mincemeat bread and butter

50g/2oz dried mixed fruit
2 tbsp brandy
12 thin slices of white or brown bread buttered
450g/1lb mincemeat
50g/2oz caster sugar
3 large eggs
300ml/ ½ pt double cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
150ml/ ¼ pt milk
1 tbsp demerara sugar for coating


Preheat oven to Gas 4/ 180C
Grease a large shallow ovenproof dish
Soak dried fruit in brandy
Finely cut the edges of the bread
Make sandwiches with the mincemeat
Cut diagonally into four
Arrange in your dish with the bread slightly overlapping
Beat together the caster sugar, eggs, cream and vanilla essence
Stir in the milk
Sprinkle the dried fruit over the bread
Pour over the cream mixture, making sure ALL the bread is coated with it
Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the pudding
Bake for about 40 minutes until well risen, crisp and golden.


Christmas cakes

If you, like me, are a big fan of the Great British Bake Off then tune in tonight at 8pm on BBC2 to see Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry return with a one-off festive master-class.

They will be baking Christmas favourites and less familiar creations, and offer useful advice on planning a stress-free baking Christmas.

Among the highlights according to the Mail Weekend Magazine is a gingerbread house that the children can help to make, along with some rather unusual bakes, such as Scottish black bun, Tunis cake and a hand-raised Boxing Day pie that makes use of all the leftovers.