Baking Essentials Gift Guide

Are you stuck what to get the baker in your life? Or are you putting together a little wish list of your own? Well this Baking Essentials Gift Guide is a little special as I have scoured the internet to find the best deals on all your baking essentials. Everything is priced under £10, meaning that these gifts are perfect for a Secret Santa or a stocking filler.

That’s not all, I’ve also thrown in a bonus gift guide if your passion is really in baking yummy layer cakes. Have a look below, you are sure to find exactly the gift you need.

A collage of images of baking essential for stocking fillers
  1. DENIM APRON
    When I was working on the cake stall I would always get comments on my denim apron. The good news is that I’ve found this denim apron at an amazing price. And it’s just as stylish.
  2. BALLOON WHISK
    An indispensable item in baking. I use a balloon whisk from everything to custards to beating eggs to whipping up double cream. You really can’t go wrong with this Oxo Good Grips Balloon Whisk.
  3. MUFFIN WRAP
    Do you want your muffins to look as good as the ones from the bakery? Then grab these gold patterned muffin wraps.
  4. SILICONE SPATULAS
    If you’re making caramel, chocolate, buttercream or scraping out bowls and jars then these silicone spatulas are the only utensils that will get the job done properly.
  5. GOOD QUALITY EXTRACTS
    Nielsen-Massey make excellent extracts. Choose from Almond Extract or Vanilla Extract or even Lemon Extract.
  6. SILICONE PASTRY BRUSH
    Since I turned to silicone pastry brushes I’ve never looked back. They are dishwasher proof, clean up really well and last an age. I love this Zeal Silicone Pastry Brush in Mustard.
  7. ELECTRONIC SCALES
    I was taught to bake in weights rather than volume measurements and I really know no other way. It’s reliable, accurate and these excellent scales are under £10. For more reasons why you should make the switch take a look at my post on why you should weigh ingredients rather than measure with cups.
  8. OVEN GLOVES
    It’s important to have a lovely pair when you’re pulling your pies and cakes out of the oven and these do just the trick.
  9. COOKIE CUTTERS
    These cookie cutters are great because you can choose the fluted or plain edge to your cookies. Although the most common use for these cookie cutters in my kitchen are for the perfect shaped scones.
  10. PIE TIN
    This pie tin is brilliant because the perforations mean a perfectly baked pastry base. No soggy bottoms here.
  11. METAL MIXING BOWL
    Metal mixing bowls are the best choice. They are light, easy to clean and keep your ingredients cool as you are mixing them. Plus they don’t retain odour and can stack really easily. I have them in a variety of sizes.
  12. MAGNETIC MEASURING SPOONS
    There are no pesky metal rings keeping these measuring spoons together, they stick with magnets. So much easier to store, use and clean. Plus the double sided measures here mean you can measure both liquid and dry ingredients without a wash in between.

BONUS GIFT GUIDE: Essentials For Cake Bakers

And now for that bonus Baking Essentials Gift Guide I promised you. The below guide is for the cake obsessed. You know, the friend who can’t stop bringing delicious layer cakes into work. The guide includes all the basics for making and decorating beautiful cakes, plus everything is under £10.

A collage of images of baking essential for stocking fillers
  1. CAKE LEVELLER
    A cake leveller is something you don’t know you need until you have one. It can even off the domed tops of your sponges creating a perfectly flat layer for decorating so you can avoid wonky cakes. It also can split a sponge in half, creating thinner layers for your sponges.
  2. OFFSET SPATULAS
    Absolutely essential when decorating your cake with buttercream. These offset spatulas allow you to create beautifully smooth or rustic swirls of icing around your cake. The range of sizes mean you can really achieve perfection.
  3. DECORATING TURNTABLE
    The ability to spin your cake around as you are decorating it is so useful when decorating your cake. This decorating turntable is basic but does just the job.
  4. ANODISED ALUMINIUM CAKE TIN
    The silver light metal of these Anodised Aluminium Cake Tins conducts heat evenly meaning your cakes are perfect every time. Your cakes will slip out of their tins no problem. However, you must always handwash. They come in all range of sizes but the 8 inch round x 4 inch deep ones are my go-to.
  5. CAKE BOARDS
    For the longest time we could only get foil cake boards in the UK which are great at not sticking to your cake but don’t always look exactly as you need them to. These white card boards are perfect for placing your cake on. They look innocuous and a little bit rustic.
  6. CAKE SMOOTHER/SCRAPER
    For achieving perfectly smooth buttercream edges then you need a cake smoother/scraper.
  7. BASIC PIPING TIPS
    This set is the really the only piping set you need. I usually stick to these four tips for creating stars, swirls, ruffles, buttercream flowers. They do everything you need them to.
  8. DISPOSABLE PIPING BAGS
    I like disposable piping bags and these ones are heavy duty, easier to use than cloth bags and fit all kinds of piping tips.
  9. RELEASE SPRAY
    Investing in release spray means you are not coating your cake tins with lumpy butter or too greasy oil. This spray is slightly over your £10 budget but it’s brilliant as it gives a very light mist which doesn’t affect your cakes at all. Invaluable for bundt cakes.

