Tag Archives: fast Christmas recipes

Christmas Recipe: Christmassy Rocky Road

I love baking at Christmas, but sometimes I just want to step away from the oven and make something colourful, a bit silly and something that Will Ferrell’s Elf might fancy for breakfast. This Christmassy rocky road is a great thing to make with kids, it’s all bashing and stirring and waiting patiently (and impatiently) for it to set so it can be cut up and gobbled down greedily.

Rocky road usually has marshmallows in it, but I decided to swap these out for Haribo Christmas Trees to make each slice extra festive. If you want to leave the gummy sweets out and stick to the traditional marshmallows, then just swap them in the recipe.

Christmas Recipe: Christmassy Rocky Road

CHRISTMASSY ROCKY ROAD

Ingredients:
200g Milk Chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 Tablespoons of golden syrup
135g Unsalted butter
200g gingerbread men
100g Christmas sweets, I used Haribo Christmas Trees
75g Dried Cranberries
60g Smarties or M&Ms
Christmas sprinkles

Method:
Line a high sided baking tray with baking parchment. I used a square 20cm tin.

Put the milk chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a glass bowl. Using a bain-marie (put an inch or two of hot water in the pan and place the glass bowl over the top making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl) over a gentle heat. Stir the chocolate, golden syrup and butter until everything has melted together.

While the chocolate mixture is slowly melting, put the gingerbread biscuits into a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin until they’re broken up, but not crumbs. Ideally you want a mixture of chunky pieces and smaller, crumbly bits. Once bashed, tip them into a mixing bowl. Add the marshmallows and raisins and the Smarties or M&Ms and add them to the biscuit mix.

Christmas Recipe: Christmassy Rocky Road

Once the chocolate mixture has melted, take it off the heat and carefully tip the biscuity mix into the chocolate. Stir it well and make sure everything is coated. Then tip it onto your baking tray spread the mixture out and gently press it down with the back of a spoon. It needs to be about 2cm deep as a minimum, but the thicker the better as far as I’m concerned.

Lastly, sprinkle over your Christmas sprinkles and put somewhere cool (or in the fridge) to chill and set for a few hours, preferably overnight if you can wait that long!

If you enjoy regular rocky road, then this Christmas version is so much extra. The gingerbread biscuits really make it extra special, and all the festive treats packed into it make feel like a bar full of festive joy.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try –

Christmas Recipe: Christmassy Rocky Road

Recipe: Cranberry and Pomegranate Jelly

Puddings at Christmas time can be a bit on the heavy side. All that booze soaked fruit and extra thick cream can get a bit much, plus if you’re feeding the whole family, Christmas pudding is not a universally popular choice. What is always, always popular is jelly. Last Christmas I made a mulled apple cider jelly, but this year I’ve decided to make a jelly that everyone in the family can enjoy – cranberry and pomegranate jelly!

The really good thing about this jelly is that it’s one my whole family can enjoy together – it’s vegetarian which means we can all tuck in. It’s made with Dr Oetker Vege Gel which is incredibly easy to use and it sets quite quickly too.

Recipe: Cranberry and Pomegranate Jelly

The jelly is made with cranberry juice and a tub of pomegranate seeds. You can leave the seeds out if you prefer, but I set the jelly in a Christmas tree mould and the seeds made it look really festive, like it is full of little glittery red baubles.

Cranberry and Pomegranate Jelly

Ingredients:

1 pint of cranberry juice
80g tub of pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons of sugar
A sachet of Dr Oetker Vege Gel

How to make Cranberry and Pomegranate Jelly:

Take about 200mls of the cranberry juice and stir the Vege Gel into it, make sure all the powder dissolves.

Add the sugar and bring the remainder of the cranberry juice to the boil, once it’s boiling, add your 200mls of juice and Vege Gel into the pan and stir, stir, stir. Tip your tub of pomegranate seeds into the juice mixture and give it a quick stir, then it’s ready for the mould.

Make sure you have your mould or moulds ready for your jelly as it will start to set really quite quickly. I used a Christmas tree shaped mould, but you could use some pretty glass dishes if you prefer.

Pour your jelly carefully into your serving dishes and put them in the fridge until it’s set properly. This took about two hours, but if you can it is probably worth leaving the jelly overnight in the fridge.

I turned my jelly mould out onto a serving plate, be careful when you do this so not to break the jelly. Serve with good vanilla ice cream or a blob of whipped cream.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try –

Recipe: Cranberry and Pomegranate Jelly

Christmas Recipe: Mulled Cider Jellies

At Christmas time I can’t get enough of mulled drinks. Mulled wine is a favourite but a few years ago I tried Mulled Cider and my head was turned. I’m more likely to drink Mulled Cider at home and it’s such a delicious and warming drink, it really sings Christmas to me.

When I mull at home, I usually use a ready-made spice sachet, usually one from Steenbergs because I can’t fault them. This Christmas I’ve been using the Spices for Spiced Cider and Apple Juice and they’ve really hit the spot. All you do is warm through a litre of cider or apple juice, tip one of the sachets in and after a few minutes it’s ready.

