Nougat is one of my Christmas favourites. I’ll always add it to a gift hamper if I can, and I certainly enjoy having it in the snack box for the festive season. The Thermomix® nougat is different to a shop bought one – it is a bit softer than a commercially made one (because this recipe goes to 100c. If you were using sugar on the stove top you could go as high as 155c and you’d have a firmer nougat.
It’s that time of year again where we decorate a gingerbread house, a tradition for us, now. Every year we scour the shelves for the best sweets for decorating a gingerbread house, so here are the top retro sweets we love using.
Strings ‘n’ things
I like string sweets for the gingerbread house because they can as easily make up the roofing as determine the outline of the garden path. Any number of belts, laces, cables or pencil sweets would work well laid side by side for the roof, guttering or outlines of the house. They also make a nice pathway from the door to the edge of the board, making a path that can be lined with other sweets. Or use the super thin laces to frame doors and windows.
Another good option for ‘roofing’ on a gingerbread house is anything that can be made into tiles. It’s a bit of work, but can look spectacular! If you have a steady hand you can slice fudge thinly and use the square tiles to cover the roof. Marshmallows could work well too, if you cut them roughly evenly. So can round chocolate coins or white or brown ‘gems’ (sometimes known as jazzies) for a very colourful roof.
No gingerbread house is complete without a garden, so make sure to save some sweets for the ‘outdoors’ area. You can have anything from a green coconut summery garden to a winter scape. Use cookie cutters to make biscuits – gingerbread people, stars, Christmas trees, reindeer and anything else you can imagine can adorn the garden space. Add trees or santas made from icing sugar (usually used to decorate cakes), little toadstool sweets or miniature sized Christmas table decorations. For the super sweet toothed, you could even do a candy-paving with swirly-lolly ‘trees’.
Add candy canes, a few details to the windows and doors – silver balls, jelly babies, jelly tots and other small sweets all work well for adding little details, and before you know it – you have a beautiful gingerbread house.
A few days ago, on one of my myriad of Facebook groups for Thermomix® users, someone asked for a recipe for Candy Cane Vodka, and I thought “What a great idea!” I’ve already made strawberry vodka and Christmas Spiced Vodka for this Christmas, but I love the idea of a candy cane vodka too, so had to give it a go.
There are loads of recipes online for how to make Candy Cane Vodka, and one of the things to keep in mind is that no two candy cane brands are created equal, so the candy cane you use could affect the outcome and whether you need more or less. Also, if you use a more ‘organic’ or ‘healthy’ candy cane, the pink colour won’t show as well, and you’ll need to add some red food colouring.
You don’t need the same infusing time as you might with a fruit based vodka, and recipes online suggest anything from a couple of hours to four days and beyond. I can’t see this going bad for months (if ever!) so make it in advance if you can and let it infuse as best you can – but try it after a few hours or days to see how it’s doing.
If you use a Thermomix® or a food processor you can pulverise the candy canes into a powder (10 seconds/speed 10), but if you’re not in a hurry to drink it, you can also just break the candy canes to size so that they will fit in a jar, and they will melt within a few hours anyway.
I used a jam funnel (just pull the middle bit out) to pour the powder into a different bottle – this is a small 350ml sized vodka, and I used a 500ml bottle so that there’s room for shaking and mixing.
As for ratio, I decided on roughly 15g candy cane per 100ml Vodka, so 40 – 50g candy cane in a 350ml bottle of Vodka, or 85 – 105g in a 750ml bottle. It’s not an exact science though. If you have any undissolved you can filter it out through a coffee filter.
TIP: Pour the candy canes into a dry funnel, then pour the vodka through, otherwise it gets wet and clumps and blocks the funnel.
Place the bottle of Candy Cane Vodka somewhere you pass by frequently so you can give it a shake as often as you can.
You can serve within about 4 hours, but it’s best left for a few days or even weeks.
