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What you need:

175g plain flour
90g butter, chilled and cubed
90g double Gloucester cheese, grated
3 tbsp skimmed milk
1 tsp Marmite

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F /gas mark 6

Put the flour and butter into a food processor. Put the lid on and whizz for about 20 seconds until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the cheese and milk and whizz again for about 30 seconds, until it forms into a ball. Tip out, wrap in cling film and pop in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill.
Put the dough between 2 sheets of non-stick Teflon, or 2 sheets of baking paper. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough, then roll out to a rectangle, about 1cm thick. Cut 6 broomstick shapes from the pastry, each about 10cm long and spaced well apart. Make about half a dozen cuts to form the ‘brush’ of each broomstick. Using a palette knife, gently ease them onto a Teflon- or baking paper-lined tray. Re-roll the pastry and make another 6 broomsticks. Add these to the baking tray.
Mix the Marmite with 1 tsp of hot water and brush over the brooms to glaze.Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.

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What you need:

40g unsalted butter, softened
Finely grated zest of ½ orange
Small handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
1kg fresh Brussels sprouts
200g pack cooked and peeled whole chestnuts, roughly chopped

What you do:

Make the orange butter. Put the butter, zest and parsley in a bowl, season, and beat until smooth. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for 15 minutes.

Wash the sprouts in salted water. Drain, rinse, and discard any damaged leaves. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the sprouts and blanch for 3-4 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water. Repeat, until cool, then drain and set aside.

Just before serving, melt half the orange butter in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the sprouts and chestnuts and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until tender. Season and put in a serving dish. Dot the rest of the butter over the top to serve.

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What you need:

5 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
MOCHA CREAM FILLING:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
MOCHA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup baking cocoa
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brewed coffee
2 to 3 tablespoons milk

What you do:

Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with grease proof paper; grease the paper. Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks on high until light and fluffy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until thick and lemon-colored. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt; gradually add to egg yolk mixture until blended.
Beat egg whites on medium until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Stir a fourth into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites until no streaks remain.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until cake springs back (do not overbake). Cool for 5 minutes; invert onto a linen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Peel off parchment paper. Roll up in the towel, starting with a short side. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and coffee granules. Beat until stiff peaks form; chill. Unroll cooled cake; spread filling to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up again. Place on serving platter; chill.
In a large bowl, beat frosting ingredients until smooth. Frost cake. Using a fork, make lines resembling tree bark.

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What you need:

150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
150g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

For the frosting

200g butter, at room temperature
250g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
green food colouring

To decorate:

silver balls, sugar stars or hundreds and thousands

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180C /350F / gas mark 4.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and pale.

Gradually mix in the beaten egg alternating with the flour to stop the mix from curdling. Finally, stir through the vanilla extract and milk.

Place 12 paper cupcake cases into a muffin tin and divide the mixture between them.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting: In a mixing bowl beat the butter with a spoon or spatula until smooth, then start to sift in the icing sugar, stirring regularly. Add the vanilla extract and milk. The frosting should be light and creamy.

Mix your green food colouring into the icing to give an even green colour.

Once the cupcakes are totally cool, pipe the icing onto them starting from the outside of the cake and working into the centre to create tall Christmas trees. Decorate with silver balls, stars or hundreds and thousands then allow to set for at least 30 minutes so that the icing has a slightly crispy finish

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What you need:

sunflower oil, or other neutral-tasting oil, for greasing
25g powdered gelatine
255 ml water
4 tsp rose water
450g caster sugar
3-4 drops red food colouring
3 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp cornflour

What you do:

Lightly oil a 20x25cm baking tin.

Mix the gelatine, water and rose water in a large heavy-based pan and add the sugar.

Heat gently until the sugar and gelatine have dissolved, stirring continuously.

Bring to the boil without stirring.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the food colouring and leave to cool for 2-3 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the oiled tin and leave to set for 24 hours.

Cut into squares.

Mix the cornflour and icing sugar together and toss the Turkish Delight in the mixture.

Store in an airtight container, between layers of greaseproof paper.

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What you need:

450g caster sugar
225g powdered glucose
2 egg whites
8 sheets rice paper, measuring 6 x 15cm
150g hazelnuts & pistachio nuts mix, roughly chopped and toasted

What you do:

Place the sugar, powdered glucose and 150ml water in a large, heavy-based saucepan on a medium heat and bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10–15 minutes, without stirring, until a sugar thermometer dipped into the mixture reads 121°C.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl and once the sugar syrup temperature reaches about 110°C begin whisking them to stiff peaks in an electric food mixer on a low setting. Once the syrup reaches its final temperature, pour about a quarter of it, in a slow, steady stream, into the egg whites, continuing to whisk.

