Food

Decadent Christmas desserts

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Let's face it Christmas just isn't the same without the requisite quota of sweet stuff, whether that's consuming your body weight in mince pies or scoffing down an entire box of Quality Streets in one sitting (don't judge: we've all been there). So in the spirit of flagrant indulgence, we've brought together ten festive dessert ideas from Paul Hollywood's arctic roll to passion fruit truffles from food blogger Made by Margie. Enjoy!

  • Oreo cookies and cream white chocolate bar

    From madebymargie.co.uk

    Ingredients

    • 300g white chocolate (chips, or broken into pieces)

    • 18 Oreo cookies

    Method

    1. Lay out a piece of baking parchment (about 30 cm long) or use a non-stick mat

    2. Place the white chocolate into a heatproof bowl and pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds give the chocolate a stir and put it back in for another 30 seconds. Repeat until the chocolate is melted

    3. Next roughly chop the Oreos to a rubble-like texture. Keep aside one handful of the Oreo rubble and add the rest of the Oreo rubble to the white chocolate soup and stir

    4. Pour the mixture out onto the baking parchment and smooth a little (if necessary) with the back of a spoon so its roughly about 1 cm thick (this is not a recipe where exact measures need to be taken)

    5. Chop the remaining rubble so that it more resembles dust and scatter Oreo dust onto the mixture and then leave to cool. This process can be sped up by popping the baking parchment onto a board and placing in the fridge for about 20 mins

    6. Once the chocolate has set, break into rough chunks with your hands and serve

  • Ice Cream Canapés

    From Jules Destrooper

    Ingredients

    • 1 small tub high quality vanilla ice cream
    • 1 box Jules Destrooper Croquantes or Chocolate Selection Box
    • Glitter crunch (for decoration)

    Method

    1. Using a melon baller scoop out small balls of vanilla ice cream then place on a small tray and re-freeze until firm

    2. When ready to serve place the ice cream balls onto the Jules Destrooper chocolate croquantes, sprinkle with bronze glitter crunch

  • "Get me out of trouble" chocolate cake

    From Tom Herbert of The Fabulous Baker Brothers and Hobbs House Bakery

    Ingredients

    • 250g butter
    • 250g sugar
    • 10 egg whites
    • 10 egg yolks
    • 500g good chocolate (70%)
    • cream, to serve

    Method

    1. Over a gentle flame, heat a pan of water. Place the butter and chocolate in a metal bowl and cover with cling film, place on the pan and let the steam melt the chocolate. It’s important not to stir the mixture or let any moisture get into the chocolate or it may “seize” and go grainy. Take off the heat when done and pull off the cling film

    2. In an electric mixer, beat the sugar and yolks till they are pale and flurry, about 10 minutes. On a slow speed, pour in the melted chocolate and butter and beat until smooth and glossy

    3. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks; it’s easier done in a mixer if you’re not feeling hard-core. Using a metal spoon, gently fold the egg whites into the cake mixture. Add the whites in two stages: this keeps the mixture light and fluffy. Don’t overmix or the air will be lost

    4. Heat the oven to 180°C and grease a 30cm tin. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on how done you want it. I always like a slightly gooey centre. Leave to rest, then serve while still warm, with cream

  • Arctic roll

    From Pies and Puds by Paul Hollywood (Bloomsbury, £20)

    Ingredients

    • a little sunflower oil, for oiling
    • 500ml good-quality vanilla
    • ice cream
    • 200g raspberry jam

    For the Swiss roll:

    • 3 medium eggs
    • 100g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
    • 100g self-raising flour
    • 1 tbsp warm water

    Method

    1. Heat your oven to 200°C/gas 6 and line a Swiss roll tin, 22 x 32cm or thereabouts, with baking parchment and oil this very lightly. Put the ice cream in a large bowl and beat it with a rolling pin or something similar until just soft enough to mould. Scoop it onto a sheet of baking parchment and shape into a sausage, 25–30cm long and about 5cm in diameter. Wrap in the parchment and place in the freezer to firm up

    2. To make the Swiss roll, use an electric whisk or a mixer with a whisk attachment to whisk the eggs and sugar together for several minutes until pale, moussey and almost tripled in volume. The mixture should be thick enough to hold a trail on the surface when the whisk is lifted. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold it in carefully. Fold in the warm water

    3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth it out gently so it reaches into the corners. Bake for 10–12 minutes until golden and just firm to the touch

    4. Cut a sheet of baking parchment slightly larger than the Swiss roll tin, lay it on your work surface and sprinkle with sugar. Invert the cooked sponge onto the parchment and carefully peel away the lining paper from the sponge. Leave to cool completely. To assemble the roll, first trim the two long sides of the sponge into neat, straight lines. Spread the jam over the sponge, leaving a 2cm clear margin along the edges

    5. Unwrap the ice cream and place it lengthways across the sponge, close to one edge. Use the parchment to help you roll the sponge around the ice cream. Use a bread knife to neatly trim each end of the roll

