Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Trifle

This looks so pretty, depending on how you throw it together.

85g packet red jelly
85g packet yellow jelly
85g packet green jelly
250g packet French rollettes, sliced
2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, chopped strawberries, raspberries etc)
600 mls ready made custard (or make your own)
300 mls cream, whipped.

1. Prepare each jelly according to packet directions. Pour into shallow trays lined with greaseproof paper. Refrigerate until set.
2. Assemble the trifle by arranging the slices of rollettes around the sides of 1 large serving dish (or individual dishes if you prefer).
3. Fill centre with berries and some chopped mixed jelly.
4. Pour over cool custard. Top with cream. Decorate with remaining chopped jelly. Refrigerate until required.

I took my end of year frustration out on some more clinkers (popped them in a snap lock bag and whacked them with a rolling pin), and threw them crushed on top for good measure. This trifle was for a Ward christmas party, and boy did it disappear fast! Just a word of warning, if you do want clinkers on top, put them on at the last minute so they don't go soggy. You probably don't want to assemble the entire trifle until an hour or two prior to serving anyway.

Apricot Flummery

Mmmm we used to have a green version of this when we were growing up, and nicknamed it "Snails guts". Of course this one isn't green, and is a Summertime favourite here.

8 apricots, peeled, halved and seeded (or a 425g tin, drained - reserve the juice)
2 x 85g packets orange jelly
375ml can evaporated milk
85g packet lemon jelly
1/2 cup apricot nectar (or half cup of the juice from the tin)

1. Arrange apricots in mould. Reserve some to chop to add into mixture later.
2. Prepare one orange jelly according to directions, but use only 1/2 cup hot water to dissolve the crystals. Stir in 1/2 cup cold water. This will make a firm jelly. Pour over apricots in bottom of mould. Allow to set until tacky.
3. Beat evaporated milk in a large bowl until thick. Dissolve remaining jelly in apricot juice/nectar over low heat. Allow to cool slightly. Beat dissolved jelly into evaporated milk. Fold in reserved chopped apricots. Pour into mould. Refrigerate until set.

Christmas Tree Bark

Another very simple, yet effective table decoration that people can nibble away at:-

2 x 180g blocks good quality cooking chocolate (white, milk or dark).
Lollies (ie crushed clinkers, crushed candy canes, M&Ms etc.

To break up the clinkers, I placed them in a large snap lock bag, sealed it up, and took out all my pent up frustrations on the bag with a rolling pin. Works wonders ;D

1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on a MEDIUM-HIGH setting until melted (only use a metal spoon, and don't put the metal spoon in the microwave)
2. Add in your lollies, mix.
3. Spread out on a BIG piece of greaseproof paper. Leave until set.

You may have to refrigerate this, depending on what chocolate you use, and what the weather is like.

Mars Bar Slice

So easy to whip up, if the Mars Bars last that long at your place ;D

You will need:-

3 Mars Bars
3 cups Rice Bubbles
90 grams butter, chopped
1 block Cadbury milk chocolate

1. Measure out 3 cups Rice Bubbles in a heat proof bowl.
2. In a saucepan, melt together the butter and Mars Bars.
3. Pour melted Mars Bar mixture over rice bubbles and stir.
4. Leave to set for an hour.
5. Melt block of chocolate and drizzle over slice. Refrigerate until set. Cut into required size.

Christmas goodies - microwave fudge

Here's the start of the Christmas Goodies I cook up. I happened upon this whilst searching another website, realised I had all the ingredients, and gave it a go. It is so smooth. Not as good as the stuff with the real cream that takes hours to make, but it got rid of my fudge craving, and only takes 10 minutes.

You will need:
395g can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
125g butter, chopped
1 tablespoon liquid glucose
200g good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
Glace cherries (or nuts, whatever else you want to put in it)

1. Lightly grease base and sides of a 20cm (base) square cake tin. Line base and sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing a 3cm hanging on all sides.
2. Combine the condensed milk, sugar, butter and glucose in a 2-litre microwave-safe Pyrex bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM-HIGH/70% for 6-8 minutes, or until mixture beings to boil, stirring every 2 minutes with a balloon whisk.
3. Microwave mixture for a further 3-4 minutes on MEDIUM-HIGH or until fudge is thick, golden and boils rapidly, stirring every minute with a wooden spoon. Carefully put the bowl on a board and set aside for 1 minute or until the bubbles subside. Add chocolate and stir until chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir in cherries (or nuts whatever)
4. Spread mixture evenly in to prepared tin. Set aside for 3-4 hours or until firm. Remove from tin, wrap in greaseproof or non-stick baking paper and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Cut into small pieces to serve.

NOTE: You will want to use oven mitts to take this mixture out of the microwave after each time you zap it. It will be hot. I also make sure the surface I put it on isn't going to melt as well (ie no plastic chopping boards).