Festive Recipes
The South African Way

We love the outdoors in South Africa, and as Christmas here is in the middle of summer, we tend to head for a beautiful shady place, usually near water and spend our Christmas day there. So I will try to find some outdoors (and other) recipes to put on this page. 

A fine bottle of wine goes well with any of these festive recipes. Whether you have a favorite vintage or a cellar filled with fancy wooden wine racks and hundreds of bottles, adding wine to your holiday meal will make it truly memorable.

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Outdoors Turkey
Low Cholestrol Christmas Cake
Light Christmas Cake
Baked ham
Roast Stuffed Chicken/Turkey
Old Fashioned  Christmas Pudding
Turkey Curry (Leftovers)
Turkey a la King (Leftovers)
Hot Cross Buns (Easter)
Christmas fruit mince pies
Christmas Fruit cake
Brandy Sauce
Christmas Pudding
Christmas Turkey
Christmas Spice Roast Duck
Christmas Trifle
Swedish Christmas Ham
Festive Chicken
Festive Egg Nog
Festive Ox Tongue
Festive Turkey Pie
Festive Peaches
Festive Nut Roast
Christmas Cake
Chocolate Easter Eggs
Easter Crumpets
Easter trifle
Easter ring bread
Hot cross muffin buns


1 whole turkey 
2 oranges, quartered 
2 onions, peeled and quartered 
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped with leaves 
8 cloves garlic 
250ml olive oil 
3 red chillies 
3 green chillies 

Salt crust dough 
3 cups bread flour 
3 tsps fine salt 
3 litres water 

Stuff the turkey with the oranges, onions, celery, chillies and half the garlic. Rub the outer skin with olive oil and the remaining garlic. Leave to marinade for 24 hours to let the flavours infuse. 
To make the dough: Mix the flour and salt together. Slowly add the water until its texture resembles that of dough. Knead until smooth. Cover and leave. 

When the turkey has marinated overnight, roll out the salt crust dough. Place the turkey on top and fold upwards, making it like a bag. Squeeze the top together and make sure it is firmly sealed. 

To cook: 
Dig a hole in the ground! 
Line the hole with rocks. Place some wood in the hole and allow it to burn to coals. Place the wrapped turkey in a baking tray and cover with a sheet of corrugated iron or metal. Weigh down with more rocks. Cover the sheet with wood and coals and let the turkey cook in the ground for approximately six hours. During this time check on the coals to ensure they are still burning throughout. 
After six hours lift the turkey out of the ground. The dough will have hardened. Crack it open with a panga or a big knife. The turkey will be moist and cooked.


Low Cholestrol Christmas Cake

1 kg mixed dried fruit
150g glacé apricots, chopped
150g glacé pineapple, chopped
250ml brandy
250ml treacle brown sugar
80ml oil
3 extra large egg whites, lightly beaten
5ml vanilla essence
15ml molasses or golden syrup
15ml orange marmalade
60ml orange juice
15ml finely grated orange rind
500ml cake flour
125ml self raising flour
5ml ground nutmeg
5ml ground cinnamon
5ml ground cloves
5ml mixed spice
60ml brandy fro pouring over

Mix the fruit in a large bowl with the brandy, cover and leave overnight, stir occasionally. Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Grease and line a 20cm square or 23cm round cake pan with greaseproof paper. Beat the sugar, oil and egg whites till combined. Add the essence, molasses, marmalade, juice and rind and beat until combined. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the fruit and sifted dry ingredients. Spoon into the tin, tap on the table to remove any air bubbles, and smooth the surface. Bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours . Remove from oven, pour over the brandy and cool in tin before removing the paper.

Light Christmas Cake

250g butter, melted
10ml finely grated lemon rind
250g treacle brown sugar
500g mixed dried fruit
80 ml brandy
60 ml lemon juice
4 extra large eggs
250ml self raising flour
250ml cake flour
5 ml mixed spice

Line the base and sides of a deep 20 cm round cake pan with greaseproof paper to prevent drying out or burning. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Pour mixture into the prepared pan. bake at 160ºC for 2 hours. Cool in pan and remove when cold.

