December 2020

With Christmas just around the corner, its time to plan our seasonal baking. We have chosen some recipes with a twist on the traditional Christmas fare, which we hope you will enjoy making and eating! Happy Christmas cooking.

Enjoy! Carol, Heather and Mary

Christmas with a Twist

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Chocolate Fruit Cake

Mince Pie Cookies

A delicious moist celebration cake
with no need for marzipan and icing

Chocolate Fruit CakeIngredients

  • 350g prunes, chopped
  • 525g mixed dried fruit
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 175g soft dark sugar
  • 175ml honey
  • 125ml Tia Maria or similar
  • 2 oranges, zest + juice
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 150g plain flour
  • 75g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda


  1. Heat the oven to 1500C/fan 1300C Gas 2
  2. Use double baking paper to line base & sides of 20cm round cake tin
  3. Put fruit, butter, sugar, honey, Tia Maria, spice, coooa,orange juice & zest into a large saucepan. Heat gently until boiling and simmer for 10 minutes, then cool for 30 minutes
  4. Mix in the beaten eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
  5. Pour the mixture into the lined tin, smooth the top
  6. Bake for 1 3/4 -2 hours until cake is firm but looks shiny on top, cake may show just a slight stickiness when tested with a skewer
  7. Leave to cool in the tin, then store cake wrapped in greaseproof and foil
  8. Decorate with edible glitter, mini balls and gold stars
  9. Tie a ribbon round the sides
  10. The cake will keep well in an airtight container
Tasty cookies with a softer centre

Mince Pie Cookies


  • 250g soft butter
  • 140g sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 300g flour
  • 410g jar mincemeat
  • 1 tsp mixed spice   few flaked almonds


  1. Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper, grease
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light, beat in the egg yolk
  3. Mix in orange zest, flour and most of the mincemeat until it forms a dough
  4. Roll into a log shape and chill to firm up. Wrap in cling film
  5. Cut off slices and place on baking tray, shape to a flat disc
  6. Dot a little of the reserved mincemeat and top with flaked almonds
  7. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden but a little doughy in the centre
  8. Cool and enjoy

Pecan Tassies

Vegetarian Tomato Loaf

An alternative to mince pies

Ingredients:Pecan Tassies

  • For the pastry
    • 50g pecans
    • 50g butter softened
    • 50g full-fat soft cheese
    • 50g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • For the filling:
    • 85g pecans
    • 1 egg yoke
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1 tbsp butter, melted
    • 50g light brown sugar
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 180oC/160oC Fan, Gas  4
  2. To make the pastry, Whizz the pecans in a food processor until finely ground, then pulse in the remaining ingredients with a pinch of salt until the dough comes together
  3. Lightly flour your hands to prevent sticking, then roll the dough into 12 small balls
  4. Use your fingers to gently press them into the bottom and up sides of a 12 hole mini muffin tin
  5. Chill in the fridge while you make the filling
  6. Toast the pecans in a dry frying pan for 3-5 minutes until lightly toasted and smelling aromatic. Cool a little
  7. Reserve 12 of them, then roughly chop the rest
  8. Whisk the remaining ingredients with a pinch of salt, then stir in chopped pecans
  9. Bake the pastry cases for 5 minutes, then remove them from the oven. If pastry has puffed up gently press down
  10. Spoon 1-2tsp of filling into the pastry cases, then top each with a whole pecan
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust turns golden and filling is set
  12. Leave to cool a little in tin. Eat warm on their own, or with cream whipped up with maple syrup
The Dorrell’s Christmas Dinner

Tomato Loaf


  • 1 large onion
  • Corn oil
  • 4oz tomatoes
  • 1tsp Marmite
  • 1tsp mixed herbs (dried)
  • 2ox oats
  • 2ozwholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 4oz grated cheese
  • seasoning


  1. Heat oven to 2000C/4000F Gas mark 6
  2. Peel and chop onion, cook in oil until tender
  3. Skin and chop the tomatoes, stir into the onions
  4. Mix in Marmite, herbs, oats, breadcrumbs and seasoning
  5. Beat together the eggs and cheese
  6. Stir into other ingredients
  7. Bake in a deep roasting tin or pyrex dish for 35-45 minutes