Pavlova

This Christmas it was my turn to be in charge of the desserts. I love doing this for my family, and each year I want to get more creative.

I decided to go for a traditional apple crumble for Christmas Eve, and then a Pavlova for Christmas Day. Truth be told this was my first time ever making Pavlova, but I’m very happy with how it turned out, and even more about how easy it was to make.

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

How to: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C, and line a large baking sheet with grease-proof paper. Using a pencil, place a large dinner plate onto the paper and trace the circumference.
  2. Whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer or stand mixer until they form stiff peaks, then whisk in the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until the meringue looks glossy. Whisk in the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla.
  3. Spread the meringue inside the circle, creating a crater by making the sides a little higher than the middle. Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the heat and let the Pavlova cool completely inside the oven until room temperature.

To top it all off:

I whipped up one large pot of double cream and spooned the mixture onto the centre of the pavlova. I decided to go a little different with the topping and add a mixture of raspberries and blackberries, and add a drizzle of a fruit coulis- I was in Sainsbury’s the night before so I picked up the Mango & Passionfruit Coulis- which surprisingly went really well!

The thing I love about Pavlova is that you can get creative and add a variety of different toppings, and at the end of the day it will still look amazing!

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 11-Cranberry & Coconut Cookies

Coconut and cranberry are a brilliant combination, so I thought I would incorporate them into cookies. I think they look quite festive with flecks of red from the cranberries, and a sprinkle of white coconut. Give them a go and let me know what you think!

I used a basic sugar cookie dough recipe, as seen in my last post, but added extra ingredients.

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Ingredients 

1 1/2 cups softened butter

2 cups caster sugar 

4 eggs 

5 cups plain flour 

2 tsp baking powder 

1 tsp salt 

Dried cranberries

Desiccated coconut 

Method 

Pre-heat oven to 200°c. Line a baking tray with grease0proof paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs to the mixture. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Slowly add in the flour mixture to the liquid mix. Once the dough is formed, add in the desiccated coconut and dried cranberries and fold the dough until evenly mixed. 

Cover the dough and chill for at least an hour. 

Take around half a table spoon full of the dough and roll into balls, and place evenly spread apart onto the lined baking tray. 

Bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle a little bit of the desiccated coconut on top of the cookies. 

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Enjoy!

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 9- Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

For day 9 I decided to do a little twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie. These chewy dark double chocolate cookies have a sprinkle of crushed candy cane on top to add a Christmas twist.

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Ingredients 

125g softened butter 

150g light brown sugar 

1 large egg 

150g plain flour 

2 tbsp cocoa powder 

1 tsp baking soda 

125g melted dark chocolate 

250g chopped up dark chocolate chunks or chips 

Crushed candy canes  

Method 

Preheat oven to 180°c. Line a flat baking tray with grease proof paper. 

Cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and light, then add in the egg until well combined. Mix the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda in a separate bowl, then melt the dark chocolate. Slowly add in the flour mixture and melted dark chocolate to the butter and sugar mix and blend together until a dough is formed. Add in the dark chocolate chips and mix in well. 

Measure out 1/2 tbsp of the dough and roll into balls. Place evenly spaced out on the baking tray and bake until the edges are firmed for 10-12 minutes. 

Once the cookies are baked, remove from the oven and sprinkle the crushed candy cane over the top of the cookies before they are cooled, this will ensure the candy cane adheres to the cookies. 

Enjoy!

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 7- Cranberry & Orange Shortbread

 

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Ingredients 

1/2 pound caster sugar

1 pound butter

1 1/2 pounds plain flour

Cranberries 

Zest of 1/2 a large orange 

Method 

Pre heat oven to 200°c.

Line a flat baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Cream the sugar and butter together and then slowly add the flour and mix until a soft dough forms. Add in the cranberries and orange zest and mix until well combined. 

Roll out the dough onto a floured surface and cut out your desired shapes- I used Christmas themed stars, trees and ‘gingerbread men’! 

