Christmas is epitomised by smell (apart from the tearing apart of crackling wrapping paper of course!). The soft scent of a pine Christmas tree, wafts of mulling spices containing cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, the smell of freshly baking gingerbread, oh, I could go on.
[As a total side note, Spencer House has the most beautifully decorated tree in their foyer this year – with a soft gold ornament theme, it also had real slices of dried oranges and limes, bunches of dried lavender and ribbon tied cinnamon sticks. It was divine.]
The overarching association I have with Christmas is Orange. Warmed mince pies with candied peel, mulled cider with juicy slices of citrus gold and fist sized chocolate oranges that break apart in your hand. It’s smelling sharp, delicious orange zest that conjures Christmas for me.
The clearest christmas childhood memory (bar the pillow-case sized Santa sacks we used to have) is one summer in the North Island, racing my cousins to my Aunties fridge to battle for her freshly set Jaffa Slice. It’s also ridiculously easy to prepare. Smash a 250g pack of biscuits (incidentally a great stress relief if your family are driving you crazy), grate the rind of an orange and add the rest of the ingredients. Whack in the fridge, then ice.
Counterpointing the Wine Biscuits (Rich Tea in the UK), the Coconut and Chocolate Chips make a decadent almost tropical mouthful, brought together by Condensed Milk & Butter, cut through with the zesty Orange.
Indulgent, really not very healthy, but simple and scrumptious. Christmas in a mouthful.Thank you V.A. Nottle of Tauranga New Zealand. You are a legend.
Serves up to 24 slices – it is very decadent. Buuuuut, it can sometimes only last 5 mins. You have been warned.
This pic is sans Icing, as I’m not sure how long the slice will actually last once iced.
Oh, and did I mention the cooks privileges?