A warming mug of mulled wine is a comforting must-have on a cold winter’s night. Lisa Shepherd of Bloom Bakers shares her recipe for non-alcoholic mulling syrup perfect for the whole family to enjoy…
Growing up in the south of Germany, the winters could be bitterly cold. So when my family announced we would go to the festive market I used to be excited by the idea, but 10 minutes into our stroll I would get so cold that I could not enjoy it.
The thing that used to save me was Kinderpunsch, an alcohol-free mulled wine. It was a win-win situation for my parents, as while I sipped on my Kinderpunsch, they sipped on some mulled wine.
When I moved to the UK and visited the Leeds German market, I was disappointed to see the only alcohol-free options were fizzy soft drinks or English tea – neither very festive!
So when we set up Bloom Bakers, we decided to sell mulling syrup at Oakwood Farmers Market, so people could make their own Kinderpunsch that would knock their socks off with spices and flavour.
Ingredients for 500ml of mulling syrup
2 Yorkshire Tea bags (or any other strong black tea)
150ml of orange juice
250ml plus 125ml water
4 cardamom pods
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
- Make a strong tea in a big pan with the tea bags and 250ml of water. Let it brew for a good 10 minutes.
- While the tea brews, crush the cardamom, cloves and star anise in a mortar or beat them in a bag with a rolling pin.
- Take the tea bags out of the pan, squeezing them with a spoon. Add the remaining 125ml of water and the orange juice to the pan, then the crushed spiced and your cinnamon sticks. Bring to the boil.
- Now add the sugar and stir constantly for about five minutes (so the sugar doesn’t stick). Don’t let it boil, just wait until a little froth forms on the top and you start getting the fragrance from the spices.
- Once it has simmered for at least five minutes, turn off the heat and let it sit for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, sterilise the bottle you will use by filling it with boiling water.
- Now put a sieve over another pan and pour the mulling syrup through the sieve. Use a ladle to avoid spillage. Bring the syrup to the boil again and pour into your bottle.
- Add the syrup to cloudy apple juice, or it is equally delicious in red fruit tea.
For an alcoholic twist…
Warm up a bottle of wine in a large pan – it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. Don’t bring it to the boil completely, otherwise all the alcohol will evaporate. Add 200ml of mulling syrup to the warm wine and enjoy!
Everyone loves a latke at Chanukah. Hayley Lawson of Bake Cake Eat Love shares her grandmother’s traditional recipe…
My grandmother used to live with us in a granny flat beside our house – so much of my childhood was spent cooking with her. She inspired me to bake and I’ve still got so many of her hand-written recipes, so I like to dig them out every Chanukah.
Her famous latkes, which go down a treat in our house this time of year, were one dish that was never committed to paper – my mum and grandmother cooked them off by heart. After a bit of tinkering I managed to capture the recipe to share with JLife readers…
Ingredients for 12 small latkes
4/5 baking potatoes peeled and grated
1 small onion grated
1 large egg beaten
2 tbsp matzah meal (add more if required)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 cup of rapeseed oil or vegetable oil
Serve with apple sauce or sour cream
- Grate the potatoes and onion using a large shredding blade or a food processor, then using a cheesecloth or tea towel, squeeze out all the excess liquid – this is the secret to nice, crispy latkes!
- Toss the onion, potatoes, egg, matzo meal, salt, pepper in a bowl and mix well.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat until sizzling and scoop approximately 1/4 cup of mixture onto a spatula and flatten with your fingers to a small patty before adding to the hot oil.
- Fry until golden brown on both sides (approximately four to five mins each side).
- Transfer latkes onto a paper towel and dab lightly to remove excess oil.
- Serve immediately, or cover with foil and keep in a low oven until ready to eat.