Mince Pie Recipe

Sorry chaps, just a short, sharp to-the-point mince pie recipe – ‘tis the day for merriment and all that! I’ve given you a recipe for shortcrust pastry and a recipe for mincemeat too, but I’ve yet to bring them together under one all-embracing banner until this moment! Once you’ve made mince pies yourself, especially if you’ve done it the frugal way, you’ll never go back – homemade mincemeat is just too good and handmade pastry is simply a delight. The kick of the brandy, which is present in prodigious quantity, combined with the flavour of the fruit is very tricky to rival. Remember to never underestimate the power of a well-made mince pie!

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Mulled Wine

Visit Germany at this time of year, particularly the Rheinland, and you’re likely to run into one of the world famous German markets. Of course, they do visit Britain and other places, but the experience isn’t quite the same! At said market, you’ll encounter all manner of German sausage, bratwurst, and sweet breads such as Stollen. However, there is one other commodity that no German market would be complete without; glühwein, or mulled wine. Indeed, one of the most satisfying characteristics of the German markets is witnessing hoards of people shuffling about in their winter attire, sipping at the rim of a piping hot cup of glühwein (mulled wine). If it’s that feeling you’re after then you need look no further, for you have found just the recipe!

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chilli dark chocolate bark

When one really takes time to delve into all things festive it quickly becomes clear that it is unlikely that there will ever be an end to Christmastime culinary possibility. In fact, it turns out that it’s dreadfully difficult to keep one’s blog up-to-date with all that is being produced. The weather is the entity most at fault here, but what can one do? It’s difficult to castigate the weather – it makes a mockery of us all.

Following on from my recent monologue regarding presents and the meaning of Christmas, a little gifting advice may be necessary. For those of you that weren’t aware, chocolate is always a safe bet – is there anyone who doesn’t covet one form of chocolate or another? It is in this spirit that I bring you my recipe for chilli and nutmeg dark chocolate bark; it is both frugal and spectacularly delicious. Perhaps this is one case in which the old adage ‘his bark is worse than his bite’ isn’t entirely watertight. Someone get me a muzzle.

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Christmas Spiced Biscuits (5)

If there’s one time of the year at which biscuits should be made and eaten in prodigious quantity, it is at Christmas. There’s something clean and joyful about a proper English biscuit that makes them a smidge more festive than, to give one example, a cookie. It’s far easier to pick out individual flavours in biscuits than in food that is excessively sugary – a cookie, for instance, is something of a devilish experience.

Not only are biscuits rather light on one’s stomach, they are also one of the more frugal bakes one can embark upon. Of course, this is largely due to the dearth of expensive superlatives, such as chocolate, that are often added to cookies or cake. Instead, biscuits are often left plain or flavoured with spices or citrus fruits – as is the case in this recipe. Indeed, if the spiciness of these biscuits doesn’t appeal to you, by all means leave them plain – they will still be thoroughly delicious. Though, of course, such a thing wouldn’t be entirely in the spirit of Christmas!

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As predicted, the weather here has become remarkably warm and jolly unseasonable. One would, at this time of the year, expect one’s breath to be made visible by a late-spring chill. However, as this paragraph begins to takes shape, my eyes find themselves met with a sky of unbridled blue. We appear to have skipped spring entirely and charged head-first into summer – perhaps June will become the new winter. We shall yet join the Australians in having my namesake, jolly ol’ St. Nick, presented with a surf board and speedos, rather than coat and gloves.

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