Mince & Cherry Pies with Honey Jack Daniel’s

A Christmas favorite with a twist

With Christmas fast approaching, I thought I’d start playing with some ideas for the season, and being a fan of Mince Pies, decided to put my own twist on this popular classic, with Glace Cherries and (typically) a splash of Honey Jack Daniel’s.

CIMG7886

I used:
1 375g pre-made Puff Pastry sheet (from which I was able to make 12 pies)
1 jar of Traditional Mincemeat (though I didn’t use the whole jar)
Glace Cherries
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey

CIMG7898

Cut out the pastry bases with a cookie cutter, and place in a buttered baking tray, along with a cherry in each one.

CIMG7768

Spoon out some mincemeat meat into a bowl, and add a splash or two of JD, just enough so that it mixes in with the mince without making it too runny. Spoon this mix into each pie.

CIMG7771

Cut out the pastry tops with a smaller cookie cutter, place on top of each, then apply a milk wash.

CIMG7781

Place in the middle of a pre-heated oven at gas mark 6 (400 degrees F) for 20 minutes.

CIMG7782

Done! Quick and easy, ideal for snacks, dessert or party food. I’m already looking forward to making more this year.

CIMG7785

CIMG7798

CIMG7892

Oh and Batman appreciated them too.

CIMG7885

Advertisements

Peanut Milk Cocktails

THAT’S A LOT OF NUTS!*

Did you know that ‘Peanut-flavoured Milk’ was a thing, or that it’s possible to make cocktails using peanut butter? I was recently tagged in a Facebook post by a friend, who’d bought a ‘Peanut Butter Martini’ from a local restaurant and wanted to show me. Feeling inspired, I Googled and found there were (at least) three different recipes for it – thought I’d then give it a go, and after much searching around, finally found somewhere that stocked that aforementioned peanut-flavoured drink – I knew I wasn’t imagining it!

Decided to experiment and create a few concoctions….

‘Peanut Martini’

Created at a friend’s house, using three cartoons of peanut milk we were able to produce a pitcher of this for five glasses.

Peanut-flavoured Milk
Disaronno Amaretto
Irish Cream
Topped with a digestive biscuit rim.

12285973_10153698835541069_9553140_n

‘The BaNutty’

‘BaNutty’ sounded like an appropriate name!

Peanut-flavored Milk
A dash of Irish Cream
Banana-flavoured milkshake powder.

CIMG7006

‘The Nutbar’

Went for full nutty theme with this one.

Peanut-flavoured Milk
A shot of Copacabana (Caribbean rum and coconut)
A dash of Disaronno Amaretto
A spoonful of Chocolate-flavoured milkshake powder (required more stirring than the Banana one)

CIMG7016

All went down very well! If you can find it, I recommend it. Have fun experimenting.

*Ten points if you got the Kung Pow reference!

Jack Daniel’s & Cola Jelly Float

Happy Birthday Jasper ‘Jack’ Daniel

What’s a Birthday celebration without jelly and ice cream? Well, for JD’s Birthday this year, I thought I’d create a suitably grown-up version, having recently found out that I can now purchase jelly powder locally – a Jack Daniel’s & Cola Jelly Float, of sorts.

CIMG5702CIMG5704

Using one sachet and the measurements specified, I was able to create three jellies.

CIMG5709

Allowing time to set (I’d recommend overnight at the very least), here’s how it turned out – great! I was happy with the result.

CIMG5720

Happy Birthday Jasper Newton ‘Jack’ Daniel, and thanks – long may you continue to be invited to all celebrations. Cheers!

Battered Mars Bar….and Celebrations

Just a bit of fun with a Scottish idea

I’ve been wanting to try a battered Mars bar for ages (for those unaware, it’s an idea that originated in Scotland’s chip shops in the mid-90s), so thought I’d have a go at doing it myself – in typical fashion though, I wanted to do something different with the idea though, and then I remembered I still had some Celebrations…. By happy coincidence, I attempted this the week before Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day, so I’ve even managed to be topical too – here’s an idea if you fancy doing something different with extra batter mix.

CIMG6763

If, like I have here, you use some mixed chocolates, you can add an element of mystery to it, as it’s impossible to tell the chocolates apart once they’re all battered. NOTE: Please do bear that in mind beforehand, if you know people with nut/other allergies.

Batter mix:
125g plain flour (plus extra flour to coat the chocolates in)
1 egg
A dash of salt
A jug containing 75ml water and 75ml milk

Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl – the batter needs to be thick, so do play around with the measurements if desired.

I used a deep frying pan and a couple of inches of cooking oil. Heat up the oil on your hob, and coat the chocolates in flour. When the pan is sufficiently hot enough (you can use the ‘cocktail stick test’ to judge – place one end in the oil, and watch for bubbles to appear), dip each chocolate in the batter mix, then place in the pan. Allow to cook until the batter coating is golden brown, then carefully remove with tongs and repeat with each chocolate.

CIMG6764CIMG6770CIMG6775CIMG6783CIMG6779

Tasted great! I have friends demanding I make more for them too, so looks like I’ll be doing this again in the near future.

Banana-Choc Mystery Cakes

A couple of months ago, Mystel made some cupcakes with Reece’s Pieces as centres, and that inspired me to try this, instead using a tin of mixed chocolates. With chocolate being available absolutely everywhere at this time of year, I thought I’d try doing something a little different with them. Modifying this recipe here http://www.thelondoner.me/2012/07/nutella-swirl-banana-muffins.html (not for the first time – I’ve previously attempted Banoffee and Vanilla Vodka cakes based on that, I might blog that one another time), this is the method I used. The ‘mystery’ part comes in not knowing which chocolate will be in the centre until you take a bite.

For the banana mix, much of it is identical to that recipe above (removing the Nutella section), but I used four bananas, made them more cupcake-sized, and adjusted the cooking time accordingly.

230 grams (1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour

150 grams (3/4 cup) granulated white sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 large free range eggs, lightly beaten

113 grams (1/2 cup) melted unsalted butter

4 large ripe bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

A tin of mixed chocolates of your choice – I chose Celebrations.

Using these measurements, you’ll be able to make 26-28 cupcakes.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 (180C or 350F). In one bowl combine your flour, sugar & salt. In another combine your eggs, butter, mashed bananas & vanilla. Tip one into the other and gently fold together, but don’t worry so much about making a smooth mix – it still needs to be lumpy.

CIMG6365CIMG6368

Add a small amount of the mixture to each cake case, then place a chocolate on top, then add further mixture in to cover – make sure that each is covered properly, as it can lead to some mess come cooking time, as I admittedly discovered!

Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, though do check after 25 minutes, testing with a knife through the cake part (not the centre) to ensure it is cooked through. The knife should come out clean. Below are examples of how mine turned out – there were a few where the chocolate had come through to the top (being a first time experiment, I expected one or two slight errors) but overall I was pleased with how they turned out.

CIMG6377
CIMG6382

CIMG6380

One or two messy ones – whoops! Still tasted great.

CIMG6383

The final result!