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……..
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.
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.
So yes it’s that time of year again. My fruit had been soaking in booze for a good few days so I took my cue from the wet and grey Sunday afternoon to get baking the first of 6 Christmas cakes.
Here is a last post of 2014 before I head to Cornwall for the holidays. This is another good edible gift idea which I like to present in glass jars with a ribbon or great to offer to guests who pop in for a cuppa over the festive period. Lebkuchen are a traditional German soft spiced gingerbread biscuit glazed with icing sugar and water. You can also dip the bottoms in dark chocolate to make them even more yummy.
These Romkugler are not rum truffles in the conventional sense, I guess they are most likely the original cake pop. Created by Danish bakers as a way to use up left over cake, this recipe uses porridge oats instead of cake but you can substitute the oats for cake for a more authentic rum ball. These are quick to whizz together if you have a processor and are easy – if a little messy – to make. This recipe is taken from Signe Johansen’s book Scandilicious Baking.
I have adapted the pastry from this BBC Good Food recipe ‘Unbelievably Easy Mince Pies’ by adding some egg to make it possible to roll out. It is a very short sweet pastry but it is very forgiving. If you have problems with pastry, my method does require some patience when rolling out as it can’t be too cold or too warm and it does have a tendency to crack/stick if not well floured. By all means follow the original recipe which is not meant to be rolled out but formed freehand in the patty tins by pressing a ball of dough into shape which will result in a more rustic looking pie. That method is also great if making these with children.
For anyone not familiar with mince pies, the modern day version we enjoy in the UK does not contain any meat. It is a mixture of brandy soaked dried fruits and you can find the recipe I use here or use a good supermarket mincemeat and stir in a splash of brandy or rum before spooning out into the pies.