Want a change from traditional sage and onion stuffing, or sausagemeat stuffing, look no further than this American inspired cornbread. We don't 'do' much cornbread on this side of the Atlantic and i do recommend that you make your own as Nigella Lawson suggests in her recipe. I cooked this quantity in a largish traybakes tin and the final stuffing cut into 20 pieces.
- 200g polenta
- 100g plain flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 40g caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 250ml full fat milk
- 50g unsalted butter, melted
Whisk the wet ingredients together and add to the dry, mixing thoroughly. Spread into a rectangular traybakes tin and bake for 20 minutes at 190° or lower baking oven in aga.
The stuffing ingredients:
- 350g fresh cranberries
- Zest and juice of an orange
- 100g honey
- 125 g butter
- 2 eggs
- Cornbread which you have let cool
To make the stuffing, crumble the cooled cornbread into a large bowl. Meanwhile heat the cranberries with the orange zest and juice. Add the honey and simmer for around 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the softened butter. Add this to the crumbled cornbread along with the beaten eggs and seasoning. Use the stuffing as you wish- either bake in a pan or stuff the turkey.
This is an exceptionally tasty alternative to traditional stuffings and one which will become a firm family favourite.
I have cooked a fair few large hams over the years but this year I rang the changes with a cranberry glaze which I must share.
I cooked this 10lb after soaking in cold water for 6 hours. The slow cook for around 5 hours in the simmering oven of the aga makes for a totally moist joint which will still be wonderful days after the first serving. It's the glaze I want to share, though, so it doesn't matter whether you have cooked in a conventional oven or aga. It is based on a Nigella Lawson recipe from her book Feast.
You will need:
- Enough cloves to generously stud the ham
- 5 tablespoons cranberry jelly
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon dry English mustard and a pinch of cinnamon
Mix all the glaze ingredients in a small pan until it is a syrupy consistency. Pour this over the studded ham and cook for around 20 minutes in lower aga or 180°C conventional.
Do you keep a little black book or indeed any colour of carnet de soirée?
Do you have to have a smidgen of OCD to keep a detailed book of dinner party guests, eats and drinks.
For as long as I can remember I have kept a record of my dinners, lunches and events – no not every meal I eat! But when I invite friends and family to come to eat. My previous book which had covered years spanning several houses, many different groups of friends and lots of happy memories was eaten by our chocolate lab puppy a few years ago – if you know anything about Labradors she must have sensed the food in the recipes!! The very classy Smythson custom book (pictured above) was a hostess gift from a dear friend who knew my habit
I love keeping a record, not least because I can avoid serving beef each tIme particular guests come, but also to avoid the same group of guests. I make notes about success and failure ( or tweeking) of recipes. I do also write in my recipe books but with so many recipes originating from blogs and websites nowadays it is not so easy to note any changes especially if you don't print the recipe. Actually since I started blogging a year ago I have found this to be an invaluable record of my interpretation of recipes.
Maybe some of these headings/prompts are a step too far for the average hostess……
I am glad that my kitchen is a bit better equipped than this historic French kitchen portrayed in my Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Art et Harmonies Autour D'une Table.
What do you do? Keep a detailed record or go with the flow?
My first sculptured cake! It had to be a Chanel bag for the friend in question and if possible it had to top last year's cake for her Tiffany box birthday cake | vannillarock
I used the wonderful craftsy platform Cake Decorating Classes | Learn It. Make It. On Craftsy for my helping hand and some great tips- at. The end of the day, though, you just have to dive in and get sculpting!
My cake was constructed from 4 vanilla traybakes. I used 30cm x 19cm foil trays. I made my bag this size as it seemed an appropriate. The recipe one on craftsy uses egg whites only rather than whole eggs and is a wonderfully moist sponge.
After you stack your cakes with Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC) on a double base board and a smaller mid support board, the carve out begins! This takes confidence, but the trick is to take small amounts off at a time. A really worthwhile tip is to end up with an exaggerated shape, as by the time you have two SMBC coats and fondant, a wimpish shape will fade away!!
Everything on the cake is edible though the gum paste zip and chain probably wouldn't be my first choice to eat!
I would definitely make another handbag cake or other sculpted cake, and look to perfect the finish.
