Huge 12 Days of Down Under Christmas Giveaway!

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12 Days of Down Under Christmas 2017

Welcome to the 12 Days of Down Under Christmas super giveaway.

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. What authors! What prizes! What fun you’re going to have!

The promotion runs from Saturday December 2nd (December 1st for US folk) until Tuesday 13th December, and hops from author to author. Each day a new post will go live, featuring something fun and Christmassy, and an individual giveaway.

Feel free to go your hardest and enter all the giveaways for more chances to win great prizes.

But wait, there’s more!

On top of the individual blog prizes, you’ll have the chance, via Rafflecopter, to enter the overall prize which is for a $50 Amazon gift card. How cool is that?

We’re at Day 7 already, but that doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on the previous posts and giveaways. They’re still open and will remain open for entries until December 13th.

You’ll find the list of participating authors and links, and the major Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post. Have fun reading and entering!

But first…

My 12 Days of Down Under Christmas Fun

I’ve decided on two special things for you, both with a suitably seasonal theme.

Santa and the Saddler by Cathryn HeinThe first is a beautiful recipe that will have friends and family oohing and ahhing over your cleverness. The second is a giveaway which, given it’s the season to be jolly, can only be for a paperback copy of my Christmas themed, Romantic Book of the Year finalist, Santa and the Saddler.

Those of you who have followed this blog for a long time might recognise this recipe from a 2011 episode of Friday Feast. I’ve decided to share it again because it’s truly delicious, one of my all-time favourite do-ahead desserts, not difficult, and looks stunning.

The kind of indulgent dessert that everyone should have on their Christmas party table.


Begin this recipe one day ahead. The undecorated cake will keep for three or four days in the fridge (probably more if you can resist eating it for that long), which means you can make it well in advance. I don’t recommend freezing. I tried it once and it seemed to abnormally affect the texture.

Use full fat everything. This creamy cake is meant to be decadent!

White Chocolate Decadence


450g cream cheese, at room temperature

¼ cup (60 ml) caster sugar

3 teaspoons (15 ml) cornflour

3 eggs

1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla bean paste

3 teaspoons (15 ml) finely grated lemon zest

2 cups (500 ml) sour cream

1 cup (250 ml) thickened cream

240g block of good quality white chocolate, melted then cooled to lukewarm. I use Lindt.

Fresh seasonal fruit and fruit puree to serve.


Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a 20cm springform cake pan and line base and sides with baking paper. Wrap the outside of the tin tightly in a few layers of foil. It is important that the tin is made waterproof or water will leak into the tin during cooking and spoil the cake.

Or you can use a well-lined, plain round cake tin and pray like crazy that the cake doesn’t crack when you invert it at the end!

Whiz cheese and sugar in a food processor or mixer until smooth. With the motor running, add cornflour, then eggs one at a time, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. Add vanilla, zest and creams, and ¼ teaspoon salt, and process until just combined, scraping down sides.

Add chocolate and pulse until smooth. Pour the mixture into the lined tin then set on a folded tea-towel in a large roasting dish (the tea-towel prevents the tin slipping around). Pour hot water into the dish until it comes halfway up the sides of the cake tin.

Bake for 45 minutes, then leave the cake in switched off oven with the door closed for one hour. Remove tin from roasting dish, remove exterior foil and cool cake completely on a rack, leaving it in its tin. Cover and chill overnight.

Turn out onto a plate or cake stand. Remove baking paper, top with fruit then drizzle with fruit puree. Slice using a hot, dry knife.

Go on, make it. I dare you.


What’s your favourite Christmas dessert? Do you have something special that you make, like a pudding using an old family recipe, or perhaps you prefer to whip up a simple but colourful fruit platter (much easier and more refreshing when faced with a stinking Aussie summer’s day)?

Share your favourite Christmas dessert for parties or the traditional lunch and I’ll pop you into the draw to win a copy of my gorgeous Christmas themed Australian rural romance, Santa and the Saddler!

Open worldwide.

Giveaway closes midnight Australian time, Wednesday December 13th 2017.

As promised, here are the links to all the other giveaways and the major Rafflecopter draw to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

Good luck!

