Sunday, 18 December 2011


Although I havent made any this year, I will be making some Gingerbread Men tomorrow, a word of warning though, stick to the soda ratios, as last time i made them they were all a little obese as i guessed the soda, I really blame their roundness on the time of year and their over eating....

This recipe is tried and tested favourite of Waitrose, I personally feel it a firm favourite


  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 325g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Line baking trays with baking parchment. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat.
  2. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a bowl and stir the melted ingredients into the dry ingredients to make a stiff dough.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a thickness of about 5mm. Dip biscuit cutters into flour before cutting the dough, or cut around templates, which you can find at Place the shapes onto the lined baking trays and bake, in batches, for 9-10 minutes until light golden brown.
  4. Remove from the oven. While still warm, and using a skewer or chopstick, make any holes that you will need to hang up the biscuits with ribbon or to make a yuletide garland. If you are decorating your Christmas cake with gingerbread people, make the holes in their arms so that ribbon can be threaded through at a later stage.
  5. When completely cool, decorate with the icing. The gingerbread biscuits can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Mixed Tomato Chutney

Another festive favourite mixed tomato chutney

This year my tomatoes didnt really ripen, I had 15 tomato plants which mainly consisted of green tomatoes.  Chutney is a great way of using these usually wasted fruits up.  I have plenty of jars of this chutney, I harvested (well my mum did) the remainder tomatoes in October.  I quickly batched these up so they would be perfect for a christmas gift.  This is my tried and tested Nigel Slater recipe


  • 900g tomatoes, mixed green and red
  • 350g onions
  • 90g raisins
  • 250g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 medium sized, hot red chilli
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 300ml white wine vinegar

  1. Halve the tomatoes.
  2.  Put the green fruit together with the peeled and roughly chopped onions, into a large stainless- steel or enamelled pan with the raisins, sugar, chilli, salt, mustard seeds and vinegar.
  3.  Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for an hour, giving the occasional stir to reduce the risk of the chutney sticking.
  4. After about 25 minutes cooking, add the ripe tomatoes and continue to simmer.
  5. Then spoon into sterilized jars and seal.
To add an extra christmassy feel, you can add trimmings around the lid, I have put a latte spoon to make this as a complete gift as you can see from the picture.

This is a simple recipe, I urge people to try it!! You will love it!

Baileys and White chocolate Fudge

My current theory is when it comes to Christmas, it seems to get harder and harder to buy for loved ones each year, during 2012 I have decided I am going to try and test several recipes which i believe will make the perfect Festive treat!

I have 'borrowed' this recipe from the good food site.  I have had a go at this tonight, it is still on the fridge so not sure how well this will turn out.  I will post up a picture as soon as it is set.


  •  500ml Whipping Cream

  •  500g golden granulated sugar

  •  50ml Baileys

  •  150g white chocolate

  • Method:

    • Butter and line a 22cm x 22cm tin, leaving a small overhang. Put sugar, cream and Baileys in a large pan and, stirring slowly, bring it to a simmer. Make sure the sugar is dissolved (it will stop feeling grainy on the base of the pan), then turn the heat up to a rolling boil.
    • Adjust the heat until the mixture bubbles without getting too near the top of the pan. Keep bubbling, stirring occasionally, until a small amount of mixture dropped into a glass of cold water will form a soft ball that you can pick up on the end of a teaspoon.
    • At this stage, the bubbles will have gone from being large and unruly to smaller and more even. Stir in the chocolate and pour the mixture into the tin. Cool and cut.
    Although the recipe doesnt advise, I would say let the mixure boil for approx 30-40 mins.

    Enjoy! xx

    Edit: first batch didnt work out, wouldnt set.  Ensure you keep it boiling for 30 minutes, you will notice it thicken up quite a bit keep stirring to ensure it doesnt burn.  I noticed the spatular had the fudge setting on it already in the pan

    Above picture bubbling nicely, just before its ready to add the white chocolate

    Above mixture poured out in the tray ready to set (hopefully)

    Picture above, 3 boxes of fudge waiting for delivery of cellophane bags and also fudge attempt number one makes great pouring sauce, in jars ready to go