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: lamb koftas, tzatziki and flat breads…

Today we bring you a brand-new recipe for the weekend from our Head Chef, Chris Bratt- Rose…

As we are now in to the summer months we all love a BBQ so why not try making these Lamb Koftas? Very easy to make, these tasty treats have loads of flavour depth. Koftas are a Middle Eastern, South Asian dish that are shaped in to different shapes for this recipe we will mould them on to skewers. If you wish to use different minced meat you can use either beef or pork.

Head Chef, Chris Bratt- Rose

Head Chef, Chris Bratt- Rose

Ingredients, serves 10 portions
Lamb kofta 
•    750g minced lamb
•    1 onion
•    2 cloves of garlic
•    2tbs of ground cumin
•    1tbs of cinnamon
•    1tbs of ground coriander
•    1 small de-seeded red chilli
•    1 small bunch of fresh coriander
•    1 small bunch of fresh mint
•    1tbs of sea salt
•    ½ tbs of ground black pepper
•    Zest of one lemon
•    2tbs of vegetable oil
Tzatziki
•    1 cucumber, cut in half lengthways, de-seeded and cut in to small dice
•    220ml of full fat natural yoghurt
•    1 bunch of fresh mint leaves chopped
•    1 bunch of spring onions finely chopped
•    1 clove of garlic crushed
•    1 juice of lemon
•    Pinch of sea salt
•    1 tbs olive oil

Preparation method:

Tzatziki

Tzatziki

First make the koftas. In a food processor place the onion, garlic, chilli, and all of the dry spices, salt, pepper and the oil and blitz till it becomes a rough paste. Then add the fresh mint, coriander and lemon zest and pulse blitz until the herbs are roughly chopped into a paste. In a clean mixing bowl mix the lamb mince with the paste, best to use your hands here as it will work the mixture better. Once all incorporated, leave to stand while you make the Tzatziki.

Add a pinch of salt to the diced cucumber and allow to stand in a sieve for 20 min for the excess moisture to be removed from the cucumber. In a mixing bowl mix all the other ingredients together apart from the olive oil. Once the cucumber has had its 20 minutes salting, lightly push any remaining liquid from the cucumber and mix with the rest of the Tzatziki. Place in a serving dish and drizzle with the Olive oil.

Lamb koftas

Lamb koftas

Now take the kofta mix and shape into small sausage like shapes, do not use flour on you hand you are best to dampen with a little water. Once made, place in the fridge for 20 mins to firm up. After its been in the fridge you can either skewer by just threading the skewer from the bottom to the top in the middle, if you wish you can have it without the skewer and you can make a more burger like shape but you will need to adjust your cooking times. To cook on the BBQ make sure the heat is not to fierce, lightly brush the koftas with a little oil and place on the grill. Cooking time will depend on the heat of your BBQ and size of the koftas. You will be looking for the koftas to have about 8-10 mins make sure you move them around so they cook evenly. To test you have cooked them give them a little squeeze to make sure they are firm to the touch and that any juices that are coming out are clear. If you are a little unsure you can give them a little longer or place them in a hot oven at about 180°c for 5 mins. Even better if you have a cooking temperature probe make sure the core temperature is above 75°c.

You can then serve with the Tzatziki and some good torn flat breads and a wedge of lemon.

For more information on dining in one of our two restaurants click here.

WIMBLEDON WORTHY RECIPE FROM OUR HEAD CHEF…

In honour of the legendary Wimbledon Tennis Tornament kicking off this week, our Head Chef Chris Bratt-Rose has created his very own tribue to the classic Wimbledon dish, Strawberries and Cream.

The twist on a traditional dish is incorporates Strawberries and Cream with delicious Jelly Baby Merinques and is modestly simple for any chef.

CLICK HERE for the full ingredients list and preparation method.

Don those aprons and lets get whipping!

For more information on eating & drinking at Birmingham Hippodrome click here.