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Christmas Recipe
Season of Sweetness>
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The spirit of Christmas will be enhanced with these desserts of mellow sweetness. With the readily available ingredients, they are easy to make and are packed with ecstatic flavours.

Festive Rocky Road

350g melted white chocolate
150g white marshmallow cut into pieces with kitchen scissors
1/2 cup pistachio nuts unsalted, shelled
2/3 cup dried cranberries
150g green macarons (unfilled or filled)
• Line a 20cm square tin (8") with tin foil.

• In a large bowl mix the melted white chocolate, marshmallows, pistachio nuts and dried cranberries until evenly coated. Add the macarons and    carefully mix in.

• Spread into the prepared tin and leave until set. Once set turn out of the tray, remove the tin foil and use a sharp clean knife to cut into pieces.
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 ½ cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tsp molasses
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

225 g cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon

• Preheat to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with baking cup liners.

• In a large bowl, sift together flour and spices; set aside.

• Cream the butter and sugar until light, about 3 minutes. Beat in the molasses until incorporated. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Add    flour and mix on low speed until just combined.

• Fill the cupcake papers three-quarters full, making sure that the batter is divided evenly. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of    them comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cupcakes cool on a wire rack 10 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

• To make the cinnamon cream frosting, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Add cinnamon and vanilla extract and beat    until combined.

• Place frosting into a large decorators decorating bag fitted with the 1M decorating tip and approximately 1/4? above cupcake top at a 90° angle    to cupcake surface, pipe a spiral of icing, beginning at the outer edge and working inward.
Easy Fruitcake

250 g butter
250 ml sugar
250 ml water
250 g dates
500 g mixed dried fruits (figs, apricots, prunes...)
10 ml bicarb dissolved in a little warm water (baking soda)

25 ml brandy
10 ml baking powder
500 ml flour
2 eggs, beaten
100 g nuts (almonds, walnuts...)
100 g cherries

- Line a round cake tin with 2 parchment papers and set aside. Bring butter, sugar water, dates and mixed dried fruits to a boil in 250 ml water for   about 20 minutes making sure they don’t burn. Allow to cool.

- To the same pot, add baking powder dissolved in water, brandy, flour, eggs, nuts and cherries.

- Mix thoroughly and pour into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 2 hours at 140 c.

- Insert a skewer to see if the cake is done. Allow to cool.

Strawberry and Chocolate Trifle

1 readymade sponge cake
2 tbsp vanilla flavoured custard powder
200 g semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
300 ml milk
2 tbsp caster sugar

300 ml fresh cream
350 g strawberries, sliced
4 tbsp strawberry preserve (or jam)
6 tbsp brandy (you can use rum, sherry or vodka)

1, Cut the sponge into small squares and sandwich them together with the jam.

2, Line a deep glass bowl with the prepared sponge squares. Now, pour over the brandy.

3, Place half the strawberries over the soaked sponge and allow it to rest in the refrigerator.

4, In a sauce pan, bring custard powder, milk and sugar to boil. Boil until thick.

5, Stir in the chopped chocolate and continue stirring till it has been incorporated.

6, Pour the prepared sauce over the strawberry layer and leave it back in the refrigerator.

7, Whip the fresh cream until firm peaks. Spread over the chocolate layer.

8, Decorate the top with remaining strawberry slices and chill it till you serve.

Holiday Eggnog

12 egg yolks
5 whole cloves
4 cups milk
4 cups fresh cream

1 cup caster sugar
2 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1, In a saucepan over low heat, blend the milk, cinnamon, cloves and half a teaspoon of the vanilla.

2, Keep stirring while the mixture heats, and remove from heat just before boiling.

3, In a bowl, mix together sugar and egg yolks. Pour in the milk mixture while whisking.

4, Transfer mixture to saucepan over medium heat while continuing to stir. Keep stirring until mixture starts to resemble custard. Don't let boil.

5, Pour and strain the mixture into a pitcher, making sure to remove cloves.

6, Let pitcher stand in refrigerator for approximately 1 to 2 hours.

7, Gently stir in the cream, remaining vanilla extract and ground nutmeg.

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