I love this Toad-in-the-hole recipe partly because it is one of the few meals all my children will eat.

Toad In The Hole Recipe

This is an upmarket version of a perennial favourite, made with ale and fresh thyme. Make sure you eat it straight from the oven while the batter is at its crispest. For this recipe you will need a muffin tin with 12 muffin moulds. The ‘toad’ in this dish, in case anyone is unsure, is made of sausage rather than amphibian

Toad in the hole recipe

• Preparation time:10 minutes
• Cooking time:30 minutes
• Total time:40 minutes
• Makes: 12

Ingredients

• 6 chipolatas, each cut into 2
• 125g plain flour
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 100ml good quality ale
• 80ml milk
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4 and bake the chipolatas for 15 minutes until nicely browned. Remove from the oven and reserve. Turn the heat up to 220°C, gas mark 7, pending the arrival of the assembled toad-in-the-hole.
2. Mix the flour with a pinch of salt and a little freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, then slowly whisk in the ale and milk. Take the muffin tin and pour a dribble of olive oil into each mould. Place the tin in the oven for 5 minutes until the oil is smoking hot. Remove it carefully from the oven and immediately pour the batter equally into the muffin moulds. Push half a chipolata into each mould and sprinkle with a few leaves of thyme, followed by a grinding of black pepper. Bake for 15 minutes without opening the oven door until fully risen.

Recipe from http://www.waitrose.com/christmas

So will you be giving this toad in the hole recipe a whirl?

Toad In The Hole Recipe

clairejustine

This Mama

_

My Random Musings
Post Comment Love

Box-baked cheese is a new term to me but one that immediately grabbed my attention as a very much a cheese lover.

 

Box-Baked Cheese

Drizzling this molten cheese with orange blossom honey gives the finished dish wonderful layers of flavour.  A perfect partner to ripe festive fruits.

 

Box-baked cheese

  • Preparation time:5 minutes
  • Cooking time:20 minutes
  • Serves: 8 as a starter or cheese course

Ingredients

2 x 250g boxed Camembert) 6 sprigs thyme, plus extra to serve 50g walnut pieces 4 ripe conference pears 8 fresh figs 4 tsp orange blossom honey

Method

  1. Remove the cheeses from their boxes and peel away the wrappers.  Remove the stickers from the boxes and place the lids under their bases for support.  Return the cheeses to their boxes.  Score the top of each cheese in a criss-cross pattern with a sharp knife and use the tip to push the thyme into the cheese.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5.  Place the cheeses, in their boxes, on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until wobbly in the centre.  Meanwhile, spread the walnuts out on a baking tray and add to the oven with the cheese for the final 5 minutes of cooking.  Quarter the pears, remove the cores and cut them and the figs into wedges.
  3. Scatter the tops of the cheeses with the toasted walnuts, some more thyme leaves and a drizzle of honey.  Serve with the pears and figs to dip.  Simply return the cheese to the oven if it starts to become solid again.
Get ahead

Prepare to the end of step 1, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours then continue from step 2.

Box-baked Cheese Recipe

Recipe from http://www.waitrose.com/Christmas

 

Luscious  is the word I would use for this beetroot and  dark chocolate yule log recipe

Dark Chocolate Yule Log

 

Beetroot and dark chocolate yule log recipe

This easy roulade doesn’t taste of beetroot, instead the vegetable adds richness to the chocolate, and makes the sponge lovely and moist.

  • Preparation time:25 minutes, plus cooling
  • Cooking time:45 minutes to 55 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour 10 minutes – 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Serves: 8 – 10

Ingredients

300g fresh beetroot, scrubbed and topped and tailed 200g butter 200g plain chocolate 1 tbsp instant coffee granules or powder 4 large free Range Eggs, separated 175g caster sugar 75g plain flour, sifted Icing sugar, for dusting

For the filling

75g Dried Cranberries 2 tbsp brandy or orange juice 250ml pot Vanilla Cream

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Grease and line a 32 x 22cm swiss roll tin with baking parchment. Cook the beetroot in simmering water for 15–20 minutes or until tender, then drain and cool. Remove the skin and trim, then blitz the flesh in a blender until smooth.

2 Melt the butter with the chocolate and coffee in a medium pan over a low heat. Leave to cool for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar until thick and pale, then whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in the beetroot and flour.

3 Whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks then fold into the chocolate base. Pour into the prepared tin and spread level. Bake for 25–30 minutes until just firm. Lift the cake out with its paper onto a wire rack, cover with a clean damp tea towel and leave to cool completely.

4 To make the filling, soak the cranberries in the brandy or orange juice for 30 minutes. Whisk the cream until just thick then stir in the cranberries and any juices. Turn the chocolate sponge out onto a clean sheet of baking parchment and trim the edges neatly. Spread with the cream, leaving a border around the edge, then use the paper to carefully roll the sponge up. Transfer to a serving dish and dust with icing sugar. Chill until ready to serve.

