Sambal Petai

sambal petai

*1/4 cup Cooking Oil
* 250 grams medium sized prawns, shelled and deveined
* 50 grams tamarind pulp, mixed with
* 125ml (1/2 cup) water and strained
* 100 grams stinky beans (petai)
* 1 tbsp sugar to taste (I replace them with honey)
* 1 tsp salt, or to taste

Spice Paste (ground)
* 80 grams (10) fresh red chillies
* 10 grams (8) dried red chillies
* 20 grams (2 cloves) garlic
* 200 grams (20) shallots
* 20 grams (8) candlenuts
* 10 grams (2 tbsp) belachan, toasted
01. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a pan over a medium flame to saute the spice paste till fragrant.
02. Add the prawns and tamarind water, bringing to a quick boil. Add the stinky beans, and season to taste with sugar and salt.
03. Fry until prawns are cooked and gravy is at the desired consistency before dishing out.

Minty Chocolate Cookies

minty chocolate cookies

*1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
*1 cup powdered sugar
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*1 cup nonalkalized cocoa powder
*1 egg white
*3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
*1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

Peppermint cream filling:
2+ cups powdered sugar, sifted
10 - 15 drops peppermint extract (to taste)
1/4 cup half and half (or water if you are going to keep the cookies around unrefrigerated for a while)

01.Pre-heat the oven to 350F degrees, position the racks in the middle of the oven, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.

02.Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and cream some more, scraping the sides of the bowl a time or two. Stir in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, egg white, and salt and mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter is smooth and creamy and the consistency of a thick frosting. Add the flour and mix just until the batter is no longer dusty looking. It might still be a bit crumbly, and that's okay.

03.Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, gather it into a ball, and knead it just once or twice to bring it together into a smooth mass. Divide into two pieces place each into a plastic bag and flatten into disks roughly 1 inch thick. Put the dough in the freezer for 20 minutes to chill.

04.One bag at a time remove the dough from the freezer. On a well floured surface roll it out very thin (remember these are going to be sandwich cookies) - roughly 1/8 inch thick. Or you might find it easiest to roll it out between to Silpats or pieces of plastic. Stamp out cookies in whatever shape you like - I used tiny scalloped circles here. Place on the prepared baking sheets, and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until they small of deep warm chocolate with toasty overtones. Larger cookies will take longer to cook than smaller ones. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack (if you have one).

05.While the cookies are baking, go ahead and make the filling. Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, whisk together the sugar and half and half until nice and fluffy. You want the filling to be thick enough that it doesn't ooze out the sides of the cookies after they are filled, so if you need to add more powdered sugar, do so in small increments. If you need to thin out your filling, add more half and half a few drops at a time. Whisk in the peppermint extract a bit at a time, and taste as you go, the peppermint flavor shouldn't be overwhelming. When the cookies have completely cooled slather a bit of filling on half of the cookies. Top each slather with another cookie and enjoy!

Ginger & Orange Cakes

ginger & orange cakes

* 600g currants , sultanas and raisins
* 100g glacé cherries
* 50g mixed peel (chop a couple of whole ones if you can)
* 50g glacé ginger or crystallised ginger , roughly chopped
* 100g glacé or diced pineapple , roughly chopped
* 60ml Cointreau or Grand Marnier
* 60ml ginger wine
* 2 tbsp Angostura bitters (the orange version is good)
* 225g light muscovado sugar
* 250g butter , softened
* 225g plain flour
* 1 tsp ground ginger
* ¼ of a whole nutmeg , grated
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1 tbsp vanilla extract
* 100g whole blanched almonds
* 4 eggs
* 1 orange , zested

* 2 tbsp apricot jam , mixed with 1 tbsp water and sieved
* 500g marzipan
* cornflour for rolling
* 4 tbsp vodka
* 500g ready-rolled fondant icing

01.  Soak the dried and glacé fruit in the alcohol and Angostura bitters for up to 2 days.

02. Heat the oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1. Line an 18cm square or 20cm round cake tin with 2 layers of baking parchment. Beat the sugar and butter together then sift in the flour and spices and mix briefly. Add the vanilla, almonds, eggs, orange zest and the fruit and alcohol mix and stir together. Spoon into the tin and make a dip in the centre with the back of a spoon so that when the cake rises in the middle you get a flat top. Bake for 3-31/2 hours then cool in the tin in the oven.

