Every year about mid November I pull out all my Christmas House and Garden and Recipe magazines and spend an enjoyable time browsing. I used to go all out with Christmas decorations, but as the family are no longer home....not even in the country.... we go to our holiday place for a few days. I do take a few decorations and a small Christmas tree.
I always buy the Christmas editions of my favourite recipe magazines as well as browsing my old ones carefully stored away each year. Coloured stickers adorn the pages of recipes I might get to try this year. Many I have made several times now. Others I have still not got around to.
With several occasions where I have to take something delicious, I have this week been doing some baking so it isn't a last minute rush. I mentioned my little tarts in a previous post and have been making pastry cases so all I have to do is fill them.
I have already made one batch to take to an after wedding party. I made a delicious lime curd and topped this with a mascarpone and lime curd swirl with my piping bag.
Last weekend I made a filling with mascarpone, cream and vanilla. I brushed on a melted chocolate coating on the inside of the pastry shells, filled with the mascarpone filling and a chunk of fresh strawberry...mmmm this was very yummy too.
I want to try a few other combos next time.
I always make my own fruit mince which will be going into some pastry cases. I usually fill the cases after I take them out of the freezer, just before baking. I don't put a pastry lid on, but prefer to do a merinque topping or leave open for a dob of cream or brandy icing just before serving.
Having made two batches of lime curd I have a lot of egg whites to use. Today I made some meringues with some fruit mince filling swirled through. Carefully stored in an airtight container they should be good for a treat to take to my section practice for my choir. I plan to make another batch of merinques with chopped chocolate and almonds.
Pavlova is of course the favourite for many to use their egg whites, but we are not so keen on pavlova in our house. I quite like making individual portions as it is easier for serving as finger food - thus the mini tarts and meringues. I'll provide a bowl of whipped cream to dip the meringues in!
Another baking effort today were two different savoury biscuits to go on cheese boards. One was oat, blue cheese and thyme, the other parmesan, rosemary and paprika. These are so easy to whip up in the food processor. They are now rolled into logs, sitting in the fridge wrapped in cling wrap until I need to bake them. These biscuits would be great for gifts.
I don't make Christmas Cake any more.... but look out for my Ginger Ale Christmas Cake Recipe which is coming soon! I made it for years.
Brought up baking from a young age I love to make delicious cakes to share with family and friends. Much like my mother, I can be one of those cooks who measure by "eye" rather than with a measure, and invariably add in or take out ingredients depending on what is in my cupboard. However, I do also appreciate the need to follow a recipe exactly for best results, as the "pour it in" method is really for those who have done a lot of baking over many years. I use this method for new recipes. So come share my recipes and learn some baking skills if you are not confident.