Today I had a few friends over to see the latest Christmas range from Phoenix trading
. They have some gorgeous Advent Calendars and Christmas gift cards I was keen to purchase.
I wanted to put on a lunch for the girls but I have just been so busy at work I really wanted to keep it simple. So I made some sandwiches, a jug of punch and a cake. Simple recipes that are truly delicious all from taste.com.au
Chicken and Herb Sandwiches (based on this recipe)
Fresh rocket, chives, parsley, basil
3 chicken breasts, poached
1 cup whole-egg mayonnaise
1 lime, rind finely grated, juiced
1 loaf white sandwich sliced bread
1 loaf wholemeal sandwich sliced bread
80g baby rocket, roughly chopped
3/4 cup mixed herb leaves (I used fresh basil, chives and parsley from the garden), finely chopped
- Finely chop chicken. Place into a bowl. Add mayonnaise, lime rind, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
- Lay one piece of white bread on top of one piece of brown bread and cut the crusts off – cutting through both pieces. This will ensure both slices of bread are the same size.
- Spread 1 heaped tablespoonful of chicken mixture onto the brown bread. Top with the white bread.
- Cut each sandwich into 3 fingers. Place onto a platter and cover with a clean damp tea towel. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap (over the damp tea towel). Refrigerate until required.
Guava and Lime Punch (based on this recipe)
This is the virgin version of the Guava and Lime Cocktail. It was a very refreshing start to a Friday lunch before a glass of bubbles. I’m looking forward to trying the Cocktail version another day.
2 limes, coarsely chopped
1 x 1L btl guava nectar
500ml (2 cup) ginger beer, chilled
500ml (2 cups) gingerale
Crushed ice, to serve
- Place the lime in a mortar and use a pestle to gently pound until crushed.
- Place the guava nectar, ginger beer, gingerale, lime and any juice from the mortar in a large jug. Stir until combined. Add fresh mint.
- Fill serving glasses with ice. Pour the guava mixture evenly among the glasses. Serve immediately.
Classic Chocolate Cake (from taste.com.au)
1 1/3 cups (200g) plain flour
2 tbs cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
225g unsalted butter, softened, chopped
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
Chocolate ganache icing and chocolate curls, to decorate.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 24cm round springform cake pan.
- Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Set aside.
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water). Cool slightly.
- Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. With beaters on medium speed, add vanilla, then add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour in cooled chocolate and beat until well combined. Beat in a third of sifted ingredients, followed by a third of the milk. Repeat until all ingredients are incorporated, beating until smooth.
- Pour mixture into the pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto rack to cool completely.
- To serve, spread the icing over the top and sides of the cake using a hot palette knife, then decorate with chocolate curls.
- To make chocolate ganache: Melt 150g chopped good-quality dark chocolate with 125ml pure cream and 20g unsalted butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Stir until well combined, then set aside for 30 minutes to cool and thicken before use.
- To make chocolate curls: Using a palette knife, spread melted chocolate 2-3mm thick on a hard clean surface such as a glass chopping board or marble slab that you can move. Stand at room temperature until almost set. Shave curls using a peeler or palette knife, pulling towards you at an angle. If the chocolate breaks, it is set too hard – leave in a warm place until more pliable. To make small curls, simply run a peeler along the side of a block of chocolate.
This cake was truly delicious and the website offers some really lovely variations for this basic recipe.
What a lovely day!