Christmas Cake xxx

This Christmas cake recipe never fails, it’s the basis of Delia Smiths classic Christmas cake that over the years I have adapted.  But it always comes out perfect.

It is best to bake these as soon as you can to allow for the feeding process, and then the decorating.  I have however cooked these the week before Christmas and fed the cake everyday and it still tasted great.

The smell as you bake will pull you straight into the festive spirit 🙂

It can be difficult to find some of the ingredients here in Spain but do not worry, I have recipes for candied peel, and marzipan on my blog. You can also replace the black treacle with molasses; which is not as dark but still creates a good cake.  The Spanish brown sugar is also fine to use if you cannot get hold of soft brown sugar.  If you use soft brown sugar and black treacle the sponge will be much darker in colour, the taste will be good neither way. Ultimately once this cake is fed with lots of Brandy who cares about these differences!

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Ingredients

800g dried fruit, a mix of currants, sultanas, raisins and cranberries

50g mixed candied peel, finely chopped

4 tbsp brandy, plus extra for ‘feeding’

225g unsalted butter

225g soft brown sugar

4 large eggs, beaten in a jug

225 g plain flour

½ level tsp Salt

¼ level tsp Freshly grated nutmeg

½ level tsp Ground mixed spice

1 level tbsp Black treacle

50g glacé cherries, finely chopped

50g chopped nuts, I used almond and walnuts

1 lemon, Grated zest

1 orange, Grated zest

Method:

Soak the dried fruit, and the peel overnight with the brandy.

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Heat the oven to 140 degrees.

Double line your tin with parchment paper.  Also cut a piece to fit on the top of the cake for while it is cooking, cut a tiny hole in the centre; this is for the top to stop it from over browning.

Cream together the butter and the sugar with a whisk until pale and fluffy, then pour the eggs in, little by little, whisking as you go.

Sieve together the flour, salt, nutmeg and mixed spice from a height to give it more air. Then gently fold the flour into the creamed butter with a large metal spoon.

Drizzle in the treacle and fold once.

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Add the fruit, peel, cherries, nuts, lemon and orange zest and gently fold into the mix.

Place into your cake tin, and flatten evenly, you can leave a little dip in the centre to make sure it does not rise too much, it is good to have a flat top for decorating.

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Cook in the oven for around 4 hours, check the cake by piercing a skewer through the centre, if it comes up clean then it is cooked.

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Let it cool a little in the tin before removing. Then let it fully cool before wrapping it up with brown paper and storing in a sealed container.

Feed the cake by piercing with a skewer or tooth pick and pouring a little brandy into the holes. Depending how much time you have before Christmas will depend on the feeding, I would say every other day for two weeks, one day from the top of the cake, and one day the bottom. This should produce a lovely moist sponge. I have however in the past only had a week to feed, so I fed it every day to the same success.

To decorate is your choice; you can add marzipan and icing or leave it plain.  On some cakes I placed blanched almonds on the top before baking as you would a dundee cake…

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For marzipan see my recipe here:

Marzipan

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I like to eat my Christmas cake without icing and with cheeses such as wensleydale cheese, crackers and chutneys…

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Last years cake decoration…

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I will share this years decorations as soon as I have done them 😉

Lulu xx

Re-Blog…Salsa Roja Picante en Molcajete

I first tried this dish in a restaurant in London called ‘Mestizo’, one of the best authentic Mexican restaurants I have visited in the UK.  This is my version 🙂

Traditionally served in a ‘Molcajete’ which is Mexican Spanish and is a stone tool similar to a pestle and mortar.  We use to call it the ‘volcano’.  When I travelled around Mexico I noticed this dish on many menus so it shows its true authenticity.

This is similar to Fajitas but much better.  The base can be of different variations; I have made this using a spicy tomato salsa with Spanish dried chillies.  In Mestizo’s restaurant they serve this with 4 different bases including Mole which is a deep rich sauce with a hint of chocolate and Tomatillo; which is my favourite (tomatillo is a Mexican green husk tomato).

