Thursday, 8 December 2011


Ok, I'm really getting into christmas now and I love love love this recipe!  It's got it all - quick and easy to make, tastes delish and looks fabulous.  Apart from the final bake, there's no cooking, just assembling and all the ingredients you can just have in, brilliant if great aunt Beryl drops by unexpectedly.

2 Pkts Croissant Dough
1 Apple thinly sliced
1/2 Jar Mincemeat
200g Full Fat Cream Cheese
60g Icing Sugar

Icing Sugar & Cinnamon to dust

Mix together the cream cheese and icing sugar.

Arrange the dough on your baking sheet in a ring with the short sides joining together and the long sides pointing out like a sun.  Press the joining edges together slightly. 

Spread half the mincemeat on the dough topped with the sliced apple then the cream cheese mixture.  Finish it off with the remaining mincemeat.  Don't worry too much if you use a little more than half the jar, it will just be a little richer.

Now bring the points of your dough over the top of the filling into the centre tucking the ends under to form a wreath.  It sounds more complicated than it actually is.

Cook for 25 minutes at 180C.  Remove from the oven and dust with icing sugar and cinnamon.  

As it's christmas I also added a bit of edible glitter and some snowflake sprinkles.  You could also try it with some icing sugar mixed with a little lemon juice drizzled over the top.

Monday, 5 December 2011


I've just had a lovely start to Christmas at the Ashton Park Christmas Fair and shall be doing it all again this weekend at Hoylake Chapel Christmas Market    

Dec 10th 11.00am to 5.00pm Christmas Market
Arts & Crafts, Food Stalls, Charity Stalls & a Winter Barbecue

I shall have Pies Scones Cakes & Samosas
and if anyone still wants me to sign their 'Bake Off' books in time for christmas, I'm happy to do so

See you all there x

Saturday, 3 December 2011


I always find making pie's a rather satisfying.  It's such a homely comforting thing to do and I get a real sense of achievement from doing it. This recipe is not a particularly christmassy one but it's good to have in reserve over the festive season.  You can make it ahead and have it in the freezer for those days when you've been too busy because you're out christmas shopping or hung over from the works doo and can't face having to think about what to cook.  It's great hot or cold so you could also have it as part of your boxing day splatter or in the summer on a picnic.

I've made one giant one here, in fact, I doubled up the recipe and made two so I'd have another in reserve.  You could of course make the more traditional individual pasties if you wanted.

Heat  the oven to 160c fan.  Make your pastry with 300g Plain Flour.  Rub in 100g Butter/Margarine and 50g white fat like Cookeen.  This gives you a shorter more crisp pastry.  When you have the bread crumb finish, add enough cold water to bring it together to a dough.  Tip in onto a floured surface and knead slightly till it's smooth.

Now line am 8/9" cake tin with the pastry leaving a bit of an over hanging edge.  When you add your filling the pastry will draw in slightly so leaving an overhang ensures you have enough for your crimping.  

Next prepare your filling.  Thinly slice 3 medium potatoes and 200g swede.  Slicing them thinly means they will cook with ease.   Season 500g steak mince with 1 tbsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp mace 1/2 tsp salt and add 1 large onion finely chopped.  Now layer your filling into the lined tin starting with 1/3 of the potato and swede then 1/3 of the meat.  Repeat the layers till all your filling is in.  To finish your pie, trim the overhanging edge and brush it with a little water.  Top the pie with a pastry lid,  pressing the edges together.  Give it a lovely crimp and any other embellishments you like, personally I can't resist a bit of lettering, then brush with beaten egg and make a couple of steam holes with a knife.

The pie should take about 1hr 30 mins to bake, individual pasties will be around 45mins.

Thursday, 1 December 2011


OK, it is officially the start of the count down to Christmas, we have opened No.1 on the advent calendar and I am panicking even more about the lack of christmas shopping I have done.  

What better way to kick off the festivities that a giveaway.  To help you with your shopping I have the perfect gift CHOCOLATE!

Thanks to the extremely generous Bala Croman from The Chocolate Cellar in Liverpool I have a very chocolatey give away for you all.

I have 1Kg of 70% Belgian Chocolate and if that's not enough there is also a bottle of Rubis Chocolate Velvet Ruby wine.  This wine has the most sumptuous and decadent taste, rather like a dessert wine with a touch of caramel and rich chocolate.

I was very excited to get my hands on the chocolate wine and thought long and hard about a suitably luxurious recipe that would do justice to such an extravagant ingredient.  In the end I decided it would have to be poached pears.  Pears lend themselves brilliantly to chocolate and poaching them in red wine  
 is a classic.  I've also added a bit more christmas with some star anise and it worked big time.

First peel 6 Pears but keep them whole with the stalk intact.  I used fat juicy ripe ready to eat pears.  Using hard pears means they will need to cook for longer.  If you can be bothered you could core them too but it's not crucial. Put the whole bottle of chocolate wine (minus that sip you had) in a saucepan with 230g Sugar and 2 Whole Star Anise.  Warm this through till the sugar has melted then gently lower in the pears ensuring they are covered in the wine.  Cover the pan with a lid and poach for 30 minutes. Once the pears are tender and cooked through, remove them from the pan and simmer the wine till it has reduced by half.  Leave it to cool and it will become thick and syrupy.

Serve the pears with a little syrup poured over them and whipped cream or ice-cream.

To Enter this giveaway simply take a photograph of yourself covered in chocolate....oh no, that's not right, sorry!

You need to do one or more of the following:

  a) Follow this Blog and leave a comment telling me what you would make with the chocolate and or wine.

  b) For another chance of winning,  LIKE my Facebook page - Yasmin Limbert - Pieces of Rainbow and let me know you are entering this giveaway.
c) And just incase you want to enter 3 times, Follow Yasmin Limbert on Twitter and leave me a tweet letting me know you've entered.  

Good luck to you all.

I shall be drawing the winner at random on Friday 9th December.