White Christmas: an Aussie tradition

It’s been a while since I’ve made White Christmas. To be honest, I really don’t like raisins and sultanas or fruit peel, so I’ve never made it traditionally anyway. However, this year, I’m doing Christmas in a new country with new people and I wanted to take something to work that was uniquely Australian. The only thing I could think of was White Christmas.

I had to search for a Copha equivalent and then scoured Tesco for milk powder. Eventually, I got everything I needed and made a batch.


  • 250gms vegetable shortening such as Copha or Trex
  • 2 cups rice puffs
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup milk powder
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup dried fruit
  • Glace cherries for the top (though I like to chop some up and put them in the mixture too)


  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl
  2. Melt the vegetable shortening
  3. Add the shortening to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix it well (carefully)
  4. Transfer the mixture to a lined tin/tray
  5. Top with glace cherries
  6. Let it sit in the fridge until set
  7. Cut up and enjoy

When I’ve made this in the past I’ve used dried apricots and cherries instead of raisins/sultanas and glace cherries. I figure this is far more Australian anyway given they are summer fruits. I think you could put dried mango in there too, just to make it even more ‘summery’.

I think my colleagues enjoyed this uniquely Australian sweet and I might make my version for them next year!

What do you put in your White Christmas?

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Christmas gift guide for the foodie in your life

Every Christmas people ask, ‘what do you want for Christmas?’ and every year I don’t know what to say. I can imagine I’m not the only person who goes through this, so I’ve put together this Christmas Gift Guide to make things easy!

If you’re buying for a foodie friend (or for yourself) here are some great gift options:


Brisbane: Experience Sunnybank cooking school
A three-hour hands-on class where you’ll learn from a master. You’ll prepare five recipes from either Banquet style, Chinese peasant or Yum cha (and get to eat is obviously!).
Cost: I believe the class is around $80 per person, but give the organisation a call on 3345 7500 to check or make a booking.

Bristol: Little Kitchen Cookery School
Classes range from seasonal goodies (i.e. Christmas) to breadmaking, sugarcraft and vegetarian cookery.  You can buy vouchers as gift or just making the booking for your foodie friend.
Cost: £40-60 per person



Brisbane: Foodi Chocolate Walking Tour
A three-hour tour encompassing four of Brisbane’s best chocolatiers. Not only will you learn about chocolate production, you’ll get to sample plenty.
Cost: $49 per person

Bristol: The Bristol Food Tour
This three-hour tour aims to showcase the best independent food and drink vendors in the Bristol. I’ve seen nothing but excellent reviews and I’m looking forward to going myself.
Cost: £35 per person



Brisbane: Matcha High Tea at Sinmei Tea Rooms at Scrumptious Reads
Matcha is super popular right now and you’ll find it in liquid and food form all over the place. Sinmei has amazing matcha and you’ll get to try some of their matcha sweets (which change regularly) along with something green to wash it all down.
Cost: $35 per person

PS. Scrumptious Reads is a brilliant place to find cook books!

Bristol: Classic Afternoon Tea for two at Chin! Chin!
A selection of delicious finger sandwiches, scones, cakes & treats, and tea or coffee. You can buy vouchers if you’re giving it as a gift to another couple.
Cost: £29.90 (PS. Keep an eye on Wriggle for deals!)



Brisbane: Friday Night Supper Club at Montrachet
Chef Shannon Kellam puts together a seasonal, regional and creative 5-course menu that changes every two weeks. This is outside their main menu and is only available on Friday nights. Seating is always limited, so I recommend making a reservation well in advance.
Cost: $110 per person

Bristol: Lunch or dinner at Casamia
Recently awarded ‘Best Restaurant’ and ‘Best Fine Dining Wine List’, this is the perfect place to take a special foodie someone.
Cost: £98 per person



Brisbane: Dello Mano brownies
A box of Australia’s best brownies will make anyone’s day, even if they aren’t a foodie! If you don’t want to get them brownies (one would ask why!), they make amazing cakes too.
Cost: From $16

Bristol: Swoon Gelato voucher
Obviously gelato melts, so the best way to get your foodie friend some Swoon gelato is by getting them a voucher. They do a stunning range of flavours which can be bought in various sizes, plus cakes and other gelato based goodies.
Cost: As much as you want to spend!

Bristol: Bluebird Tea Co. gift boxes
Bluebird not only have divine tea, they are mixologists and come up with some stunning blends (both seasonal and regular), like Christmas cake, Mulled cider, gingerbread chai, dark choc chilli chai and Dozy Girl Chamomile (one of the ones I have). They have a range of tea gifts available, such as tea cocktail kits.
Cost: £5-27


4-in-1 Polygon measuring spoon
Even though this is still on Kickstarter, I think these spoons are ingenious! For the price you get a set of spoons – one tablespoon and one teaspoon. Expected delivery is January 2017 and I think any foodie would appreciate such an innovative gift.
Cost: $8 USD

The Whisk Wiper
Sadly, the whisk wiper isn’t yet available for purchase as the designers need to fill Kickstarter orders first. However, you can sign up for updates. In this case, print out a picture and put it in a card for your foodie friend so they know your plan!
Cost: TBC

Custom embossed rolling pins
If your foodie friend is a keen baker, they will love these rolling pins. While there are quite a few etsy stores selling them, you can get them from Valek too. They have a big range available.
Cost: €20-40



River Cottage A-Z
I won’t lie, I’m looking forward to owning this book. I went to the Bristol launch and hearing Hugh talk about the recipes made it sound even better.
Cost: £26.00 in the UK on Amazon | $59.95 in Aus at Booktopia

Chocolate by Kirsten Tibballs
I went to one of the launches for this book and really enjoyed seeing Kirsten talk about chocolate and make chocolate goodies (for us to try). The book has stunning images and recipes for all experience levels.
Cost: $44.50 in Aus  at Savour School | £16.59 on Amazon

Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cook Book
As a big fan of Jamie, Mel is super keen to get her hands on this one.
Cost: £11.99 on Amazon | $29.99 in Aus at QBD

We hope you’ll find something you’ll love here! We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below too!

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