50 delicious ideas for Christmas dinner

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Alessia Armenise
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With Christmas just around the corner, grab some culinary inspiration with our 50 festive recipes - from sumptuous starters to hearty mains, original veggie options, seasonal cocktails and desserts to die for. Click on an image below to launch the gallery and scroll down to read the full recipe for each dish. Enjoy!

  • Blueberry crème brûlées

    From seasonal berries

    Ingredients (serves 6)

    1 vanilla pod

    600ml double cream

    6 egg yolks

    75g caster sugar

    200g blueberries

    To finish:

    4 tbsps caster sugar

    Few extra blueberries


    1. Slit the vanilla pod lengthways then scrape out the seeds from the centre with a small sharp knife. Add the seeds and the pod to a saucepan, pour in the cream then bring gently to the boil. Take the pan off the heat, stir and leave to stand for 30 minutes or so for the vanilla to flavour the cream.

    2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl for a couple of minutes until thick and pale. Reheat the cream then remove the vanilla pod (this can be rinsed, dried and re-used to flavour a jar of caster sugar) then gradually whisk into the yolks until smooth.

    3. Divide the blueberries between 6, 175ml individual ovenproof soufflé or ramekin dishes then stand the dishes in a roasting tin. Strain the vanilla cream over the top, pressing all the tiny vanilla seeds through the sieve. Pour warm water into the roasting tin to come halfway up the sides of the dishes.

    4. Bake with the dishes uncovered, in an oven preheated to 160C for 30-35 minutes or until just set in the centre with a slight wobble. Lift the dishes out of the roasting tin; allow to cool, then transfer to the fridge for 4 hours, or longer if time.

    5. When ready to serve, sprinkle a little extra sugar over the top of each dish and caramelise with a cook’s blow torch. If you don’t have one, stand the dishes in the grill pan with lots of ice around the dishes then caramelise the sugar under the grill. Allow to cool for up to 30 minutes for the sugar to cool and harden then serve decorated with a few extra blueberries.

  • Shaved Radish and Celeriac Salad

    From Jacob Kenedy, chef and owner of Bocca di Lupo and Gelupo


    1 bunch breakfast radishes (about 8)

    ½ black radish, or 5cm green mooli (available from Chinese greengrocers), or mooli

    A chunk of celeriac, about ¼ very small bulb, peeled

    A little chunk of Pecorino Romano cheese

    ¼ pomegranate, seeds picked out, or 6 tablespoons seeds

    A few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked


    1 tbsp white truffle oil

    5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

    Juice of ¼ lemon (or 2 more tbsp white balsamic)


    1. Make a dressing with the oils, vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.

    2. Do the following just before you serve, as radishes dry out, and celeriac blackens with time. Wash the radishes (both red and black, don’t peel either), and shave thinly – best on a mandolin. Use a potato peeler to shave the celeriac and Pecorino. Toss the lot with the pomegranate seeds and parsley and dress lightly.

    3. Serve in haphazard but tall piles on individual plates, or in a bowl to share from.

  • Cakeadoodledo Brandy Snaps

    From Cakeadoodledo


    110g unsalted butter

    110g caster sugar

    4 tbsp golden syrup

    110g plain flour, sifted

    1 tbsp lemon juice

    1 tsp ground ginger

    sunflower oil, for oiling

    300ml double cream, softly whipped


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners.

    2. Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a heavy-based pan and heat gently until everything is melted together. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour, lemon juice and ground ginger. Leave the mixture to cool a little.

    3. Drop large tablespoons of mixture onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving masses of room, as they will spread during cooking and bake for 5–6 minutes until lacy and golden. You will need to do this in several batches.

    4. Meanwhile, oil as many wooden spoons you have with a little oil.

    5. After the brandy snaps have cooled for literally a minute, use a palette knife to lift them off the baking sheet and onto a wooden spoon handle. Roll it round the handle then when it is firm, slide the brandy snap off the spoon. Keep going until all the mixture is baked and furled.

    6. When you are ready to serve the brandy snaps, fill them with softly whipped cream and scoff.

  • Chesnut soup

    From Philip Dundas, author of Cooking Without Recipes & chef at the PipsDish Kitchen


    4 large aubergines

    1 tin of chestnut purée or 250g of shelled chestnuts or 500g of whole chestnuts

    1 onion

    500ml of hot vegetable stock (good quality bouillon powder is fine)

    4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    Sea salt

    Pink peppercorns

    Bunch of green herbs (tarragon/chives)

    2 tbsp single cream

    350ml Amontillado sherry


    1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

    2. Halve the aubergines long ways and score the flesh diagonally. Rub in the olive oil and place on a baking dish and cook slowly until the flesh is soft and you can scoop it out of the skin.

