Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Old favourites....

Last night, we made our old favourite recipes that we have made for Christmas as long as I can remember. Every year, Christmas is a great excuse to try new recipes but at the same time, without these, it would not really be Christmas.

So we made vanille kipferl, a traditional German biscuit, which recipe we got from the mother of one of my German friends when we were still living in France. There, all the German families seemed to make them and I have already seen other people blog about them. These lovely golden almond biscuits are so crumbly, they fall apart in your mouth, are not too sweet and the vanilla sugar on top gives them that extra crunch. For me this means Christmas has properly started and, as every year, they tasted delicious, we'll have to try and leave some till the 25th!

The second is a creamy pate from a french magazine called Femme Pratique. My mum used to buy this when we were living in France and we have a whole pile of them. This mousse aux foies de volaille (bird livers) is a lovely velvety pate and to make it so fine we use our cast-iron mincer (only comes out once a year for this). Of course you could use a blender but this is just so much more fun and I love all these old traditions. Finally, it gets put into the pate dish which unfortunatly has a boar on it instead of a chicken but this is a minor detail :-) The pate tastes great on French bread, oatcakes or anything really.

Vanille Kipferl (makes 60)
200 g Butter
100 g Sugar
1/2 Vanilla pod
100 g Ground almonds
260 g Plain flour
50 g Sugar
1 Packet of vanilla sugar
Melt butter and mix it with the sugar till its smooth, then add vanilla and ground almonds (peel these first as it makes the biscuits look sooooo much better). Finally sieve flour into the mixture. Roll the dough into a sausage of 2cm thick, then cut pieces 2 cm wide and roll these into half moons. Bake 20 min at 175C then roll into mixed sugar and vanilla sugar while they are still hot.

Mousse aux foixes de volaille (makes lots, we usually prepare half)
800 g Chicken livers
300 g Smoked bacon
3 Medium onions
250 ml Creme
25 ml Cognac

Cut the bacon, bake it till it releases the fat, then add the onion and cook till soft. Finally add the livers and cook on low heat for 5-10 min. Add salt if necessary. Mince this till it is very smooth, add cognac then whip the creme and fold this in. Cool overnight.

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