Carrot and cardamom are a wonderful combination of flavours. The cake itself is moist enough but for that extra special touch you can add the delicious cinnamon cream cheese frosting. If you want to go all out, you can make mini carrots out of marzipan with a little orange food colouring and angelica root for the stalks.
For an easier to carve option this Christmas Day, try this rolled turkey breast, which is stuffed with a sweet and aromatic stuffing. I love the combination of maple, orange, smoked bacon and apple spiked with the cranberries, but you can easily adapt this with your own favourite flavours.
Ribollita is an Italian soup that was traditionally seen as peasant food. The great thing about this soup is that it makes an ideal base for any additional ingredients that you might want to add. Think of it as an opportunity to give a last moment of glory to any miserable veggies left at the bottom of your fridge! I keep leftover Parmesan rinds in my freezer, which I add to sauces and soups like this to give a unique rich flavour. Add a couple while the soup is simmering and simply fish them out before serving.
I have a special place in my heart for ham hocks. Certainly, not the most attractive ingredient to hold a fondness for, but I put it down to my inner cheapskate. I love the idea that for very little money you can produce something delicious. This ham hock recipe doesn't use gelatin, but if you prefer a firmer setting you could add a leaf of gelatin to the cooking liquid once the ham hocks are cooked. You can also make the terrine in individual Kilner jars to serve.