    Slice the onion finely and sweat in a large pan with olive oil until soft. Add the aubergine flesh.

    3. If you are using whole chestnuts, make a small cut in each one before putting them in the oven to roast. When they are cooked, shell and soak in the sherry. If you are using purée or shelled chestnuts put them straight into the pan with the onions and aubergine and add the sherry.

    4. Add the stock and blend. For a really smooth and creamy soup put the soup through a sieve. Garnish with chopped herbs and pink peppercorns and a spoonful of cream.

  • Stained glass Christmas cookies

    From Whitworths


    220g butter, softened

    100g soft brown sugar

    350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

    1 tsp ground ginger or cinnamon

    50g Demerara sugar

    A selection of fruit-flavoured boiled sweets in different colours

    To decorate:

    50g icing sugar

    1-2 tbsp of lemon juice

    Coloured ribbon (narrow)


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.

    2. Separate the boiled sweets into colours, place in separate plastic food bags and use a rolling pin to crush into pieces approximately 1cm and set aside.

    3. Beat the butter and brown sugar in a bowl, until pale and creamy. Sift the flour and spice into the mixture; add enough milk to make a workable dough. Use your hands to make a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    4. Sprinkle a little flour over the work surface, divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll it out so it is ½ cm thick. Using biscuit cutters, cut out Christmas shapes. Using smaller pastry cutters, cut out the middle of each biscuit and sprinkle the biscuits with a little Demerara sugar.

    5. Carefully transfer the cookies to the baking trays with a fish slice. Place one or two pieces of sweet into the middle of each biscuit whole.

    6. Bake for 10 minutes or until the biscuits are just golden. Cool on the trays for a minute before making a small hole near the top of each biscuit with a skewer, so you can thread ribbon through the holes when they are cool.

    7. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The biscuits can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

    8. Mix the icing sugar with a little lemon juice or water to make a thick pipeable icing. Make a cone out of greaseproof paper, cut a small hole in the tip and decorate the biscuits with the icing.

    9. When the icing is dry the biscuits are ready to hand on the tree!

  • Smoked trout pâté blinis

    From British Trout Association


    550g smoked trout (skinned and boned)

    30ml lemon juice

    60ml single cream or cream cheese of your choice

    ground black pepper

    pinch ground mace

    Blinis (pack of 16)

    Sour cream and dill for serving


    1. Put the trout flesh in a food processor, add the butter, lemon juice, cream, pepper and mace and blitz for 30 seconds or until smooth.

    2. Chill before serving on blinis with a dollop of sour cream and dill.

  • Courgette Parmigiana

    Matt Dawson’s dish in association with Bordeaux Wines


    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

    1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

    Small bunch fresh oregano, chopped

    1 tsp tomato purée

    10-12 small-medium courgettes, thinly sliced

    Coarsely ground pepper & rock salt

    250g mozzarella

    Small bunch basil leaves

    50g parmesan, grated

    Warm crusty bread, to serve


    1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Heat the olive oil in a pan and gently fry the garlic for 1 minute. Add the can of tomatoes and oregano and bring to a simmer. Add the tomato purée, season, and simmer for a few more minutes.

    2. Heat a griddle pan with a tiny amount of oil and fry the sliced courgette until charred on both sides, seasoning only on one side. Place the courgette slices on kitchen paper to drain. Repeat with all the slices.

    3. Use a gratin dish for ease when layering. Place a layer of courgette, then an even covering of tomato sauce (careful not to swamp the courgette as too much sauce ruins the result), slice the mozzarella and evenly dot a few slices of it on top. Cover with another layer of courgette and gently press down to disperse any trapped air. Repeat the layers adding a couple of fresh basil leaves to one or two of the layers for freshness.

    4. Sprinkle over the grated parmesan and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden and crisp. Serve with warm crusty bread.

