Here are some favourite Christmas sweets you can try at home

The spirit of Christmas has caught on everywhere. Apart from the gifts and parties, a large part of Christmas celebrations is about food and eating. Traditional roast and yummy desserts make the season extra special. Here are some recipes that you can try out at home.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Cake

Ingredients

4 cups plain flour (maida)

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp baking powder

Half tsp salt

4 tbsp milk

4 eggs

250 gm butter

250 gm sugar

100 gm Tutti-fruiti

4 cups of coarsely ground dry fruits

Method

Whisk sugar and butter to a fine paste. Whip eggs and milk together and add to the sugar-butter mixture. Now mix the flour, cinnamon powder and salt and blend. Add the dry fruits and Tutti-fruiti cherries. Line the cake container with greased paper around the sides and bottom, and pour the cake mixture into it. Bake in the oven at a temperature of 180 degree C. After 35 minutes, reduce heat to 150 degree C. Bake for around three minutes and then leave it to cool for another three minutes. Store in an air-tight container. To add Christmas flavour, decorate and drizzle your favourite syrup, fruits, cherries and nuts.

Christmas Pudding

Ingredients

Crumbs of half a loaf of white bread

2 cups mixed raisins and currants

1 1/4 cup sugar

Half tsp cinnamon powder

250 gm butter melted

4 eggs lightly beaten

Half tsp almond extract

Half cup orange marmalade

Half cup rum heated slightly before serving

Method

Put the crumbs in a large bowl along with the raisins, currants, sugar, mace, cinnamon and nutmeg. Then add the melted butter and all the remaining ingredients, except the rum. Pour the mixture into a container and cover with wax paper and a tight lid. Add about six inches of water in a pressure cooker and bring it to a boil. Now carefully place the pudding container in the boiling water. Make sure the water comes up one-third of the sides of pudding container. Cover cooker without the pressure and let the pudding steam till it turns dark brown and is quite firm to touch. Check the water level adding to it now and then. Bring the pudding to the table along with warmed rum, which should be poured around the pudding.

Strawberry Tart

Ingredients

300 gm butter

2 1/2 cup plain flour (maida)

1 tsp baking powder

Cold water for kneading

For the filling

250 gm strawberry

3 tbsp sugar

1 cup water

Method

Mix the flour and baking powder with the butter and blend roughly with your fingers until it is coarse. Add cold water and mix quickly with your hand to make the dough smooth. Let the dough rest in a cool place for an hour or two. Then, roll the dough out with a rolling pin into a large, even square about one-fourth inch thick and fold in like a letter. Roll the dough out in opposite direction, repeat the rolling and folding process several times to create the puff pastry. Let it rest in a cool place. Cut the strawberries into thin slices, add the water and sugar and cook on a low flame for 20-25 minutes. Let the filling cool down. Cut the pastry into three inch squares and place a mound of fillings in the centre of each square. Split each corner from the top to within half inch of the centre. Pinch sides to form a star shape. Moist the corners with water to keep it sealed. Brush eggs on tarts and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in an oven at 225 degree C until the surface is golden brown. This will take around 15-20 minutes. After cooling, you can sprinkle the tart with pink food colour mixed in powdered sugar taking care to see that the strawberry filling is seen in small circles with light pink coating surrounding it. You may also use your own creative ideas for decorating.

Sweet And Merry Cocktail

Ingredients

1 cup watermelon (chunks)

45 ml Tequila

1 tsp sugar syrup

2 tsp lemon juice

15 ml Cointreau

Method

Puree the watermelon chunks in a blender and strain it. Fill a glass with ice, pour everything, except the soda, into the glass and stir. Add soda and stir again. Squeeze lime on top and garnish with lime wheel.

Chicken Wings

A party at home seems incomplete without a bucket of spicy, succulent chicken wings to share.

Ingredients

1 cup barbeque sauce

2 tbsp mustard

2 tbsp honey

2 large egg whites

Half cup wheat flour

Half tsp salt

Half tsp freshly ground pepper

1 bowl bread crumbs

500 gm tender chicken cut lengthwise

Method

Mix barbeque sauce, mustard and honey in a large bowl. Marinate and refrigerate chicken tenders in the sauce for about 30 minutes to one hour. Add wheat flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly beat egg white in another shallow dish. Place bread crumbs in third shallow dish. Coat each tender chicken in flour dip in egg whites and roll in bread crumbs, shaking off any excess. Bake the tender for 10 minutes. Turn sides and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve with sauce or chutney.