Taste Of Christmas 2011

Taste of Christmas Press Launch
Clodadh McKenna, Edward Hayden, Mary Carney, Dylan McGrath, Nick Murnier

Well last weekend was a great success at Taste of Christmas. I had joined forces with Kinane Kitchens from Toomevara to present ‘Edward’s Festive Desserts’. Ger and his team had built a fabulous kitchen for us to demonstrate in.

Ger Kinane, Kinane Kitchens and myself

It started on Friday evening. Rush hour traffic (caused by both the fact that it was Friday evening and by the Rhianna concert) meant we were under pressure to get there on time. We had four cookery demos on Friday night, 11 on Saturday and 8 on Sunday so with 23 in total it was a hectic weekend. My friend Olivia (who was helping me) and I were very busy for the entire weekend but it was a most successful event and we were thrilled to be part of it.

We were staying in the Burlington Hotel so we enjoyed the social night time action of Dublin also. We got into the ar and Sunday evening and hardly spoke (with exhaustion) the whole way home. Bed early on last Sunday night!

As we have had numerous requests, please find herewith the recipes which we cooked over during the weekend. I hope you will enjoy cooking your way through them`over the festive period!

Edward Hayden Cookery Schedule
‘Edward’s Festive Desserts’

5.40pm Edward’s Christmas Cake
6.40pm White Chocolate & Raspberry Trifle
7.40pm Tropical Mince Pie Crumbles
8.40pm Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake

10.40am Meringue Roulade with Toasted Almonds
11.40am Tropical Mince Pie Crumbles
12.40pm Lemon, Ginger & Passion Fruit Cheesecake
1.40pm Baked Ginger Puddings, Cinnamon Roasted Pears, Butterscotch Sauce
2.40pm Edward’s Christmas Cake
3.40pm White Chocolate & Raspberry Trifle
4.40pm Homemade Profiteroles
5.40pm Vanilla Crème Brulee with Chocolate & Hazelnut Biscotti
6.40pm Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake
7.40pm Tropical Mince Pie Crumbles
8.40pm White Chocolate & Raspberry Trifle

10.40am Festive Baking for Children
11.40am Festive Baking for Children
12.40pm White Chocolate & Raspberry Trifle
1.40pm Vanilla Crème Brulee with Chocolate & Hazelnut Biscotti
2.40pm Edward’s Christmas Cake
3.40pm Meringue Roulade with Toasted Almonds
4.40pm Baked Ginger Puddings, Cinnamon Roasted Pears, Butterscotch Sauce
5.40pm Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake

Edward Hayden’s Fruit Cake

Happy Festive Baking!

1lb/450g currants
11oz/325g sultanas
5oz/150g raisins
4oz/110g cherries-chopped into pieces
4oz/110g nibbed or chopped almonds
4oz/110g mixed peel
Grated zest of two lemons
4 tablespoons of brandy
11oz/325g plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons of mixed spice
¾ teaspoons nutmeg
4oz/110g ground almonds
10oz/300g butter-softened
10oz/300g dark brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoons of treacle
5 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 130C/250F/Gas Mark ½
You must begin by preparing the cake tin. You need to line it on the inside of a 10 inch round or 9 inch square cake tin with a double layer of parchment and on the outside with a layer of brown paper so as to allow slow entry of heat into the cake. It is vitally important to spend time lining your cake tin correctly.
Next you need to put all of the dried fruit, the lemon zest and the chopped almonds into a large bowl and mix in the brandy. Cover and leave to infuse for 24-48 hours.

To Make the Cake:
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat the eggs into the mix.
Sift the flour, ground almonds and spices together.
Add the flours to the creamy butter mixture, mixing thoroughly.
Next mix in the treacle and combine well.
Finally you need to fold in the dried fruit which has been soaking. The mixture will get quite firm but do persevere at this stage.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth it all out across the top.
Bake the cake mixture for 3 ½ hours or until the mixture starts to come away from the side of the tin. The cake should have a little spring when pressed in the centre to indicate that it is cooked. Allow to cool completely in the tin. Pour additional brandy over the top of the cake if desired.

Almond icing:
8oz/225g ground almonds
4oz/110g icing sugar
4oz/110g caster sugar
1 large egg
6-8 drops of lemon juice.

