I have spoilt you and given you two recipes this month, one sweet one savoury!
Makes one 20cm. panforte
100g. plain flour
40g. cocoa powder
good pinch of salt
1 tbsp. gd. cinnamon
2 tsps. gd. ginger
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. freshly gd. black pepper (optional but gives good heat)
300g. assorted whole nuts (I used almonds and hazelnuts)
100g. candied peel
100g. dark chocolate buttons, or dark chocolate chopped
200g. caster sugar
100g. runny honey
Preheat the oven to 170C / 150C fan / Gas 3 1/2 and line a 21cm. round, loose-bottomed or springform tin with baking parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, spices, nuts and candied peel. Mix to combine.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water or use a microwave set to low-medium, giving the chocolate short, sharp bursts until melted.
Heat the sugar and honey in a small pan over a moderate heat, stirring to help the sugar dissolve, then rapidly boil for 45 to 60 seconds.
Remove from the heat, stir in the mincemeat and pour this mixture over the melted chocolate, stirring to combine.
Pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix well. The mixture should be very sticky and dense. Tip into the prepared tin and press to flatten it out (use wet hands if you like).
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is firm to the touch and no traces of chocolate are left on your hand when you touch it. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before removing from the tin. It will keep for a month in an air tight container. Wrap whole or in wedges to give as a gift.
SPICY TURKEY FAJITAS – Serves 6
A good way to use left over turkey. Marinate it for up to 24 hours before cooking.
about 700g. cooked turkey, cut into thin strips
juice of 2 limes
a dash of Tabasco
2 tbsps. olive oil, plus a little extra
salt and pepper
12 fajitas or tortillas
8 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
1 large red pepper thinly sliced
3/4 tsp. each of gd. coriander, turmeric and paprika
soured cream or creme fraiche, romaine or Cos lettuce, mango chutney
Preheat oven to 160C / 140C fan / gas 3.
Marinate the turkey with the lime juice, Tabasco, olive oil, salt and pepper, for at least 30 minutes. Wrap the 12 fajitas or tortillas in foil and heat for 5 minutes in the oven.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the spring onions and pepper until cooked. Add the turkey to the pan with the spices and fry for a further few minutes. Pour over any remaining marinade and cook for a further minute.
Put the soured cream or creme fraiche, lettuce and mango chutney in 3 separate bowls. Transfer the fajitas to a basket and spoon the meat into a warm serving dish. Everybody helps themselves. Spread half the fajita with mango chutney, sour cream, lettuce and turkey and vegetables. Roll up and enjoy.
Here’s wishing you all a happy Christmas and good cooking.