Christmas at the Satin Bowerbird Inn is a fairly relaxed affair. We do a big lunch with a multitude of aperitifs followed by roasted meats and salads, then a range of desserts. This year, I made a different glaze for the ham. I still used my usual chilli-plum glaze as a base, but I added some honey, and a combination of dijon and wholegrain mustards to cut the sweetness. It worked well.
Most of the other things I cooked: roast beef, roast pork with crackling, roast pumpkin and spinach salad with caramelised walnuts, can all be found on recipe sites. Two of the desserts were unique to me.
I took a Milky Bar Cheesecake recipe and, instead of making it in the ice-cube trays as recommended, I made it in a small square slice pan then added a cherry jelly (tinned cherries, caster sugar, gelatine) on top. A few crushed pistachios sprinkled over it before serving and it's our very own Christmas cheesecake, cut into squares. So creamy and delicious.
The other recipe I adapted was my last-minute chocolate truffles:
1 can condensed milk
1-1/2 packets Cadbury melts (I used a mix of dark and milk chocolate melts. I didn't measure the 1/2 packet - it was left over from a previous recipe so I simply emptied the packet into the saucepan)
a nob of butter (I didn't weigh it but it was probably around 50g)
1 packet Arnotts Scotch Finger biscuits finely crushed.
Put the first three ingredients into a saucepan (no need for a double boiler - we want it to crystalise a little) over medium-low heat until it's all melted and smooth. Add the biscuits. I would normally shape them into balls at this point but I didn't have time this year so I sprinkled the base of a square slice pan with sifted cocoa, added the mixture, sprinkled the top with sifted cocoa then chilled for an hour. I use baking paper in all my pans and make sure I overlap the edges so I can lift the slice out onto a board for easy cutting.
Meanwhile, my sisters and I are still trying to work out how we're supposed to be making everything work between us. It's not all smooth sailing, that's for sure. Read our stories in Tangled up in Blue, available now.
E E Montgomery
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