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Competition. Win a year of flowers.

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Win flowers for a whole year!

Oh how I would LOVE to win this prize. Imagine choosing a stunning bouquet to be delivered to your home every single month!

Sadly I am not allowed to enter, but you can, just click here <link>.

AND everyone who enters will also receive a £10 offer code towards the cost of a gorgeous bouquet, so even if you don’t win the prize you can bag a great discount.

I’m going to share this with all my girlie friends and family as I know lots who would love a wintry bunch of blooms to glam up their décor.

Good luck.

Win a year of flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Christmas Gift
for Parents & Grandparents

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The perfect Christmas gifts for parents & grandparents

They may be friends, or family or neighbours, but people over a certain age can be very tricky to buy for (my own parents present a challenge each and every Christmas!)

Invest a little time in creating
something special and the
thought will be truly appreciated..

Why not bake two recipes from the Dairy Diary and present them (in beautiful wrapping of course) with the 2015 Dairy Diary? The edible gifts will be an instant delicious treat and then the Dairy Diary will provide a daily source of information and inspiration throughout the following year.

Win win win!

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Mincemeat Bakewell Squares

Mincemeat Bakewell Squares 

These are just gorgeous! With a crisp pastry base, juicy mincemeat and almondy Bakewell topping, this festive treat is perfect to accompany a mid-morning cuppa.

Time 1½ hrs plus cooling
Makes 32 squares
Calories 241
Fat 15g of which 6.3g is saturated
Suitable for freezing

Readymade sweet shortcrust (dessert) pastry 500g packet
Mincemeat 300-350g (11-12oz)
Butter 250g (9oz), softened
Caster sugar 250g (9oz)
Eggs 5 medium, beaten
Self-raising flour 125g (4½oz)
Ground almonds 125g (4½oz)
Almond extract 1 tsp
Sifted icing sugar for dusting

1 Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2 Roll out pastry on a floured surface to a rectangle a little smaller than the baking tray, then lift into the tray and push pastry into sides, corners and edges to cover the base.

3 Bake pastry for 8-10 minutes until golden. Spoon mincemeat onto pastry while it’s still warm and spread thinly, until it just covers pastry base.

4 Using an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs a little at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour to prevent it curdling. Fold in almonds, flour and almond extract. Spoon over mincemeat and spread evenly.

5 Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and firm. Leave to cool. Remove from tray and peel away paper then cut into 32 squares. Dust lightly with icing sugar.

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Luxury Coffee Truffles

Rich Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes 

Truly decadent and luxurious, chocolate lovers will delights in these little treats. (Remind the gift recipients to store these in the fridge when they receive them.)

Time 1 hr
Makes 16
Calories 373
Fat 24g of which 13.6g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Cocoa powder 60g (2½oz)
Guinness 200ml (7fl oz)
Butter 250g (9oz), softened
Caster sugar 300g (11oz)
Eggs 2 large, beaten
Self-raising flour 225g (8oz), sifted
Baking powder 1 tsp
Buttermilk 75ml (2½fl oz)
Double cream 150ml (¼ pint)
Cook’s dark chocolate 150g (5oz), finely chopped
Green sugar and grated white chocolate to decorate, optional

1 Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line 16 muffin tin holes with paper muffin cases.

2 Sift cocoa into a pan, add Guinness and bring up to boil, stirring. Cool for 10 minutes.

3 Using an electric mixer, cream 225g (8oz) butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs, beating well after each addition. Fold in flour, baking powder, buttermilk and cocoa. Mix until blended. Divide mixture between cases, then bake for 25-30 minutes until firm. Leave to cool in tins for a few minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

4 Heat cream until almost boiling, then pour onto chocolate and remaining butter. Mix well. Spread onto each muffin and decorate if wished.

.

Dairy Diary 2015Recipes taken from 2015 Dairy Diary

To order a copy of the Dairy Diary
visit http://www.dairydiary.co.uk
or call 0845 0948 128.

You can have the diary delivered
to you or delivered to a different
address with a gift message.

Read the blogs on the Dairy Diary website.

Mincemeat Bakewell Squares

.

Mincemeat Bakewell Squares 

These are just gorgeous! With a crisp pastry base, juicy mincemeat and almondy Bakewell topping, this festive treat is perfect to accompany a mid-morning cuppa.

