Yesterday I received a lovely box full of Christmas goodies courtesy of Aldi. They asked if I would like to sample some of their new Christmas food and I was happy to accept their offer. I informed them I was a Vegetarian, as I know some mince pies and mincemeat contains animal suet, which I avoid. They promised to select a range that would be Vegetarian friendly and they didn’t disappoint! They sent a selection of their new Specially Selected range including mince pies, Christmas pudding, butter fudge, a bar of mint chocolate and an adorably cute milk chocolate reindeer. I was also delighted to find snuggled in the bottom of the box a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc wine which, due to the cold weather, arrived perfectly chilled! How generous.
My grandparents called round for the afternoon, perfect timing for sampling the mince pies. I was pleased to find that the pies resembled the picture on the box, prettily decorated with little stars and a sprinkling of sugar. I heated them briefly in the oven as I like my mince pies served warm. The pastry was nicely crisp, not too thick and buttery. The mincemeat was sweet, plump and contained a fantastic boozy brandy hit. This wasn’t your bog standard mincemeat either as alongside the usual raisins and currants the mix contained apple, dried cranberries and walnuts. The brandy was a little strong for my liking but my granddad said it was the best mince pie he’s tasted this year.
After dinner I tried the Christmas pudding. The first thing that pleased me was how rich and fruity it smelled and its dark glossy colour. It turned out well, although the base of mine was a little higgledy-piggledy so it didn’t sit flat, but this didn’t really detract from it. The hot pudding was soft, moist and absolutely jam packed with fruit. They hadn’t skimped on the almonds either as I had a chunk of one in almost every bite. It was a very large pudding so I’m going to use the rest to make little chocolate Christmas pudding truffles.
I haven’t tasted the other goodies yet but if they are a good as the mince pies and pudding then I’m sure they won’t disappoint. I’m going to buy more of those reindeers to give to my young cousins, they are so cute!
If you need help planning your Christmas day meal then TV chef Phil Vickery has put together an online podcast including a step-by-step Christmas day meal plan and an online video recipe of what to do with your leftovers, just click the links to view. Thanks Nadia and Aldi for the festive goodies.
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