Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Ginger Log Recipe

This delightful and simple vegetarian recipe can be served as both a cake and as a dessert. If you omit the sherry, it also makes a great centrepiece for a children's party.

You can substitute shop-bought ginger biscuits (cookies) for the home-made ones, or simply add ground ginger to your favourite cookie recipe to produce them.

Easy, tasty and guaranteed to go down a treat this ginger log is a must for your recipe collection!

Ginger Log Recipe

Serves: 6
Ginger, log, ginger biscuits sandwiched with pineapple cream, topped with cream and decorated with crushed nuts and pineapple pieces


200g (7 oz) ginger biscuits (cookies)
60ml (1/4 cup) sherry
280ml (1 3/4 cups) double cream
225g (8 oz) tin of pineapple chunks
toasted chopped nuts, to garnish


Whip the cream in a bowl until thick then divide into two equal portions.

Drain the pineapple chunks, divide into two portions and chop one portion very finely. Mix the chopped pineapple into half the cream.

Pour a little of the sherry into a shallow saucer. Take the biscuits in turn and briefly dip into the sherry. Now, using the cream and pineapple blend sandwich the ginger biscuits together to form a log.

Arrange this log on a serving dish and cover with the remaining whipped cream (the half without the pineapple). Spread the cream evenly over the ginger biscuit log with a palette knife, then lift the cream into peaks with a fork.

Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours then sprinkle over the chopped nuts and decorate with the remaining pineapple chunks.

Serve sliced at a bias (ie diagonally). You can substitute toasted coconut for the chopped nuts as a topping.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Orange and Ginger Pudding Recipe

Today's recipe is for another classic steamed pudding. Full of citrus and ginger flavour, yet light and quite healthy. With autumn fast approaching, this recipe is an ideal pick-me up and I guarantee that it will soon become a family favourite.

It simply has to be served with lashings of hot vanilla custard. But if you really, must, it also works with cold cream!

Orange and Ginger Pudding Recipe

Serves: 4–6
orange and ginger steamed pudding, shown with a slice removed


125g (5 oz) butter
100g (4 oz) caster sugar
2 eggs, separated
2 tsp finely-grated orange zest
120g (1 cup) self-raising flour
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp preserved ginger, chopped


Using an electric whisk, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating thoroughly to combine after each addition. Stir in the orange zest and beat until combined.

Turn the mixture into a large bowl then, using a metal spoon, fold in the sifted flour, orange juice and ginger. Stir the mixture until just combined.

Beat the egg whites in a small mixing bowl until stiff and glossy then fold lightly into the batter.

Grease a 1l pudding basin and line the base with greaseproof (waxed) paper. Spoon in the batter, cover with a sheet of greased greaseproof paper (pleat this in the centre) then cover with a double layer of kitchen foil. Tie this in place then set the pudding basin either in a steamer basket or on a trivet in a large pan. Either steam or cook in boiling water for about 75 minutes. During this time, ensure that the pan does not boil dry.

At the end of the cooking time, unwrap the pudding and turn out onto a serving plate. Serve hot with custard.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Chicken Piri-piri Recipe

Although most closely associated with Mozambique (where it's known as Frango com Piri-piri) and Angola (where it's known as Frango Grelhado Piri Piri), this is a dish that's also made its way to neighbouring South Africa, where it's become part of South Africa's cuisine (particularly braai [barbecue]).

Chicken Piri-piri Recipe

Origin: South Africa
Serves: 4

Chicken-piri piri, spatchcocked chicken cooking on a barbecue


2 large spatchcocked chickens (opened down the back and opened out flat)
8 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground piri-piri chillies (or cayenne pepper)
65ml (1/4 cup) piri-piri oil
400ml (1 tin) coconut milk
juice of 2 large lemons
1 tsp freshly-ground black pepper


Wash the chicken and pat dry with kitchen paper.

In a bowl, mix together the garlic, ground chillies, coconut milk, piri-piri oil and lemon juice. Season with the black pepper. Place the chicken in a large plastic bag and pour in the coconut milk marinade. Seal the bag closes and turn to ensure that chicken is evenly covered in the marinade.