Baked Ham
Baked, glazed ham is a firm favourite on the Christmas dinner table, you cannot go wrong with this one....

5 kg cured ham or gammon
5 ml mustard powder
10 ml ground ginger
1 bay leaf
5 peppercorns
500 ml vegetable stock or water

250 ml apricot juice
25 ml lemon juice
25 ml ginger syrup
25 ml honey
125 ml finely chopped preserved ginger

10 cloves
410g can apricot halves, drained
410g can stoned cherries, drained

Dust the ham or gammon with mustard powder and ground ginger. Place fat side up in a roasting pan. Add the bay leaf and peppercorns and pour the stock or water over the meat. Cover tightly with a lid or aluminium foil and bake at 160ºC for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Remove the ham from the oven and discard the stock. Peel the skin off the ham leaving the layer of fat intact. Score the fat with criss-cross cuts to form a diamond pattern. Mix all the ingredients for the glaze together and spoon the mixture over the ham. Bake for a further 10 minutes and garnish with apricots and cherries. Keep warm until ready to serve

Roast Stuffed Chicken/Turkey

1.5-2 kg chicken, cleaned and trimmed
salt and milled pepper
30-45 ml margarine or butter

Fill the chicken with the stuffing and close the openings with a skewer or thread. Truss the chicken if desired and place it on a grid, uncovered, in a deep roasting pan. Season with the salt and pepper and rub the margarine or butter all over the bird. Cover the bottom of the roasting pan with water. Roast at 200ºC for 30 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180ºC and continue roasting, basting occasionally, for another 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cover the roasting pan with foil if the chicken browns too much. Serve with giblet gravy, roast potato and steamed vegetables.

A 4.5 kg turkey should be roasted for 3-3 1/2 hours at the same temperatures.

Almond stuffing
Brought to the Cape by the Dutch

3 large eggs, separated
250 ml thick cream
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
100 g ground almonds
180 g dried breadcrumbs
60 ml diced butter

Mix the egg yolks with the cream and nutmeg until well combined. Mix the ground almonds with a little of the egg white and stir the mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Stir in the breadcrumbs and diced butter. Add the stiffly beaten egg whites. Beat the mixture till it is smooth and fairly stiff.
Makes enough for a 1.5-2 kg chicken. Double the quantity for turkey.

Giblet Gravy

chicken giblets
salted water
dripping from roast
60 ml cake flour
15 ml chopped fresh parsley
5 ml salt
2 ml milled pepper

Boil the neck, gizzard and heart in salted water until tender, about 2 hours. Add the liver and boil for a further 15 minutes. Drain off the stock and make it up to 500 ml with water. Dice the meat, discarding the gristle and bone. Heat the dripping in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook till foamy. Gradually stir in the stock and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until the gravy thickens. Stir in the diced giblets and parsley, season with salt and pepper and serve. 

Old-fashioned Christmas pudding 

Traditionally a few tickeys are placed in the pudding, supposedly they bring luck to the recipient.

175 g raisins 
125 g currants 
200 g sultanas 
250 g chopped dates 
125 g mixed peel 
225 g dried apricots, chopped 
300 ml Guinness beer 
60 ml rum 
grated rind and juice of a lemon 
grated rind and juice of an orange 
225 g butter, at room temperature 
350 g soft brown sugar 
1 green apple, cored and grated 
30 ml molasses or treacle 
3 large eggs 
125 g self-raising flour 
5 ml ground mixed spice 
10 ml ground cinnamon 
2 ml freshly grated nutmeg 
10 ml ground ginger 
225 g fresh white breadcrumbs 

