Chocolate can be found in our house at pretty much any time of the year, but chocolate at Christmas is an absolute must. I try and make at least one new festive chocolate recipe each year to give to friends or family and this year I’m delighted to have come up with this Christmas chocolate bark. It’s a layer of dark chocolate covered with a swirled mix of matcha and cranberry white chocolate. It’s delicious.
We’re well into December now and I’m happy to say, the festive season is upon us. If you’re hosting, I have the most delicious mushroom & chestnut vegetarian sausage rolls to help your party go with a swing. Or if you’re invited out and need a dish to take along, these will do the job perfectly.
When it comes to food, Christmas is all about indulgence. We want a meal to remember and one that will impress family and friends. It can be hard trying to come up with an interesting and delicoius vegetarian or vegan festive feast if you’re not used to it. Or you could just be looking for new ideas. Here’s a bountiful basket of over seventy vegetarian and vegan Christmas recipes that should take some of the stress out of your yuletide decision making.
I’ve been following Karen Burns-Booth fabulous food blog, Lavender & Lovage, pretty much since its inception. Now, we have the cookbook, newly published this month, Lavender & Lovage: a culinary notebook of memories & recipes from home & abroad. Read on for my review and a recipe for Earl Grey fruit cake with orange icing.
I’ve been making mincemeat for several years now. Once you’ve made your own it’s hard to go back to shop bought. But ding dong merrily on high, it’s fun to ring the changes by creating variations on a theme. This year I’ve opted for this warming and refreshing lemon & ginger mincemeat.
If you like a cheeky cocktail or two, this Apple Mac is a good one for warming the bleak midwinter. It’s a twist on the classic Whisky Mac. The water of life combines with the fruit of the tree of knowledge and is spiced up with some warming ginger. It makes for a perfect winter cocktail.
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.