

Day 3 Thermie Green Avocado Dip This is one of the best dips ever – even if I do say so myself, put it on your Christmas & or entertaining menu this season or maybe just put it in your mouth!! Your taste buds will thank you 😉

The Best Avocado Dip

The Best Avocado Dip

Day 4: I introduce to you the “Cheesecake” You can put as many or as little layers as you like of your favourite cheeses & I have included a layer of my favourite fruitcake to eat with cheddar cheese. You have to trust me on this it is seriously good – I also made some apple paste to go on my “cheese cake” because I’m all out of my homemade quince paste. I was also toying with the idea of making rounds of homemade crackers to put in between the cake layers so when you dismantle the “cheesecake” you could break the big cracker into a few pieces to serve with the cheese too.

cheesecake

fruit-cake-with-cheese-2

Day 5 inspiration is Smolt’s Lemon Curd  You can give it as gifts or serve it on or with your christmas desserts – Like pavlova with fresh berries!!

lemon-butter

Day 6: Black Forest Trifle is another family favourite YUM!!

Black Forrest Trifle

Black Forrest Trifle

Day 7: Southern Stars White Christmas Custard – Coconut, White Chocolate, Frangelico & Vanilla Bean – our Thermomix team created this recipe for a custard challenge last Christmas & it is very delicious 🙂

Vanilla Custard

Day 8: My Fruit Mince Surprise – it’s got rhubarb in it!! YUM! You can do so much with this delicious stuff – Add some fruit mince to some cream cheese and serve with fruit for Christmas sweet dip, stir through your ice cream mixture or serve with vanilla or brandy custard. Use fruit mince with thick custard or whipped cream as a profiterole filling, or use in fruit mince pies, pull apart bread or spread onto rectangles of puff pastry or brioche dough and make scrolls.

fruit-mince

Fruit Mince Surprise
Author: 
Recipe type: Christmas
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Use Fruit Mince in profiteroles mixed with cream or thick custard, fruit mince pies, pull apart bread or spread onto rectangles of puff pastry or brioche dough and make scrolls. Add some Fruit Mince to cream cheese and serve with fruit for Christmas sweet dip. Stir through your ice cream mixture or serve with vanilla or brandy custard.
Ingredients
  • 1 orange zest
  • 500 g apples peeled, cored and quartered
  • 200g chopped rhubarb
  • 100 g dates dried
  • 80 g craisins
  • 100 g currants
  • 15 g fresh ginger piece chopped/ minced
  • 60 g flaked almonds
  • Juice 2 oranges
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau or Brandy (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place orange zest, dates and fresh ginger into mixing bowl and mince for 20
  2. sec/speed 9.
  3. Add apples and chop 4-6 sec/speed 6.
  4. Add remaining ingredients except brandy and cook for 35 min/Varoma/
  5. /speed 1. Cool slightly,remove the bay leaves & stir in cointreau or brandy, set aside
  6. until ready to use.

 

Christmas Profiterole

Christmas Profiterole – serving suggestion for my Special Fruit Mince

 

Day 9: Ellie’s Turducken. Yes it’s a chicken in a duck in a turkey!!

 

Day 10: Spiced Cherry Brioche from the Festive Flavours Cookbook – you can put any of your favourite fillings in 🙂 spiced-cherry-brioche-3

Day 11: Sarah’s Cheese Biscuits make up a few batches of this & store in the freezer in log ready to slice & bake when unexpected guests arrived or an attack of the munchies! Perfect with a glass of bubbles!

Sarah's Cheese Biscuits

Sarah’s Cheese Biscuits

Day 12: Mum’s Chicken & Mango Salad – Such a versatile salad great to use up left over steamed chicken breast (after steaming a whole chook) or poaching chicken breasts in the Thermomix. You can use any nuts you like either cashews, macadamia or pistachios. Finely chopped celery for the crunch & fresh element, 1 mango sliced, sliced spring onions. Avocado is delicious in it too. I used cucumber because I had some in the fridge & added fresh parsley & mint leaves. Mum dressed it with 1/2 homemade mayo & half natural yoghurt 1 tsp of curry powder & 1 tabs of tomato relish. I used a honey & seeded mustard vinaigrette to dress it, my sister likes to use an Asian style dressing with soy sauce, fresh ginger & garlic.

