'Tis the season for chestnuts roasting on an open fire and jack frost nipping (rather relentlessly) at your toes. The scent of open fires and woodland walks, it really is the most wonderful time of the year! Once your wreath is up on the door and tree chopped down or wrestled from the loft, out come those questionable handmade decorations and wonderful Christmas candles. Psst.. our favourites this time of year include Hedgerow Berries, Cinnamon & Orange and Fig & Ginger.
Whether your Christmas starts with early-morning chants of "Santa's been!", a festive grunt from a sleepy teenager or a well-deserved tranquil snooze, when we wake up on the 25th December we've all got one thing in mind: Making time spent with the in-laws (debatably) worth it, the drifting scent of Christmas dinner is something we all hold fondly in our hearts.
Regrettably, our waistlines would not forgive us for munching on Yorkshire puds and pigs in blankets for the whole month of December... no matter how many times we tell each other we've been to the gym. The next best thing? Well, here at Sophie Allport we've swapped out our office snacks and variably successful baking challenges, to cater for festive cravings!
Here are two top scoring recipes that'll pair perfectly with your next elevensies, matched flawlessly with this season's most divine scents.
Orange & Cinnamon Viennese Whirls
Ingredients (makes approximately 16 depending on size):
250g soft butter
60g icing sugar
250g plain flour
Zest of 2 oranges
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
150ml double cream
Orange curd (optional)
- Ensure the butter is very soft, cream this together with the icing sugar until very light and fluffy.
- Then add the other ingredients and mix through. Be careful not to over mix at this stage.
- Place into a piping bag (with a decorative nozzle if desired) and pipe either small rounds or longer ‘cats tongue’ biscuits.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until just beginning to brown.
- Cool and store in an airtight container.
- If eating, whisk up double cream until pipeable and sandwich with orange curd.
Roasted Figs with a No Bake Ginger Cheesecake
Wonderfully created by Seasoned Cookery School
Ingredients (Serves 4):
200g cream cheese
200ml double cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
1 piece of stem ginger, finely diced
1 tablespoon of ginger syrup from the jar
8 digestive biscuits
4 tbsp caster sugar
4 ripe figs
2 pieces of stem ginger, cut into matchsticks
- Make the biscuit base by blitzing the digestives to a crumb. Place the sugar in a frying pan and slowly heat to form a light caramel, add the biscuits and butter and coat. Turn out to cool and bash up if required.
- Cut a cross shape in the top of each fig & place in a baking tray with the ginger syrup and stem ginger matchsticks over the top. Cook for 10-15 mins (dependant on the size of the figs) until soft & juicy.
- For the cheesecake, whisk the cream with icing sugar to form light peaks. Beat the cream cheese in a separate bowl, add the cream, stem ginger and combine.
To serve, place spoons of the mixture alongside the figs and crumb, then drizzle with a touch more stem ginger syrup, before tucking in!
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Not a natural in the kitchen? Take a peek at Seasoned Cookery School's inspiration for all abilities.