Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Would you like some more pudding?

The in-laws had gone to midday mass when we rocked up to their house for Christmas lunch, so we took a detour to Killiney beach to while away some time:

It's mainly made up of pebbles, which made for an interesting experience as I was wearing heels (a very rare occurence, let me tell you) and didn't have any boots in the car (curses!), so off I wobbled on Mr. B's arm to take in some sea air:

Along the way, we saw this young guy, who went for a bracing Christmas Day dip in the freezing cold water (that's his dad on the right-hand side, waiting with towel in hand):

He was the only Christmas dipper we saw, but it's quite a popular past-time both in Ireland and the UK. (It's a tradition/hangover cure in Edinburgh, when some brave souls go for a swim in the Firth of Forth on New Year's Day.) We declined the dad's suggestion that we try it out, despite his offer of a spare towel. Maybe another time :-)

Then we went back to enjoy Christmas dinner with the family. We all brought starters or desserts to help out, as there were eight adults and six kids in total, so asking one person to do all the cooking would have been insane.

Mr B's brother made the suprise hit of the day - curried banana soup. Don't pull a face, it really works! I have the recipe and will make it for the blog some day soon. He also brought along an outstanding sticky toffee pudding, while Mr B whipped up the family trifle (sponge, lashings of sherry, custard, some more sherry, cream, another splash of sherry, topped off with grated chocolate):

If a policeman breathalysed you after eating this pud, the counter would go through the roof.

As well as the Daring Bakers yule log, I made an extremely creamy lime-mascarpone cheesecake, based on a recipe from an old Sainsbury' advert. I swear it's actually a very light green in colour, but all the pictures came out more creamy-yellow:

We're going to be eating pudding for the next month at least...

What about you guys? What do you have for dessert on Christmas Day? Traditional plum pudding and Xmas cake (which were also present at our meal)? Or do you hate the sight of brandy-soaked, fruit-stuffed, stodgy pudding and go for something else altogether?

Lime-marscapone cheesecake adapted from a Sainsbury's advert of yester-year

Serves 12

You'll need:

100g butter, melted
400g gingersnap biscuits

4x 250g tubs of mascarpone cheese
zest and juice of 4 limes
80g icing sugar, sifted

1. Crush the gingersnap biscuits into crumbs - either in a food processor or by hand (there's much therapy to be had in whacking a bag of biscuits with a rolling pin).

2. Mix the biscuit crumbs and melted butter together and then spread across the base of a 9-inch round cake tin (preferable springform, as this makes it easier to get the finished cheesecake out of the tin). Put in the fridge to cool for 20 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the mascarpone cheese, the lime zest and juice, and the icing sugar.

4. Spread the mascarpone mix across the top of the firmed-up biscuit base and use a fork to make a pattern on top. Put back in the fridge for at least two or three hours before serving.

Cook's notes

The original cheesecake recipe was only for a 7-inch tin. If you'd like to make this smaller version, just halve the amounts given in the recipe above.

I think the original version also stipulated something about frosted grapes and chocolate leaves for decoration - something I've never done but it would look great for presentation purposes.


Trekkie said...

Glad you had a fantastic day. Here at Casa Spencer, we noshed on
Roast Quorn, roast potatoes, roast parsnips with a honey mustard glaze, carrots with a honey mustard glaze, brussel sprouts with chestnuts and the obligatory honey mustard glaze, Andy's stuffing, veg gravy & cranberry sauce.
Afters was trifle and mince pies.
Left the cake till later as we were seriously in danger of exploding at this point!!!!

Trekkie said...

Sorry, I forgot to say that I'll send you the cheesecake recipe once I dig it out.


Jen said...

Hey Trekkie.

That all sounds delicious!

We also waited a bit before tackling the pudding mountain :-) And we're still working our way through it... Groan. Time to loosen the belts...

Looking forward to the cheesecake recipe :-)

winedeb said...

Wow Jen, you guys sure had a big day on Christmas. When I started reading your post, I was just wondering if someone would go into the water - and yep! That water has to be ice cold! Even here in the Keys the water temp is about 70 degrees, which is way too cool for me! Would definately sober one up! Glad you had a great Christmas and would have loved to see you navigate that rocky beach in heels!!!

Jen said...

Hi Winedeb.

It was one big, long, food-filled day... We all rolled away groaning from the table.

That water was definitely too chilly for any kind of aquatic activity! I couldn't tell you exactly how cold it was though, as I wasn't keen on getting close enough to find out!

The joke of it is, I never wear heels if I can help it - I'm a walking-shoe kind of girl - but it was Christmas Day, so I thought I'd make an effort... And then on the one day when I wasn't wearing my usual stompy boots, I ended up unexpectedly on the beach... Can't win :-)

English Mum said...

Ooh that cheesecake looks fab. Went next door for a little extra face stuffing yesterday and she produced the most beautiful Baileys Cheesecake - really light and yummy. Got the recipe so will be trying it out soon. Love the blog!! x

Jen said...

Thanks English Mum!

Remember those Sainsbury's ads from ooh, the early 90s, where they said things like 'take two tubs of mascarpone, a couple of lime etc, etc...'? That's where this recipe comes from. I think it was one of the girls from The House of Elliot who did the voiceover for the cheesecake. How sad that I remember all this...

Baileys cheesecake also sounds delicious. Bring it on!