Category / Christmas

Baking Christmas Recipe

Festive Sausage Rolls

I think everyone that I know loves sausage rolls, especially at parties. I make a batch of rolls quite often and keep them in my freezer, so I always have something handy in a party emergency! I use ready rolled shop bought puff pastry as it works very well and is easy and cheap to buy. I buy the one without butter so it can work for vegans too. 

If you want vegan rolls, I use Richmond’s meat-free sausages for the filling and add my own seasoning in the same way as I do use pork sausages. I also seal and glaze them with soya milk. 

I like to jazz up my filling by adding a few spices or fresh herbs. At Christmas time I put a little cranberry sauce in the mixture to add some festive flavours. Sausage rolls are so versatile so get inventive and come up with your own ideas. 


    • One pack ready to roll puff pastry 
    • One beaten egg 
    • One pack of pork/meat-free sausages 
    • Handful finely chopped fresh parsley 
    • 1 Tbs cranberry sauce 
    • 1 tsp garlic puree 
    • Salt and pepper


    Unroll the pastry and cut it into half along the long side.

    Squeeze the sausages out of the skins and place in a bowl. Mix in the other ingredients and then lay the mixture along the middle of each length of pastry. 

    Brush the pastry with beaten egg and then roll the pastry over the filling and seal the edges well. I use a fork to press the seam together to seal.

    Slice into the size rolls you prefer, snip the top of each roll with scissors or slash with a sharp knife.

    Brush well with egg and then bake in a 200c oven for about twenty minutes or until puffed up and golden.  

    Baking Christmas Recipe

    Vegan Wellington

    I made this recipe as a main dish for our Vegan daughters Christmas meal. The pastry I made from scratch but most shop bought Puff Pastry is vegan so its easy to use that too.This is what I did.



    250g strong white bread flour

    200g Vegan block (must be hard/solid, I bought mine from Sainsbury)

    1 Tsp lemon Juice

    1 tsp salt

    150ml chilled water

    (extra flour for dusting/ rolling)

    Soya milk (for brushing to seal and glaze)


    Pre heat oven 20 210c

    Place flour, salt, lemon juice into a mixing bowl. Chop the vegan block into dice and add to the flour. Stir it around to coat with flour. Add about two thirds of the water and mix to form a soft dough, add more of the water if needed. At this point we do not want to blend the vegan block into the flour. Just ball it all up with cold hands, wrap in film and place in th fridge for half an hour.

    Remove from fridge onto a well floured surface and roll out to about an A4 rectangle. keep dusting the pin and surface to stop it sticking. Keep the edges neat. Fold the top third down and the bottom third up to cover the top. Wrap in film and chill for half an hour.

    Repeat the above twice more. Then keep in the fridge while you prepare the filling.


    1 peeled and chopped onion

    3 Portobello mushrooms sliced

    1 Tbs oil

    1 tsp Marmite

    salt and pepper

    Half a peeled and diced butternut squash

    2 sweet potatoes unpeeled and diced

    1 pouch cooked lentils

    1 pouched cooked chestnuts (chopped roughly)

    2 tsp chia seeds

    1 cup pumpkin seeds

    1 grated nutmeg

    fresh sage and rosemary chopped

    zest and juice of 1 orange

    1 Tsp English mustard

    2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

    1 small jar cranberry sauce


    Preheat oven to 180c

    Soften the onions and mushrooms in a frying pan in the oil, add marmite and salt and pepper.

    Roast the butternut squash and the sweet potato until tender.

    Remove from the oven and place into a large mixing bowl, add the onion and mushroom mixture and all the other ingredients. Stir well and chill.


    Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out to a large rectangle about 5 mm thick. Using a pizza roller cut the pastry into two strips horizontally. The base bout a third of the pastry and the top about two thirds.

    Place the base pastry on a greaseproof sheet on a baking sheet.

    Mound the filling along the pastry leaving a cm uncovered all the way around.(a margin) Spread the cranberry sauce on top.

    Brush the pastry margin with soya milk and the lay the top pastry over everything. Press down well to join the bottom pastry to the top and crimp with your fingers and a thumb using both hands. Brush the whole thing with soya milk and place back in the fridge to chill for about half an hour. Brush again with soya milk and bake for about 40 minutes until golden and puffed up. Any bits of pastry left can be place on the wellington before cooking as decorations.

