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750g frozen summer fruit
250g caster sugar
9 sheets leaf gelatine
75g custard powder
1½-2 Madeira cake, cubed
4 tbsp sherry or cassis
300-450ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 crushed amaretti biscuit, to serve
1. Put the fruit in a pan with 200g sugar and 1 litre water and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 2 mins, then scoop out 6 tbsp fruit and 150ml juice. Now carry on cooking the fruit in the pan for 5 mins.
2. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine in cold water to soften it. If you have a hand blender, blitz the cooked fruit or mash with a potato masher, then strain through a sieve into a large bowl and push through the pulp so just the skins and seeds are left. Squeeze excess water from the gelatine, add to the hot fruit syrup and stir to dissolve. Cool, then chill until on the point of almost setting.
3. Make the custard according to pack instructions with the custard powder, milk and 50g sugar to create a really thick custard. Cover the surface with baking paper while it cools a little.
4. Pile the cake into a trifle bowl, spoon over the reserved juice and berries, then the Sherry. Pour over a thick layer of custard, pushing it against the side of the dish to seal in the cake below. Leave to cool and set with a skin – this makes a barrier for the jelly.
5. When the custard is cold and set, and the jelly is on the point of setting, spoon the jelly over the custard and chill until ready to complete.
6. Whip the cream with the vanilla and icing sugar until just holding its shape, then spoon round the bowl over the set jelly. Scatter with the crushed biscuits and chill until ready to serve.
A classy effort that is sure to receive some compliments at any Christmas social.
There’s almost too much going on here, but I think that’s also why we like it.
A millennial take on the traditional Christmas jumper.
A sweet treat
One for a buddy
A sight that never fails to amuse, adults dressed as elves.
A simple jumper with some subtle styling, you can’t go wrong with a noble stag.
Save room for pudding
A jumper to hide your turkey baby under, and everything else over the festive period!
3D retro jumper
A retro style jumper which comes complete with 3D stockings on the sleeve.
Do as Santa says
Santa says relax, who are we to argue?
The Fresh Prince
One for anyone in their 20s or early 30s. We can’t get enough of this Fresh Prince themed masterpiece.
225g cold butter, diced
350g plain flour
100g golden caster sugar
1 small egg
Icing sugar, to dust
To make the pastry, rub 225g cold, diced butter into 350g plain flour, then mix in 100g golden caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine the pastry into a ball – don’t add liquid – and knead it briefly. The dough will be fairly firm, like shortbread dough. You can use the dough immediately, or chill for later.
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Line 18 holes of two 12-hole patty tins, by pressing small walnut-sized balls of pastry into each hole. Spoon 280g mincemeat into the pies.
Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids, big enough to cover the pies. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal – you don’t need to seal them with milk or egg as they will stick on their own. (The pies may now be frozen for up to 1 month).
Beat 1 small egg and brush the tops of the pies. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. To serve, lightly dust with icing sugar. They will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.
Be sure to check back for tomorrow’s advent door.