I had two special requests this year for Christmas cakes- one gluten free and one with no currents, raisins or sultanas. There are plenty of suggestions for wheat free flour mixtures and with the trusty Thermomix grinding anything into flour is easy!Gluten Free Flour Blend | meandmyThermie
Polka dots are a very popular and effective icing technique when using royal icing. I used two sizes of icing tip, no 2 for the blue and no 3 for white. I used size 5 for the pearl border around the base of the cake.
I sprinkled the various sizes of fondant stars with luster to get the final effect.
I have had several repins on Pinterest of my mini Christmas cakes which I posted here. Mini Christmas cakes | vannillarock.
If you don't like the traditional raisins and sultanas, there are so many wonderful alternatives readily available in supermarkets, like dried mango or cherries, cranberries – just use your imagination.
Time to wrap the 2013 collection for sale on Saturday- so photo call before that! Phew, more than 90 Christmas cake finished. Proceeds this year supporting the Sarah Groves Foundation – followers will know Sarah's heartbreaking story justice for Sarah | vannillarock
Love trying new designs each year I do the Christmas cakes and since I recently discovered the amazing features of candy melts, I had to include some shapes made with modelling chocolate. My birthday cake explored modelling chocolate | vannillarock
So it's goodbye from the Christmas moose and goodbye from me.
Very quick post as I am knee deep in fondant icing! Just a peek at some of my festive cakes on sale for guernsey charities on Saturday. Had fun with this spherical cake posing as a traditional Christmas pudding. The brown fondant is actually chocolate flavour, so traditionalists may find that a step too far on a boozy rich fruit cake. Having recently discovered how wonderful modelling chocolate is an alternative to 50/50 fondant and flower paste, I have used it for the holly leaves and berries. For more mini cakes see .Mini Christmas cakes | vannillarock
My blog is one year old! Yay! what is an anniversary without a cake? With thanksgiving on the horizon it has to be pumpkin.
This is a big mix! You can bake it in 2 loaf tins, a large bundt tin or a mixture of tray bake and muffin tins.
For the pumpkin sponge you'll need:
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups caster sugar
1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, melted
1 15oz tin pumpkin
3 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon ( more if you really like it)
1/2cup almond milk
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
Sift dry ingredients – flour, raising agents, and spices together. Whisk eggs until light and fluffy, add sugar and vanilla, and melted butter. Mix in tin pure pumpkin then fold in flour mixture followed by milk and toasted pecans. Take care not to over mix.
For the cream cheese filling :
1 x 8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tbls flour
Cream the cheese and sugar until smooth, beat in the eggs, followed by the flour.
Pour half the sponge mixture into your tin, followed by the cream cheese, then pour the rest of the pumpkin on top.
Bake at 350°F/180°C for about 45-50 minutes. If you use loaf tins or tray bake pans, adjust accordingly.
I would have fancied up the final cake a bit to make the shots prettier, but I am giving it to a friend who may want to put it in the freezer for thanksgiving.
I have enjoyed my first year blogging far more than I could ever have imagined. Thanks to all my followers! And to everyone who has taken the time to read, like, and comment.
Saltimbocca (literal translation jumps in the mouth) is traditionally made with veal but it works very well with chicken breasts. After eating this dish I got to thinking what an underrated herb sage is, so while I mainly blog about desserts and cakes, I thought I shout give sage a shoutout.
Take a chicken breast per person and flatten with a rolling pin between cling film or parchment. Mix about 2 tablespoons of whole grain Dijon mustard with full fat cream cheese and spread on each breast. You'll need about 150g of cream cheese for six depending size of the breasts. Place a slice of Parma ham over this mustardy cheese, and top that with a large sage leaf. Half lengthways and secure with a cocktail stick.
Bake the chicken in a buttered tin for 15 minutes at 200°C . Remove from oven and make the sauce which is quite delicious. Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and keep warm. Place the roasting pan on the hob and add 150ml white wine and a generous tablespoon ( I added a bit more) of red current jelly. Reduce the sauce and whisk in 50g butter. Transfer to sauce boat.
I have no good reason as to why I don't have the finished chicken on the table!! Serving and taking photos of the desserts clearing made my brain fuzzy! It is a very simple dish but very tasted and can be prepared in advance of roasting and left in fridge- that's my kind of dish!
I served this with an asparagus risotto.
Adapted from Mary Berry real food fast