A FOOD blogger has revealed her six top tips on how you can save money on your Christmas dinner and shared a cheap dessert.
Many may want a big, full-on Christmas Day dinner, washed down with plenty to drink, but that could mean splashing out a large amount of money.
However, food blogger Emma Bridgeman has come up with some money saving tips so you can have the traditional Christmas dinner without breaking the bank.
During the Covid-19 lockdown she had what she described as a “true lightbulb moment” and realised she could combine her love of family cooking with her marketing skills and become a food blogger.
Her site is aimed at creating meals for other parents who love food and eating with their kids, including any fussy eaters.
Emma’s six top hacks for saving money on the Christmas dinner:
Instead of cooking a huge traditional turkey, roast two extra-large whole chickens instead. Just roast them a little earlier, take them out to rest, then cover in foil and then put in your vegetables to roast.
Avoid buying pre-prepared items and instead make as much as you can from scratch. Prepare everything ahead of the big day and then freeze or chill them until you’re ready to cook.
Only buy value or imperfect vegetable, such as carrots or parsnips, you can turn them into something a bit special by adding some honey or maple syrup to them.
Start searching for offers on alcoholic drinks now so you can get some good bargains, just store them somewhere dark and cool until needed.
Make a homemade pudding in advance. Emma recommends a frozen pudding, such as an ice cream bombe. This will be much cheaper than having to buy two or three desserts.
Cut down on all the trimmings and extras. Everyone will be feeling the pinch this year so there’s no need to go full-on, serving up endless amounts of veg, stuffing, sauces and so on. Doing this will also take the pressure off and mean there is no need to panic making sure everything is ready on time.
Emma’s recipe for a raspberry ice-cream bombe
The food blogger though credits her mother-in-law for the recipe.
Emma told National World: “I actually can’t take credit for this raspberry ice cream bombe recipe, it’s one my mother-in-law has been making at Christmas for over 20 years, ever since she was given the recipe from a friend.
“My mother-in-law is Norwegian, which means she celebrates Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day, hosting the whole family, and each year she rolls out this dessert and everyone goes nuts for it. I think most of us can say that it’s one of our favourite things about Christmas Eve.”
It has just four ingredients to make, takes just 15 minutes to prepare – although it does take a few hours to freeze – and is enough to serve eight.
Even better is that it costs less than £3 to make, although this depends on where you shop.
There is no cooking involved so you save on your energy bill too.
- 1 pack of 8 meringue nests / 104g-115g / 3.67oz-4oz meringue shells or cookies
- 300ml whipping or double cream / 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons icing sugar / powdered sugar
- 150g frozen raspberries / 5.29 oz
To decorate (optional)
- Créme fraîche
- Fresh raspberries
- Sprig of fresh mint
- Add the raspberries and icing sugar to a blender. Whizz until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream using an electric whisk on a high setting until you have soft peaks.
- Sit a sieve over the cream bowl and scrape down the raspberry mixture from inside the blender into it. Use the back of a spoon or sturdy spatula to press down on the sieve and pass through all the raspberry puree, leaving behind the seeds. Scrape down the outside of the sieve once done and discard the seeds on the inside.
- Add the meringue nests, breaking them into small pieces as you go with your hands. Fold in with a spatula or large metal spoon until well combined.
- Line a 1 litre (medium) deep glass bowl or freezer proof bowl with foil and then clingfilm and add in the Bombe mixture. Use the back of your spoon or the scraper to level it out, you can give the bowl a gentle shake side to side also to help the mixture settle.
- Cover tightly with cling film and again with foil and then transfer to the freezer, keeping the dish level.
- Leave overnight or for 8 hours minimum. Remove from the freezer about 20-30 minutes before serving and lift the Bombe out by the cling film lining.
- Place on the counter. Put your plate or cake stand upside down on the flat edge of the Bombe and carefully turn the Bombe and the plate/cake stand up the right way. Once slightly softened, use a knife to cut it like a cake.
The ice-cream bombe will keep in the freezer for up to three months.