03. Peel off the paper and brush off any crumbs, then brush the top with the jam. Roll out the marzipan on a work surface dusted with cornflour until it is big enough to cover the cake. Lift it over the cake using a rolling pin and smooth down all the way around. Trim any excess. Brush with vodka, then roll out the icing and cover in the same way. Trim the icing around the edges and neaten. Roll out the icing off-cuts and cut out different sized stars, brush with a little vodka and stick to the cake. Finish with a ribbon.

Pizza Pocket Wreath


* 30 square wonton wrappers (we used Nasoya; some are thinner and tear more easily)
* Pepperoni slices
* 1/3 cup pizza sauce, plus extra for dipping
* 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
*  1 large green pepper, cut into thin strips
* Small bowl of water
* Vegetable oil

01.Lay the wonton wrappers on a dry work surface. In the center of each wrapper, place a slice of pepperoni, 1/2 teaspoon of pizza sauce, 1/2 tablespoon of cheese, and 1 pepper strip.

02.Dip your finger in water and moisten all 4 edges of the wonton, then fold it in half, pressing along the edges to seal it.

03.Heat one teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the pockets until brown, about 2 minutes on each side, adding more oil as needed.

04.Remove the wontons from the pan and place them on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Arrange them in a wreath shape, and serve with extra sauce for dipping.

Baked Ham with Honey-Apricot Glaze


*10-14 pound spiral-sliced, fully-cooked smoked ham
*1 cup honey
*1 6-oz. orange juice concentrate, thawed
*1/3 cup soy sauce
*1/3 cup apricot jam
*1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place ham on rack in shallow roasting pan. Stir together remaining ingredients in medium bowl; set aside. Bake ham for 30 minutes; pour glaze over ham and continue to bake until ham is heated through, about a total of 2 1/2 hours. (about 15-18 minutes per pound.)

Serving Suggestions:
A spiral-sliced ham is an easy and elegant start to a holiday meal. Serve with dilled potato salad, fresh spinach salad, biscuits, and angelfood cake with strawberries.

Chicken Pasta Salad a l'Orange Recipe

chicken pasta salad orange recipe

* 2-1/2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
* 2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
* 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
* 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
* 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
* 1/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt
* 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
* 1/4 cup thawed orange juice concentrate
* 1 tablespoon white vinegar
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
* 6 cups torn mixed salad greens
* 1/2 cup cubed avocado

01.Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, chicken, celery, oranges and olives.

02. For dressing, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, orange juice concentrate, vinegar, sugar, salt and mustard. Pour over pasta mixture and toss to coat.

03.For each serving, spoon 1-1/3 cups pasta mixture over 1 cup of greens; top with about 1 tablespoon avocado

Cranberry Cheesecake

Cranberry cheesecake

* Crust:
* 1/2  cup  sugar
* 1/3  cup  unsweetened cocoa
* 40  chocolate graham cracker sticks (about 3 ounces)
* 1  tablespoon  butter, melted
* 1  large egg white
* Cooking spray

* 1 1/2  cups  sugar
* 1/2  cup  orange juice
* 1/4  cup  fresh lemon juice
* 1  (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
* 2  teaspoons  grated lemon rind
* 1  teaspoon  grated orange rind
* 1  large egg white

* 1  cup  sugar
* 2  (8-ounce) packages 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
* 1  (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 3/4  cup  fat-free milk
* 5  large egg whites

01.Preheat oven to 400°.

02.To prepare crust, combine first 3 ingredients in a food processor; process until finely ground. Add butter and 1 egg white; pulse just until combined (do not form a ball). Firmly press crust mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes; cool on a wire rack.

03.Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

04.To prepare topping, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar and the next 3 ingredients (through fresh cranberries) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 6 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture thickens. Cool completely. Stir in rinds. Place 1 cup of cranberry mixture in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Stir in 1 egg white. Set aside. Reserve remaining 1 1/2 cups cranberry mixture.