    6. Place the Arctic roll on a plate and serve straight away, cut into thick slices. You can wrap any of the roll that isn't eaten and return it to the freezer. Take it out and let it stand for a few minutes so the sponge can soften slightly, before slicing to serve

  • Homemade Hokey Pokey

    From madebymargie.co.uk

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
    • 150g caster sugar
    • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
    • optional: 250g dark chocolate, melted

    Method

    1. Lay a piece of baking parchment onto a baking tray

    2. Take a large sauce pan (bigger than you think) and melt the golden syrup first (top tip: dip your spoon in oil first and the golden syrup will slide right off)

    3. Add the sugar and give it a good stir. After that, don’t stir it again, just give the pan a jiggle every now and then until the mixture comes to the boil. Boil for 3 minutes

    4. Turn off the heat and stir in the bicarbonate of soda. Keep stirring and it will really froth up like bubble bath. (This is the reason you used the big pan)

    5. Quickly pour onto the baking parchment and leave to cool. Meanwhile pop your pan straight into the sink and run really hot water onto it and the honeycomb will come straight off

    6. When the honeycomb is cooled, break into hunks and enjoy the golden nuggets. Or, for an extra touch, dip in melted chocolate

  • Lemon macaroons

    From English Provender Company

    Ingredients

    • 100g icing sugar
    • 75g ground almonds
    • finely grated rind 1 lemon
    • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
    • 75g caster sugar
    • few drops yellow food colouring or paste

    For the lemon filling:

    • 150g mascarpone
    • 75g The English Provender Co. Luxury Lemon Curd

    Method

    1. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper and trace 20 x 3cm circles on each, then turn the paper over. Preheat the oven to 150˚C, Gas Mark 2

    2. Place the icing sugar, ground almonds and lemon rind in a food processor and blitz to make a fine dust

    3. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl, using an electric whisk, until the mixture forms soft peaks, (do not over whisk). Gradually whisk in the caster sugar a little at a time until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Whisk in the food colouring, until you have an even colour

    4. With a large metal spoon, gently fold in the icing sugar and almond mixture, until well incorporated

    5. Transfer the mixture to an icing bag with a plain nozzle and holding the bag vertically, pipe the mixture evenly into the centre of the circles, keeping the discs even in size and volume

    6. Bang the sheets down a few times, to expel any air bubbles and peaks. Set aside for 30 minutes, to dry out and form a skin, the mixture should not stick to your finger when touched

    7. Bake in the oven for about 15-18 minutes until the surface is firm, leave to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool

    8. To make the filling, whisk the mascarpone with the lemon curd until thick, transfer to a piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe into the centre of the flat side of 20 of the macaroons, sandwich together with the remaining macaroons.

    9. Once filled the macaroons are best eaten on the same day

  • Christmas Ice Cream Bombe

    From Rachel's Organic

    Ingredients

    • 200g dried fruit (sultanas, sour cherries, cranberries, blueberries)
    • 6 tbsp brandy or dark rum (optional)
    • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
    • 350ml double cream
    • 300g Rachel’s Greek Style Bio Live Natural Yogurt
    • 100g Rachel’s Vanilla Bio Live Yogurt
    • 200g frozen berries (raspberries or mixed summer)

    Sauce:

    • 200g cranberries, fresh or frozen
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 1 tbsp cornflour
    • 2 tbsp water

    Method

    1. Soak the dried fruit with the brandy and dark brown sugar and leave overnight. If you are short of time microwave the fruit on high for 2-3 minutes

    2. Line a 2 litre pudding basin with clingfilm with enough overhang to cover the top of the pudding

    3. Whip the cream and yogurts to soft peaks, add the frozen berries and stir

    4. Add the soaked fruit, mix well

    5. Spoon into the pudding basin, push the mixture down and level off the surface. Ensure the clingfilm covers the top

    6. Place in the freezer overnight or at least for half a day

    7. Before serving remove from freezer and allow to thaw a little at room temperature. Invert the basin onto a serving plate and tip over to release. You may find a palate knife useful to ease out the edges

    8. Tip: you can decant by dipping the basin in a larger bowl of warm water, hold for 30 seconds and release

    9. To make the sauce place the cranberries and caster sugar in a sauce pan and gently heat until all the sugar has dissolved

    10. Make a paste with the cornflour and water and gradually add this to the cranberries and sugar. Allow to thicken and then remove from the heat

    11. Pour the sauce over the bombe before serving and allow to trickle down

  • Mince pies

    From Peyton & Byrne

    Ingredients

    Mincemeat:

    • 225g Bramley apples, cored and chopped small
    • 110g shredded suet
    • 175g raisins
    • 110g sultanas
    • 110g currents
    • 110g mixed candied peel, chopped finely
    • 175g dark brown sugar
    • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
    • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 25g blanched almonds, chopped
    • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
    • 1tsp cinnamon
    • Pinch grated nutmeg
    • 3 tbsp brandy