Please note, all prices were under £10 at the time of writing!

The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry

I might be biased but this really is the best Leftover Turkey Curry you could hope to make. It’s totally creamy with coconut milk and double cream, punchy with spices, garlic, chilli and ginger and is gorgeously relaxing to make. A little bit of chopping, a stir here or there and you’re done.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice

The main reason that my mum advocates for having turkey every year for Christmas lunch is so we can have Leftover Turkey Curry for Boxing Day dinner. I’m more than happy to comply as not only is it absolutely delicious but it’s also my favourite meal of the year to make. The soothing job of lightly chopping and stirring is a perfectly relaxing Boxing Day task. The promise of Leftover Turkey Curry is the reason that we always get a turkey which is way bigger than we actually need.

This is a curry for a special occasion. Rich, creamy and delicious, after all we’re still celebrating Christmas. It’s a great meal for the whole family and you can amend the chilli heat depending on the age of your youngest contingent.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice

Why is this Leftover Turkey Curry the one you should make this year?

  • It’s so creamy. Using both coconut milk and double cream, this curry is rich and delicious.
  • Punchy spices, garlic, chilli and ginger give this curry a tasty kick.
  • Roast potatoes – do you add potatoes into your curry? No? Oh my gosh, you need to get on that!!
  • It feeds a crowd really well if you still have all your family staying.
  • You can make huge batches of this curry for storing in the freezer for cold January nights.

How do you make Leftover Turkey Curry?

  1. Heat onions on a low heat for 15 minutes to gently caramelise.
  2. Add spices, garlic, fresh chilli, fresh ginger, tomatoes and chutney.Process shot of Leftover Turkey Curry
  3. Cook for 15 minutes or until pulpy.Process shot of Leftover Turkey Curry
  4. Add the turkey, coconut milk and double cream and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the roast potatoes and cook for a final 15 minutes before sprinkling with fresh coriander and serving.Process shot of Leftover Turkey Curry

Pro Tip

  • Peeling the tomatoes – this sounds fiddly but it’s really easy and if you don’t like bits of tomato skin getting stuck in your teeth then it’s worth the extra step.

tomatoes in a bowl of boiled water for peeling tomatoes waiting for their skins to be peeled peeled tomatoes on a wooden board

How do you peel tomatoes?

Cut a small cross at the base of each tomato and submerge in just boiled water for 5 minutes. The small cut naturally elongates in the heat and creates a split down the sides of the tomato peel. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon. Leave until cool enough to handle and the skins should peel off pretty easily.

More Pro Tips

  • Spices – Dry-fry the whole spices before crushing so they can release a delicious toasty flavour. To crush the spices you can use a pestle and mortar but I have had great use out of my spice grinder (often bought as a coffee mill) and really recommend them.
  • Chilli – I love to add the seeds in here as for the adults it give a delicate amount of heat. If you are serving to children you can omit the seeds which is where the real heat lies, or even the red chilli entirely. To be honest I usually just mix my toddler’s portion with extra yoghurt.
  • Chutney – It’s totally optional but I recommend adding a tablespoon of chutney to the curry. The sweet vinegary flavour really punches up the curry up a notch. You can use mango chutney but I usually use an open jar of the chutney we used on the Boxing Day cheeseboard. Usually this Boxing Day Ale Chutney.
  • Roast Potatoes – If you’re like us you will have tonnes of roasties left over from your Christmas lunch. You will find that adding them to this curry is the best culinary decision you made all year.

A saucepan of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry

Best way to serve Leftover Turkey Curry

Basmati Rice
Cucumber Raita
Naan Bread

How do you make dairy-free Turkey Curry?

Just replace the double cream with coconut cream or more coconut milk.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice

Vegan Option?

