Seasons greetings and a merry Christmas to you all, dear friends, wherever you may be.
While I do so hate to disappoint, I'm afraid that if you were hoping to see what was in our little Christmas hampers this year you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer as I still have a number of gifts outstanding. I can however share with you our contributions to the annual day of overindulgence.
First up, Christmas Eve, and I was on call for desserts for the Rogerson family dinner. Since working to the dot wasn’t going to permit the luxury of a leisurely preparation I needed to work on the ‘something I prepared earlier’ principle, and so opted for a few little bits and pieces that were happy to chill and travel without much ado. Naturally, though, timely restraints didn’t mean a substandard offering. After all, if you ask me to do dessert, I do dessert.
Flaky sable pastry cases filled with luscious raspberry Diplomat cream mousse atop TPB raspberry jam and sprinkled with chopped pistachios (and my own confessions of mispronunciation).
Creamy deliciousness, in mango puree topped with vanilla-infused buttermilk panna cotta.
A light yet decadent chocolate mousse with hints of cinnamon and allspice finished with hazelnut toffee.
And then, for what constituted a proper TPB baking occasion, there was the Christmas dinner we enjoyed with Family Small.
After the fuss and ado that was pre-Christmas cookery, we opted for simple fare whereby mixed pea, mint and feta; peach, prosciutto and mozzarella; and Miss Rose’s infamous potato salads accompanied the traditional leg of ham, which had been glazed with whiskey and Seville orange marmalade. Naturally everything was sublimely delicious, but I must say, dear friends, that while the peach won out on photogenic qualities, Miss Rose's potato salad truly is something else…
Baked ham with whiskey Seville orange marmalade glaze
Mixed pea, mint & feta salad
Miss Rose’s potato salad
Peach, prosciutto & mozzarella salad
Now, when it came to dessert we realised rather fortuitously that our plan for sweet-time delights coincidentally addressed a proposition made to us many months ago. During the early days of Team Pretty Bake, Miss Rose made the acquaintance of the delightful Mr Peter, who is not only the purveyor of divine spices, but has been most supportive and encouraging of our adventures and baking directions. Shamefully I am yet to meet Mr Peter, and have so far failed to pursue his offer for TPB exposure. Perhaps this is something I will aim to remedy in the New Year…
But I digress, and that is simply not acceptable when dessert is concerned. So, yes, amid correspondences concerning baking traditions, it was put to us that we should consider developing a modern take on the humble Christmas pudding that was accessible to those with aversions to fruit of the dried, brandy-soaked variety. We did not intend to accept the challenge this year as we were preoccupied with dinosaurs, but I believe the following qualifies for submission. (You must excuse the photographic quality here, but it was at this point that my thus-far trusty camera began having conniptions. Whether it was the impending glycaemic rush I don't know, but by the time things were remedied the presentation was suffering and the lighting particularly poor.) I would still like to design something more luxurious and elegant, so do not finalise your judgment just yet, but considering the tasters on the day were two boys under the age of six, I think you’ll appreciate our ingredient selection.
What exactly constitutes the TPB festive pud you ask? Well, there’s the vanilla ice cream laced with peppermint crisp, mint aero bars, lolly raspberries and spearmint leaves; which is surrounded by a layer of chocolate ding dong cake and then smothered with hot fudge sauce before serving.
I believe the correct term is boo-yah!