Sunday, 23 December 2012

Mince Pies

This is a great Christmas treat, as a gift idea or if you wanted to make them instead of buying them this mix will make over 36 mini minced pies and the cost will minimal as most of the ingredients would be what you have at home already: flour, eggs, sugar, butter all you need to have in stock is a jar of minced meat.

1kg Sweet Pastry
1 Jar of Mince Meat
Frangipane: equal quantities of ground almonds, whole eggs, sugar, butter. 
I used 200g of each which made the 36 minced pies.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees/gas mark 6.
  2. Make the sweet pastry as described in the recipe below, leave for 30 minutes before using.
  3. Grease the tray and then line, I used a tian ring to cut out the bases, its lines the try and leaves a small rim in which to in-case the pie. 
  4. Then I put a small teaspoon amount of the mincemeat on each of the cases and then top with some frangipane, you only need a teaspoon as this will expand. 
  5. Then you pop the whole tray in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden and then set aside to cool, arrange on a plate and dust with icing sugar, there you have it mini homemade mince pies. 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Pommes Fondant (Stock potatoes)

This recipe is great is you want a change for your Sunday dinner, The prep time isn't that much but the flavours are great!, I have decided to use these in the Christmas dinner this year, they never disappoint  This recipe is for about 8-10 People 

Pommes Fondant (Stock potatoes)

1.5kg Potatoes, Turned
250ml Clarified Butter
500ml Chicken Stock
Cracked peppercorns
Chopped Parsley


  1. Toss the potatoes in the butter until coloured
  2. Cover 2/3 with chicken stock and place in the preheated oven 220/ gas mark 7 for 45 minutes
  3. Brush with melted butter halfway through cooking
  4. Arrange on vegetable dishes and brush with melted butter and garnish with chopped parsley

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Cake aka Fruit Cake

This is a classic in many Irish homes around the 8th of December homes will be filled with the smells of Christmas cake, the fruits, the spices, the alcohol. The cake is then offered to every visitor that walks in your door over Christmas, it is a shout out to Old Irish Traditions! In my family it isn't so much about the eating of the cake but stirring the batter and making a wish, it is a tradition we have been doing for as long as I can remember - that to me makes the Christmas cake.

454g Butter
454g Soft Brown Sugar
113g Currants
623g Sultanas
623g Raisins

170g Cherries
56g Dried Apricots
56g Ground Almonds
510g Plain Flour
8 Eggs
56g Dates
1 Tsp Mixed Spice
1 Tsp Cinnamon
113g Mixed Peel


  1. Cream the butter and the sugar, 
  2. Beat 6 eggs in a bowl and add to the batter, alternating with half of the flour and make a batter
  3. With the other half of the flour, cut all of the fruits in half; dates, apricots, cherries and mix through the flour
  4. Add the fruit to the batter and the rest of the ingredients 
  5. Adjust the consistency with whiskey
  6. Leave to sit overnight 
  7. Cook for 3.5 hours at gas mark 2/150 degrees 
  8. Decorate with almond paste or marzipan, then with either royal icing or fondant

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Gateaux Mille Feuille

This is a custard slice they aren't normally known by their french names. you can alter this to just creme Chantilly and by adding some coffee essence to the fondant and make a coffee slice. there are no measurement below because its all up to you, these are the ingredients but the sizes you want or the amount of fillings you want is entirely up to you!

Gateau Mille Feuille

Puff Paste Trimmings
Crème Patisserie
Raspberry Jam
Boiled Apricot Jam
Fondant Icing


  1. Cut the cooked paste into three even pieces, spread two layers with a light coating of jam. Spread an even layer of pastry cream on the first piece, place the second piece on top, repeat the process once more, finally placing the final layer on top with the reverse side up.
  2. Brush with boiling apricot glaze; allow to cool, pour a thin layer of fondant over the top, using a palette knife spread evenly over the top taking care not to draw crumbs through the icing.
  3.  Pipe lines of chocolate on top the length of the piece, using a small knife, draw the fondant and chocolate backwards and forwards at even spaces, thereby creating a marbled effect on top.
  4. To create the design (its called feathering) get a matchstick and before the mix sets run it against the chocolate piping.