Christmas Recipe: Mulled Cider Jellies

Sometimes, and this is not very often, I mull too much cider and I’ll have some left. Sure, I could heat it up again later, but I fancied making something different with it. I thought I’d make some Mulled Cider Jellies. It turns out they make a really interesting, different and delicious festive dessert. You could make them just as well with apple juice if you’re serving them to children or people who don’t drink alcohol. This recipe makes 4 good-sized jellies.

Christmas Recipe: Mulled Cider Jellies

Mulled Cider Jellies

Ingredients:

1 pint of mulled cider or mulled apple juice
2 tablespoons of sugar
A sachet of Dr Oetker Vege Gel

How to make Mulled Cider Jellies:

Take about 200mls of your cooled mulled cider and stir the Vege Gel into it, make sure all the powder dissolves.

Add the sugar and bring the remainder of the cider to the boil, once it’s boiling, add your 200mls of cider and Vege Gel into the pan and stir, stir, stir.

Christmas Recipe: Mulled Cider Jellies

Make sure you have your moulds ready for your jelly as it will start to set really quite quickly. I used some small glass pyrex dishes and also a metal cake mould in the shape of a star. You could make one big jelly if you prefer.

Pour your jelly carefully into your serving dishes and put them in the fridge until it’s set properly. This took about two hours, but if you can it is probably worth leaving the jelly overnight in the fridge.

I turned my jelly mould out onto a serving plate, be careful when you do this so not to break the jelly.

Serve with good vanilla ice cream.

Be careful if you’re turning your jelly out of the moulds, I tried to move my jelly and ended up breaking a little piece off the corner which I then covered with ice cream, so it was all fine in the end.

It’s such a pretty little pudding, easy to do and something a bit different at Christmas.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try –

Christmas Recipe: Mulled Cider Jellies

I was sent some mulled cider spice by Steenbergs and decided to use in in this recipe. I have not been compensated for this post.

Three fast Christmas recipes with Sage

Last year my best friend Bob shared his recipe for Mincemeat Vol au Vents and this really simple recipe was a bit of a hit. This year he’s been experimenting with herbs (no, not like that) and he’s come up with some interesting and fast Christmas recipes with sage. I’ll leave you in his capable hands…

We all like to serve up a festive crowd-pleaser at Christmas, from mulled wine to the increasingly infamous mincemeat vol au vent, but there’s a tendency for Christmas recipes to be dominated by sweet and spicy ingredients.

These three fast Christmas recipes will take one of the favourite festive flavours – sage – and take it out of stuffing and into a selection of other Christmassy creations that are equally satisfying.

You can make these quick Christmas creations using freshly chopped sage if you have it to hand, but dried sage from a jar will still give the effect – just leave it a little longer for the dried sage to soften and release its flavour before you use the finished sauce or dressing.

Sage Slaw

This one is incredibly quick and easy, and a great alternative to leftover stuffing for cold sandwiches – it even works well heaped on to sandwiches or burgers with hot fillings, for a contrast of temperatures when you take a bite.

All you need is a tub of normal coleslaw, and a good quantity of chopped fresh or dried sage, and combine the two. Give it a good stir to get the sage evenly mixed into the coleslaw, and leave it for the flavour to come out. You can adjust the amount of sage depending on personal taste, but the more you use, the more of an impact it makes, and the more of a fresh, herby aftertaste you get when you’ve finished your snack. A good starting point is to use enough sage so that it is visible in the mix, but not enough that your coleslaw is noticeably turning green.

Dried sage in particular shouldn’t affect the shelf life of your coleslaw, so this is one you can make in advance and have ready for those Christmas snacks, and sage slaw works great on everything from ham and pork to chicken and the inevitable leftover turkey.

Sageonnaise

Using the same principle, but just using mayonnaise instead of coleslaw, combine finely chopped sage into mayo for a hint of that distinctive stuffing flavour.

Again you can use this as a dressing for sandwiches if you don’t want the texture effect of coleslaw, but it’s also a great addition to festive buffet tables or late-night snacks.

Put out a small dish of sage mayo and a big bowl of roast potatoes and other veg – even if it’s all just leftovers from dinner – and you and your guests will be dipping into the sageonnaise all night long.

Squeaky Sage

Last but not least of my fast Christmas recipes, throw a handful of sage into your bubble and squeak just before serving, again to give it that iconic stuffing flavour in amongst all the chopped and mashed vegetables.

Fresh sage should go in right at the last minute as you don’t really want to cook the herbs, but dried sage can probably go in a little earlier as including it in the last few minutes of cooking will help to soften it and bring out more of the flavour.

Serve your bubble and squeak as a side on Christmas meals, or for breakfast with buttered bread and plenty of brown sauce, where the sage will help it to hold its own as a festive breakfast treat.

Sage in Everything!

These three fast Christmas recipes were born out of a simple question: Where can I use more sage at Christmas?

It’s one of the truly iconic flavours of the holidays, and of Sunday roasts all year round, and I wanted to get more of that taste into my daily diet.

The lingering fresh herb flavour of a sage-infused sandwich or snack was an unexpected bonus that proved to be very palate-cleansing, and the enjoyment factor is through the roof.

Like last year’s mincemeat vol au vents recipe, this is the kind of idea you can serve up to guests and have them asking, Why didn’t I think of that?

Three fast Christmas recipes with Sage