Let’s Jazz Up Ye Olde Christmas Goodies With A Little Creativity

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How many times have you consumed a mince pie? I’m going to guess enough that the thought of mince pies again this year is a little distressing. It’s time for a change, it’s time to ditch the classics and start going wild! Why not try a mince pie babka or maybe some festive cinnamon & mince pie fudge; both have the soul of a mince pie but with a little twist.

Mince Pie Babka

(serves 8)

Ingredients:

  • 275g plain flour
  • 5g fast-action dried yeast
  • 25g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 50ml whole milk
  • 80g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g mincemeat

Method:

  1. Tip the flour into the bowl, add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the sugar and salt to the other side.
  2. Make a well in the centre and pour in the eggs and milk then mix until firm.
  3. Keep mixing and add butter gradually to the mix; allow the butter to fully combine before adding more.
  4. Once you have added all the butter, knead the dough on a floured work surface until you have a ball of smooth dough.
  5. Now roll the dough into a 40x30cm rectangular sheet and spread the mincemeat thickly, leaving a 1cm border.
  6. Roll into a tight spiral and neatly cut 2cm off each end then cut down the middle of the spiral, lengthways, so you have two long strands.
  7. Now take the two strands facing upwards and gently press the top end of each strand together then lift the right strand over the left strand and repeat until the entire strands are twisted to make a two-strand plait.
  8. Finish by pressing the other two ends together to seal then place in a greased loaf tin and leave to prove for 2 hours covered in cling film.
  9. 15 minutes before the end of proving, heat the oven to 190˚C. When the babka has finished proving bake for 15 minutes then reduce to 170˚C and bake for a further 25-30 minutes.
  10. Once baked, leave to cool then enjoy!

Festive Mince Pie Fudge

 (makes 36)

Ingredients:

  • 400g caster sugar
  • 397g condensed milk
  • 140g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp mincemeat
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

  1. Line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment.
  2. Place the sugar, condensed milk and butter in a saucepan and heat for approximately 20-30 minutes on a medium heat until the mixture turns a caramel colour.
  3. Once the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract, cinnamon and mincemeat.
  4. Mix thoroughly until combined, then pour into the prepared tin and leave to set for 2 hours. DON’T PUT IN THE FRIDGE/FREEZER, IT WILL DRY OUT THE FUDGE.
  5. Once cooled, cut into squares and enjoy!
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