Monthly Archives: December 2008



Christmas Pudding is an odd thing, personally I don’t like it. Its too heavy and rich. I do however like the flavours that are present in the pudding so when we were watching some cookery show on saturday and they made these cupcakes I thought it would be a great way to use some left overs.

1 Egg

75ml Milk

30g Salted Butter

2 Tbsp Sheery

125g Left over Christmas Pudding

125g Plain Flour

1 Tbsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Mixed Spice

75g Caster Sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350f/170c and line a muffin pan with 6 paper liners

2. Whisk the egg in a bowl. Add the melted butter, milk, sherry, and pudding


3. Sieve the dry ingredients into another bowl and then add the sugar and mix together. Make a well and add the wet ingredients

4. With a rubber spatula gently fold together until a soft batter forms


5. Fill 6 cupcake liners with the batter and the bake 20-25 minutes


For the frosting you could go with anything you fancied but I followed the original suggestion and made a simple sherry buttercream, very christmasy 


125g Icing Sugar

50g Salted Butter

1-2 Tbsp Sweet Sherry


1. Mix together the sugar and the butter and then add the sherry so you get the right consistency 



Christmas Eve Macarons


Its Christmas Eve and ive just got home from work when my mum asked me to make some macarons. Rather than saying yes and just making my tried and tested basic recipe I suggested chocolate, something ive never made before. I had two choices with the recipe, I could try the David Lebovitz recipe I had bookmarked on his blog or the recipe from the Pierre Herme Chocolate Desserts Book. I don’t remember why now, but I chose David’s recipe for the shells and Pierre Ganache Recipe. They were good but not great and this, i believe, is entirely my fault. I don’t think i mixed the macarons enough in the final stage which left me with a batter which was a little too firm. I did manage to produce one tray of successful macs although the colouring was a little odd. I will try this recipe over again though as i do believe it would normally result in fine macarons  (I should also say I was using an oven I had not used before – always a bad idea at occasions like Christmas) 




100g (1 cup) Icing Sugar

1/2 cup Ground Almonds

3 Tlbsp Unsweetened Cocoa

2 Large Egg Whites

5 Tablespoons (65g) Granulated Sugar  


1. Preheat Oven to 375f / 180c and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (in the oven i was using the bottom part was already in use so i had to use the small top oven meaning i had to reduce the temperature right down to around 100c and i kept the door cracked open) 

2. In a food processor pulse the flour and almonds just to get it as fine as possible (this is not necessary but if you can do so I would as it will result in a smoother shell)

3. In a stand mixer whip the egg whites and when they begin to hold their shape slowly add the sugar and continue whisking until they hold stiff and firm peaks around 2 minutes. (unfortunately my stand mixer died last week, it was my mums and was around 25 years old) so I used a hand mixer which was fine – if anyone wants to buy me a kitchenaid id be more than happy to give you my address!)

4. In at least 2 additions carefully fold the dry ingredients into the whites until you achieve that ideal stage of “like molton lava”. I was in a rush and so didn’t take as much care as I should have and so mine were slightly under mixed but by reducing the temperature of the oven managed to salvage half the shells.

5. Put the mixture into a piping bag with a plain tip and pipe into 1 inch circles around 3 inches apart.

6. Rap the sheets against the worktop a couple of times. This will both flatten the shells and make any bubbles rise to the surface

7. Bake 16-18 mins but keep a constant watch. I suggest baking with the door jammed open with a wooden spoon so you can keep a close eye on them especially, if like me, your using an oven you have never done so before. In this instance I didn’t need to go to the full 16 minutes even with the reduced temperature. (although as I said the oven below was on raising the top oven temp significantly)


Ganache recipe can be found here ( but is actually from Pierre Herme’s Chocolate Desserts


Because half of the Macarons were a disaster I had some spare Ganache so I left it to firm in the fridge and then dipped in melted chocolate and then rolled in cocoa.



Mince Pies – Christmas Baking

I started the process today of making our christmas cake by mixing all the fruit, brandy, mixed candied peel, zests and leaving overnight to soak in.

I also on a whim decided to make some mince pies. I had some of the Pierre Herme Pastry (recipe here – ) in my freezer so took that out when i got home from work and then after my cake prep i rolled out the pastry and filled with mincemeat. To finish i brushed with milk and sprinkled with sugar. I baked them at 170 C for about 8 – 9 Minutes regularly checking after 7 minutes