Bonfire night is fast approaching and if you’re hosting a get-together at the weekend, now is the time to start preparing a menu to impress.
Nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen all night when there’s fireworks to be enjoyed, whether you’re heading to a public display or you’ve bought your own (extra points if you’ve purchased silent ones to protect the nation’s nervous pooches!)
Below, we’ve collected some simple but delicious food ideas that are way easier to make than they look. And the best part? Most of them can be prepped in advance, meaning the designated chef gets to enjoy the socialising too.
Start the night with Apple mulled cider
This cocktail recipe will get the party started and fill your home with an autumn apple scent. And if you want to make the kids some toffee apples so they don’t feel left out, we’ve rounded up the best recipes here.
Ingredients (serves 4)
280ml jazz apple juice (4-5 large apples depending on the size)
100ml lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp cloves
1 orange peel
1 thumb of ginger (peeled and sliced)
Method: Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and warm through on a low heat for 3-4 minutes. Strain into the glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick
For snacking outside, try mini homemade sausage rolls
Sure, you could buy a packet of sausage rolls, but making your own is always a crowdpleaser – especially when they’re passed around still warm. These can be frozen, so make them in advance, defrost and heat them just before the fun starts outdoors. Recipe thanks to Dorset Pastry.
Ingredients (for 10 rolls)
½ small garlic clove
½ small onion, finely chopped
Small bunch of parsley, chopped
400g sausagemeat or sausages
325g pack Dorset Pastry Puff pastry (or another brand if not available)
1 beaten egg, to glaze
Plain flour for dusting
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Crush the garlic and a little salt to a paste using a pestle and mortar. Mix with the parsley and the onion
- Blend the sausagemeat in a food processor (if using sausages, remove the skins) on a high speed, pour the garlic/parley/onion into the mixture, then season with pepper. Blend until combined.
- Unroll the pastry onto a dusted four board and cut in half lengthways.
- Divide the sausage mixture in two and spread along the length of each pastry strip in a cylinder shape, leaving a 1cm edge.
- Tightly roll the pastry around the sausagemeat and brush the ends with the beaten egg to secure.
- Cut individual sausage rolls each approximately 2.5cm across, which should give you roughly ten units. Arrange on a prepared baking tray.
- Brush the left over beaten egg beaten egg all over the sausage rolls. Cook for 25-30 mins until the pastry is golden and crisp and the meat is thoroughly cooked. Best eaten soon after baking with a condiment of your choice.
Warm up indoors with a posh jacket potato
If you’re enjoying bonfire night at home, get these low-fuss jackets cooking in the background. Recipe thanks to Opies Foods.
Preparation time: 30 minutesPreparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Ingredients (serves 6)
6 sweet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 white onion
1 stick celery
1 large carrot
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tins of mixed beans, drained and rinsed
Few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
½ jar Opies Pickled Walnuts, halved, pickling liquor reserved (available in Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, and more)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas 5. Rub the sweet potatoes all over with 1 tbspof olive oil, salt and pepper then pierce several times with a fork. Place into the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until a knife goes through easily and the skin is golden.
- Meanwhile finely chop the onion, celery and carrot. Place in a pan with the remaining olive oil and cook slowly over a low heat until soft, stirring occasionally.
- Add the paprika, cumin and garlic and cook for a further two minutes before introducing the passata and beans. Add the Worcestershire sauce and 1 tbsp of pickled walnut pickling liquor then season with salt. Bring to the boil then reduce down to a simmer. Cook gently for 35-40 minutes, stirring from time to time so it doesn’t catch. Stir in the pickled walnuts and warm through for a further 5 minutes.
- Split the sweet potatoes then serve the beans on top, scattered with coriander.
For dessert, a real show-stopper
How amazing does this cake burnt cheesecake with spiced mandarins look? You can make this cake the day before you want to serve it, meaning all you’ll have to do is add a sparkler for that final wow factor.
Ingredients (for one cheesecake)
680g full-fat cream cheese
250g caster sugar
Good pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 medium eggs
300ml double cream
Ingredients for the mandarins
2 cans (298g) Del Monte® Mandarin Segments in Juice (or another brand)
4 tbsp soft light brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
5-6 cardamom pods, slightly squashed
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°F / Gas 5 and find a 20cm round springform tin. Take a large piece of baking parchment, more than big enough to line the tin, and scrunch it up in your hands – this makes the paper easier to manipulate. Unscrunch the paper and put it in the tin, using a smaller cake tin to help mould it to the sides. Don’t worry about the creases and wrinkles – these are all part of the look of the cheesecake! If you have a mixer, put the cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla and cornflour into it and beat them thoroughly together. Otherwise, do this in a large mixing bowl, beating until smooth.
- Add the eggs and start beating them into the cream cheese mixture, gradually pouring in the cream as you go. If you’re using a mixing bowl, beat in the eggs one at a time before beating in the cream. You want a nice, smooth mixture.
- Pour the mixture carefully into the lined tin and transfer to the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the cheesecake is puffed up, very brown at the edges and a rich golden brown in the centre. It should have a slight wobble in the middle still. Take out of the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin – it will sink as it cools. Transfer to the fridge and refrigerate overnight.
- While the cheesecake is baking, make the spiced mandarins. Drain the juice from both cans into a saucepan. Add the brown sugar and whole spices and put over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then let the juice come to a brisk simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced and syrupy. Take off the heat, add the mandarin segments and stir gently. Leave to cool then refrigerate.
- When you’re ready to serve, carefully remove the paper and transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate. Serve in slices, with a generous spoonful of the mandarins and their syrup.