Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lebkuchen

Christmas comes early at OM! Since we are closing next week, we are packing in as much Christmas as possible. As some of you might know I am going on a much awaited trip next Friday, so I might not have time for all those great Christmas recipes. So it seems Christmas comes early to "recipe of the week".

I was very touched that people have actually tried out some of my recipes, and even happier that they seem to be happy with the results! Please post any requests/feedback and I will try to oblige/improve. This little recipe s for a German Christmas cookie called Lebkuchen. They have a wonderfully festive, spicy aroma when cooking and put me in the holiday mood.

Lebkuchen

125g soft butter
125g castor sugar
1 egg
125g treacle (I used honey since treacle is not something I actually have in the kitchen)
400g self raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
White and dark chocolate to decorate (optional)

Beat the butter and sugar together to form a soft cream. Add the egg and beat. Mix in the dry ingredients. Knead lightly and leave to chill for a few minutes. Roll out the mixture with a little flour or between two plastic sheets (much easier). I use the plastic that you get for covering school books but you could use cling wrap or plastic bags. Cut out festive shapes ie. stars, hearts etc.

Place on a greased baking tray and bake at 180deg C until firm, about 10 minutes depending on your oven. Place on a wire rack to cool. You can eat them just like that or melt a little chocolate and dip them or use a plastic bag with a small hole cut in it to pipe the chocolate on to make even more festive designs. I find it best to involve at least one family member and a bit of the "Christmas spirit" for maximum satisfaction! Have a wonderfully merry and happy Christmas!

P.S. Pinkthulhu- Christmas dinner on the 16 Dec sounds excellent and I have diaraised it already. I will be in touch when I get there.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Trifles

I have been unbelievable busy and have had no time left over for writing recipes. I went to the Arabella Sheraton on Wednesday night for cocktails and canapes, Hoopenburg wine farm on Thursday for wine tasting and the list goes on...hmmm...what a hard life I seem to have! Who else gets to do these things, for work purposes and all expenses paid? But after an early night last night I am feeling relatively refreshed and ready for work. Today at work I made 72 trifles. So with that in mind I penned this recipe. I realise that trifle is not to everyone's taste (certainly not mine after today) so take it or leave it!

Trifle Deluxe

Serves 72 (just joking... serves 4)

4 Lammingtons or similar sponge cake type thing
sherry to taste
500ml custard (preferably homemade but Ultramel will do)
400g berries (if using frozen, defrost first)
100g chocolate
100ml cream
flaked almonds
250ml cream, whipped and flavoured with a little vanilla and sugar

Slice the Lammingtons and place a layer at the bottom of 4 wine glasses. Drizzle a little sherry over each. Layer the custard and berries and more sponge until the glass is about 2/3 full. In the micro melt the chocolate and 100ml cream together to make a chocolate sauce. Toast the almonds lightly in the oven. Top up the glasses with the whipped cream and decorate the top with the almonds and chocolate sauce. You can use the chocolate sauce in the layers if it takes your fancy. In fact, you can, pretty much, include anything that you like. I have used Nutella and finger biscuits soaked in coffee for a kind of tiramisu. You can substitute the berries with jam for a budget version, just use your imagination and create your own personal style including all the things that you love!