Tag Archives: Christmas

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I can’t believe it’s Christmas already! The year has flown by, especially the last few months which have been crazy busy for me. I’ve been lucky enough to have some time off work before Christmas so got stuck into the Christmas baking straight away, starting off with the usual gingerbread.

A photo posted by Jacq (@jacq_in_a_box) on

I’ve still got a couple of desserts and things to make over the next few days, but I thought that I’d revisit this flourless chocolate cake that I made last year for Christmas (but never got around to blogging about…. oops). Flourless chocolate cake was a cake I made from the first cookbook I was ever gifted, and probably kick-started my love of baking and cookbooks.

This flourless chocolate cake is adapted from a recipe from the queen of delicious, fattening things and midnight snacking from the fridge, Nigella Lawson. It’s a rich, fudgey cake that I think sums up well what Christmas feasting means for me – indulgence and a little bit of gluttony. Don’t be surprised if you find me piling my plate high with glazed ham, turkey and fresh prawns, and then collapsing onto the sofa for a well-earned post-feasting nap.

You could make this cake any time of year really, but a few strawberries and a dusting of icing sugar turns it into something a bit more festive. Even if you’re greeted with a few groans from people who have over-eaten when this cake is brought out, don’t pay attention to them and make sure that everyone has a slice. They won’t regret it.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas with their family, friends and loved ones over a delicious meal! Continue reading Flourless Chocolate Cake

Christmas Shortbread

Only 4 more sleeps til Christmas! The lead up to Christmas can be stressful and crazy – especially when shopping centres are packed and it takes half an hour to even get into the carpark – but I think it makes me appreciate Christmas even more, since it’s usually quite a relaxing time for me.

The thing I love most about Christmas is the gathering of family and friends to share a meal and exchange gifts. This year, I’m hosting a Christmas Eve dinner at my place, which is sure to involve lots of mayhem in the kitchen! I’ve tried to be organised though by making some things in advance, like this Christmas shortbread.

This recipe is super easy to make, and are perfect as little treats to go with a tea or coffee after a meal, or wrapped up as take-home gifts for guests. I took a regular shortbread recipe and injected some festive cheer into it by turning half of the dough into cranberry and white chocolate shortbread, and the other half into green tea shortbread.

I love the contrasting colours of the two shortbreads together. They also have quite different flavours with the cranberry and white chocolate being sweeter with pops of tartness from the cranberry, and the green tea shortbread being ever so slightly bitter. Regardless, they are both delicious, and I think they will become part of my regular Christmas baking routine from now on!

I hope everyone has a fabulous Christmas! May you stuff your bellies full of tasty food and may Santa make all your Christmas wishes come true :) Continue reading Christmas Shortbread

Gingerbread Christmas Tree

You know that Christmas is here when there is the unmistakeable aroma of gingerbread wafting through the kitchen. It’s become somewhat of a tradition of mine to make gingerbread for the holiday season, and since I’ve done gingerbread men and gingerbread houses before, I thought it was time for something new.

I received a Gingerbread Tree kit as a gift and decided to put it to use. It came with a base and two different sized wooden dowels for the interior stem of the tree, as well as a set of five graduated star cookie cutters and a circle cutter. Everything I needed to make my very own Gingerbread Christmas Tree.

Making the gingerbread was easy enough. I just used my usual recipe and cut out about 5 stars of each size using the five graduated star cutters. If you are going to thread it through a wooden dowel, don’t forget to also cut out a hole in the centre of the stars. I cut an extra small star for the top of the tree as a topper as well.

I decorated each star with royal icing before assembling the tree, which just involved placing the stars in order of size on top of each other, so that the base of the tree has the biggest stars going to the top of the tree with the smallest. If you don’t have a stand, you can also use the icing to glue the stars on top of each other, which will create the same effect. And that’s all it takes to make a Christmas tree of the edible variety! Half the fun is actually taking it apart and eating it :)

Continue reading Gingerbread Christmas Tree

Christmas Macarons

I had planned on doing lots of Christmas baking this year, but somehow the time just flew by and before I knew it, Christmas was only a week away and I still had to do all my Christmas shopping and baking!

Luckily, I recently received some McLean’s Run Open Range eggs from the lovely people at One Green Bean which inspired me to get cracking with my Christmas baking. I wanted to use make something that would put these fresh, quality eggs to good use and eggnog was the first thing that sprung to mind. I’m not a big fan of drinks that use egg though (alcoholic or otherwise) so instead I decided to capture the flavour of eggnog in something else that uses eggs as the main ingredient – macarons.

In the end, I made both eggnog flavoured and candy cane macarons. It’s been a while since I’ve made macarons and it took me a few attempts to get it right, so it was a good thing I had a dozen eggs to work with! It also didn’t help that I was working with a new oven as well which doesn’t seem to want to be my friend yet.

I love the brightly coloured candy cane macarons which are filled with peppermint buttercream and rolled in crushed candy canes. But I think the eggnog macarons are a little more exciting flavour-wise with the warm, spicy cinnamon and nutmeg and a hit of alcohol thanks to some rum that I added into the buttercream. They go down well with a glass of chilled eggnog as well.

And now it’s only 2 more days til Christmas! I hope each and every one of you out there has a fantastic Christmas filled with lots of awesome presents and delicious food!

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Christmas Eats!

A belated merry christmas to everyone out there! I hope you all had lots of food and stuffed yourselves silly, because that’s exactly what I did :)

Christmas isn’t complete without a ham, and this year JC and I made one with a honey mustard glaze which turned out great! An extra sprinkling of brown sugar towards the end of the baking period gave us a nicely caramelised crust on the exterior.

Continue reading Christmas Eats!