Make a cocktail with chocolate liquor, or spike your hot chocolate, or simply drink over ice. It’s been a long time since I was a neat Vodka drinker (Oh how that reminds me of my friend Luis, who’d know my mood by sniffing the contents of my glass whenever he found me sitting at the bar. He was the first to know my (then) boyfriend and I had split up because I was drinking neat Vodka. P.S. Don’t ever tell my children this story!), so I like adding lemonade or something else sweet. But that’s my preference.
- 40 - 50g Candy Canes (4 - 6 medium sized)
- 350ml Vodka (good quality)
- Crush the Candy Canes in a plastic bag. Use a mallet or rolling pin.
- (If using a Thermomix®: Add the Candy Canes to the Thermomix® and blitz 10 seconds/speed 10)
- Pour Candy Cane powder into a jar or bottle and top with the vodka
- Close and shake frequently, allowing flavours to combine for at least three days.
- Serve (or store in a sealed jar till ready for gifting)
A Very Thermie Christmas has a Christmas Spice Vodka and 50 other recipes for all your Thermomix® Christmas needs. With everything from snacks to meals, finger foods to festive drinks and DIY gifts A Very Thermie Christmas has your Christmas covered. Just £8.99 (excl VAT in EU) this printable PDF can be yours in minutes.
Cookies, or biscuits, if you will, are so synonymous with Christmas to me. My mom used to do a huge bake i the beginning of December somewhere, and I remember a lot of cookies through the month, always stored in old fashioned cake tins. That was always fun.
I love this recipe because it’s a little different to the ‘usual’ butter biscuits, with the addition of almond extract. You can try it with rum extract too.
The white fondant may need rolling out on a clean surface with a sprinkling of icing sugar, and left to set it’ll provide a lovely soft, pillowy counter point to the crunchy biscuits. I love these! My kids like decorating them with silver balls pressed into the surface, but I just think of broken teeth!
Even though you use the same shapes for cutting out the fondant in the baking and moving of the biscuits they may change shape a little, so use your fingers to ‘smooth out’ the edges of the fondant to fit perfectly over the biscuits.
- 230g Butter
- 340g Sugar
- 6 cups Plain Flour (780g)
- 6 Eggs
- 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 tablespoon Almond Extract
- 140g butter
- 280g icing sugar
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Add the butter and sugar to a food processor and mix till it is light and fluffy
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir till combined and a soft dough forms
- Place in the fridge for 1 hour, heat the oven to 180C, then roll out on a well floured surface
- Cut out shapes and move to an oven tray then back for 10 - 12 minutes until they are golden brown
- Meanwhile, role out some fondant and use the same cutters to cut matching shapes from the fondant. Set aside.
- Once the biscuits have cooled, mix the butter, icing sugar and milk together, and spread generously over the biscuits
- Top with the fondant shapes shaping them to fit on the biscuits
- Place gently in an airtight container and allow to set
- They should keep well for 1 - 2 weeks
- Place the butterfly whisk into the Thermomix® bowl and add the butter and sugar 3 minutes/speed 4. The butter should be light in colour and fluffy
- Remove the butterfly and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix together 30 seconds/speed 5
- Empty out onto cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour to make the dough easier to work with
- Remove from fridge, roll out the dough to about half an inch thick and cut into shapes
- Transfer onto a baking tray and continue until all the dough is used up
- Bake for 10—12 minutes at 180C till golden brown
- Store in an airtight container
A Very Thermie Christmas has this and 50 other recipes for all your Thermomix® Christmas needs. With everything from snacks to meals, finger foods to festive drinks and DIY gifts A Very Thermie Christmas has your Christmas covered. Just £8.99 (excl VAT in EU) this printable PDF can be yours in minutes.
It’s the gifting time of year and one of the bonuses of owning a Thermomix® is the ability to make things from scratch, often for less. Below is a list of over 100 recipes from plenty of bloggers around the world filled with ideas that can be turned into gifts for Christmas.
Don’t forget, if you want all your Christmas ideas in one place, A Very Thermie Christmas offers over 50 recipes for gifts, drinks, sweets, and foods to see you through the festive season.
