Christmas Baking |

Christmas Baking


Song for the day: Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid.

because tune.

So I had meant to post this at about 2o’clock but apparently baking and wine came first.  Then the annual town carol service then more wine.

this year the band were in the spot where we have stood for the last 20 years without fail. WTF BAND???

This year even more hilarity was added to the concert because of a tumblr post that said “you know when that hotline bling, that can only mean one thing” has the same syllables as “hark the herald angels sing, ‘glory to the newborn King'”.  MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!

So anyway.  Baking.

Those of you who follow the Facebook page (here) will have seen this lovely photo:

I have made so many batches in the past two days that I’m getting sick of the sight of them, but since my family demand them from me each year I figured I would share the recipe with you.  It is a tweaked version of Delia Smith’s (Christmas food Queen).

To make about 24 mince pies (depending on how much pastry you eat along the way), you will need:

340g plain flour

85g salted butter

85g lard

Cold, smooth orange juice

And an oven preheated to 200C

  1. To start off, gently rub the fat into the flour until you get fine breadcrumbs. 
  2. For the next step, I must confess that I eyeball the quantity of juice that goes in…  stir after each splash.  basically you want it to come together until you can shape a ball with your hands:

    if it’s too runny, add more flour.

  3. Cover this in cling film and shove it in the fridge for half an hour

whilst you make more stuff 

  1. After half an hour, liberally flour your surface, your rolling pin, your hands, and inevitably your apron.  Divide the dough into two. 
  2. Now roll like your life depends on it, turning so it’s even.  You want a thickness of 3-4mm.  Cut circles out of it with a biscuit cutter and lay them in greased tart pans.  Get as many circles out of each half as you can, and use the gaps for topping patters.  As you can see in the top photo, I used stars and angels and various Christmassy things.
  3. Drop a teaspoon of mincemeat in each one, and top with a shape.


  4. Brush with a little milk so they go glossy.
  5. Bake at 200C for about 12 minutes or until they go golden brown.  They’re so good eaten warm!

Whilst my mince pies were baking, I made gin and lime truffles. The recipe was given to me by my lovely (ex) housemate Rosie as part of my secret Santa last year, and it is so good.

I forgot to take pictures, sorry!  But to make about 25 truffles, you will need:

150g dark chocolate

75g unsalted butter

3 tablespoons of double cream

3 tablespoons of gin

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Cocoa powder for dusting

  1. Step one is to melt the chocolate and cream together in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.  Make sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water!
  2. Add the butter in pieces and stir until it’s all smooth and melted and glossy.
  3. At this point, add the gin and about 3/4 of the lime.  Whisk until fully incorporated and thickened, then pour into a tub. 
  4. Put this in the fridge with a lid on for about 7 hours.
  5. Scoop teaspoon-amount sizes out and roll into balls.  I say balls, but this process is v messy and mine are just vaguely round shapes.  Arrange on a baking tray and chill for 30 mins.  
  6. Dust with cocoa powder and eat them all.

The final thing I made is a caramel sauce from thetoughcookie.  I used to make it during my BA for cupcakes, but this batch is going to be eaten with ice cream on Boxing Day.  It tastes incredible and its inventor is a literary translator so yay!!

Anyway, it’s now 1:30am, I am knackered, and if I don’t sleep now then Father Christmas won’t come so.

Merry Christmas guys; hope you’re all ok out there!

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