05.To prepare filling, combine 1 cup sugar and cream cheeses; beat with a mixer set at medium speed until smooth. Add milk; beat at low speed until blended. Add 5 egg whites; beat at low speed until blended. Pour filling mixture into prepared pan. Drizzle 1 cup cranberry puree over filling mixture. Swirl mixtures together using a knife. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until almost set in center. Turn oven off and partially open oven door; leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight before serving. Serve with reserved 1 1/2 cups cranberry mixture.

Christmas Fruit Cake

Christmas Cake (Fruit Cake)

*1 cup currants
*1 cup mixed candied peel
*3/4 cup candied pineapple (chopped)
*3/4 cup red candied cherries (halved)
*3/4 cup raisins
*1/2 cup brandy
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1/4 teaspoon baking soda
*1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
*1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
*1 pinch of salt
*6 tablespoons butter (softened)
*1/2 cup packed brown sugar
*2 tablespoons strawberry jam
*1 tablespoon molasses
*3 eggs
*3/4 cups walnuts (chopped)

01. Mix the currants, mixed peel, pineapple, cherries, raisins and the brandy in a bowl, cover and let sit for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
02. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl.
03. Mix 1/4 cup of the dry mixture into the wet mixture.
04. Mix the butter, sugar, jam and molasses in a bowl.
05. Mix the eggs into the butter mixture one at a time.
06. Mix the remaining flour mixture into the butter and egg mixture.
07. Mix in the fruit mixture along with the nuts.
08. Pour the mixture into baking pans lined with double parchment paper.
09. Place a baking pan with water on the lower rack of the oven.
10. Cover the cake pans with foil and bake on the middle racks of a preheated 300F oven until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean, about 45-60 minutes.
11. Let cool.
12. Soak some cheese cloth in some brandy and wrap it around the cake.
13. Wrap the cake in foil and refrigerate for 30 days.

Ginger Man


*3 cups of all purpose flour
*¾ teaspoon baking soda
*2 teaspoons ground ginger
* ¼ teaspoon salt
*¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
*¼ teaspoon ground cloves
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* ½ cup unsalted butter
*½ cup granulated white sugar
*1 large egg
* 2/3 cup unsulphured molasses

For frosting you will need the following ingredients:
*½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
*1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*2 cups of confectioners sugar, sifted
*1 ½ tablespoons of milk or light cream
*Assorted food coloring if you want colorful icing

01.To make the gingerbread, you need to first whisk together the salt, flour, baking soda, and spices in a large bowl.  Now using your electric mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar in this separate location until it becomes light and fluffy.  Next add the molasses and egg and beat it until it is well combined.  Add the flour mixture slowly and beat the mixture until the flour mix is incorporated into the rest of the mixture.

02.Now you will need to remove the dough from the mixer and divide the dough in half.  Wrap each half in plastic wrap and then refrigerate either overnight or at minimum two hours.

03.When the dough has sufficiently cooled in the refrigerator, now it is time to prepare for baking.  Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit .  You will need to line two baking sheets with parchment paper in preparation for the baking.

04.Next you need a slightly floured surface.  Roll the dough out to a thickness of about ¼ inch.  Using a gingerbread cutter, cut out all of your gingerbread men shapes.  Lift the cut out cookies onto the baking sheet using a spatula.  Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the sheet.  If you plan to hang the cookies or use them as gift tags, you will need to put a hole in the top of each cookie by using a straw.

05.Bake the gingerbread cookies for about 8-12 minutes, depending on how big the gingerbread cookies are.  If you have rather small cookies, they will take closer to eight minutes, and for larger cookies, closer to 12 minutes.  Just be sure to keep your eye on them and check them often because I would hate for you to burn your cookies!  When you see that your cookies are firm and the edges are just beginning to turn brown, you will know that your cookies are ready for removal from the oven.  Once you have removed them, place them on a baking sheet for about a minute, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool off completely.

