No Christmas is complete without Sherry. Lots and lots of Sherry. In fact, Sherry is such a versatile wine that it would be possible to match a different Sherry for every course of our traditional Christmas Dinner. Pedro Ximinez, the sweetest of the Sherry grapes, is not only the perfect match to drink with Christmas Pudding, it also is one of the few wines that perfectly matches with dark chocolate. Here are a few ideas for Christmas desserts that would win me over.

Fill a jar with seedless raisins and top up with PX Sherry. Leave for a few days until raisins swell and soak up the PX. You can use these raisins for anything. Even on top of porridge on Christmas Day. Or on any day for that matter!

I like to pop a few scoops of good quality chocolate ice cream into a pretty glass and then top them with several spoonfuls of these glistening brown jewels. Stick a couple of Mikado Sticks into the ice cream to serve.

Here is a wonderful Chocolate & Almond cake you can make well in advance of C-Day. Not onIy is it really easy to make – just using the Magimix, it freezes brilliantly. Garnish it with a couple of spoonfuls of PX soaked raisins and spoon some PX over the top of the cake too!

Chocolate and Almond Cake

100g dark cocoa powder

200g dark chocolate softened

300g peeled almonds

250g butter

250g sugar

5 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

Icing sugar (optional)

Warm oven to 160c or 325F.

In food processor, blend the chocolate and cocoa with the almonds into a fine paste. Pour into a bowl.

In the same blender, cream the butter and the sugar for 5 mins until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and mix in the chocolate almond mixture until well combined.

Coat a 9inch pie dish with bakewell paper. Fill with the chocolate mixture.

Bake for 45 mins. Turn onto a serving dish, cool and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

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