Monday, 24 December 2012

Nigella's Panetonne Pudding, Christmas soda bread and Chestnut & Bacon canapes

HO HO HO! MEEERRRRRY CHRISTMAS!! I'm sitting on the sofa full as a pie and we're only on the Eve of Christmas. My cousins just threw a lovely get together and I have never seen so much food, which included my favourite and most calorific canape recipe of all time.
My Uncle Chris disappeared for a little while and in that time, Santa came to visit. The kids loved it and he only gave the game away when he said 'Come sit on Grandads knee!'
Aunty Sue's Bacon Wrapped Chestnuts in secret sauce.
I kind of wish this sauce had remained a secret because when you find out what's in it you kind of hate yourself for having so many!
Wrap vac-packed chestnuts in bacon (secured with a tooth pick) and crisp up in the oven on 200C for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together
1 cup of mayo
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of sweet chilli sauce
Pour the sauce over the chesnuts and let it work it's magic with the bacon, it needs to sizzle and thicken, it will be all glossy and sticky with those yummy caramalised bits on the side of the dish.
This one's a definite crowd pleaser :)

Nigella's Panetonne Pudding
I wanted to take an alternative pud but didn't have much time so took inspiration from Nigella, the Queen of tasty shortcuts. I only made two layers for today but have made a taller version for Christmas day. It is like a Christmas version of tiramisu and it's more of an assembly job than cooking. Just slicing panetonne, soaking in alcohol and layering with a mascarpone and cream mixture. 
Nigella used Tuaca but it's not easy to come by and we all have bottles of sweet sherry, marsala or other dessert wine lurking in the back of the cupboards so I would say slosh anything tasty in. Here is her recipe, I added grated orange zest and instead of pom seeds, I used black cherries soaked in Kirsch. If you like eating your dessert at the same time as making it, this one is for you.
I've catered a couple of Christmas Dinners this week for clients, but tomorrow we've divvied up all jobs so it should be relaxed for everyone. I only have to make Turkey, gravy and pud. Pud is done and in the fridge and I made Jamie Oliver's get ahead gravy (firm favourite) 
Our friend Sam makes really delicious stuffing, this is the best bit of the meal in my opinion. 
A couple of weeks ago, I catered a wedding for a lovely couple at my parents place in Spain. After dinner and instead of dessert we made a mince pie tower. Blurry pic but thought it was kind of cute what with looking similar to a Christmas tree. 
If you haven't planned a pud and now the shops are shut don't panic. I always have eggs and sugar in the house so a pavlova is the easiest thing to whip up. Got cocoa? Add it for a chocolatey gooey pav and whip cream on top. The best thing is you can load it with anything you fancy, tinned fruit, fresh fruit, nuts, chocolates, chopped up brownies.. (yes, I really did that)
Another great throwwhateveryoulikein recipe is this one for soda bread. The little loaf shared it on her blog and I keep adding different things to it. The original recipe is amazing toasted with lashings on honey on it and honestly, start to finish takes 30 minutes. I omitted the feta last time and added soaked cranberries, caramalised onions, walnuts, chesnuts and rosemary for a festive loaf. It's a little heavier with all that in it but still delicious.
That's all from me tonight, have a wonderful Christmas and after the big day has been and gone I'll share a load of stuff with you that I have been meaning to share for ages but the lead up to Christmas has been a little manic to say the least ;)


thelittleloaf said...

Happy Christmas! I've been meaning to try that Nigella recipe - looks delicious (as does your pimped up soda bread, yum!)

Milli said...

Merry Christmas to you too! I've just been given another panetonne, must think of more things to do with them...any ideas?

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