Xmas Recipes

Last month we shared with you the secret to the perfect roast potato and a to-die for nut roast recipe. Now that you have that cracked – let’s dive into the world of gravy, honey roasted veggies and the REAL ultimate christmas dessert – Sticky Toffee Pudding! 

Wild mushroom & Madeira wine gravy

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 whole shallots , peeled
  • 1 large carrot , peeled and chopped
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 30g dried wild mushrooms
  • ½ tbsp light brown soft sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100ml madeira wine 
  • 700ml fresh vegetable stock


Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the shallots, carrot, thyme, bay leaves and dried mushrooms and fry over a medium heat for 5-7 mins or until deep golden brown. Scatter over the sugar and cook until beginning to caramelise. Stir in the flour and combine well, then add the balsamic vinegar, tomato purée and madeira wine and cook for 2 mins. Pour over the stock a little at a time, stirring as you go.


Simmer everything together, uncovered, for 30 mins or until you have a fairly thick gravy. Sieve into a clean saucepan. Season to taste and warm through when ready to serve. Leave to cool completely, then freeze for up to three months or chill for up to three days. Reheat thoroughly in a pan to serve.


On the day – pour whatever extra cooking juices you have into the gravy, 1 boat from the Turkey / Gammon, and 1 boat from the roast veggie tray to keep it vegan – there’ll be plenty for both! 

Honey Roasted Vegetables for 4

  • 8 Carrots 
  • 6 Parsnips 
  • 4 Sweet Potato
  • 2 Beetroot 
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 4 or 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 150ml Vegetable Oil 
  • Vegetable Stock cube
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tbsp Thyme 
  • Salt + Pepper to taste 

Oven 180℃ Fan


Spread a light layer of vegetable oil in a large baking tray adding in a small amount of dried rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and finely chopped garlic. Pour a generous helping of oil into a jug and stir in the rest of the herbs, garlic and veggie stock. 


Chop all the veggies into regular-ish rounds, sticks and squares and then toss into your prepared baking tray. Cover the vegetables with the rest of the oil mixture and toss until you get an even coating. If someone (grandad) in your family eats whole roasted garlic cloves, peel some and chuck them in too – they will love you for it. 


Chuck in the oven for 20 minutes. Then remove from the oven and coat with 2-3 tablespoons of honey. Pop them back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until they are cooked to how you like them. If the veg is starting to look too crispy, either remove or pop some kitchen foil over the top to keep moisture in. 


Sticky Toffee Pudding and Toffee sauce

  • 8 ounces chopped pitted dried dates
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 2/3 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda


Grease a muffin tray, loaf tin or Bundt pan and lightly flour, then set aside. Turn the oven on to 180 (fan).


Add the chopped dates and water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for a couple of minutes. Let stand for a few minutes while preparing the rest of the batter.


Cream together the butter brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the molasses and golden syrup and beat well.


Sift together the flour and baking powder, then add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture a third at a time, mixing until smooth after each addition.


Puree the date mixture in a food processor or blender before mixing in the baking soda. Add this hot mixture immediately to the batter and mix until smooth.


Pour batter into your well-greased and floured loaf tin / Bundt pan / muffin tray and bake for about 18 – 20 minutes at 180 until the centre is just firm and a knife poked in the centre comes out clean. Serve straight away with vanilla ice cream / double cream / custard and toffee sauce.

For the toffee sauce:

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


Very gently melt butter and sugar and syrups, then add the cream and vanilla and bring all of the ingredients to a slow rolling boil for about 2 min before serving over the baked puddings.


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