Over and out for another year!





Well thats it from me for the year - if you want to partake in a full on christmas indulgence try this fruit mince & marzipan couronne (crown) recipe from Paul Hollywood of the Great British Bake Off fame. 

It's a christmas mince pie & christmas cake all rolled into one! WARNING - this couronne is very rich & sweet - you only need a small piece to avoid a sugar high!

Hope you all have a fab christmas and relaxing new year. I can't wait for 2017 and all the exciting things to come.




FRUIT MINCE & MARZIPAN COURONNE 
Adapted from a recipe by Paul Hollywood

Couronne
250g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tspn salt
3 tspn instant yeast
50g unsalted butter, softened
135ml whole milk
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten

Marzipan
40g caster sugar
70g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
110g ground almonds
½ orange, finely grated zest only
½ free-range egg, beaten

Filling & Topping
400g ready-made fruit mince
50g apricot jam
100g icing sugar
50g pistachios, cut into slivers
25g glacé cherries, roughly chopped

Couronne - Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt to one side of the bowl & the yeast to the other. Add the butter, milk, egg & stir the mixture with your fingers until it comes together as a dough. Continue mixing until the sides of the bowl are clean & the dough is soft. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface & knead for 5-6 mins, or until the dough has stopped feeling sticky & has a smooth, silky exterior. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film & set aside to prove in a warm room for at least 30 mins & up to one hour.
Marzipan - Mix the caster sugar, icing sugar & ground almonds together in a large bowl. Stir in the orange zest & beaten egg & mix again until the ingredients are well combined & have come together as a thick paste. Turn out the paste onto a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, & knead until smooth. Roll the marzipan into a ball, wrap in cling film & chill until needed.
When the couronne dough has about doubled in size, turn out onto a large piece of baking paper lightly floured. Without knocking it back, roll out the dough into a rectangle 33x25cm/13x10in in size. Turn the dough rectangle so that the long edge is facing you. Spread an even layer of fruit mince all over the dough leaving a space at the far edge clear of fruit mince.
With your hands roll the marzipan into 9 long thin pieces about the size of a pencil. Lay the marzipan in three rows over the mincemeat. Then roll the couronne dough tightly like a swiss roll using the foil to help keep the roll even. Take both ends of the couronne roll & twist into a spiral, then join the ends to form a ring.
Slide the couronne & baking paper onto a baking tray & set aside to prove again for a further 30-60 mins, or until the dough springs back quickly when lightly prodded. When the couronne has proved, preheat the oven to 210C. Bake the proved couronne for 20-25 minutes, or until risen & golden-brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Heat the apricot jam with a splash of water in a small pan over a medium heat until runny. Pass through a sieve to remove any pieces of fruit, & brush the ­­­jam all over the warm couronne to glaze. Set aside to cool completely.
In a bowl mix the icing sugar with enough water to form a thin, runny icing (1-2 tablespoons of water). Drizzle or brush the icing over the couronne, then sprinkle over the pistachio slivers and chopped cherries.





All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2016

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