Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Nigella’s Brownies and Icecream Pudding for Xmas in July

December in Australia is generally too hot and humid for most people to enjoy traditional Christmas fare like roast turkey with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding.  Most would prepare seafood or a backyard barbecue to the traditionally heavy, hot Christmas dinner served in the Northern hemisphere.

However, that does not mean that Australians do not enjoy traditional Christmas fare, so to ensure we don't miss out on the fun, we celebrate Christmas in July.  It is basically an opportunity to eat a traditional Christmas dinner in the winter months, when it is cooler and more conducive to such fare.

On the weekend, I hosted my own Christmas in July with some friends.  It was my first dinner party at my new flat, so it doubled as a kind of house warming.

For starters, I served an assortment of nuts, cheeses, dips, crackers and dates stuffed with gorgonzola:   

Dinner comprised a pork loin roast with gravy, roasted potatoes and carrots, and Adam Liaw's roasted broccoli with chilli and parmesan.

Then onto the best part - dessert.  After consulting with one of my friends and being inspired by an episode of Nigella's Feast, I made brownies (using gluten free flour for my friend):

This recipe is from Nigella Lawson's Feast.  It was originally a "snow flecked" brownie with white chocolate chips, but I left out the snow.  After all, I am not a fan of white chocolate and it doesn't snow where I live.  These are fudgy brownies of the kind that Nigella describes as "damp".
To make these brownies, you will need:
375g butter
375g dark chocolate
6 eggs
350g sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
225g plain flour

Preheat your oven to 180C and line a 33 x 23 x 5cm rectangular tin with baking paper.
Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in heavy based saucepan over a low heat and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract, the fold into the chocolate mixture.
Finally, fold in the flour and scrape the mixture into the prepared tin.  Bake for 25 minutes or until set on top and not wobbly in the middle.  Cool in the tin before dusting with icing sugar and slicing into squares.

The other dessert that I made was a festive Icecream Pudding from Kitchen Classics - Celebration:

To make it, you will need:

50g chopped toasted almonds
205g dried mixed fruit
80ml rum
105g glace cherries, quartered 
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 litre each of chocolate icecream and vanilla icecream, softened
Ice Magic and extra glace cherries, to decorate

Put the dried fruit, almonds and rum into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to soak overnight.

Line a pudding basin with cling film and chill it in the freezer overnight.

In a large bowl, combine the vanilla icecream with the glace cherries, and press around the sides of the pudding basin, leaving a hollow in the middle.  Freeze for a couple of hours.

Combine the chocolate icecream with the spice, fruit and nuts and use it to fill the hollow in the vanilla icecream, evening off the top.  Freeze overnight. Turn the pudding out onto a serving plate and decorate with Ice Magic and glace cherries before cutting into wedges to serve.

Happy Christmas in July!


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That looks great! I love Christmas in July! We did a roast dinner on the weekend but didn't put up any decorations because we were staying in the country. Still the food was the main thing! :D

2paw said...

My knitting friends and I went out to Christmas in July lunch: I had salmon and scallop chowder. Yum. Your CiJ feast looks scrumptious, and even when it is very hot here, and Christmas is either very hot or very cold, I go to my friend’s mum’s house and we have hot Christmas dinner at 3pm with all the trimmings! I do like an ice cream pudding....

Cakelaw said...

Agreed - the good is what counts.

Cakelaw said...

I love hot Xmas dinner too.

Johanna GGG said...

your christmas in july looks delicious and great fun - though it is such an aussie christmas with no snow on the brownie and an icecream pudding - but it is a great winter to bunker down inside and a big feast is great in such weather.