The best Christmas trifle ever

The best Christmas trifle ever

 

 

I love Christmas and everything involved. I love the build up and the festive feeling of December. I host the Turkey Tasting Theatre at the Ideal Home Show Christmas so you could say by December I am fully prepped with my Turkey skills. http://www.idealhomeshowchristmas.co.uk/london/page/88-theatre-acts/839-lisa-marley 

This year we were lucky enough to be sponsored by Campbell Bothers http://www.campbellbrothers.co.uk  They say: Campbell Brothers offer knowledge and experience through over 100 years working as butchers striving for butchery excellence and expanding into fish & seafood and produce to offer a full range of ingredients to professional kitchens throughout Scotland and North England. Despite the changing times and developments in technology and hi-tec production processes, Campbell Brothers have maintained their traditional values of quality product with a quality service.

Campbell brothers work with Copas Turkeys. http://www.copasturkeys.co.uk and Copas Turkeys supplied all the Turkeys at the show. As a chef I am lucky that I get to work with fantastic suppliers and I can honestly say Copas Turkeys are the best I have EVER tasted. FACT: Copas Turkeys are loved by some of Britain’s best butchers, farm shops, delis and food halls as well as a loyal following of home delivery and farm gate customers. Christmas is truly a day of celebration, relaxation and gaiety which is why, over the last fifty years, we have dedicated each year to producing the finest award winning turkeys in the land, just for Christmas.

 

The Turkeys are a wonderful flavour. Succulent, juicy and full of Christmas joy

The Turkeys are a wonderful flavour. Succulent, juicy and full of Christmas joy

 

Wonderful Copas Turkeys

Wonderful Copas Turkeys

 

We don’t get to see everyone at Christmas and I like to host few ‘Christmas dinners’ before the big day. The one thing I have learned is PREPARATION IS KEY. I made my herb butter two days in advance. I use the herb butter under the skin of the turkey as well as on top. 

Herb Butter:

250g salted butter

Handful sage, chopped

Handful Thyme, Chopped

100g Chopped dried cranberries ( soak in port for 24 hours )

Zest of three clementine

Seasoning

 

Squish and squelch all the ingredients together with your hands. Leave in the fridge but take it out the night before you are going to use it. I put it in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften it. You need it to be soft so you can smear it under the skin. I still had a few lumps in mine but that’s fine. When removing the skin from the breast I use a table spoon to gently ease it away. You may need to make a small incision with a knife to start.

 Halve an onion, apple and clementine and place in the cavity of the Copas Turkey 

 

The herb butter has been smooched under the skin

The herb butter has been smooched under the skin

I then use a lot of foil as I like to make an airtight parcel. Lay the seasoned Copas Turkey on sliced Onion, parsnip, garlic, carrots and potatoes. Add 400ml of white wine or chicken stock.

 

Season and wrapped up

Season and wrapped up

If you have a Copas Turkey you will be sent a pop up cooking timer. Insert your pop-up cooking timer at a point approx 3cm to the right or left of the front tip of the breastbone. The timer should not
touch any bone.

Follow the Copas Turkey PREPARATION tips 

pre-heat the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas 8 (or 210°C for fan ovens). Cook your turkey at this temperature for the first 30 mins & then lower the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 (or 170°C for fan ovens). Total cooking time will be approximately 30-35 mins per kg.
Weight Full Cooking Time Weight Full Cooking Time
2kg 1hr 15mins 7kg 3hr 40mins
3kg 1hr 45mins 8kg 4hrs
4kg 2hr 35mins 9kg 4hr 25mins
5kg 2hr 55mins 10kg 4hr 45mins
6kg 3hr 15mins 11kg 5hrs
Do not overcook your turkey – it should be moist & succulent. It will be ready when the juices run clear when tested with a fork (plunge into the deepest part of the thigh or breast), or when your pop-up cooking timer has popped! If using a thermometer, the internal cooked temperature will be 165°F/74°C.

If following my recipe – Approximately 30mins before the full cooking time, remove foil so the breast bronzes. Make sure you allow the turkey to rest.


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The best Brussels Spouts EVER 

I love this recipe and I hope you try it.

 Brussels Spouts puree

300g Boiled until soft

150ml Creme fresh

Pinch of fresh nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Blitz in a food mixer until a smooth puree is formed.

Brussels Sprouts & Chestnuts

300g Shredded brussels sprouts

100g Vacuum packed chestnuts, crumbled

100g Pancetta

Directions

Bring a large saucepan of waterloo the boiling add the shredded sprouts. Boil for five minutes android.