So obviously here you’ll leave out the turkey. Replace it with any pre-roasted vegetables you have to hand. Butternut squash, pumpkin, cauliflower or carrots would be so delicious here. Switch out the double cream for more coconut milk too.

Can you freeze Leftover Turkey Curry?

Absolutely. We make huge batches of this curry and freeze in portions for enjoying on wintery January nights. In fact this past summer I discovered a forgotten Tupperware of Leftover Turkey Curry in the freezer and was utterly delighted with my unseasonal treasure.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice

For more ideas on using up Christmas leftovers have a look at these recipes:

Bubble and Squeak
Bramley Apple Mincemeat Pudding
Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake

If you make The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own leftover creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry

I might be biased but this really is the best Leftover Turkey Curry you could hope to make. It’s totally creamy with coconut milk and double cream, punchy with spices, garlic, chilli and ginger and is gorgeously relaxing to make. A little bit of chopping, a stir here or there and you’re done.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 522kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 to matoes peeled and chopped *
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 red chilli diced with seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon chutney mango, ploughmans or ale chutney
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 400 g leftover turkey meat
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 200 g leftover roast potatoes halved (optional)
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large flat bottomed pan.
  • Add the diced onions and cook very gently for 15-20 minutes until transparent.
  • Dry fry the caraway, fennel, cumin and coriander seeds in a small pan over a low heat for about 45 seconds – 1 minute. Keep a close eye so they don’t burn. Then pound them in a pestle and mortar until finely crushed.
  • Add the crushed seeds along with the turmeric and garam masala into the onions. Also add the chilli, garlic and fresh ginger. Stir in for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, chutney (if using) and salt cook on a gentle simmer for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes and spices have reduced to a pulp.
  • Add the coconut milk, double cream and turkey meat. Stir together well. Turn up the heat to bring the curry to boil, then turn down to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the roast potatoes (if using) but do not stir in too heavily or the meat and potatoes will break up too much. Cook for a final 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle over the fresh coriander just before serving.

Notes

  • Peeling the tomatoes is totally optional. I really dislike cooked tomato skin so it’s always an extra step I take but if you can’t be bothered then don’t worry. To peel the tomatoes cut a small cross at the base of each tomato and submerge in just boiled water for 5 minutes. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and the skins should peel back pretty easily.
  • You dry fry the spices because it releases a toasted flavour so it is worth the effort.
  • The red chilli adds a slight heat to the proceedings but if you would like your curry ultra mild then discard the seeds.
  • The chutney is optional but well worth it if you have an open jar lying around.
    If you want your curry dairy-free then substitute the double cream for coconut cream.
  • Instead of the roast potatoes, or alongside them you could also add any leftover vegetables. Squash, cauliflower, parsnips and carrots work the best.
  • Serve with basmati rice, cucumber raita and naan bread.

Nutrition

Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 935mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2265IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 5mg

Easy Christmas Cranberry Pie

overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie

Easy Christmas Cranberry Pie is tart and fruity with a buttery biscuit crust, topped with whipped cream clouds.

overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie

Colourful Christmas Cranberry Pie is a joyful end to any celebratory meal round the holiday season.

It helps that this easy cranberry pie is not only the most stunning deep magenta but is also utterly delicious. This pie has it all, the looks and the personality. Zingy, creamy and crunchy.

side view of a slice of Cranberry Cream Pie

What makes this Easy Cranberry Pie so good?

  • This is a great make-ahead dessert as it tastes best chilled so there is no last minute prep required.
  • The biscuit crust is thick and buttery rich, made from your favourite oat biscuits.
  • The filling is so easy to pull together – just fruity fresh cranberries pureed and mixed with condensed milk, a spritz of lemon juice and egg yolks.
  • Baked in the oven the filling turns into a creamy cranberry set custard. Think key lime pie or lemon meringue pie but with cranberries.
  • A heavenly light cream is whipped into clouds to adorn this delicious dessert.

overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie

What do we need for our biscuit base?

1. Oat biscuits

Your pie and your choice of biscuit. I use gluten-free oat biscuits but you can use Hobnobs or plain digestives.

However, if you want a really special biscuit base then why not try making your own digestive biscuits which are made from oat flour and have an amazing buttery toasted flavour.

READ MORE >>> Gluten-Free Digestive Biscuits

2. Butter

Melt the butter and whizz up in the food processor with the oat biscuit crumbs to make a gorgeously buttery biscuit base. You can use salted or unsalted butter.

