12 days of Christmas Food and Drink edition from the Sphinx has 12 of the most Christmassy recipes for you to try for Christmas Day! What better way to finish the countdown?
12th Day of Christmas – Merry Mulled Wine
The perfect tipple to enjoy for a cosy night in or to share with family and friends at parties!
Ingredients: 750ml bottle of red wine, 1 sliced clementine, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise, 3 dried figs, 4 cloves, 3 black peppercorns and 50ml brandy.
Method: 1) Pour the red wine into a large saucepan. Add the clementine, cinnamon stick, star anise, dried figs, cloves and black peppercorns. Heat very gently until simmering, then turn off the heat.
2) Fish out the whole spices and peppercorns with a spoon, then stir in the brandy. Ladle into mugs, or heatproof glasses to serve.
11th Day of Christmas – Crunchy Carrot and Caraway Crackers
Vegan canapés that will impress any guest!
Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 shallot roughly chopped, 1 garlic clove roughly chopped, 1 tsp caraway seeds, 400g carrots roughly chopped, 300ml vegan vegetable stock, 20 crunchy vegan crackers (such as an olive oil toast), ½ small pack dill, leaves picked, to serve and 20 veg crisps (we used a small bag of Tyrells) to serve.
Method: 1) Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallot and a pinch of salt, and cook for 6 mins until softened. Stir in the garlic and caraway seeds and cook for 1 min more, then add the carrot and veg stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 12 mins.
2) Cook carrots until they are completely soft, drain them (reserve the liquid) and blitz to a smooth purée – add a tbsp of the reserved stock initially, but use more if necessary to get the desired consistency. Season and leave to cool. The purée can be made a day ahead and kept in the fridge.
3) To serve, spoon the purée – or, if you want to be extra fancy, transfer it to a piping bag and pipe it – onto the oatcakes and top each with a little dill and a veg crisp.
10th Day of Christmas – Boozy Microwave Fudge
Sweet treat made in minutes – no fiddly thermometer required!
Ingredients: 400g golden caster sugar, 397g can condensed milk, 140g salted butter, chopped into pieces, 1 tsp vanilla bean paste and 2 tbsp. coffee liqueur (or another alcohol of your choice – amaretto or brandy works well).
Method: 1) Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin with baking parchment. Put the sugar, condensed milk and butter in a large heatproof bowl (the mixture will bubble up as it cooks to roughly double its size), add a good pinch of salt and stir together.
2) Heat the mixture in the microwave on High for 10 mins, stirring every 2-3 mins. Keep an eye on the mixture, as it will bubble up and may go over the sides of the bowl.
3) Add the vanilla and liqueur to the mixture, whisk together and heat on High for another 2 mins. The mixture should be caramel-coloured and thickened. Scrape into the tin and set aside for 45 mins–1 hr until cool and firm before cutting. Pack into a box and eat within 3 weeks.
9th Day of Christmas – Custard and Crumble Mince Pies
A twist on a favourite – hybridising a sweet snack and a classic dessert!
Ingredients: 125g unsalted butter, cold from the fridge, 185g plain flour, plus extra for dusting, 3 tbsp golden caster sugar, 1 large egg, 180g mincemeat and 120g pot custard.
Method: 1) Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put a baking sheet in the oven on the middle shelf.
2) Cut the butter into small cubes. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt. Tip the butter into the flour and use your fingers to rub the two together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in 2 tbsp of the sugar. Scoop a heaped half cup (85g) of the crumbs into a smaller bowl and set aside.
3) Have two small bowls ready. Crack the egg on the side of one bowl, then carefully pull the shell apart in two halves, letting the yolk nestle into one side. Let the white drain away from the yolk into one bowl and put the yolk into the other bowl.
4) Beat the egg yolk with a fork, then add it to the bigger bowl of butter and flour mix. Use a cutlery knife to stir the yolk into the crumbs. Put your hand in the bowl and squeeze the crumbs together to make a ball. Knead the pastry a few times until smooth.
5) Sprinkle some flour over your work surface. Sprinkle a little more over the pastry and roll it out to the thickness of two £1 coins. Stamp the pastry with an 8cm cutter, re-rolling the trimmings to make 12 rounds. Gently push the rounds of pastry into the bun tin. Spoon 1 heaped tsp of the custard into each pastry case, followed by the mincemeat on top.
6) Add the final 1 tbsp sugar to the smaller bowl of crumb mix. Pinch it together to make bigger clumps and mound it on top of the mincemeat. Slide the bun tin on top of the baking sheet and bake for 15 mins until golden brown and the custard and mincemeat are starting to bubble.
7) Cool in the tin for 15 mins, then carefully lift the pies onto a rack and leave to cool. Will keep for 2 days in an airtight tin.
8th Day of Christmas – Cheese Stars
Perfect nibble for the peckish guests!
Ingredients: 320g puff pastry sheet, mugful of grated cheese (we mixed 60g cheddar with 25g parmesan), flour for dusting, 2 tbsp milk and toppings of your choice (optional) – we used poppy seeds, dried oregano and sesame seeds.