Then on top you have your choice of griddled meat cut into strips, cheese (Monterey Jack is good), whole spring onions, chorizo sausage, avocado, I also added some sweet baby peppers. 

To eat as you would with Fajitas you layer up your soft tortilla; spread some of the salsa then take pieces of each of the ingredients and wrap it up!  I also made some re-fried beans as they work so well with this dish find my recipe here:

https://lululemonandlace.com/recipes/lentilsbeans/refried-beans/

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Ingredients:

Salsa Roja Picanta

3 garlic cloves crushed

2 dried picante chillies (soak in a little hot water for a few minutes)

1 onion diced finely

1/2 a small red pepper diced finely

3 tomatoes

4 rashers of smoked bacon chopped finely

60ml Mexican beer

Bunch of fresh coriander 

Olive oil for frying

Toppings:

2 chicken breast cut into strips

Large fresh raw prawns (enough for a few per person)

Chorizo sausage, cut in half, then cut each half lengthways, then cut in half lengthways again so you have long strips

Spring onions (if in Spain buy the slim onions) halved lengthways

1 avocado sliced

A mix of red/yellow baby bell peppers (I used around 4 of each) halved lengthways

Monterey Jack cheese cut into strips

Sea salt

To Serve:

Tortillas

Re-fried beans (optional)

Jalapenos (optional)

Method:

It is a simple recipe, in a hand blender blitz the following up; tomatoes, garlic, dried soaked chillies, half of the coriander, beer, and a good pinch of salt.  Set aside.

Heat a little oil in a pan and pop in the bacon, let this brown a little then add your onion and diced red pepper until soft.

Pour in the salsa and stir.  

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Let this bubble away on a medium heat while you griddle your meat and vegetables.

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Heat your griddle pan, oil and season the spring onions then lay in the pan and griddle each side until charred, repeat with the peppers.  Then griddle the chorizo, chicken and lastly the prawns…. but without adding oil as the chorizo gives enough oil to cook all of these, I did however season the chicken and prawns.

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Now you are ready to serve, warm the tortillas in the oven wrapped in foil.

Layer and arrange each ingredient over the salsa, then sprinkle over the remaining coriander, as you can see I did not have a Molcajete or a big enough pestle and mortar so I used a skillet which worked fine.

Serve with the warm tortillas, re-fried beans and jalapenos.

🙂

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enjoy

Lulu xx

Click the link for Mestizo Restaurant here:

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salsa roja picante en molcajete

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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by Lululemonandlace

Ingredients:

Salsa Roja Picante (spicy tomato sauce)

3 garlic cloves crushed

2 dried picante chillies (soak in a little hot water for a few minutes)

1 onion diced finely

1/2 a small red pepper diced finely

3 tomatoes

4 rashers of smoked bacon chopped finely

60ml Mexican beer

Bunch of fresh coriander

Toppings:

2 chicken breast cut into strips

Large fresh raw prawns (enough for a few per person)

Chorizo sausage, cut in half, then cut each half lengthways, then cut in half lengthways again so you have long strips

Spring onions (if in Spain buy the slim onions) halved lengthways

1 avocado sliced

A mix of red/yellow baby bell peppers (I used around 4 of each) halved lengthways

Monterey Jack cheese cut into strips

Sea salt

To Serve:

Tortillas

Re-fried beans (optional)

Jalapenos (optional)

Method:

It is a simple recipe, in a hand blender blitz the following up; tomatoes, garlic, dried soaked chillies, half of the coriander, the beer, good pinch of salt.

Heat a little oil in a pan and pop in the bacon, let this brown a little then add your onion and diced red pepper until soft.

Pour in the salsa you have blitzed up and stir.  Let this bubble away on med heat while you griddle your meat.

Heat your griddle pan, oil and season the spring onions then lay in the pan and griddle each side until charred, repeat with the peppers.  Then griddle the chorizo, chicken and lastly the prawns…. but without adding oil as the chorizo gives enough oil to cook all of these, I did however season the chicken and prawns.

