Not everyone can cope with the stodginess of a Christmas pudding after such a big dinner, and if you don’t like dried fruit then you might not enjoy mince pies too much either. Well don’t despair, because we have some delicious dessert recipes below as a lovely change from the traditional Christmas pud.
Mark Greenaway’s Peanut Caramel Cheesecake with Nairn’s Oatcakes – makes 10
- 10x Nairn’s Rough or Fine Milled Oatcakes
- Cheesecake mix: 200g smooth natural Peanut butter, 100g condensed milk, 100ml skimmed milk, 300ml double cream (whipped), 300ml cream cheese
- Caramel Sauce: 100g caster sugar, 50g butter, 25g double cream
Method for caramel sauce: Melt the sugar in a non-stick pan until golden and caramel, add butter and mix, add cream and mix. Simmer for 3 minutes and pass through strainer. Chill and use as required.
Method for cheesecake mix: boil the condensed milk with the peanut butter and skimmed milk for 3 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Whisk the peanut butter mix through the cream cheese until completely incorporated. Fold the cream cheese mixture through the whipped cream and chill for 2 hours. Either pipe on top of each oatcake or use a spoon to do fancy quenelle to impress your friends. Drizzle over the caramel sauce and serve immediately. This cheesecake mix can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- 3tbsp golden syrup, 100g vegetable suet, 80g dark brown sugar, 100g raisins, 50g wholemeal breadcrumbs, 50g self raising flour, 1tsp ground mixed spice, 125g plain cooked (vacuum packed) beetroot, drained, 3 eggs, 100g stem ginger, finely chopped
- You will also need: 1 ½ pint pudding basin, well greased with butter, baking paper, string & tin foil
Pour the golden syrup into the greased pudding basin and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the suet, sugar, raisins, breadcrumbs, flour and mixed spice. Puree the beetroot in a food processor, add the eggs and blend together well. Pour into the mixing bowl, along with the stem ginger, and stir thoroughly. Pour the mix into the pudding basin and pat well down with the back of a spoon. Cover with a layer of baking paper and tie securely with string, then cover with a double layer of foil. Carefully lower the pudding into a large pan of hot water, ensuring the water comes no further than half way up the basin. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 3 hours, checking every now and then that there is plenty of water in the pan, topping up if necessary. Carefully take the pudding out of the pan, remove the foil and greaseproof and invert onto a serving plate. Serve with custard, crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream.
You can find more interesting beetroot recipes at www.lovebeetroot.co.uk
- 50g unsalted butter, softened, in pieces, plus more for the trays (optional), pinch of fine salt, ½ tsp caster sugar, 80g plain flour, sifted, 2 eggs
- For the filling: 250ml double cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp icing sugar
- For the dark chocolate icing: 150g dark chocolate, finely chopped, 1 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tbsp icing sugar
- For the light chocolate icing: 150g icing sugar, 3 tsp cocoa, 1 tsp liquid glucose, and tiny gold edible stars to decorate
Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Line two baking trays with baking parchment, or butter two trays well.
Put the butter and 125ml of water, the salt and sugar into a pan and place over a gentle heat until melted, then increase the heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the pan. Reduce the heat to very low and beat for 30 seconds to dry the mixture a little, but not too much or the éclairs will crack in the oven. Cool for three or four minutes. Set one egg aside, place in a bowl and break it up with a fork. Crack the other egg into the mixture and beat it in. Gradually add the remaining egg, beating hard after each addition. You may not need it all. The dough will become shiny and fall from the spoon.
Spoon it into the piping bag, and pipe six 10cm diameter circles on the baking trays. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and bake for 15–20 minutes, until crisp. Slit the side of each and leave to cool.
For the filling, whip the cream to soft peaks, then add the vanilla and icing sugar. Split the éclairs in half and pipe in the cream.
For the dark icing, place a heatproof bowl over simmering water; the bowl should not touch the water. Place the chocolate, 2 tbsp of water and the butter in the bowl and melt. Sift in the icing sugar, mix and cool slightly. For the lighter icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl. Stir in 4–5 tsp of water and the liquid glucose, aiming for the consistency of double cream.
Spread your choice of icing over the éclairs, allow it to set slightly and finally sprinkle with stars.
Recipe from SEASONAL BAKING by Fiona Cairns, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson £25
300 ml double cream, packet of 8 x meringue nests, 175g crushed vandotsch speculaas biscuits
Whip the cream until thick but still soft. Roughly crush the meringues and fold into the cream. Roughly crush the biscuits into small pieces and mix into the mixture. Transfer into a loaf tin lined with cling film – make sure that there is enough overhang to bring the film up and over, sealing the top. Freeze for at least 4 hours. Serve on a platter as it is, with grated chocolate or raspberries.
Visit the Speculaas spice company for more recipes.
440g ready rolled puff pastry, 500g sweet mince meat, 2 free range eggs, 50g whole milk
Start by preheating the oven to 180°C and line the baking tray. Then cut the pastry into two 15cm strips and roll until they are equal in length to the tray. Place one strip on the tray, spoon on the mince and gently level, leaving a 2cm border around the outside. Mix the milk and eggs into a wash and brush over the border. Fold the second sheet of pastry in half lengthways and insert diagonal cuts every 2cm then lay on top of the mince. Seal the edges and egg wash all over. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until golden. Once cooked, take dessert out of the oven and allow the Jalousie to cool before dividing into 5cm wide portions.
Specially for Christmas, Brasserie Blanc are serving a delicious Christmas dessert for guests.