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

 

Chocolate Mince Pie

 

Makes 10

Prepare 10 minutes

Cook 15 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 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
  • 125g mincemeat
  • 75g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

 

Method:

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.

Chocolate Mince Pie Muffins

 

 

 

Shank You Very Much

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

 

Campari And Gin Cocktail

 

Serves one.

Ingredients

 

  • 40ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • Juice of 1 clementine
  • 10ml British Cassis
  • 5ml Campari
  • Cherry to garnish

Method

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?

 

Scotch cakes with hot-smoked salmon, crispy sprouts, avocado and egg makes an amazing festive indulgence.

Scotch  Cakes

Cooking shredded brussels until they’re crispy will convert even the wariest of sprout-eaters

Scotch cakes

•Preparation time:10 minutes
•Cooking time:15 minutes
•Total time:25 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

100g self-raising flour
25g caster sugar
½ tsp fine sea salt
40ml whole milk
6 eggs, 2 beaten
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
200g Brussels sprouts, outer leaves discarded and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp unsalted butter
1 avocado, halved and sliced
160g hot-smoked salmon, flaked
4 tbsp Greek yogurt
Small handful flat leaf parsley leaves

Method

1. Put the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk in the milk and 2 beaten eggs to make a smooth batter; set aside. Place a large non-stick pan over a high heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Once hot, add the sliced sprouts and stir-fry for 4 minutes, until golden and crispy. Add the garlic and fry for a further 30 seconds, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat, transfer to on a warm plate, season and set aside.

2. Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper and add 1 tsp butter. When it sizzles, add 1 heaped tbsp batter for each scotch cake, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface and the base is golden, then flip over and fry for another minute until cooked through. Remove and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the rest of the scotch cakes in the remaining butter. You should end up with about 16.

3 Wipe out the pan again, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil and fry the eggs to your liking. Divide the scotch cakes between 4 warmed plates, top with the eggs, sprouts, avocado, salmon and a spoonful of yogurt. Scatter over the parsley leaves and drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately with a dash of chilli sauce, if liked.

Scotch Cakes With Hot Smoked Salmon

Mulled cider might be a new concept to you but I have a recipe that I really would urge you to try this Christmas.

Mulled Cider

Mulled pear cider

Serves 12.

 

  • 2L Waitrose pear cider
  • Juice of 6 clementines
  • 500ml pomegranate juice
  • 400ml dark rum
  • 100ml sugar syrup
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • Fresh mint to serve

 

Bring all the ingredients to the boil in a saucepan. Turn down the heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Ladle into glasses, garnish with fresh mint leaves and slices of caramelised clementine.

Check out more festive drinks ideas and add a little sparkle to Christmas.

Mulled Cider Recipe

If you are looking for a mulled gin recipe to spice up your Christmas, try Mulled sloe gin with toffee

Mulled Gin

Mulled gin recipe

Serves 8.

• 1L apple juice
• Juice of 4 lemons
• 2 cinnamon sticks, plus extra to garnish
• 2-3 Waitrose dairy toffees
• 6 dashes Angostura Bitters
• 2 oranges, halved and sliced
• 300ml sloe gin
• Cranberries to garnish

How to make

Combine the apple juice lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, toffees and Angostura Bitters in a large saucepan. Gently simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the orange slices and sloe gin. Garnish with cranberries and cinnamon sticks.

So who will be giving this mulled gin recipe a try this festive season?

Mulled Gin Recipe