Cornwall LivingIssue #93

A festive feast

A selection of Cornish Christmas recipes to help you build the perfect Yuletide menu.

With Christmas now just weeks away, it’s time to get organised. Most of the presents (hopefully) are now bought and paid for – all that’s left is to wrap them. After that, the next item on the agenda is what to eat! For those of you who regularly play host to relatives, you’ll understand what we mean when we say that preparation is key! Having a menu decided upon, with all of the ingredients stocked in the cupboards well ahead of the last-minute rush, can significantly reduce the hassles often associated with Christmas dinner. With this in mind, to help you build your Yuletide menu, we’ve asked some of Cornwall’s top food and drink specialists to share with us their favourite Christmas recipes. Add to these a selection of some of Cornwall’s finest foodie businesses and you should have everything you need to create the ultimate festive feast.


To start:

Fresh Newlyn Crab Cakes with Chilli Mayonnaise

Keith Palmer, Head Chef at Marazion Hotel’s Cutty Sark Restaurant, is a firm believer in the importance of local produce. At the hotel, guests can enjoy delicious menus and a regularly changing list of specials, including a variety of locally sourced meat and fish. This Christmas, Keith suggests trying his Newlyn Crab Cake starter. Simple to make – and simply delicious – this is a sure-fire way of impressing the foodies in the family.

What you’ll need…

For the crab cakes: makes 4

Fresh 80g white and
brown crab meat

200g mashed potato

2 spring onions


Gluten-free flour

Gluten-free breadcrumbs

For the sweet chilli mayonnaise

Good quality mayonnaise

20g grated ginger

20g grated garlic

50g sugar


20g chilli flakes

1 red chilli, chopped



For the crab cakes

  • Mix the mashed potato, crab and spring onions together. Add seasoning and then hand-mould into small patties.
  • Dip in flour, then egg and lastly breadcrumbs.
  • Fry lightly, turning occasionally.
  • Garnish with your own choice of salad.

For the sweet chilli mayonnaise

  • Grate the ginger and garlic, adding water (enough to cover), sugar and chilli flakes before reducing down and leaving to cool.
  • When cool, mix with the mayonnaise.


Discover More

Discerning foodies will love a hamper from the Cornish Food Box Company. This stellar business offers hampers packed full of Cornish goodness, from champagne and chocolate, to Cornish gin and olives. Find out more online:


Main course:
Whole Baked Wild Citrus Sea Bass


For the main course, we approached Wing of St Mawes, The Cornish Fishmonger. This family run business has been sourcing and delivering the freshest, highest quality seafood, from the quayside, for more than 35 years. Wherever you are in the UK, The Cornish Fishmonger can deliver the freshest catch directly to your door within 24 hours of landing, and on the website you’ll find a host of delicious seafood recipes, helping you make the absolute most of Cornwall’s fruits de mer. This particular dish is a superb alternative to the traditional turkey roast; being light yet wholesome, and packed full of flavour, it’s just the ticket between Christmas and New Year, when everybody’s starting to feel the effects of over indulgence!


What you’ll need…

1 whole wild Cornish sea bass
(1.5kg fish serves 4)

2 preserved lemons

1 clementine orange

20g fresh rosemary

Cornish sea salt

Pink peppercorns

Olive oil



  • Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas 5.
  • Take an orange and lemon and slice into 5mm rounds and cut fresh sprigs of rosemary ready to stuff the fish.
  • Ensure the sea bass is clean inside and out, pat dry with kitchen paper and make 4 or 5 diagonal cuts into one side of the fish down to the bone. Fill the cuts with slices of lemon, orange and sprigs of rosemary. Put the remaining fruit and herbs into the cavity of the fish.
  • Gently transfer the fish to the inside of a foil bag or onto a sheet of tin foil. Drizzle over some olive oil and rub the skin with salt and pepper.
  • Place the foil bag or tin foil sheet onto a baking tray and pop into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes, then place onto a serving plate, carefully open and enjoy with steamed winter vegetables.



Sea bass is a great alternative to Turkey – a real Christmas show stopper! Order online from The Cornish Fishmonger by 18th December for delivery in time for Christmas.


For dessert:
Christmas Yule Log

For many of us (at least here at Cornwall Living) chocolate and Christmas go hand-in-hand. After all, what would the holidays be without it? Stuart Pate, Head Pastry Chef at Rick Stein’s acclaimed Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, takes it one step further with this delicious Yuletide classic. Stuart’s career has taken him all over the world. He’s been awarded numerous accolades and international awards, including the Craft Guild of Chefs’ ‘Pastry Chef of the Year’ award 2005. Today, you’ll find Stuart overseeing the team in the pastry section of Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, teaching baking classes at Rick Stein’s Cookery School and trialling and testing new recipes across the company. With that in mind, who better to provide this year’s Christmas dessert recipe?


