Festive fruit and nut choc brownies

200g butter
300g milk chocolate
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup plain flour
100g glace cherries
Handful of walnuts
Handful hazelnuts
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 180°C and grease your baking tin. Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave, in 30-second blasts, stirring well each time. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla together until they begin to get light and fluffy. Carefully whisk in the sugar until it becomes stiff. Slowly pour the melted chocolate into the mix, being careful not to knock too much air out of the mixture. Add the flour and stir until well combined. Then stir in the cherries, walnuts and hazelnuts. Pour the mixture into the tin. Bake for about 30 minutes – the middle should still be a little bit gooey, but not too wobbly. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin. Dust with icing sugar and cut into squares.

Hampers are a popular gift at Christmas, especially the ones with tiny jams. Rather than throwing the jars out, wash them and keep them. They are the perfect size for holding salad dressings or sauces for your lunch (and the jars often fit inside the lunch container too!).

The Gourmet EditDIY gift idea  – peppermint hot chocolate in a jar

Layer 1 cup of powdered milk, 1 cup cocoa powder, 1 cup caster sugar, ½ tsp salt, ½ cup chocolate chips and ½ cup crushed candy canes. This recipe is for a 1L jar (or divide among smaller jars) and makes about 12 servings. Finish your recipe-in-a-jar with a cute tag saying, “Mix contents in a large bowl. For each serving, place three tablespoons in a mug and stir in boiling water. Store remaining mix in airtight container”.

Prebiotics is the new buzz word in nutrition and has seen Capilano launch the world’s first clinically-tested prebiotic honey. Found in foods such as asparagus, leek, garlic and certain types of honey, prebiotics can help maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria in the digestive tract.

How to cut a recipe in half

Not quite hungry enough for a full serve?
We’ve taken out the guesswork and calculated some of the trickiest measurements to halve.
¾ cup halved = 4 ½ tablespoons
⅓ cup halved = 2 tablespoons
¼ cup halved = 1 ½ tablespoons
1 tbsp halved = 2 teaspoons]]>