Delicious But Easy To Make Recipes Ft. Marc Zboch*


*This is a collaborative post*


Christmas can be a stressful time for some of us, particular when it comes to the preparation and cooking of all the various foodstuffs. This Christmas promises to be a slightly different from years gone by and for many of us we will have to be a little more self reliant this festive season with regards to prepping our own food. I for one have certainly been reliant upon the cooking excellence of Mum, year on year to provide all manner of delicious festive treats and that piece de la resistance, the Christmas Roast.

However, due to Covid and the current tier system which is in place, many people will not be making the usual trip home or to be with loved ones, family and friends, this can cause a fair bit of stress for obvious reasons, so it is even more important than ever to make sure we make the most of this Christmas and enjoy it as much as possible. I’ve also included a couple of drinks recipes, one of which is a favourite of mine and one which I have yet to try but am curious.

I have decided it might be a rather useful idea to post a couple of very simple and easy to follow recipes for a couple of my favourite treats. If you don’t like the ones mentioned here, do search online for some simple festive recipes more to your tastes. There is no reason why a novice in the kitchen cannot create some mouth wateringly good dishes.

Although not strictly festive, I feel that the simplicity is key, and hopefully it will inspire a few of you to include something which you might not have tried and tasted before.

Eton Mess

The name of this ‘oh so simple’ dessert is taken from the prestigious and world famous College, attended by the likes of Princes William and Harry. Apparently it was first served up at the annual cricket match as Eton played against Harrow School sometime in the 1920s. There are differing versions of course, but I shall stick with the original. The required ingredients are few, but it will surely titillate the taste buds; all you need is whipped cream, meringue and strawberries, that’s it, and to keep things as simple as possible, just buy the meringues if you don’t feel confident making your own. It will still be utterly delicious. 

Traditional this dish is more of a Summertime pudding; but for me the luxurious creaminess, the lightness and sweetness combined with some juicy strawberries is simply delicious and kind of in keeping with the ‘feasting’ element of the season. I’m sure that if you haven’t tried it before, you will love it and it will no doubt become a regular fixture on the menu from here on out. 

Beverage 1; Marc Thomas; 

This is a drink I am curious to try, and for any teetotallers out there you might enjoy the reputedly aromatic and tangy profile of this drink. It originates from Marc Zboch’s travels around the Caribbean and Northern India, particularly in the Darjeeling region of India, famous world wide for its tea production. He has fused both regional influences to produce a bitter and aromatic beverage. The recipe for this can be found below;  

1 tea bag or 2 tsp of a proper black tea, preferably Darjeeling.

200ml/6.7oz of filtered water.

3 dashes of bitters.

Bring the water to a boil, then let it sit for one minute, allowing the temperature to drop to 96 degrees Centigrade or 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep the tea for 4 minutes.

Then add three dashes of bitters! Congrats on making your first Marc Thomas!

Beverage 2; The Old Fashioned;

This is an absolute favourite of mine, it was developed in the 19th century with first mentions originating potentially as early as 1806. This drink is an IBA Official Cocktail and I find it refreshing and ‘moreish’. The recipe below is as written by George Kappeller in his 1895 book;

Old Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail

Dissolve a small lump of sugar with a little water in a whiskey-glass;

add two dashes Angostura bitters,

a small piece of ice, a piece of lemon-peel,

one jigger whiskey.

Mix with small bar-spoon and serve, leaving spoon in glass.

As with most cocktails, there are variations and many forms, (I prefer a piece of Orange peel) and if this isn’t appealing but you feel that you might like to try a traditional cocktail then check out the IBA website above. The original cocktails were much less complicated than modern creations, but sometimes I feel less is more. There are recipes for ‘Gin Old Fashioneds’ and Rum and Brandy etc.

Dessert Two: Golden Syrup Sponge Cake with Custard

If you have a sweet tooth, this is one for the ages, I first tried it as a kid in primary school and have loved it ever since. Like Eton Mess, if you don’t have the confidence to attempt to make everything just whip the cream and buy in the rest of the ingredients; it will still make for a delicious treat.

There’s a great recipe here.

The notion of a hot Golden Syrup sponge cake coated with thick hot custard is one which has me salivating at the mere thought. It never gets old, it always feels like you are getting away with something when devouring this light pudding. Again the key to this pudding is that it has a high simplicity of concocting to tastebud titillation ratio. It is very simple to make this dish yet as with the Eton Mess, it is very rich and a great alternative to the usual fayre this holiday season.

If none of these take your fancy, make sure you look online; a good source for simple recipes is on the BBC GoodFood website. 
*Photo source Pexels.  

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