Sunday, December 4, 2011

Seasonal Prelude

A Red Christmas
Christmas is coming and excitement is in the air. The earth is blessed and all because of a baby boy born in Bethlehem many years ago. While we begin to shop for gifts, sing carols and plan our Christmas menu, let us remember the true meaning of Christmas and relect on that glorious message "Peace on Earth and Goodwill To All Men!"

My theme this year is "the colour red", so am making only red eats. Today am including two recipes. The Red Velvet Recipe is Serita's and I have changed it into Red Velvet Fruit Cake and also included a recipe for Designer Coffee Brownies made by Ranita who is fast mastering the art of baking. Her brownies are delicious and there's always someone waiting to devour them or pack them up and take them home. The same goes for the Red Velvet Cake. It looks beautiful and you can't help admiring it before you pop it into your mouth!

Red Velvet Fruit Cake

The Recipe : 200 gms each of flour, caster sugar, green tuitti fruitti, black currants, black raisins, green cherries, white preserved pumpkin and broken nuts, 4 eggs, 250 gms salted butter, 1 tsp. mixed spice powder, ½ tsp. baking powder, 2 tbsp light cocoa powder, 1tsp vanilla, 4 tbsp brandy/rum (optional), 25 ml red food colouring . NB; I prefer salted butter as the taste is more balanced, not too sweet, just right.

Chop fruits and soak in brandy or rum overnight. I always have presoaked fruits ready at hand. Sieve flour, cocoa, spice powder and baking powder into large bowl. Add rest of the ingredients and stir till smooth and glossy. Batter must be a beautiful, rich, dark red. Bake at 150 C for 40 or 45 minutes or untill skewer inserted in centre comes out clean .
Admire their colour and enjoy eating them.

Ranita's Designer Brownies

The Recipe:

250 gms salted butter; 250 gms dark chocolate, chopped; 3 tbsp nescafe (instant coffee) dissolved in 1/8 cup of hot water; 1 cup brown sugar; 4 eggs lightly beaten; 2 tsp vanilla essence; 1 cup self raising flour; 2/3 cup chopped nuts.

Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and line a 12" by 6 inch rectangular baking tray.

Melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Add coffee and sugar and stir until sugar has almost dissolved. Remove from heat and keep aside. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Fold in the flour and nuts. Bake for 25 minutes or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in tin and cut into tiny squares. Sprinkle a some instant coffee over the squares and serve as a dessert. Since these brownies are so rich, we skip the topping. Those who have a very sweet tooth can drizzle coffee butter icing or melted chocolate over the cubes. Watch out how many you eat!

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