Pro Tip

When you are melting the butter for the biscuit base leave it to cool for a few minutes just so the butter is warm rather than hot when you add it to your biscuit crumbs. This helps your biscuit base from becoming too greasy.

overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie with slice taken out

What do we need for our cranberry custard filling?

1. Fresh cranberries

If you are used to eating your cranberries from a jar then these tart little berries will be a revelation. They pop up in large UK supermarkets just before Thanksgiving at the end of November and you can usually find them next to the blueberries.

We heat the cranberries with a splash of water until they burst and thicken together. We then blend them to create a stunning deep pink puree.

Pro Tips

  • Using frozen cranberries is absolutely fine.
  • Use an immersion blender straight into the saucepan to blend the cranberries. It saves on getting pink juice all over your kitchen if you don’t have to transfer it anywhere.

2. Lemon juice, egg yolks and condensed milk

When we mix these 3 ingredients together with the cranberry puree the most beautiful alchemy occurs. Poured into our biscuit base and baked in the oven they become a gorgeously creamy set custard with an ever-so-gentle wobble.

No sugar is needed as all the sweetness comes from the condensed milk. The tartness from the lemon juice and cranberries is the perfect contrast.

side view of a slice of Cranberry Cream Pie

Whipped cream topping

The final light touch for our pie is a gorgeously light cream topping made with actual whipping cream. Whipped into billowing clouds this cream is a bit lighter than double cream and dissolves beautifully in your mouth. You can absolutely use double cream or heavy cream if that’s all you can find. Whipping cream doesn’t see as prevalent as it once was.

FAQs

Can Easy Cranberry Pie be made ahead?

Yes – the pie can be made up to 2 days ahead of when you want to serve it. I recommend whipping the cream on the same day you serve though otherwise it can deflate a little in the fridge.

Can you freeze it?

Yes, you can freeze it with or without the cream. Remove from the freezer the night before you want to serve it and defrost thoroughly in the fridge. Although a slice of still frozen pie straight from the freezer is a real cheeky treat!

More holiday desserts you’ll love!

If you make this Easy Christmas Cranberry Pie then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Easy Christmas Cranberry Pie

Easy Christmas Cranberry Pie is tart and fruity with a buttery biscuit crust, topped with whipped cream clouds.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 726kcal

Ingredients

  • 450 g cranberries + 3 tablespoons water
  • 500 g oat biscuits*
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 397 g condensed milk 1 tin
  • 400 ml whipping cream

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/ 150°C fan/gas mark 3.
  • Place the cranberries in a medium sized saucepan with the water and cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cranberries have broken down.
  • Blend the cranberries until they are smooth then set aside in the fridge to cool completely.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan and leave to cool for a few minutes just so the butter is warm rather than hot which helps your biscuit base from becoming too greasy.
  • Whizz up the biscuits in a food processor then with the mixer still on pour in the melted butter until it combines with the biscuit to become a thick sandy texture.
  • Press the biscuit crust into a 23cm pie dish using the back of a spoon and push the base up the sides of the dish.
  • Bake the crust for 18 minutes then remove from the oven. Gently re-press and shape the biscuit crust which might have puffed up a bit and then leave to cool in the fridge to set whilst you make the filling.
  • Turn the oven down to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 1.
  • Mix the cranberries, lemon juice, egg yolks and condensed milk in a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour the cranberry filling into pie crust, smoothing out the top.
  • Bake the pie for 25 minutes, the cranberry filling should still be a little wobbly.
  • Leave to cool and set in the fridge overnight.
  • Whip the cream until thick and it can hold its shape then pipe over the top of the pie.
  • Serve chilled.

Notes

  • Oat Biscuits - I use gluten-free oat biscuits but you can use any. Hobnobs or digestive biscuits are also fine. If you like you could push the boat out and use Homemade Digestive Biscuits.
  • Biscuit Base - When you are melting the butter for the biscuit base leave it to cool for a few minutes just so the butter is warm rather than hot when you add it to your biscuit crumbs. This helps your biscuit base from becoming too greasy.
  • Fresh Cranberries - you can find these in the UK from November onwards. Usually in the berry aisle - next to the blueberries. Using frozen cranberries is absolutely fine too.
  • Whipping Cream - you can use double cream or heavy cream.
  • Make Ahead - The pie can be made up to 2 days ahead but whip and add the cream topping on the day you are serving.
  • Freeze - This pie can be frozen. It might be easier to freeze and store without the cream but if you have leftovers then these can be frozen in slices or whole. Defrost overnight in the fridge. In fact this pie is delicious still a little bit frozen!!!

