Christmas Desserts

Christmas desserts

Christmas desserts

However you celebrate Christmas, food will undoubtedly play a large part in the proceedings. Turkey, goose, duck… often the focus of the meal is the bird you cook and the trimmings you serve with it, but what you make for pudding deserves just as much attention. We thought it might be an idea to take a look at all the delicious sweet treats you can prepare for your guests to give you some inspiration while you’re putting your menu together. Our in-house chefs are happy to share one of their yummiest recipes with you to try out this festive season.

Contemporary twists

As much as we all love a rich, fruity pudding, sometimes a slightly lighter dessert works best after a large roast dinner. A meringue-based dish, such as a winter berry Pavlova, or a lemon meringue pie log will keep your menu feeling festive, but offer guests a lighter, tangy treat for afters.

Chocolate

You can’t go far wrong serving a chocolate dessert on Christmas Day. A dark chocolate torte, a milk chocolate mousse or even a Black Forest Gateaux will all prove to be real crowd pleasers. Each can also be prepared on Christmas Eve, giving you time to spare in between courses.

The classics

A traditional Christmas cake is a densely packed fruit sponge, often soaked with brandy or whisky. When served it’s covered in a thin layer of marzipan and then a generous coat of royal icing. Because the alcohol preserves the cake, it can be made weeks in advance and brushed with the liquor every couple of days. The long process of lovingly basting a Christmas cake is what makes it such a big part of many families’ Christmas season. Similarly, the Christmas pudding – also a fruity, boozy dessert – is made well in advance of Christmas Day and requires steaming for several hours before serving.

Layer upon layer of some of the best pudding ingredients around, what’s not to like? Trifle has become a staple dessert in many homes during the Christmas period and the great thing about this dish is it’s easy to customise for your friends and family. Got a lot of custard fans? Then make that layer extra thick. Serving it for children too? Simply swap the sherry for a fruit syrup. You can also choose which fruits, jams and jellies you use, depending on your guests.

Our kitchen’s Chocolate and Banana Strudel with Tonka Bean Ice-cream

Banana Strudle

Originally from Austria, the strudel has become a familiar dessert at Christmas time. Leftover Christmas pudding or mince pie filling is rolled up in delicious flaky pastry, giving it a second life – and everyone else a second pudding! In this recipe, the strudel is given a classic combination filling of chocolate and banana, and is served with a delicious, aromatic ice cream.

Serves: 8

Strudel ingredients:

10 medium eggs

185g caster sugar

250g unsalted butter

250g 65% dark chocolate

100g plain flour

35g cocoa powder

8 medium bananas

10 Snickers chocolate bars

8 spring roll wraps

2 egg yolks – for sealing strudels

Method:

  1. Chop bananas and Snickers bars to 1cm cubes.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate in a ‘bain marie’ and leave to cool.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamed, then slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the cooled, melted chocolate.
  4. Next, fold in the flour and cocoa powder and then stir in the chopped Snickers bars and bananas.
  5. Lay down the spring roll sheets (it’s best to cling film your work surface first as it’s easier for cleaning!) and place a generous portion of the mix onto each.
  6. Egg wash the edges of the spring roll pastry and roll tightly ensuring that the ends are folded neatly in, otherwise the mixture will explode out. Pop them in the fridge until later.

For the ice cream

Ingredients:

284ml double cream

300ml full fat milk

115g caster sugar

3 large egg yolks

1 tonka bean, grated with a microplane

Method:

  1. Put the milk, cream and grated tonka bean into a pan and bring to the boil, then leave to cool for 30 minutes.
  2. Beat the sugar and egg yolks until thick and creamy.
  3. Combine the cream mixture and the sugar mixture in the pan and slowly bring to a simmer, stirring regularly.
  4. Once thickened, cool and place into an ice-cream machine and churn.

To serve:

  1. Heat vegetable oil to 175 degrees celcius
  2. Carefully deep fry the strudels one or two at time till golden brown in colour and reserve on a cloth to remove excess oil
  3. Serve with a generous scoop of ice cream.

Inspiration

If you’re still stuck for ideas for what to serve your friends and family this Christmas, why not take a look at some of our Autumn/Winter menus, and see if any of our desserts inspire you! If you do end up making the banana and chocolate strudel, we’d love to hear how it went down with your guests!

19 December 2017
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