    Pies:

    * 450g (350ml jar) Mincemeat – see previous recipe

    For the shortcrust pastry:

    • 220g plain flour
    • pinch of salt
    • 100g unsalted butter, cut into rough 1cm cubes
    • 3 tbsp cold water

    For the glaze:

    • milk for brushing the tops
    • icing sugar for dusting

    Method

    Mincemeat:

    1. In a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients, mix everything together and stir well. Cover and set aside overnight

    2. The next day sterilise your jars by washing them in warm soapy water, rinsing thoroughly and placing them upside down in a medium oven (180°C / gas 4) for 5 minutes

    3. Pour the mincemeat mixture into a large pan and gently heat, stirring, until the fat has melted and the mincemeat is heated through

    4. Pack the hot mincemeat into the sterilised, warm jars and seal tightly. Mincemeat tastes best if it is left for a week or so after it is made to allow the flavours to really mingle. It will keep for up to a year in a cook dark place

    Pies:

    1. To make the pastry in a food processor, sift the flour and salt into the processor and add the butter. Mix gently until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Sprinkle the water over the mixture and whiz until the mixture forms a cohesive ball of dough. To make by hand, sift the flour and salt into a bowl and add the pieces of cold buter and work them into the flour with the back of a fork until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Sprinkle the water and use your fingertips to bring the dough together in a ball

    2. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.

    3. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / gas 6. Grease your patty tins

    4. Roll out the pastry dough and cut ou t18 circles measuring 6cm across and 18 circles measuring 8cm across

    5. Press the larger circles into the base of the patty cases and fill with the mincemeat, taking care not to overfill the cases so that the mincemeat doesn’t leak out

    6. Dampen the edges of the pies and place the smaller circles on top. Pinch the pie edges together to seal

    7. Brush the tops with milk and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown

    8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin before dusting with icing sugar. The pies will keep for about 10 days in an airtight tin

  • Passion fruit truffles

    From madebymargie.co.uk

    Ingredients

    • Juice from 5 passion fruits (approximately 150ml)
    • 225g dark chocolate (70%)
    • 80ml double cream
    • 2 tablespoons of soft brown sugar
    • 25g soft butter
    • icing sugar or cocoa powder for rolling the truffles in

    Method

    1. Cut each passion fruit in half. Then place a sieve over a small saucepan and scoop the passion fruit into the sieve. Push through using a spoon to try and squeeze as much of the juice as possible into the pan

    2. Add the cream and the sugar to the passion fruit juice in the saucepan and slowly bring to the boil. Then let it simmer away for a minute

    3. Meanwhile, break your chocolate up into small chunks and pop it into a heatproof bowl

    4. Once the cream has been simmering away pour it over your chocolate chunks and give it a stir. The heat from the cream will melt the chocolate. Keep stirring until all the chunks have disappeared and then throw in your knob of butter to give it a beautiful gloss (don’t panic if the chocolate won’t melt – you can encourage it by popping it back into the pan and gently heating for 30 seconds or so)

    5. Put the mixture in the fridge for an hour to firm up, then shape into balls and roll in icing sugar, or cocoa powder

  • Prune & brandy crème brûlée

    From The Good Table by Valentine Warner (Mitchell Beazley, £24.50)

    Ingredients

    • 150g pitted soft prunes
    • 150ml orange juice
    • 4 tablespoons brandy
    • custard
    • 600ml double cream
    • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
    • 4 large free-range egg yolks
    • 100g caster sugar

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 130°C. Put the prunes in a small saucepan with the orange juice and cook over a low heat for about 6–8 minutes, or until the prunes soften and become plump, stirring occasionally. Tip into a food processor and add the brandy. Blitz to a smooth, spreadable purée

    2. If the mixture looks too stiff, add a little more orange juice and blitz again

    3. Spread into the base of six 125ml ramekins

    4. To make the custard, pour the cream into a medium saucepan and into it scrape out the vanilla seeds from the pod and add the pod too

    5. Heat the cream over a very low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow to boil

    6. Whisk the egg yolks and half the sugar in a jug until well combined. Strain the eggs through a fine sieve into the cream. Stir well. Remove the vanilla pod

    7. Set the ramekins in a roasting tin and divide the cream mixture between them. Pour enough just-boiled water into the roasting tin to rise halfway up the outsides of the ramekins

    8. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the custard is very lightly set and still wobbles slightly in the middle. Do not allow them to overcook or they will split; separated brûlée is no fun

    9. Remove from the oven, take the ramekins out of the water and leave to cool. Once cold, transfer the dishes to the fridge and leave to chill overnight

    10. About an hour before serving, sprinkle the custards with the remaining sugar and either pop under a very hot preheated grill or use a chef’s blowtorch to caramelise the sugar. Refrigerate and then serve

    Photo: ©Jonthan Lovekin

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