Merry Christmas!


Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! I’m looking forward to tucking into this pudding later today.

My planned edible gift posts were sadly thwarted by the particularly nasty cold bug that’s been going round but I am finally starting to feel human again. Serves me right for leaving them to the week before Christmas!

Cornish Sea Salted Caramels

I can’t remember where I found this Donal Skehan recipe for sea salted caramels but glad I took a screen shot of it on my phone as I can’t find it online now. Donal being Irish, the original recipe calls for Irish sea salt but I love the Cornish sea salt so I used that instead. These caramels are soft and chewy so don’t need a warning for those with fillings and make an ideal christmas gifts. The salt balances the sweetness of the caramels and makes them pretty easy to eat.

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Sugar & Spice Candied Nuts

I saw this Sugar & Spice Candied Nuts recipe on the Smitten Kitchen site last Christmas but I had already made all my gifts/run out of time so I made sure to fit these in this year. They are very quick and easy to make but are very difficult not to keep snacking on. I made up jars for friends and kept the left overs for myself for Christmas time but unfortunately polished them off today on the first day of my 2 week holiday. Oops!

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Salted Butterscotch Popcorn Cheesecake

This salted butterscotch popcorn cheesecake from Rosie Birkett’s book A Lot On Her Plate must be the showstopper dessert of 2015. I have long wanted to try the recipe and last week whilst recovering from surgery finally gave it a whirl in a pre Christmas trial run. I will definitely be making this for the Christmas night buffet as its a very simple no bake cheesecake but it looks and tastes amazing.

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Baileys Irish Cream Marshmallows

They say ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’, I say when your landlord serves notice on New Years Day, make Baileys Marshmallows!

I had intended this to be a post aimed at those wishing to thank Christmas or NYE party hosts for a wonderful gathering in an alternative and ‘light to post’ manner but discovered these are so quick and easy to make (I managed it on 2 hrs sleep…. I was lying awake worrying where I will put all my board backgrounds and props come Spring) and are also great when you are feeling a bit sorry for yourself. I saw this recipe for Eggnog marshmallows over the holidays and tweaked it for Baileys as thats what I had left after Christmas but you could also use bourbon, rum, kahlua, advocaat etc depending what dregs you have left!

You will require a sugar or responsive digital thermometer to make these and preferably a stand mixer unless you have great arm strength for 10 mins using a hand held!

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Parmesan, Chilli and Rosemary Biscuits

Due to poor planning on my part these Parmesan, chilli and rosemary biscuits from Jo Wheatley’s fabulous book Home Baking don’t look like a show stopping Christmas post to end 2014 on but they are certainly very moorish and would make an excellent addition to the Christmas buffet table or as part of a hamper. They are supremely cheesey and almost like a savoury shortbread in texture. All that’s left for me to say is eat, drink and be merry this festive season and I will see you in 2015 with more recipes and photos.

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Whisky & Ginger Truffles

These whisky and ginger truffles make an excellent homemade Christmas gift and are pretty easy to make, save from covering yourself in melted chocolate as you roll them into balls! I sadly also found out last week that they are extremely comforting after I had to say goodbye to my faithful feline friend Erin. Her final vets bill will no doubt result in everyone getting homemade gifts for Christmas this year and possibly 2015……..

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Apple & Walnut Chutney

This apple & walnut chutney was a hit last Christmas and I am very behind with the edible gift preperations this year so it’s making its second appearance in the hampers! I’m not really getting into my usual Christmas spirit but had to get a wriggle on with chutney making so that it had time to mature before the festive season hits. This one is great with cheeses and cold meats too. I will bring you the recipe for the savoury biscuits shortly.

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Vegan Christmas Cake

I always bake my friends Jo and Teppo a Christmas cake each year but last year they adopted a vegan diet so my challenge was to find a good vegan Christmas cake recipe so that they could still enjoy a festive treat. I came across this blog post by The Hungry Veggie and the recipe had many positive comments so I used this as the basis of my cake and tweaked the recipe to try and make it as similar in taste to my traditional Christmas cake. It must be good as they requested another this year, so now I have their seal of approval here is the recipe.

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