Nutrition

Calories: 726kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 277mg | Sodium: 337mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 1470IU | Vitamin C: 7.3mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 1.9mg

This post was originally published in December 2018 but updated in November 2020 with clearer instructions and more pro tips. The recipe remains the same.

Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese

overhead view of Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese

Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese is the perfect appetiser or canapé when you are entertaining. Naturally gluten-free, very easy to prepare and always impressive.

overhead view of Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese

When we were young our whole family would gather at my aunt’s house on Christmas morning for a quick hello, present exchange and glass of Buck’s Fizz. There would be a crowd of us of every age range, greeting grannies, clutching presents and dressed in our Christmas finery. Plates of small squares of brown bread, barely buttered, and adorned with wafer thin slices of lemony smoked salmon would make their way across the room, swiped by eager fingers. This is how I first experienced smoked salmon and is the measure of any Christmas canapé I’ve had since, made even more delicious by the rose tinted nostalgia.

side view of Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese

So every Christmas I also serve smoked salmon to my small gathering. I don’t eat the brown bread anymore but have replaced it with the most light and fluffy potato pancakes. Naturally gluten-free, made with mashed potato, potato flour and eggs. They are incredibly easy to whip up on Christmas morning but you can also make them a couple of days in advance and just warm them up in the oven to refresh them. Although do serve them at room temperature as you don’t want the cream cheese to melt.

Speaking of cream cheese, I feel it’s an utterly necessary accompaniment to my smoked salmon these days. Whipped up with crème fraiche, a spritz of fresh lemon and slathered thickly onto the pancakes, it’s the ideal cool backdrop to the delicate salmon. However, instead of the restrained slice of smoked salmon we used to have on our bread years ago, I like to pile these potato pancakes high so they look beautifully impressive. One or two of these pancakes per person will be plenty.

overhead view of Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese

SHOP THE RECIPE

  • Ghee
  • Cast Iron Skillet

If you make this Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese

Smoked Salmon on Potato Pancakes with Whipped Cream Cheese is the perfect appetiser or canapé when you are entertaining. Naturally gluten-free, very easy to prepare and always impressive.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time1 hr 33 mins
Course: Appetiser
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 pancakes
Calories: 202kcal

Ingredients

Potato Pancakes

  • 300 g peeled potatoes quartered
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 50 g potato flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives + extra to sprinkle
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 300 g smoked salmon

Whipped Cream Cheese

  • 200 g cream cheese
  • 100 g crème fraiche
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Place the peeled potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water and bring up to a boil. Turn down to simmer for 12-15 minutes until the potatoes are quite soft.
  • Remove from the heat and drain. Mash the potatoes with a pinch of salt and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
  • Mix the cooled mashed potato in a large bowl with the eggs, egg whites, potato flour, chives and salt and pepper and beat together with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  • Place a cast iron pan or large griddle on a low heat and melt the ghee or butter.
  • Drop a heaped dessert spoon of the potato batter into the pan, smoothing out a little so it makes an even circle. You should be able to fit four of these potato pancakes in the pan, depending on its size.
  • Cook the pancakes for 3-4 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for another couple of minutes on the second. Remove the pancakes from the pan and pat dry with kitchen paper to remove the excess butter.
  • Cook the rest of the pancakes in batches until all the batter has been used up.
  • Set the pancakes to one side whilst you prepare the whipped cream cheese.
  • Beat together the cream cheese, crème fraiche, lemon juice and salt until light and creamy.
  • Spoon the cream cheese onto each pancake, smoothing into a slight swirl, then pile high with smoked salmon. Garnish with snipped chives, a squeeze of lemon and plenty of cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes

Adapted from an old recipe in Olive Magazine (I’m pretty sure)
*I like to use ghee when shallow frying due to its high smoking point. Feel free to use butter but keep a close eye to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Nutrition

Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 447mg | Potassium: 283mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 500IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1.5mg

 

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce {gluten-free}

This Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce is a delightful alternative take on the Christmas Pudding. Still rich with fruit and spices but imbued with velvety pools of chocolate and the sharp sweetness of clementines.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

I hate to break it to you but this weekend is the last Sunday before advent. There is no denying it any more, Christmas will soon be upon us and in no time we’ll be scrabbling around on Christmas Eve desperately trying to wrap up all the stocking presents, brine the turkey and wrestle the children into bed.