Time 1½ hrs plus cooling
Makes 32 squares
Calories 241
Fat 15g of which 6.3g is saturated
Suitable for freezing

Readymade sweet shortcrust (dessert) pastry 500g packet
Mincemeat 300-350g (11-12oz)
Butter 250g (9oz), softened
Caster sugar 250g (9oz)
Eggs 5 medium, beaten
Self-raising flour 125g (4½oz)
Ground almonds 125g (4½oz)
Almond extract 1 tsp
Sifted icing sugar for dusting

1 Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2 Roll out pastry on a floured surface to a rectangle a little smaller than the baking tray, then lift into the tray and push pastry into sides, corners and edges to cover the base.

3 Bake pastry for 8-10 minutes until golden. Spoon mincemeat onto pastry while it’s still warm and spread thinly, until it just covers pastry base.

4 Using an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs a little at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour to prevent it curdling. Fold in almonds, flour and almond extract. Spoon over mincemeat and spread evenly.

5 Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and firm. Leave to cool. Remove from tray and peel away paper then cut into 32 squares. Dust lightly with icing sugar.

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Dairy Diary 2015Recipe taken from 2015 Dairy Diary

To order a copy of the Dairy Diary
visit http://www.dairydiary.co.uk
or call 0845 0948 128.

You can have the diary delivered
to you or delivered to a different
address with a gift message.

Read the blogs on the Dairy Diary website.

Ginger Cupcakes with Mulled Wine Sultanas

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Ginger Cupcakes with Mulled Wine Sultanas

Hotel ChocolatOooo look what arrived in the post last week? What a treat!

I sometimes get requests from PR agencies to review their products but most of the time the products are not relevant to the Dairy Diary blog.

When Hotel Chocolat
contacted me though,
I just couldn’t resist!

Inside this beautifully wrapped package I discovered a pot of Mulled Wine Sultanas. Perfect, I thought, for using to top cupcakes to sell for Children in Need.

After perusing all our diaries and cookbooks, I opted for ginger muffins, a subtly spiced cake, to complement the spices in the sultanas.

 

Ginger Cupcakes with Mulled Wine Sultanas

For the muffins

Muffin cases 12-15
Egg 1
Caster sugar 200g (7oz)
Plain flour 350g (12oz), sifted
Baking powder 1½ tsp
Ground ginger 2 tsp
Ground cinnamon 1½ tsp
Butter 225g (8oz)
Black treacle 175g (6oz)
Milk 200ml (7fl oz)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Line a muffin tray with 12-15 paper cases.

1 In a bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar until fluffy.

2 Sift the dry ingredients into a separate, large bowl and make a well in the centre.

3 Melt the butter and treacle in a small saucepan. Cool slightly and then fold into the dry ingredients along with the egg mixture.

4 Bring the milk to the boil and then stir into the mixture.

5 Spoon into the paper cases and then bake for 20-25 minutes, until well risen and firm. Cool on a wire rack.

 

I then topped the muffins with piped buttercream (from the Dairy Book of Home Cookery of course).

Ginger Cupcakes

For the buttercream topping

Butter 125g (5oz)
Icing sugar 275g (10oz), sifted
Milk 2½ tbsp

Ginger Cupcakes 1 Beat the butter until soft.

2 Gradually beat in the icing sugar and milk.

3 Spoon into a piping bag and pipe in concentric circles on top of the muffins.

 

And to finish, I used the Mulled Wine Sultanas and chocolate gold pearls (from the cake decoration dept in the supermarket) to give the cupcakes the wow factor.

 

Ginger-Cupcakes-box

I put several boxes of cakes on sale in the office kitchen to raise money for Children in Need. And guess what? They sold in minutes – and were a big hit with my fellow office-workers.

Now’s your chance to sample something yummy.

Hotel Chocolat has kindly
offered a tub of delectable
Mulled Wine Sultanas to one of you.

Enter here for your chance to win.

Win a tub of delectable Hotel Chocolat Mulled Wine Sultanas

Win Mulled Wine Sultanas

These mulled wine sultanas make the perfect grown-up treat. Every sultana has been soaked in fortified wine, along with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, allspice, mace and ginger, until plump and full of festive spice. Popped into a festively decorated tub for easy nibbling.

