Chef’s Choice: Christmas Cake!

In today’s new Chef’s Choice recipe, Head Chef Chris Bratt-Rose shares the secret on the perfect Christmas cake this festive season…

INGREDIENTS:

Head Chef, Chris Bratt-Rose

Head Chef, Chris Bratt-Rose

225G BUTTER
225G SOFT BROWN SUGAR
250G PLAIN FLOUR
2 TEASPOON MIXED SPICE
1 TEASPOON CINNAMON
PINCH OF SALT
4 LARGE EGGS
50G GROUND ALMONDS
50G CHOPPED ALMONDS
JUICE AND ZEST ONE LEMON
2X ZEST OF ORANGE
3 TABLESPOONS OF MARMALADE
2 TABLESPOONS BLACK TREACLE
6 TABLESPOONS OF BRANDY
950G BRANDY SOAKED FRUIT

METHOD:

The cake is best made well in advance, so it has time to mature with lots of weekly ‘feeds’! However it’s still delicious after a couple of feeds…

• Cream the butter and sugar
• Whisk the eggs together and beat into the creamed butter and sugar bit by bit
• Sift the flour, spices, ground almonds and salt, then add to the cake batter and mix in.
• Mix in the chopped almonds, zests, juice, marmalade, black treacle and brandy.
• Place in a lined 8” tin (lined with 3 layers of greaseproof paper) bake at 140°c for 3-3.5 hours.
• After the first 30 mins cover the top of the cake with a double layer of greaseproof paper.
• Once cooked (an inserted knife blade come out ‘clean’), leave to cool in the tin for 45mins, then remove and finish cooling.
• Remove the paper from the top of the cake and make several small holes in the top with a knife and ‘feed’ the cake with drizzles of brandy, repeat this once a week.
• The day before you are planning to serve the cake, remove the lining paper and decorate in your preferred way – suggestions: marzipan and royal or fondant icing or glazed fruit and nut topping, with an apricot glaze.

Chef’s Choice: Pumpkin Soup

Head Chef, Chris Bratt-Rose shares a spookily good recipe for Pumpkin Soup…

Head Chef, Chris Bratt- Rose

Head Chef, Chris Bratt- Rose

SERVES:
4-6 people

INGREDIENTS:
• 1500grams of chopped Pumpkin flesh
• 300grams of chopped onion
• 2 cloves chopped garlic
• 1 chopped red chilli seeded
• 300grams of peeled and chopped carrots
• 125gram butter
• Oil
• Salt and pepper
• 700ml chicken or vegetable stock
• 700ml milk

METHOD:
Sweat off the pumpkin, onion, garlic, chilli & carrots in a little oil and butter for about 15mins until tender, Add the chicken or vegetable stock  and cook for 15mins. Then add the milk and simmer (do not boil at this stage with the milk as it may separate) for a further 10mins. Allow to cool for 10mins before blitzing in a food processor and passing through a fine sieve to remove any unwanted bits. Serve with a drop of crème fraiche and some warm crusty bread and butter.

Birmingham Hippodrome Head Chef shares his favourite asparagus recipe

asaparagusOur Head Chef Chris Bratt-Rose devises menus for our Circle Restaurant situated inside the theatre,  our popular Stageside bar and restaurant in Thorp Street as well as our Deli bar and events from conferences to launches.

We caught up with Chris this week to ask him about his favourite recipe for asparagus, in season now.

Click here to find out more and if you feel creative and have a go then why not post a photo of your finished dish on our Twitter (@brumhippodrome) or Facebook (Birmingham Hippodrome)  accounts.

Happy cooking!