Sift the icing sugar, caster sugar and ground almonds together.
Add in the beaten egg and lemon juice and use them to bind the mixture together.
Kneed the mix together (similar to pastry) and wrap it tightly in cling film and store in the fridge until required.

To Ice the cake:
Turn the rich fruit cake upside down onto a cake board or serving platter.
Brush the entire surface of the cake with boiled apricot jam.
On a work surface well dusted with icing sugar, roll out a piece of almond paste to fit the top of your cake and then long strips to cover all around the sides of the cake.
Dust the surface of the cake with icing sugar and use both your hands and your rolling pin to smooth the surface of the cake.
Leave the cake to dry out overnight.

The next day roll out the “shop bought sugar paste icing” as directed on the packet.
Spread over the cake and again, as with the almond icing smooth out with your hands and keep rubbing it to obtain a smooth shine.

I have used a little red food colouring to colour some of the icing and make a ribbon out of some leftover strips of the icing and just folded some on top to make a bow of sorts.

Play around with the decoration to get it to the way you want it using either Christmas decorations, fresh flowers or some handmade decorations.

Brush the almond icing with water to stick the white icing to the cake.

This is the same recipe and process of decoration I use for a wedding cake.

White Chocolate & Raspberry Trifle

Well worth the extra effort required. A real Sunday lunch treat!

Jam Swiss roll:
4 eggs
4ozs/110g sugar
4ozs/110g self raising flour

Fresh Egg Custard:
6 egg yolks
½ pint milk
½ pint cream
½ vanilla pod
5ozs/150g white chocolate
1 dessert spoon corn flour
3ozs/75g sugar

4 dessertspoons Fresh raspberry Jam
8ozs/225g fresh berries (raspberries, strawberries, black currants etc)
2ozs/50g caster sugar
100ml good quality sherry
250ml freshly whipped cream
2ozs/50g flaked almonds

To make Jam Swiss Roll:
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
Grease and line an oblong (13 x 9 inch) tin with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl beat the 4 eggs with the sugar for the sponge base. It should become very light and aerated. The whisk should leave a figure of eight pronounced on the surface of the mixture when the whisk is lifted out of it.
Gently fold in the sifted flour with a metal spoon. Be very gentle so as not to knock any of the generated air out of the sponge base but also ensure that all of the flour is incorporated. Pour the mixture into a prepared Swiss roll tin.
Bake for 20 minutes, until well risen and golden brown and take the sponge out of the oven.

Before the sponge is fully cooled, invert it onto a sheet of parchment paper dusted with extra caster sugar (50g) and use a rolling pin roll it over it to flatten it lightly and then spread with a thin layer of raspberry jam.
Carefully roll the Swiss roll up from the longest side rather than from the shortest.

Slice in thin slices and arrange in individual glasses or a large bowl making sure that the glass or bowl is fully lined all the way around. Retain a little of the sponge for the middle if you so desire.

Sprinkle with some freshly cut fruit, additional jam if desired, and a generous helping of sherry. Do a few layers of the sponge if you wish.

Meanwhile make the custard:
Split the vanilla pot lengthways and with a small sharp knife scrape out the seeds of one half of the vanilla pod. Put the seeds and the half pod into the milk and cream in a large saucepan. Wrap the remainder of the vanilla pod and retain for later use.
Bring milk, cream and vanilla pod to the boil.

Meanwhile in a large spotlessly clean bowl and using a whisk beat the egg yolks, sugar and corn flour together until light and creamy. Spend about 2 minutes on this process.
Pour boiled milk and cream mixture onto the eggs and mix well.
Add in the white chocolate
Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook until the mixture can coat the back of a wooden spoon. It is important to stir the mixture at all times to prevent it from curdling. This process should take no more than 2 minutes on a very gentle heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil at this time. Taste the custard at this stage to make sure that you can not taste the corn flour. If you can, return to the heat and stir continuously on a low heat for another minute or so.

Pour the custard over the sponge mixture and allow to cool for a couple of hours or overnight. Cover with a disc of parchment paper or cling film to prevent the formation of a crust,

Pipe some whipped cream on the top and sprinkle, if desired, with some flaked and toasted almonds.
Alternatively arrange with a little more fresh fruit.

Additional Notes:
If you wish you can put a spoon or two of sherry into the custard for an increased flavour.