Immediately return the remaining syrup to the heat and continue to cook, without stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the thermometer reads 149°C all the while continuing to whisk the egg whites on a slow speed.

Again once the syrup reaches the right temperature; pour it carefully and in a slow, steady stream into the whisking egg whites. Continue to whisk the egg whites for about 30 minutes until stiff and halved in volume. Scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often with a palette knife or spatula dipped in boiling water.

Cover the bottom of a 25 x 15cm cake tin with half the rice paper. Stir the nuts into the fully whisked nougat mixture, mix well and pour into the prepared tin. Working quickly, spread evenly using a palette knife or spatula dipped in boiling water. Place the remaining sheets of rice paper on top to cover, pressing down to stick.

Allow to cool and then place in the fridge for 4–6 hours or overnight until set. Remove the slab of nougat from the baking tin and cut into about 36 fingers.

Store in the fridge, wrapped individually in parchment paper or cling film

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What you need:

350 g  plain flour plus extra for rolling out
1 level  tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 level  tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp ground mixed spice
125 g  butter
175 g  light soft brown sugar
1 medium egg
4 tbsp  golden syrup
Ready to roll icing (white)
76 g  colour writing icing,

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180C /350F / Gas 4.
Line two baking trays with baking paper. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon into a large bowl. Rub in the butter and then stir in the sugar.

Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together. Add to the flour and mix to make a dough. Chill the dough for 15 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of ½ cm thick. Cut shapes out with gingerbread cutters, remembering to take off a few limbs and head for added gore.

Place on a baking tray, leaving a gap between them in case they spread a little.
Bake for about 15 minutes. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Decoration:
Use the red writing icing along the edges of the missing limbs and heads as blood.
For the skeletons and mummies – either pipe with white writing icing or roll out the ready to roll icing to 3mm thickness and cut shapes slightly smaller than the gingerbread. Lightly brush the gingerbread with boiled water and carefully place the icing on top. Using the black writing icing decorate as a skeleton or mummy!

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What you need:
1 cup semisweet chocolate drops
1 tsp butter
24 large marshmallows
1 pack of matchmakers or (chocolate sticks) for the legs about 1 inch long each
1 large bag of package mini candy-coated chocolate pieces (Smarties)

What you do:

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and butter. Microwave until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth. Pour chocolate into a sealable plastic bag and set aside.

Line a cookie sheet with grease proof paper.Stick 4  1 inch  Matchmakers into each side of marshmallow for legs, and arrange ongrease proof paper.

Using scissors, cut one corner off the bag of melted chocolate. Drizzle over the marshmallow spiders. Attach 2 smarties (candies) to each marshmallow for eyes.

Chill until chocolate hardens.

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What you need:

2 1 lb aubergines (eggplants), cut into cubes
1 ¾ tsp plus ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
2 ½ lbs. peeled tomatoes or 1 28-oz can plus 1 14-oz can petite-diced tomatoes
5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
½ tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh basil
¾ cup loosely packed, chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ lbs. white onions, thinly sliced
3 red or yellow peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 lbs courgette ( zucchini ), cut lengthwise and then into ½-inch slices
1/3 cup dry white wine

What you do:

Place a single layer of paper towels on 2 large plates. Place the cubed eggplant onto the plates and sprinkle with 1 ¾ teaspoon salt. Allow the  aubergine (eggplant) to sit for 20 minutes.

In a large saucepan, cook the tomatoes, garlic, black pepper, basil, and parsley, uncovered, over medium heat.

In a large frying pan or skillet, sauté the onions and  peppers in a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very lightly browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the browned vegetables to the tomato mixture.

Pat the eggplant dry with a fresh paper towel and add it, along with the zucchini to the tomato mixture. Cover the pot and cook the stew over low-medium heat for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the white wine and ¾ tsp salt and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

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What you need:

10 Lasagna noodles
2 packages (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach (drain well by squeezing spinach down in colander with wax paper)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp oil
1 cup grated raw carrots
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
15 oz / 425g  tomato sauce ( 1 tin)
6 oz /170g tomato paste (1 tin)
1/2 cup chopped pitted rip black olives
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cups cream-style cottage cheese
1 lb / 454g sliced Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

What you do:

Pre heat the oven to 190C / 375F / gas mark 5.

Prepare noodles, drain.
Prepare spinach according to package (or simply defrost ahead of time)
Sauté onion in oil, till soft. Add carrots and mushrooms; cook until crisp-tender. Stir in tomato sauce, paste, olives, and oregano.
Grease 13 x 9 x 2 inch casserole pan.
Layer 1/2 each noodles, cottage cheese, spinach, sauce mixture, and 1/3 cheese. Repeat placing remaining 1/3 Monterey Jack cheese on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes.

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