forum: Food & Drink

#61 Sun 12 Nov 06 9:38pm


Forum champ
Member since Mon 21 Feb 05

Re: Dave Barkers Christmas Kitchen...

I haven't made this in ages, but the first time I did, it was easy as pie...I'm going to make it this year for Christmas.

Charlotte au chocolat

1 box of soft lady fingers (24 cookies)
250 g of dark chocolate (slightly sweetened, not bitter!)
150 g of butter
80g of fine sugar
5 eggs – separate the whites from the yolks
1 tsp of freeze-dried coffee
1 tsp of cocao – unsweetened
1 pinch of salt.

Break the chocolate into pieces add the coffee and mix.  Add 2 soup spoons of water and 75 g of the butter.  Melt all in a double boiler.

Remove from the top of the double boiler, add the rest of the butter, the sugar and then the yolks one by one.  Mix well after each yolk.

Beat the whites with a pinch of salt until you have stiff peaks.  Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture.

In a soufflé dish – put a layer of the lady fingers on the bottom and along the outside (to make a wall).  Pour the choclate mousse mixture into the bowl.

Cover and keep in fridge for about 6 hours.  Turn upside down and sprinkle with the cocao.

Tip:  I do not dip the lady fingers into whisky.  Although this will help the dish come out quickly and easily.  You could make strong coffee and quickly dip the lady fingers in the coffee before preparing the dish for the mousse.  That may work.

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#62 Sun 12 Nov 06 9:45pm

Dave Barker

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Occupation Chef
From At the stove...
Member since Tue 29 Jun 04

Re: Dave Barkers Christmas Kitchen...

Great recipie Monty!...

Charlotte au chocolat sounds great... a good chocolate desert always goes down well in our house, especialy with my mrs smile

Last years cheese plate was a spectacular.. every smoked cheese and fruit filled cheese ever made! roll

Luckily, a few visits to cool places this year like La Fromagerie has learned me!!!

All the best mate.

Dave B

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#63 Sun 12 Nov 06 9:59pm


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From Scotland
Member since Wed 06 Apr 05

Re: Dave Barkers Christmas Kitchen...

Here's one for all allergy sufferers wanting a Yule Log! 

Gluten & Dairy Free Yule Log

For the cake:

125g (4.5 oz)dark chocolate, chopped
4 eggs, separated
125g (4.5 oz) caster sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder

For the filling and frosting:

150g (5 oz) dark chocolate broken into pieces
90g (3.5 oz) margarine (or chopped, unsalted butter)
300g (11 oz) icing sugar, sifted
5 tbsp unsweetened soya (or normal) milk

1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F, gas 4). Grease and line a 30 x 22cm (12 x 8.5") Swiss-roll tin so the paper stands 3cm (1.5") above the edge.

For the cake, melt the chocolate in a bowl above a pan of hot water, then cool slighty. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and stir into the chocolate.

2. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the chocolate mixture and the cocoa and pour into the tin. Smooth the top and bake for 20 mins until risen and springy. Dust a large sheet of greaseproof paper with caster sugar and turn the cake out onto it. Remove the paper from the top and then cover with a damp cloth.

3. Make the filling and frosting by melting the chocolate and butter in a bowl over hot water, stir until smooth, then slowly beat in the icing sugar to form a stiff mixture. Beat in the milk and leave to cool, continually stirring until it is spreadable. Spread one third over the cake and roll up. Place on a platter and spread wih the remaining mixture. Run a fork along the surface to resemble the bark of a tree (if desired). Dust with icing sugar, and serve.

It takes about 20 mins of preparation, 30 mins of cooking, and serves 10, and is extremely rich and delicious! Not for the calorie-conscious  wink

Of course, it is possible to use regular milk and butter for this one, which would make it even more delicious  big_smile


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#64 Mon 13 Nov 06 9:21am


From sydney
Member since Wed 01 Dec 04

Re: Dave Barkers Christmas Kitchen...

Does anyone have any ideas for an extra special dessert to have Christmas Day, as the temperature is likely to be 40 degrees + I have a cold Christmas lunch and would like a light dessert.  neutral

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#65 Mon 13 Nov 06 8:49pm


From London
Member since Sun 11 Dec 05

Re: Dave Barkers Christmas Kitchen...

a trifle perhaps with gingerbread men decorated on top of it to make it more christmas looky

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#66 Mon 13 Nov 06 9:21pm


Forum champ
Occupation Duty Free Lancome and Fragrance sales
From Greater Vancouver
Member since Mon 23 Oct 06

Re: Dave Barkers Christmas Kitchen...

Netta, would you happen to have any nice chinese bakeries near you? Some make really wonderful cakes and they are light, lots contain fruit based mousse like mango, etc and most made from real, fresh ingredients. Or maybe( if you are going to buy ), a very nice selection of pastries? If you prefer to make I have a recipe for Lemon meringue Pavlova Roll I will copy for you. I also have a Strawberry mousse Angelfood cake... just a bit pressed for time right now.

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#67 Tue 14 Nov 06 1:10am

Dave Barker

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Occupation Chef
From At the stove...
Member since Tue 29 Jun 04

Re: Dave Barkers Christmas Kitchen...

Hi everyone,

Netta... it's a bit strange for me to imagine a christmas +40oc!!! wow that is HOT cool

As you know, xmas here is mid winter and is full of snow men, sleigh rides in the snow etc....

I am thinking that you need a fruity, light desert dish in that weather and have been looking through my summer recipies... I suppose something really zesty and fresh is the best, but for now try this mate



2 punnets Strawberries
2 punnets Raspberries
2 punnets Blueberries
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup water
10 slices white bread
1 pack of butter butter


Wash & trim all berries and put into a saucepan with the water & sugar.
Simmer for 5 minutes (until berries are soft & their juices are forming a
syrup). Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, butter slices of bread and line a pudding basin (with the
buttered side out).