Amid the present and meal prep chaos there is definitely one job you don’t want to be doing on Christmas Eve and that’s making a Christmas Pudding. Let’s face it if you haven’t made it by then it’s more than likely you’ll be swinging by Tesco before it closes hoping they haven’t sold out of all the gluten-free ones. There’s nothing like a homemade Christmas Pudding though. That’s why it’s best to get ahead and tradition decrees that the fifth sunday before Christmas is the ideal day for such a job. It’s Stir-Up Sunday people!

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

Stir-Up Sunday harkens way back to Victorian times and gets its name from the opening of the book of common prayer which is read on the last Sunday before advent ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people’ It seems that the Victorians took the bible at its word and it soon became tradition to stir up your Christmas Pudding on that day too. And with good reason, it’s such a good idea to get it out of the way early doors. After its initial steam a Christmas Pudding can sit quite happily for weeks or even months and even tastes better the longer you leave it.

Christmas Pudding evokes such childhood nostalgia for me that a generous portion at Christmas is more than a delicious dessert, it’s like a transportation device to my past. I loved the Christmas Pudding our Auntie Lil always used to make us but I also have a fondness for the one we were served every year at school.

Christmas time at our school was magical. The whole school would sit at tables in the main dining hall, an ancient and creaking cavernous room, all wooden beams and pillars with a balcony high above surrounding the room where the older years would sit. Just after the Christmas Pudding was served the lights would be turned off so we were in pitch darkness. The room would fall silent, all 700 children, and a beautiful choral echo would be heard faintly from outside. As the singing grew stronger, our choral society would hover into the room, shrouded in capes, holding candles and singing haunting Latin carols. The memory of Christmas Pudding drowning in brandy sauce still in our mouths. Perhaps if we were lucky a faint metallic taste might be on our tongues as well which meant that we had been one of the hallowed few to have found a penny wrapped in foil in our serving. To be treasured indeed.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

My recipe for Traditional Christmas Pudding is usually the one I turn to every year and although I will never tire of it I fancied a change. So this Christmas I will be making this Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce and I could not be more excited to share it with my family, it’s utterly delicious.

What I love about this recipe that even though this pudding is beautifully chocolately it is still most definitely Christmas Pudding and the flavours marry together so well. The teff flour, which is the gluten-free flour I chose for this recipe works so beautifully in support of the chocolate. There is so much texture in this Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding, the molton puddles of chocolate chips give the pudding a softness, the dried fruit give a lovely chew with a final nobbly crunch from the nuts. And despite all the rich flavours going on, this Christmas Pudding is lighter than you think, it’s not stodgy at all. As long as you don’t let it sit after it has finished steaming and serve straightaway.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

The Cointreau Sauce is a nod to the brandy sauce we were always served at school and actually I think this may be my favourite accompaniment to the pudding. It’s adapted from a Delia Smith recipe for her Brandy Sauce and it is light and simple. The gentle flavour of the Cointreau Sauce lets the pudding speak for itself whilst providing the much needed sauce and a spicy after kick of Cointreau.

Also a little bit of advice on this recipe, I know we’re all about Stir-Up Sunday but since this recipe takes a couple of days to make you will probably want to start prepping on the Saturday. Stir-Up Saturday if you will. This means you can do the final bit of work and the big steam on the Sunday rather than the job bleeding into your working week.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

SHOP THE RECIPE

  • 70% Dark Chocolate
  • Gluten-Free Teff Flour
  • Gluten-Free Tapioca Flour
  • 1.1lt Pudding Basin
  • Bakers Twine

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If you do fancy ringing in the changes with your Christmas pudding this year then I urge you to give this Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce a go, and if you do then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce {gluten-free}

This Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce is a delightful alternative take on the Christmas Pudding
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time36 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 563kcal

Ingredients

Day One

  • 115 g sultanas
  • 115 g currants
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 20 g mixed peel
  • 40 g whole almonds chopped up
  • 1 grated bramley apple about 250g
  • juice and zest 2 clementines + 1 extra for decoration
  • 50 ml Cointreau

Day 2

  • 2 eggs
  • 80 g fresh shredded suet*
  • 125 g chocolate chips
  • 115 g light muscovado sugar
  • 80 g gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 80 g teff flour
  • 20 g tapioca flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Cointreau Sauce

