Cakes and Pudding for the Festive Season

The shops and supermarkets are now stocking their shelves with seasonal fayre and very attractive they look too. Puddings, biscuits, chocolates and sweets to suit every taste but a scan through the ingredients may make you think twice. Most of them will contain some preservative, colouring or flavouring agent and will possibly be presented in packaging that is unnecessary and non-ecofriendly.

The following recipes are all easy to make with something to suit every taste. They make excellent gifts for friends and will be appreciated all the more for being homemade and the making of them is a great way to keep children entertained while doing something useful and family based, especially as that includes the washing up afterwards!

Polish Chocolate Cake (quick and easy and ideal for children to make)

Melt 4oz of margarine (or butter for a special occasion) with 4oz of sugar (I use soft brown sugar) and 3 tbsp of good quality drinking chocolate. Add 1 beaten egg and a few drops of vanilla essence. Crush 1 packet of plain chocolate wholemeal biscuits very finely and add them to the mixture. Chopped cherries and sultanas may be added to the mixture to taste. Put into a swiss roll tin and allow to cool and then cut into squares.

Sherry Balls

Crush 8oz digestive biscuits very finely and then add 2oz of melted butter and 2oz of drinking chocolate. Mix into this 1 small tin of Nestle milk and 2 tbsp sherry. Allow to cool then forms into balls and coat in chocolate vermicelli.

Christmas Ice Cream Pud (A good alternative to the traditional Christmas Pud)

Into a large bowl combine 1oz each of sultanas and currants, 2oz of raisins, 3oz of cherries and 2oz of almonds and 3 tbsp of sherry. Melt 4oz marshmallows, 1/4 pint of milk, 1 teaspoon each of coffee and cocoa - very gently, cool and then pour over the dried fruit and mix. Freeze for a short time until slightly thickened. Stiffly whip 1/2 pint of double cream and fold into the mixture. Pour into a one and a half pint basin and freeze. This may be made a couple of weeks before Christmas and left in the freezer until needed.

Yogurt Pancakes with Orange Sauce

Sift together 4oz of plain flour with 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and the same of salt.Mix 8 fluid oz of natural yogurt with 1 beaten egg and 3ozs milk and syir into the flour mixing well.Lightly grease a frying pan and heat it. Drop spoonfuls of the pancake mix in and turn over when bubbling. For the orange sauce heat 4ozs orange juice with the grated rind of half an orange and 1oz of castor sugar until the sugar has melted. Mix 1tsp of cornflour with a little water and stir into the juice mixture. Stirring constantly, cook until clear and thickened.

Quick and Easy Shortbread

Melt 8oz of butter in a pan and add 9oz of self raising flour, 4oz of castor sugar and 3oz of cornflour and beat it all together. Spread the mixture in a swiss roll tin and prick the top. Bake in a hot oven until golden brown. Cut into pieces while hot and dust with castor sugar. Delicious served with hot chocolate!

I hope that there is something here for everybody to enjoy especially as it is all homemade and wholesome.







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