    Ape Gallery: You didn’t select any Ape Gallery item in editor. Please select one from the list or create new gallery
    Ape Gallery: You didn’t select any Ape Gallery item in editor. Please select one from the list or create new gallery

    Baking Christmas Recipe

    Yule Log

    The Yule log or Buche de Noel is a traditional Christmas bake. Going back many centuries the Yule Log was an actual log felled at the time of the Winter Solstice when days were short and cold and at Yule time a bit of warmth from an open fire was something everyone looked forward to. This cake is decorated to resemble a log and is quite easy and fun to make.

    It comprises as Genoese style cake baked on a flat sheet and rolled prior o being filled so that it remembers to be a log shape. It is then filled with either whipped double cream, buttercream or chocolate ganache. The final stage is to cover the filled cake with chocolate ganache and a sprinkling of snow (icing sugar) and a sprig of holly.




    3 Eggs

    75g caster sugar

    70g plain flour

    20g cocoa

    (1 Tbs caster sugar and cocoa mixed together for dusting)


    Grease a 26cm x 36cm baking tray and line the bottom with greaseproof paper. Preheat oven to 190c.

    In a large bowl mix the eggs and the sugar with an electric mixer until very light, frothy and doubled in size. Combine the flour and cocoa and sift over the egg mixture. Using a large metal spoon carefully fold in the flour and cocoa making sure not to deflate the mixture, so be gentle. Por the batter into the tray and bake for about 8 minutes and remove from the oven.

    Sprinkle the cocoa and sugar onto a sheet of clean greaseproof paper and invert the sponge on to it. peel off the paper it has been cooked on and discard it.

    with a blunt knife run a line (do not cut right through the sponge) 2 cm in from one of the short ends. and roll it up with the fresh paper rolled inside it. Leave it to cool completely.


    250ml double cream

    250 g dark chocolate

    In a medium pan warm the cream a tiny bit with the chocolate, just enough to melt the chocolate and then stir it all together. Leave to cool and set to the consistency of soft butter.


    Unroll the sponge and fill with a smooth layer of a filling of your choice. Roll the sponge back up and cover with the ganache. use a fork or the back of a knife to give a log like appearance. Dust with a little icing sugar.

    Christmas Recipe

    Frangipane Mince Pies

    Everyone in my family loves a mince pie including me. I am also very partial to anything involving marzipan so I like to top my pies with frangipane instead of pastry.

    The mincemeat recipe is already on this site under its own post so check that out if you want to make mincemeat or you can buy a juicy jar most places around Christmas.


    200g Plain Flour

    115g g cold cubed butter

    50g caster sugar

    1 beaten egg

    1 tsp almond essence


    Place the flour and butter into a mixing bowl and rub the butter in using fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar. Add the beaten egg and essence and using a flat bladed knife mix around until it starts to clump together, Use hands to bring it together into a ball and wrap in kitchen film. Chill in the fridge for thirty minutes.


    100g softened butter

    100g caster sugar

    2 beaten eggs

    100g ground almonds

    1 Tbs plain Flour

    1 tsp almond essence

    Flaked almonds for decoration


    Cream the butter and sugar together using an electric whisk. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.

    Assembly and Baking

    Pre Heat Oven to 180c

    Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface until the pastry is about the thickness of a pound coin. Using a 3,5inch round cutter stamp out twelve discs. Ease the discs into the greased holes of a deep cupcake tin. Place a tablespoon of mincemeat into the bottom and top with frangipane. Smooth the surface. scatter a few flaked almonds onto the top and bake for about 20 minutes until the frangipane has set and is golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes and the carefully ease them out and leave to cool or eat warm with a dollop of cream! Don’t forget to leave one out for Father Christmas!

    Christmas Recipe

    Indulgent Parsnip Soup

    I made this soup in an attempt to get my husband to eat parsnips, he hates them apparently! Not any more, I tricked him with this delicate soup, based on a German theme but rich and creamy with a hint of apples and spice! The wine can be omitted and replaced with extra stock.

    Serves 4


    • 50g butter
    • 1 chopped onion
    • 400g parsnips, peeled and chopped
    • 1 large potato peeled and chopped
    • 250ml dry white wine (Riesling)
    • 150ml apple juice
    • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp garlic granules
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
    • 200ml single cream
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • handful smoked lardons


    in a large pan soften the onions in the butter then add the parsnips and potatoes, cook for a few minutes stirring all the time. Then add the wine and bring to a boil this will remove the alcohol content but leave the taste.Add the stock, mustard, apple juice and all the seasonings. Simmer about twenty minutes until the vegetables are soft. Using a hand blender stick blitz the soup until very smooth, add more stock if its a bit thick . Add the cream and let it heat gently.

