The garnish at corners of plate is physalis (Cape gooseberry)
Michael prepares oysters for Christmas Eve
The Mediterranean Kitchen (out of print, but a used copy is now on its way to Kate). Recipe follows pictures, readable if clicked to enlarge.
A treat later in the week, reblochon cheese baked with white wine and garlic.
Dada's Christmas cake
[The recipe in the book called for glacé cherries. Since I don't like them, I candied fresh cranberries, a really good substitution. I also used Grand Marnier instead of rum.]
250g unsalted butter, softened
350g candied mixed lemon and orange peel, coarsely chopped
350ml dark rum
200g hazelnuts roasted (see previous recipe), coarsely chopped
300g blanched whole almonds, roasted and coarsely chopped
100g ground almonds
100g caster sugar
200g plain flour
3 organic eggs
The chopped peel of 3 lemons
100g apricot jam
500g chocolate (with 70 per cent cocoa content), chopped
Pre-heat oven to 150C/gas mark 1. Line a 23cm cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease with extra butter. Marinate the candied orange and lemon peel into the rum for at least one hour. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and light. Add the eggs one at a time, then fold in the flour and ground almonds. Drain the marinated dried fruit, reserving the rum and add to the mixture, then add the lemon peel, honey and apricot jam.
Finally, fold in the roasted nuts and the chocolate and the reserved rum. Pour into the prepared tin and cook in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes.
Good blog post on Picard, by an American in Paris: