On the last Saturday night before Christmas, we met up with a group of friends for the Balmoral Carols By Candlelight. The plan was to arrive early, stake out some territory then have a picnic dinner before the carols began. Everyone brought something savoury and then after the carols, they all came back to our house for something sweet. On that day I was in the kitchen whipping up sweet things.
I buy the most amount of cooking magazines at Christmas time. I’m always looking for inspiration in the Christmas-cooking arena and so I buy just about every foodie magazine available and have a good time doing research which is actually just a bloody good excuse for reclining on the couch.
While horizontal on the couch, one of the recipes I was immediately drawn to is this White Christmas. It doesn’t take long to make, it’s no-bake and it makes enough for a crowd.
I whipped up to the shops and bought all the ingredients then came home to make it. And that’s when I realised I’d made a mistake. I thought I’d be really clever and make a slightly more healthy version by using puffed brown rice instead of white puffed rice. Don’t make that mistake!
Any normal thinking person would realise this would result in Brown Christmas instead of White Christmas but no, the fact that this would turn out looking like dirty snow didn’t occur to me. So if you’d like the snow-white look, don’t try to be healthy – it’s Christmas after all.
I read a great thing on someone’s status on facebook the other day – ‘Don’t worry about what you eat between Christmas and New Year – worry about what you eat between New Year and Christmas’. So let’s consider this a week off!
The sweetness of this White Christmas is balanced by the addition of the rind and the orange liquor. There are some lovely Christmasy flavours in this recipe even if the look of mine is somewhat less than pure – it tasted good all the same!
- 150ml pouring cream
- 40ml Grand Marnier
- finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- finely grated rind of ½ an orange
- 600g couverture white chocolate, finely chopped
- 100g rice puffs - don't use brown rice puffs!
- 60g dried sour cherries
- 50g glace orange, sliced
- 50g toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
- Line a 20cm x 20cm cake tin with baking paper.
- Bring cream, Grand Marnier and rinds just to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, add chocolate and stand for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth.
- Combine rice puffs, sour cherries, glace orange, almonds and ½ tsp of salt in a bowl. Add chocolate mixture and combine well, then spoon into cake tin. Press top to smooth and refrigerate until set (about 1 hour).
- Cut pieces with a hot, wet knife and store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a month.