12 Days of Down Under Christmas participants

(remember, these giveaways will remain open until the end of the promotion, so make sure enter them all for even more chances to win)

Day 1 – Kris Pearson

Day 2 – Joanne Dannon

Day 3 – Cassandra O’Leary 

Day 4 – Annie Seaton

Day 5 – Monique McDonell

Day 6 – Kate O’Keeffe

Day 7 – Cathryn Hein

Day 8 – Tracey Alvarez (live from  December 9th Australian time)

Day 9 – Leeanna Morgan (live from December 10th Australian time)

Day 10 – Wendy Vella (live from December 11th Australian time)

Day 11 – Charmaine Ross (live from December 12th Australian time)

Day 12 – Aislinn Kearns (live from December 13th Australian time)

Major $50 Amazon Gift Card Prize

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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44 thoughts on “Huge 12 Days of Down Under Christmas Giveaway!

  1. AvatarFranca Poli

    Hi Cathryn, I wanted to share my family’s traditional Christmas dessert. Unfortunately I can not put the photo, but only the ingredients and the preparation.
    Merry Christmas
    Franca Poli

    The favorite Christmas dessert is “Sweet Salami”

        100 g of butter
        250 g of dry biscuits
        2 chicken eggs
        100 g of sugar
        1 tablespoon of rum
        50 g of bitter cocoa powder
        Powdered sugar


        Melt the butter very gently to prevent it from heating, but only melt.
        Wrap the cookies in a clean dishcloth and beat them with a meat hammer to crumble them coarsely.
        In a bowl, beat the eggs, which must be at room temperature, with a whisk and add the sugar. Work until a homogeneous mixture is obtained, then add the rum and incorporate it. Finally add the melted butter.
        Obtained a soft and homogeneous dough, add the cocoa powder and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
        Finally add the dry biscuits, mixing.
        Bring the dough on a sheet of baking paper and give it the shape of a salami.
        Sprinkle the icing sugar salami, then wrap it with a sheet of foil.
        Put it in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
        It is possible to slice it as soon as it is taken out of the freezer, so as to take as much as necessary and put the rest back in the freezer. If you like it softer you can instead keep it in the fridge until it’s time to serve it. In general, however, it is to be served cold because if it heats up it loses consistency.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Wow, Franca, thank you so much for sharing. Now that’s my kind of salami!! Anything with rum in it has to be good for you. I bet that goes down very nicely with a cup of coffee after a meal, or any time of the day, really.

      Thanks again and good luck in the draw!

  2. AvatarCatherine White

    I make simple truffles. Blend a tub of cream cheese with biscuits (Oreo’s, malt, any!) Chill mixture for about 10 min the wet hands and roll into balls. Balls can then be dipped in chocolate or rolled in coconut or sprinkles or whatever you like and have to hand.
    Quick, simple, easy and delicious

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      How easy are those to make! And then you can do what you like with the coating to pretty them up.

      Thanks so much, Catherine. All the best in the giveaway.

  3. AvatarMel

    We have birthdays is December so we have a chocolate mud cake….and then because christmas is australia is normally hot we have a huge fruit platter with watermelon, berries , cherries , pineapple….and sometimes with a dollop of lemon sorbet… delicious !

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Fruit with lemon sorbet sounds gorgeous, Mel. And, as you say, perfect for when it’s hot. And has the added bonus of being healthy so we can eat more of the naughty stuff!!

      Thanks and good luck.

  4. AvatarKaren M

    My favourite dessert for Xmas or anytime is Honeycomb Icecream Slice. Whip 600ml thickened cream with a tin of condensed milk till thick. Stir in crushed violet crumble chococate. Line a tray with malt’o’milk biscuits then spread mix on top. Freeze, slice to serve.
    You can easily change to any type of chocolate you like. Cherry Ripe is great too.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      I make that same ice-cream, Karen! It is one of the easiest, and most delicious things, and very, very naughty. I love the idea of using biscuits on the base. I’ll have to try that one, and for variety you’d could mix and match the base to the chocolate used too.

      Great stuff. Good luck!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Lovely! Tis the season to be sweet and jolly, after all. And they can be cut into suitable Christmassy shapes for extra seasonal flavour.

      Thanks Catherine. All the best in the draw.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      It is, isn’t it, Mary? Nice and refreshing, easy to do, and because it’s fruit we can eat more of the less healthy things!

      Thanks and good luck.

  5. AvatarDianne

    We have Dark Chocolate Mousse with Berry Coulis for our version of Christmas cake. That way everyone can enjoy a delicious dessert together safely (allergies). It’s light, delicious and so suitable for a summer Christmas. Thanks!

