Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas Catch-Up

 I was making dessert for dinner at my aunt's house on Christmas Eve. Plan A was icecream (Baileys with praline and chocolate chips, in this instance) since I was using up a surfeit of egg-yolks after having made an angel cake. My sister put in a request for a Bûche de Noël - since she furnished the holly leaves for it, this is in its earlier unadorned state.

I was a bit annoyed, after carefully choosing a meringue recipe that gave the weight of the egg white to use (since I was using one that was left from a broken egg, and wasn't sure if it was all there!) to have my first lot of mushrooms come out so chewy that I just threw them straight out, and made another batch ignoring the fact that my weight of whites was higher than it should have been according to the first recipe.

For Christmas Day we had Paul Flynn's Rum & Raisin Panacotta.

Rum & Raisin Panacotta:

Serves 4

450ml cream
two-and-a-half leaves of gelatine, soaked until soft in cold water
55g caster sugar
dark rum to taste
50g blonde raisins

For the caramel sauce 100g caster 110ml approx water

Bring half the cream to the boil, take off the heat and add the sugar and the gelatine. Whisk in thoroughly. When they are dissolved, add the rest of the cream and the rum, pour into moulds and chill overnight.

For the caramel sauce, dissolve the sugar with 80 millilitres of water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Wash down the inside of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water to prevent crystals from forming. Cook until the sugar turns a deep amber colour. Take off the heat and whisk in another 30 millilitres of water bit by bit. This will splash a little so be careful. Add in the raisins. Allow to cool. To serve, dip the pannacotta moulds into hot water to loosen the pannacotta and tip it out onto plates. Spoon the caramelised raisins around the pannacotta and serve

Another proportional dilemma here, because I have two types of sheets of gelatine, and one is about twice the size of the other, I used two and a half sheets of the large one, since I knew that's all I had when I first tried this several years ago, and it came out fine.

Favourite Christmas cards - since I make these all through the year but don't like posting them on my blog unseasonably early!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Joyeux Noel

Wishing you a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

November cards

Late getting to pick these out - and there aren't very many as November was such a busy month...

Friday, 20 December 2013

Warm Off the Needles

I've done a bit of knitting for Christmas this year - scarves for both my nieces, one on the needles currently for C, and this tea-cosy, which was a pattern I saw on Ravelry and really wanted to make - it was called a "Victorian Garden tea-cosy".

Just a couple of other photos - the stone carving was down at UCC (University College, Cork), at the entrance to the quadrangle, and the tree with berries is on one of the routes I take to work.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Last Leaf

The last leaf on the Spanish (Sweet) Chestnut tree in work. It's gone, now. There was a great harvest this year - large (relatively speaking) and sweet.

The second photo is leaves on the river wall one morning this week. The high winds have brought all the leaves down and there were streams of them floating along the river for a couple of days. At low tide I spotted these ones sticking to the wall.

And the wood duck is still hanging out in Phoenix Park.

The header photo is a long-tailed tit from last December. The mild weather means far fewer birds in the garden so far - plenty of goldfinches and a regular pair of robins, but nothing like the number we had this time last year.