Win an M&S £250 Giftcard

 

 

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

Rocky Road Cookies

Gorgeous handmade foodie gifts for Christmas: Rocky Road Cookies

Rocky Road Cookies

Makes 10-12
Time 25 minutes.
Per cookie: 221 Kcal, 10g fat (6g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing
Butter 110g (4oz), softened

Light muscovado sugar 110g (4oz)
Egg 1, beaten
Plain flour 150g (5oz)
Baking powder ½ tsp
Oats 75g (3oz)
Mini marshmallows 50g (2oz)
Plain chocolate 75g (3oz), chopped

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

2 In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Gradually beat in the egg.

3 Sift in the flour and baking powder and add the oats. Stir well. Add half the mini marshmallows and half the chopped chocolate.

4 Drop heaped tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, until just turning golden. Sprinkle over the remaining marshmallows and chocolate chunks as soon as the cookies are removed from the oven. Leave to cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cook’s tips
Swap marshmallows for dried fruit if you like.  Sprinkle any leftover marshmallows over ice cream with a drizzle of golden syrup for a naughty dessert.

 

Recipe taken from Fantastic Food For Less available now for just £7.99 from www.dairydiary.co.uk

 


 

Fantastic Food For Less cookbookEnjoy Fantastic Food
and our best recipes ever!

Fantastic Food For Less is about cooking delicious meals more economically – each recipe is simple to cook, tastes fabulous and won’t cost the earth.

100 easy to prepare, triple-tested recipes to ensure perfect results first time!

Soups & Snacks, Main Courses and Desserts & Bakes.

A bargain at £7.99

TAKE A LOOK

 


 

 

Win £250 M&S Gift CardWin a £250
M&S Giftcard

How would you spend £250 at Marks & Spencer?

This season’s fashions? Shoes? Food and drink? How about your Christmas shopping?

Simply complete the form for your chance to win.

ENTER NOW

 


 Click here to read the Blogs on the Dairy Diary website.

 

Gorgeous handmade foodie gifts for Christmas: Brown Sugar Meringues with Cinnamon Cream

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Brown Sugar Meringues with Cinnamon Cream

Makes 10 pairs
Time 1½ hours.
Per portion: 121 Kcal, 8g fat (4.5g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians

Egg whites 2
Light muscovado sugar 65g (2½oz)
Caster sugar 50g (2oz)
Double cream 150ml pot
Ground cinnamon ¼ tsp
Dark chocolate 50g (2oz), chopped (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 110°C/225°F/Gas ¼. Line a large baking sheet with a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer until they are stiff and the bowl can be turned upside down without the meringue moving.

2 Mix 50g (2oz) of the muscovado sugar with the caster sugar in a bowl then gradually whisk into the egg whites, a teaspoonful at a time and continue to whisk for 1–2 minutes until it is very thick and glossy.

3 Using a dessertspoon, take a scoop of meringue, slide the bowl of a second dessertspoon into the first spoon to shape the meringue into a neat oval. Slide it off the second spoon with the help of the first spoon on to the paper. Continue until all the meringue has been shaped and you have about 20 meringues.

4 Bake the meringues for 1–1¼ hours or until they can be lifted off the paper easily. Leave to cool.

5 To serve, pour the cream into a bowl, add the remaining sugar and cinnamon and whisk until it forms soft swirls, then use it to sandwich the meringues together. Place them in paper cases.

6 If using the chocolate, place in a heatproof bowl over a barely simmering saucepan of water and stir until it has melted. Drizzle over the meringues.

Cook’s tip
The cooled, unfilled meringues can be packed into a biscuit tin lined with non-stick baking paper and will keep for up to 1 week.

 

Recipe taken from Fantastic Food For Less available now for just £7.99 from www.dairydiary.co.uk

 


 

Fantastic Food For Less cookbookEnjoy Fantastic Food
and our best recipes ever!

Fantastic Food For Less is about cooking delicious meals more economically – each recipe is simple to cook, tastes fabulous and won’t cost the earth.

100 easy to prepare, triple-tested recipes to ensure perfect results first time!

Soups & Snacks, Main Courses and Desserts & Bakes.

A bargain at £7.99

TAKE A LOOK

 


 

 

Win £250 M&S Gift CardWin a £250
M&S Giftcard

How would you spend £250 at Marks & Spencer?

