Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Blonde Brownies, a White Wonder and a Cold Weather Comfort

Hi everyone! I have been at home for about a week and a half, hence the lack of posts. I still cook and make things when I go home, I just completely forget to write about them for some reason. For instance, I made a rather cute bat decoration for Halloween, and an iris folding bell decoration for Chirstmas. I'll just have to be a little unseasonable and write aboout them when I next go home and can get a picture of them.

One thing I did manage to get a few photos of was the Blondies I made for a work colleague. A Blondie is basically what I said in the title, a brownie made with white chocolate, so it's blonde! The nuts in this recipe were pecans, but as we didn't have enough I topped up with hazelnuts and peanuts.

You can see in the photos that they have the perfect (in my opinion anyway!) blondie/brownie texture; cakey round the edge and on top, but slightly more soft and squidgy in the middle. I like nuts in my brownies to provide a bit of crunch in the squidginess, and I think all three nut types worked well, despite not being quite what the recipe said!

Another thing I got a few photos of was the Christmas cake my mum and I made. I am just waiting for the photos to be sent to me and you can see it! It is the same one as last year, but I don't care. It has Amaretto in it. Who wouldn't want that again?!

I made my Christmas cake today, and that you can see now. It is a Good Housekeeping recipe again, but a different one from last year. This one is a White Christmas cake. I have eaten one before, but never made one so I thought I'd try it. The first ingredient on the list is 300g of mixed dried pear, apple and peach. I planned to do 100g of each, so I got a bag of dried apple and a bag of dried pear. But could I find dried peaches anywhere? No. And believe me, I looked EVERYWHERE. I talked to my mum about it, and she suggested golden sultanas as a subsitute. I knew I could get those because I came across them in my search for the peaches! I was curious about this, but they do indeed taste different to normal sultanas. I had been ever since I first heard of them, so I'm glad that is cleared up. The other fruit in the cake is apricots. The only nut in it is Brazil nuts, but I have a special nutty decoration planned to get more in! Also, the only spice is allspice... so it doesn't reall sound very Christmassy but I'm sure it will taste good anyhow.

I think it looks quite Autumnal! There is a secret layer of candied peel halfway through which I forgot to photograph, but trust me, it's in there.

It will stay snug in the paper and tinfoil for two weeks, then I'll start feeding it with brandy. I just must remember to buy some more brandy as I used the last of it to soak the fruit...
I don't know if I have mentioned it, but I have been hankering after beef stew for a good few weeks now. I planned to make it as soon as I finished placement, but I went home, and when I came back a few days ago, I wanted something lighter! So I made an Oriental Pilaf.
All the ingredients simmering away. And yes I know I'm a dried fruit maniac and I add it to everything, but the raisins are supposed to be in there, I promise!
The white cubes are tofu. I have cooked with tofu a few different ways, but never like this. It worked quite well, as the thick liquid sort of coated it like a sauce. I liked the texture of this, thick and, for want of a better word, gloopy. That doesn't exactly conjure up a good image, but it was just right for this slightly chilly and rainy day. A bowl of thick, slightly spicy rice with a hint of sweetness was just what was needed.

It is supposed to be served with satsuma segments, but as I didn't get any satsumas when I went shopping I had peas instead to get a vegetable in there.

My usual forward preperation!

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