Day 9 – Cappuccino Truffles


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.


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 | 38 Comments

Bread Baking at Seasoned Courses

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Day 8 – Ecclefechan


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.




225g plain flour

100g butter, cold diced

25g caster sugar

Zest of 1 orange

1 egg, large

A little water to combine


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


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!


Hot water crust pastry

340g plain flour

1 tsp salt

150ml water

115g lard


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


250ml chicken stock

2 sheets of gelatine


Makes: 1 x 2lb loaf tin pie Continue reading

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Day 6 – Chocolate and Mulled Wine Tart


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!



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



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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Day 5 – Mincemeat Baklava



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!


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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Day 4 – Chocolate Christmas Cake


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!




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 | 16 Comments

Mini Cakes – Santa Stop Here!


How about these miniature cakes – teeny tiny cakes made in mini baking cups from Iced Jems.  Just like the cupcake sized Christmas cakes then one full batch of 8” Christmas cake mix is going to make a ton, 50+ of these teeny tiny ones so just make a part mixture or mix up your baking with a variety of sizes, unless of course you want to make 50?!

You will need:

Chocolate Christmas Cake Mixture – recipe here

Mini baking cups (Iced Jems)

Cake pop or plastic lolly sticks

Snowflake Straws (Iced Jems)

Flags printout – here

Snowflake and mini pearl sprinkles Continue reading

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Individual Christmas Cakes


This is a lovely project to make for gifts – Individual Chocolate Christmas Cakes.  Waitrose is heading a #BakeItForward campaign, something lots of us do for Christmas – creating something special for friends.  I’m sending some of my individual cakes to Helen at Casa Costello and Jenny at Mummy Makes Cakes – lovely cakey friends with great blogs that I met up with recently.

Baked in baking cups from Iced Jems, decorated with retro Christmas decorations and packaged to perfection in boxes and bags from Elite Packaging Company.


DSC03673The 8” cake recipe makes plenty – approx. 24 so only make a full batch if you need plenty or are gifting them to a Christmas Fair!  You could also make a smaller 5 or 6” cake and using the remaining mixture for these cupcake sized cakes.

You will need:

1 x Chocolate Christmas Cake mixture – recipe here

Festive Baking Cups (Iced Jems) or silicone cupcake cases

Retro Christmas decorations


White sugarpaste Continue reading

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Day 3 – Marshmallow Snowflakes


These seem to be all over the place in the shops at Christmas time so I thought it was time I figured out how we do them at home – and it’s easier than I thought.  You will need a sugar thermometer and a silicone snowflake mould (or any other kind of Christmassy silicone mould if you prefer)

Christmas 6 002

They are easier to make in a stand mixer if you have one, it makes the hands juggling a lot easier but it can be done with an electric hand mixer too.


2 large egg whites

450g caster sugar

1 tbsp liquid glucose

200ml water

1 tsp vanilla extract

8 leaves of gelatine

2 tbsps cornflour

2 tbsps icing sugar

Continue reading

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Posted in Children, Christmas, Kids, Treats, Twelve Days of Christmas, Vanilla | 4 Comments