This season’s fashions? Shoes? Food and drink? How about your Christmas shopping?

Simply complete the form for your chance to win.

ENTER NOW

 


 Click here to read the Blogs on the Dairy Diary website.

 

Gorgeous handmade foodie gifts for Christmas

.

Gorgeous handmade foodie gifts for Christmas

Organisation is my middle name – actually it’s Kate – but it should be! I love it!!

I honestly don’t know how people get by without several lists on the go (stored in the super Dairy Diary pocket of course) and a diary full of plans and notes!

So, this month is dedicated to planning for Christmas – squeezed around editing the next cookbook, proof reading the 2016 Dairy Diary and juggling a family of course, but that is now life is for most parents (mums!!) I think.

This year, I plan to create lots of homemade gifts. Many of the adults I buy for have no need for ‘stuff’ and something that has been lovingly created for them is extra special.

You can’t go wrong with some beautifully
wrapped bakes, they are perfect to take
to house parties as a thank you for the host.

Our first gathering, is a mixture of adults and children and so I plan to make and wrap some Rocky Road Cookies for the little ones and Brown Sugar Meringues for the adults.

Both recipes have been tried and tested many times this year and got rave reviews from the recipe testers as well as from my family. They are both from Fantastic Food for Less, our latest cookbook, which went down with a storm with all the testers last year. They absolutely adored all the recipes and clamoured for a copy when it was printed.

 

Gorgeous handmade foodie gifts for Christmas: Brown Sugar Meringues with Cinnamon Cream

Brown Sugar Meringues with Cinnamon Cream

Makes 10 pairs
Time 1½ hours.
Per portion: 121 Kcal, 8g fat (4.5g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians

Egg whites 2
Light muscovado sugar 65g (2½oz)
Caster sugar 50g (2oz)
Double cream 150ml pot
Ground cinnamon ¼ tsp
Dark chocolate 50g (2oz), chopped (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 110°C/225°F/Gas ¼. Line a large baking sheet with a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer until they are stiff and the bowl can be turned upside down without the meringue moving.

2 Mix 50g (2oz) of the muscovado sugar with the caster sugar in a bowl then gradually whisk into the egg whites, a teaspoonful at a time and continue to whisk for 1–2 minutes until it is very thick and glossy.

3 Using a dessertspoon, take a scoop of meringue, slide the bowl of a second dessertspoon into the first spoon to shape the meringue into a neat oval. Slide it off the second spoon with the help of the first spoon on to the paper. Continue until all the meringue has been shaped and you have about 20 meringues.

4 Bake the meringues for 1–1¼ hours or until they can be lifted off the paper easily. Leave to cool.

5 To serve, pour the cream into a bowl, add the remaining sugar and cinnamon and whisk until it forms soft swirls, then use it to sandwich the meringues together. Place them in paper cases.

6 If using the chocolate, place in a heatproof bowl over a barely simmering saucepan of water and stir until it has melted. Drizzle over the meringues.

Cook’s tip
The cooled, unfilled meringues can be packed into a biscuit tin lined with non-stick baking paper and will keep for up to 1 week.

 

Gorgeous handmade foodie gifts for Christmas: Rocky Road Cookies

Rocky Road Cookies

Makes 10-12
Time 25 minutes.
Per cookie: 221 Kcal, 10g fat (6g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing
Butter 110g (4oz), softened

Light muscovado sugar 110g (4oz)
Egg 1, beaten
Plain flour 150g (5oz)
Baking powder ½ tsp
Oats 75g (3oz)
Mini marshmallows 50g (2oz)
Plain chocolate 75g (3oz), chopped

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

2 In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Gradually beat in the egg.

3 Sift in the flour and baking powder and add the oats. Stir well. Add half the mini marshmallows and half the chopped chocolate.

4 Drop heaped tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, until just turning golden. Sprinkle over the remaining marshmallows and chocolate chunks as soon as the cookies are removed from the oven. Leave to cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cook’s tips
Swap marshmallows for dried fruit if you like.  Sprinkle any leftover marshmallows over ice cream with a drizzle of golden syrup for a naughty dessert.

 

Both recipes are taken from Fantastic Food For Less available now for just £7.99 from www.dairydiary.co.uk

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