Doubly Late December Daring Bakers’ and Daring Cook’s Double Whammy!

This year the preparations for the festive season co-incided with going back to work full-time 2 weeks before Christmas, which meant an added element of slightly unplanned for chaos. Casualties included Christmas card posting (they were all written, but there's no denying the fact that some folk will have got New Year cards this year!); tying bows and ribbon on presents (although largely thanks to Mr E we did manage wrapping); and blogging.

So this is a combined Daring Cooks' Challenge (14 days late) and Daring Bakers' Challenge (only 1 day late) post!

I'm going with the Daring Bakers' first of all, since it's a) the least late, b) the most festive, and c) has the least awful photos...

Muffin tops!
The December 2012 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in Cucina. Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread!

And muffin bottoms...
I was a little short of rising time, baking time, panettone papers, and of course had to modify the recipe to make it dairy free, but all things considered the giant dairy free panettone muffins I managed to concoct were pretty delicious and made for a fantastic on-bus-breakfast during my journey to work for a few days!

Guess who didn't portion the dough very evenly?!
Now for the very belated Daring Cooks' challenge...

Our Daring Cooks' December 2012 Hostess is Andy of Today's the Day and Today's the Day I Cook! Andy is sharing with us a traditional French Canadian classic the Pate Chinois, also known as Shepherd's pie for many of us, and if one dish says comfort food.. this one is it!

I made a pie with veggie haggis on the bottom, topped by a carrot and sweet chilli puree, then finished off with mashed potatoes. It was delicious - a great hearty winter warmer. Not so photogenic unfortunately - particularly not when I took the pictures on my phone. But at least I took them!

The veggie haggis base layer - full of lentils, turnip, carrot, beans and oatmeal
Being blanketed with a layer of carrot and sweet chilli puree
Topped with mash and ready to be baked
A serving school dinners would be proud of - dolloped unceremoniously on a plate!