Tag Archives: cakes

Little Star Mince pies

Little star Mince pies
For us, there is no Christmas without mince pies! I am making mine now so they are out of the way and ready for when the French cousins arrive: they do keep very well for a few weeks plus they are handy to have if any guest drops in before Christmas ! 
Ingredients list :
(For the mincemeat)
Goose fat 80g 
Granny smith 1 grated (with skin on)
Mix of raisins and currants 300g
Mix candied peel 80g
Dark brown sugar 125g
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
Roasted hazelnuts 2 Tbsp
Chopped walnuts 50g
Ground mixed spices 1Tbsp
Ground cinnamon 2 Tbsp
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Capful of rum
Mix all the ingredients together in a plastic container and leave at room temperature for a few days. All the spices and fruit flavour need to mingle and blossom.
Prepare some puff pastry or short-crust one – enough for about 12 small pies and their star shaped lids. I make my own short-crust with almond powder and goose fat – on top of the usual ingredients and it is extra crumbly.
Cut circles and stars with cut-out shapes and place them in a mince pie or muffin tray. Carefully fill each disk with a small spoonful of mince, put the star on top and brush with an egg yolk.
Put in the oven for 30 min. at 170° : Serve warm with brandy butter.
This recipe was inspired by one from Ottolenghi – but I’ve replaced his suet with goose fat because it is healthier and more appropriate for the season!

Raspberry burst cakes

I first put together this recipe – inspired by Nigella Lawson “How to be a domestic goddess” my then bible-book – because I was looking for a cupcake recipe and every single one was either too fluffy and not tasty enough or simply dry and still not tasty. This is nice because the ground almond makes the mix slightly gooey in the middle and crispy outside! And of course, the raspberries give it a crisp, zesty flavour that I love.

  • Frozen raspberries 200g
    Ground almond 50g
    Self-raising brown flour 60g
    Melted butter 125g
    Sugar 125g
    Beaten eggs 2
    Lemon 1 (juice and zest)

Measure the flour, ground almond and sugar into a bowl. Melt the butter and add to the mix. Beat the eggs and add them too. Add the lemon juice and zest. Put the mix in the fridge while you prepare your muffin tray with paper cases and warm the oven.

Then fold in the raspberries (fresh or frozen); breaking them a little but keeping most of it intact so the mix doesn’t turn pink and “barbie” looking!

Fill each case up to 2/3 and put in a hot oven (225) for 15 to 20mn or until nicely raised and brown but check the mix is cooked: it should be moist and sticky but not raw! (I made that mistake today!)

This amount of mix makes 12 large cupcakes.

Late afternoon, we enjoyed these with scones over a glass of excellent rum from Marie-Galante, a small paradise off the coast of Martinique that produces some of the best nectars on this planet… I think we all agree?!