Place the raisins, currants, sultanas, dates, mixed peel and apricots into a large mixing bowl. Pour over the beer, rum, lemon rind and juice, and the orange rind and juice. Cover the bowl and set aside to soak overnight. Cream together the butter and sugar until light. Stir in the grated apple and molasses. Beat the eggs in one by one, adding 15 ml self-raising flour to help prevent the mixture from curdling. Fold in the remaining flour and spices. Add the breadcrumbs and gently fold mixture together. Stir in soaked fruit, then all make your wishes. Grease and line 2 x 1 kg pudding basins or 4 x 500 g pudding basins. Spoon in the mixture. Cut round lids out of doubled greaseproof paper, allowing a little overhang. Fold a 1 cm pleat down the centres of the greaseproof circles and cover basins, tying in place with string under rim. Pleat a piece of foil or muslin in the same way and secure over basins. Steam for 4 hours, topping up with boiling water as required, or cook in a pressure cooker for 2 hours. Store pudding until needed, then steam for a further 2-4 hours, or 2 hours in a pressure cooker. Serves: 24 

We all had leftovers from Christmas and will probably also have leftovers from New Year, this is what you do with it.....

Turkey Curry

1 cup mushrooms
80ml minced onion
1 large apple, peeled and diced
3 cups cooked turkey, cit in pieces
6 tablespoons margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup cream or cream substitute

Sauté mushrooms, onion, apple and turkey in margarine until the apple and onion are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add salt, flour and curry powder and stir thoroughly. And juice and cream and cook until thickened. Place over hot, not boiling water for about 15 minutes to blend the flavors.

Turkey a la king

2 tablespoons margarine
1 green pepper, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups diced, cooked turkey
1 cup sour cream or cream substitute
2 egg yolks
1 red bell pepper, diced
salt and pepper
4 teaspoons sherry

Melt margarine, add green pepper and mushrooms and sauté until tender. Lift out. Add flour to margarine, add stock and cook until thickened. Add turkey, cooked pepper and mushrooms and heat thoroughly. Remove from heat and add cream mixed with beaten egg yolks and remaining ingredients. Serve at once or place over hot, not boiling water to keep hot. Do not boil after adding egg yolks.
This recipe can also be used for chicken or salmon a la king. Just substitute the turkey with 2 cups of diced cooked chicken or 2 cups of boned, canned red salmon

Hot Cross Buns

375 ml milk 
60 g butter 
480 g cake flour 
65 ml castor sugar 
10 ml mixed spice 
5 ml ground cinnamon 
10 g instant dry yeast 
1 egg, beaten 
250 ml sultanas 
125 ml cake flour 
75 ml milk or water 
30 ml milk 
30 ml castor sugar 

1. Heat milk and butter together, leave to cool slightly. 
2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, spices and yeast. 
3. Stir in lukewarm milk and butter, egg and sultanas. Knead well until smooth (10 minutes), cover and leave in a warm place until dough has doubled in size. 
4. Knead dough for a few minutes until smooth. Divide into 18 small balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and leave to rise until double in size. 
5. CROSSES: Mix flour and sugar, add enough water to form a smooth paste. Place flour paste in a piping bag and, using small plain tube, make crosses on buns. 
6. Bake in a 180 ºC oven for 15 to 20 minutes. 
GLAZE: Heat milk and sugar together, without boiling. Turn buns onto wire rack, brush with hot glaze and cool.

Christmas fruit mince pies

350 g cake or all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
125 g castor sugar
175 g butter, cut into cubes
6 egg yolks, beaten
250 ml good-quality fruit mincemeat
1 apple, peeled and grated
1 each orange and lemon, grated rind
splash of brandy or rum

Place the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl.
Add the butter and work it in, using your fingertips.
Mix in the egg yolks briefly, just until the dough holds together.
Knead into a ball and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface.
Cut out rounds, using a 5 cm diameter cookie cutter, and stamp out small star shapes from the leftover pastry.
Press the pastry rounds into the hollows of tartlet tins.
Mix mincemeat, apple, rind and brandy or rum.
Drop 5 ml filling into each pastry case and top with a star shape.
Bake at 190 °C for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.
Cool on wire racks.
Serve warm, with a dollop of brandy butter or a dusting of icing sugar.
Make the pies in advance and freeze them.
When grating citrus peel or ginger, cover the side of the grater with cling film and grate over it. It's easier to lift off and you'll have a clean grater.