What you’ll need…

For the chocolate swiss roll:

4 eggs

100g caster sugar

75g plain flour

25g cocoa powder

For the ganache:

(mix both ingredients together)

240g cream heated

480g dark chocolate

For the chocolate mousse:

350g double cream

300g ganache

For the garnish:

420g ganache

300g white marzipan

Red food colour

Green food colour

50g royal icing

40g melted dark chocolate for piping



  • For the chocolate swiss roll, whisk the eggs and sugar together to ribbon consistency.  Sieve the cocoa powder and flour together, and then fold the dry ingredients into the egg and sugar mix. Spread very carefully onto baking parchment, then place onto a baking tray and bake at 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 for 6 to 8 minutes.
  • When cooked, turn out onto sugared parchment paper and peel off the parchment paper the sponge was cooked on. Roll the sponge up in the sugared parchment and allow to cool.
  • For the chocolate mousse, whisk the cream to nearly ribbon consistency, melt ganache to 38°C and fold the two together.
  • With the cool chocolate sponge, spread the mousse through the middle and then roll up and coat the outside with the remaining mousse, allow to set. To finish, coat with the ganache, garnish with the marzipan plaque, moss and toad stools and dust with icing sugar.


Find out more…

If you’d like to learn more about Rick Stein’s Cookery School, whether itís to brush up on your own culinary skills, or to give the gift of experience this Christmas, be sure to visit:


Treat yourself

Love chocolate, or know someone who does? If so, be sure to sample Trenance Chocolateís luxury handmade treats.



Preparing (and eating!) the perfect Christmas menu is thirsty work. The festive break is the perfect time to stock the drinks cabinet and indulge in a glass or two of your favourite tipple. It’s also the perfect opportunity to sample some new cocktail recipes! Here are just a few ideas from some of our favourite Cornish drinks specialists.

Cornish Negroni

Loved across the globe, the team at Wadebridge Wines are celebrating this year as the 100th birthday of this delicious drink. A shade of ruby red, many associate this cocktail with Christmas cheer; it reminds us that it may just be time for the festivities to begin. Simple to build, with a complex profile, this slow sipper consists of just three ingredients, all made here in Cornwall. The result: an herbaceous bitter-sweetness, botanical balance, and hints of warm savoury spice.

What you’ll need…

25ml Koneva Cornish Aperitif

25ml Wrecking Coast Cornish
Clotted Cream Gin

25ml Knightor Rosé Vermouth



  • Simply stir together in an old-fashioned glass, with a handful of ice cubes.
  • Add a slice of sweet orange to garnish.
  • If you feel like making a happy ‘mistake’, reach for prosecco instead of gin for a vibrant take on this classic recipe.


Spiced Apple Pie

Full of flavours that are sure to warm the cockles this winter, this delicious cocktail from the team at Merchants Manor is the perfect alternative to dessert – especially for those who indulged too heavily in the main course! If, over the Christmas period, you fancy taking the stress out of hosting and venturing out for the evening, the Merchants Manor team promise a heady mix of fine dining (where what grows together, goes together!) and an exemplary list of cocktails. The Spiced Apple Pie is a fine example.

What you’ll need…

25ml Cornish spiced rum

25ml amaretto

20ml fresh lemon juice

20ml cinnamon or vanilla syrup

100ml cloudy apple juice

Apple slices



  • Combine all ingredients in the base of your shaker and add as much ice as you can fit.
  • Shake vigorously until the shaker frosts up.
  • Single strain into your choice of glass; add more ice if required.
  • Garnish with apple slices.
  • Hold a flame over the drink and shake ground cinnamon over it. The cinnamon will spark up and produce a wonderful festive aroma that can be tasted and smelled through every sip.


Dress to impress

On big family days like Christmas Day, the devil is in the detail. At Just Delights in Penryn you’ll find a superb collection of table linen and decorations – perfect for feeding the masses! To find out more, visit:


Hot Chai Toddy

From the team at the multi award-winning Curio Spirits Company in Mullion, this winter warmer is just the ticket for spicing up those cold winter evenings. Think warmth and hydration during family board games – full of winter cheer with cinnamon spice, citrus orange and Cornish honey, the Hot Chai Toddy blends flavours we love and crave throughout the winter.

What you’ll need…

35ml Curio’s Cornish Cup

Fentimans Ginger Ale

1 slice of orange

1 sprig of lavender or cinnamon
(to garnish)


  • Pour 35ml of Curio’s Cornish Cup into a heat proof glass or your favourite mug.
  • Top up with Fentimans Ginger Ale and gently warm it up.
  • Add a slice of orange and a sprig of lavender/cinnamon to garnish.


Discover More

Being one of the UKís top foodie destinations, Cornwall is home to a diverse array of independent shops, giving foodies plenty of choice when it comes to building the perfect Christmas menu. Here are a few of our favourites:


Boscastle Farm Shop

South Torfrey Farm


Baker Tom



North Coast Wine Company

The Old Garage

Knightor Winery

Moorland Distillery

Fowey Brewery

Haywood Farm

Constantine Stores