Foodie Christmas

Louise Stapley’s pick of the season’s best edible Christmas gifts to suit every budget.

The COBB grill is a nifty invention that makes for the ultimate environmentally-friendly urban barbecue, wood oven, smoker and everything in between. It’s super portable and the base stays cool to the touch, which is great if you only have a balcony to work from.
From £115,

The Quality Chop Shop do a House Hamper
(and a Deluxe Hamper) which makes for a perfectly put-together Christmas prez that requires next to no brainpower on your part. Result.
£75 – £150,

A fun, thoughtful way of spending cash is by putting together your own bespoke hamper from Terroni. As London’s oldest Italian deli, the Clerkenwell institution is brimming with options. Guaranteed crowd-pleasers include artisanal pasta, a Bialetti espresso maker, limoncello and panettone.
Terroni of Clerkenwell, 138-140 Clerkenwell Rd, EC1R 5DL

If there was an award for 2018’s most discerning way to get smashed, it would go to the pickleback: a shot of bourbon chased with a second shot of pickle juice. Gift a DIY duo with a bottle of The Pickle House’s Original Pickle Juice (£11) and a whiskey of your choice.

I’ve been making homemade biscotti for a couple of years now, and people go crazy for it. A batch is super easy to make and you can add any flavours you like – dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, spices, whatever. My faves are these ones (with almonds)…

210g flour
1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar (golden, ideally)
50g ground almonds Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1⁄2 tsp almond extract 100g whole almonds

1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, add the sugar, ground almonds and salt. Mix everything together thoroughly.

2. Lightly beat the egg with the almond extract, make a well in your dry ingredients, and pour it in. Using a wooden spoon, start to bring the ingredients together. Add the almonds about halfway through.

3. Tip it out onto a floured surface and bring the dough together with your hands. It will stay fairly loose. Divide the mixture into two and shape into logs.

4. Place both logs onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes. Remove and leave to cool slightly, leaving the oven on but reduced to 150°C.

5. Once the loaves have cooled enough to handle, slice them carefully on a diagonal into slices. Arrange on a tray and bake again for a further 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

6. Leave to cool, then give to people.