Christmas fruit cake

500 g fruitcake mix
50 g candied peel
150 g assorted glacé fruit
200 g butter
250 g soft brown sugar
5 ml mixed spice
15 ml bicarbonate of soda
250 ml brandy or rum
2 extra-large eggs
125 ml sherry
125 ml milk
400 ml cake or all purpose flour
100 g mixed nuts

Preheat the oven to 150 ºC.
Grease the cake pan well and line it with baking paper or greaseproof paper. Add a brown paper collar, if using.
Combine the fruit, butter, sugar, mixed spice, 7 ml bicarbonate of soda and brandy in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Simmer gently over moderate heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Cool.
Beat the eggs until frothy in a large mixing bowl. Add the sherry and milk and whisk with the eggs.
Sift the flour and remaining bicarbonate of soda together into a large mixing bowl and add the chopped nuts.
Add the cooled fruit mixture and the egg mixture to the flour and nuts and mix through evenly.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan, to three quarters full.
Bake the cake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.
Test to see if the cake is done: insert a thin metal skewer into the centre of the cake then remove it. If the cake is done, it will come out clean with no trace of stickiness.
If ready, remove the cake from the oven, place a plate on top and cool it on a wire rack for a few minutes. Remove the plate and the pan, shaking it loose carefully, then peel the lining paper off the bottom of the cake. Sprinkle the cake generously with extra brandy.
When the cake is cool, turn it right side up and decorate it with whole almonds and glacé cherries, as shown in the photograph.

Brandy sauce

750 ml water
4 whole cloves
2 pieces ginger
2 pieces stick cinnamon
200 g sugar
15 ml cornflour
50 ml brandy

Boil the water, cloves, ginger and cinnamon together for 10 minutes. Remove the spices and add the sugar, stirring continuously until it has dissolved. Blend the cornflour with a little cold water and add to the sauce. Boil until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and add the brandy just before serving.

Christmas pudding

225 g hard margarine
225 g soft brown sugar
200 g flour
350 g currants
225 g raisins
175 g sultanas
50 g mixed peel
25 g blanched almonds
100 g cherries
175 g brown breadcrumbs
5 ml nutmeg
15 ml treacle
2 large eggs
1 lemon (grated rind only)
1 orange (grated rind and juice)
50 ml milk
25 ml brandy

Melt the margarine and mix in all the remaining ingredients.
Place the mixture in a greased 1 litre pudding dish. Cover tightly with greaseproof paper and foil and secure with string under the rim.
Place in a saucepan of boiling water to come halfway up the side of the basin. Steam for 7 hours, adding more boiling water to pan when necessary.
Remove from the saucepan, cool and store until needed. This pudding should be made 6 weeks in advance.
Serve hot with custard or cream.

Christmas turkey

4 kg turkey
75 ml butter, softened
7 ml mustard powder
7 ml flour
15 ml salt
5 ml milled black pepper

250 g rindless streaky bacon, chopped
30 ml butter
2 onions, finely chopped
500 ml stale breadcrumbs
3 green apples, cooked and puréed
2 lemons, grated peel
500 g pork sausage meat
2 ml sage, thyme or marjoram leaves
1 egg
salt and milled pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 160 ºC. Remove the giblets from the turkey. Clean and wash the turkey, inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels.
2. Smooth 30 ml (2 tbsp) butter under the breast skin. Melt remaining butter and brush over entire turkey.
3. Mix the mustard, flour, salt and pepper and pat all over the turkey.

4. STUFFING: Fry the bacon until crisp in heated butter and crumble into a bowl. Sauté onions in the same pan and stir in the breadcrumbs. Add to the bacon. Mix with remaining ingredients.
Stuff the neck and stomach cavities loosely, to allow for expansion during cooking. (Self-basting turkeys are often already trussed. To add the stuffing, release the feet and parson's nose, wash the cavity, stuff and secure again.)
5. Close the cavities with small metal skewers and tie them together with string to prevent the stuffing from spilling out during cooking. Alternatively, you can place a piece of crumpled foil into the mouth of each cavity.
6. Truss the turkey by inserting small metal skewers through the legs and wings. Cut a long piece of string and place it under the parson's nose, loop it around the legs, draw up the string (leaving a fairly long tail end) and loop it around the leg skewers. Cross the string over the breast and loop it around the wing skewers. Tie the ends together firmly under the parson's nose.
Brush wings thoroughly with melted butter before covering with foil to protect them during roasting.

GRAVY: Prepare the gravy in advance. Wash the giblets and set the liver aside. Fry the gizzard and neck in a little sunflower oil until golden brown. Drain and then place in a saucepan with 2 onions, 2 chopped carrots, 4 celery sprigs, 1 bay leaf and salt and milled pepper. Add 500 ml (2 cups) water and 125 ml (1/2 cup) white wine and bring to boil. Simmer, uncovered, until reduced by half, to make a flavoursome turkey stock. Strain. When the turkey has finished roasting and has been removed from the roasting pan, skim off any fat from the pan drippings, add the strained turkey stock to the pan and stir thoroughly. Melt 15 ml (1 tbsp) butter in a saucepan, blend in 10 ml (2 tsp) flour and slowly stir the mixture into the gravy over low heat until thickened. Sauté the turkey liver in 5-10 ml (1-2 tsp) sunflower oil for 2 to 3 minutes (it should still be pink inside). Season with salt and milled pepper, cool, and slice thinly. Add the liver to the gravy with a little medium cream sherry just before serving with the turkey

Christmas spice roast duck

2 medium ducks
salt to season
1 vanilla pod, halved
6 star anise
4 cinnamon sticks
250 ml maple syrup
3 oranges, cut in half

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC. Rub the salt all over and inside each of the ducks. Place a vanilla half, 3 star anise and 2 cinnamon sticks inside each cavity. Place on a roasting tray and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, pour out the fat and reserve. Spread the maple syrup over the ducks and put the oranges on the tray. Roast for another 30 minutes. Remove the ducks from the tray and carve. Bring the pan juices to a boil and remove any extra fat. Spoon liquid over the duck.

Christmas trifle

400 g strawberries
30 ml brandy
80 g port wine jelly powder
1 large OR 2 small jam rolls, cut into 1 cm thick slices
80 ml orange juice
30 ml lemon juice
15 ml brandy
100 g pecan nuts, chopped
825 g peach slices, drained
785 g pineapple chunks, drained
500 ml custard
3 fresh granadillas, pulp removed (OR 1 x 115 g can granadilla pulp)
500 ml cream, stiffly beaten

Rinse and hull the strawberries and pour over the 30 ml (2 T) brandy. Leave until needed. Dissolve the port wine jelly in 250 ml (1 c) boiling water, stirring until dissolved. Add 250 ml (1 c) cold water and stir. Leave in the fridge until set. Arrange the jam roll slices in the bottom and along the sides of a glass bowl. Mix the orange juice, lemon juice and 15 ml (1 T) brandy. Pour over the cake. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Arrange the peach slices and pineapple chunks on top. Pour the custard over and chill. Cut the set jelly in squares and sprinkle on top of the custard. Pour over the granadilla pulp. Spoon the whipped cream into a piping bag and decorate the trifle with cream rosettes. Arrange the soaked strawberries between the cream rosettes. Chill until needed. Serves 10

Swedish Christmas ham

3 kg pickled leg of pork
30 g sugar
1 bay leaf
5 ml pickling spice
1 egg
30 ml prepared mustard
15 ml sugar
75 ml plain breadcrumbs

Place pork in large saucepan and add water to almost cover leg. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Boil gently for 30 minutes per 500 g, or until meat begins to come away from bone. Remove from saucepan and peel away skin. Preheat oven to 220 ºC. GLAZE: Mix egg, mustard and sugar and spread over pork. Sprinkle over breadcrumbs and bake for 10 minutes or until brown. Serve hot or cold.