06.While you are waiting for the gingerbread cookies to cool, now you can prepare your confectioners frosting.  Using an electric mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter until it is well blended and smooth.  Add the vanilla extract.  Put the mixer on low speed, and begin to beat in the sugar slowly.  Scrape the mixture off the sides of the bowl and beater, and then add in the milk.  Beat it at high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.  This will probably take about 3-4 minutes.  If the mixture is too dry, add a little more milk.  Put the frosting in a pastry bag that is fitted with a decorative tip and decorate your gingerbread man as you would like.  This recipe will make about three dozen cookies, depending on the size of your gingerbread men.

07.When decorating your gingerbread cookies, you can press candies, raisins, or currants into the cookie for eyes and use your frosting for colorful clothing.  You can also use the icing you made as the glue to help you attach the sprinkles, raisins, and candies.

Turkey Taco Cups


*4 10-in. (burrito-size) flour tortillas
*1 lb ground turkey
*1 carrot, shredded
*1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning mix
*1 cup chopped lettuce
*½ cup shredded Cheddar
*2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

01. Heat oven to 375°F. Cut three 4 1⁄4-in. circles out of each tortilla. Lightly coat tortilla circles with nonstick spray. Place each circle into a muffin pan to shape into a cup. Bake 8 to 9 minutes until crisp. Cool.

02. Meanwhile, cook turkey and carrot with taco seasoning according to package directions. Divide turkey mixture, lettuce, Cheddar and tomato among taco cups.

Deep Fried Turkey


* 2  tablespoons  kosher salt
* 1  tablespoon  salt-free spicy seasoning blend
* 1  teaspoon  garlic powder
* 1  teaspoon  onion powder
* 1  teaspoon  dried crushed red pepper
* 1  (12- to 14-lb.) whole frozen turkey, thawed
* 2  tablespoons  vegetable oil
* Peanut oil

01. Stir together first 5 ingredients.

02. Remove giblets and neck from turkey, and, if desired, reserve for another use. Rinse turkey with cold water. Drain cavity well; pat dry. Rub turkey evenly with 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Loosen and lift skin from turkey breasts with fingers without totally detaching skin; spread one-fourth salt mixture evenly underneath. Carefully replace skin. Sprinkle additional one-fourth salt mixture inside cavity; rub into cavity. Sprinkle remaining salt mixture evenly on skin; rub into skin. Place turkey on fryer rod.

03. Pour peanut oil into a deep propane turkey fryer, pouring 10 to 12 inches below top of fryer. Heat to 300° over a medium-low flame according to manufacturer's instructions. Carefully lower turkey into hot oil with rod attachment.

04. Fry 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thigh registers 165°. (Keep oil temperature between 300° to 325°.) Remove turkey from oil; drain and let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

黑芝麻汤圆 Black Sesame Filled Glutinous Rice Balls

black sesame tang yuan

*8 oz. glutinous rice (sticky rice) flour
*180 ml water (3/4 cup water)
*1/4 cup black sesame seeds
*1/4 cup sugar
*1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons)

Ginger Syrup (姜茶):
*5 cups water (reduced to 4 cups after boiling)
*1 cup sugar
*4 oz. old ginger (skin peeled and then lightly pounded with the flat side of a cleaver)
*1/2 teaspoon sweet osmanthus (optional)
*2 screwpine leaves or pandan leaves (tie them into a knot, optional)

01.Lightly toast the black sesame seeds over medium fire until you smell the aroma of the black sesame seeds. Please take note that the sesame seeds will start popping when they are heated, so use your lid to cover. Don’t burn the black sesame seeds; transfer them out and let cool as soon as they smell aromatic.

02.Use a mini food processor to grind the black sesame seeds until they become fine. Transfer the ground black sesame into a wok, add sugar and butter and stir well to form a thick paste. If they are too dry, add more butter. Dish out and let cool in the fridge. (This will make the filling easier.)

03In a big bowl, mix the glutinous rice flour with water until it forms a smooth paste and no longer sticks to your hands. Divide it equally into 16-20 balls (depends how you like the size, the bigger the size, the easier it is to do the filling). Flatten each ball in your palm, and then use a pair of chopsticks to pick up some black sesame paste and lay it in the middle of the flatten ball. Fold the edge to seal the dumpling. Lightly roll it into a ball shape using both palms, very gently and delicately. Set aside.

