Christmas at Hey Pesto!

I love Christmas – especially the build up and the anticipation, and of course the food!

It’s a busy time in the Hey Pesto! kitchen so my blog has been a little neglected so I thought I should do a quick update.

We’ve had great fun with our Christmas demos complete with chocolate cottage construction challenges which were great fun !

Chocolate cottage

Chocolate Challenges

By the way we have one more evening class on Tuesday 8th if you’re looking for inspiration for Festive Party Food!

We’ve also been trying out some new ideas including mini chocolate biscuit puddings and chocolate ‘salami’ which were very well received by our tasters.

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Chocolate Biscuit Puddings

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Chocolate ‘Salami’

The 1st of December marked the start of the Christmas canapé season and at tomorrow’s function we’ll be serving turkey & ham vol-au-vents, spiced beef and mince pies with warming mulled wine and apple juice.

Due to other commitments I won’t be at the Tullamore Market this Christmas but for those of you missing our food, I am offering a ‘Collect & Go’ service to help take the stress out of Festive Cooking. Here’s a sample of our menu ….

Collect & Go Menu 2015

I’ll also have some store cupboard essentials like Belgian chocolate (dark, milk and white), pastry cases etc.

If you are interested in availing of this service you can contact me on 087 2488124 .

Thankfully it’s not all work and today was all about putting up the tree and decking the halls. Putting up the tree is the Chief Taster’s responsibility so I kept him  sweet with mince pies – chocolate and traditional. Thankfully all the lights were still working and the operation went off without a hitch (well there may be some rearranging necessary but don’t tell him 😉 )

If you’re doing some Christmas baking why not try these chocolate mince pies for a change – they may become a family tradition.

Chocolate Mince Pies

 What you need:

  • Pastry:
    • 450g/1 lb Plain Flour
    • 225g/8oz butter, cubed
    • 25g/1 oz. cocoa powder
    • 1 tbsp. icing sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
  • Filling:
    • Jar of luxury mincemeat – preferably your own!
    • 100g bar Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa )
    • Zest of 1 orange
    • Dash of Cointreau

What you do:

  • Make the pastry – rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, sieve in cocoa powder and icing sugar. Bind together using egg yolk and a little COLD water.  Or you can do what I do and mix it all together in the food processor! Chill
  • Grate the chocolate into the mincemeat. Then stir in the orange zest and a good splash of Cointreau.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 C /Gas 4
  • Cut out circles of pastry large enough to fit your tin (I use a mini Yorkshire pudding tin).  Cut star or other Christmas shapes for top. This mix should make 24 pies.
  • Line your bun tin with the pastry circles, fill with mincemeat mix. Top each pie with your festive shape and brush with beaten egg.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 mins.
  • Serve warm with softly whipped cream.
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I was lucky there was one left to photograph!

Happy Cooking!

If you’d like to come along to one of my cookery classes then please click here  for details.
If you ‘d like details of our catering options then please click here or contact me directly on 087 2488124
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