Festive chicken

15 ml oil
4 rashers rindless bacon, chopped
45 ml butter or margarine
12 pickling onions, peeled
1 large chicken, cut into portions
15 ml grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
10 ml grated orange rind
5 ml ground cumin
5 ml ground coriander
250 ml fresh orange juice
250 ml white wine
250 g baby carrots, peeled
250 g young green beans, trimmed, but left whole
salt and pepper to taste

Heat 5 ml (1 tsp) oil in a frying pan or saucepan, add bacon and fry until crisp. Remove and set aside. Add remaining oil and half the butter to pan. Cook onions until golden brown, then remove and set aside. Add chicken pieces to pan and brown over medium heat. Remove and keep warm. Add remaining butter to pan, then stir in ginger, garlic, orange rind, cumin and coriander. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add orange juice and wine, and simmer for 1 minute. Return chicken pieces to pan, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Add carrots and green beans. Simmer for 15 minutes. Return onions and bacon to pan and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Serve on couscous or rice. If desired, garnish with coriander and orange rind.

Festive egg nog

6 large eggs, separated
150 g sugar
250 ml rum
1 l cream milk
250 ml fresh cream
125 ml brandy

1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together well. Gradually beat in the rum and milk. 2. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Add cream and brandy gently. 3. Serve in glasses and sprinkle lightly with a mixture of ground cinnamon and chocolate drinking powder. 4. Serve mid-morning with Christmas fruit cake.

Festive ox tongue

1 fresh ox tongue
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 lemon
2 bay leaves
6 whole peppercorns
2 whole cloves
2 sprigs parsley

30 ml butter
30 ml cake flour
250 ml chicken stock
1 small lemon, juice and rind
2 ml ground cinnamon
5 ml mustard powder
65 ml sweet sherry
250 ml prunes, stoned and chopped
125 ml seedless raisins
125 ml almond slivers (optional)
sugar to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the tongue, onions, lemon and other seasonings in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently until tender and cooked, about three to four hours. Cool slightly, remove the skin and slice thinly. Set aside. Melt the butter and stir in the cake flour. Heat for about one minute while stirring. Remove from the stove and stir in the chicken stock. Heat while stirring until the sauce come to the boil and thickens. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil once more. Add the sliced tongue, cover and simmer very slowly for about 30 minutes. Stir every now and then to prevent the mixture from burning. (The tongue can also be baked in the oven.) Serve with mashed potatoes and buttered French beans

Festive turkey pie

250 g cake flour
1 ml salt
180 g cold butter
1 large egg yolk

30 ml sunflower oil
10 pickling onions
1 green pepper
250 g fresh button mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 packet instant tomato soup
500 g turkey meat
30 ml fresh origanum
1 large egg

Place flour and salt in a bowl.
Rub in the butter using your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Mix in the egg yolk using a knife. The mixture should form a firm dough. If it's too dry, add a little cold water.
Roll into a ball and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Heat oil in a saucepan and brown the onions.
Add green pepper, mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
Stir in 400 ml water, tomato soup, turkey and origanum (5 ml if using dried origanum).
Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Season to taste, then set aside to cool.
Spoon cool mixture into a greased pie dish.
Roll pastry out on a floured surface.
Use a sharp knife to cut out leaf shapes. Layer the pastry leaves over the filling.
Brush with egg and bake in a preheated oven at 200 ºC for 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden.

Festive peaches

410 g peach halves, drained, but retain syrup
500 g fruit mincemeat
65 ml brandy
ice cream to serve

1. Place peaches in an ovenproof dish. 2. Use sufficient fruit mincemeat to fill peach cavities. 3. Pour peach syrup over peaches. 4. Bake at 180 ºC for 10 minutes. 5. Warm brandy and pour over peaches. 6. Ignite and serve with ice cream.

