Christmas Orange Salad with Spiced Cranberries

Roasts with rivers of gravy, creamy cheese, followed by a big batch of cakes and puddings… Christmas food is nothing if not indulgent.

But it absolutely doesn’t have to be like that all the way. As for most things in life, it’s all about balance.

Christmas orange salad with spiced cranberries | Cake + WhiskyChristmas orange salad with spiced cranberries | Cake + Whisky

A crunchy brussel sprout slaw with the turkey. Plenty of fresh and dried fruit on your cheese board. And a tiny slice of pudding with this little wonder of a Christmas orange salad on the side.

Christmas orange salad with spiced cranberries | Cake + Whisky Christmas orange salad with spiced cranberries | Cake + Whisky

Bursting with festive flavours, yet still zesty and fresh, it’s the perfect way to end your Christmas meal…

So squeeze your chance & make this Christmas meal your zestier yet!

Christmas orange salad with spiced cranberries

Christmas Orange Salad with Spiced Cranberries (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 6 oranges or 8 tangerines
  • 1 big handful fresh cranberries
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 green cardamom pods or 1 black cardamom pod, slightly crushed
  • 1 small handful raisins
  • 5 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 300ml water

1. In a small saucepan, place the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, raisins and water. Bring to a small boil and simmer for 10 min. Add the sugar, reduce the heat and cook until it start thickening.

2. Add the cranberries into the syrup and cook until they just start to rumple. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely.

3. Using a knife, cut off the peel and white pith from the oranges. Cut them in thin slices and arrange on a serving dish.

4. Top with the spiced cranberries and raisins and drizzle with a bit of the spiced cooking syrup. Serve immediately.

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Christmas Orange Salad with Spiced Cranberries

Eastern Mess

Eton Mess might not be the prettiest of puddings (the clue is in the name) but it’s the ultimate Summer pud’.

Fresh, sweet, zingy, creamy… when done right, it’s pudding perfection.

Eastern Mess, a vibrant twist on the classic Eton Mess | Cake + Whisky Eastern Mess, a vibrant twist on the classic Eton Mess | Cake + WhiskyEastern Mess, a vibrant twist on the classic Eton Mess | Cake + WhiskyEastern Mess, a vibrant twist on the classic Eton Mess | Cake + Whisky

The following recipe is a bit of an Eastern twist on the classic Eton Mess.

Eastern Mess, a vibrant twist on the classic Eton Mess | Cake + Whisky Eastern Mess, a vibrant twist on the classic Eton Mess | Cake + WhiskyEastern Mess, a vibrant twist on the classic Eton Mess | Cake + Whisky

Boasting coconut, cardamom and rose syrup, it’s vibrant, refreshing and very deserving of its ‘Eastern Mess’ name!

Eastern Mess, a vibrant twist on the classic Eton Mess | Cake + Whisky

Eastern Mess (serves 2)

Ingredients: 250g strawberries, 1 big meringue, 1 can coconut cream, seed of 1 green cardamom pod (crushed), rose syrup, a few sprigs of fresh mint

1. Scoop the ‘solid’ part of the coconut cream can into a big bowl, then whisk until it forms soft peaks, then whisk in the crushed cardamom seeds.

2. Wash, dry and chop the strawberries.

3. Crush the meringue into bite-sized bits.

(steps 1, 2 and 3 can be made in advance, just keep everything in the fridge until you’re ready to serve!)

4. Pile up the different ingredients into a glass cup, finishing up with a drizzle of rose syrup and a fresh mint sprig on top and serve immediately.

Eastern Mess

Orange and Cardamom Galette des Rois

Eating super healthy might make sense after the whole Christmas over-eating. That’s what sensible people would do.

But the French think otherwise. On the other side of the Channel, January is the season for Galettes des Rois (Kings cake).

Orange & Cardamom Galette des Rois | Cake + Whisky

Traditonally eaten for Epiphany on January 6th, Galette des Rois is an indulgent puff pastry and almond cream pie (frangipane).

It contains a porcelain figurine, and the person who receives it becomes King or Queen.

But with great powers (and any paper crown) comes great responsabilities and the newly crowned monarch will have to offer his/her people a drink or host the next king cake party, hence the whole shebang lasting well onto January… (but then it means more cake, so why would I complain?)

Orange & Cardamom Galette des Rois | Cake + Whisky

Orange & Cardamom Galette des Rois (serves 6-8)

Ingredients: 1 block of all-butter puff pastry, 60g butter, 125g ground almonds, 125g caster sugar, 3 eggs, zest of an orange, 4 cardamom pods (shell removed and crushed into a fine powder), 1 egg yolk

1. Heat the oven to 200C/fanC180

2. Divide the puff pastry in half, roll out each piece and cut into a 25cm round. Put one round on a baking sheet.

3. Beat together the softened butter and caster sugar. Stir in the ground almonds, orange zest and crushed cardamom seeds, then beat in the 3 eggs.

4. Spoon the mixture over the pastry, spreading it evenly. Brush the edges of the pastry with water, then cover with the second piece, pressing the edges to seal.

5. Mark the top of the pastry from the centre to the edges like the spokes of a wheel, then brush with the beaten egg yolk.

6. Bake for 25-30 mins until crisp and golden.

Orange and Cardamom Galette des Rois

Winter Chai Rice Pudding

There’s nothing quite as depressing as how shorter days get this time of the year.

So I try to cheer myself up the best way I know how: with gallons of pumpkin soup and a generous sprinkle of winter spices in everything else I cook.

And rice pudding is no exception!

Combining traditional Indian chai flavours with the warmth of traditional European winter-y spices, this super-comforting Winter Chai Rice Pudding is my new go-to dessert!

Winter Chai Rice Pudding | Cake + Whisky

Winter Chai Rice Pudding (serves 6-8)

Ingredients: 1 small glass of Arborio rice, 2-3 pints of whole milk, 3 cs of runny honey, 1 vanilla pod, 3 slightly curshed cardamom seeds, 1 star anise, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1. Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan

2. Cook on low heat stirring regularly until the rice is no longer crunchy (about 30-35 min)

3. Serve warm or cold (and with some red berry coulis if you’re feeling so inclined)

What’s your favourite recipe to beat the winter blues? 

Winter Chai Rice Pudding