pubs and of course at the German Christmas Markets. Great for the festive season if you live in the northern hemisphere. It is also the perfect drink to keep out the winter cold.
The beauty of Marianne's recipe is that you don't have to worry about boiling off the alcohol. You bring sugar, orange, spices and water to the boil, turn off the heat, add the booze and leave overnight. I have made it this way many times and highly recommend it.
Orange, Lavender and Almond Cake that we made.
As well as a cheap bottle of plonk, I had a bottle of spiced mead on hand. In the past I have used port which I used to have around. These days I don't drink as much and found the mead worked as well as the port to bring an intensity to the spicy warmth of the drink. Anything will do - brandy, cointrea, muscat - whatever you have in the liquor cabinet.
Red Wine Chocolate Cake. A bit of orange and spice are always good additions to a chocolate cake. So in went the mulled wine and the orange syrup one night between baking bread and watching Downton Abbey. It didn't quite cook in the middle and it was a bit fluffy for my liking when it came out of the oven. After a few days it was deliciiously firm and chocolatey. I was quite sad to see the end of it.
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Rhubarb and apple sponge pudding
This time two years ago: Sour Skon
This time three years ago: Miss Marple’s Tea Room – cosy charm
This time four years ago: Mexicale Pie - an old favourite
2 cinnamon sticks
750ml red wine (doesn't have to be good quality)
60-80ml port or other fortified wine (mead worked well)
Stick cloves into oranges. Place sugar, water, oranges and cinnamon sticks in large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add wine and port. Either leave for 12-24 hours or Heat on lowest setting on stove for 10-15 minutes - there will be a bit of steam but no boiling. Serve warm. We never drink it all in a night so it sits in the fridge for a few days and gets reheated as desired.
Spicy chocolate cake
Adapted from Where's the Beef?
250g castor sugar (I used 1/2 cup - about 125g)
250ml red wine (I used one third orange syrup, two thirds mulled wine)
250g self-raising flour
3 dessertspoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
150g dark chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 170 deg C. Grease and line a 22cm spring form tin (springform isn't necessary but that is what I have). Cream the butter and sugar (I did this by hand). Mix in the eggs and wine. Mull over the colour and whether it takes on the red hue of the wine. Gently stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir in the chocolate. Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake for about an hour or until cooked. I am not sure how you check this. I found mine was best after sitting in an airtight container for a day or two.
On the Stereo:
Jazz for Dining: Various Artists