Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cranberry mincemeat

Pure and simple: the smell of Christmas.
And no suet!

1 bag of fresh cranberries (about 250 g)
1 tsp each ground cinnamon and mixed spice
100 g chopped mixed peel
50g flaked almonds, crushed in your hand
100 ml port
120 g light brown sugar
juice of 1 orange
100g sultanas
100g raisins

Bubble it all over a medium heat, stirring to prevent it sticking, until all the cranberries have exploded and it's syrupy - about 15 mins. Test for sweetness. Take off the heat and add...

A generous slosh of brandy/ grand marnier
1tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp almond essence

Keep in a jar in the fridge and use to fill mince pies.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Honey Cake

The sort of thing that Pooh Bear would eat, me-thinks! what is great about this one is that you can tell yourself that you can have another slice, because it's SO healthy! It has honey, unrefined nuts and brown flour. Except it doesn't taste worthy at all, it is buttery and with a light crumb and a praline nuttiness. Hidden under the guise of a boring looking, almost burnt crust. This is one that whispers seductively "never judge a book by its cover!" I dare you not to have a second slice, and maybe even a third.

With thanks to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall for the original recipe (in his River Cottage Everyday  [GREAT book]) which of course I have tweaked!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

These are the love child of Nigella's Choc Cherry Cupcakes from Domestic Goddess and Bill Granger's Easy Mix Chocolate Cake, perfected, if that is not too strong a word, by me. So they are naughty but nice, cheeky and sexy, and bound to add to your wobbly bits! They take after Nigella more in the looks department - dark, sexy, sultry and very yummy mummy! They are deeply delicious with a hint of sweet, rich, mellow cherry. Just cook 'em and see. And then thank me!


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