Christmas decorations in our family home have always been the responsibility of my sister and I - as children we would decorate and redecorate the Christmas tree no less than 3 times before the 25 December, which not surprisingly drove our mother nuts! It was a happy coincidence then when my sister, Sarah-Jane and I were asked to team up and put together a very special feature for Food and Home magazine last month; 'A Guide to the Perfect Stress-Free Christmas' which ironically, was a not-so-stress-free experience creating it! But we did have tons of fun and hopefully, if you're feeling a tad stressed out about hosting Christmas lunch or dinner, it may give you an idea or two.
|A showstopper succulent wreath, rosemary napkin rings and hand-painted napkins for guests to take home as momento's.|
I thought I'd share some of the great ideas my sister-dearest came up with (especially for an African-inspired Christmas), my favourite being the gorgeous succulent wreath she created as a centrepiece. Oh, and the paper origami!
|Spiced chocolate cheesecake with Christmas cake crust|
Spiced chocolate cheesecake with Christmas cake crust
Recipe originally created for F&HE Magazine December 2014 issue
100g ginger biscuits, crushed
100g Christmas cake, crumbled into pieces
50g butter, melted
200g full-fat cream cheese
400g ricotta cheese
75g castor sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
40g cocoa powder
30ml (2 tbsp) brandy (optional)
5ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
100g good-quality dark chocolate, melted
200g dark chocolate, melted, to decorate (optional)
cocoa powder, to dust
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line a 22cm springform cake tin.
In a food processor, blitz the crushed biscuits, Christmas cake and butter until combined then press into the base of the lined tin.
Place the cream cheese, ricotta and sugar into food processor and process until smooth.
Add the eggs, cocoa powder, brandy, if desired, cinnamon and the cooled melted chocolate and mix to combine. Pour the mixture over the biscuit base and bake in the oven until just set, 25 – 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow to cool in the tin. Once completely cool, refrigerate overnight.
To serve, unmould the cheesecake onto a cake stand and allow the cake to come back to room temperature before decorating with melted dark chocolate and dusting with cocoa.
|Roast vegetable crumble and origami Christmas trees|