In a large frying pan, fry the pancetta until crispy. Add in the sprouts and chestnuts. Fry for five minutes whilst constantly stirring.

To Serve on warmed plate:

Drop and drag a large tablespoon of the puree then sprinkle on the brussels sprouts mixture.

 

 

 

I love this recipe

I love this recipe

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With Chestnuts

 

I like to roast my carrots and parsnips in a little olive oil and maple syrup. It really brings out the sweetness

 

I add a little Maple syrup and olive oil

I add a little Maple syrup and olive oil

 

I made the stuffing a few weeks before and froze it. It was delicious!!!

Stuffing:

400g Pork sausage meat

150g pancetta, fried

150g Chestnuts, tinned or vacum packed

Fresh sage, handful chopped

Fresh thyme, handful chopped

100g Port soaked cranberries

150g Mixed nuts, toasted 

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients together and either roll into ball or put into a baking dish. You can freeze or bake on 170c for 4o minutes.

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I set the table with a few silvery decorations. It looked very Christmassy. 

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The sausage in blankets, bread sauce and gravy I bought. Don’t judge. They all tasted great and I did add the cooking juices to the gravy. The roasties were home made with duck fat. Super crispy and fluffy on the inside.

 

The Trifle 

 

 

 

 

The best Christmas trifle ever

The best Christmas trifle ever

 

Clementine prosecco trifle

Clementine prosecco trifle

The trifle does take a while to make but is worth it. Once a year you can pull all the stops out!

Profiteroles 

Line a baking  tray

Pre heat the oven to 200c 

Choux Pastry for the profiteroles:

60g plain flour, on parchment paper 

150ml water

50g butter

2 eggs, beaten

Directions:

Heat the water and butter until the butter melts. Do not boil as the water will evaporate. 

Turn off the heat and add in the flour. Quickly and firmly beat in the flour until a dough is formed and it comes away from the sides.

Beat in the egg a bit at a time ensuring it is fully incorporated before you add more. The paste should glossy.

Sprinkle a touch of water onto the lined baking tray. This will help create steam. Pipe onto a lined baking tray ensuring an 1 1/2 space between each profiteroles. 

Bake for five minutes at 200c and then turn down to 180 oc for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and make a small hole in the back of each profiterole. Allow to cool and dry out.

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Filling 

300ml Whipping cream

Vanilla pod, de seeded 

Directions:

Whisk together the cream and vanilla seeds until soft peaks are formed. Pipe into the profiteroles. Line the bottom of the trifle dish.

Creme Patisserie with orange oil

4 Egg yolks

125g caster sugar

45g cornflour 

300ml full fat milk

200ml double cream 

2 Tsp of orange oil 

I vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds removed.

Directions :

Gently heat the milk, cream, vanilla and orange oil in a heavy bottomed pan.

In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolk, corn flour and sugar 

When the milk and cream mixture is about to boil take off the heat and slowly pour half the mixture into the egg and sugar mixture stirring constantly. 

When incorporated pour back into the saucepan with the remaining creamed milk mixture. Place on a low heat and stir until thickened. Use a large whisk. 

Transfer back into the large bow and contact cling until cooled.

Once ccooled spread over the profiteroles in the trifle dish.

Place in the fridge.

Two stages complete of the trifle

Two stages complete of the trifle

Prosecco jelly

Bottle of prosecco

5 gelatine leaves

2 tsp of orange oil

Juice of 4 large oranges 

Segments of 4 clementines. Pith removed. 

 

Heat a bottle of prosecco

Heat a bottle of prosecco

 

 

Directions:

Boil the orange juice and then add the gelatine leaves. Stir until dissolved.

Heat a bottle of prosecco in a large pan and add in the orange gelatine 

Add in the orange oil

Allow to cool and slightly thicken

Pour over the creme pat in the trifle dish and add in the clementine segments

Place in the fridge to set overnight.

 

Italian Meringue;

4 egg whites

200g caster sugar

100ml water

Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks are formed

( Whilst whisking) In a heavy bottomed pan heat the sugar and water to 121c.

Gently pour into the margin and whisk until the cooled. The meringue should be glossy.

Pipe onto the jelly and use blow torch to brown slightly

 

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I made simple white chocolate decorations and added edible gold glitter. I use the pump action glitters from The Cake Decoration company http://www.thecakedecoratingcompany.co.uk

 

Please do let me know if you make any of these recipes.

Merry Christmas!