    Meanwhile in a frying pan cook the lardons in their own fat, it will be released as soon as it gets warm. Crisp them up.

    To serve, ladle soup into bowls then swirl a little cream into it, place a spoonful of lardons in the centre and sprinkle with smoked paprika. To make this vegetarian friendly omit the lardons and replace with a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds.


    Happy New Year

    Happy New Year

    It is very hard to believe its now the end of 2018. The most amazing year I have ever had. I want to wish everyone who has been so kind, so supportive of me on this incredible journey a very Happy New Year.

    Thank You


    Baking Christmas

    Christmas Cake Recipe

    It is here once again, we are into November and it is time to get the big mixing bowls out for the Christmas Cake.

    I know that not everyone is a fan, but I am! It’s a tradition to make at least one cake. My mam used to make a round one; royal icing peaked to make look like snow, a ruffled frill around it and plastic decorations: Father Christmas, robins, a snowman, and a Merry Xmas greeting.

    I don’t bother with fancy pants stuff,  I just go with tradition. Mam also made two Christmas Cake loaves. My fondest memories of Christmas Eve are having a slice with some cheese and a little sip of cream sherry.

    When I am doing the final stir up I get my husband and girls to take turns stirring and make a wish. (If they’re away from home they do it telepathically, I text them when to make the wish and I stir for them).

    Here we go, this makes a big cake, like ten inches and tall. If you want to adjust to make smaller give me a toot and I will send quantities.


    450g Sultanas
    450g Currants
    450g Raisins
    150g Chopped Prunes or Dates
    100g Glace Cherries
    100g Candied Peel
    6 Tbs Brandy
    450g Plain Flour
    A large pinch of Salt
    1 Tsp Cinnamon
    2 Tsp Mixed Spice
    2 Tbs Cocoa Powder
    450g Unsalted Butter
    450g Dark Brown Sugar
    8 Large Eggs
    100g Ground Almonds
    100g Flake Almonds


    1. Soak all the dried fruit in a bowl with the brandy the night before you bake your cake
    2. Grease a 10inch springform tin and line with baking parchment
    3. Preheat the oven to 150 or fan 140
    4. Sift together the flour, spices cocoa and salt
    5. Whisk the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
    6. Beat the eggs in a jug and beat in to the sugar and butter gradually
    7. With a large spoon, mix in the flour/spice mix and fruit together
    8. Make a wish
    9. Spoon into the cake tin and level the top
    10. Using newspaper or brown paper and string protect the outside of the tin
    11. Bake for about 3 and a half hours, or until a skewer come out clean
    12. Leave to cool in the tin then wrap in foil and store in a cool place
    13. Feed the cake with brandy every week until it is time to decorate (liberally spoon brandy onto the cake)

    Christmas Recipe

    Uncle David’s Favourite Mince Meat Recipe

    I was just thinking this morning how it will be Christmas before we know where we are and I just happened to have all the ingredients in my store cupboard to make a huge jar of mincemeat for mince pies. It only takes ten minutes and little effort, with the resulting mincemeat much better than anything you can buy in the shops.

    I have an Uncle David who is mince pie crazy. One year as a young man, he scoffed all my gran’s mince pies in one sitting. The following year she played a joke on him, baking him a tray full stuffed with cotton wool; each year he still remains optimistic that he will be plied with the real thing!


    700g Mixed Dried Fruit (any combination you like, cranberries, mango or (like me) just the standard currants, raisins, sultanas and mixed peel)
    100g Glacé Cherries (chopped)
    1 Cooking Apple (peeled, cored and chopped)
    125g Unsalted Butter
    50g Chopped Nuts (any will do)
    225g Dark Brown Sugar
    1 tsp Cinnamon
    1 and 1/2 tbs Mixed Spice
    1 tsp Mace or Nutmeg
    Grated rind and juice of 1 Lemon
    150ml Brandy


    1. Warm the sugar, butter and lemon in a large pan on a low heat
    2. Add all the other ingredients (with the exception of the brandy)
    3. Cook over a low heat for about ten minutes, stirring regularly
    4. Remove from heat and leave to cool
    5. Add the brandy and stir thoroughly
    6. Place in a large sterilised Kilner jar or four small jam jars

    Who still puts mince pies out on Christmas Eve? Not my Uncle that’s for sure!