Festive nut roast

200 g mixed nuts, coarsely ground
85 g dried apricots, soaked
15 ml fresh white breadcrumbs

1 onion, coarsely chopped
50 g butter
100 g macadamia nuts
50 g dried apricots, soaked in orange juice or brandy
250 ml vegetable stock
100 g fresh white breadcrumbs
30 ml sunflower oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
410 g whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
55 g fresh button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
30 ml tomato paste
2 ml ground cloves
5 ml ground coriander
5 ml ground cumin
2 ml crushed dried chillis
1 egg, beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper

30 g butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 kg fresh spinach, washed, cooked and drained
salt and freshly ground black pepper

15 ml sunflower oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
200 g cooked, mashed sweet potato
100 g macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

1. Place the ground nuts and breadcrumbs together in a large bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onions and celery for about 10 minutes or until soft and transparent. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until the moisture has evaporated. Remove from the heat, allow to cool and then add to the nut and breadcrumb mixture.
3. Add the tomato paste and dried spices and combine thoroughly. Stir in the egg to make a moist but not wet mixture. Add a little water if necessary. Season to taste and set aside.

4. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the garlic. Cook over a low heat for 1 minute, then add the spinach with butter. Season to taste and set aside.

5. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and celery and cook for 10 minutes or until soft but not brown. Add the sweet potato and cook until soft.
Remove from the heat and tip into a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

6. Lightly oil a large loaf tin. Line the bottom of the tin with greaseproof paper. Divide the nut mixture into 4 portions.
Layer the mixtures into the tin starting with nut mixture. Then add a layer of spinach, a layer of nut mixture, the macadamia mixture, the nut mixture, the remaining spinach and end with a layer of the nut mixture. Press down each layer with a spatula, making sure that the edges are neat. Cover with lightly oiled greaseproof paper.
7. Place the tin on a baking sheet and put on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake at 180 °C for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 220 °C.
8. Allow the roast to cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and invert the tin onto it. Remove the tin and the greaseproof paper and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
9. Transfer to a serving dish. Top with braised nuts and onion sauce.

10. Sauté the onions in the butter until soft. Add the nuts and braise until lightly browned. Stir in the apricots and stock and simmer until syrupy and caramelised.

Christmas Cake

4 bottles of Vodka
1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
lemon juice
4 large eggs nuts
2 cups of dried fruit

Sample the vodka to check quality.
Take a large bowl, check the vodka again.
To be sure it is the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer.
Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again.
At this point it's best to make sure the vodka is still OK.
Try another cup .... just in case

Turn off the mixerer.
Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
Pick fruit off floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck
in the beaterers pry it loose with a sdrewscriver.
Sample the vodka to check for tonsisticity.
Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something.
Who giveshz a shoot

Check the vodka.
Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add one table.
Add a spoon of sugar. Whatever you can find.
Greash the oven and pee in the fridge.
Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over Don't forget to beat
off the turner.
Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the vodka and kick the
Fall into bed.

Chocolate Easter eggs
Preparation time: 20 minutes
200 g dark chocolate
100 g hazelnuts
100 g almonds
100 g sugar
100 g melted dark chocolate
1 ml vanilla essence

Melt 200g dark or cooking chocolate. Pour the chocolate into a set of small egg- shape moulds. The chocolate should fill the moulds. Tap gently a couple of times to release any air bubbles.
Turn the moulds upside down and allow the chocolate to run out, leaving a coating of chocolate in the moulds. Turn the moulds onto their sides (vertical) and allow the chocolate to harden.

