Showing posts from December, 2011

Whole Roasted Turkey

My friend told me today that she's never roasted a turkey, and was disbelieving when I said it was dead easy. It really is, so I thought I'd tell you how.

Choose your turkey. In Australia we like turkey buffet, which as a massive breast with the wings removed. A whole turkey is just as good.

Defrost the turkey 48 hours before you want to cook it. Place it in a baking dish or tray and leave it on the sink. If it's a typical hot Australian Christmas, you should defrost the turkey in the fridge, starting a day earlier.

When it's turkey time, rinse the turkey in the sink under cold running water. Rinse it inside and out - this is really important. Pull out any gibblets inside the bird (if there are any) first. My cat used to eat those. I just chuck them in the bin.

Inspect your bird and cut off any oogie bits. Oogie bits are any bits you find gross. Stuff the cavity with the stuffing of your choice and seal the cavity with the heal of the bread you used to make …

Christmas in a day

Some months ago my husband and I decided we would head overseas for Christmas this year. It's been a long, arduous year, and even back in September, we felt a good break was well deserved.

Of course, as December 25 has gotten closer, I have been suffering from Christmas cooking withdrawals. And because I cooked my Christmas cakes in October instead of in the last few days before Christmas, it felt even worse! So last weekend I decided we must have a turkey dinner on the last Sunday before we go away.

We've invited good friends to dinner tonight, and since I've gotten started early, I have decided to churn out a bunch of Christmas treats to go along with the dinner.

I've taken a few old favourites and I've revamped them in a Christmas theme. Take these chocolate cupcakes - I had them left over from a cake job the other week. I've topped them with my usual chocolate butter cream, but I've decorated them to make them look like little chocolate puddings.


The Gold Cake

Some months ago I was sent a photo of an amazing three tiered gold cake. I was so enthralled by it fantastic whimsey that I immediately began looking for an opportunity to have a go at making such a cake.

After a great deal of thought, I determined the gold colour had to be sprayed on. So I bought myself a few cans of PME gold lustre spray - which was significantly more yellowey than the original picture, but excellent none the less.

I baked three vanilla butter cakes - 11 inch, 8 inc and 5 inch. I coated each in white chocolate ganache, and then applied crispy white icing with a few different textures.

My husband and I had a very frustrating time cutting the dowels for the bottom and middle layers - I cut them too short and he did half of them too long. But we thought we got it right in the end.

This morning when I assembled the cake, I found th dowels could have been a little lower. And because of the icing on this cake, I could not cover my mistake with ribbons or piping. f…

Pineapple & Ginger Christmas cake

It is only a few short years since I truly mastered my Queen Anne Fruit Cake recipe. As good as this cake is (and it is exceptionally good), I have found I have friends who enjoy a different set of flavours at Christmas. So I amended my fruit cake recipe to turn it into something a little different. I took out the cherries, because lots of people don’t like them, and I replaced them with glace pineapple and ginger. Last year was the second time I baked this combo and the feedback from friends I gave it two was that it was a taste sensation. So I thought I’d share the recipe with you and see if you like.

250g each of currants, sultanas and raisins
90g each of dates and pitted prunes
60g of mixed peel
60g glace pineapple
100g glace ginger (do not use crystalised ginger)
100g whole blanched almonds
2 tblsp each of rum, brandy and sherry
5 eggs
250g butter
250g brown sugar
300g plain flour
1tsp each of ground ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice
1 tblsp pineapple jam
1 tsp va…