Now you are ready to serve, warm the tortillas in the oven wrapped in foil.

Layer and arrange each ingredient over the salsa, then sprinkle over the remaining coriander, as you can see I did not have a Molcajete or a big enough pestle and mortar so I used a skillet which worked fine.

Serve with the warm tortillas, re-fried beans and jalapenos.

🙂

Recipe Alert!..Keralan Fish Molee

Hola,

Happy Friday!!!

New recipe alert…

Fish Molee (meen molee) was one of my favourite dishes growing up. My Nana used to make a very tasty version of it.  Mopped up with Indian breads rather than rice; delicious.

Molee means stew, so it is a fish stew which is cooked in coconut. It is a very popular dish in Southern India, I love Keralan sweet and sour flavours with creamy coconut milk and sourness from tamarind, this recipe incorporates these tastes.  The fish is succulent and the flavour is mild, creamy and aromatic rather than spicy hot.

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Ingredients:

White fish I used Meluza (hake) but cod is fine, buy a fillet per person.

10 Large prawns shell on, I removed the heads as they were so large but you can leave them on

1 onion finely sliced

3 garlic cloves

2” chunk ginger

2 small green chillies, with a knife make a slit in each chilli.

Turmeric I used fresh but you can use powder 1tsp

1 tsp tamarind paste

2 heap tsp black mustard seeds

2 heap tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp garam masala

2 tomatoes diced

1 heap tsp soft brown sugar

1 tin coconut milk

2” chunk creamed coconut block

50g desiccated coconut plus extra for decoration

5/6 New potatoes halved

Bunch fresh coriander chopped

2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp white vinegar

1 tbsp. oil (I used sunflower)

Method:

Sprinkle the sugar over the tomatoes set aside.

Grate the ginger, garlic and turmeric (if using fresh) set aside.

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Heat the oil in a pan, add your onions and cook on a medium heat until soft.  Turn up the heat and add the mustard seeds, which will crackle.  As soon as they do then add the cumin seeds, stir through then add the grated ginger/garlic/turmeric.  Add the chillies. Mix well.

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Add the tamarind and stir through.

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Pour in the tin of coconut milk and add the creamed coconut block.  Fill the tin with water and add this to the pan.

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Add the salt, vinegar, desiccated coconut, tomatoes and sugar.

While this is bubbling away boil your potatoes in a separate pan with salted water until nearly cooked but not soft.  Add these to the molee along with the garam masala, stir well.

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Cut the fish into large chunks keeping the skin on, this adds to flavour and holds the fish pieces together.  Add the fish to the pan, pop a lid on and cook for about 4 minutes. After this time open the lid and add the prawns.  Pop the lid back on and cook for another 5/6 minutes or until the prawns are cooked.

Sprinkle over most of the coriander leaves and carefully stir through as the fish will break up easily.

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Serve with an extra sprinkle of the desiccated coconut, and coriander leaves.  Serve with your favourite bread.

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Enjoy!

Lulu x

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Keralan Fish Molee

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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by Lululemonandlace

Ingredients:

White fish I used Meluza (hake) but cod is fine, buy a fillet per person.

10 Large prawns shell on, I removed the heads as they were so large but you can leave them on

1 onion finely sliced

3 garlic cloves

2” chunk ginger

2 small green chillies, with a knife make a slit in each chilli.

Turmeric I used fresh but you can use powder 1tsp

1 tsp tamarind paste

2 heap tsp black mustard seeds

2 heap tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp garam masala

2 tomatoes diced

1 heap tsp soft brown sugar

1 tin coconut milk

2” chunk creamed coconut block

50g desiccated coconut plus extra for decoration

5/6 New potatoes halved

Bunch fresh coriander chopped

2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp white vinegar

1 tbsp. oil (I used sunflower)

Method:

Sprinkle the sugar over the tomatoes set aside.

