Tag Archives: Festive

Berry Marzipan Cupcakes

Marzipan Berry Cakes
Marzipan Berry Cakes

Over the weekend I caught a re-run of  Nigel Slater’s ‘12 Tastes of Christmas‘ and although I find some of his recipes a little over egg and mixed up these little beauties looked wonderful and will be on my cookery list over the next few days.

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 180g/6¼oz caster sugar
  • 180g/6¼oz butter, softened
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 80g/2¾oz plain flour
  • 150g/5oz ground almonds
  • 100g/3½oz marzipan
  • 100g/3½oz blueberries
  • icing sugar, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Cut out squares of baking parchment that would easily cover the holes of a bun tray. Line each one.
  3. Beat the sugar and butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy.
  4. Gradually beat in the eggs, then gradually introduce the flour and ground almonds. Continue to beat until all is well incorporated.
  5. Break the marzipan into small 1cm bite sized nuggets and fold into the mixture.
  6. Divide the mixture between the lined cups of the bun tray. Scatter 3-4 berries over each one.
  7. Bake the cakes for 30 minutes, or until springy to the touch.

Dust with a little icing sugar and serve warm with a dash of cream. They are just as nice cold tho…

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Mulled Wine

Mulled WineImage: bbc.co.uk/food
Mulled Wine
Image: bbc.co.uk/food

It’s the time of the year when family and friends pop round bearing Christmas cards and gifts and for those unexpected moments when unplanned vistors turn up, it’s always good t have something quick that you can prepare on the hop. This 10 to 15 minute wonder will have you passing round the festive cheer as quick as a flash.

Serves 6 – Gluten Free*

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 60g demerara sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • a good grating of nutmeg
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 60ml Damson or Sloe gin (optional)

Method

  1. Put the wine in a saucepan with the orange, sugar, bayleaf and the spices.
  2. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Taste, if you want the wine sweeter, add some more sugar until it’s sweet enough for you.
  4. Take off the heatand stir in the sloe or damson gin if you are using it.

Strain into heatproof glasses and serve while hot.

You can experiment with the spices by changing them around or omitting them and add a sliced lemon too, but this is my favourite combination.

*Gluten Free - Although I make every effort to ensure that the ingredients list are gluten free, you should double check at the time of using as products change their base ingredients frequently.