 

Lisa x 

 

@cocoabox TWITTER

@lisamarleychef Instagram

 

PS – We made a delicious Turkey Thai curry with the leftovers 

 

 

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In between recipe developing, whilst sat at my computer I love looking at different hotel offers. If you are flexible with your time (as we are, self employed, work most weekends etc) you can find some great deals.

The Hotel Du Vin hotels are beautifully decorated and we always get a warm welcome. We decided to take advantage of the settle in Sunday offer. Starting at £25 the deal is if you spend £75 or more in the bistro you get a room for £25 plus.

They say ‘Nestled in a valley in the Chilterns, you’ll find the delightful 12th century market town of Henley-on-Thames. And on the banks of the Thames itself, with the river gliding slowly by, you’ll find our Henley-on-Thames hotel. Behind the classic Georgian façade of this old brewery, you’ll find a typically warm Hotel du Vin welcome – a tranquil haven to moor the soul. A world-renowned centre of rowing thanks to the Royal Regatta, Henley has quaint architecture, quirky independent shops, and a peppering of museums and galleries. While the annual Festival of Music and Arts is always a cultural treat.’

It’s my good friend, Miceal Murphy’s birthday and as a birthday treat I have booked tickets for us to go to the Henley festival. As I’ve not been to Henley before, Nathan and I thought we would take a Sunday drive and have a look around. It’s only an hours drive from where we live ( traffic permitting) so within no time we were wandering around the pretty village. As ever, we stopped for a sharing board at Cote. Good value and delicious.

Address: New Street , Henley-On-Thames, RG9 2BP

Telephone:  01491877579
Email:  info.henley@hotelduvin.com
Utterly delish!

Utterly delish!

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I found this white house. I think I could live here. It was hidden away but I spotted it.

Lots of people enjoying the sunshine

Lots of people enjoying the sunshine

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We love a pretty vista

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Henley has a shop dedicated to Teddy Bears. This one was my favourite. What a cutie!

Henley is getting ready for the Royal Regatta

Henley is getting ready for the Royal Regatta

 

 

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After walking around for a few hours we decided to check in to the hotel. Hotel Du Vin really have got it nailed with the decor. It has a luxurious, opulent feel but also quite sturdy and comforting. We were upgrading to a superior room and it was beautiful. Huge, with a stand alone bath, air con, shower, mini bar, snacks, wifi. TV, Massive bed, dressing gowns.. I could go on!

 

Our lovely room at Hotel Du Vin, Henley on Thames

Our lovely room at Hotel Du Vin, Henley on Thames

Dinner didn’t disappoint. We ate at 6pm and the bistro was half full. It had a buzzy atmosphere but not loud.

We ordered fougasse to soak up the vino. In French cuisine, fougasse is a type of bread typically associated with Provence but found in other regions. Some versions are sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat

In French cuisine, fougasse is a type of bread typically associated with Provence but found in other regions. Some versions are sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat

In French cuisine, fougasse is a type of bread typically associated with Provence but found in other regions. Some versions are sculpted or slashed into a pattern resembling an ear of wheat

Nathans starter. Tender and melt in the mouth

Nathan’s starter. Tender and melt in the mouth

Carpaccio (UK /kɑːrˈpætʃioʊ/ or US /kɑːrˈpɑːtʃⁱoʊ/; Italian pronunciation: [karˈpattʃo]) is a dish of raw meat or fish (such as beef, veal, venison, salmon or tuna), thinly sliced or pounded thin and served mainly as an appetizer.

I enjoyed the walnut brioche muffin with pate. It was excellent.

Brioche is a pastry of French origin that is similar to a highly enriched bread, and whose high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender crumb

Brioche is a pastry of French origin that is similar to a highly enriched bread, and whose high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender crumb

My main was the braised lamb and Nathan went for the pork belly. TBH I preferred our starters but maybe we were so full by the time our mains came (We can’t resist warm bread )

Braised lamb with peas and carrots

Braised lamb with peas and carrots

Nathan's main - Pork belly and a creamy mash

Nathan’s main – Pork belly and a creamy mash

Here we are being slightly merry and very full!

Enjoying a lovely get away at Hotel Du Vin, Henley-On-Thames

Enjoying a lovely get away at Hotel Du Vin, Henley-On-Thames

I look forward to going back for the festival in a few weeks time.

 

Lisa x

 


Last night we had the pleasure of hosting an event for  Farfetch

http://www.farfetch.com/uk/shopping/women/items.aspx

After looking on the website I am ready to update my wardrobe. So many gorgeous pieces perfect for spring.