  • Soft Meringue roulade with chestnut cream

    From vouchercodes most wanted

    Ingredients (serves 12)

    4 egg whites

    190g caster sugar

    1 tsp vanilla essence

    1 tsp vinegar

    1 tsp cornflour

    For the filling:

    100g whole blanched almonds

    a few tablespoons of caster sugar

    500g mascarpone

    175g Greek yoghurt

    100g icing sugar

    1 tsp vanilla bean paste

    500g Crème de Marrons (vanilla chestnut spread from Clement Faugier, you can get that at Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Ocado)


    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly grease with oil.

    2. Start by making the meringue. In a bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff, gradually whisk in the sugar and continue beating until glossy and stiff.

    3. Fold in the vanilla essence, vinegar and cornflour. Spread the meringue evenly on the baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, lower the heat to 170°C and bake for 10 more minutes (best use an oven thermometer to monitor the heat).

    4. Remove meringue from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto another tray with baking paper (so that the crispy side faces downwards). Let cool a bit longer and remove the top baking paper.

    5. For the filling, put the almonds into a frying pan and roast for a couple of minutes until they start becoming fragrant and turn golden. At that point add a few tablespoons of sugar into the pan, enough to coat the almonds. Swing the almonds around in the pan for a minute or two, until the sugar dissolves and starts to caramelize.

    6. Once the almond caramel starts turning darker, take of the heat and put the almonds on a ceramic plate. Let them cool down. Once cool, set aside a few nice looking alomnds for decorating later. Roughly crush the rest with a pestle and mortar or by putting into a plastic food bag and bashing with a rolling pin. Don't crush them too finely as you want a crunchy texture.

    7. In a bowl, mix the mascarpone, Greek yoghurt, icing sugar and vanilla bean paste until you get a smooth cream. Evenly spread this mascarpone cream on the lower 2/3rds of the upside-down turned meringue.

    8. Put the chestnut puree into a piping bag fixed with a big star-shaped tip. Evenly pipe most of the chestnut puree onto the mascarpone covered lower third of the meringue. Keep a bit of chestnut puree for decorating the top of the rolled-up meringue. Scatter the crushed almonds over the chestnut puree and serve.

  • Orange Glazed Ham

    From Ocado

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    1 white onion

    2 garlic cloves

    1 carrot

    1 large orange

    2 bay leaves

    6 cloves

    2 kg gammon joint (unsmoked)

    2 tbsp English mustard

    3 tbsp honey

    2 leeks

    1 knob butter

    4 portions roasted new potatoes


    1. Peel and roughly slice the onion, garlic, carrot and add to a large pan. Add the quartered orange, bay leaves, cloves and ham. Fill with cold water so that all the ingredients are covered.

    2. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 2 hours before leaving to cool. Top up with more water if it reduces too much, since the ham should always be covered.

    3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the ham from the liquid and place on a chopping board. Cut away any string and fat from the ham then slice off a chunk of the ham that's enough to serve 4 people.

    4. Lay this chunk on a baking tray, then surround with the orange and onion pieces from the stock. Store the rest of the ham in the fridge for other recipes once it has cooled down.

    5. Mix together the mustard and the honey and rub over the ham on the baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes, taking it out of the oven to re-glaze every 10 minutes.

    6. Wash and slice the leeks, then fry off in a small knob of butter with plenty of salt and pepper for 5 minutes until softened and sweet.

    7. Slice the ham, squeeze the cooked oranges into the roasting tray to mix with any ham juices and use to drizzle over the meat. Serve with roasted potatoes and the leeks.

  • Christmas plum pudding

    From The Factory House


    75g unsalted butter

    4 tsp mixed spice

    275g dark muscovado sugar

    150g black treacle

    50g honey

    175ml sweet sherry

    1 dessert apple, cored, peeled and grated

    3 medium eggs

    2 tsp orange extract

    125g shelled walnuts, almonds or pecans

    500g pitted and chopped prunes

    150g currants

    200g wholemeal breadcrumbs, from a fresh or stale loaf

    75g plain flour

    ¾ tsp baking powder

    7.989 gms of 22 carat pure gold coin

    Butter, nonstick paper, foil and string, for the basin


    1. Have ready some pudding basins; a large, deep tray big enough to hold the basins with room to spare; a sheet each of paper and foil, folded with a pleat in the middle to hold them together; and some string. Rub the inside of the pudding basins with butter and place a disc of nonstick paper in the base. Place a few squares of folded newspaper in the base of the large tray and hold them down with an upturned saucer – this stops the pudding scalding on its base.

