I love making all different types of sharing boards when I am entertaining as they are quick and simple so I am not spending all my time at the oven when my friends and family are over. This one is ideal if you are having a New Years Eve party or gathering. Just increase the amount of them according to how many guests you have over.
I’ve listed a few ideas for you but feel free to add additional items. Figs, celery, apricots etc all work well.
Have a lovely time whatever you are doing. Wishing you all a happy, healthy new year.
Crackers – use a few types
3 types of cheese per board
Sesame bread sticks
Grapes – red and green
Fresh basil to decorate
Serve with some rustic freshly baked French bread and salted butter at room temperature and of course lots of lovely wine.
This is such a lovely light dessert which makes a nice change from all the heavy Christmas ones. You can whizz up your fruit in a blender with a few simple ingredients, freeze and forget about it until needed. Bursting with berries and antioxidants. I don’t use sugar just a little honey to sweeten it.
Just take out of the freezer 10 minutes or so before serving.
500g forest fruit frozen berry mix
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons honey
200ml cranberry juice
Simply pour all your ingredients into the blender and whizz up until smooth.
Transfer into a freezer proof dish. I used one that was 17 x27cm.
Freeze for a few hours preferably overnight.
When ready to serve remove from the freezer approx 10 minutes before serving to soften.
Personally I don’t think you can beat homemade mince pies. There’s nothing worse than those ones with soft pastry that collapse into nothing!
My mum has made these for as long as I can remember and I’ve followed the tradition. The mincemeat is infused with cider and Cointreau and packed full juicy fruit. I make them quite tiny as I prefer them that way. The house smells wonderful while they are baking. It wouldn’t be Christmas without them.
Makes approximately 12 mince pies with 1 pack of ready roll pastry. Mincemeat measurements are enough for about 4 350g jars
750g mixed fruit
2 bramley apples – peeled, cored and sliced
Juice and zest of a large orange
500ml apple cider
150g soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 tablespoons Cointreau
1 pack of ready roll Shortcrust pastry
1 egg – beaten to glaze
Flour to dust work surface
2 tablespoons icing sugar to dust over
Vintage Christmas decorations
Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c fan
In a large pan add your cider and apple slices and bring to the boil. Now add all your other ingredients except the Cointreau and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Stir in the Cointreau.
Allow to cool and decant into jars.
Roll out your pastry on a floury work surface. Cut out little rounds with your serrated circular cutter and place in a greased Yorkshire pudding tin. Now cut out the lids by using a shaped cutter like a tree or star. Place firmly on the top.
Glaze with beaten egg and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for approximately 15-20 mins.
Once they are lightly golden remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. It’s nice to still eat them warm.
Arrange on a plate and dust over a little icing sugar. Adorn with as many vintage festive mini decorations that you can find.
Serve to delighted family and guests with a mulled wine.
Baked camembert with French bread is such an easy but delicious option when you have friends over for drinks. When my friends come over I don’t want to be too busy cooking to enjoy being with them so I make sharing boards with cheese, biscuits and all other lovely things on for everyone to help themselves to. I always bake a camembert and serve it with lots of fresh French bread from the bakery. It’s also lovely to add cranberry sauce for dipping.
Perfect with a glass of champagne.
I stud it with rosemary from my garden, the only surviving herb. Did I mention gardening is not my forté?!
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
French bread and salted butter to serve
Pre heat oven to 200c / 180c fan
Remove your camembert from the box and stud with your sprigs of rosemary, then wrap in greaseproof paper. Pop back in the box.
Place on a baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is all melted and gooey.
Remove from oven, unwrap and serve in the box on a plate with lots of French bread and salted butter.
I make this trifle every year. My Mia loves trifle and I am always conjuring up all sorts of variations for her. It’s so quick and easy and perfect for anyone who is not a fan of Christmas pudding. The more kitsch little decorations you can find to adorn the snow scene on top of it the better.
1 red velvet cake – cut into 1 inch thick slices
100ml of sherry
Small can of mandarins
400g tin of custard
300ml double cream
Chocolate to crumble over the top – 1 Flake or 1 Ripple are ideal
Line the bottom of your trifle bowl ( always a glass one) with your cake slices and pour over your sherry.
Add your mandarins and raspberries on top and then the custard.
Whip up your cream so it holds it shape but be careful not to over whip or it will be difficult to spread over the custard. Once whipped but still drops off the spoon easily, spread over your custard.
Crumble over your chocolate and adorn with your kitsch little Christmas figures.
There’s enough to do at Christmas without spending hours cooking each course. I love a quick and easy recipe that’s also delicious and that is what I aim to offer.
White chocolate mousse made with cream and marscapone which I think always makes creamy desserts that bit more luxurious. Sprinkled with Biscoff. It’s so elegant and pretty and tastes like Christmas in a glass. I make them the night before.
20g caster sugar
250g single cream
125g white chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Biscoff biscuits
Mix all of your ingredients together except the white chocolate and Biscoff. I do this with an electric whisk to to make it as smooth as possible.
Melt your white chocolate in short bursts in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of hot water.
Stir the chocolate and whisk into your mixture.
Crumble a little Biscoff into the bottom of the glass and spoon in your mixture so it’s 3/4 full.
Crumble a little more Biscoff on top.
Chill in the fridge for a few hours preferably overnight.