Mince Pies

OK OK so you don’t really need a recipe for these given that it’s mincemeat in pastry but OMG I didn’t think I liked mince pies really. I used to force them down out of a sense of misplaced xmas duty, but having finally made my own mincemeat for the first time I am a convert. These truly are delicious.

You need
1 quantity of homemade mincemeat
1 quantity of home made pastry

Roll out the pastry and then line cupcake tins with it. Fill the pastry cases with a scant amount of mincemeat and top with a decorative top (I like my snowflake, xmas tree and star cutters for this!).
Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle on some sugar. Bake in a hot oven for 10-20 mins till done and then leave to cool. Scoff.

The pastry recipe is very easy but is one of those I only know in imperial. You need half the amount of flour in fat and then mix together with cold water. To make 24 mini cocktail mince pies, and about 18 bigger ones along with 8 jam tarts I used 10oz plain flour and 5oz butter.

Mousse au Chocolat

My mum’s friend gave her this recipe yonks ago and I still make it often. It’s an authentic French mousse au chocolate – rich with chocolate, light with airy bubbles and delectably decadent. Just ignore the calories 😉

You need:
6 eggs, separated
300g chocolate. I use a mix of plain and milk if making it for all of us. If it’s just adults then I only use plain
3 tbsp sugar
a good slug of alcohol – usually grand marnier or cointreau

Begin by melting the chocolate slowly over a saucepan of simmering water. Meanwhile whisk the egg whites till floppily stiff. Don’t over beat or it’s hard to mix them into the chocolate mix. Mix the yolks with the sugar and booze. Once the chocolate has melted let it cool for a few mins then combine with the yolk mixture. Slacken it off with a spoonful of the whites and then carefully fold in the remainder of the whites. Pour into serving glasses and leave to chill for a couple of hours.

Nut Koftas

Another miracle meal tonight – something we all ate and enjoyed! I am so relieved that Lex’s fussier days are behind him and we can all sit down to one meal! These nut koftas are a piece of cake to make and good for you too. Plus they’re very very speedy 🙂

You need:

1 onion, diced
4 coves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tin cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
125g ground almonds
75g salted peanuts
1 egg

Fry off the onion in some oil for a few mins till soft then add the garlic, curry powder and chilli. Fry for a few mins longer. Then lob everything into a food processor and blitz till smooth. Form into sausages wrapped round a skewer and then grill for a few mins on each side till golden brown.

Serve with cous cous, flat breads, olives and a yogurt dressing made from a couple of tbsps greek yogurt, seasoning, 1 tbsp mint sauce, some chopped cucumber and chopped corriander. Scrummy.