Christmas Magic

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Recipe by Naomi Sherman

I honestly didn’t know what to call this
It’s not quite a fruit mince, not quite a chutney, not quite a sauce
What it is though, is magical
Sweet and rich, with the unmistakable tang from the Vino Cotto, this mixture screams Christmas at the top of its lungs while swinging from the top of the tree
I haven’t run out of ways to use it yet, but it pairs perfectly with creamy richness, like the mascarpone that I topped this pavlova with
Or, ice cream
OMG, I wonder if I could make a festive version of my Grandma’s Baked Apple Roll with it?
Or a tweaked tiramisu?
Yes, I just gasped out loud
Sorry, got to go and taste test some more


  • 4 cups strong coffee

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 500 grams dried mixed fruit

  • 1 cup raisins

  • 1 cup dried figs, roughly chopped

  • 250 ml Vino Cotto

  • 1/4 cup Cointreau

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

  • Peel from one orange, in strips

  • 6 star anise


  • Brew the coffee and add the sugar, sit aside to cool.
  • Place all of the ingredients into a large pot and heat over medium heat until well combined.
  • Increase the heat slightly until the mixture starts to barely simmer.
  • Cook for 1 ½ hours, stirring regularly to stop the fruit from catching on the bottom.
  • Remove the orange peel and the star anise and pour into sterilised jars.
  • This mixture tastes better and better the longer you let it mature, so try to make a batch as fast as you can.
  • Like…now