Get ahead

Make the chocolate sponge up to 3 days ahead and keep, rolled up but unfilled, in an airtight container. To freeze: make the chocolate sponge and fill, roll up, cover and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost thoroughly before dusting with icing sugar to serve.

Dark Chocolate Yule Log Recipe

Recipe from http://www.waitrose.com/christmas

 

clairejustine

This Mama

_

Winnettes

If you love doughnuts and you are looking forward to Christmas, why not try this Christmas doughnuts recipe?

 

Christmas DoughNuts Recipe

 

‘Doughnuts get the festive treatment… I couldn’t make up my mind whether to make ring or round doughnuts, and then couldn’t decide if sugar or glazed was better. So I covered all options – they work wonderfully with the warming gingerbread flavours.’ Annie Riggs

Christmas doughnuts recipe

• Total time:60 minutes, plus proving, rising and resting
• Makes: about 15 ring doughnuts and 15 mini doughnuts

Ingredients

175ml whole milk
10g active dried yeast (not fast-action)
450g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
50g light brown muscovado sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
generous pinch ground allspice
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 large egg, beaten
1 large egg yolk
75g unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp treacle
1.5-2 litres sunflower or groundnut
oil for deep-frying
For the sugar coating and lemon glaze:
125g caster sugar
5 tbsp icing sugar
about ½ lemon, juice

Method

1. Heat the milk until warm to the touch, add the yeast, whisk to combine and leave in a warm place for about 5 minutes until foaming and active.
2. Tip the flour, salt, muscovado sugar and spices into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with the dough hook. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, then add the yeasty milk, whole egg, egg yolk, butter and treacle. Mix steadily for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. It will still be slightly sticky.(Alternatively, mix until combined, then knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes.)
3. Lightly flour a work surface, and knead the dough with your hands for 1 minute. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in a large, lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
4. Lightly flour the work surface again and knead the dough very gently for 1 minute. Roll out to just over 1cm thick. Using round cookie cutters, stamp out circles from the dough, roughly 8cm in diameter. Using a smaller cutter (4-4½cm), stamp out a smaller circle from the middle of each doughnut. Arrange the ring and mini doughnuts on 2 lightly floured baking trays, cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to rise again for 30-45 minutes until doubled in size again.
5. Pour the oil into a large, shallow saucepan; it should come at least halfway up the sides of the pan. Heat to 180°C; measure the temperature with a sugar thermometer. (Alternatively, use a deep-fat fryer.) Cover a large baking sheet with three layers of kitchen paper; tip the caster sugar into a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the icing sugar with just enough lemon juice (about 3-4 tsp) to make a smooth, drizzly icing.
6. Fry the doughnuts in small batches for about 1-2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain thoroughly on the kitchen paper before tossing the round doughnuts in the caster sugar and brushing the rings with the lemon glaze. Make sure that the oil comes back up to temperature before frying the next batch. Best eaten on the day of making.

Now go forth and check out the best festive foodie treats from Waitrose.

Christmas Doughnuts Recipe

Do you have a Christmas doughnuts recipe?

Mummy in a Tutu
ethannevelyn.com
clairejustine
My Random Musings

This is great for lighting the Christmas pudding or for cocktails. You will need to prepare the rum at least two weeks before you plan to give it away.

Christmas Pudding Spiced

Key facts

  • Vegetarian
  • Preparation time:5 minutes, plus 2 weeks infusing
  • Cooking time:3 minutes
  • Makes: about 750ml

Ingredients for Christmas pudding spiced rum

70cl bottle dark rum (or bourbon)

2 vanilla pods

2 large cinnamon sticks

2 star anise

3 whole cloves

75g light brown muscovado sugar

1 orange

Method

1 Pour 100ml rum into a small saucepan. Using a small sharp knife, split the vanilla pods down their length, then add to the pan with the cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and sugar. Using a vegetable peeler, pare thin strips of peel from the orange and add to the pan. Slowly warm the rum over a low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar; do not allow it to boil.

2 Pour the contents of the pan into a large, sterilised jar, then add the remaining rum. Once cool, tightly seal the lid and shake vigorously. Leave the rum in a cool, dark place and give it a good shake every day to muddle the spices.

3 After 2 weeks, strain and discard the whole spices and orange peel. Decant the rum into small new, sterilised bottles (or a larger one, if you prefer) to give to your lucky friends.

FYI: The rum can be stored in new, sterilised bottles for up to 3 weeks. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 1 week.

Recipe from http://www.waitrose.com/christmas

So are you going to give my Christmas pudding spiced rum a whirl this festive season?

Do you prefer alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks at Christmas?

Check out the Waitrose Cellar for festive drinks ideas.

Christmas Pudding Spiced Rum