#34 FOOD NEWS: Christmas Jam J-art cocktails

cocktails Set me a challenge and I’m all over it! thinkmoney.co.uk handed me some old jam jars for up-cycling and said get creative and go forth to the kitchen! As it is the season to be merry, my thoughts turned to alcohol… naturally. ‘Here’s’ to festive jam-jar cocktails!

Cherry Christmas!

Mix 1tbsp caster sugar with 2tbsp desiccated coconut. Brush the rim of a jam jar with golden syrup and dip into the coconut mix. Fill the jam jar with a shot of vodka, a squeeze of satsuma juice and cherry juice to taste.

Penguin pool

1 shot Bombay sapphire – topped up to taste with ice-cold blue WKD.

Snow waa-hey!

Pour hot milk into a jam jar, add 3-4 squares of white chocolate and a measure of brandy. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Top with marshmallows.

For more fabulous Jam J-art visit

http://www.thinkmoney.co.uk/jam-jars/default.aspx

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33 FOOD NEWS: Theo Randall’s Croccante with mascarpone cream

So it’s December the 1st  – Christmas has officially started, the twinkly lights are appearing, festive food markets are popping up quicker than you can say, ‘two mulled wines and a mince pie’. And best of all, TV cookery has also been given its annual Christmassy seasoning (and by the taste of this dessert – I am most definitely not complaining!).

Delve into Theo Randall’s delicious alternative to Christmas pud from 12 Chefs of Christmas:

unnamed

200g whole blanched (skinned) almonds (See Britalian Tip)
200g caster sugar
200g mascarpone
Seeds from ½ vanilla pod
50g icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp Marsala or to taste
150ml double cream
3 punnets fresh raspberries

ingred strip

1 For the Almond Croccante, preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan. Spread the almonds on a small baking tray and roast for 5 mins until they are a light golden colour. Leave to one side. Put the sugar in a saucepan and add 1 tbsp water.

almonds strip

2 Cook, without stirring, on a medium heat until the sugar melts and turns a light golden colour. Add the almonds and carry on cooking for 1 min. Pour on to an oiled baking sheet and leave to cool and set. Roughly break up the croquante and put into a plastic bag. Bash with a rolling pin to break up. 

almond - bash

3 To make the cream, beat the mascarpone with the vanilla seeds and icing sugar and then beat in the Marsala. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.

creams crop

4 Spoon the crema di mascarpone on to a serving dish. Scatter over the raspberries and sprinkle with almond croccante. 

side croccante crop

12 Chefs of Christmas is sure to get you in the festive spirit! Everyday at 11am this December, Food Network UK (Freeview 41, Sky 248, Freesat 149/151, Virgin 287). For more Christmas recipes go to http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/

Britalian Tip 

If you haven’t got enough whole blanched almonds (as I didn’t!). After baking them, stir through the toasted nuts of your choice to make up to 200g – I used toasted flaked almonds but you could simply use your favourite type of nut.