Farfetch invited 15 influential bloggers to attend our chocolate making workshop with chocolate martinis at Farfetch HQ.

The evening was a great success and a good time was had by all. A LOT of chocolate as consumed!

 

Chocolate & fashion meet!

Chocolate & fashion meet!

 

We made these cupcakes with the logo. Salted caramel, very nice!

We made these cupcakes with the logo. Salted caramel, very nice!

 

Chocolate making workshop for influential bloggers

Chocolate making workshop for influential bloggers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We are running a Disney themed FROZEN cupcake decoration class for children

We are running a Disney themed FROZEN cupcake decoration class for children

The Cocoa Box is running a 1.5 hour children'sDisney FROZEN themed cupcake class
The Cocoa Box is running a 1.5 hour children’sDisney FROZEN themed cupcake class

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicola McLean ‏‪@NicolaMcLean Mar 13

Look at these amazing cupcakes from ‪@thecocoabox a little girls dream ! ‪#frozen

Nicola Mclean loved the cupcakes

Nicola Mclean loved the cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                          From the end of October 2014 we are running Disney’s FROZEN themed cupcake decoration class for children. The classes will be held at weekends with a minimum age of 5 years old. Please email for more details. info@thecocoabox.co.uk 

Children'S Disney FROZEN themed cupcake class

Children’S Disney FROZEN themed cupcake class

 

The kids in action

The kids in action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A selection of photos taken from some of our corporate events. The perfect Christmas Party!

A selection of photos taken from some of our corporate events. The perfect Christmas Party! We run 100’s of events in London and Brighton. We can design an event to suit your budget. We offer great prices for early bird bookings.

 

EMAIL info@thecocoabox.co.uk to find our more about our range of fantastic events and workshops. We specialise in edible fun. We offer bespoke Christmas parties and events in various London and Brighton venues. We can also travel to you.

Mmm tuck in….

Mmm tuck in….

Chocolate truffles

 

MESSY FUN tables corporate cocoa box workshop corp buffett


One of my demos at the Foodies Festival

One of my demos at the Foodies Festival

The fantastic Malaysian chef Norman Musa
The fantastic Malaysian chef Norman Musa

It was a busy day at the Chefs Theatre, Foodies Festival
It was a busy day at the Chefs Theatre, Foodies Festival

Tatton Park Foodies Festival

Tatton Park Foodies Festival

 

 

 

I have had the most wonderful three days t the beautiful Tatton Park in Cheshire. The Foodies Festivals run around the country in the Summer months.   Foodies Festivals

I met some talented and inspirational chefs including Norman Musa. The UK’s leading Malaysian food expert. Chef Norman Musa   I am very inspired by his recipes, charm and work ethic. In fact I will be making his chicken satay today!

For vegetarian delights I was also impressed with Master Chef contestant founder of  The Hungry Gecko Jackie Kearney.  Jackie showed us how to make the street food Momo dumplings. So fresh and packed with flavour. I will be trying my own prawn version of these very soon and I will make sure I document the results before they are eaten!

Meeting Glynn Purnell, Chef, author, restaurant owner and regular TV personality was a highlight. He is very entertaining and great fun. His food is a delight and if you are ever in Birmingham I can recommend his restaurant. Gylnn Purnell

Food and entertainment!

Food and entertainment!

Other Chefs demoing in the Chef Theatre included winner of ITV’s  Food Glorious Food Rahalia Hussain.  Rahalia’s winning Korma recipe I can vouch that the dish is worthy of an award!

Ex Corrie star and now award wining Cheese maker Seam Williamson was the compare when I was demeaning my Harrisa Chicken, flat bread and chilli hummus recipes. The cheese he produces is stunning and what a lovely chap he is! Sean Wilsons award winning cheese

 

The delightful and award winning cheese maker Sean Wilson

delightful and award winning cheese maker Sean Wilson

Other hightails for me were watching these chefs create wonderful dishes

Impressive Andrew Parker,  Head chef at Georges bar and grill

Brilliantly talented Ross Bootland from @RossBootland De Vere hotel Head Chef Ross Bootland

 

Seabass cooked to perfection

Seabass cooked to perfection

 

Foe super healthy nutrient packed food. Gina is the perfect cook. Health by Gina

 


Come to mama! These little treats are so naughty you almost need to go to church after you have eaten one.

Simple to make and LUSH!

