Monday, 2 December 2013

In My Kitchen

I've been having so much fun these last few weeks really getting to know my new kitchen. As I found the last time we moved, every oven has its own eccentricities that must be accommodated and this one is a little bottom heavy on the heat so it took me a while to get into my stride.

Chestnut and chocolate cake

The first successful cake came in the form of a gluten free Chestnut and Chocolate Cake with a chocolate topping.
I adapted the amounts to what I had in my cupboard (250g chestnut puree, 60g butter, 2 eggs, 30g chestnut flour). The result was a very moist and delicious cake that I will definitely repeat and it wasn't crumbly as most gluten free cakes, which was pleasing, and I think it went down well with our guests.

Bratwurst bag

We absolutely adored this braised cabbage recipe with bratwurst sausages from the German Christmas market. It's not easy to sell the idea of cabbage to a thirteen year old but it was a big success!

Colourful Christmas cake ingredients

I finally caught up and made my Christmas cake. I purchased some different coloured glace cherries and some gorgeous candied citrus peel from the health food shop and it was such a cheerful looking mix. 
I went for a square cake this year - not quite as diverse as last years effort but I realised I'd never made a square one before.  I'm enjoying thinking up ideas for how to decorate it in a few weeks time but first it needs a bit of feeding and maturing.

Making cranberry sauce

Cranberries were on offer when I purchased them for Thanksgiving so I used the extra amount to make a homemade cranberry sauce to serve with Christmas dinner after being inspired by Gail's post on making cranberry jam

Homemade Cranberry and orange sauce

I used half the amount of sugar to fruit and added the juice and zest of an orange and a bit of water, cooked it down and decanted into a jar - so simple! I wonder why I have never bothered before.

Advent treats 2013

This weekend I made some simple chocolates to go in Cameron's advent calendar which consisted simply of sprinkles and white chocolate (Cameron's favourite kind). I purchased a new chocolate mold recently with a Lakeland birthday voucher and the different shapes are fun to work with. They are a bit rustic but I'm quite pleased with the wintery look of them.

Advent calendar

If you got this far through the post then well done! And Happy December! You'll notice I have spruced the place up for advent. I'm so excited about the coming of Christmas and all that it brings. I'm enjoying day dreaming about where to place our decorations in the new house. It's all good fun!

Advent treats waiting for their day

What's going on in your kitchen at the moment?


  1. I love the new banner, very festive :-) I haven't really made a start yet, must get a wriggle on, as my mum used to say :-)

  2. We are still eating through the leftovers from Thanksgiving. Love that cake and wish I could just have a wee bite :)

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  4. Lovely new festive banner! Nice cake too, I like the sound of chestnut puree. I made my Christmas cake last weekend and I made more mincemeat this weekend, just in case I run out! My husband makes cranberry, thyme and apple sauce, more like a jam really, it's absolutely fantastic on turkey sarnies. That's a great Advent calendar and I'm a sucker for white chocolate too, my favourite!


  5. Looking forward to seeing photos of christmas decorating. I'm looking forward to visiting the German Christmas market in Manchedter on Friday morning. I baked some of the Christmas ginger biscuits from Nigel Slater's recipe on Sunday, they're delicious. Good to see you have mastered your new oven. Liz x

  6. Your cake looks delicious. I know what you mean about oven's. We once had one that looked wonderful but was useless for baking. I think Cameron's advent calendar looks lovely and even better with homemade chocolates.
    Ali x

  7. We got the same chocolate mould last year to make chocolates for gran, will no doubt use it again this year :)

    Like your site, very Christmassy!

  8. Your new banner looks fantastic! We are gearing up for our usual hot Christmas over here in Australia, going to my Daughter's on the day, we chatted today about having prawns, salad, cold chicken etc so different to the U.K.! Love reading your blog, Kathryn

  9. Hi Hannah, glad you made the jam it is delicious on thick crunchy toast! Your chocolates look great I have been wanting to try to make some, lakeland also do a chocolate sleigh mold.


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