So at the weekend I was all set to bake a cake when a trip to the supermarket saw me walk away with a nice big jar of mincemeat and a bag of ground almonds. I knew in my heart they should be together. I’d had a craving for frangipane since an episode of Masterchef so I decided to stick it all together into one magical almondy mince pie. It’s been done before I admit but that doesn’t stop it from being amazing. Continue reading
If it’s possible to be bad at rolling truffles then I am. In general this isn’t really a bad thing but I have warm hands, which makes them terrible for making pastry and working with chocolate. Nick has even, on occasion, refused to hold my hand because it was too warm. Love eh?
Move over, all other variations, for I have found the most warming, accidentally-boozy, rich hot chocolate out there. Even if you make it with low-calorie drinking chocolate, we’re talking thick, dark, and creamy. This is serious business. Meet caramel spiced rum hot chocolate.
ontrary to the December diet I described in my last post, there are plenty of vegetables that are in season in December, as well as, you know, biscuits, cakes, and meat wrapped in more meat.
Admittedly, fruit is thin on the ground – at this point we’re mostly importing or living on booze-soaked dried fruit. No complaints here! Continue reading
There are still nine days till Christmas and I am preemptively festively plump. I’ve drunk cocktails and sprained my ankle and danced on it anyway already. The tree is up, wrapping paper has been purchased, and still it does not feel like the season, because none of these things, in this city, are part of the traditions.
It’ll be almost time for the real festivities when I catch the train home, listening to “Driving Home for Christmas”, carrying a suitcase containing far more pairs of shoes than are at all necessary.
It’ll feel like December when I get the chance to sneak-peek at the presents.
It’ll be Christmas when I’m at home, sat in front of the fire with one of my mum’s boozy mince pies, watching Miracle on 34th Street yet again.
The best mince pie I’ve ever had remains a mystery to me – it was eaten during the sweltering part of summer 2012 in a test kitchen, where I was part of a team sampling dozens of Christmas puddings and mince pies. It was tough work. The one I loved was flaky, and buttery, and had just the right amount of booze and…I have no idea who made it. It will forever remain a mystery to me.
So rather than go around every supermarket trying to find it, I thought this year I’d break with tradition just a little bit. I put my own twist on it to make a festive variation that keeps in with one of 2013’s biggest baking trends, the hybrid dessert. Bottom half mince pie, Viennese whirl top, 100% delicious. Continue reading
Christmas may have passed, but for most of us it’s not yet time to put down the whisks and sieves to sit back and plan how we’re going to lose this festive flab. But before we have cause to mourn the foods that a January diet disallows, there’s still one last night of blissful indulgence to go. But by the time new year rolls around, no-one wants to cook a full spread. Just a few little bites to keep guests from partying a little too hard. So here’s a few easy-to-whip-up recipes for new year party nibbles. Continue reading