Clausmopolitan Cocktail

I love making cocktails at Christmas for everyone and you won’t get a more Christmassy cocktail that this Clausmopolitan. Cheers everyone!

Ingredients

35ml raspberry vodka

35ml triple sec

120ml cranberry juice

Squeeze of lime

Sugar and lime juice to sugar the rim of glass

A few pomegranate seeds and blueberries to decorate.

Method

Place your sugar on a plate and rub a cut lime quarter around the rim of the cocktail glass. Tip glass upside down and twist to sugar.

Pour all of your ingredients into the glass and stir.

Add your fruit and get merry!


Winter Berry Sorbet

This is such a lovely light dessert which makes a nice change from all the heavy Christmas ones. You can whizz up your fruit in a blender with a few simple ingredients, freeze and forget about it until needed. Bursting with berries and antioxidants. I don’t use sugar just a little honey to sweeten it.

Just take out of the freezer 10 minutes or so before serving.

Ingredients

500g forest fruit frozen berry mix

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 tablespoons honey

200ml cranberry juice

Method

Simply pour all your ingredients into the blender and whizz up until smooth.

Transfer into a freezer proof dish. I used one that was 17 x27cm.

Freeze for a few hours preferably overnight.

When ready to serve remove from the freezer approx 10 minutes before serving to soften.


Mince Pies

Personally I don’t think you can beat homemade mince pies. There’s nothing worse than those ones with soft pastry that collapse into nothing!

My mum has made these for as long as I can remember and I’ve followed the tradition. The mincemeat is infused with cider and Cointreau and packed full juicy fruit. I make them quite tiny as I prefer them that way. The house smells wonderful while they are baking. It wouldn’t be Christmas without them.

Makes approximately 12 mince pies with 1 pack of ready roll pastry. Mincemeat measurements are enough for about 4 350g jars

Ingredients

750g mixed fruit

2 bramley apples – peeled, cored and sliced

Juice and zest of a large orange

500ml apple cider

150g soft brown sugar

2 teaspoons mixed spice

2 tablespoons Cointreau

1 pack of ready roll Shortcrust pastry

1 egg – beaten to glaze

Flour to dust work surface

2 tablespoons icing sugar to dust over

Vintage Christmas decorations

Method

Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c fan

In a large pan add your cider and apple slices and bring to the boil. Now add all your other ingredients except the Cointreau and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Stir in the Cointreau.

Allow to cool and decant into jars.

Roll out your pastry on a floury work surface. Cut out little rounds with your serrated circular cutter and place in a greased Yorkshire pudding tin. Now cut out the lids by using a shaped cutter like a tree or star. Place firmly on the top.

Glaze with beaten egg and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 15-20 mins.

Once they are lightly golden remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. It’s nice to still eat them warm.

Arrange on a plate and dust over a little icing sugar. Adorn with as many vintage festive mini decorations that you can find.

Serve to delighted family and guests with a mulled wine.


Baked Camembert with Rosemary

Baked camembert with French bread is such an easy but delicious option when you have friends over for drinks. When my friends come over I don’t want to be too busy cooking to enjoy being with them so I make sharing boards with cheese, biscuits and all other lovely things on for everyone to help themselves to. I always bake a camembert and serve it with lots of fresh French bread from the bakery. It’s also lovely to add cranberry sauce for dipping.

Perfect with a glass of champagne.

I stud it with rosemary from my garden, the only surviving herb. Did I mention gardening is not my forté?!

Ingredients

1 camembert

A few sprigs of fresh rosemary

French bread and salted butter to serve

Method

Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c fan

Remove your camembert from the box and stud with your sprigs of rosemary, then wrap in greaseproof paper. Pop back in the box.

Place on a baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is all melted and gooey.

Remove from oven, unwrap and serve in the box on a plate with lots of French bread and salted butter.


Red Velvet Trifle

I make this trifle every year. My Mia loves trifle and I am always conjuring up all sorts of variations for her. It’s so quick and easy and perfect for anyone who is not a fan of Christmas pudding. The more kitsch little decorations you can find to adorn the snow scene on top of it the better.

Ingredients

1 red velvet cake – cut into 1 inch thick slices

100ml of sherry

150g raspberries

Small can of mandarins

400g tin of custard

300ml double cream

Chocolate to crumble over the top – 1 Flake or 1 Ripple are ideal

Method

Line the bottom of your trifle bowl ( always a glass one) with your cake slices and pour over your sherry.

Add your mandarins and raspberries on top and then the custard.