  6. AvatarLesley McIntosh

    A Rolled pavlova is lovely and can be filled with lemon curd and cream or strawberries and cream

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Rolled pav… mmmmmmm. Now that sounds delicious, Lesley. And it’d look really impressive too. A feast for the eyes as well as the mouth!

      Thanks for sharing and good luck in the giveaway draw.

  7. AvatarDebbie Martin

    I love to make divinity but I have learned this past year to make pavlova but I love to put blueberries on top of the cream!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ooooooh! I LOVE the sound of pumpkin bread, Carol. Will be googling a recipe as soon as I’ve finished this comment. I bet it makes the house smell amazing.

      Thanks so much for sharing and all the best in the giveaway.

  8. AvatarLinda Moffitt

    Yum! Lovin’ The Sound of a Full Fat Dessert
    I really like Pumpkin Rolls
    and Potato Candy (I think that is what it’s called but I haven’t had it forever, but I remember it is VERY rich tasting)
    Thank You

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      No skimping at Christmas, Linda. Full fat all the way! Oooh, I wonder what Potato Candy is (the mention that it’s rich tasting has me intrigued). I shall google to see what I can find out, and pumpkin rolls too. Love discovering new treats.

      Thanks so much for joining in the fun. Good luck!

  9. AvatarGail

    My favorite Christmas desert is potato candy ( I think some people may call it peanut butter roll) – its made with cooled mashed potatos, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and peanut butter

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ooh, Gail, I nearly missed your comment. Sorry!
      I went and googled potato candy and it looks amaaaaaazing. I’d love to try it one day. I bet it’s delicious. Sugary, mind, but delicious.
      You’re in the draw despite my tardiness. Good luck!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      YUM! Now that’s always a favourite, Laura. Not so sure how it’d go at the end of a hot Aussie lunch though. Then again, plenty of people still have fruit pudding and that’s really heavy.

      Thanks and good luck!

  10. AvatarJean White

    Fruit Pretzel Dessert
    1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels – not too fine
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup melted butter
    1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
    1 9 ounce container of Cool Whip
    2 3 ounce boxes of raspberry Jello
    2 cups boiling water
    2 10 ounce packages of frozen raspberries
    Combine crushed pretzels with 1/2 cup sugar and butter. Mix well and pat into the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 6 minutes. Cool completely. Put cream cheese in bowl with 1/2 cup sugar and whisk until fluffy. Fold in cool whip and mix together thoroughly. Spread over cooled crumb mixture. Boil the water, pour into a bowl with the 2 packages of jello, stir thoroughly. Add frozen berries. Chill until it starts to set up, then pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares and serve.

    Can substitute strawberry jello and strawberries if you do not like raspberry.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Wow! That sounds delicious and really easy, Jean. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I bet it looks impressive too and I luuuurve the sound of the pretzel base. I bet that tastes a treat. I’d have to check, but I’m not sure we have Cool Whip in Australia. I imagine normal whipped cream would work fine.

      Thanks again and I wish you all the best in the giveaway!

  11. AvatarLori Payer

    I love having fudge at the holidays, but I haven’t made it for years. Might need to make some soon. 🙂

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      What a great idea, Lori. Home made fudge makes a lovely present for people when you’re stuck for gifts or for when visitors drop by. Am smiling here because my mouth started watering at the thought!

      All the best in the giveaway.

  12. AvatarMichelle Catallo

    I love to make a chocolate truffle cheesecake, but unable to this year as I have misplaced that recipe LOL I’ll find it again, most likely in a couple months. So, baking and bringing my peanut butter pudding brownies to potlucks currently LOL

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      That sounds like a recipe you need to find again ASAP! Chocolate truffle cheesecake… mmmmm. Mind you, peanut butter pudding brownies sound pretty fine too!

      Thanks, Michelle, and good luck in the draw.

  13. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

    I’ve just run you all through a random generator and it’s congratulations to JEAN WHITE! Jean, you’ve won a paperback copy of my cute Christmas novella SANTA AND THE SADDLER. I’ll be in touch shortly so we can arrange delivery.

    Thanks so much to everyone who joined in and for sharing your treats. I learned about some fab new foods which was very cool.

    Congratulations also to the overall Rafflecopter winner Michelle C. I’m sure she’ll spend that $50 voucher very wisely!

    Thanks again, and I wish you all a gorgeous holiday season and a truly amazing New Year.

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