Thursday, 16 December 2010

Our Artisan Christmas Dinner

This was our amazing Christmas dinner yesterday, 6 kilo turkey, huge hock of ham, roasties, parsnips, brussels with pancetta and chestnuts, streaky bacon and beetroot. Lisa made this delicious Christmas cake laced with sherry and topped with marzipan and rolled icing - it took 18 hours slow cook in her Aga !

We have our carol service at The Welbeck Abbey tonight and then our final presentation tomorrow, quick trip to the Farm shop and then Im coming home for Christmas - I can't wait:-))). Although, im just looking out of the window at the snow flakes coming down again....hope lucy will make it !

Merry Christmas everyone xx

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Sun rise, Sun set

Sunrise 8am on my way to school
Sunset 5.30pm on my way home

Black Forest Gateaux

I was reading the beautiful book that Miele got me for my leaving present, Larousse Gastronomique and I came across this amazing photo of a 3 layered Black Forest Gateaux. Having never made one before, I really wanted to test myself and see if I could.  It was Matt's birthday so I had the perfect excuse. The cherries were soaked in brandy and once the chocolate sponge had been baked, I soaked them in Russell's sloe gin syrup. To make the Chantilly cream, I hand whisked the double cream, cold milk, icing sugar and vanilla sugar. Then I got to work with the layers; sponge, cream, cherries, sponge, cream, cherries, sponge, cream, cherries and then finally a sprinkling of grated chocolate shards. I was really pleased with the end result, it was so impressive.

Christmas Baking - Stollen & Tsoureki

Have been trekking in knee-high snow to school (Im in the hi-vis!) through the Creswell Craggs enjoying the winter scenes and thinking about the Christmas holidays. With not much to do but bake, I have been busy making Christmas cakes laced with brandy, gin soaked damson jams and generally practising my baking/drinking skills!

Today, on the Artisan Christmas Baking course we made German Stollen and Greek Tsoureki. Orange, lemon zest, mixed peel, cardamom, toasted almonds, rum & vanilla, all combining to fill the bakehouse with an amazing festive aroma. Above are the butter glazed stollen fresh from the oven with a centre of rolled marzipan and rum soaked fruit.
The Tsoureki was soft, sweet and slightly cake like, much like a Brioche. We plaited the Tsoureki dough and sprinkled with sesame seeds before they went into the tins to bake, giving the finished loaves real definition and a beautiful bronzed crust. Having just had a slice with some salty cheese I must say it was simply delicious :-)