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Eat the Seasons - December 2013


 

Fruits & Nuts

Apples (Egremont, Russet, Blenheim Orange, Orleans Reinette), Chestnuts, Clementines, Cranberries, Pears, Satsumas, Tangerines

Vegetables & Herbs

Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Red Cabbage, Sweed, Turnips

Meat & Game

Duck, Goose, Grouse, Guinea Fowl, Hare, Partridge, Pheasant, Rabbit, Venison, Wood Pigeon

Fish & Shellfish

Brill, Clams, Haddock, Halibut, Hake, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Monkfish, Mussels, Oysters (Native & Rock), Plaice, Scallops, Sea Bass, Turbot


It’s that time of year again!  I hope you are enjoying planning your Christmas Menus as much as I am – it’s one of my favourite things about December.  This is, of course, a really busy time at work too, with lots of parties to cater, so I have to make sure I am ultra organised and get all my planning done as early as possible.

Right now I am thinking about home made presents, and organising the necessary ingredients, even though some of the more perishable items will have to be created later.  My Satsumas in Cider Brandy are going to be prepared this week, and I’m resisting the urge to make Cinnamon Biscuits just yet, even though they are so good.  I really hope I get time to make everything I have planned – it’s always tricky, but I really enjoy the personal touch that a home made gift brings with it.

This year I’ve created a receipe for Ginger & Almond Friands.  They are beautiful little cakes which are light as air but incredibly rich at the same time.  Filled with almonds and stem ginger they look and taste amazing and make brilliant gifts, especially if wrapped individually in cellophane bags, or packaged in a vintage cake tin with some tissue paper.

Ginger & Almond Friands

Makes 10-12 Friands

 

Ingredients

  • 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 22g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

  • 100g ground almonds

  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger

  • pinch of salt

  • 5 large egg whites

  • 135g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • 50g flaked almonds

  • 2 nuggets of finely grated stem ginger

  • Ginger syrup (taken from the jar the Stem Ginger comes in)

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 1800C/3500F/gas mark 4.  Butter the insides of 12 muffin tins and lightly dust with a little plain flour, tapping out the excess.

  2. Sift the flour, icing sugar, ground almonds, ground ginger and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.  In another bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites until foamy and just holding soft peaks. 

  3. Tip the egg whites and melted butter into the dry ingredients with the grated stem ginger and fold the mixture together until combined using a large metal spoon.

  4. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins, filling them three quarters full.

  5. Scatter with the flakes almonds

  6. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. 

  7. Remove from the oven and leave to rest in the tins for 2 minutes before carefully turning out on to a wire cooling rack.

  8. Brush the tops with Ginger Syrup (taken from the jar the Stem Ginger was in).

  9. Dust lightly with icing sugar.

Stored in an air tight box these will keep for about 3 days.