Mini meringue, doghnuts & chocolate: dinky Christmas desserts

Doughnuts, mince pies with an almond twist, lemon curd pots, winter fruit salad and chocolate salami


You don’t have to be a Martha Stewart clone to have a fabulous party at home. In my experience the trick to home entertaining is to keep everything simple, with as many do-ahead dishes a possible. Keep serving and assembly to a minimum. The likeliness of last minute crises such as the smoking fire which transformed my home into downtown Shanghai last week, can then be dealt with without compromising the party food offering.

The following recipes are all do-ahead and will appeal to all age groups – some even providing a party game. How long can you go without licking your lips when eating a doughnut ? Give it a go.

From a caterer’s perspective, I can confirm that there is more activity on the party front than I’ve seen in years. I suspect this could be attributable to a myriad of sociological and economic statistics, but my own feeling is that there is a general surge of “To hell with austerity, let’s party”.

For me, this season is primarily steered by incessant compilation and revision of the trusted list – from shopping lists, to guest lists to glass stock takes and of course the “Where did I leave that recipe ?” conundrums. Sanity can always be salvaged by the little old list.

Each year I vow that I will get organised earlier – I even suggested last week that we start making our Christmas puddings in March next year. I got an unenthusiastic muttered response from my kitchen companions, who were busy wrapping and counting puddings for orders to be dispatched on Monday.

Photography: Shane O Neill
Food styling: Leona Humphries,

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