  • 40 g butter
  • 40 g sweet rice flour
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Mix everything from the Day 1 list of ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate overnight.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients from Day 2 and stir together really well.
  • Butter a pudding basin, and slice the extra clementine, tucking the slices into the bottom of the basin.
  • Fill the pudding basin with the pudding mixture then prepare the basin for the steam.
  • Take a piece of greaseproof paper and lie a piece of foil on top, make a fold in the centre of both pieces which allows for more room for the steam to rise. Place these over the top of the pudding basin, with the foil on top, securing with string around the pudding. Trim off any excess paper and foil, you don't want them to hanging too low as otherwise they will soak up the water during the steam.
  • Place a wire rack (or a folded up tea towel) into a large lidded pot, deep enough to cover the pudding. Then place the pudding on top of the rack.
  • Fill the pot up with boiling water until halfway up the pudding. The water should not touch the greaseproof paper or foil otherwise they will soak it up and the pudding will go soggy. Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat on so the water is kept at a simmer.
  • Steam for four hours, checking the water level occasionally and topping up if necessary.
  • Remove the pudding from its pot then leave to cool. Once cool re-wrap the pudding in fresh greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool dark place until Christmas Day.
  • On Christmas Day the puddings will need a final steam before serving so repeat steps 6 and 7. However your pudding will only need two hours this time.
  • Turn your pudding out onto a plate and serve with the Cointreau sauce.

Cointreau Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan then add the sweet rice flour.
  • Pour in the milk gradually and bring the sauce up to a gentle boil. Add the sugar and continue cooking for about 10 minutes.
  • Pour in the cream and bring the sauce to a low simmer.
  • Finally turn off heat and add the Cointreau. Serve hot with the Christmas pudding.

Notes

*It’s just not possible to buy gluten-free pre-packaged suet so do speak to your local butcher about obtaining fresh suet. It will come in a solid block which you will need to grate with a bit of gluten-free flour so that it can evenly disperse throughout the mincemeat.
Cointreau Sauce adapted from Delia Smith's Brandy Sauce

Nutrition

Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 423mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 2.3mg

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

These simple Gluten-Free Mince Pies are made with the most flavourful sorghum and almond flour pastry and filled with Easy Homemade Mincemeat. Mince pie lovers no longer need to miss out on gloriously flaky and tasty mince pies that are packed with Christmassy flavour and are easy to bake at home.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

I often wax lyrical regarding my love affair with mincemeat and all the different and festive ways you can incorporate this treasure into your baking. However, sometimes we just need to go back to basics and bake us up some delicious old timey mince pies.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

What are mince pies?

Mince pies are a traditionally eaten at Christmas across the UK and Europe. Filled with mincemeat and encased in pastry, mince pies are small and can usually be devoured in 3-4 bites. The ultimate Christmas treat.

But what is mincemeat?

Mincemeat is a richly spiced filling for your mince pies. Usually made from dried fruit, nuts and spices which are preserved in brown sugar, brandy with suet to provide a silky mouthfeel.

However, the variations of recipes for mincemeat are endless. You can switch up the alcohol, use fresh fruit, like apples, or omit the nuts or suet.

Do you need some inspiration for mincemeat recipes?

  • Victorian Mincemeat – inspired by traditional mince pies and uses actual beef mince along with the dried fruit, spices and brandy. This mincemeat is something special. You can’t taste that it is actually meat, it is just ultra flavourful with a wonderfully luxurious texture.
  • Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat – a vegan, nut-free recipe. This is a family favourite – vibrant, light and incredibly festive.
  • Easy Mincemeat – my go-to everyday traditional mincemeat.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

What pastry is used for mince pies?

There are many pastry routes you can go down with your mince pies:

  • open topped
  • double-crusted
  • frangipane
  • brandy butter topped
  • orange icing

However, I often like to stick to an old fashioned flaky gluten-free pastry to make my mince pies. This is my favourite gluten-free pastry recipe. So full of flavour and excellent to work with. This pastry will not crumble but melt in the mouth.

Gluten-free pastry is actually just as easy to make as regular wheat pastry. The only difference is that it is slightly more fragile to handle so may need a little more care when rolling out. It also requires a couple of minutes extra to blend together your gluten-free flour mix so you can ensure your pastry has the right bind, flakiness and snap.

This gluten-free pastry is more than just a vessel for holding your mincemeat, it has its own character and flavour profile to enhance your mince pies.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

How do you make gluten-free pastry?

We just need just 4 ingredients to create a unique gluten-free flour blend that is delicious, easy to work with and creates the best casing for our mincemeat.

