Christmas Day – cranberries two ways

Christmas cava punch

Christmas in our family invariably involves overindulgence. Christmas dinner itself is always one of the best meals of the year but there are plenty of other opportunities for indulgence throughout the day.

This year Samana found a recipe for Christmas muffins in the Ultimate Festive Feast cookbook which we thought would be lovely to try for breakfast. There’s always so much to do on Christmas day so this recipe is great as it’s quick and easy and can be semi-prepared the night before.

So on the evening of Christmas Eve Samana mixed together the dry ingredients:

  • 150g plain wholemeal flour
  • 150g plain white flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50g soft light brown sugar

Then, in the morning she halved 175g of fresh cranberries and mixed with 50g sieved icing sugar. She then beat an egg with 250ml milk and 60ml vegetable oil, poured into a well made in the dry flour mixture and stirred together before quickly adding the cranberries.

With the mixture prepared, it was just a case of filling 12 paper cases in a muffin tin and baking in the oven (180°) for about 20 minutes. These little spiced muffins are delicious dusted with icing sugar and served with a dollop of crème fraîche, and a cup of tea. A great way to start the day.

Much indulgence later, after tea, we prepared a Christmas cranberry champagne (or cava) punch from a recipe found in drinkstuff.com’s 150 Party Drinks. In a large jug, we combined:

  • 1 litre cranberry juice
  • 250ml brandy
  • two or three limes cut into wedges
  • 500ml soda water
  • 1 bottle of sparkling wine (we used cava)

The recipe also suggested adding caster sugar to taste but we found that it was sweet enough without. If the liquid ingredients have not been chilled, it’s worth adding some ice to the jug as it really needs to be served cool. We finished each glass off with a sprinkle of edible stars, juts to bring some Christmas sparkle.

This refreshing punch provides a welcome change from the red wine and is a good pick-me-up when everyone’s flagging after a long day’s eating and drinking.

 

 

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