The recipe:

150g margarine or butter

150g caster sugar

100g self raising flour

50g cocoa powder

2 eggs

fresh raspberry’s

 

Gnash

200g dark chocolate

300g heavy or double cream

Makes around 10 or 11 cupcakes

Oven – 160

cook for 18 to 20 minutes

Raspberry cupcakes with a chocolate ganache

 

 

 

 

How to make these bad boys.

Cream margarine and sugar so it becomes pale and fluffy

add the eggs

sieve the flour and cocoa powder and slowly mix gradually getting faster.

Lastly add in the chopped raspberry’s and stir.

Once the mixture is at ‘dropping’ consistency then spoon into cupcake cases.

mixture

 

 

 

 

Tip:

If the mixture is thick and not ‘dropping’ consistency I suggest you add a table spoon of whole milk. Sometimes the cocoa powder can make the mixture a bit dry.

If your oven is really hot cook at 150 (my oven only need to be on 150 to cook them in 18 minutes..)

Allow to cool.

For the Ganache:

Heat the cream in a saucepan on a medium heat. You don;t want to bring the cream to boiling point.

When it is a sneeze away from boiling take off the heat.

Add in the chocolate and gently stir.

 

cream and choc gnash

 

 

 

 

making gnash

 

 

 

 

 

 

gnash

 

 

 

 

Believe it or not I used half fat double cream from M&S.

Leave the gnash to cool then smooth over the cupcakes. Decorate with a raspberry.

eaten one

 

 

 

 

Note:

With the left over gnash I am going to keep it in the fridge over night and make truffles in the morning. I will blog this tomorrow…


Light and east blueberry cupcakes for Summer

Light and easy blueberry cupcakes for Summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you want to be healthy as well as naughty? I understand.

Look no further than blueberry cupcakes. A super food no less. Packed with goodness the humble blueberry is genius.

The cupcake:

150g flour

2 eggs, beaten

vanilla pod or teaspoon of vanilla extract

150g butter

150g sugar

2 tablespoons whole milk

20 blueberry’s

blueberry cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

What to do?

 

With this recipe I decided to throw caution to the wind and I put ALL the ingredients apart from the blueberry’s in a bowl. I whisked with a hand whisk ( I didn’t use the kenwood mixer) until the mixture was at dropping consistency.

I then used a knife to cut the blueberry’s in half and add them to the mixture. I did this so the colour would run into the mixture.

I baked in 18 minutes on 150. However, you may need to have your oven higher. GeT to know your oven and it’s hot spots. It will make your baking life so much easier.

Tip?

Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcakes cases as any drips on the edges will burn.

Butterfrosting

250g SOFT butter – must be lovely and soft. You can use salted or un salted.

300g icing sugar

Vanilla – pod or extract

Baby blue food coloring

Whole milk (if mixture isn’t fluffy enough)

Place EVERYTHING into a bowl and hand whisk until you think your arm may fall off…it takes ages to get the butterfrosting nice and light.

Failing that do what I do and save up and buy a Kenwood. Put it all in and let the machine do the work. It is worth the price tag.

I used a LARGE STAR tube and a disposable piping bag.

I also made little butterfly’s from cutters and baby pink sugarpaste.

 


Bad girl cupcakes

Bad girl cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanilla cupcakes with caramel butter frosting and shaving of orange milk chocolate...

 

Is it wrong?

So the basic sponge is as per usual.

150g margarine or butter

150g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod

 

CREAM – I’m using a fab KitchenAid

 

Add 2 eggs

Sift 150g of self raising flour

 

MIX – start slowly and work gradually faster.

 

Spoon or pipe into cupcake cases.

 

BAKE – they should be golden brown.

 

CARAMEL

 

125g of caster sugar – caramelize in a hot pan. I just add the sugar and stirr – I don’t use water – you may wish to watch this video as it is the same process but without the chocolate

 

80g of gently warmed cream

 

Once the sugar is caramelized gently add the warmed cream.

 

STIR – Leave to cool but not harden!

 

http://www.thecocoabox.co.uk/index.php?option=com_seyret&view=video&id=1&videotitle=CARAMEL+FUDGE&Itemid=78

 

BUTTERFROSTING

 

One block of unsalted butter

300g of icing sugar

3 – 4 table spoons of cream

 

MIX – I use my KitchenAid – tip – I cover in a damp cloth to stop the plumes of icing sugar.

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Mix in the caramel to the butterfrosting

whisk

 

 

 

 

 

PIPE – I then used a grater to shave chocolate – like it isn’t sweet enough……
done