Inspiration for a spot of baking came easy today. I woke up and saw the two cookbooks at the top of the pile next to my bed (yes I read cookbooks like novels) – Adrian Richardson’s The Good Life and Doherty Fraser’s Superjam Cookbook. My mind started ticking – maybe a jam tart? A quick flick through Superjam revealed the winning recipe… even simpler than a tart… Linzer slice!
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Happy 2011! Somehow my week of holidays over Christmas just flew by, and I have already finished my first week back at the office. I just thought I would share a few more pictures from Christmas (all the decorations are getting packed up this weekend) before getting stuck into the new year! I was thoroughly spoilt with gorgeous books, beautiful tea cups and caddies and lots of DVDs to get stuck into.
Mum made delicious Julekake (Norwegian Christmas bread) to eat for Christmas breakfast
I made Stollen (German Christmas bread) for Christmas Eve, filled with marzipan and loads of dried fruit
Lovely old decorations on loan from my grandparent’s house, they look so beautiful
Part of the huge nativity set that my grandfather used to set up, my Dad put it all together, I love it
I decorated the table for lunch with silver, white and green and made the bonbons myself to avoid repetitive jokes!
Gorgeously decorated Christmas cake created by my youngest sister
I packed up some cute boxes of mini Christmas treats to give to my friends at an early Christmas dinner this week. Every year my best girlfriends and I go out to celebrate the silly season, and we have fun giving each other Kris Kringle gifts, cards and small sweet treats.
These desserts are very easy to make, which means you can make lots to give away to friends and family, and still have some left in the fridge to share with friends who pop over. I hope you enjoy making and enjoying them as much as I did.
Melt 200g dark chocolate and 1tbsp butter. Crumble 400g shop bought plum pudding into the mixture, add 2tbsp Grand Marnier and stir everything together. Use your hands to roll into small balls (about a small spoon size) and place on tray in fridge to set. When set, melt 100g white chocolate. Drizzle over the tops of the balls, and add slices of glace cherries to decorate. Pop back in the fridge to set.
white chocolate rocky road
I don’t remember the quantities I used, but the ingredients are white chocolate, white marshmallows, red glace cherries, cranberries and almonds. Melt the chocolate and some of the marshmallows in a saucepan together. Stir in the remaining ingredients and spread out in a lined pan. Allow to chill in the fridge before slicing into small squares (it is very sweet).
candy cane chocolate
Crush about 10 large candy canes in a plastic bag with a mallet or rolling pin. Melt about 200g dark chocolate, and spread over the base of a large, lined, baking tray. Sprinkle the candy cane shards over the chocolate. Allow to set in the fridge before breaking into pieces to eat.
I have always loved gingerbread houses – edible desserts that you could only dream of living in – and as much as I appreciate the beauty of a fully iced gingerbread house, it’s the lollies that really attract me!
My boyfriend and I decided to create our own gingerbread house on the weekend. We had never made one before, and thought we were being a bit too ambitious for a first attempt, but we figured if we were going to put the effort in we may as well throw ourselves into it! Luckily we managed to pull it off, and if we may say so ourselves, we think it looks pretty damn awesome.
The summer weather has finally hit Melbourne. We are in the middle of a string of 30 degree days (with a few thunderstorms thrown in for good measure) and I am in desperate need of a refreshing drink when I get home from work. Lately I’ve been trying some of the delicious flavoured mineral water created by Daylesford & Hepburn Springs Mineral Co.
The blood orange and pink grapefruit flavours are my favourite so far but I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the rest of the range. I love how cheery yet chic the label design is – it definitely puts a smile on my face!
Images from Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Co
The first weekend in December always sends me into a bit of excitement that Christmas really is just around the corner. I’ve been tagging recipes in books that I want to try, writing down ideas for decorating the table for christmas lunch, and gathering goodies to make my own crackers.
I haven’t started any Christmas baking yet, but I have been stirring a batch of Christmas Pudding Vodka (thanks for the recipe Lorraine!) which I started a few days ago. Every time I open the jar it smells more amazing as the fruits and spices mix together, slowly overtaking the powerful vodka. I’ve started making this super early so that it is ready to make lots of drinks in the week leading up to the big event.
I also went to the Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar yesterday. It is hosted by the Swedish Church in Toorak and runs on the first weekend of December every year. I like getting in early on the first day so I don’t miss out on all the good stuff! I brought home with me a gorgeous tin of gingerbread biscuits, delicious mulled wine chocolate, a cute reindeer decoration and lovely christmas spiced tea (chocolate and tea from Swedelicious).
Is Christmas excitement building in your home yet?