    2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the spice, sugar, treacle and honey, then heat gently so any sugar lumps soften when pressed with a spoon. Mix in the sherry, pour into a large mixing bowl, then beat in the apple, eggs, orange extract and gold coin.

    3. Divide the mixture between the basins, place the paper side of your prepared sheet on top, press them evenly around the basins and tie tightly with string. Place the pot in the pan, pour boiling water around the basin to come three-quarters of the way up the sides, bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for three hours – top up the water as needed. Leave to cool, and don't break the seal until you simmer it again on Christmas Day for another three hours. Serve in dishes with more sherry sloshed over.

  • Pork fillet with pancetta and ceps

    From Igor Tymchyshyn, head chef at Orrery


    1 pork fillet

    20ml olive oil

    3 cloves garlic, chopped

    2 sprigs of rosemary

    10 slices of pancetta

    10 sage leaves

    200g charlotte potatoes, peeled

    50g butter

    50ml milk

    1 knob of butter

    200g spinach, picked and washed

    200g wild mushrooms

    1 shallot, chopped

    100ml double cream

    50g green beans, sliced into 1cm pieces and blanched

    1 tbsp chopped parsley

    salt and pepper


    1. Trim any fat and sinew off the pork fillet, then marinade with the olive oil, chopped garlic and rosemary for two hours.

    2. Set a pan of water to boil. Slice the pancetta very thinly and place it onto a layer of cling film, overlapping each slice. Cover with another layer of cling film and use a rolling pin to press it gently and make even layer.

    Carefully remove the top layer of cling film and lay the sage in two rows across the middle of the pancetta.

    3. Next, place the marinated pork fillet on top of the sage and roll it tightly into a roll (encased in the remaining layer of cling film).

    4. Cook the cling film-encased pork fillet in boiling water for 15 minutes (or until cooked) and leave to rest for 20.

    Meanwhile, cook the potato until soft and fold in the butter and milk. Season it with salt.

    5. Put the knob of butter in the very hot pan. When it turns into beurre noisette, add spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook it quickly and place in the colander, squeezing out excess moisture.

    6. Meanwhile, place the wild mushrooms and chopped shallot in a pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, before adding the cream and reducing. Finally, add the blanched green beans. Season and finish with parsley.

    7. Remove the cling film from your pork fillet and sear in a very hot pan with butter until it turns golden. Slice into portions.

  • Pistachio cake with white chocolate frosting

    From Orient Express by Silvena Rowe (Hutchinson)

    Ingredients (serves 8 - 10)

    200g ground pistachios

    ½ tsp ground cardamom

    150g unsalted butter

    225g self-raising flour

    185g caster sugar

    3 eggs

    125ml thick yoghurt

    100g white chocolate

    200g cream cheese

    ½ tsp rose water

    1 tbsp icing sugar

    1/4 tsp ground cardamom

    1-2 small edible roses

    1 tbsp icing sugar


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.

    2. Blend the ground pistachios, cardamom, butter, flour and sugar in a food mixer. Then combine with the eggs and yoghurt in a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for one hour. Cover the cake with foil halfway through cooking then allow to cool on a rack.

    3. To make the frosting, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and allow to cool. In a separate bowl combine the cream cheese with the rose water, then add the cooled chocolate. Sift in the icing sugar and sprinkle in the ground cardamom. Mix well until you have smooth cream.

    4. Serve cake accompanied by the chocolate and cardamom cream. Sprinkle with edible roses and dust with icing sugar.

  • Choux farci

    From Thierry Laborde of Chabrot

    Ingredients (serves 4)



    2 shallots

    1 bunch parsley

    300g minced veal

    300g minced pork

    100g ventreche (or good quality bacon)

    20g dried ceps

    3 slice white bread

    100 ml milk

    2 eggs

    1 savoy cabbage

    200g white button

    200g foie gras cru


    1. To make the stuffing, finely chop the shallots, mushrooms, ventreche, parsley and the savoy cabbage heart then stew together in a pan for 10-15 min and cool down. Once cold, add the raw meat to the mix, chopped rehydrated ceps, and the white bread (which have been soaked in milk) and finally the eggs. Season the mix.

    2. Blanch the outside cabbage leaves in salted water for 2 minutes, cool down in ice water. Trim the core of each leaf so they are of even thickness. Place 2 leaves in a small bowl, add 230g of stuffing in the middle and add 3 cubes of seasoned raw foie gras. Wrap the leaves to close.

