Ok so should we start with the spiced eggnog bread and butter pudding from the other day? I would. In fact I started with it and I have almost singlehandedly finished it. It really is that good.
I also absolutely ruined a pumpkin soup yesterday and I seriously don’t know how. Pumpkin, onion, potato, bay leaf… when it was finished I swirled in a bit of cream and a knob of butter… and I couldn’t even finish it. It was so gross. A rare misstep!
What wasn’t a misstep though was the orange cake I made, which everyone scarfed down in record time, even the kid who doesn’t eat oranges. I’ll have to blog the recipe, it’s an old standby that never, ever fails, not matter what flavour you do. Just perfect. I think it’s an old Margaret Fulton recipe, that’d be why! It’s based on the equal ratio of butter – eggs – sugar – flour weight from years ago and it just is such a regular.
Also a hit were the tiny teddy cars for the Christmas fete. It was 38 degrees and I thought I would be clever skipping the melting chocolate bit and just sticking on the M&M wheels with edible glue. OF COURSE it didn’t work and they would not stick no matter what and I ended up getting hot and flustered with them anyway! Stick to the bloody melted chocolate method for the love of god. Very cute, very quick, and very effective. Even one of my own kids bought one!
Savoury-wise, we’ve done curry, spanakopita, and the usual dinners that the kids don’t eat.
Up in Deni last weekend we did a potato bake on the Weber (to have with snags in bread, so fancy), really good veggie rissoles made with the Woolies plantbased mince, potatoes in foil, grilled corn, and the ubiquitous Christmas chocolate ripple cake. Isn’t Christmas without it!
I’ve been giving the Magimix Cook Expert a run – I’ve been lent one for a couple of months to see how I get on. I’ve historically not meshed well with thermo mixer/cookers despite my best efforts so wanted to see how this one would go in my kitchen. So far I’m pretty half-half on it, parts of it are handy and parts of it just aren’t my bag.
We have made a couple of sponge cakes in it, pizza dough, pizza/pasta sauce, mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus, hollandaise, risotto, whipped cream (and once accidentally made butter), and the emergency cupcakes for the Junior School Council Christmas breakup party last week.
I had made the cupcake mix in the machine and they baked up fine (it’s sure hard to get cake batter etc out from all of those sharp blades at the bottom, much more of a PITA than out of the bowl of a stand mixer, for example). The cupcakes were due at school at 1.25pm, and at 1pm I realised I didn’t actually have any icing sugar for the frosting.
I thought for about half a second about what to do as there was no time to go and get icing sugar and still make it on time.
Fortunately I remembered you can whizz up regular sugar in these high-powered machines and it will make icing sugar. Crisis averted! I did exactly that, and had the frosting made, piped, and decorated in 12 minutes. I packed them all up and even made it to school by 1.25, although I don’t know how. So for those kinds of things it’s pretty invaluable, but it makes a pretty disappointing risotto if you follow the provided recipe (it has a funny texture and tastes of raw garlic and onion), but if you make your own alterations it can actually work quite well.
Oh and I also made this year’s Christmas pudding, which turned out perfectly and I was really happy with it. I didn’t have a long time to soak the fruit in the brandy, so I just kept topping it up over the 24 hours I gave it, in the hopes that will still work! It was steamed for 6 hours exactly and it looks like a golden fruity angel. It’s probably due for another sprinkle of brandy and maybe one more before Christmas day. It’s gonna be so damn delicious soaked in brandy butter, custard and cream (all three, please).
Well this is where I’ll leave you kitchen notes-wise as next week we’re on holidays and if I’m doing any cooking it will be cheese and crackers. Of course for Christmas I’ll be doing the potato bake-pavlova-rum balls-Christmas favourites as usual. Last year we were out for Christmas day, which means THERE ARE NO LEFTOVERS and Christmas is all about leftovers. My fridge needs to be full of my favourites to feast on over the whole week and so I just made my own, haha. I took the requisite food to our potluck Christmas and made a second entire version of everything for my own private consumption, Isn’t Christmas just the best?!!