Archive | December, 2013
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Cover Recipes – Frangipane Mince Pies from Waitrose Magazine December 2013 issue

28 Dec

Cover Recipes - Frangipane Mince Pies from Waitrose Magazine December 2013 issue

I love making mince pies, and I even make my own mincemeat. However, I have never liked eating it, as I have a problem with dried grapes and candied peel. This obviously means that I do not eat Christmas cake or Christmas pudding either. So this year Paul had a great idea, that I should devise a new mincemeat recipe, embracing all the traditional elements but with substitutes for the ingredients that I do not like. I was keen to do this, particularly as with this recipe I was keen to try the frangipane topping. So I made two versions of these mince pies. My new mincemeat recipe uses dried cranberries and apricots, as well as the usual apple, suet and orange and lemon rind and juice. We all enjoyed them immensely and the traditionalists were happy with the alternative recipe. They were moist and fruity and extra special with the frangipane topping. I am thinking that I could make one big pie and serve it as a pudding with cream.

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Cover Recipes – Chocolate Fridge Cake from BBC Good Food December 2013 issue

28 Dec

Cover Recipes - Chocolate Fridge Cake from BBC Good Food December 2013 issue

I made this as one of several puddings for Paul’s 60th birthday party, and I am afraid that I did not get round to trying it! However, it seemed to get eaten fairly quickly by some of the 80 odd guests at the party. I did it the long way round by making my own chocolate cookies rather than buying them. Anyway it was easy to make and looked fun for a party. Some puddings which involve constructing things and piling up biscuits or cakes in a pyramid shape can be fiddly to make and also need to be eaten straight away, and this was not the case with this recipe.

I think I’d definitely make this again.

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Cover Recipes – Fudgy Chocolate and Orange Gateau from BBC Good Food October 2013 issue

28 Dec

Cover Recipes - Fudgy Chocolate and Orange Gateau from BBC Good Food October 2013 issue

It took me a little while to get round to making this cake, as it is so huge, and I was not sure that it was going to work as well with reduced quantities. As it was, it was tricky finding the right tins for cooking, and I did not want to buy new ones especially for this cake. You need swiss roll tins and round tins for completing it.

In the end I decided to make it for an after-show party. Well, the cake was a huge effort to make and took a long time, as well as taking up lots of space in my tiny kitchen! I think it would be worth it for a special birthday if you have the time and space to do it. Also, I think that altogether it would cut into about 20 pieces and it is very rich.

The cake looked impressive, despite not being exactly the same as the one in the picture! This was just because of the intricacies involved in cutting it up and rolling it up with the icing. Lots of people had a piece and enjoyed it; as I say it is a rich cake so I would not recommend it for young children. I actually changed my mind about when to serve it, so I put it in the freezer for a few weeks then thawed it slowly in the fridge. This was a good idea, as it froze well and the process helped to firm it up and make it easier to cut.