Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Betty’s Award winning Brown Bread

If you want to make some nice nibbles for your New Year’s Eve celebrations or some comforting snacks for your New Year’s Day relaxations. Betty’s brown bread is the perfect solution and is absolutely wonderful with brie cheese, salmon or even the simple butter and jam combination.
This recipe only takes a few minutes to prepare and an hour to cook. It is so wonderfully tasty it is hard not to eat it straight out of the oven.
Betty’s brown bread was crowned champion at this year’s brown bread baking competition at the National Ploughing Championship in association with The ICA and Aldi

Find Betty's recipe here

For more information contact An Grianán at or 041 9822119. ICA at or 01 6680002

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Stuffing Cake

Christmas Day can be a hectic day of cooking. I like to take some of the pressure off by doing some of the prep work the day before.  This year I asked ICA president Liz Wall for some tips on how she prepares her stuffing. Liz introduced me to the stuffing cake, a recipe she picked up at a cookery demonstration in An Grianán in 2006.
  • 200g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 200g sausage meat
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tsp  chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 apple cored and chopped
  • 75g cranberries
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 180g turkey stock. (I used homemade chicken stock here)
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • Melt the butter and fry off the onions until soft
  • Pour the onions into a bowl and add all the other ingredients
  • Knead well to thoroughly mix
  • Press mixture into a 8-9 inch dish and cover with tinfoil.
  • Bake at 180° for 15 mins, then remove the tinfoil and bake for a further 15 min until cooked through and golden on top.
  • Serve in slices to accompany turkey or other cooked meat.
This mixture can also be used to stuff the bird if you don’t want to serve it separately.  The flavour combination of the cranberries, apple and, celery make this a beautiful flavoured stuffing and a wonderful addition to your Christmas feast 

For more information contact An Grianán at or 041 9822119. ICA at or 01 6680002

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Maltesers Christmas Pudding

My self and another ICA member came across this chocolate Christmas pudding on Facebook and Pinterest decided to try it for ourselves.
On further research I found that there was more than one way to do this. So, naturally i tried both.
To make one you need. Two boxes of maltesers, one Terry’s chocolate orange, sugar paste, red and green food colouring and some white and milk chocolate.
Before I began to assemble the chocolate Christmas pudding, I melted the milk and white chocolate.
I then made some holly leaves and berry’s form sugar past.
The first way you can make this chocolate pudding  is by using some melted milk chocolate to stick the Terry’s chocolate orange to a plate. Then take each malteser, dip it in the melted chocolate and build upwards around the Terry’s chocolate orange. To complete the pudding, poor melted white cholate over the top and allow it to drip down. Then, before the chocolate is set, put the sugar paste holly on top. Using this method you get a dome shaped pudding that is quick and easy to assemble.
The second way you can make this chocolate pudding is by placing the Terry's chocolate orange into a cup up to its middle. Then build the chocolate dipped maltesers upwards. Once one half is completed, flip the pudding over and do the same with the second half. This pudding is decorated the same way as the first. Using this method you get a spherical shaped pudding, however it is not as easy to get right as the first method. I had problems with the maltesers falling off and the pudding getting stuck to the cup.
Making these chocolate puddings is an excellent Christmas activity for the young and old alike. They make wonderful Christmas gifts and are grate talking points at Christmas parties.
For more information contact the ICA on or 01 6680002