The in-laws had gone to midday mass when we rocked up to their house for Christmas lunch, so we took a detour to Killiney beach to while away some time:

It’s mainly made up of pebbles, which made for an interesting experience as I was wearing heels (a very rare occurence, let me tell you) and didn’t have any boots in the car (curses!), so off I wobbled on Mr. B’s arm to take in some sea air:

Along the way, we saw this young guy, who went for a bracing Christmas Day dip in the freezing cold water (that’s his dad on the right-hand side, waiting with towel in hand):

He was the only Christmas dipper we saw, but it’s quite a popular past-time both in Ireland and the UK. (It’s a tradition/hangover cure in Edinburgh, when some brave souls go for a swim in the Firth of Forth on New Year’s Day.) We declined the dad’s suggestion that we try it out, despite his offer of a spare towel. Maybe another time 🙂

Then we went back to enjoy Christmas dinner with the family. We all brought starters or desserts to help out, as there were eight adults and six kids in total, so asking one person to do all the cooking would have been insane.

Mr B’s brother made the suprise hit of the day – curried banana soup. Don’t pull a face, it really works! I have the recipe and will make it for the blog some day soon. He also brought along an outstanding sticky toffee pudding, while Mr B whipped up the family trifle (sponge, lashings of sherry, custard, some more sherry, cream, another splash of sherry, topped off with grated chocolate):

If a policeman breathalysed you after eating this pud, the counter would go through the roof.

As well as the Daring Bakers yule log, I made an extremely creamy lime-mascarpone cheesecake, based on a recipe from an old Sainsbury’ advert. I swear it’s actually a very light green in colour, but all the pictures came out more creamy-yellow:

We’re going to be eating pudding for the next month at least…

What about you guys? What do you have for dessert on Christmas Day? Traditional plum pudding and Xmas cake (which were also present at our meal)? Or do you hate the sight of brandy-soaked, fruit-stuffed, stodgy pudding and go for something else altogether?

Lime-marscapone cheesecake adapted from a Sainsbury’s advert of yester-year

Serves 12

You’ll need:

100g butter, melted
400g gingersnap biscuits

4x 250g tubs of mascarpone cheese
zest and juice of 4 limes
80g icing sugar, sifted

1. Crush the gingersnap biscuits into crumbs – either in a food processor or by hand (there’s much therapy to be had in whacking a bag of biscuits with a rolling pin).

2. Mix the biscuit crumbs and melted butter together and then spread across the base of a 9-inch round cake tin (preferable springform, as this makes it easier to get the finished cheesecake out of the tin). Put in the fridge to cool for 20 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the mascarpone cheese, the lime zest and juice, and the icing sugar.

4. Spread the mascarpone mix across the top of the firmed-up biscuit base and use a fork to make a pattern on top. Put back in the fridge for at least two or three hours before serving.

Cook’s notes

The original cheesecake recipe was only for a 7-inch tin. If you’d like to make this smaller version, just halve the amounts given in the recipe above.

I think the original version also stipulated something about frosted grapes and chocolate leaves for decoration – something I’ve never done but it would look great for presentation purposes.

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