Rachel Khoo


Posted by Rachel

December 9th, 2012

Behind the scenes: Christmas shoot for You Magazine

The past few months have flown by, and September feels like an age ago – but I’m excited to now be able to share with you a Christmas-themed photoshoot that I did with You Magazine back in September! The shoot started with two days food prep in my Little Paris Kitchen. Not an easy task to do… great idea at the time, not quite such a good idea come 10pm the night before the shoot and every single inch of space in my apartment was taken over by some form of Christmas culinary creation!

Prepping in my kitchen

Biscuits for Gingerbread Lanterns

For the shoot, I was joined by a creative team, including photographer David Loftus (David shot the lovely images in my book), Frankie (who helped prepare all the recipes in my kitchen with me) and Elodie, (who styled the shoot). Early morning of the shoot, we loaded up a van with a phenomenal amount of props, bits and bobs and of course, lots of food, and we headed outside of Paris, bound for the countryside! We were channeling an Austrian-style Christmas, surrounded by pretty woodland, a cosy cabin and an open fireplace.

Props galore

From stringing up handmade decorations, to crafting a Christmas tree from wooden bits and pieces found in the nearby farmland, Elodie and her team all got crafty to whip up a festive vibe (even though it was in fact a warm Autumn day, we all managed to get into the Christmas spirit!).

Frankie putting the finishing touches to a Viennese Coffee Martini

We prepared the dishes inside the rustic little cabin, very graciously lent to us by our hosts. We even roasted bread and Camembert over the open fire. David whipped through shooting all the recipes, and we sat down to lunch together, with the little wooden cabin as our backdrop.

You can see the full feature in You Magazine, including all the recipes from the shoot. We included a mix of main meals and bite-sized festive treats, perfect for sharing.

The You Magazine feature includes my recipe for Mini Eggnog Cakes. Whilst you can always use store-bought eggnog, I’m a firm believer that cakes always taste best with homemade ingredients! Here’s my eggnog recipe below.


250ml double cream
200ml full fat milk
1 vanilla pod
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
5 eggyolks
200g caster sugar
150ml brandy

Cut the vanilla pod in half lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to scrape out the vanilla grains. Add the grains with the pod to a pot with the cream, milk, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile whisk the eggyolks with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Once the cream comes to a boil, pour it slowly while whisking the eggyolks. Then pour the mix into a clean pan, set over a gentle heat and whisk constantly. Do not let the custard simmer at any point or it will split. After 5 minutes it will begin to thicken slightly and become the consistency of single cream (it will thicken more when it cools down). Stir in the brandy. Serve warm or wait until it’s cool to pour into a glass bottle. It will keep in the fridge for several days. Shake the bottle before serving.

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