Who wants to diet? Who else has over indulged at Christmas and now wants to shed those excess pounds? I know I need to – but I also know that I don’t want to!!! It’s cold, the wind’s howling outside and I’ve just returned from walking my dogs – and all I really want is comfort food.
Kindness helped a lot of people this Christmas – from food banks; gifts of warm clothing and toiletries; to free meals, shelter and company. But what happens now? The problem has not gone away. Kindness will not eradicate poverty. Are we helping by providing temporary relief or are we distracting those responsible from finding a solution? Would the government be more likely to focus on dealing with poverty if they weren’t being helped by charities?
Line a 20cm round false-bottomed cake tin.
Pre-heat your oven to
150 degrees C.
Cream the butter or margarine with the caster sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
Beat in the golden syrup and gradually add the eggs, one at a time, beating all the time.
Stir in the lemon and orange rinds.
Fold in the flour, salt and milk, then add the sultanas, apricots and cherries.
(For the best dispersement of ingredients it is a good idea to snip the apricots into smaller pieces and cut the cherries in half)
225g Butter or Margarine
125g caster Sugar
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
4 Large Eggs
Finely grated rind of 2 Lemons
Finely grated rind of 2 Oranges
300g Self Raising Flour
Pinch of salt
1-2 tbsp Milk
100g Dried Apricots
100g Glace Cherries
Recipe Cost: £6.08
Regular Christmas Cake retail: £10
You save approximately £4
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, raising the mixture around the outside to produce a slight hollow in the middle. This will help to make sure your cake becomes level as it bakes.
Place a double sheet of greaseproof paper to act as a lid, on top of the cake before you put it into the oven.
Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour.Click here forThen reduce the temperature of the oven to 130 degrees C and bake for a further 1.5 – 2 hours.
To test if your cake is fully cooked, poke a pointed knife into the centre, if it comes out clean, remove from the oven and place on a wired tray to cool. If not, give the cake extra time (Check every 10 mins) and test again.
(Do not try to remove the paper linings from the cake until it is perfectly cool)
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Italian Christmas Pudding cake
It just keeps getting better. This, trust me, is an indulgence you simply cannot do without. It bears absolutely no comparison to a Christmas Pudding but as an alternative, it wins hands down!! It is a delightful Italian Christmas dessert, light and fluffy and has the appearance of something aristocratic with all the scrumptious flavours of Christmas all rolled into one. Miss this and weep! Sheer Bliss!
(To make this cake you need a 22-23cm Springform cake tin.)
Cut the panettone into 1cm slices and use a third of these to line the bottom of the tin, making sure there are no gaps. Drizzle 2 tbsp of the Kahlua over the panettone so as it becomes moist.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until very frothy. Then slowly whisk in the mascarpone and double cream then slowly add the marsala. Carry on whisking until the mixture is thick and more firm.
Truly one of the most influential charismatic cooks of our time.
6 x 15ml tbsp Kahlua Lq
75g Caster Sugar
250ml Double Cream
125ml Marsala or Sweet Sherry
75g Glace Cherries
125g Chocolate Chips
100g Pistachio Nuts
2 x 15ml tbsp Pomegranite Seeds
£1 per portion:
12 – 14 Slices
Remove a good cupful of the mixture and store in the fridge for later. Add the glace cherries to the mixture followed by 100g of the chocolate chips and 75g of the chopped pistachios and fold in.
Now use half this mixture and put on top of the tin lined with panettone.
Now use a further third of the panettone slices to cover the mixture you have just added and remember, no gaps. Drizzle with a further 2tbsp of liqueur.
Now place the remainder of the filling on top and cover with the remainder of the panettone slices. Use the final 2tbsp of liqueur on this final layer.
Cover the tin with clingfilm and press down on the cake to make sure all the layers are well seated.
This can then be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days until needed.
Before you serve, remove from the springform tin, place on a presentation dish and add the cupful of filling you saved to the top surface, levelling as best you can.
Now scatter the remainder of the nuts, and chocolate chips over the top, adding the pomegranate seeds.
“We are a kitchen, not a hospital” (Raymond Blanc). On the BBC Good Food Show Raymond Blanc argued that it is now ‘fashionable’ to have a food intolerance. He is not the only chef to have complained about customers claiming to have food allergies and intolerances. In July this year an Australian chef vented his anger on Instagram with customers ‘who aren’t honest about what they can eat’. He gave an example of a customer who had a ‘shellfish allergy but loves oyster sauce’. He said “you make it really damn hard for people with actual allergies and dietaries to go out to eat. Are they right?
Christmas Rocky Road
For all Chocoholics!! If it’s a little festive indulgence you’re looking for this year – this is the recipe for you. Ideal for those intimate parties and family get-togethers, this rich passionate finger-licking treat will please everyone. Packed with your favourite goodies – how can you go wrong
Truly one of the most influential charismatic cooks of our time.
250g dark Chocolate
150g Milk Chocolate
175g Soft Butter
4 x 15ml Tablespoons of Golden Syrup
200g Amaretti Biscuits (Not the soft ones)
150g Shelled Brazil Nuts
150g Red Glace Cherries
125g Mini Marshmallows
1 x 15ml Tablespoon of Icing Sugar
45p per portion
24 Bite Size Bars
Chop up both types of chocolate small and put into a pan with the butter and syrup over a gentle heat.
Put the biscuits into a freezer bag and bash them to get various sized crumbs.
Put the brazil nuts into another bag and repeat the above action.
Take the pan off the heat and add the biscuits, nuts, place cherries and marshmallows making sure all the ingredients are coated with chocolate.
Tip into a foil tray (236mm x 296mm)smoothing the mixture as best you can. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Remove the slab mixture from the refrigerator and place on a chopping board. Sift the icing sugar over the top.
Cut the chocolate slab 6 x 4 and place on a presentation dish.
Charity begins at home. Many believe this proverb means that you should look after your family and friends first, but I would argue that it means that charity begins in the home where your children learn what charity really is. One of my daughters, a student, sent me this photograph a couple of days ago:
She explained that small boxes have been placed on each table at a Mexican restaurant called Ojo Rojo, where customers can donate to the charity ‘Wish for Water’. She told me that she and her friends put their loose change into the box. She said that she was happy to donate because although she could only afford to give away her loose change, she did not feel embarrassed at not being able to donate more. There was no pressure to donate – just the opportunity. Our conversation inspired me to write this post.
How caterers can help people suffering from food poverty and help save the environment.
Caterers tend to be very busy this time of year – ordering and preparing food to serve to their customers who are celebrating the advent of Christmas. But how much of this food will be wasted? How much will end up in landfills? Could some of the food be given to the homeless or others suffering from food poverty? I’m writing this blog because there are caterers who divert food destined for the landfill and make it available to those people in need, and I thought it might be of interest to you.
- 47 is the average age of death of a homeless person (Crisis)
- 4,134 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night (Homeless Link)
- 132% rise in rough sleepers since 2010 (Crisis)
- 16% rise in rough sleepers since 2015 (Crisis)
- Over 125,000 homeless children living in Britain today (Shelter)
- 62% of single homeless people may not show up in official figures (Crisis)