White Chocolate & Raspberry Trifle

Edward’s Mini Mince Pie Crumbles

Christmas would not be Christmas without some delicious mince pies. You should have enough mincemeat to see you through the festive season!
Feel free to buy the mincemeat if you wish-i have made my own which is well worth the effort.

Sweet Pastry:
10oz/300g plain flour
5oz/150g caster sugar
5oz/150g butter
1 egg

Put all ingredients into a food mixer and mix until bound together.
Wrap in cling film and allow to rest.

Crumble Topping:
250g plain flour
110g caster sugar
100g butter

Rub all the ingredients together. Add a little ground cinnamon if you wish.

2 medium sized cooking apples
8oz/225g brown sugar
5oz/150g butter
Zest & Juice 2 oranges
4oz/110g mixed peel
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
5oz/150g currants
10oz/300g raisins
5oz/150g sultanas
2floz/50mll Irish whiskey

Chop the apples into small pieces and add to a medium sized saucepan with the butter and the sugar and cook gently for 3-4 minutes. Next add in all the other ingredients and continue to cook for approximately 10 minutes (the liquid should have come to the boil at this stage). Transfer the mixture to sterilised jars and leave to rest for a couple of weeks before using.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4

Grease and line your tin (i would suggest using either a 12 cup bun tray or a 12 cup mini muffin tray)

Cut out discs of sweet pastry and use them to line your chosen tray.
Spoon some of the mincemeat into each of the pastry line cups and then top with another disc of pastry cut into a star shape. Brush the top star with a little egg wash.

Bake for 15-18 minutes and serve with some freshly whipped cream with the addition of Irish whiskey.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Truffles

8oz/225g butter-softened
8oz/225g caster sugar
8oz/225g self raising flour
5 medium sized eggs
1oz/25g good quality cocoa

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
Grease and line an 8 inch deep cake tin

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter with the sugar until very light and fluffy.
Sift the flour and the cocoa powder together.
Gradually add the eggs and mix in the flour.
Mix thoroughly until the mixture is really light and creamy

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is well set-A skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come away spotlessly clean and dry.
When the cake is cooked take it out of the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for at least half an hour as it will still be quite soft at this stage.
Invert onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Ideally you should have the cake made the day before you require it.

Chocolate Truffle Mixture:
1lb/450g chocolate (½ dark and ½ plain mixed)
5floz/150ml cream
4oz/110g butter-cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
Zest of 1 orange
7oz/200g nibbed almonds

Add the butter and cream to a saucepan and allow to come to a rapid boil.
Add the boiling liquid to the chocolate and whisk rapidly.
Add in the egg yolk together with the orange zest and whisk thoroughly.
Allow the truffle mixture to cool slightly and to become a consistency conducive to spreading.
Meanwhile place the almonds on a flat baking tray and toast in the preheated oven until golden brown.

Split the chocolate sponge in three equal pieces. Spread a layer of chocolate truffle mixture over the first discs of sponge topping with another disc of sponge and repeat the process.
Spread the top and sides of the cake with some of the chocolate truffle mixture.
Pour the remaining mixture onto a flat baking tray lined with cling film and refrigerate until it is set.

Break the chocolate slab into small pieces.
Roll the truffles into round balls and roll in the toasted almonds.
Generously decorate the top of the cake with the chocolate truffles.

Meringue Roulade with Toasted Almonds

A finger licking dessert.
“Much will definitely want more”

4 large egg whites
8ozs/225g caster sugar
3ozs/75g Flaked almonds
8flozs/225ml cream-lightly whipped
Fresh fruit-as required.

Line a large Swiss roll tray (13 x 9 ½ inches) with parchment paper ensuring that both the base and the sides are covered.

Put the egg whites into a large, spotlessly clean, mixing bowl and beat rapidly until the mixture forms stiff peaks. (A little lemon juice (4/5 drops) added to the egg whites tend to break them down a little better and gives you a fluffier meringue) You can use an electric hand whisk or a food mixer for this process.

When the mixture has formed the peaks add in the sugar gradually, whisking thoroughly between each addition.
When the correct consistency is achieved the mixture should be glossy and stiff.
To test if the correct consistency has been obtained turn the mixing bowl upside down-if the mixture does not come out of the bowl it is correct, if it does-you must start again-and wash the floor!!

Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned.
Allow to cool in the tin.