Set aside in the refrigerator to marinate over night (turn from time to time to ensure even marinating). Remove the chicken from the marinade and sit on a roasting rack set in a roasting tin. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 200ºC and cook for 30 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 180ºC and continue cooking for 60 minutes more, turning the chicken frequently and basting with the remaining marinade as you do so. 

Alternatively, cook on your barbecue (braai) over medium-hot coals, turning frequently and basting with the marinade as the chicken cooks.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Chorizo Chili Recipe

As I'm busy editing and ammending Spanish recipes (well over 500) for my main Celtnet site's Spanish Recipes and Cookery information page, I will be adding the odd recipe to this blog as well. Today's recipe is one of those 'spare' Spanish ones that has not gone into the main site.

Why am I presenting it, because I love chilis and I really love spicy Spanish chorizo sausage. As this modern Spanish dish is a fusion of the two I thought it an opportunity I could not miss to prepare it and then to make it available on this blog.

Chorizo Chili Recipe

Origin: Spain
Serves: 4

Chorizo chilli dish from Spain, served in a bowl with yoghurt, tortilla chips and green salad

2 chorizo sausages (about 100g [3 1/2 oz] apiece), chopped
1 red onion, chopped
200g (7 oz) minced (ground) meat
400g (15 oz) tin of red kidney beans
250g (9 1/4 oz) tinned, diced, plum tomatoes
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp hot cilli powder
4 tbsp olive oil

To Accompany:

200ml (4/5 cup) Greek-style yoghurt
tortilla chips
salad greens


Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the red onion and chorizo and fry for about 4 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Crumble of the minced meat and stir-fry the mixture until the meat is nicely browned and cooked through.

Scatter over the cumin, paprika and chilli powder then add the tomatoes and kidney beans. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover the pot and cook gently for 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Adjust the seasonings to taste and serve accompanied by the yoghurt, tortilla chips and salad greens.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Traditional Rich Christmas Pudding Recipe

It might seem strange, putting up a recipe for a Christmas pudding in September, but traditional Christmas puddings need time to mature (just like Christmas cakes) and if you have not thought about making these yet, then it really is time to think about them now.

This recipe is enough to make 2 x 900g (2 lb) and 1 x 450g (1 lb) Christmas puddings.

Traditional Rich Christmas Pudding Recipe

Serves: 20+
Traditional steamed rich christmas pudding topped with white sauce and a sprig of holly


225g (8 oz) currants
225g (8 oz) sultanas
225g (8 oz) seedless raisins
150g (5 oz) candied peel, chopped
450g (1 lb) dark brown sugar
50g (2 oz) blanched almonds, chopped
225g (8 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
225g (8 oz) shredded suet
75g (3 oz) plain flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
50g (2 oz) carrot, minced
100g (4 oz) cooking apples, peeled, cored and minced
finely-grated zest of 1 lemon
finely-grated zest of 2 limes
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp brandy
3 large eggs, beaten


Pick over the fruit then place in a bowl and mix with the citrus zests. Pour in the citrus juices and brandy then set aside to marinate over night.

The following day, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly to combine.

Divide the pudding mixture between 2 well-buttered 1.7l (3 pint) and 1 x 700ml (1 1/4 pint) pudding basins. Cover the tops of basins with buttered greaseproof (waxed) paper. Tie this securely in place then cover with a double layer of kitchen foil. Tie another piece of string around the top of each basin, making a loop above the basin as a handle.

Sit a trivet or an upturned place in a large pan. Place a pudding on top then pour in enough boiling water to come 2/3 of the way up the sides of the basin. Bring to a boil, cover and boil the pudding steadily for 7 hours, adding more boiling water as needed to prevent the pan from boiling dry.

Remove the pudding from the saucepan and set aside to cool completely. Replace the greaseproof paper with fresh paper and re-cover the pudding in a double layer of kitchen foil. Set aside in a cool place to mature for at least 2 months (3 or even 4 is better) before preparing and serving.

To serve, boil the pudding for 2 1/2 hours before turning out of the pudding basin, slicing and serving (serve accompanied by brandy butter or white butter sauce).
For hundreds more Christman recipes, both traditional and modern (including recipes for a complete Victorian Christmas feast), why not visit Celtnet's Christmas Recipes and information page?

UPDATE! My Big Book of Christmas Recipes recipes book has just been published in a completely new and revised edition for Amazon Kindle!

This is the largest collection of traditional and modern Christmas and Christmas-based recipes ever assembled. With over 500 Christmas and Christmas-themed recipes divided into all the classic dish types as well as recipe suggestions on using up those Christmas leftovers.

You get chapters on Christmas baing, the Christmas feast itself, accompaniments, sauces, edible gifts, sweets and candies, puddings, biscuits, cakes, accompaniments and much more.

No only are traditional Christma recipes, but thare are also other classic Christmas dishes sourced from around the globe.

The book finishes with a section on making the most of your Christmas left overs, with everything from using up the last of the turkey and roast vegetables to uses for left-over Christmas pudding and Christmas cake.

Every classic and traditional curry type is dealt with in this ebook! Get you copy today and help this blog and the Celtnet Recipes website keep going.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Luxury Eccles Cakes Recipe

Eccles cakes, originating in Lancashire, England, are one of my favourite tea-time treats. The basic eccles cake is a blend of currants, honey and sugar or syrup baked in a puff pastry shell. Of course, the basic recipe can be extended and adapted any way you wish. I fill mine with mincemeat for Christmas, or with other dried fruit (try dried pumpkin, papaya, currants and cranberries for Halloween). Here is a luxury version using exotic dried fruit that raises the humble Eccles cake into smoething altogether more exciting and unusual.

Luxury Eccles Cakes Recipe

Serves: 12

Luxury eccles cakes. Three pastries of mixed dried fruit in a puff pastry shell, one broken open


175g (6 oz) mixed dried fruit (should contain blueberries and cranberries)
50g (2 oz) dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)
1/2 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
2 tbsp brandy or rum
40g (1 1/2 oz) butter
500g (1 lb) packet of puff pastry, thawed if frozen
1 egg, beaten

caster sugar, for dusting


In a large bowl, mix together the dried fruit, sugar, spices, lemon zest, brandy or rum and the butter.

Turn the puff pastry onto a lightly-floured work surface and roll out to 3mm (1/6 in) thick. Use a 9cm (3 1/2 in) plain round cutter to stamp as many rounds as you can from the pastry (re-roll any pastry scraps and stamp out more rounds --- you need 12 in all).

Place a rounded teaspoon of the fruit filling in the centre of each pastry circle. Brush around the edges with water then bring the edges up and over the filling, pinching firmly together to seal.

Turn the filled pastry rounds over and use a rolling pin to gently roll them out into 7.5cm (3 in) rounds.

Arrange the Eccles cakes on greased baking trays and brush lightly with beaten egg. Lightly score the tops diagonally three times. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 220ºC and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the Eccles cakes are well risen, golden brown on top and crisp to the touch.

Remove from the oven and sift over some caster sugar whilst still hot.

Either eat warm, or leave until cold before serving.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Chorizo al Sidro (Chorizo with Cider) Recipe

It's been a little while since I last posted a recipe on this blog. There are many reasons for this, like being busy on my main website, and moving..

Still I'm back now, and to celebrate the addition of a new Spanish recipes section to my main Celtnet site, today I have a classic Spanish recipe for you, a snack or appetizer of chorizo sausage cooked in cider. Simple to make, yet great to serve with drinks.

Chorizo al Sidro (Chorizo with Cider) Recipe

Origin: Spain
Serves: 4-6
Chorizo cooked in cider served as an appetizer


4 chorizo sausages
1 bottle (500ml [2 cups]) of cider
olive oil


Slice the chorizo sausages into rounds about 5mm (1/4 in) thick.

Heat about 4 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. Add the chorizo pieces and fry gently until they are lightly browned on both sides and have begun to release their paprika-coloured oil. Add the cider and bring just to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for a few minutes, stirring frequently.

Turn into a warmed bowl and serve with cocktail sticks.
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