Thermomix® Baked Goods:
The Thermomix® Diaries has a beautiful Hazelnut Shortbread Tree that would make a stunning host gift
Pinterest loves Tenina’s Snowy Peppermint Oreos and for good reason!
And another recipe from Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard that looks fantastic is the Chocolate Chip Short Bread. Doesn’t it look great?
Iron Chef Shellie has a Stollen recipe that looks superb. I’ve only tried stollen once and it didn’t turn out well, so I’m excited to try this recipe this year! Or go Italian with a Panettone recipe from Bec’s Table.
A Canadian Foodie has a recipe for Italian Biscotti with Almonds and Orange Zest
Mrs D Plus 3 has a Thermomix® Christmas Cake recipe based on Nigella Lawson’s cake
ThermOMG’s DIY Oreo’s look pretty delicious too!
Thermomix® Preserved Gifts – Jams, Relishes, Chutneys
Journal of a French Foodie’s offering of Cranberry and Red Onion Relish is a rich red colour and looks beautiful.
For the adventurous – and the bacon lovers – head over to Thermofun for Bacon Jam. Try it if you dare!
Cinnamon flavored Red-wine poached pears served with Nasturtium flowers look amazing – though possibly the wrong season for a winter Christmas as compared to a summer Christmas, but oh well. And you can try strawberries in cardamom syrup too.
Becs Table has an unusual looking, but delicious sounding Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate that I’m keen to try myself!
Clementine Vinegar sounds seasonally perfect for this time of year, and could it be any easier?!
Mrs D Plus 3 has a great fruit mince recipe that doesn’t contain lard, but does have dried cranberries and apple cider vinegar – it’s unusual but sounds delicious.
Thermomix® Seasonings & Sauces
Tenina has a Spiced Orange and Cranberry Sauce recipe for your festive ham or turkey, and Mouthwatering has a lovely cranberry and white wine sauce too. Thermomix®in’ it up has a mint sauce recipe that will go well with lamb. And Quirky’s BBQ sauce is always popular.
More than a sauce – a BBQ Sauce! – will be a great host gift, especially for those lucky enough to be having BBQ weather.
Super Kitchen Machine has a very interesting looking Salt Chocolate Bacon Bark
A Canadian Foodie has an amazing almond paste and pistachio paste recipe for making Lady Baltimore Cake – or whatever else you could want to do with these lovely pastes
Easy Caramel Fudge from Little Bit of Thyme is a good basic all rounder. Or if you’re looking for something amazing, there’s Super Kitchen Machine’s White Chocolate & Baileys Festive Fudge Recipe which looks very festive.
Jane from Why is there Air? has an amazing chocolate and strawberry rocky road recipe that we made last year. It’s a fantastic recipe!
The Creative Mummy has a Thermomix® Nougat Recipe that can only make for delicious gifts
Thermomix® Honeycomb couldn’t be simpler than this recipe from One Girl And Her Thermie.
The Bailey’s Surprise Recipe from One Crafty Mum make a great treat.
Helene from Super Kitchen Machine has this wonderful Chocolate Salami that is famous on the Facebook groups every year too.
Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard has a recipe for Rum Balls – a definite winner to have around for Christmas.
Quirky Cooking’s dairy free Salted Caramel Chocolates are good for making sure our dairy free friends don’t miss out.
Sea Salted Praline Pecan Clusters make a lovely snack for a cold evening, and Thermofun has just the recipe for you.
Apricot Bites from The Road To Loving My Thermo Mixer in a pretty jar are a healthier treat that still feels like the festive season.
Journal of a French Foodie has a recipe for Limoncello that’s definitely on my Christmas list
Easy Advocaat is an accustomed taste – Egg Liqueur – but it’s a great talking point for a gift too!
DIY Chai Tea makes a nice gift, but also a warming winter evening drink
Add Quirky’s moisturiser and you’re half way there.
