Christmas

  • Not too sweet, and with wholesome almonds, this moist cake makes the most of seasonal plums. There are two plummy elements: a simple plum syrup (stirred through the batter and drizzled on top), plus the plum-studded cake itself.
  • Kirsten Tibballs' spectacular and delicious Christmas shortbread stack is filled with cinnamon ganache and decorated with nuts and dried fruit - Yule love it! I'm also sharing Kirsten's tips for a fabulous Christmas.
  • A fresh and fruity take on the traditional chilled tomato soup - watch me race the soup as I make a salad. Recipe by Portuguese chef Henrique Sa Pessoa.
  • I am the kind of person who does a little hop, skip and jump when I see the produce that signals a season in my local fruit shop. Asparagus is certainly a pointer to spring and pert local asparagus has started to peep into vegetable stands. I love it! This recipe first appeared in my Entertaining book and the original recipe is  such an easy way to dress up gently steamed greens. Asparagus loves to get glammed up with a little salty crunch so this minty, nutty caper crumb is just the ticket. I'm sharing it today because I want to tell you all the many ways that I adapt the original recipe.
  • As soon as I ate this cheesecake in the Spanish Basque country, I knew my mission: get the recipe! Now that I've done so, my life is pretty much complete. Witness my bliss and create your own...
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    Great for picnics and light meals, it’s hard to decide whether the pastry or the filling is the star of this savoury tart. Sour cream pastry has just the right balance of crumble and crisp, and the filling is fresh and lush at the same time.
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    Berry-infused vinegar brings a tart finish, both undercutting and highlighting the richness of the chocolate ganache. The contrasting savoury topping ensures these are a very special treat that you will be delighted to have in your repertoire. (Your friends and family will be glad too - expect requests to keep making them!)
  • This classic butter biscuit recipe is made very special - and rather Christmassy! - by making a special spice mix to stir through the mixture. The spice mix can also be added to preserves such as apricot or plum jam, or ham glazes. It can even be infused into spirits such as gin, vodka or rum - Christmas cocktails, here we come! The biscuit mixture can be frozen and sliced to bake. You can also have fun rolling this mixture with a ‘springerle’ rolling pin with carved designs, or use cookie cutters to make fun shapes.
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    I love a cool soup on a summertime Christmas table, and I especially love the luxurious combination of avocado, citrus and crab. Add the crunch of celery and cucumber and you’ve got an entree that’s surprising and very pretty. I've suggested great variations, including for vegetarians.