This is a quick and simple recipe for the festive season. You can use this recipe for mince pies, or as an ingredient for fruit cakes. A useful store cupboard standby.
Mince Pie Filling Recipe | Champagne Twist
- 100g glace cherry halves
- 400g jumbo raisin mix
- 200g dried cranberries
- 100g mixed citrus peel
- 100g ginger
- 1 tbsp of ground allspice
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of brandy
- 1 cup of orange liquor
- 1 large bowl
- 1 spatula or spoon
- 1 large sterilised glass jar
Mix all the fruit and spices together in a bowl and then fill your sterilised glass jar, ensuring that you leave room for the alcohol.
In the same bowl or jug, mix together the vanilla and alcohol, then pour over the fruit mix in the glass jars.
Allow the mixture to steep for at least a week in a cool dark place. The longer you leave it, the better.
There you go – proper luxury mincemeat. Also serves as a lovely Christmas foodie gift. Just grab a label and some ribbon and you’re done! It’s also a good way to use up all those half empty bottles of alcohol.
Using apples from my recent fruit and veg shopping trip at the Chiswick House Kitchen Garden sale, I decided to make something healthy and delicious for breakfast, making a welcome change from the usual cereals and scrambled eggs.
Apple Oat Breakfast Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup medium stoneground oatmeal
- 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup golden caster sugar
- 2 large free range eggs
- 125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup of semi-skimmed cow’s or plant based milk (almond milk adds a lovely nutty flavour which compliments the apple)
- 2 large apples (approx 1 1/4 cups), peeled and diced
- Preheat oven to 350 F/ 177 C/ Gas Mark 4, then line a 12-cup muffin baking tray with cup cake cases.
- In a medium sized bowl sieve the flour, oats, baking powder and cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, butter and milk.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, followed by the apple. Using a folding motion, combine all the ingredients gently together to form a thick batter.
- Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. I used an old fashioned ice cream scoop, but a 1/4 cup measure can also be used.
- Place the tray on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for about 20 mins, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Allow the muffins to cool in the tray for 5 minutes, before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Serve warm for breakfast with a cup of your favourite brew, or for lunch with a cheese salad.
Let me know if you try this recipe, it would be lovely to hear your feedback. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your baking.
Purchased at the National Tea Day event in Woking, East London earlier this year, Roqberry’s Coco & Joe is a fascinating blend of 3 of the world’s favourite hot beverages – Tea, Coco and Coffee. Usually, when I hear the mere mention of coffee, I run a mile. I maintain that coffee is the drink of the devil and should be cast aside in all instances in flavour of the elegance of a good cuppa. But apparently not everyone feels the same way as I do, so I reluctantly sampled this blend.
Perhaps I’m edging towards the dark side, but I found this tea to be delicious, enjoyable to drink and as it turned out, provides a great winter warming cuppa.
The tea is flavourful, the cocoa combining well with the black tea to provide a sweet, chocolatey taste. The coffee, is there, but in a supporting role boosting the cocoa flavour notes. It can be drunk with out milk, but I think it is best with, and I believe almond milk helps to bring out the nutty notes of the tea and coffee and compliments the cocoa.
I also found that when I was feeling very cold and low during the cold Autumn months, the tea helped to boost my spirits. If you are thinking about cutting out sugar in your tea, I suggest rather than going cold turkey, to switch to this blend, as you can enjoy the sweet flavours, without all the calories.
Retailing at £6 for a box of 18 pyramid bags, represents good value for money. It is recommend to use 1 bag per cup but you can get easily get away with 1 bag per 2 servings. The bags are also easy to dispose onto the compost heap.
I paired this tea with my Ultimate Banana and Chocolate Bread, recipe to be published soon, but this tea would go well with any tea, coffee. nut, fruit or chocolate based dessert. It is a tea that can be enjoyed on its own, and makes an ideal gift for tea lovers.
I don’t usually give full marks, but I can’t fault this tea at all. Even if it does contain coffee!
The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace is over for another year. But never fear, the next show will be held at Harrogate this winter on the 28th November to the 1st of December – just in time to grab supplies for all those Christmas makes and gifts.
And to help your fabric and yarn piggy banks stretch a little further, I have a ticket discount code. Just take a look at the video below to find out more.
Brand new Ticket Giveaway for the Knitting and Stitching Show held at London’s Alexandra Palace 10th -13th October 2019.
Watch the video to find out more –
In the second of the AFWL special posts, Fola Ogundare of Diligent Hand Fabrics, takes us through caring for Ankara fabric. Over to you Fola!
Ankara Fabric Care
As one who has owned lots of fabrics and clothing made from my collections, here are some of my tips;
- Hand washing / dry cleaning is best. If machine washing, do so at low a temperature, say 30 degrees.
- Do not soak for a long time before washing. Hand wash any soiled areas prior to machine wash.
- While most fabrics are colourfast, wash inside out using a mild laundry product. Dry using a cool heat and avoid hanging in direct sunlight for hours.
- Ironing would be easier if you use fabric conditioner and use spray starch to keep in shape.
Once again thanks go to Fola for her kindness and generosity in sharing such wonderful tips. The first article can be found here.
So there you go, there is no excuse now, try making something with Ankara fabric. Check out Fola’s range at http://www.diligenthandsfabrics.com.
There will be plenty of fabric shopping opportunities at AWFL, so why not make something fabulous now you’re armed with all of Fola’s tips.
In the next `AFWL post, I will be showcasing my own Ankara fabric makes, so subscribe to Champagne Twist to ensure you don’t miss out.
Tickets for AFWL are still available for purchase, just click here to find out more.
With just a few hours to go before AFWL, check out this video to find out what you could be experiencing at the fashion event of the year.
Don’t forget tickets are still available – click here for more information.
African textiles, in particular, Ankara fabric, allows for a vast range of creative and crafting opportunities. But, for some, tackling this fabric can be daunting. So in order to banish any fear of using Ankara fabrics, I asked Fola Ogundare of Diligent Hands Fabrics for some tips. So for the first time on Champagne Twist, I hand over this post to Fola.
Ankara fabric: 3 tips for creative success, by Fola Ogundare.
- Cotton African prints most times when new can be a bit stiff, so they are most suited for clothing that requires a bit of structure with minimal drapery.
- Pre-wash your fabrics ahead of sewing for projects. By experience, shrinkage may be up to 10%. You could also adjust measurements to allow for shrinkage.
- Use print fabric to glam up simple garments like monotone or plain colours. A pop of print is as potent when mixed with plain cotton or lace fabrics. You may also make a headband or oversized purse with leftover fabric. Don’t forget hair accessories like fascinators and button earrings and bangles. There are lots of online resources if you need help.
Thank you Fola, for sharing your great tips. Check out Fola’s range of fabrics and accessories at www.diligenthandsfabrics.com.
In the next post, Fola will take us through the essentials of Ankara fabric care. Subscribe to Champagne Twist to ensure you don’t miss out.
There will also be plenty of fabric shopping opportunities at AWFL, so why not make something fabulous now you’re armed with all of Fola’s tips.
Tickets for AFWL are still available for purchase, just click the link to find out more – AFWL tickets.