All posts tagged: Christmas on a bootstrap

Four Ingredient Christmas Cake, 16p [Jack Monroe’s Advent Recipes]

Christmas for me is a disparate and disorganised affair – zipping between various peoples houses, delivering a Small Boy to all the relatives that want to pinch his cheeks and ruffle his hair, like an exasperated sugar-high parcel. Popping in on parents and grandparents, gathering waifs and strays at mine for my almost-annual ‘Make Christmas A Bit Less Shit’ gathering, and in all of that hullaballoo, well, I forgot to make a cake this year. I think I’m the only person that likes it, anyway. So this time last year, I dug out some old recipes of mine, from days yonder when buying three kinds of nuts and obscure dried fruits was de rigeur, and gawped at the sheer length of the ingredient lists. I set myself a challenge to make a Christmas-ish cake with fewer than nine ingredients. That was pretty easy, so I tried for eight. You can see where this is going! I ended up here; to be honest, the five ingredient cake was my favourite, but I can’t resist the simplicity …

Mince Pie Toastie, 36p [Jack Monroe’s Advent Recipes]

Regular readers will know that I have quite the love affair with my toastie maker, and have done since childhood, when my mum would wrestle the big white Breville from beneath the sink and turn it on, and we knew that we had a scalding-hot pocket of delight for our imminent lunch. I rediscovered my love for toasties in adulthood – as life can sometimes be overwhelming and with a child tugging on my arm to be fed, and now nothing is safe from being sandwiched between those hot plates and slathered in cheese. This shouldn’t work, but it definitely does, and received rave reviews from my friends and family. It works with vegan cheese too – try Violife mozzarella slices or similar for the best results. Serves one from 36p each Two slices of white bread, 5p (55p/800g, Asda) 3tbsp mincemeat, 10p (or smashed up leftover mince pies), (£2.02/822g, Asda) 40g cheese, 20p (10 slices cheddar/99p, Smartprice at Asda) A smudge of oil, 1p Assemble your sandwich in the usual fashion: Lay the bread …

5 Ingredient Salted Caramel Chocolate Mocha Yule Log, 38p

This is a fairly cheeky little recipe, mostly because it involves very little work at all – and looks and tastes far more impressive than it should do, considering the sum of its parts. I should confess I didn’t make the Yule log in the centre; I bought one from Asda on a whim and made it better. I’m a busy person, and also, I’ve never successfully managed to roll a Swiss roll up without smashing the whole thing to bits with my clod-handed impatience, so I wasn’t going to take the risk. The good thing is, Asda Swiss rolls (and other premade brands are available, I just live near Asda) are alright; the right side of soft, generous with the buttercream swirl, and left out on the counter all night by accident, they stay pretty moist and squishy. Sometimes, just sometimes, you can treat yourself to cheating. Because who cares for blood and tears and martyrdom with fondant sugar, when it tastes this good? (If you object to Flakes, use milk or dark chocolate …