Talisker whisky truffles

Sugar and spice: Mark Hix's sweet treats make perfect gifts for friends and family

We all indulge a bit over the festive period, and it's nice to have a few little sweet treats to hand for when relatives and friends drop by or to just leave on the table after Christmas lunch so that people can help themselves when they feel peckish. Home-made chocolates and sweets also make great, economical little gifts for family and friends, simply wrapped up in little cellophane packets with a ribbon.

Talisker whisky truffles

Talisker whisky truffles

Makes about 20

1. Collezione barbiere shaving cream:
£37, Aqua di Parma, 01932 233861 -
This is a pricey, old-school cream but, enriched with almond oil and lemon balm, its scent is divine.

The 10 Best Shaving creams

The average chap will shave 20,000 times in his lifetime, so keep skin soothed with one of these face-friendly buys

Patricia Michelson opened cheese shop, La Fromagerie, in Highbury Park in 1992. Ten years later she opened a second on Marylebone High Street and has written two award-winning books, Cheese and The Cheese Room

My Life In Food: Patricia Michelson

After successfully selling Beaufort Chalet d'Alpage from her garden shed in Highgate, north London, Patricia opened a cheese shop, La Fromagerie, in Highbury Park in 1992. Ten years later she opened a second on Marylebone High Street and has written two award-winning books, Cheese and The Cheese Room.

Super troopers: The rise of the Supergroup

Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart and Joss Stone have released an unlikely collaboration

Meringue with sweet cream and raspberries

Makes 8 medium-sized meringues

Minor British Institutions: Old trains

Officially, of course, they are so over, left behind like the coach and horse and carrier's cart, hissing, clunking, smudging antitheses to our age of supposed clean efficiency.

Chocolate panna cotta

Serves 4

The Flying Karamazov Brothers, Vaudeville Theatre, London

You don't get what it says on the tin. They don't fly, they're not Russian and they're not brothers. And their line of patter is a little less dense than Dostoevsky's: "We're working without a net tonight." "We didn't invite her." Boom-boom, as Basil Brush used to say.

Summer pudding

This quintessential English dessert is easy to make and benefits from a little time in the fridge to make it easier to take from the mould. The proportions of the fruits used are less important than the selection. You need a mix of tart and sweet – red or blackcurrants are a must, as are raspberries, blackberries and strawberries.

Kev's tart

Serves 4-6
Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel Shop See all offers »
India and Nepal
14 nights from £2,159pp Find out more
Dutch Masters
five nights from £679pp Find out more
La Robla and Rioja
nine nights from £1599pp Find out more
Classical Spain
six nights from £539pp Find out more
California and the Golden West
14 nights from £1,599pp Find out more
Bruges
three nights from £269pp Find out more
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice