Right, I think I’ve got my cooking schedule figured out for this Christmas. Tomorrow should bring the turkey and the vast, horrible tub of guts, neck and livers for the turkey stock. So tomorrow I have to make and clarify the stock and probably do a few mini quiches for Friday night.
Then Christmas Eve morning is the tiramisu and Christmas Eve proper is for the turkey prep, pigs in blankets, veggie peeling and table setting. That should give me ample time to give way to Sophoclean screams of despair on Christmas morning when I suspect that the roast potatoes are never going to be done in time and the brussel sprouts are already turning a grim shade of khaki.
I’m really just writing all this down to get it straight in my head. I’m not exactly Nigella in the kitchen – all dimples, provocatively floured bosom and tempting tastes. I’m more like Gordon Ramsay, except with a nicer complexion and a far worse temper.
There are certain things life throws at you – death, cancer, nervous breakdowns, near destitution – and I can deal with these things reasonably stoically. This is always surprising to people who have seen me when my lemon meringue pie fails to rise. Man openly admits to living in fear every time I make Yorkshire puddings – what if the Yorkshire puddings collapse and exactly how mental is she going to go?
So far this is an unknown quantity because my Yorkshire puddings have never yet collapsed. (Whisk hard, but whisk once. Don’t be tempted to have a second go or you might knock out all the air you whisked in the first time. Lighten the batter with a little water rather than all milk. Plain flour, blast furnace oven, smoking hot fat. Ten to fifteen minutes – DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR.)
So, yeah. It’s Christmas and everyone is afraid of me – which is normal. Have a recipe.
1-2 egg yolks
1/2 pint double cream
250g tub of mascarpone cheese
Sponge finger biscuits or amaretti biscuits
Cocoa powder and grated dark chocolate.
1. Scald the cream with the vanilla pod and simmer slowly to allow the vanilla to infuse the cream. Allow to cool.
2. Mix egg yolks and sugar to taste in a saucepan (off heat) then slowly add the cream, bringing the custard up to temperature so that it thickens. Do not boil.
3. Flavour the custard with marsala wine and add the mascarpone cheese. When the cheese is melted, take off the heat.
4. Make industrial strength espresso and add amaretto.
5. Dip the sponge fingers in the espresso and amaretto mixture and layer in the bottom of a dish. Add a layer of custard, top with powdered cocoa and repeat. Top the final layer of cocoa with grated chocolate and leave overnight in the fridge to set, which should give you ample time to think up lies to tell your cardiologist.
I shall probably not post until after Christmas now, so everyone have a merry thingmas and thank you for reading. It’s been a weird old year, hasn’t it? I’ve got something weird of my own going on, something I never imagined I’d ever be doing even two years ago. It is very exciting and very frightening and I’ll be sure to let you all know about it when it does happen.
I’ll leave you with one thing it is definitely not; it’s not burlesque. Do not get me started on burlesque.