The Ray D'Arcy Show

The Ray D'Arcy Show

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Ray Darcy Tuesday 24 November 2020

A Page From My Life - The Podcast  (Listen Here)

A collection of extracts from the "A Page From My Life" series from The Ray D'Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio 1

The Ray D'Arcy Show

The Ray D'Arcy Show

It's all about life.

The Ray D'Arcy - Full Show

On today's show John Healy shares his wedding news, Ray speaks to Kirabu and Rory Halpin about Spirasi an organisation helping victims of torture, Gabriel Clarke, director of the Jack Charlton documentary joined us and Neven Maguire is back with his Christmas Cooking Guide.

Spirasi - Helping victims of torture

Spirasi - Helping victims of torture

Spirasi is the sole dedicated service for victims of torture who come to Ireland. Chief Executive of Spirasi Rory Halpin and Kirabu who is originally from Uganda and came here 20 years ago.

Neven's Christmas Cooking Guide

Neven's Christmas Cooking Guide

Cranberry Sauce

This simple cranberry sauce is so much nicer than anything you can buy. It's delicious with roast turkey as well as any type of game or cold cuts on St Stephens Day.

MAKES ABOUT 450ML (3/4 PINT)

350(12oz) fresh or frozen
cranberries
175g (6oz) granulated sugar

Put the cranberries in a pan with 4 tablespoons of water. Bring to the boil, then cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 6–8 minutes, until the cranberries have started to soften.

Stir in the sugar until dissolved, then remove from the heat. Serve warm or cold in a serving dish. This can be kept covered with cling film in the fridge for up to a week.

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Grape Chutney

If you're looking for something a bit different that you can’t buy in the shops, then this preserve is perfect. It goes brilliantly with my chicken liver parfait (page 32) but is also great served with cold cuts over the festive period, particularly turkey or a nice mature cheese.

It would be the most fantastic present presented in a hamper that has been filled with straw with a fresh ham and a nice linen tea towel.

MAKES ABOUT 4 X 450ML (¾ PINT) KILNER JARS

5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
150ml (¼ pint) balsamic vinegar
150ml (¼ pint) brandy (preferably Cognac)
1 onion, finely chopped
1kg (2¼lb) white seedless grapes
175g (6oz) Demerara sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
good pinch of sea salt

Put the apples in a large heavy-based pan with the vinegar and brandy and cook for 30 minutes over a low heat. Stir in the onion, grapes, sugar, spices and salt and continue to simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and pulpy. Leave to cool slightly, then spoon into 4 x 450ml (¾ pint) warm, sterilised Kilner jars and seal. Store in a cool, dark place for up to three months or until needed. Once open, keep in the fridge and use as required.

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Christmas Chocolate Mendiants

Mendiants are a traditional French confectionery that are made as part of the 13 Christmas desserts in the region of Provence. The custom is to top them with raisins, hazelnuts, dried figs and almonds to represent the four main monastic orders of the Dominicans, Augustinians, Franciscans and Carmelites. They make a fantastic last-minute gift or after-dinner sweet. You can of course replace the plain chocolate for white or milk if you prefer or make a selection of each one.

50g (2oz) whole cashew nuts

400g (14oz) plain chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), broken into squares

40g (1½oz) dried cranberries

40g (1½oz) crystallised ginger

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Line two large baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

2. Spread the cashew nuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 6–8 minutes, until nicely toasted, stirring them halfway through to ensure they cook evenly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

3. Melt 325g (11½oz) of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir occasionally until just melted, then take the pan off the heat and add the rest of the chocolate. Allow it to melt in the residual heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.

4. Using a teaspoon, pour little discs of the melted chocolate onto the lined baking sheets and use the back of the spoon to spread them out to a diameter of 2.5cm (1in). Do about four at a time because the toppings must be added while the chocolate is still soft. Gently press one cashew nut, two or three dried cranberries and one piece of crystallised ginger on the top of each chocolate disc.

5. Continue making the mendiants in the same way until all the chocolate has been used up. If the chocolate in the bowl begins to set a little before you have finished, simply put it back on the pan of simmering water and stir gently until just melted again. Allow the mendiants to set in a cool, dry place for 2–3 hours. Pop the chocolates into gift boxes or bags layered with tissue paper, tie with ribbon and share them. These can be made up to two weeks in advance if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

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Oat & Cranberry Cookies


These cookies are irresistible when warm and are perfect for serving on Christmas night. The dried cranberries can be replaced with raisins or chopped dried apricots, depending on what you fancy. Once you have added the flour, bring the cookie dough together using as few stirs as possible so that the dough doesn't get too tough.

MAKES 10

100g (4oz) butter, softened
100g (4oz) light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
130g (4½oz) porridge oats
75g (3oz) dried cranberries
50g (2oz) self-raising flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Line two baking sheets with non-stick baking paper.

2 Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Beat in the egg and vanilla, then stir in the oats, cranberries, flour and cinnamon.

3 Divide the cookie dough into 10 equal-sized blobs (each about 50g (2oz)), placing them on the prepared baking sheets as you go and leaving plenty of space for them to spread out.

4 Bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes. The trick is to pull them out of the oven before they are super firm – you want them to come out just slightly underbaked so that when they cool they will still be chewy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little before serving.
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MACNEAN CHOCOLATE & COOLE SWAN TRUFFLES

Ingredients:
100ml cream
250g (9oz) plain chocolate, broken into squares (at least 70% cocoa solids)
25g  butter
4 tbsp Coole Swan liqueur 

For The Coating:
225g (8oz) plain chocolate, broken into squares (at least 70% cocoa solids)
cocoa powder, for dusting

Method:
Place the cream in a pan bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then whisk in the butter and then the chocolate until smooth and melted. Stir in the Coole Swan and transfer to a bowl. Leave to cool completely, whisking every 20 minutes so that the butter will be evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and chill for 2–3 hours, until set firm, stirring occasionally to present a skin from forming. 
When the mixture is cold and set, use a melon baller to scoop it into 1.75cm (3/4in) balls. Make sure to dip the melon baller in hot water to give the chocolate mixture a better shape. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with non-stick parchment paper. 
To make the coating, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. Leave to cool a little, then dip the truffles in the melted chocolate and quickly roll in the cocoa powder. Place in the fridge to set. 
To serve, arrange the truffles on a plate to hand around to guests while they are enjoying their coffee. 
 

COOK AHEAD
These truffles will keep well in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container. They can also be frozen very successfully, but should always be left at room temperature to thaw out completely.

Music Played on the Show

Touch Too Much

Touch Too Much

Ac/Dc

4:26

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Presenter: Ray D'Arcy

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