When I was growing up, Christmas was a time my Mother dreaded. There were four children to buy presents for and there was Christmas lunch or dinner to consider and my Mother hated cooking. We lived in a house next door to our Grandmother. Each Christmas Eve before we went to bed our Grandmother, “Nanna”, would pop over to tuck us in and make sure that we were fully excited about what Christmas morning would bring. She made us promise that we would each bring our gifts from Santa over to her house the minute we woke up. So, at 5.30 am when we could contain our excitement no longer each of us would gather our large and overfilled Christmas stockings and take them next door to Nanna’s house where we would climb up onto Nannas high wooden bed and start unpacking our spoils. We would each pull one special little trinket after the other from the stocking that Santa had left us, squealing with delight. Nanna would clap her hands in surprise and exclaim that Santa was so clever for knowing what each of us would like.
Years into my adult life I learned that the Christmas stockings were Nannas way of contributing to Christmas. Mum and Dad really didn’t have a lot of money and with other things to buy, this was entirely Nannas’ gig, and she really did enjoy it. I guess it also gave Mum and Dad a little breathing space before the rest of the day as well. After Nanna’s house we would always return home to repeat the same show and tell at the end of poor tired Mum and Dad’s bed.
Christmas eating was most often the English version of Christmas food. Nanna was from Hull in the north of England and she was very particular about what we should eat. This made hours in the kitchen for Mum essential. There really wasn’t much experimenting nor was there much change until Nanna’s last Christmas, and then, Dad decided that he would be the Christmas cook. He mostly carried on the old Christmas tradition apart from a few new tweaks.
I much prefer to always do something new. I wonder if you are the same?.
For me celebrations are so much more fun with good food, obviously, it’s just that sometimes people who cook miss a lot of whats going on in the dining section. I always try to think ahead so that I can spend as much time enjoying myself as everyone else.
I needed a small dessert for a Christmas party this week. I needed something quick and something I could make ahead. So this is what I made. They are frozen and you can serve them that way if you want, but they are designed to defrosted a little bit on the way to the party. They were definitely the perfect little pot of chocolate. The crunchy gingerbread on top just reminds you that it is Christmas.
I used some little disposable cups that I got from a party shop. You can make them in a small ramekin, but these just are so cute aren’t they?. I also made these desserts with Cadbury chocolate because I had a bit of a challenge thrown at me. I was asked if I would like to make one of the desserts from The Cadbury Kitchen . There are so many recipes on the Cadbury Kitchen Site that it would have been inspirational even for my Mum. In the end though, I used a recipe of my own and made it with the dark ( 45%) chocolate. The dark chocolate has a very lightly bitter cocoa bite but it is light and milky enough for anyone to enjoy.
These could be just about the perfect little Cadbury Pot. You can make them for any party at all.
- 220gm / 8 oz Cadbury Dark chocolate baking block
- 50 gm/ 2 Tablespooons caster (granulated) sugar approx
- 3 whole eggs
- 300ml / 10.14oz thickened cream (if not available heavy whipping cream)
- 3½ cups flour, (425gm)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 /2 teaspoon salt,
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger,
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon each ground cloves and allspice. ( optional)
- 7 tablespoons melted butter, (just under 150gm)
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup molasses; or golden syrup
- 1 egg
- Melt the chocolate gently in a bowl over a double boiler ( or for 1-1/2 minutes in a microwave till just melted. Set aside without letting it get cold
- Meanwhile beat the cream till soft and firm and set aside in the fridge).
- In a clean bowl of a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar beat till very white and light and moussey. ( it will almost look like whipped cream and take about 10 minutes). Now this is the important bit. Mix it in this order.............
- Put ¼ of the egg mix into the still warm chocolate and fold gently but rapidly till incorporated. Add the rest of the egg mix folding through, gently but firmly until the mousse looks like a nice smooth dark mixture.
- Now for the cream . Add ¼ of the cream to the chocolate mixing straight away,(folding lightly and quickly why?, because the cream is cold and the mousse is blood temp). When the first cream is mixed in, put ½ of the remainder and repeat, following with the last bit, all the while folding.
- Spoon or pipe into your moulds. Wrap or cover the tray and freeze, for 3 hours and preferably overnight.
- Put melted butter, sugar, molasses, spices, salt and egg into the bowl of a mixer, and combine well. . Add the sifted flour and baking soda and mix till just combined. Chill for ½ an hour or overnight.
- When ready flour the bench lightly and roll out to 3 mm thick. Cut into tiny gingerbread or star shapes. Put them onto a baking paper lined tray and chill again for 10 minutes
- Bake in 180C/350F oven for 15 minurtes or till starting to firm up and brown lightly. Cool
- Sprinkle the pots with Cadbury 100% Bourneville cocoa and serve with a cookie and a raspberry if desired
- The gingerbread mean can be dipped into milk or white choclate melts and left the firm up before using
Look on the CADBURY recipe website or facebook sites for more inspiration.
With thanks to Cadbury Kitchens for supporting this post and sending me samples of CADBURY kitchen products to use in this recipe