Lauren Gemmell

Food, Fitness, and Technology

Tag: christmas (Page 1 of 2)

Soaking Fruit for Christmas Cake 2013

Last year for the first time I made my own Christmas cake flavoured with chocolate and cherries. It was meant to be a little different, but to be honest it wasn’t that different from a traditional Christmas Fruit Cake.

This year I am trying again to go a little on to the unusual side. In this case by using Indian spice blend Garam Masala instead of just the usual Christmas spice collection: cinnamon, ginger, cloves and all spice.

I am following this recipe for Garam Masala Christmas Cake.

Can you guess what I am making today?

Read More

Apple and Sultana Buns

Although I am not immune to a little Christmas excitement in late October – I am already thinking about how to ice my Christmas Cake this year and if I can hand make Christmas Decorations to give out as gifts. I feel it is still to early for those heavy Christmas spices, ginger, allspice, cloves etc and you need to ease yourself in gently with some autumnal cinnamon first!

Christmas Cake: Iced

In the run up to Christmas I did eventually find the time to ice my cake, but only just enough time. In the end I went for a very simple Christmas tree decoration.

Iced Christmas Cake

Read More

Christmas Leftover Fried Rice

This is a recipe I first made at the start of December but it is so perfect for Christmas leftovers that I wanted to leave posting it till now.

Christmas Leftover Fried Rice

Using leftover turkey (or maybe even ham), rice, a couple of eggs and some Chinese 5 spices you can whip up a very quick taste Christmassy dinner.

Read More

Christmas Cake: Feeding the cake

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while.

Every couple of weeks I have been feeding my Chocolate Christmas Cake with Amaretto.

Feeding the Christmas Cake

Of course I can’t tell you much about how it tastes, but it smells wonderful – deep, rich and christmassy. Every time I unwrap the cake the aroma fills the kitchen.

Feeding the Christmas Cake

Tomorrow I will ice the cake, however I still haven’t quite decided on how to decorate it, my options so far on this iced Christmas cake pinboard.

Then once I have taken like a billion photos, I will chop it up and eat it.

I’ll let you know how it tastes.

Chocolate and Cherry Christmas Cake

At the end of December I wrote a post about how I had stopped cooking and baking during the stress of planning a wedding. How I had resolved to get myself back into it using a list of techniques and dishes I wanted to create by the end of 2012. Needless to say I can’t strike a single thing off of that list.

My first year as a married woman has not been spent as a domestic goddess, with apron on, baking delicious treats and warming homely dinners. While it is extremely unlikely I will ever be that woman, I can always hope (and pursue) more of a life/work balance for the next year.

However there was one thing that shines out above all others on the list, to bake, marzipan and ice a cake.

Read More

Christmas Syrup for Coffee

Back at the start of November I woke up one morning with a sudden urge for a winter flavoured coffee. No one else was up and it was cold outside, so as I waited for the coffee to brew I thought about how I could get that taste I wanted.

Christmas Flavoured Syrup for Coffee (with Christmas tree in the background)

The taste I wanted was the taste to wake up to on a cold snowy morning, when the Christmas tree is up, something warm and spicy.

Read More

Knitting a Mini Christmas Stocking

Bet you didn’t know I could knit?

Read More

Raspberry and Whisky Trifle

There is an inherent difference between men and women, or at least between Matt and I. I want fuss and time and effort, Matt wants anything for the easy life – the less stress version.

This is most obvious by looking at what I made each of us for a birthday cake. I wanted a stunning three layer brightly coloured cake, lots of time, lots of effort, lots of stress and essentially (in this case) disappointment.

Raspberry and Whisky Trifle

Matt however wanted… nothing, he wouldn’t be drawn on what he wanted at all as his birthday cake this year. For a while I thought about making a lemon torte, but I have tried umpteen different recipes and none of them worked, none of them were really even tasty. In the end I gave in to what he wanted which was the least stress option.

Read More

Cherry and Almond Mince Pies

Christmas isn’t Christmas without the buttery pastry and spicy dried fruit filling of a mince pie.

Mince Pies

Mince pies are one of the best desserts at Christmas time, they are great warmed with cream and ice cream, wonderful with a cup of coffee and amazing for breakfast!

Growing up in my family they were plenty of festive tiffins, tablets and meringues to snack upon which everyone loved, but my favourite was always the mince pie. I loved the spicy flavours and the dried fruit, and the smell! To some people it’s the smell of pine, to others mulled wine, but to me its freshly baked mince pies, that smell like Christmas.

Cherry and Almond Mince Pies

~ should make around 20 (with leftover mince meat).

  • 1 batch of Cherry and Almond Mincemeat
  • 1 package of pre-made shortcrust pastry
  • 100 ml of milk, for brushing the top of the pastry with.
  • Cinnamon sugar, optional
Pre heat the oven to 180 oC and grease a fairy cake tin.

Roll out the pastry till it is about 1cm thick. Using a cookie cutter cut out circles, which will form the base of your mince pie, and stars that will form the top.

Gently press the circles into the tin, filling each with around 2-3 heaped teaspoons into each pie. Top each pie with a pastry star.

After you have completed all the pies, use a pastry brush to lightly cover each star with a little milk. If you have it sprinkle each pie with cinnamon sugar before baking.

Leave the pies in the oven for around 15 minutes, until they have turned golden, leave them to cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes.

Writing this post on a full stomach is one of the hardest things I have had to do, I just absolutely could not eat another mince pie. Still thinking of the smells and the textures is making my mouth water.

Maybe in half an hour I’ll be able to eat one more…

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén