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December 2, 2018 – Published in Design & Decor Winter 2018 issue

Christmas recipes with a twist


Words: Liz Said  

Photography: Nikki Arnett

(All ingredients in the recipes may be purchased from Scotts Supermarket)

AH Christmas! I just love it! I like planning and preparing for the big day. My only disappointment is that it is over too quickly.

I have tried to keep away from the traditional Christmas recipes, but still kept the festive twist. I believe that no one should feel left out at this special time of the year, so I have prepared something for everyone.

Brussels sprouts are usually served as a side dish, but I have transformed them into an elegant starter which even someone, who like me doesn’t like them, will find very tasty. The Mushroom and Chestnut soup is sure to appeal to vegetarians. Instead of a turkey, I stuffed a duck. To make it easier to carve, I had it boned by the butcher at Scotts, who also prepared some pork and apricot sausage meat, to add to the rest of the stuffing ingredients. As a main for vegetarians, I have the potato and spinach cake, which makes a change from the usual nut loaf. The side dishes are also slightly different and once again there is one for vegetarians as well.

One can’t get more Christmassy then with the chocolate profiteroles, dressed up as mini Christmas puddings and the red pomegranate rubies on the gluten free cake.




  • 350g (4-6) satsumas

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 6 large eggs

  • 250g light muscovado sugar

  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

  • 300g ground almonds

  • 2 pomegranates

  • 1 tsp orange flower water

  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

  • 4 tbsp apricot jam


  1. Put the whole unpeeled satsumas and the cinnamon sticks in a pan, cover with cold water, and bring to the boil; reduce the heat and simmer covered, for 1 ½ hours, then drain the fruit, remove the cinnamon sticks and leave to cool for 30 minutes.

  2. Halve the cooked fruit, remove the pips and puree the fruit, including the peel.

  3. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/Gas4; grease and line a 23cm round cake tin and very important that it is about 9cm deep.

  4. Whisk the eggs with an electric mixer, together with 225g sugar in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, for about 5 minutes until pale and mousse-like; take the bowl off the heat and add the baking powder, ground almonds and the puree; fold in gently but thoroughly.

  5. Transfer the mixture to the tin and bake the cake for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven to 160˚C/Gas3 and bake for another 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean; take the cake out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  6. To make the syrup, cut one of the pomegranates in half and squeeze to extract the juice; pour the juice into a small saucepan, add the remaining 25g sugar and bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes; cool slightly, but it should still be warm; stir in the orange flower water and vanilla.

  7. Using a brush, soak the cake with the warm pomegranate syrup to make the glaze, heat the apricot jam with two tablespoons water; pass through a fine sieve and use to brush all over the cake, including the sides just before serving cut the remaining pomegranate in half and remove the seeds; scatter them over the top of the cake and dust with icing sugar.

 See more recipes from Design & Decor Winter 2018 issue 

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