For our sins, we’re an Apple Mac household, but be not afeared, this post is not about the IT giant and its associated paraphernalia. No, this is all about festive fun and a Christmas cocktail that will warm the cockles of your heart. It should please most people prepared to imbibe over the season of merriness and good cheer. Begone bleak midwinter blues.
Kouglof is a speciality of Strasbourg and the wider region of Alsace, that fascinating, oft-disputed region, where France and Germany rub shoulders. It’s a sort of brioche studded with almonds and raisins and shaped to look like a crown. Although they can be found all year round, they come into their own at the Strasbourg Christmas Market. The recipe for Strasbourg kouglof here is my take on this classic French bake.
Prunes and chocolate is a winning, but often overlooked combination. These spiced prune chocolate pots with amaretto are a particularly indulgent way to eat them. They make for a sumptuous dessert and are ideal dinner party fare. With flavours of orange, clove, nutmeg and allspice as well as amaretto, they would also make a good alternative dessert to Christmas pudding during the festive season.
Apples have to be the best autumn treasure. They are versatile, delicious and can keep well. This year, they are also abundant. If you have more apples than you know what to do with, or even if you don’t, I urge you to make a batch of this spiced apple chutney.
Well, Christmas is nearly upon us and this will be my last post now until next year. So I’m leaving you with these delicious wholemeal clotted cream shortbread with chestnut flour and cinnamon.
Making your own cranberry sauce is so easy and far more delicious than any I’ve ever bought. Unless you’re making a large batch for festive gifts, you’ll find you don’t need all of the fresh cranberries in a normal pack. In this post, I give you a lovely recipe for cranberry sauce, of course, made with orange and a dash of port. I’ve also got a few hints and tips on what to do with any remaining cranberries as well as other vegetarian Christmas leftovers. Love Food Hate Waste.
I’m not quite sure why mulled wine has become such a classic British drink at Christmas. Apple cider is a more traditional beverage after all. I’m as partial to a glass or two of mulled wine as anyone else, but given the choice I’d go for mulled cider every time. It has a lighter, fruitier and more refreshing taste. You don’t need to add as much sugar either. Mulled apple juice can be served alongside or even instead of, allowing drinkers and non-drinkers alike to join in the festive cheer.
Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts are an integral part of Christmas. So why not give your Christmas dish a spicy twist? These stir-fried Brussels sprouts with leeks, ginger, garlic and chilli will liven up the event. They’re quick to cook and unlike boiling stir-frying makes the sulphury compounds of the sprouts less obvious.
Christmas is traditionally a time for baking biscuits and I usually make the most of it. I tend to make an old favourite or two, but also use the occasion to try out a some new recipes. One of them, this time, was to be Christmas Butter Biscuits.