In Praise of Cheating

Valentine's caramel chocolate tart

I’m going to make some wild assertions on love and romance, and then I’m going to tell you to cheat. And I’m going to finish it all off with a chocolate and caramel tart that would make the angels weep. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Cranachan Shortbread Sandwich

Cranachan shortbread

It may seem churlish to find a problem with cranachan; as if I’m trawling perfectly acceptable British classics, and picking holes in them. But I promise you this isn’t change for change’s sake.

This isn’t desconstructing a crumble or reconstructing an eton mess or, god forbid, spiralising sprouts for your Christmas lunch. Really, it is enabling cranachan consumption. I will come clean: I am a cranachan enabler. This recipe simply provides a buttery, crumbly vehicle to enable you to eat more cranachan, quicker.

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Leftovers Pie for Boxing Day

Leftovers pie

I’m going to keep this short, because if you have flung yourself into the festivities, or simply survived them, and are now sizing up piles of leftovers wearily and warily, the last thing you want to do is read a blog post. If that’s not the case, please feel free to trawl my archives and fill your boots. But it’s important not to waste valuable Quality-Street-eating or telly-gazing time on blog-based mirth. So know this: this Leftovers Pie will save your Boxing Day.

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Fudging It: Last Minute Christmas Ginger and Cherry Fudge

I wish I were someone who was organised and neat, someone who excelled at making organised and neat lists, and then methodically ticking off each item on completion. But that will never be me.

And that is why, despite my best efforts, I found myself in Newcastle on a rainy Northumberland Street on 22nd December trying to decide whether I should spend £15 on a jar of pork scratchings, or just scratch my own eyes out and be done with it.

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Christmas Anxiety Brownies

Chocolate orange anxiety brownies

For the last week I have had acute Christmas anxiety. So I made brownies. Christmas brownies. The best brownies, possibly, that you will ever taste.

When I say ‘Christmas anxiety’, I don’t mean indecision over which cheeses to buy, or what to wear for Christmas Day, or even whether I’ve bought particularly rubbish presents (although, also all of those).

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Nutella Snowflake Bread

Nutella snowflake bread

The bits of Christmas I like most are the stolen quiet moments. And in those quiet moments, I make Nutella Snowflake Bread.

Please do not think this is an invective against Christmas. I love Christmas. I love the sparkling lights and bright colours and traditions and organised fun. I do, really.

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