Whip up your cream so it holds it shape but be careful not to over whip or it will be difficult to spread over the custard. Once whipped but still drops off the spoon easily, spread over your custard.

Crumble over your chocolate and adorn with your kitsch little Christmas figures.


Turkish Delight Canapés

A simple little sweet canapé idea that looks so pretty when you are serving drinks. Turkish delight dipped in chocolate and crushed pistachios. Perfect served with a glass of fizz.

Ingredients

100g milk chocolate

12 cubes of Turkish delight

Handful of pistachios – crushed

Method

The most ridiculously easy recipe which to be honest I love.

Simply melt your chocolate in short bursts in the microwave or over a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Stir the chocolate so it is smooth.

Place each Turkish delight cube onto a stick and dip first into the chocolate, then into your pistachios.

Arrange on a pretty plate and serve with a glass of fizz.


Sleigh Ride Cocktail

I love Christmas so much. It’s such a glamorous and heart warming time. Any excuse to shake up kitsch cocktails and drink them at 11am.

This sleigh ride cocktail is everything a Christmas cocktail should be. Velvety, creamy and covered in edible glitter.

Ingredients

70ml milk

30ml Bailey’s

30ml Amaretto

Tablespoon sugar

Squirty whipped cream to top the glass

Edible glitter and cinnamon to shake over

Method

Wet the rim of the glass.

Sugar the glass by twisting on a plate of sugar and edible glitter.

Pour your measure of Bailey’s, Amaretto and milk into a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour into your cocktail glass.

Squirt on your cream and sprinkle over a little cinnamon and edible glitter.

Down it! Who else loves Christmas?!


White Chocolate Biscoff Mousses

There’s enough to do at Christmas without spending hours cooking each course. I love a quick and easy recipe that’s also delicious and that is what I aim to offer.

White chocolate mousse made with cream and marscapone which I think always makes creamy desserts that bit more luxurious. Sprinkled with Biscoff. It’s so elegant and pretty and tastes like Christmas in a glass. I make them the night before.

Makes 4

Ingredients

20g caster sugar

250g single cream

100g marscapone

125g white chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 Biscoff biscuits

Method

Mix all of your ingredients together except the white chocolate and Biscoff. I do this with an electric whisk to to make it as smooth as possible.

Melt your white chocolate in short bursts in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of hot water.

Stir the chocolate and whisk into your mixture.

Crumble a little Biscoff into the bottom of the glass and spoon in your mixture so it’s 3/4 full.

Crumble a little more Biscoff on top.

Chill in the fridge for a few hours preferably overnight.


Chocolate and Cherry Brownies

Chocolate and cherry are two of my absolute favourite flavours. In these delicious brownies they are a match made in heaven. Squidgy, fudgy and bursting with an explosion of cherry flavour. Use whatever cherries you can get hold of. If you can find some kirsch soaked ones, then all the better.

Makes 12

Ingredients

300g milk chocolate

50g dark chocolate

250g butter

3 eggs

250g light brown sugar

110g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

150g cherries – glacé, fresh or kirsch soaked all the better

30g white chocolate (to drizzle over the mixture)

Method

Pre heat oven to 170c / 150c fan

Line and grease a 28x19cm tin. I used one that is perfect for a tray bake.

Snap up the milk and dark chocolate and place in a large pan with the butter.

Heat gently to melt together. Stirring all the while. Set aside to cool a little.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and frothy.

Now pour in the melted chocolate.

Gently fold in the flour, then half of the cherries.

Now pour into your lined baking tin.

Place your white chocolate in a small pan and melt, stirring all the while.

Dot the rest of the cherries on top and drizzle over the white chocolate.

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 20 minutes or so.

Remove from tin, lifting out with the lining paper and cut into equal squares.


Pumpkin Spiced Apple and Pear Crumble

For me crumbles are the ultimate comfort food. This pumpkin spiced apple and pear crumble has all the autumnal feels.

Ingredients

2 pears

2 large bramley apples

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon butter

Topping

225g plain flour

100g butter – diced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

To scatter over

1 tablespoon oats

1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 190c / 170c fan

Peel, core and slice your apples and pears.

Add to a large pan with your tablespoon of butter and spices. Squeeze over your lemon.

Simmer gently over a low heat for 5 minutes or so to soften, stirring all the while.

Transfer to your baking dish.

In a separate large mixing bowl, mix together your flour, diced butter and brown sugar. Rub together to form a crumbly mixture. When it’s suitably crumbly scatter it all over your fruit.

Press down slightly and scatter over your oats and tablespoon of brown sugar.

Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 25 minutes.

Serve exactly how you desire.