Plum Tarte Tartin with Mulled Wine Amaze-Glaze

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I’ve never been much of a baker (which you can probably tell by the disproportionate lack of sweet vs savoury recipes on tidymunch) and to be honest, I’d generally rather have a starter than a dessert. I do have a tiny bit of a sweet tooth now and again, though, and at Christmas I like to present a three course menu to you… so here you have this year’s dessert!

As usual, I wanted something a bit “different” but something that also references the traditions and themes of Christmas. Wracking my brains, I figured plum pudding would be a fairly traditional dessert, but with so much food to be consumed in the rest of the day, wouldn’t it be a bit on the heavy side? (One of the reasons I usually avoid Christmas Pudding!) So what about a tart? That could be nice and light, right? I scoured the interwebs, and tarte tartins came out tops…. I found a recipe that included spiced red wine, and that just screamed mulled wine to me (sue me if this isn’t quite accurate :p) and what’s more Christmassy than mulled wine?

Little did I realise that tarte tartins aren’t exactly easy! That’s the bad news… the good news is that even if you don’t get it quite right, this will taste amazing anyway! Go on, give it a whirl, I did, and even although I wasn’t 100% happy with the final outcome, it got rave reviews from six hungry co-workers!


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Apricot & Ginger Glazed Ham

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This one maybe isn’t quite as “alternative” as you’d expect from me, but no matter what’s on the Christmas Day menu, I always insist on having “nice ham” as well! I did want something slightly different from the joints you’d pick up easily in the supermarket, though, so I scoured the internet and found this (not-so) little beauty. It fed 5 people in work, me twice, and there’s still at least half sliced up in my freezer!


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Naughty & Nice Ferrero Rocher Cake

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In the month of December, I’ve wanted to try putting together an alternative Christmas Menu that calls upon traditional flavours, but with a modern twist. For dessert, I wanted something a bit lighter than the normal Christmas pudding. I’d been thinking along the lines of a plum Panna Cotta or something like that, until Jay (who needs to tweet more) declared “it’s gotta be something to do with Ferrero Rocher!”

Ferrero Rocher has undoubtedly become one of the UKs newest Christmas traditions in the last two or three decades (how long does it take for something to be considered a tradition?), and one that my household certainly embraced. Since I was a little boy, I always received these amazing little sweets at Christmas time. I can remember only one Christmas without them, which brought tears, great heartache, and much questioning over Santa’s existence. It never happened again after that, as let’s face it… nobody wants to see a man in his thirties reduced to tears on Christmas Day.

I can’t take any credit for creating this recipe… I found it on the interwebs, and felt compelled to try it as it was… this is a straight take on that recipe.

Now the original recipe calls this a mousse, but I don’t think my technique was great; I’ve never made a mousse and seem to have battered all the air out of it. It’s somewhat more dense, and has the consistency of a cheesecake without the cheese. That said, it’s still light, but don’t let that fool you! There’s so much chocolate and cream in here that it’s incredibly decadent. It’s so rich that you probably won’t need (or want) a large serving of it, but on the taste and luxury front, it’s a perfect way to round off your Christmas Dinner!


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