Enjoy a Spicy Christmas with Family & Friends


‘Tis the season to be jolly, and is there anything better than spending time with family and friends, sharing delicious food?

What would Christmas be without plenty of spices? From traditional mixed spice, to the more contemporary black lime, spices can take Christmas from good to great. To help you celebrate we have put together 10 of Liz and Kate Hemphill’s favourite recipes for easy, tasty entertaining.

There are plenty of non-festive recipes too if you feel in the mood for a curry! These recipes are also print friendly, so you can keep your favourites for any other entertaining occasions throughout the year.


Herbie’s Christmas Ham with Cloves & Star Anise:

This ham has been part of the Hemphill Christmas feast for many years, and continues to be enjoyed afterwards in sandwiches, salads, soups and omelettes.

Lemon Pepper Smoked Trout Pate with Lemon & Herb Pepper:

A perfect dish that can be whipped up in no time and served individually as a starter, or as part of a mezze board. We highly recommend trout from the Snowy Mountains in NSW.

Smoked Salmon Filo Cups with Black Lime:

These delicate canapes are the perfect accompaniment to Christmas bubbles. Use a mini muffin tin for the filo cups and ensure they are assembled right before serving, as the filo will lose its crispness quickly.

Spiced Chocolate Mince Pies with Cinnamon, Mixed Spice & Spice Dust:

It isn’t Christmas without the distinctive flavour of sweet spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Mince pies are a lovely addition to a festive party, or as a special home-made gift.

Fennel Seed and Parsley Seafood Dressing:

This simple dressing is wonderful with all types of crustaceans – we love it with bug tails as part of our Christmas lunch.

Seeded Savoury Cocktail Biscuits with Ras el Hanout, Ajowan and Nigella:

When your occasion is too special for a box of crackers from the supermarket, whip up a batch of these! The most efficient shapes to cut are diamond shapes formed by making straight line cuts right across the rolled pastry. These biscuits will keep well for two weeks in an airtight container.

Quail’s Eggs with Dukkah:

We love this simple, stylish snack when entertaining.

Tiger’s Tails with Tiger’s Spice:

We’ve put a twist on a cheese straw by using our popular Tiger’s Spice. This is a great one for kids to make, and we guarantee they’ll disappear quickly.

Star Anise and Pine Nut Brownies with Vanilla Extract & Rose Petals:

These yummy brownies were our Easter chocolate indulgence this year, and we’ll be making them again for Christmas. We love the hint of star anise with the earthy chocolate, and who can go past something served with pretty rose petals on top?

Classic Christmas Gingerbread with Ginger and Mixed Spice:

It really feels like Christmas in our house when the festive shape-cutters come out. We’ve got a great punch of zingy ginger in our recipe, along with some fragrant mixed spice.

Mulled wine

Mulled wine made with Herbie’s Mulling Spices is a quintessential festive drink, and if it’s too hot for red wine it works well chilled or in a jelly.

Christmas Pavlova with Spiced Syrup

This year we will be finishing our Christmas meal in style with a fantastic pavlova. Topped with cream, cherries, pomegranate and figs, it incorporates all the fruit and spice of a classic Australian dessert.

For more spice information, recipes and learn how to make your own spice mixes, buy The Spice & Herb Bible 3rd Edition by Ian Hemphill with recipes by Kate Hemphill.