Peta Lee from The Road to Loving My Thermo Mixer has a Chocolate Coconut Body Scrub that sounds amazing, and a lemon hand scrub that would be ideal for winter skin.
Tebasiles Kitchen also has a Calendula Salve that looks simple and easy to make
Recipes for children’s gifts
Coconut Ice is a winner for hampers as it lasts a long time, and this is a no cook version that’s great for kids to make.
TRTLMT has a lovely vanilla hot chocolate mix you can make up for gift jars
Thermomix® Playdough from ThermoFun will make for hands on, simple fun
I know you’re wondering what on earth I’m doing posting a Christmas recipe in August, but since I’m in the Northern Hemisphere, and it’s summer here, now’s the right time for me to test something I’ve been toying with in my mind for ages.
We spent last Christmas in Australia, and Christmas day was really very hot, as Perth is wont to be late December. I bought the Christmas pudding my mum used to buy and made her special brandy sauce and we ate our Christmas pudding – but we ate it because my mum used to make it and she wasn’t there anymore, but it lead me to thinking that it would be great to have the same flavours, but in a more seasonally appropriate fashion.
A quick Google showed me that my genius idea of brandy butter ice cream isn’t original (isn’t it sad when that happens 😉 ) but I looked at a few recipes, made some adjustments and came up with this below.
I don’t have an ice cream maker either – just to add to the complication, so you can make this recipe with any and all or absolutely no gadgets. As it happened, I also didn’t have butter, so had to first make that from some extra cream!
- 130g butter
- 100ml/95g brandy
- 300ml/300g milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 175g light soft brown sugar
- 150ml /150g double cream
- Christmas Pudding (as much as you have)
- Melt the butter on a stove till it's just browning, then remove it so it doesn't burn.
- Add the brandy and set aside to cool.
- Warm the milk in a pan, while you whisk the yolk and sugar till it is lighter in colour. Don't let the milk boil.
- Pour the hot milk over the sugar mixture, whisking continuously, then return to the saucepan set over a low heat. Cook for 3-4 mins, stirring the whole time until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.
- If you've whisked the sugar mixture in the Thermomix®, add the hot milk to the sugar mixture and cook on 60C/3:30mins/speed1. This should make a custard, thick enough to coat the spoon.
- Whisk the double cream to stiff peaks. Mix the brandy butter with the custard then mix in to the cream. Make sure it's all combined well, then put it in the freezer.
- If you have an ice cream maker, follow the instructions to make ice cream. If you don't, add it to your Thermomserver or any other dish and remove from the freezer every half hour to stir and break down all the crystals.
- After 5 times - about 2.5 hours - crumble the Christmas pudding into the ice cream mix together, and leave to set till you're ready to serve. (If you're using an ice cream maker, follow their instructions on adding bits.)
- Remove 10 - 15 minutes before serving, depending on your outside temperature, and enjoy.
This recipe features in A Very Thermie Christmas, where you can find it and 50 other recipes perfect for a Thermomix® assisted Christmas. Read more about it here.
You know it’s Christmas time when the brie and cranberry starts coming into play. It’s not something we have a lot of at home as my other half isn’t a fan, but brie is the only thing I ever craved in pregnancy!
Come Christmas time, I often find myself simply short of time, and in a hurry. While I’d normally make my own shortcrust pastry – with the Thermomix® it’s just so easy – but sometimes it’s really good to be able to grab a roll of ready rolled pastry and have your snack ready in 20 minutes.
(Do yourself a favour and get an all butter pastry though. They’re so much better!)
- 300g short crust pastry
- 150g Brie
- Cranberry sauce
- Preheat oven to 200C
- Roll the pastry to a thin and even layer.
- Cut the pastry into 18 squares - rounds will do fine too.
- Place each square into a muffin case and cook for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.
- In the meantime, slice brie into squares large enough to fit inside the muffin trays.
- As the pastry comes out of the oven, while it's still piping hot, drop the brie onto it so that it begins to melt. Top with the cranberry sauce.
- These are best served hot, but can be eaten cold too.