Grate the ginger, garlic and turmeric (if using fresh) set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan, add your onions and cook on a medium heat until soft.  Turn up the heat and add the mustard seeds, which will crackle.  As soon as they do then add the cumin seeds, stir through then add the grated ginger/garlic/turmeric.  Add the chillies. Mix well.

Add the tamarind and stir through.

Pour in the tin of coconut milk and add the creamed coconut block.  Fill the tin with water and add this to the pan.

Add the salt, vinegar, desiccated coconut, tomatoes and sugar.

While this is bubbling away boil your potatoes in a separate pan with salted water until nearly cooked but not soft.  Add these to the molee along with the garam masala, stir well.

Cut the fish into large chunks keeping the skin on, this adds to flavour and holds the fish pieces together.  Add the fish to the pan, pop a lid on and cook for about 4 minutes. After this time open the lid and add the prawns.  Pop the lid back on and cook for another 5/6 minutes or until the prawns are cooked.

Sprinkle over most of the coriander leaves and carefully stir through as the fish will break up easily.

Serve with an extra sprinkle of the desiccated coconut, and coriander leaves.  Serve with your favourite bread.

Lulu xxx

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Tis Nispero time….

Hola!!

Here in Spain the Nispero’s are now ready,  Nispero’s are a yellow fruit which I would say are similar to apricots.  They have a stone in the centre which actually smells like almonds.  They are not as sweet as apricots but are very juicy, they do not however last long when picked so you need to eat them straight away or preserve them.

Today I am having a go at making a spicy chutney with them, but here are some recipes from last years crop…..

April 2015

Chicken Tagine with Rosemary and Nispero’s

Once again we have some Nispero’s to use up, so after racking my brain for what to do I remembered a Tagine recipe I cooked for friends a while ago which had dried apricots in, I thought I would give this a go using Nispero’s replacing the Apricots. What I love about this Tagine is that it isn’t overloaded with spices yet it still tastes delicious. Sometimes less is more!!!
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Sunday Brunch or Lunch? Kedgeree with Smoked Mackerel and Salmon

Happy Sunday!!!

Kedgeree was always a favourite in my house when growing up for a weekend breakfast/brunch.  My friends use to love it too when they came over to stay.

Traditionally this is made with smoked haddock, however my Mum always made this with smoked mackerel, I think this was because it was quicker as no poaching needed ha ha…. but it was always just as tasty.  You can use curry powder but I prefer to add my own spices.

To make it extra special I added salmon; I had seen a Nigella recipe using salmon and thought it would give a great colour and taste difference to the mackerel.  Also I added some shrimps…. just because shrimps are so GOOD!

Here in Spain it is tricky to find smoked fish, I did however find smoked mackerel.

The dish is topped with crispy fried onions, and a coriander yoghurt drizzle.

According to Wikipedia Kedgeree is traced back to India to 1340, and originated as an Indian rice and beans/lentils dish ‘Khichri’

It is quite interesting when looking into the history of this dish, I always assumed it was an Anglo-Indian dish brought over to the UK, but there has been a reference of this dish listed in Scotland as early as 1790… check out this link;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kedgeree

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Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

1 fillet salmon skin on 

2 Smoked mackerel

Handful of uncooked un-shelled shrimps/ small prawns

1 onion finely sliced

1/2 red pepper diced

1 tomato diced

20g butter

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 red chilli finely chopped (You can remove the seeds if you’d like it less spicy)

3 cloves

3 cardamom

1 cinnamon

1″ chunk ginger grated

3 cloves garlic

1 heap tsp cumin powder

1 heap tsp coriander powder

40g fresh coriander chopped

1/2 fish stock cube

1 cup basmati rice

2 cups water

  Oil for frying… I used sunflower

Sea salt

Yoghurt

1 lemon

Method:

Poach the salmon in the water until just cooked, reserve the water do no throw this away.

Place 2 Tbsp. of the oil in a saucepan, add half of the onion, 2 tsp salt, cardamom bashed, cloves, cinnamon stick and turmeric.

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Fry until the onion is soft then add the cup of rice.  Mix well.

