For the past couple of years we have hosted the reading group's Christmas Party. Instead of our usual December gathering to discuss a book, we get together for a lovely evening where everyone contributes to the food and drink and we play "wordy" games, the most popular of which is always Literary Consequences... "Jane Eyre met The Hobbit on a windswept moor etc..." It always has us in fits of laughter.
For me it is also a chance to play with my food... if you get my meaning! Two years ago I attempted some cocktail cupcakes. Strawberry daquaries and pina coladas in cake form. Last year I was inspired by the Christmas bake-off which aired the night before the party and I ended up making a gingerbread house
I made the mistake of watching the bake off again this week and although I would have loved to have made the very impressive Kransekake, I don't possess any of the cake moulds so instead I made Paul Hollywood's Christmas Couronne... which proved to be very popular!
Which was just as well because the dessert I originally planned to make were these chocolate profiteroles which didn't look all that appealing (I won't tell you what the choux pastry looked like when I piped it out!) As a result, they were nearly all left over at the end of the evening. However they taste much better than they look and my boys polished most of them off whilst we did the clearing up!
Today I braved Cambridge for a bit of Christmas shopping and have now come home for a much needed cup of tea... which is funny because reading back over last years post-reading group party blog post, I was in exactly the same situation... presents still to buy, cards to write, christmas cake to bake... I could go on! Luckily there were still a couple of slices of couronne left over...
I would definitely make this again if only for the layers of wonderful orange flavoured marzipan. In fact I don't think I will ever make marzipan any other way...
Mix together 90g caster sugar, 140g icing sugar and 220g ground almonds. Add the finely grated zest of one orange and mix it all together with a beaten egg.
This will be going on my Christmas cake... if I ever get around to making one that is!