London Christmas windows and Holy Nougat.

churches shoes

figure from a navtivity sceneNativity figure in antique shop in Kensington Church street.

antique window   The antique shops in Kensington Church Street had great windows full of fun and quirky objects.  D:DCIM100DICAMDSCI1151.JPGlondon windowsD:DCIM100DICAMDSCI1133.JPGD:DCIM100DICAMDSCI1135.JPGWindows at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge.


More windows in Kensington Church Street.


I made Nougat for Christmas gifts this year and it went down a treat. Here is the recipe, taken from Sean Moran’s book “Let it simmer Sean’s Restaurant is “Sean’s Panaroma” on Bondi Beach.The rice paper came from a shop in Florence in Italy called Pegna. I knew that many Christmas cakes in Italy used rice paper, such as the Panforte from Siena. So one Christmas when visiting Florence a friend told me about Pegna, which sells it in sheets and there it is called oste, as in the host, the wafer taken in Communion

Holy Nougat.

Makes 1.5 kg

2 generous handfuls of dried fruit, I used dried apricots, golden sultanas, and raisins.

150g lightly toasted nuts, such as almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, or a combination of all or any of these.

200g white chocolate

150g candied peel, I used orange.

4 sheets of rice paper

440g castor sugar

125ml honey

250ml liquid glucose

2 egg whites (at room temperature)

1 pinch of salt

1 vanilla bean.

Roast nuts in a medium temperature oven for 20 mins 125° Cut the choolate into rough 1-2 cm chunks and chill in freezer. Cut butter into rough chunks and coarsely chop candied peel. Choose a 20cm wide x30cm long x 4cm deep baking dish. Line base with 2 sheets of rice paper, folding it up the sides.Divide sugar, honey, glucose evenly between 2 heavy based saucepans and add 30ml to each. Using a sugar thermometer, bring syrups to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk egg whites with salt to soft peaks, (preferably in an electric mixer).When first syrup reaches 125°, drizzle it into the whites while beating simultaneously. Bring other syrup to 157° then beat it into the whites as well. Gradually whisk in the butter and incorporate thoroughly. Fold in nuts and dried fruit, chocolate, candied peel and seeds scraped from split vanilla bean. Pour mixture into prepared tray, pressing remaining rice paper firmly on top. Refrigerate overnight until firm before cutting into bite size pieces.

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