Pour fruit and 1/2 the juice into the lined basin.

Use more bread to make a 'lid' for the pudding and seal at the edges. Put
a saucer on top and add some weights.

Put into the fridge overnight along with the reserved berry juice. Juice
will soak into bread and colour the pudding while it sits in the fridge.

To serve, upend pudding onto a serving plate and pour reserved juices over the top.



10 cups fresh strawberries
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice (chilled)
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1 bottle of chilled champagne or sparkling wine

(optional strawberry icecubes)


At least 6 hours before party time, wash the berries.
Place 1 small, pretty berry (with leafy hulls
attached)in each compartment of 2 standard-size ice cube
trays, then fill with water and freeze.


Remove the hulls from the remaining berries and place them
in a food processor.Process for 2 minutes or until pureed,
then transfer to a punch bowl.

Stir in the pineapple juice, lemon juice, and sugar; cover
and refrigerate.

Just before serving, pour in the champagne and float the
strawberry ice cubes on top.



4 x egg whites
1 1/8 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 cup heavy / double cream
4 x to 5 cups peeled and sliced fresh fruit (kiwi, bananas, pineapple, papaya, berries or a combination)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mark a 9 inch circle on a sheet of nonstick baking parchment paper. Turn the paper over and place on a baking sheet. Beat the egg whites until stiff, then add the sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating the mixture constantly. Combine the cornstarch and vinegar in a small bowl and whisk into the egg white mixture.

Spread the mixture inside the circle on the baking parchment, building up the sides so that they are higher than the middle.
(You may pipe the mixture inside the circle with a pastry bag if you wish.)

Place in the oven, then immediately reduce the heat to 300 degrees.

Bake the meringue for 1 hour or until firm to the touch.

Turn off the oven and leave the meringue inside for another hour.

Peel the lining paper from the meringue and transfer the meringue to a serving plate. Leave to cool.

Before serving, whip the heavy cream until stiff. Spoon into the middle of the meringue. Top with the prepared fruit. Serve immediately.

Hope that this is roughly what you are looking for mate, its a bit difficult to know exactly what is in season for you over there...

All the best mate

Dave B

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#68 Tue 14 Nov 06 1:22am


Forum champ
Occupation Save a tree, eat a Beaver
From the boonies
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Dave Barkers Christmas Kitchen...

Well you guys have just done an amazing job at making my dinner an easy pick!!

But what can you give me in finger foods for the festivities!! In my family it's an all day eating extravaganza!! Usually because we've been downing so much champagne and orange juice we try not to be sloshed by dinner! I'm hosting it this year and I've thought about passing off some home made mennonite goodies as my own, but what if they ask for the recipe!! Any help would be greatly appreciated, and many thanks in advance!!

And Dave, I wish you had of done your Autumn thread again like last year! There were alot of great recipes on there!

cheers and zerberts everyone!

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#69 Tue 14 Nov 06 1:53am

Dave Barker

Forum champ
Occupation Chef
From At the stove...
Member since Tue 29 Jun 04

Re: Dave Barkers Christmas Kitchen...

Hi Mercs, glad that you have love for my new thread!...

I was looking for my last years Autumn thread, but sadly it seems to have dropped off!!!... maybe next year I will do another one eh?...

Finger food... Canapes!!!! don't you just love em, you can really let your imagination run with them mate. Think flavor, texture, colour,all balanced.

The posibilities are endless, little meals made in bite size... a meal in one bite, that's what you need right!

At Fifteen there is a taster menu in the evening, on it are taster spoons which are just that... and I remember reading an article that Jamie did a couple of years ago in a food mag using forks instead of the japaneese spoons cos everyone has extra forks kicking about don't they?

Try a xmas variation on that mate, really easy to make and using great, fresh ingredients I think that you could really WOW your family and mates...

Here are some basic ideas...


Duck with orange and watercress
smoked salmon and cucumber and creme fraiche,lemon juice and chives
proscuitto and rocket, olive oil and balsamic
bubble and squeak with crispy bacon with runny honey

As I said the idea for these are so easy. Just spear the ingredients together on the prongs of a fork and serve with a dip.

Why not follow it up with desert spoons?

christmas pudding,custard, almond flakes and orange zest spoon.

small blob of custard on the spoon, tiny pich of warm pudding on the custard, top with small doppol of whipped cream, scatter with almond flakes and zest and serve still warm.

Just ideas mate,MUCH better than pre made packet foods and using great ingredients, but see what you think

All the best

Dave B

Last edited by DB27 (Tue 14 Nov 06 2:00am)

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#70 Tue 14 Nov 06 3:24am


Forum champ
Occupation Save a tree, eat a Beaver
From the boonies
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Dave Barkers Christmas Kitchen...

Another autumn thread fur shure eh!----sorry bad attempt at stereo typical canadian talk!

Dave you are a STAR!!----the smoked salmon one is just up my alley!! I love the sound of it--very fresh!!

One question---what the heck is bubble and squeak? It sounds like mice marinated in a bit of champagne?

And you are right about the wow factor----I'm sick of the cheese balls and icicle pickle platters that we usually get oh and the ever popular cream cheese and salsa number with nacho chips!! And my one grandma still makes home made pork and beans puke ---they will think we won the lottery----this will tidy them up a bit hahah! Thanks again Dave much appreciated,I seriously love to cook, but I'm not the type of person who can come up with ideas on my own--I need someone to tell me!!
cheers and zerberts smile

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