Winter Warmers

The Perfect

Mulled Wine

The world is full of mulled wine tips and tricks, but the Create kitchens hold the key to the fairy god mother of mulled wine recipes, passed down through generations of the Gardiner family. And you absolutely can’t beat it. Let us show you how...

Ingredients

Decent Red Wine
Cinnamon Sticks
120g Brown Sugar
Homemade Damson Gin or Brandy
2-3 Star Anise
An Orange
Cloves

Method

Take one bottle of decent red wine. Don’t cheat, using cheap wine will give you a headache! Add a couple of shots of homemade damson gin or brandy for a little warmth.

Throw in a couple of cinnamon sticks, two or three star anise, the old fashioned orange studded with cloves, fresh grated nutmeg and some brown sugar (about 120g should be fine, but feel free to adapt according to your palette).

Warm the mixture, but just before it starts to bubble take it off the heat, cover it and leave overnight for the spices to infuse.

Gently reheat it the following day, pour into warm glasses and serve with fresh orange and a star anise. Now indulge!

Pair it with

Panettone

This rich, buttery panettone is the Italian’s answer to a traditional Christmas cake. Its sweet, delicate flavours are the perfect accompaniment to a glass of mulled wine. We recommend slicing it, toasting it under a grill and adding a sprinkle of icing sugar.

Ingredients

500g strong white flour
7g salt
50g caster sugar
2 x 7g sachets instant yeast
140ml warm milk
5 free-range eggs, plus extra for egg wash
250g unsalted butter
120g dried cherries or cranberries
120g dried sultanas
120g dried currants

Method

Place the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, milk and the eggs into the bowl of a free-standing mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Mix slowly for two minutes, then increase the speed to medium and mix for a further 6-8 minutes until you have a soft dough. You could also combine by hand, if you’re feeling strong!

Add the softened butter and mix for another 5-8 minutes. It will be very soft. Add the dried fruit. Mix until everything is incorporated. Tip the dough into a bowl, cover with cling film and chill overnight.

Prepare a 18cm/7in panettone tin, brushing the inside with melted butter. Remove the dough from the fridge, knock back, shape into a ball and place in the tin. Leave to prove at room temperature for a further 2-3 hours, until the dough just starts to dome over the top of the tin.

Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350F. Brush the top of the panettone with egg wash and bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 150ºC/300F and bake for a further 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Remove the panettone from the tin and allow to cool before you tuck in!