Additional Flavours for meringue:
Substitute the caster sugar for light brown sugar for a toffee style meringue
Add 2oz/50g grated chocolate to the meringue mixture before baking
Sprinkle some chopped mixed nuts on the roulade

To Assemble the Roulade
Turn out onto a large piece of parchment dusted with icing sugar, facing the side with the flaked almonds down and allow to cool.

Spread with freshly whipped cream.
Scatter with the freshly chopped fruit and roll up in one fast action
Pipe some additional cream on the top and arrange some extra berries on the top.
Decorate with mint leaves.
Transfer to the serving platter and dust with icing sugar
Watch it disappear!!

Additional Notes:
The meringue may be cooked and stored from the day before it is required as it does not have the same tendency to crack as a roulade of a whisked egg sponge.

Why not use the meringue crushed up with freshly whipped cream and berry compote to make an Eton mess served in a wine glass.

Piping the meringue into nests/shells and bake at 120C/250F for 1 hour for crisp meringue shells to serve with fresh fruit.

Adding 1 teaspoon cornflour and ½ teaspoon vinegar to the mixture will make a soft and chewy Pavlova.

Lemon, Ginger & Passion Fruit Cheese Cake
I just love the combination of lemon & ginger together. Cheesecake is a very popular dish and this particular flavour is superb.

12oz/350g ginger nuts biscuits
5oz/150g melted butter

8oz/225g Philadelphia cream cheese
1pint/600ml pouring cream
1 packet lemon jelly (135g pack)
7oz/200g lemon curd
2 passion fruit

Line the base of a 9inch spring form tin with baking parchment.
Break the biscuits into fine crumbs and mix in the melted butter.
Press the biscuits into the base of the tin in an even layer and allow to chill.

Place 3-4 dessertspoons of water in a bowl with the jelly and melt slowly in the microwave until the jelly has melted.
Place the cream cheese into a large food mixer and beat well. Add in the pouring cream and beat well until semi whipped but still quite loose in consistency.
Next add in 5oz/150g lemon curd and mix well until combined.
Finally mix in the melted jelly and continue to whip for another 20 seconds or thereabout.
The mixture should still just be in the semi whipped state at this time.
Pour the mixture in on top of the biscuit base
Transfer to the fridge and allow to set properly, preferably overnight.

Transfer the cheesecake to a large serving platter and with the remaining 2oz/50g lemon curd cover the top of the cheesecake and scatter with some passion fruit seeds
Additional Notes:
Make sure the jelly has cooled a little before adding to the cream mixture.

Baked Ginger Pudding, Cinnamon Roasted Pears with Butterscotch Sauce

The combination of the rich sauce with the moist spiced ginger pudding is delicious and is a very practical dessert to complete for an elaborate dinner party. The roasted pears just added a sense of added extravagance.

4oz/110g butter
8oz/225g plain flour
4oz/110g brown sugar
1 rounded teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon of ground ginger
2 large eggs
1 large dessertspoon of black treacle
3floz/75ml milk

Sieve the flour, baking powder and spices together into a large bowl.
Add in the brown sugar.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the eggs, melted butter, milk and treacle and whisk until a smooth batter has been achieved.
Divide the mixture between 6 individual (greased) pudding basins or ramekins
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow to cool slightly and then invert onto the serving platter.
If cooled, this pudding can be gently and successfully reheated in the microwave.

Cinnamon Roasted Pears:

6 baby pears
2oz/50g caster sugar
2oz/50g butter
2oz/50g brown sugar
Pinch cinnamon

Peel the pears carefully leaving the stalk intact.
Place the pears in a medium sized saucepan with the caster sugar. Cover the pears with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes until just tender. Allow to cool.
When you are ready to serve the dessert heat the butter on a small frying pan and add in the brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.
Melt carefully and then toss in the pears and cook gently stirring constantly until all the pears are golden brown.

Chocolate Profiteroles

People tend to have a fear of choux pastry and because of which rarely or never make it. It is in fact one of the easiest pastries to make providing you follow the very simple rules.
It is important to bake the commodity well-sometimes the profiteroles we buy in the supermarket can tend to be doughy and soggy whereas they should be a crisp shell filled with the flavouring of your choice.