chicken-mango-salad-2

Day 13: 60 Sec Fruitcake from the Devil of Cookbook – there are lots of other great Christmas recipes in this cookbook – Toblerone cheesecake,  raspberry & white chocolate cheese cake just to name a few 🙂

xmas-cake-1024x683

Day 14: Nicole’s Festive Nougat – My friend Nicole makes these very year to give as gifts to friends.

nougat

Day 15 : Spinach & Cheese Grissini

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Day 16: Flavoured butters can jazz anything up in a hurry & you can store them in the freezer. Dani Valent has some great butter flavour ideas & video of her making butter in the Thermomix. My friends at a girl, a guy furkids & food have a fabulous butter recipe then add any flavour you like – last year I made turkey skin butter as a variant to Dani Valent’s In the Mix cookbook Chicken Skin Butter recipe.

turkey-skin-butter

Day 17: Festive Cauliflower Salad is so easy & delicious 🙂

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Day 18: Herb & Garlic Dip can be made into a great canape’ spread on sliced of french stick or sliced veggies with some smoked salmon YUM!!

Day 19: The good old Aussie Pav, you can make in all shapes & sizes with any choice of topping from fruits nuts & sauces, the possibilities are endless. Try the wreath recipe or pavlova stack.

Day 20: Shortbread Stars – recipe from my friend Erica.

Day 21: Gingerbread or Gingerbread House – I use the recipe from the Festive Flavours Cookbook.

Gingerbread house made by my customer Natalie & her 3 year old daughter.

 

Day 22: Beetroot Cured Salmon – there is a recipe in the Festive Flavours cookbook but I used the Jamie Oliver one from his new Christmas Cookbook & made the curing mixture with the Thermomix. I have served it here on Blinis – however it is so versatile you could serve it on cucumber rounds or rounds of baguettes – serve on top of a green salad to make it into a dish.

 

Day 23: Double Chocolate Pretzel Cookies from In the Mix 2 & Dani Valent Cooking – Santa will love them too!

Day 24: Basque Cheesecake from Dani Valent Cooking

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY THERMOMIXING!!

Christmas 2015

One must always start the day with a good breakfast; my favourite breakfast at the moment is slow cooked eggs, place eggs into the simmering basket & cover with water, cook for 60 mins, at 60 degrees, speed 4. And my favourite indulgent accompaniments are smoked salmon, avocado & hollandaise sauce (I used the guided recipe on the Thermomix model 5, making sure I use cold butter). I also made fresh orange juice (using the guided recipe too) it’s just orange flesh, water & ice. Our breakfast table cloth & cutlery were my nanas so they are really special. The napkins were a Christmas gift from one of my friends.

Xmas breakfast

This year we had the hottest Hobart Christmas Day on record!! We had already arranged our Christmas menu to have a French inspired menu (because of my trip to Paris this year) We all like to contribute & take it in turns hosting. This year it was at my sister’s house. We all live very close, only 5 mins down the road from each other, which is very handy.

Useless fact: This is the first year that all 3 households have owned a Thermomix!!  Mum brought lots of veggies & herbs from her garden. My brother & mum got to work deshelling the broad beans & chopping up the scarlet runner beans.

Beans & broadbeans

For starters mum had made her smoked salmon rounds on cucumber & homegrown raddish.

Xmas lunch nibbles

My sister had set the table, I wasn’t sure about the noddy table cloth but Christmas is about family & food, not about food styling lol!! She also made our family favourite dip a tradition for each year the Thermie Green Avocado Dip. Everyone brought a cheese & mum also brought quince paste. And I made the oat biscuits from In the Mix 2 to go with the cheeses.Xmas lunch table

 

I made the baguettes fresh that morning!! I instructed mum to tear them up just like they do in Paris!

Xmas lunch table 2

I made my fennel & pink grapefruit salad.

Xmas salad

For mains we had 2 Thermomix cooking steamed salmon with dill & garden veg served with the decadent gratin dauphinois (potato bake) my sister made.

Xmas lunch mains

We were so full & hot we didn’t even have the Christmas puddings made by my friend Nat & I on our Christmas cooking day. We did eat something for dessert but I can’t remember what it was!! What a wonderful day of feasting & family fun!!