Place the shapes onto the lined baking tray and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes, checking frequently.

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Enjoy!

 

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 6- Grinch Cookies

I was so tempted to keep this recipe until Day 12, but I was far too excited to share my all time favourite Christmas movie inspired bake!

These Grinch green cookies are complete with a candy cinnamon heart that definitely is ‘two sizes too small’!

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Ingredients 

170g butter

170g plain flour 

57g icing sugar

57g custard powder 

green food colouring- I used a gel type so I didn’t need to use as much. (Add as much until you get the colour you like.)

icing sugar for dusting

small candy hearts (if you cannot get these then you can always make sugar paste hearts) 

 

Method 

Pre heat oven to 175°c. Line a flat baking tray with grease proof paper. 

Mix all ingredient together in a bowl. Roll the dough into small balls and place equally spaced onto the baking tray. 

Bake for around 10 minutes, checking frequently, or until golden brown at the edges (this may be difficult to tell due to the cookies being green!) 

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a little bit before dusting them in icing sugar. Last, but not least, gently press the candy heart into the centre of the cookie.

 

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 4- Snow Man Biscuits

“Some people are worth melting for”

– Olaf 

These cute snowman biscuits are very simple and easy to make, and are perfect for any Disney lovers out there!

Ingredients 

Digestive Biscuits 

White Icing (I just used icing sugar & water) 

Marshmallows 

Icing tubes (preferably black) 

Orange jelly tots- or similar orange sweets 

Optional- Raspberry or strawberry jam 

Method

This first part is optional- you can make a simple empire biscuit style cookie by sandwiching jam in-between two digestives.

Next, mix up your icing to a reasonably thick consistency and place into a piping bag with a thin nozzle. Pipe the icing onto the digestive biscuit into a puddle shape, and don’t worry if you get any icing off of the biscuit- it just adds to the effect!

On a marshmallow, pipe two eyes and a button mouth to create the face of a snowman using the icing tubes. For the snow mans carrot style nose, I trimmed an orange Jelly Tot into a wedge triangle shape and placed it onto the middle of the marshmallow using a dap of icing. 

Place the marshmallow onto the biscuit to create the illusion of a melting snowman! 

Lastly, use the icing tubes to pipe wooden stick arms and buttons onto the icing puddle on the biscuit. 

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Day 1-Gingerbread Corgis

Gingerbread men and reindeers are far too unoriginal, right? Why not try something different, and in this case, I’m making a gingerbread version of my favourite dog ever, the Corgi! If you know me personally, you will be well aware that I am obsessed with Corgis, and when my boyfriend gifted me these amazing Corgi Cookie Cutters, I had to use them.

This gingerbread recipe can be used for so many different things. The dough can be refrigerated and kept for a period of time, so you can make it in advance, like I did for this recipe and bring it out for when it’s needed.

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Ingredients: 

175g butter or margarine 

175g light muscovado sugar 

2 eggs- beaten 

450g plain flour 

2 tsp baking powder 

2 tbs ground ginger

2 tsp mixed spice 

Method: 

Pre-head oven to 180°c. Line a flat baking tray with grease-proof paper. 

Combine the plain flour, baking powder and spices together. In a separate bowl, cream the butter/margarine and muscovado sugar together, then add in the beaten egg, mixing well. Finally, add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and stir until a soft smooth dough is formed. Wrap in cling film or grease-proof paper and refrigerate, or roll out on a floured surface straight away. 

Cut out your desired shape from the dough and place the shapes onto the lined baking tray. Depending on the thickness of your gingerbread, bake for around 5 minutes, checking on the cookies. 

Once they are baked, remove from the oven and let them cool before decorating. 

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Decoration: 

This is my favourite part of baking! Feel free to get creative and do what you like with the cookies. I decided to add marzipan Christmas jumpers and festive jingle bell collars to my Corgis.

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Let me know what you think!

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