Sweet rice flour – this is the majority flour used in this recipe. It is needed to bind the ingredients together and add elasticity to the mix so that the pastry can be rolled out with ease. It has a near neutral taste so its role is mostly function.

Sorghum flour – an incredibly tasty pastry. Think wholewheat flour, earthy and wholesome. A perfect flavour match for the richly spiced mincemeat.

Almond flour – adds a mild nutty sweetness. Great protein structure so helps to hold the pastry together

Ground flaxseeds – help further bind the pastry to stop it from crumbling apart. It also adds a nice bit of texture.

Once these four ingredients are whisked together to make your gluten-free flour blend then you can continue to make the pastry the same way you would regular pastry.

  1. Use butter cold from the fridge, sliced as thinly as possible then rubbed with the flours to make rough shreds and add flakiness to your dough.
  2. Add a little caster sugar for sweetness.
  3.  Add 2 eggs and an extra yolk for richness.
  4. Bring the dough quickly together with your hands, with maybe a little ice cold milk if more liquid is needed to make the pastry cohesive.
  5. Wrap your ball of pastry in cling film and keep in the fridge until needed.

How long can the pastry keep for?

Up to 3 days. Just bring it out 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on how warm your kitchen is) before you would like to roll it out.

What baking tin should you use for mince pies?

You can buy mince pie baking tins specific for this purpose. I have several which I love.

However, upon making the mince pies for this post I had a mini meltdown when I realised they had all been put into storage along with a bunch of my baking gear whilst we’re preparing to move house. This was obviously after I had cut out all my pastry rounds and the oven had been pre-heated and I was basically ready to go.

However it turns out that a regular 12-hole muffin tin makes the perfect sized four-bite mince pies just as well. Your pastry rounds will only go halfway up the tin but this works out just fine. So you mustn’t despair if you don’t have a special tin for your gluten-free mince pies.

If you have been disappointed by tasteless, cardboard tasting and tooth-achingly sweet gluten-free mince pies from the supermarket, this recipe will be a revelation.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

If you make these Gluten-Free Mince Pies then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

These simple Gluten-Free Mince Pies are made with the most flavourful sorghum and almond flour pastry and filled with Easy Homemade Mincemeat.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 18 double-crusted pies
Calories: 214kcal

Ingredients

  • 140 g sweet rice flour plus extra flour for dusting
  • 125 g sorghum flour
  • 75 g almond flour
  • 25 g ground flaxseeds
  • 125 g unsalted butter directly from the fridge
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk lightly beaten
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk very cold
  • 300 g mincemeat
  • 1 teaspoon egg yolk + 1 tablespoon whole milk whisked together for the wash

Instructions

Making the pastry

  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the sweet rice flour, sorghum flour, almond flour and flaxseeds.
  • Slice the butter very thinly and add to the flour. Then rub the mixture between fingertips until roughly shorn and crumbly.
  • Whisk in the caster sugar and salt and then pour in the eggs.
  • Bring the dough together using a wooden spoon at first if you like and then your hands. If the dough is still too dry and crumbly then add a little extra whole milk.
  • Turn the pastry out on to the work surface and knead very briefly into a ball until the dough is cohesive and slightly sticky.
  • Wrap the pastry dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or up to 3 days) until you are ready to make your mince pies.

Making the mince pies

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  • To make the mince pies, dust your work top and your rolling pin with extra sweet rice flour then roll your pastry out to 3mm thickness. The pastry will be quite fragile. I usually split the dough in half and roll out half at a time to save a lot of re-rolling.
  • Cut your pastry using an 8cm pastry cutter and place each round carefully in the hole of a 12 hole muffin tin. The pastry will come up about halfway. Fill each mince pie with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat. If you want double crusted mince pies then cut out further 6cm rounds for the lid and tuck on top so the edges of the pastry all meet.
  • If you would like to decorate the top of the mince pies then cut out extra Christmassy shapes from the pastry and place on top.
  • Whisk the extra egg yolk and milk to make a wash then brush over the top of each mince pie. Place in the oven and bake the mince pies for 10 minutes until they are golden. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes to rest then carefully remove each mince pie from the tin with a palette knife and place on a wire rack to cool. Wash and dry the tin then make your next batch.
  • Store the mince pies in a metal tin. They keep quite well for up to 5 days but they are best on the day they are made.

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.6mg

This recipe was updated in November 2019 to include clearer instructions.