04.Prepare the ginger syrup by boiling the water. Add the ginger and screwpine/pandan leaves (optional) into the water and boil for 10-15 minutes with medium heat. Add sugar and sweet osmanthus and boil for another 5 minutes. Lower heat to simmer and reduce to about 4 cups of water. Add more sugar to taste if you like.

05.Heat up another pot of boiling water. Drop the dumplings into the hot boiling water. As soon as they float to the top, transfer them out and into the ginger syrup. Turn off heat and serve the black sesame dumplings in a bowl immediately.

Cook’s Notes:
01. Traditionally, black sesame paste is made with–yes, you guess it right–pork lard. Pork lard makes the black sesame paste extra silky, smooth, and richer in flavor. Feel free to use lard as you wish, but I chose butter as a substitute.
02. Don’t be too greedy with the black sesame paste. Use moderate amount for your dumplings or else the dumplings might “burst” when you roll them into balls. They might also “burst” during boiling.
03. You want to boil the dumplings separately so the ginger syrup doesn’t get cloudy. In case some of your black sesame dumplings burst, you will not ruin the ginger syrup.
04. If you wish to have the black sesame dumplings without the ginger syrup, just boil them in the hot boiling water and serve your dumplings with that hot water. Eat only the dumplings, but not the hot water.

汤圆 Plain Glutinous Rice Balls


Ingredients (glutinous rice balls):
*300g glutinous rice flour
*½ cup of boiling water
*1 cup of water (room temperature)
*Food coloring (optional)

Ingredients (syrup):
*Rock sugar to taste
*3-4 slices fresh ginger (optional)
*4 pcs screwpine leaves /pandan leaves  (optional)

01. Take ⅓ of the flour and put in a big bowl. Add in ½ cup of boiling water.

02. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dough till smooth. Slowly add the ⅔ of the flour and keep adding some water (room temperature) till you get a dough that doesn’t stick to your hands. Add flour or water to get the right consistency.

03. Once the dough is pliable, divide the dough into half. Add half portion with a few drops of red food coloring. Knead until the color is well balanced.

04. Pinch a piece of dough off and shape into a tiny balls. Do the rest the same way until you finished all the dough (both white and pink).

05. To prepare the syrup: Add in the amount of water you want to make the syrup. When boiling, add in the ginger, screwpine leaves (pandan leaves) and rock sugar and boil for 10-15 minutes with medium heat. When sugar dissolved, do a taste test. If not sweet enough, add more rock sugar. If too sweet, add more water. Until it reaches the sweetness you want. Turn it off and set aside.

06. To boil the glutinous rice balls: Heat up another pot of boiling water. Drop in the balls into the hot boiling water.

07. The glutinous rice balls will sink to the bottom initially.
08. When the glutinous rice balls are cooked, they will float to the top. Turn off heat. Transfer glutinous rice balls into the syrup. Serve warm or at room temperature.


01. If you cannot finish the glutinous rice balls, you can store the glutinous rice balls soaking in syrup in the fridge overnight. The glutinous rice balls remain soft if you use the ⅓ flour with boiling water as mentioned above.
02. The normal glutinous rice balls are plain rice balls made from flour and water. However there are also the larger ones where red bean paste, ground black sesame seed paste or chopped peanuts and sugars are filled in the rice balls.

Red Beans Soup & Glutinous rice balls

red beans soup & tang yuan

*Small red beans
*Glutinous rice ball

01.Wash the small red beans and soak them into cold water about 5 hours
02.Boil the small red beans with 1000c.c water about 5 minutes
03.And poach it about 30 minutes
04.Add glutinous rice balls and some sugar to the pot

Minced Pork Glutinous Rice Balls

minced pork tangyuanminced pork tang yuan

*250gms glutinous rice flour
*250gms minced pork
*250gms lean pork
*1 small jicama (yam bean/sengkuang)
*1 carrot
*1 stalk Chinese celery
*4 pips garlic (chopped)
*2 tbsp oyster sauce
*3 tbsp sesame oil
*2 tbsp light soy sauce
*2 tbsp corn starch
*1/2 tbsp salt
*Some pepper
*3 liter water

*Fried garlic oil
*Chopped Chinese celery

*Pork Liver
*Pork Kidney
*Pork Intestine

01. Heat up the wok. Add in 3 tablespoon of oil and sauté the chopped garlic until golden brown. Scoop and leave aside to cool.

