A chocolate mince pie is a brand new idea for me but I tried it and even the children who normally hate mince pies were begging for me to make another batch.
Chocolate mince pie muffins
This delicious twist on the classic mince pie will have your guests reaching for more
Prepare 10 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
225g plain flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp sea salt
80g Tate & Lyle caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
130ml whole milk
50g Rachel’s Organic Greek Style Natural Yogurt
30g Country Life Unsalted Butter, melted
½ lemon, zest
½ orange, zest
75g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6; line a muffin tray with 10 cases. In a bowl, combine the flour, raising agents, salt and sugar. Add the egg, milk, yogurt, melted butter and citrus zests. Gently combine the mixture, taking care not to overmix or the muffins will be tough (a few lumps are fine).
2 Add in dollops of the mincemeat, about ½ tsp at a time, so it is broken up into little clumps. Stir in most of the chopped chocolate and gently fold everything together.
3 Divide between the muffin cases and top with the remaining chocolate. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden and firm to the touch. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Christmas goodwill is my favourite part of the festive season outside my own family celebrations. I love how everyone gives their time and attention in a more generous-spirited way. I see people reaching out to help others and more forgiveness too. I love how charities benefit from unexpected donations at this time of year. I asked bloggers to share times when such goodwill made a big difference to their lives.
“My friends doing the pick up and the drop of the my kids when I am in need. They are such stars. I will never forget” www.ethannevelyn.com
“I worked in America doing door to door sales one summer when I was at Uni. I hated it. One day it was wet and I was so miserable. Some people found me, took me to a local church for a coffee, to warm up and gave me some money too” Counting to Ten
Today I am sharing a Campari and gin cocktail with the rather intriguing name of Winter Aviation. It includes gin which I know so many of my readers have as a tipple combined with Campari which my brother-in-law adores and lovely cassis.
Campari and gin cocktail
40ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
Juice of 1 clementine
10ml British Cassis
Cherry to garnish
Shake the ingredients well over ice. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.
Do you have an unusual recipe for a Campari and gin cocktail?
Now the first thing to say is that for most of us the next line in that famous festive song “Just like the ones we used to know” does not make any sense.
Was every Christmas of our childhood a white one or is that a myth?
You now enter the tricky world of how different people define a White Christmas differently some saying one snowflake is enough, some saying the Met Office is relevant and some wanting a proper covering on the ground.
I remember a lovely White Christmas in London with my brother walking in the parks on a crisp and sunny Christmas Day. Apparently, snow is far more common in January and February than December.
Do we like a White Christmas because we think Santa Claus comes from a snowy place such as Lapland?
Just like many aspects of Christmas, it is wise not to look for perfection or expect too much. Great Christmases can be had whatever the weather.
If you really want to guarantee a White Christmas, it may be a question of how deep your pockets are as the better-off can pay for a White Christmas by paying to go on holidays to Lapland or perhaps skiing.
I don’t like the cold so have not done either yet but as with many things in life, perhaps I should try something new to add some sparkle to middle-age.
I might be convinced by a friend who told me today that she is not particularly sporty but enjoys skiing holidays all the same largely for the après-ski, the great views and mulled win in plentiful supply.
I think I might be like her when I take skiing lessons and not entirely a natural. However, the idea of being surrounded by eager and attractive instructors keen to move me on from beginner status just might appeal after all.
So what are our chances of snow this year and are you dreaming of a White Christmas?