Monday, 20 December 2010
Adapted recipe from The Cook and The Chef, ABC Television
1L red wine (I used a clean skin merlot)
120ml orange juice
60g raw sugar
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
peelings of half a lemon
1. Bring the sugar, spices and orange juice to a boil. Then let this mixture steep for 30 minutes.
2. Finally, pour in the wine and carefully reheat to just under the boiling point.
3. Strain if desired and serve.
Bourke Street Bakery Gingerbread Biscuits
Recipe from Bourke Street Bakery: The Ultimate Baking Companion (can be halved for a smaller quantity)
1.125kg plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
400g unsalted butter
400g soft brown sugar
320g golden syrup (or honey)
4 egg yolks
For the royal icing
1 egg white
250g icing (confectioner's) sugar
1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large bowl and mix on medium speed until pale and creamy. Add the egg and egg yolks in a slow stream and mix until well combined. Add the dry ingredients, in three batches, until thoroughly mixed through.
4. Place the biscuits on baking trays lined with baking paper and bake, in batches, for 15-20 minutes until slightly puffed and golden. Allow to cool on the trays. (Tip - to ensure your cookies hold their shape well while baking you can refrigerate them for 30 minutes prior to baking).
5. Meanwhile, make the royal icing. Sift the icing sugar through a fine sieve. place the egg white in a bowl and add 1 tbsp of the icing sugar. Using a wooden spoon, beat to form a smooth paste, then keep adding the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice - you should be able to squeeze the mixture through a piping bag. Transfer to a piping bag and decorate the biscuits as desired. Once decorated and dry, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
I hope you are all well and truly enjoying the festive season and time with your loved ones over good food and drink!