 

 

Xmas puddings 2

 

Dec Xmas Cooking & Celebrations

Xmas toy

There is nothing like a bit of Christmas cooking to get you into the Christmas spirit and after out Inspire Christmas class I had to start thinking about my own Christmas cooking.

I always like to host an Xmas open morning tea for friends to drop in to – I had to make the Devil of a Cookbook 30 Sec Fruit Cake & one for a friend (It is a tradition I give him this Xmas cake every year now) Anyway for some unknown reason I managed to mess up the recipe that only has 3 ingredients!! I realised I had added too much flour & decided to add in some brandy & I always add some almonds in place of some of the fruit. Anyway I had so many compliments from guests asking for the recipe I had to admit it was a kind of made up/ mish mashed recipe 🙂

XMAS CAKE

cake

cake 2

Must have awesome plates for any celebration :-)

Must have awesome plates for any celebration 🙂

 

XMAS tree

Xmas biscuits

I had to make my friend Kel’s Speculaas Dutch spice biscuits – there is a recipe in the Devil of  Cookbook too but here is Kel’s recipe if you would like to try them.

I also did some Christmas cooking with my friend Nat, we made a flat pack gingerbread house for Nat to take interstate to assemble with her family close to Christmas. We made the most delicious terrine from the festive flavour cookbook & Christmas puddings – (they make ALOT!!)

Terrine

Xmas puddings 2

 

Arwen’s Black Forest Trifle

We made this delicious trifle at our recent INSPIRE Christmas cooking class

INSPIRED TRIFLE IDEAS:
This is a favourite recipe my friend’s Mum used to make for us. The original recipe used 2 packets of port wine jelly instead of using the cherry “juice” to make the jelly.
You may also like to add cherry liqueur to the jelly 🙂
There are so many different combos for a trifle, use any kind of fruit – fresh figs, pomegranate seeds, passionfruit, mango, berries, kiwi fruit, then make a jelly to go, with that fruit even a wine or sparkling wine jelly.
Match it with your style cake a plain sponge, or try chocolate, orange or pistachio.
Then flavour your custard to match or use a lemon or lime curd for something different.
Top with fresh whipped cream & something for a bit of crunch your favourite nuts, biscuits, toasted coconut, chocolate.

055

Devil of a Cookbook Sponge Cake Recipe

Arwen's Black Forest Trifle
Author: 
Cuisine: Christmas
Serves: 12
 
The orginal recipe was one that my friends Mum made for us when were young - then we started having it for our family Christmas!
Ingredients
  • Black Forest Trifle
  • 1 chocolate cake or chocolate sponge
  • 1 x 600g jar morello cherries, keep the liquid
  • 2 teaspoons gelatine power
  • 1000g cream
  • 100g flaked almonds, lightly toasted or coconut flakes
  • 50g dark chocolate, or to taste
  • delete
  • Chocolate Custard
  • 1000g milk
  • 100g Corn Flour
  • 150g dark chocolate, good quality (add more to taste)
  • 150g sugar, or to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 40g unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Black Forest Trifle
  2. Heat 100g of the liquid from the cherry jar for 3 mins/100 degrees/speed 1, add the gelatin & mix for 5 secs/speed 5.
  3. Add the rest of the liquid & mix for another secs speed 5.
  4. Using a strainer pour into your chosen glass trifle container or individual glasses (8).
  5. You can either add the cherries now & place into the fridge to set or place the cake in to soak up the cherry jelly & place the cherries on top & into the fridge to set. In a clean TM bowl whip your cream with the butterfly around 20 - 30 secs /speed 3.5-Time will vary depending on how fresh your cream is. Place the cream to one side & without needing to clean the bowl, place all the custard ingredients to the bowl. Cook for 15 mins 90 degrees speed 4 or until thick.
  6. Pour the chocolate custard on top of the cherry jelly & cake. Place into the fridge. Once it has cooled completely spread the top of the custard with cream & sprinkle with almonds & grated dark chocolate & or toasted coconut flakes & fresh cherries. Can be made the day before, although the cream is best done on the day of serving.
  7. I like to use the sponge cake from the Devil of a Cookbook replacing use 40g of cornflour with cocoa powder.