Just because you’re taking part in veganuary doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on your favourite Friday night treats. I’m a big fan of jackfruit, it’s so easy and convenient to prepare and is a great base for all sorts of marinades. I […]
The big day may be over with for another a year but that doesn’t mean that we’re done with the feasting – as far as I’m concerned that doesn’t finish until the clock strikes January!
This rich, creamy cheesecake is the perfect dessert for this time of year and it’s full of festive flavours. It’s also a handy way to use up any leftover mincemeat that you might have hanging around.
200g biscuits (anything you like but ginger nuts or speculoos are nice)
600g cream cheese
100g sour cream
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tbsp rum (or brandy)
dark chocolate decorations
Start by lightly greasing a spring-form cake tin and securely wrapping the base of it with foil. Pre-heat your oven to 170°c. Crush the biscuits and melt the butter before combing the two. Press this mixture firmly into the base of the tin, pushing it slightly up the sides. Pop this in the fridge to firm up whilst you make the filling.
Put the cream cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat them together until they are smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Mix in the sour cream, alchohol and vanilla, making sure that it is well blended. Stir in the mincemeat by hand and then pour the mixture over the biscuit base. Give the tin a little shimmy to level things off before giving it a couple of sharp taps to knock out any excess air bubbles. Put the tin in a bain-marie and bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour.
Once it’s done it should have a little wobble in the middle but be a little puffed up and a little golden around the edges. Turn off the oven and take the cheesecake out of its water bath but leave it in the oven to cool. Once it’s room temperature move it to the fridge to chill for several hours, preferably overnight.
To serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin and add a few dark chocolate decorations and perhaps a touch of sparkle to the top.
I might have mentioned this before but my family doesn’t eat Christmas dinner (we have it on Christmas Eve instead) but we do enjoy a Christmas day brunch before the present opening begins. And this is the perfect recipe to kick off the big day. It’s rich and crunchy and full of classic gingerbread flavours – absolutely delicious served with thick creamy Greek yoghurt and fruit.
The beauty of homemade granola is that it’s so easy to adapt it to you own tastes. Potty for pumpkin seeds? Pile them in. Fan of figs? Go ahead! Crazy about cashews? Well you get the idea. Use whatever dried fruit, nuts and seeds you like (I’ve opted for sultanas, hazelnuts and pecans) but try to keep to a ratio of 2/3 fruit to 1/3 nuts and seeds. I also think that it’s better not to bake the fruit as it tends to make it a bit too chewy, I think it’s better to add it at the end.
150g nuts, dried fruit and seeds (see note above)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp crystalised ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp sea salt
Preheat your oven to 170°c and line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or baking parchment.
Toss together the oats with the nuts, seeds and crystalised ginger (keep back any fruit that you’re using) in a large mixing bowl.
Gently warm the maple syrup, sugar, oil, spices and salt so that they are all nicely melted together but not too hot (or the sugar will burn). Pour this mixture over the oaty blend and stir well, so that everything is nicely coated.
Spread this out on the prepared baking sheet, pressing it down slightly. Bake the granola for 20 minutes, turning it half way through.
Once the granola is baked scatter the fruit over it and then leave it to cool completely before breaking up the clusters a little and storing in an air-tight container.
You could put this in a pretty jar and give it as a lovely edible Christmas gift!
Something about the onset of the cold grey weather makes me want to eat cheese. ALL THE TIME! Toasty, golden, melted cheese is my favourite and these scones, warm from the oven, fit the bill perfectly. They have a lovely combination of flavours. The rich […]
Quick, delicious and impressive. Are there three better words to describe a dessert recipe? I don’t think there are. This recipe is so easy, you don’t even really have to weigh anything (doesn’t that sound good?). Buttery, crispy, flaky pastry wrapped around a filling of […]
Thick, rich and velvety, this is the perfect winter soup! It might sound like an odd combination of flavours but it really works. The sweet, earthy parsnip and the slightly peppery celeriac, the tangy apple and the warming horseradish, it’s all just wonderful together.
Like all blended soups this is really quick and simple to prepare and makes a delicious warming winter supper, perfect with warm buttery bread.
1 tbsp butter
3 shallots or 1 small white onion
250g Bramley apple
1 ltr vegetable stock
few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tbsp creamed horseradish
salt and black pepper to taste
milk to thin
Peel and roughly chop all of the vegetables and the apple. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and gently fry all of this over a low heat until it is just starting to take on a little colour. Add the stock and the thyme and increase the heat. Boil the soup until the vegetables are really soft, for about 15 minutes.
Remove the thyme stalks and transfer the soup to a blender and blend until it is smooth and velvety. Stir in the creme fraiche and horseradish and season to taste with salt and pepper before thinning the soup to whatever consistency you prefer with a little milk.
What better Autumn teatime treat could there be than a slice of sweetly spiced loaf cake baked with butternut squash and sweet dried apricots? This cake is deliciously moist (sorry, I don’t have another word for it!) and a little like a fruitier carrot cake. […]