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Add the salmon water, make sure this is two cups if not add a little boiling water to make it up.  Add the fish stock cube.  Bring back to the boil then cover tightly and turn to the lowest heat on the smallest hob.  Cook for 20 minutes…do not uncover the lid during this time.  After the 20 minutes just turn the heat off and leave the lid on, again do not remove it yet.

In a frying pan fry, the other half of onions until crispy, set aside.

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Boil the eggs to be hard-boiled with soft yokes (I popped mine in a pan with cold water, once the water was bubbling away I timed it for 6 minutes, remove and place in cold water so they do not cook longer) Set aside.

In the frying pan which you fried the onions in, add the red pepper, chilli, 2 cloves of garlic crushed and the ginger.

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 Fry for a few minutes then add the cumin and coriander spices and stir.

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Add the tomatoes.

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Add the prawns, mix well and cook for a few minutes so the prawns can cook.

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Then flake in the mackerel and salmon (discarding the skin)

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The rice should now be ready; open the lid remove the spice pieces then fluff the rice with a fork.  Add the rice to the frying pan and mix well.

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Add half of the coriander and stir.

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For the coriander drizzle, in a blender add the yoghurt, the rest of the coriander (you can keep a little aside for decoration) and a clove of garlic.  Blitz to be smooth.

Slice eggs and lemon into wedges.

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Serve the rice with eggs laid on the top with the crispy onions, some lemon wedges and drizzle over the coriander yoghurt.

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Enjoy!

Love Lulu xxx

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Kedgeree with smoked mackerel and salmon

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

cover

by Lululemonandlace

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

1 fillet salmon skin on 

2 Smoked mackerels

Handful of uncooked un-shelled shrimps/ small prawns

1 onion finely sliced

1/2 red pepper diced

1 tomato diced

20g butter

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 red chilli finely chopped (You can remove the seeds if you’d like it less spicy)

3 cloves

3 cardamom

1 cinnamon

1″ chunk ginger grated

3 cloves garlic

1 heap tsp cumin powder

1 heap tsp coriander powder

40g fresh coriander chopped

1/2 fish stock cube

1 cup basmati rice

2 cups water

  Oil for frying… I used sunflower

Sea salt

Yoghurt

1 lemon

Method:

Poach the salmon in the water until just cooked, reserve the water do no throw this away.

Place 2 Tbsp. of the oil in a saucepan, add half of the onion, 2 tsp salt, cardamom bashed, cloves, cinnamon stick and turmeric.

Fry until the onion is soft then add the cup of rice.  Mix well.

Add the salmon water, make sure this is two cups if not add a little boiling water to make it up.  Add the fish stock cube.  Bring back to the boil then cover tightly and turn to the lowest heat on the smallest hob.  Cook for 20 minutes…do not uncover the lid during this time.  After the 20 minutes just turn the heat off and leave the lid on, again do not remove it yet.

In a frying pan fry, the other half of onions until crispy, set aside.

Boil the eggs to be hard-boiled with soft yokes (I popped mine in a pan with cold water, once the water was bubbling away I timed it for 6 minutes, remove and place in cold water so they do not cook longer) Set aside.

In the frying pan which you fried the onions in, add the red pepper, chilli, 2 cloves of garlic crushed and the ginger.

 Fry for a few minutes then add the cumin and coriander spices and stir.

Add the tomatoes.

Add the prawns, mix well and cook for a few minutes so the prawns can cook.

Then flake in the mackerel and salmon (discarding the skin)

The rice should now be ready; open the lid remove the spice pieces then fluff the rice with a fork.  Add the rice to the frying pan and mix well.

Add half of the coriander and stir.

For the coriander drizzle, in a blender add the yoghurt, the rest of the coriander (you can keep a little aside for decoration) and a clove of garlic.  Blitz to be smooth.

Slice eggs and lemon into wedges.

Serve the rice with eggs laid on the top with the crispy onions, some lemon wedges and drizzle over the coriander yoghurt.

Lulu xxx

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