½ pint/250ml cold water
4oz/110g butter
5oz/150g strong flour
4 large eggs
Pinch of sugar and salt

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
Grease two baking sheets with melted butter.
Put the butter, water, salt & sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
It is important that the mixture comes to the boil-if you just melt it and do not allow it to come to the boil the mixture will go dramatically wrong.
Take the saucepan off the heat.

Sift the flour and add it, in one piece, to the boiling liquid.
Stir rapidly with a wooden spoon.
Return to heat and beat continuously until the mixture comes clean away from the sides of the saucepan. You are cooking the flour at this stage.
Transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs together.
Slowly beat the eggs into the cooked paste. I tend to use an electric whisk as the mixture can be quite stiff. Add the eggs little by little beating thoroughly between each addition.

Spoon on pipe small amounts of the mixture onto the tray. You should get approximately 30-35 profiteroles. Bake for 30-35 minutes until they should hollow when tapped on the underneath. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

When they are cool, split each profiterole, fill with fresh cream and serve with chocolate sauce or drizzle the profiteroles with melted dark chocolate.

Chocolate & Hazelnut Cupcakes
Cupcakes are really popular now and are great for all entertaining needs from a children’s birthday party to a stylish wedding. This recipe will be a great additional to your festive repertoire.

7oz/200g butter (softened)
7oz/200g caster sugar
14oz/400g plain flour
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
5 large eggs

6oz/175g softened butter
12oz/350g icing sugar
4oz/110g dark chocolate-melted
1 dessertspoon boiling water

Chocolate Discs Garnish: (optional)
3oz/75g dark chocolate
2oz/50g hazelnuts-crushed

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
Fill a 12 cup muffin tray with muffin papers
In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add in the eggs to the mixture.
Add the baking powder and cocoa powder to the flour and lightly sieve that into the buttery mixture.
Return the mixture to the machine and continue to cream the mixture together lightly until a smooth dropping consistency has been achieved.
Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin cases and pop the tray into the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool whilst making the butter icing topping.
Place the softened butter and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl with the melted dark chocolate and cream until light and fluffy. Add in the boiling water to get an extra smooth and light consistency.

Meanwhile to make the chocolate discs spoon some of the melted chocolate onto a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with some of the crushed hazelnuts. Allow the chocolate discs to set in a cool place.

Using a piping bag, pipe a large swirl of chocolate icing on top of each cupcake and then top with a chocolate disc and some of the chopped hazelnuts.
Store in an airtight container until required

Crème Brulee (Cooked Egg custard)

A classic dessert.

4 egg yolks
350ml pouring cream
100g caster sugar
½ vanilla pod with seeds scraped out

Put the cream, vanilla pod and vanilla seeds into a small saucepan and bring it to the boil.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until they are light and creamy.
Pour the boiled cream in on the whisked eggs and sugar and whisk well until properly combined.
Allow to rest for a few minutes until the froth settles or alternatively scoop the froth off.
Remove the vanilla pod.

Choose 6-8 small ramekins.
Carefully pour the egg custard into the mixture

Place the ramekins in a deep roasting tray and fill it with water about ½ ways up the side of the ramekins.
Bake for approx 35-45 minutes until set but still containing a slight wobble. (150C/300F)
Glaze with a little brown sugar and then pop them under the grill or glaze with a chef’s blowtorch and serve.

Chocolate & Hazelnut Biscotti

6oz/175g plain flour
1 dessertspoon cocoa
1 rounded teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon mixed spice
125g brown sugar
2 eggs
3oz/75g hazelnuts-skinned and lightly broken

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
Place flour, baking powder, mixed spice and brown sugar in a large bowl or mixer.
Add in the hazelnuts and mix well.
Mix in the beaten eggs until a dough like consistency has been achieved.
You may not need all the eggs so add them carefully.
Divide the dough in two and roughly roll them into a ciabatta shape and flatten them slightly. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool and then with a sharp knife cut them into fingers or strips and return to the baking tray and the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes and then turn them over and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Allow to cool and serve with creamy pannacotta or crème brulee

Add a few mixed chocolate chips to the biscuit mix if you would like an extra chocolate fix. In an air tight container the biscuits last for approximately 2 weeks.

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One Response to Taste Of Christmas 2011

  1. Yvonne says:

    My goodness you were busy Edward! Even thinking of doing 23 demos has me exhausted!
    Some lovely recipes – will def be trying the chocolate truffles!

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