Chocolate raspberry pots

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I’ll happily hold my hands up and admit that generally, puddings are NOT my strong point.  I love eating them but making them?  Not so much.

However, pregnancy has definitely given me something of a sweet tooth so I thought I’d have a play with a really simple, foolproof vegan recipe involving two of my favourite sweet things (chocolate and raspberries) and this is the result…

PS Even if I say so myself, they taste kind of amazing!

(Serves 4)

  • 2 x 85g bars of dark chocolate (minimum 65% cocoa)
  • 2/3 tin of coconut milk (full fat)
  • 2 large handfuls of raspberries (fresh or frozen will be fine)
  • Dried rose petals and sugar to decorate (optional)
  1. Boil a pan of water
  2. Break the chocolate into chunks and pop them into a Pyrex jug or bowl
  3. Gently place the jug or bowl into the pan to slowly melt the chocolate (be careful not to get any water in the chocolate)
  4. Once all the chocolate is melted slowly add the coconut milk, stirring as you go
  5. Place a few raspberries into the bottom of the ramekin dishes
  6. Slowly pour the chocolate and coconut milk mixture over the top of the raspberries
  7. Pop in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to set
  8. Decorate as you so wish, serve and enjoy!

Caramelised red onion and cranberry gravy

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I love this gravy.  It’s rich and sweet and goes amazingly well with bangers and mash!

  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 red onions – peeled and sliced
  • Drizzle of maple syrup
  • Half a pint vegetable gravy (made with veg gravy granules)
  • Large handful of frozen cranberries
  • Sprinkle of fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to season
  1. Heat the oil in a pan
  2. Gently fry the onions over a low heat for 15 minutes
  3. Add the maple syrup and fry for a further 2-3 minutes
  4. Add the gravy, cranberries, rosemary and salt and pepper
  5. Heat through for a further 5 – 10 minutes until the cranberries start to burst
  6. Serve with vegan sausages and kale and potato mash

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Homemade cranberry sauce

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This is so easy to make and so delicious that I can’t quite believe I ever bought the stuff!  Stored in jars it will keep well in the cupboard (or fridge once opened) and makes a great present around Christmas-time.

  • 300g frozen cranberries (you can use fresh but these aren’t always easy to find)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • Generous drizzle of port or cherry brandy
  • 50 ml of water
  1. Add all ingredients to a pan and heat through, stirring occasionally
  2. After a few minutes the cranberries will start to burst, give them another stir to crush the berries further and then place into jars

NB Because cranberries are so rich in pectin the sauce will appear much runnier than you think it should but will solidify as it cools

Pan-fried sprouts with chestnuts and a hint of chilli

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This is one of my favourite side-dishes at Christmas-time.  Although not popular with everyone I absolutely love sprouts and personally I could happily eat them at any time of the year!

(Serves 4-6 as a side dish)

  • 450g of sprouts – with stalks and any brown leaves removed
  • 200g of chestnuts – roughly chopped (I bought mine from Merchant Gourmet)
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Sprinkle of dried chilli
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Steam the sprouts for 5 minutes to soften
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and then add the sprouts and chestnuts
  3. Pan-fry for approximately 6-7 minutes
  4. Add chilli, salt and pepper to taste