Open the box and it hits you: that exciting, sugary Easter Egg scent from childhood. I don’t know why chocolate should smell different when formed into an egg shape, but it does. Dark chocolate eggs are of course gorgeous, but altogether more grown up. This is the one for children and those who don’t like high cocoa content chocolate. The moo free egg is sweet and mild and could easily be mistaken for a milk chocolate product.
It’s a good 100g size and the bunny, butterfly and flower packaging is a nice change from dark eggs which are usually aimed at very mature people…
Available from Amazon.co.uk and larger Waitrose stores. Moo Free Chocolates have full details of all stockists on their website
Everyone agreed that this side dish was the best 🙂
8 medium parsnips (you can of course use bigger/smaller and adjust quantities)
8 medium carrots
a little sunflower oil to rub
a couple of teaspoons of maple or golden syrup
a teaspoon of rough seasalt
a handful of natural pistachios (not salted or roasted)
Peel/scrape the vegetables and cut into quarters, once lengthways and once across the middle. Rub them with oil and place in roasting tin. Drizzle syrup. Sprinkle salt and pistachios. Roast in a hot oven for about half an hour.
1 square cake tin, greased
2 100g bars of good chocolate
1 tablespoon of margarine
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
1 200g pack of bourbon biscuits (other biscuits will do), bashed up
and here’s the Christmassy part… a crumbled slice of Christmas cake including bits of marzipan and icing
a handful of raisins
Melt 1 bar of chocolate in a Bain Marie (bowl over pan of hot water) along with the marg and syrup. Once nice and smooth, stir in your other ingredients and press mixture into tin. Melt the other bar and spread on top. We topped with sugar stars… chill in fridge until set and cut into squares.
It’s gorgeous… quite different with the Christmas cake but very, very good and dangerously moreish 🙂
An older book, now out of print, but I don’t think anything has come along to best it as a veggie festive title (do comment if you know otherwise!). I got the hardback out of the library something like 18/19 years ago and it impacted me. The gorgeousness of Christmas food, the hints on preparing and freezing taking the hard work away from the day itself, the photos all through it. In fact looking through the pristine copy I now own (thank you Amazon marketplace, used condition, 1 pence!) I see obvious influences there for some of the recipes on our Yule page from puff pastry mushroom trees:
to little Santa pizzas:
and parsley potato stars:
There are five complete Christmas dinner menus, sections on preparation, party food, puddings and cakes, lighter festive lunches and so many cute sides. There’s also a craft bit about making your own gifts. As with all Rose Elliot books there are vegan adjustments added in where appropriate.
If you’re looking for a Scottish dish to make for Burns night other than haggis*, these are very good – nothing like the English item of the same name and containing the somewhat surprising ingredient of potato (undetectable, is lovely fondant).
Basically you boil a small peeled potato, mash it and mix in as much icing sugar as it can take, which will be a lot. Roll out the fondant, cut into rectangles and leave to dry out for a few hours. Coat in melted chocolate, dip in dessicated coconut, toasted or not, and let set. There is a more detailed write up by Cat over on Modern Housewife
*note: do not serve the macaroons with neeps and tatties 😉
Based on a Jamie Oliver recipe this, we just veganised! Extra pictures of the various steps below.
1 vegan sponge cake, thinly sliced up (see cake page if you need a recipe)
some jam to spread on the cake
1 or 2 tubs of vegan ice cream – we used Swedish Glace Vanilla
a small bag of unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts
a handful of glace cherries
some dairy-free white chocolate buttons or chocolate drops a bar of good dark chocolate
Line a round pudding bowl with cake slices (leave some for the base) and spread a layer of jam over them. Get your other ingredients ready before taking the ice cream out of the freezer, then layer it up. A layer of ice cream, a sprinkling of nuts, ice cream, cherries, ice cream, buttons, ice cream then the last slices of cake on the base. Cling film the whole bowl really well and use a plate to press down and squash all the layers together well. Bung it in the freezer until you want to eat it (can be made weeks in advance). Place in the fridge for about an hour before removing from bowl (may have to run outside of bowl under hot tap, being careful not to wet the pudding!) and pouring the melted chocolate over the top (it sets fast on the cold bombe). Slice up and enjoy
Triple Chocolate Variant: use chocolate cake, and chocolate ice cream and maybe even chocolate spread though cherry or apricot jam would be good too
Cranberry, Orange and Ginger Sauce
3/4 cup/150g/5oz sugar
1/2 cup/150ml/quarter pint of orange juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger (or half a teaspoon of dried ginger)
2 cups of fresh cranberries
pinch of salt
Place the cranberries, orange juice and ginger in a pan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Give the berries a mash and add the sugar, zest and salt. Cook gently until all the sugar is completely dissolved. The sauce will thicken up as it cools slightly. Nice served hot or warm with nut roast or mushroom puff and parcel (on Yule page).