02. Put the minced meat into a mixing bowl. Add in some pepper, 2 tablespoon each of chopped Chinese celery, chopped carrot, sesame oil, light soy sauce, corn/tapioca starch, and one tablespoon each of oyster sauce and fried garlic. Mix evenly.

03. Oil a metal plate and lay the rolled meat balls and steam for 5 minutes. Leave aside to cool.

04. Cut the remaining carrot, jicama and lean pork into slices.

05. Bring 3 liter pot of water to boil. Add in Item 4.

06. Add in 1/2 tablespoon salt, some pepper, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce and sesame oil and boil until left 2/3 pot.

07. Fold in some water, pinch of salt into the glutinous rice flour until dough like. (Note: sprinkle some more water if it’s too dry or lay the dough onto a towel if it’s too wet)

08. Take some dough and roll into a ball. Flatten it with your palm and fill it with a meat ball. Slowly roll it back into a ball. Repeat the same step until you used up all the dough. (Note: Lay a tray and place a towel on it. Place the rolled glutinous rice balls on it)

09. Bring a pot of water to boil and slowly put in all the glutinous rice balls. Cooked glutinous rice ball will float up.

10. Put whatever quantity of cooked glutinous rice balls into a bowl and scoop some soup onto it.

11. Garnish with some fried garlic oil and chopped Chinese celery.

Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

*1 small onion, peeled and quartered
*3 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
*3 sprigs fresh tarragon
*3 sprigs fresh thyme
*1 5-pound chicken, giblets removed
*2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

01.Preheat oven to 375°F

02.Place onion, garlic, tarragon and thyme into the cavity of the chicken. Tie the legs together with kitchen string, mostly closing the cavity opening. Pull the wings so the tips overlap on top of the breast; tie in place, wrapping string around the wings and body. Rub the chicken with oil, salt and pepper. Set in a roasting pan, breast-side down.

03.Roast the chicken for 25 minutes. Turn breast-side up and continue roasting, basting occasionally with pan juices, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, without touching bone, registers 175°F, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the string before carving.

Little Frosty Christmas Cakes

little frosty Christmas cakes

*Butter , for greasing
*1 quantity Easy apple fruit cake, uncooked (see link below)
*2 tbsp apricot jam
*500g pack natural marzipan
*500g pack ready-to-roll white icing
*16 fresh cranberries
*Bunch rosemary , broken into small fronds
*50g caster sugar
1 egg white
*50g icing sugar
*approx 1m gold ribbon

01.Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter eight 150ml ramekins and line the bottoms with circles of non-stick baking paper. Divide the cake mix between the ramekins, transfer to a baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 30 mins until springy and dark golden brown. Leave until cool enough to handle, then run a round-edged knife around the edge of the each cake. Turn out and cool completely on a rack.

02.If the cakes have risen into peaks, make flat by slicing the tops off with a serrated knife. Melt the jam with 1 tbsp water and brush over the top of the cakes. Lightly knead the marzipan and shape eight golf ball-sized balls. (You will have some left over - wrap up well for another time.) Using a rolling pin, gently roll the balls into flat circles, approx 1cm thick and the same diameter as the cakes. Sit the marzipan on the jammy side of the cakes. Do the same with the icing, brushing the marzipan with a little cooled, boiled water to help it stick.

03.Beat the egg white until just frothy and broken up. Spread the caster sugar over a plate. Dip the cranberries and rosemary in the egg white, shake off the excess and roll in the caster sugar to create a frosty effect. Leave to dry for 15 mins. Tip away all but 2 tsp of the egg white and mix with the icing sugar to create a thick paste. Use to fix two cranberries and a sprig of rosemary to the top of each cake. Decorate with gold ribbon. The cakes will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.