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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:

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:

4 tuna steaks (about 1 1/2” thick)
Zest & Juice from one lime (or lemon)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced ginger root
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp chili paste
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

What you do:

Mix together all the marinate ingredients in a Ziploc bag.  Put the tuna steaks into the Marinate mix(inside the bag) making sure they are all coated, & leave in there  for 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 2 hours in refrigerator (remove from fridge 30 minutes before cooking).

Heat pan on medium-high heat. Remove tuna from marinade. Add tuna steaks to pan and cook 3 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the 2nd side (cover to reduce splattering). Tuna will be cooked about ¼” around, and rare in middle, or cook a little longer to be ‘well done’ .

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What you need:

4lb / 2 Kilo whole lean beef
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper (crushed)
½ tsp garlic (crushed)
2 tbsp cooking oil
½ tsp ginger
½ mango (ripe)
2 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp lime juice

What you do:

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

Prick the meat with a knife and rub it with the mixture of salt, pepper,and crushed garlic. Put the meat in a roasting pan. Set a side.

Put the ginger, mango, lime juice and Worcestershire sauce in a food processor. This will be the mixture that will be applied on the meat after 30 minutes of roasting.

Put the meat into the oven & cook for  30 minutes.
After 30 minutes turn down to 150C /300F / gas mark 2  and spoon the sauce over the meat every 10 minutes interval until meat is cooked.

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What you need:

8 oz / 227g   butter at room temperature

4oz / 113g  sugar

2 tsp water

2 tsp vanilla essence

8 oz /227g  flour

4 oz / 113g  finely chopped almonds

whole almonds for “fingernails”

1 tube red decorators icing

What you do:

Preheat oven to 160C / 325F / gas mark 3.

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add water and vanilla; mix well. Blend in flour and nuts. Mix until incorporated.

Scoop dough into a ball and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

To make cookies: 

Shape the dough into fingers about 3 inches long by rolling a piece of dough between hands, pinching slightly on either side of the “knuckle” area.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet and put a whole almond on the end for the nail, pushing down slightly. Leave the other end of the finger a little uneven to get that “severed” look! With a knife, make three tiny lines across the “knuckle” area of the finger…whats a knuckle without a few wrinkles?

Bake  for around 20 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.

When cool, squirt some of the red decorators icing onto the “severed” end of the finger.

 

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What you need:

4 oz / 113 g crumbled feta cheese  (at room temperature)
4 oz /113 g cream cheese  (at room temperature)
8 oz / 227 g Swiss cheese  ( grated )
2 tsp honey
4 oz /113 g finely chopped pecans
4 oz / 113 g finely chopped dried cranberries
Assorted crackers for serving

What you do:

Mix the cream cheese, feta, Swiss and honey until combined using an electric mixer or food processor.

Transfer the cheese onto a sheet grease proof paper and roll into a 1.5″ x 10″ log. Close the grease proof paper and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

Mix pecans and cranberries, and spread into a rectangle on a clean sheet grease proof paper. Roll the cheese log over the mixture to coat all sides evenly.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. (Log may be refrigerated up to 3 days.) Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with crackers.

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What you need:

4 small Baking Potatoes ( Washed)
200g Bacon bits
2 Shallots, finely chopped
25g Butter, extra for greasing
100ml Milk
75g  grated Cheddar Cheese
2 tbsp  Parsley (chopped)
1 pinch Salt
1 pinch Black Pepper  (freshly ground)

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 200°C /400°F/Gas mark 6.

Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, then transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender.

Leave to cool for around 20 / 30 mins.

In the meantime heat a frying pan and dry-fry the bacon bits  for 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Then add the shallots, stir, and fry for a further 1-2 minutes.

Slice off the top third of each potato, horizontally. Using a spoon  scoop out all of  the potato from the skins  into a large bowl. Keep the hollowed-out skins and place into a lightly greased baking dish.

Mash the potato until smooth. Add the milk and butter and beat together . Stir in the grated cheese, bacon bits, and shallots. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide  the mixture back into the potato skins and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and golden on top.

Sprinkle the parsley on top.

Serve hot .

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What you need:

100 gm butter (softened)
100 gm caster sugar
2 eggs
100 gm self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder

For the butter cream:

250 gm butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
600 gm icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk

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

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs a little at a time & with the last of the egg add a little of  the flour ( this will stop the eggs from curdling )  then add the rest of  the flour & the cocoa powder &  cream all together.  (Add a drop of milk to the chocolate mix if it is too stiff.)
Spoon into muffin tins lined with paper cases .

Bake for around 8 minutes.

A tip to test if cooked is to gently touch the top with your finger , if it springs back up then its done.

Cool on a wire rack.

Butter cream:

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, a quarter at a time, beating well after each addition.

Gently add the milk , and continue mixing until light and fluffy.

Decorate with chocolate eggs.

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What you need:

100 gm butter (softened)
100 gm caster sugar
2 eggs
100 gm self-raising flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder

For the butter cream:

250 gm butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
600 gm icing sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Sugar strands ( for decoration)

What to do:

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

Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs a little at a time & with the last of the egg add a little of  the flour ( this will stop the eggs from curdling )  then add the rest of  the flour & the cocoa powder &  cream all together.  (Add a drop of milk to the chocolate mix if it is too stiff.)
Spoon into muffin tins lined with paper cases .

Bake for around 8 minutes.

A tip to test if cooked is to gently touch the top with your finger , if it springs back up then its done.

Cool on a wire rack.

Butter cream:

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, a quarter at a time, beating well after each addition.

Gently add the milk , and continue mixing until light and fluffy.

Spoon a little of the butter cream over the top of each cake, then sprinkle over the sugar strands (or anything of your choice)

 

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