Method: 1) Unroll the pastry and sprinkle most of the cheese over one half of the sheet. Fold the pastry in half to cover the cheese and seal it in.
2) Dust your rolling pin and work surface with a little flour and put your pastry sheet on it. Roll it out until doubled in size.
3) Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
4) Using cookie cutters, cut the pastry into shapes and put them on the prepared baking sheets.
5) Brush the shapes with milk and add a pinch of cheese and a sprinkling of your chosen topping, if using. Bake in the oven for 10-12 mins or until risen and golden, then transfer to a serving plate. Will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.
7th Day of Christmas – Gingerbread Syrup
This simple syrup makes a lovely homemade gift and adds a festive flavour to drinks and desserts – stir into hot chocolate, warm apple juice or Prosecco, or drizzle over ice cream!
Ingredients: 300g golden caster sugar, 1 tbsp ground ginger, 1 cinnamon stick and edible gold glitter (optional).
Method: 1) Put the golden caster sugar, 200ml water and ground ginger into a saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 5 mins until the sugar has dissolved, then stir in a little edible gold glitter, if you like. Pour into a 500ml sterilised bottle.
6th Day of Christmas – Chorizo and Prawn Skewers
Crowd-pleasing canapes for party guests!
Ingredients: 12 mini chorizo sausages (for cooking chorizo cut into 12 pieces), 12 raw shelled prawns, 1 tsp harissa, ½ garlic clove crushed, 2½ tbsp Greek yogurt and 1 tbsp chopped parsley.
Method: 1) Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook the chorizo on a tray for 12 mins. Meanwhile, mix together the prawns and harissa. In a bowl, combine the garlic, mayo and yogurt to make a dip.
2) Turn the chorizo, add the prawns to the tray and cook for 3 mins more. Sprinkle the parsley over the prawns, then thread each onto a skewer, followed by a sausage. Serve with the dip.
5th Day of Christmas – Vegan Eggnog
Nothing says Christmas like eggnog – this recipe reinvents the classic festive tipple!
Ingredients: 25g pitted dates, 25g cashew nuts, 25g dried apricots, ¼ tsp mixed spice, 100ml brandy, 1 vanilla pod seeds only, 1l sweetened almond milk, ice to serve and nutmeg to serve.
Method: 1) Soak the dates, cashews, apricots and mixed spice in the brandy overnight.
2) The next day, tip the mixture into a blender and add the seeds from the vanilla pod and the almond milk. Blitz until smooth, then pour into eight tall glasses with ice and grate some nutmeg on top.
4th Day of Christmas – Sage and Onion Stuffing
The big day is nearing and what better way to be organised than to prepare dishes beforehand? Stuffing freezes well, so sort out this element to avoid stress on the day! Be sure to defrost…
Ingredients: 50g butter, 1tbsp oil, 1 large chopped onion, 100g breadcrumbs and 1tbsp chopped fresh sage.
Method: 1) Heat the butter and oil, and cook the onion until softened. Stir in the breadcrumbs, sage and seasoning.
2) Put in a baking dish and cook in a preheated oven at 180C, gas 4 for 40 mins.
3) Take the sage and onion stuffing out of the oven and serve with your favourite roast turkey or chicken and lashings of gravy.
3rd Day of Christmas – Christmas Cookies
Keep the kids entertained with this recipe to create a lovely present, tree decoration or sweet treat!
Ingredients: 100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature, 100g caster sugar, 1 free-range egg lightly beaten, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 275g plain flour. To decorate: 400g icing sugar, 3-4 tbsp water, 2-3 drops food colourings and Edible glitter.
Method: 1) Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2) Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale, light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, a little at a time, until well combined. Stir in the flour until the mixture comes together as a dough.
3) Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 1cm/½in. Using biscuit cutters or a glass, cut biscuits out of the dough and carefully place onto the baking tray. To make into Christmas tree decorations, carefully make a hole in the top of the biscuit using a straw.
4) Bake the biscuits for 8-10 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to harden for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.
5) For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir in enough water to create a smooth mixture. Stir in the food colouring. Carefully spread the icing onto the biscuits using a knife and sprinkle over the glitter. Set aside until the icing hardness.
2nd Day of Christmas – Triple Hot Choc
Enjoy a mug of this amazing coco to warm your soul and prepare for the days of celebrating…
Ingredients: 50ml double cream, 150ml whole milk, 50g chopped milk chocolate, 25g chopped dark chocolate and a few mini white chocolate buttons.
Method: 1) Whip the double cream until it holds its shape then set aside until needed.
2) Put the milk in a small saucepan and heat gently until simmering. Add the milk chocolate and dark chocolate, then stir until melted. Pour into a mug and top with a dollop of the double cream and scatter over a few mini white chocolate buttons to decorate.
1st Day of Christmas – Mimosas
What better way to kick the day off than with a Christmas classic?
Ingredients: 1 bottle of chilled Champagne or Sparkling wine and 1l chilled orange juice.
Method: 1) Half fill 6 glasses of the champagne/wine then fill the remainder with orange juice. 2) Toast.
All recipes can be found at BBC Good Food https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/