Day 12 – Snowmen Macarons

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Just a little delicious Christmas idea from me today! Snowmen Macarons!

Ingredients:

1 x qty Macaron mixture recipe here

Milk Chocolate Ganache

80ml double cream

1 tbsp butter

300g milk chocolate chopped

To decorate:

Thin Christmas ribbon

Cake pop sticks

Black edible icing pen

Orange edible icing pen or orange petal dust mixed with a little clear alcohol

Makes: 16 snowmen

Mix up the Macaron mixture following the steps just here, very simply flavour the mixture at the meringue stage with a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Fill a piping bag with the mixture and line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper or ideally a reusable bake o glide sheet.  Use a piping nozzle that is a round open nozzle no bigger than 1cm wide – this helps control the mixture and stops it from flowing out of the bag! Continue reading

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Posted in Chocolate, Christmas, Gifts, How To, Macaroons, Meringue, Treats, Twelve Days of Christmas, Vanilla | 6 Comments

Day 11 – Mantecados

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A little something to share with you for Christmas that I’d not come across before.  I was tipped off to these by a good friend Helen who lives and works in Spain – you may have come across her blog The Diary of a Cake Maker.

I was asked to take part in Expedia’s World on a Plate Blogger Challenge and this Spanish Christmas recipe is just perfect.

Mantecados are a traditional Spanish Christmas treat – a Crumble Cake.  They are extremely light and flaky, a delicate treat that will melt in your mouth.  They will certainly be a regular Christmas treat in our house from now on.

They are served in waxed paper wrappers – owing to the fact that they will fall apart as you eat them – and I’ve found a nifty way of making my own with waxed paper and tissue paper too – all the instructions are below.

 

Ingredients:

250g plain flour

160g lard (or white vegetable fat ie. Trex as a vegetarian alternative)

Pinch of salt

Zest of ¼ lemon

50ml sweet white wine (Moscatel)

Caster sugar to coat

For the wrappers:

Christmas Tissue Paper

Waxed paper (If you’re crafty with other projects not just baking you may have come across this in hobby supply stores, if not then it’s available on Amazon and eBay) Continue reading

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Posted in Biscuit, Biscuits, Christmas, Egg-free, Lemon, Treats, Twelve Days of Christmas | 7 Comments

Day 10 – Chocolate Meringue Roulade

DSC04007Last years Toffee Pecan Roulade went down an absolute storm so I thought this year I’d share a chocolate version.  They’re so brilliant because they’re freezable!  Make it now and stash it in the freezer for a Christmas dessert.

Ingredients:

Roulade

5 egg whites, large

2 tsp cornflour

225g caster sugar

2 tbsps cocoa powder

Chocolate Caramel Filling

1 x 315g tin of condensed milk

90g soft brown sugar

90g butter

3 tbsps cocoa powder

Cream

300ml double cream

3 tbsps icing sugar

50g chocolate curls

Popping candy (optional)

Cocoa powder to dust Continue reading

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Posted in Chocolate, Christmas, Meringue, Pudding, Treats, Twelve Days of Christmas | 22 Comments

Day 9 – Cappuccino Truffles

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A perfect after dinner treat, deliciously simple to make but dark, rich and packing a coffee punch.  The white chocolate coating adds a lovely creamy touch just like a Cappuccino! Here are my tips for making, shaping and coating the best truffles around.

Ingredients:

300g dark chocolate, chopped

250ml double cream

1 shot of espresso (40ml strong coffee)

 

250g white chocolate to coat

Dusting of cocoa powder

 

Makes: Approx 50 truffles (that sounds a lot, but actually if you’re giving them as gifts they don’t go hugely far – certainly after allowing for quality control!

Start off by making the coffee ganache as the base for the truffles. Chop the dark chocolate and set to one side. Continue reading

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Posted in Chocolate, Coffee, Gifts, How To, Treats, Twelve Days of Christmas | 37 Comments

Bread Baking at Seasoned Courses

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Day 8 – Ecclefechan

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Have you ever tried these?  They are really delicious and a nice alternative to Mince Pies too.  I have added Christmas spices to mine and a zesty orange pastry which isn’t the traditional way so if you want them authentic simply leave those out.

 

Ingredients:

Pastry

225g plain flour

100g butter, cold diced

25g caster sugar

Zest of 1 orange

1 egg, large

A little water to combine

Filling

2 eggs, large

100g sultanas

100g raisins

50g cherries, whole

50g flaked almonds

2 tbsps treacle

150g dark muscovado sugar

1 tbsp vinegar

125g butter

1 ½ tsp ground mixed spice

A little icing sugar to dust

Makes: 18 Continue reading

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Posted in Christmas, Pastry, Treats, Twelve Days of Christmas | 14 Comments

Day 7 – Gala Pork Pie

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Would you like one of these on your buffet table?  They’ve gone down a storm here and I bet they will with you too!

Ingredients:

Hot water crust pastry

340g plain flour

1 tsp salt

150ml water

115g lard

Filling

500g minced pork (the best quality you can find)

125g streaky smoked bacon, diced

200g sausagemeat

1 tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

1 tsp dried thyme

1 small onion, finely diced

1 egg

6 eggs, large (hard boiled)

1 egg beaten for egg wash

Jelly

250ml chicken stock

2 sheets of gelatine

 

Makes: 1 x 2lb loaf tin pie Continue reading

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Posted in Christmas, Pastry, Savoury, Treats, Twelve Days of Christmas | 6 Comments

Day 6 – Chocolate and Mulled Wine Tart

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An extremely rich mulled wine and chocolate tart – very decadent and something a little bit different to serve this Christmas.  I know isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it’s definitely mine!

Ingredients:

Pastry

100g butter, softened

75g caster sugar

1 egg, large

300g plain flour

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground cloves

 

Filling

6 eggs, large

225g caster sugar

350ml mulled wine

100ml double cream

3 tbsps cocoa powder

 

Makes: 1 x 9” tart Continue reading

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Posted in Chocolate, Christmas, Cinnamon, Pastry, Treats, Twelve Days of Christmas | 8 Comments

Day 5 – Mincemeat Baklava

 

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A new twist on a Mince Pie – Mincemeat Baklava!  No sorry, I’m not making my own Filo, it’s Christmas time for goodness sake and I’m just a little bit busy.  Ready made Filo is what it’s all about!

Ingredients:

2 x pkts Filo Pastry

1 x jar of Mincemeat

175g melted butter

 

200ml water

200g caster sugar

80ml honey

2 cinnamon sticks

2 star anise

5 whole cloves

Makes: 1 x 8” square tray of Bakalava Continue reading

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Posted in Christmas, Cinnamon, Pastry, Treats, Twelve Days of Christmas | 1 Comment

Day 4 – Chocolate Christmas Cake

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A super rich dark Christmas cake.  I’ve been making this for a few years now and I’m always asked for the recipe.  The chocolate isn’t an obvious flavour but it is what makes this cake so rich and luxurious.  It’s a great cake to make as the fruits only have an overnight soaking and it doesn’t need any feeding – bargain!  Try it, I know you’ll love it!

Plus there’s a couple of bonus projects with this recipe too – have a look here for these individual cakes, perfect to give as gifts and these cute little mini ones too – Santa Please Stop Here!

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Ingredients:

200g butter

200g light muscovado sugar

150ml brandy

150ml water

Juice and zest of 2 large oranges Continue reading

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Posted in Cake, Chocolate, Christmas, Treats, Twelve Days of Christmas | 14 Comments