White chocolate mousse with Panettone croutons and cranberry & orange coulis

white chocolate mousse with Panettone croutons

White chocolate mousse with Panettone croutons and a cranberry & orange coulis

One of my favourite Italian foodie Christmas traditions is Panettone, I really can’t tell you how delicious it is in words. Suffice to say that once you cut into it and taste a bit you’ll be right back for some more. Panettone is like a soft bread mixture that is flavoured with fruit; it’s a cross between a bun and a brioche. It is also the major ingredient for my easy white chocolate mousse recipe.

I have been sent a Panettone by the Italian company Crosta & Mollica, along with some other products like the Pandoro – New Year’s Eve speciality and a couple of their jams. I was asked to come up with a recipe on how else Panettone could be eaten.

easy white chocolate mousse

 

It was whilst I was chatting with my son Tommy that I mentioned this project and he shared one of his favourite recipes that he makes this time of year at Hotel Eghel for their guests, a white chocolate mousse with Panettone croutons.

He sold it to me and so I started researching the best way to make my fabulous dessert. It was a huge success and very easy and quick to make. Perfect if you have people round and want to impress them plus you can make it in advance as it needs a couple of hours in the fridge before serving.

Buon appetito!

White chocolate mousse with Panettone croutons and cranberry & orange coulis
 
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An easy white chocolate mousse with panettone croutons and served with a cranberry and orange coulis.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • White chocolate mousse
  • 1 tbsp skimmed milk
  • 150g white chocolate
  • 300g double cream
  • Panettone sliced and diced
  • Cranberry & orange coulis
  • 300g cranberries
  • 500ml orange juice
  • 60g sugar
  • I added a tbsp of Crosta & Mollica's fig jam
Instructions
  1. Break the white chocolate into cubes and melt in a pot over a saucepan of boiling water OR in the microwave but only in 30 second bursts as white chocolate will burn if over heated.
  2. Add the milk and combine well, leave to cool to room temperature.
  3. Place the cubes of panettone on a baking tray and put in an oven at 160C for five minutes at a time checking until they crisp up and become crunchy.
  4. Beat half of the cream until soft peaks form.
  5. Once the chocolate has cooled add the other half of double cream and combine well.
  6. Add the chocolate mixture to the beaten cream and fold in well.
  7. Place all the coulis ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  8. Turn down to simmer and continue until all of the cranberries are broken down.
  9. Puree and cool.
  10. To Serve:
  11. Place some croutons at the bottom of a glass, soak with a tbsp of coulis.
  12. Add a dollop of white chocolate mousse on top.
  13. Scatter more croutons and drizzle with coulis.
  14. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
Disclosure: I was sent the Crosta & Mollica products for the purpose of this post.

 

Nutella Cheesecake – Nigella’s recipe

Nutella cheesecake recipe

Russell Hobbs have a new product, the Aura 6 in 1 Hand Blender out and they want to show everyone just how easy it is to use so they asked me to make Nigella’s Nutella cheesecake using it and tell you all about it.

They even sent me a jar of Nutella on with my name on it, thank you :D

Nutella Cheesecake Mari

The Aura 6 in 1 hand blender comes in a neat box and the first thing I liked about this product is how compact it is. All of the blades and choppers pack away inside the main bowl leaving only the whisk and the hand held part out this makes it very easy to store which in my kitchen is always a bonus as I’m always short on cupboard space especially for gadgets.

nutella cheesecake recipe

It’s very easy to assemble too. Basically, the hand held part acts as the motor, it plugs into the mains and clips into the top of the bowl and has a button on the side which you press to spin, whizz, chop or cut the contents. You have to turn the plug off in order to remove it all which is a handy safety feature. The white plastic base also acts to hold the machine still whilst in use.

nutella cheesecake recipe

For the cheesecake, the first part of the recipe is breaking up the biscuits, adding the melted butter and hazelnuts and mixing together to form the base.

nutella cheesecake recipe

The second part was mixing the cream cheese with the Nutella and pouring over the base to set.

nutella cheesecake recipe

The third part was sprinkling the chopped hazelnuts on top – I must confess to buying ready chopped but had that not been possible I could have easily chopped whole hazelnuts in my Aura 6 in 1 blender.

Verdict

Easy to use, very compact and reasonably priced RRP £64.99 but I noticed it’s on offer for £49.99 right now

Nutella Cheesecake - Nigella recipe
 
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A simple dessert to make which is a crowd pleaser and especially good for all chocolate lovers. simple to make.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Serves: 8 - 10
Ingredients
  • 250g digestive biscuits
  • 75 g soft unsalted butter
  • 1 x 400 jar of Nutella
  • 100g chopped hazelnuts
  • 500 g cream cheese
  • 60g icing sugar
Instructions
  1. Break the digestives into the bowl of the Aura 6 in 1, add the melted butter (30 seconds in the microwave) and 1 tbsp Nutella and blitz until it starts to clump together. Add 3 tbsp hazelnuts and continue to pulse until you have a damp, sandy mixture.
  2. Tip into a 23cm (9") springfrom tin and press into the base using the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge and chill.
  3. Beat the cream and icing sugar until smooth and then add the remaining Nutella to the mixture. Beat until combined.
  4. Place the Nutella cream cheeses mixture on top of the biscuit base, Scatter over the remaining chopped hazelnuts on top and place the tin in the fridge for at least four hours.
  5. Before serving, use a knife to run around the edge of the cheesecake before loosening the tin, place on a plate and decorate with a strawberry or two.
  6. This is a rich dessert, small portions are better.
 

nutella cheesecake recipe

Make an easy fruit Christmas tree

Christmas fruit treeLots of fabulous food photos flying around various social media channels at this time of year hoping to inspire you and one that caught my eye was the Christmas tree made entirely out of fruit!

It looked so gorgeous, so healthy and such a simple idea that I knew at some point I would have to try it.

With the family visiting at the weekend and a total of 7 children to cater for what could be better than fruit? To make it even more appealing a Christmas tree made out of fruit.

How to make an easy fruit Christmas tree

You will need:

Time to assemble – about 30 minutes Time to eat – about 10 minutes :)

1 large apple
1 large carrot
LOTS of toothpicks
2 punnets of strawberries
1 punnet of mixed coloured seedless grapes
2 punnets of blueberries
4 kiwi
1/2 honeydew melon for the stars
Mint or parsley as filler

Cut a flat base on the apple to stand your tree up and cut out the core leaving a hole central to stick your carrot in. This will act as the tree trunk

Insert your toothpicks around the base working upwards and making the toothpicks shorter the higher you get. this is just a fraction of the toothpicks you will need shown in the photo.

christmas fruit tree

Start with the largest fruits and work your way evenly around the tree poking the fruit onto the ends of the toothpicks.

Cut your melon into 1.5 cm slices and with a star cookie cutter cut out one large star for the top of the tree and as many little ones as you can, use the remaining melon in cubes and add to the tree as a filler of gaps and an additional colour.

Add the rest of the fruit, cut the kiwi into thick strips – too thin and it will fall apart.

Finally add mint or parsley leaves to fill in the gaps and push blueberries into any holes where you can still see the carrot.

The assembly will take at least half an hour so if your sister in law pops into the kitchen and asks if she can do anything say yes and pass her the toothpicks and strawberries to get her started :) Failing that make sure it’s prepared in advance and kept in a cool place.

Tips

  • Find a way of securing the apple onto the base to prevent it sliding (royal icing?)
  • Work with the biggest fruits first and then plug holes with berries and mint/parsley leaves

 

Silent Sunday

Christmas fruit tree

Easy Pavlova recipe: Strawberry and blueberry pavlova

Pavlova strawberry and blueberry

 

You should know by now that when I give you a recipe it’s going to be simple, I’m going to make you look like a domestic goddess with this easy Pavlova recipe.

It’s been a long time that I wanted to try my hand at a Pavlova recipe but I will admit to being scared, after all my mum used to make The Best One Ever every summer in my childhood, could I make one like that too?

I phoned her, I had my recipe in front of me from a very reputable cook book and I wanted to run it past her to make sure it was a good one.

She listened as I reeled off the ingredients and then broke in ‘Oh no, I don’t do it like that. I have Aunty Margaret’s traditional New Zealand recipe that’s a cinch to make. It has NEVER failed me once in the past 20 years I’ve been using it.

Aunty Margaret lives in New Zealand. When my great grandfather left Hungary with his children early 1900’s, one of his sons Tebor remained in NZ and lived all of his life there as a respected architect, I have a branch of family tree out there which I hope to visit one day.

vegemitemix tweet

 

In fact it wasn’t until Vegemitemix replying to my Tweet above that I realised Pavlova is an New Zealand dish! Why was I thinking Russian then? Maybe that’s Pavlova’s dogs?

Anyway allow me to give you my easy Pavlova recipe

Strawberry and Blueberry Pavolva

4 egg whites
500g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp white vinegar
5 tbsps boiling water
 
Topping
1 large carton of double or whipping cream
Strawberries
Blueberries

First preheat the oven to 220C then mark a NON STICK piece of baking parchment with a circle about 20 – 25 cms in diameter and place on a baking sheet

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk

whisking egg whites for pavlova

and whisk

 whisking egg whites

and whisk

whisking egg whites

and whisk for about 10 minutes

whisking egg whites

until you have peaks in your mixture

pavlova egg white peaks

Spread your mixture inside the circle, use a spatula to clean out the bowl and then lick your fingers

Pavlova ready for the oven

Place your pavlova in the heated oven and TURN THE OVEN OFF

pavlova ready to decorate

If you want a marshmallowy centre take out of the turned off oven after 1 and 1/2 hours. If you want a crunchier centre leave in for 2 hours.

Once ready peel off the parchment paper and place on your serving dish

Strawberry and blueberry pavlova

For the topping, whisk the cream and place on top and then sprinkle with the fruit of your choice here strawberries and blueberries

Pavlova close up

Tips

I know my oven has a hot point at the back, I discovered it has a cooler point at the front as my pavlova after 1 and half hours was still slightly uncooked in that corner so I whacked the oven back on 150C and let it dry out a bit. It was perfect, don’t be afraid to do this

Resolution – possibly a new oven but definitely trying this again