Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas Craft Weekend - The Results!

Howdy all and apologies for the delay, things have been more than hectic. But it's back by popular demand....Harriate!

So me and lovegrove embarked on a day of drinking and craft round at Jessie's house on the 24/11 and oh what fun we had. 

I did a lot of the unknown or as it is known to you all Baking!

I even got a bit carried away with the creation side that i forgot to photograph 2 of the recipes ...whooops. I'll get them out of the way first..

Toffee Popcorn Bark - This one was simple but effective and went down a treat with all the people in the room so comes highly recommended as a special treat.

Here's what the wonders of the bbc made it look like:

Needless to say mine didnt come out quite as preened. 

You will need:
  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 2 x 30g bags toffee popcorn   We just got a big bag of popcorn and made it more popcorn based!

As I am totally ill prepared for the world of baking we didnt have the '20 x 30' baking tray and used a lovely oval baking dish lined with baking parchmant (thats right we had some!) Melt the chocolate (white and milk seperate) and allow to cool a little. Pour most of the choc into the dish and swirl around, chuck in the popcorn and top with the remainder then chill!

So Yummy. As I said up there the cutting wasnt nearly as elegent as the BBCs version but made great finger food during the party - get involved.

The Drink....

The second one without a pic of my own was the trusty alchol mixture that we made. Now during the festive season I'm a sucker for mulled wine however, i felt for day time drinking something lighter was needed hence/.....

WINTER PIMMS PUNCH (recipe can be found HERE :) )

I was a little sceptical as this has brandy in - the only time i use brandy is for Steak Au Poivre but decided to get into the spirit of festivities and give it a whirl. I must say that i found it a little overpowering so decided to top up with a lot of lemonade. It left the mix tangy yet warming and if you like Pimms you are well in. The BBC have got some great drinks suggestions, have a looksie 

So here comes the photos:

You will need:

200g marshmallows
3 tbsp golden syrup
100g Rice Krispies    100g of coco pops - oooh yeah i live wild
6 ice-cream cones
500g icing sugar
½ tsp green food colourings
sweets and sprinkles , to decorate

You need to melt the marshmellows and golden syrup together then add the coco pops. Once the heat is taken off you need to move quickly as the marshmellows start to set - push the mixture into the ice cream cones but make sure youre careful we had a few casualties and leave to set for a while

Mix icing sugar with water and green food colouring to make a thick paste. There is no evidence to support the fact i added a little too much water and had to add more icing sugar. Im not going to lie it tasted a bit bitty (does that even make sense?)

Once the cones themselves have set, dip them into the icing sugar mixture and then decorate. Points of error for this section include - we didn't have any lolly pop sticks or a cooling rack. This made the pops hard to balance and they wobbled over a few times. We had bought some pretty accessories including soft balls (hehe) of silver and pink and general confetti. 

They all looked good and here's an example. The taste wasn't as good as the appearance  They were really stodgy and rich - we couldn't even finish one. My error with the icing sugar made a difference for sure. 
For this i think ill blame the punch. Yeah it intoxicated me :S that's my final story.

The day after the night before....the baking continues.

The Cinnamon and Raisan Loaf.

You'll need:

190g/7oz softened unsalted butter
190g/7oz caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
190g/7oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4tsp salt
25ml/1fl oz soured cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
70g/2 1/2oz raisins

Preheat the oven, 170c/160c fan/gas 3 and grease the loaf tin (I had to buy this especially)

While the oven's preheating, you cream the butter and sugar together until creamy and pale. Then you beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping down the sides as you do so with a spatula. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, then using the same spatula, you fold in the dry ingredients. Once the flour's been combined in, fold in the soured cream and vanilla. Into a smaller bowl you spoon in about 200g/7oz of the mixture, then you fold the cinnamon into this, and into the vanilla mixture you fold in the raisins.

Pour in the vanilla mixture first then the cinnamon and then you swirl it with a skewer.

Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once baked, take out of the oven and leave to cool.

Turn out of the tin and slice likeaso....

And serve with some amazing cornish clotted cream ice cream....

Now for this i did have a lot of help off lovegrove. Turned out really nice and dare i say it? Moist. The only thing I wanted was a stronger cinnamon taste so be liberal. If youre a beginner like me make sure you have some supervision!

The one I can do allllllll by myself....The Peanut Butter cookie :)

You'll need

  • 115g of butter,crunchy peanut butter, caster and muscavado sugar and rolled oats
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 85g flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons of bi-carb and baking powder

The method in the madness

  • Oven to be set at 180c. Grease a baking tray
  • mix the butter and peanut butter together. Beat in the suagrs, the egg and the vanilla essence
  • sift in flour, bi-carb and baking powder then add the oats
  • Shape the mixture into flattish balls and make sure you space far enough apart

  • Bake for around 12 mins and leave to cool for 2.
These were tasty but i did have a spacing issue:

hmm soft gooey goodness

Easy fun and tasty to make - we added some milk choc chips on top for even more sugary goodness

The Jammy Biscuits:

You'll need:

  • 225g of unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200g plain sugar
  • 100g ground almonds Not for me thanks!
  • 100g of strawberry jam


  • Beat together butter and sugar and add flour - leave dough to chill for an hour
  • Knead dough, roll and shape and divide into equal size balls.
  • Using one ball roll out until about 5mm thick and cut out as many shapes of your cutter as possible and repeat with the second ball. Make sure you cut small circles in the second shape batch.

  • Cook cookies for 20- 30 mins at 140c and allow to cool.
  • Place blob of jam on the shapes without the circle cut out and place holed cookie on top gently

TA DA. Not perfect but not bad for my first attempt.

The biscuit turned out more shortbread like but it was really tasty. I added a little extra jam than the recipe called for just cos i like it.

So the non baking trial:

Feta and Sweet Potato Quesadillas

 4 Sweet Potatoes
200gs Feta Cheese
Handful of fresh coriander
Drizzle of olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
8 Tortillas

Roast the sweet potatoes in a hot oven for around 50 mins - check they are soft with a skewer. Scoop out potato filling into a bowl and mash using a fork and adding the oil and pepper. Add the coridander and continue to mash. Crumble the feta into the mixture and gently mix in.

Take a tortilla and add mixture down one side. Fold over.

Warm a griddle pan and add the tortilla to it when hot. Leave to cook on one side for a few minutes and turn over. Cook until the feta is starting to melt.
Serve with some mexican dips - salsa, guacamole and sour cream.

A nice hearty and filling snack. Good mixture of flavours with coriander and pepper adding a little kick.

So thats me all caught up.
What would you recommend for me to have a go at baking?

Enjoy your week and have a look at my Christmas Tree

Eat, Drink and Be Merry.



  1. I'm so making the first one just showed it my hubby and he can't wait. Love your recipes :) xx

  2. Thanks chick, really appreciate that you take the time to read it :) xx

  3. The feta and sweet potatoes quesadillas reminds me- me and Loz (brother) invented a wrap made of sweet potato, feta and roasted leeks. SO good with leeks.
    Love the recipes. x