The TFP content team has already dished up its favourite savoury treats to celebrate the festive season with, but it would not really be a true celebration without the indulgent sweetness of things both familiar and new. So gather round our table and dive into the sweetness which we shall be enjoying this Christmas.
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Cranberry and Ginger Cordial with Gold Dust - Kirsty Duncan, Senior Trends Writer
"I have never been into alcohol much, therefore finding a tasty alternative used to be a little more tricky... until now. I love making elderflower cordial in the summer and by switching it up to a cranberry and ginger at this time of year brings a festive cheer to the table. I love to top my drink with sparkling water, however, the versatility of this cordial means it can also be served warm for a non-alcoholic take on mulled wine. Your drink, your way!
"Sometimes the best recipes are done by eye and to make my cranberry and ginger cordial, it's done by just that! Frozen cranberries work well for this, meaning you can also double up for homemade cranberry sauce for the big day. Simply add in frozen cranberries and sugar (I like to add in a little water to make sure it doesn't caramelise) then bring to the boil for around 10 mins until the cranberries have burst with flavour. I then add in a little grated ginger for a kick but also the peel of an orange (just use a potato peeler!). You could enhance the orange and remove the ginger if it's not to your liking, it really is so versatile! I then like to blend it all up to make sure I have every bit of goodness in there before passing through a chinois, you could just use a muslin if you have one. Once cool, decant into your bottles and it'll keep for a few weeks. Gold is everywhere at the moment and so for this year I'm going to add some edible gold dust to bring a festive shimmer to the drink to make it even more fun!
Clemencello - Charlotte Jeune, Custom Content Lead
Clementines go hand in hand with Christmas. There is something about that sweeter citrus smell that conjures all sorts of Christmas-related memories. And, like most people at Christmas, there's always the temptation to indulge in a little tipple. While limoncello is great and all, have you tried clemencello? I'd say 'simply zest a net of clementines' – but there was nothing particularly simple about it. However, once you've got that bit out of the way (I have it on flimsy authority that a cordless drill and a grater is an easy fix), simply leave the zest in vodka for up to two weeks. Then, heat the saved juice, water and sugar in a pan until boiling, cool, mix the two liquids together and…well, you're welcome. Remember to drink responsibly – clemencello is very easy to drink. Very easy. Enjoy!
Mince Pie Spread - Sarah Edwards, Director of Trends
With indulgent spreads being the order of the day, (see our indulgent spreads article here) think Croissant Butter from Pollen Bakery or Cookies 'n' Cream from Black Milk Cereal, a Christmas themed spread is now needed! After much deliberation with the team between Panettone spread or mince pie, this time mince pie came out on top; buttery pastry with brandy macerated plump dried fruits and nuts, and a dollop of brandy butter (cream cheese) whizzed into a delicious spread, perfect on toasted brioche or sourdough, over ice cream or just spoon it from the jar!
Christmas Pavlova - Sarah Weston, Senior Trend Analyst
Christmas Pavlova can make a great alternative to Christmas Pudding. In our family, not many people like Christmas pudding so alternatives are welcome. Making the meringue in advance also means more time to spend enjoying the big day. This year we are opting for a wreath shape and will cover with lots of cream, pomegranate, raspberries and blueberries. Frozen pomegranate also makes for a quick festive addition to a Gin and Tonic. For a twist on the pavlova this year, I will try adding homemade cranberry compote to the centre.
Chocolate orange Basque cheesecake & Christmas smoothie - Sophie Mancuso, Senior Editor
All things burnt and charred have been an ongoing theme this year and, based over in Barcelona (Spain) much of the time, one of my fave dishes riding the wave of the trend is the burnt Basque cheesecake. I'm putting a Christmas hat on mine by adding cacao and orange extract to the mix for a chocolate-orange version. While I love to indulge (who doesn't?), I'm also looking forward to refreshing and rebooting the morning after a few too many mulled wines with a cranberry, banana and coconut mylk smoothie - ginger and cinnamon spiced of course!
Hot Chocolate bomb - Olivia Anderson, Head of Content
If you're looking for a bang on trend last minute homemade gift, school holiday activity or simply an indulgent treat then look no further than the hot chocolate bomb. A thin spherical shell of chocolate encases hot chocolate powder and your choice of extra treats (e.g. mini marshmallows, edible glitter etc) when you are ready to enjoy, simply add to your mug and pour over your choice of (hot) milk. We will be making them with white chocolate and edible glitter to create shimmering, sparkling snowballs!
Mulled Wine Popsicles - Olivia Anderson, Head of Content
We have loved our freezers more than ever this year and Christmas is set to be no acceptation! For those looking for a twist on the ordinary why not switch up the warming mug of mulled wine for an ice-cold version instead – with mulled wine popsicles! You can even use cinnamon sticks as your popsicle holder for an added touch of festivity.
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