Prepare the praline filling:
Heat the oven to 240°C.
Place 100 g blanched almonds in a roasting pan and roast in the oven until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and rub the hazelnuts between two clean dish clothes to remove the skins.
Blend nuts in a liquidizer with 100g sugar to form a smooth paste and stir in 100g melted dark chocolate and 1ml vanilla essence.
Pipe the filling into the chocolate shells, which should be three- quarters full. Allow the filling to set in the fridge for a few minutes.
Pour melted chocolate over the set filling and scrape off excess with a palate knife. If you want to make filled half-shells instead of eggs, allow to set properly and remove from the mould.
Press two prepared moulds together, making sure that the shapes are lined up and matching. Press together and squeeze out excess chocolate. Allow to set properly before pulling the moulds apart.
Pull the moulds apart carefully. If the chocolate sticks, twist the moulds carefully to release the chocolate. Cover chocolates in coloured aluminium paper or wrap in cellophane as a lovely Easter gift.

Easter crumpets

2 extra-large eggs
400 ml milk
1 instant crumpet mix
100 ml currants
50 ml seedless raisins
50 ml shredded citrus rind
2 ml cinnamon
1 ml nutmeg
1 ml mixed spice

Beat the eggs and milk together and add to the instant mix, mixing to form a smooth batter. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Prepare as described on the pack. Serve hot with butter and honey. Serves 6-8.

Easter egg trifle
Preparation time: 20 minutes

6 mini Swiss rolls (or a large one)
1 x 410 g tin fruit cocktail
4 chocolate marshmallow Easter eggs, chopped
250 ml readymade custard
125 ml cream, whipped
20 mini chocolate Easter eggs

Thinly slice the Swiss roll and place at the bottom of a trifle bowl or in individual glasses.
Pour over some of the fruit cocktail.
Cover with a layer of marshmallow eggs and a layer of custard.
Repeat the three layers and top with whipped cream.
Garnish with Easter eggs and a sprig of fresh mint. Chill until ready to serve.

Make Easter egg pancakes.
Buy readymade pancakes and fill them with custard, mini Easter eggs, fruit cocktail and cream.
Serve with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.

Easter ring bread
Preparation time: 40, Cooking time: 45

260 ml white bread flour
20 ml instant dried yeast
50 ml brown sugar
15 ml grated lemon rind
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
200 ml lukewarm milk
200 g icing sugar
60 ml lemon juice
75 g filling: chopped glacé cherries
50 g candied fruit
50 g sultanas
100 g flaked almonds
60 g brown sugar
10 ml ground cinnamon
5 ml ground mixed spice

1. Combine the flour, yeast, 3ml salt, sugar and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and milk and stir until everything comes together to form a smooth dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, or use the dough hook on a food processor.
2. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, then knead again for a few minutes. Mix the filling ingredients and add half the mixture to the dough. Knead until the ingredients have been incorporated into the dough.
3. Divide the dough in half and roll into two tube shapes of the same size and length. Press two of the ends together and then twist the two pieces together until you get to the other end. Bend to form a circle on a greased baking tray and press the ends together. Leave to rise again until the dough has doubled in size. Bake in a preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes until golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
4. Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over the bread and sprinkle with the remaining filling mixture. Serve sliced with butter.

Hot-cross muffin buns

2 cups cake flour
5 ml salt
5 ml mixed spice
60 ml sugar
60 g butter or margarine
1 10g pkt instant dry yeast
374 ml lukewarm milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
125 ml luxury mixed dried fruits
Crosses and glaze
125 ml cake flour
80 ml water
30 ml golden syrup to glaze

Pre-heat oven to 200?C. Grease a 12-muffin tin. Sift together flour, salt and spices. Add sugar and mix. Rub butter into the flour using fingertips then mix in the dry yeast. Add milk, egg and dried fruit mix, mix well. Knead on a lightly floured surface intil smooth and elastic. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 15-20 mins.

Divide dough into 12 pieces, knead each piece into a round shape and drop into a muffin tin. Set aside in a warm place for 25 mins or until double in size.

To make cross

Mix all ingredients to a smooth paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle and pipe crosses onto buns. Bake for 20 mins. Brush tops with syrup while buns are still hot.

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