Tomato, chilli, rosemary and mustard jam

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Despite this time of the year not being the best for fresh tomatoes, this Tomato, chilli, rosemary and mustard jam makes a nice Christmas present as it goes well with cheese or ham. It’s a good relish to accompany holiday snacking. The recipe came from a great little cookbook Movember people produced a few years back and they’ve named it ‘Man jam’. I’d given it for Christmas before albeit in tiny jars and the main comment was that it went too quickly so this year I made more. It’s very easy to make, first you sweat red onions, then add chopped red peppers, red chillies, peeled, cored and chopped tomatoes, turmeric, rosemary and grain mustard. Cook this for about 45 minutes then add salt, sugar and white wine vinegar and cook for another 15 or so minutes. It’s delicious, with a good chilli kick.

We have an early Christmas get together with Beloved’s Pater Familias today and I’ve made a few other things to take to eat including a bread to go with cheese, Plum pudding (instead of a traditional Christmas one) and a whole load of mince pies. Shall try to take photos and post later on.

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Two kinds of macaroons

Since I’ve been doing so much baking this year, I thought I’d do some edible Christmas gifts: Stem Ginger Macaroons and Chocolate Muscovado Macaroons. Both recipes came from Dan Lepard, Guardian archives: here and here and this is what they looked like:

IMG_0468Both highly recommended and very easy to make. The stem ginger ones took no time at all. I would recommend a piping bag for the chocolate ones though as the mixture is too sticky to spoon if you melt the chocolate (the recipe didn’t specify). Tried them both before packing, the ginger ones are lovely and intense, almond balancing the ginger out very well. I’m not the greatest fan of gingerbread or ginger in cakes but these really are good. Chocolate ones too, lovely and chewy, I used Valrhona to deepen the flavour. Here are some individual photos:

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IMG_0470The Guardian website had an article the other day about homemade edible gifts vs. shop bought. Shop bought often turn out to be quite a bit cheaper (when you count the cost of all your ingredients and packaging) but homemade not only taste good (depending on which shop, I guess) but are also lovely to make. I shall definitely be making a few more over the coming weeks.