    3. Bake the stuffed cabbage in an oven dish with a little veal stock and butter for 45 min - 1 hour at 190°C.

  • Sleigh Bells cocktail

    From Chris Edwards at the Parlour Restaurant and Bar


    20ml Amaretto

    15ml Drambruie

    15ml Crème de Peche

    6 Fresh raspberries


    1. Muddle the raspberries in a cocktail shaker. Then fill halfway with ice, add the remaining ingredients and shake.

    2. Strain into a sugar rimed martini glass and garnish with a mint leaf and blackberries.

  • Carrots with tarragon and garlic

    From Paul Heathcote, courtesy of Great British Chefs

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    8 carrots

    1 garlic clove

    1 sprig fresh tarragon

    1 pinch caster sugar

    ½ tsp sea salt

    25g butter


    1. Start with the carrots. Top, tail and peel them, keeping them whole.

    2. Place all the ingredients in a pan, cover with just enough water and cook until just firm, continuing to add enough water to keep the carrots covered.

    3. When almost cooked, remove the carrots from the water, turn up the heat, boil the liquid and reduce by two thirds.

    4. Once reduced, place the carrots back in the liquid to glaze and re-heat.

  • Christmas Gingerbread

    From Gourmet Garden

    Ingredients (makes 20 biscuits)

    350g plain flour

    1-2 tsp fresh ginger

    1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

    100g butter

    175g soft light brown sugar

    1 egg

    4 tbsp golden syrup


    1. Put the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and rub in the butter. Add sugar, then stir in the syrup and egg to make a firm dough.

    2. Roll out to about 5mm thick and cut out your gingerbread into any shape that you like. If you are making decorations then remember to make a hole so it can be hung on the tree with ribbon.

    3. Bake at 190°C on greased baking trays (spaced out, as they will spread) for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Leave to firm up for a couple of minutes before placing on a wire rack to cook.

    4. Once cooled you can decorate your gingerbread with icing, glitter and other decorations.

  • Caprese Tower

    From Sacla


    1 ball mozzarella, preferably buffalo

    1 jar oven roasted tomatoes

    Extra virgin olive oil

    1 tsp of mixed oregano, basil and thyme capers

    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


    1. Cut your firm, plump mozzarella into evenly sized slices of about 5mm thick.

    2. Drain the roasted tomatoes and arrange them with the mozzarella cheese in alternate layers in the shape of a tower.

    3. As you go, season every layer of mozzarella cheese with oil mixed with chopped herbs, salt and pepper.

    4. Garnish with capers and basil leaves and then demolish it – with great gusto of course.

  • Venison Burgers

    Matt Dawson’s dish in association with Bordeaux Wines


    2 tbsp olive oil

    1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

    1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

    500g minced venison

    20g fresh white breadcrumbs

    1 x large free-range egg, beaten

    2 tsp Dijon mustard

    1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

    1 tsp tomato ketchup

    Coarsely ground pepper & rock salt

    4 x white sesame buns, salad leaves,

    cherry tomatoes, mayonnaise to serve Venison Burgers


    1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and fry the onion and garlic over a medium-high heat for 2-3 mins.

    2. Transfer the onion and garlic to a large mixing bowl and add the venison mince, breadcrumbs, egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper to season. Stir well with a fork to combine.

    3. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and, with wet hands, shape the mixture into burgers.

    4. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the frying pan and fry the burgers over a medium-high heat for 4-5 mins on each side, or until cooked through.

    5. To serve, put a burger into each bun, top with sliced tomatoes, salad leaves and a dollop of mayonnaise.

  • Gluten free bread sauce

    From Josh Eggleton of Great British Chefs


    600ml milk

    2 bay leaves, torn several times

    1 small onion

    4 cloves

    1 garlic clove, bashed with the back a knife to squash but keep intact

    700g celeriac, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes

    25g butter


    White pepper


    1. Peel the onion and stud with the cloves. Place the single garlic clove, studded onion and torn bay leaves into a sauce pan with the 600ml of milk and bring slowly to the boil to infuse.

    2. In a medium sized pan melt the butter. Then add the celeriac and coat in the butter. Strain the infused milk through a sieve over the celeriac and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Do not worry if the milk splits.

    3. Season with salt and white pepper. Once the celeriac is tender, blend in the liquidiser and keep warm.

  • Cocktail onion and cherry tomato skewers

    From Opies


    6 cocktail onions

    3 cherry tomatoes

    30g honey

    1 bunch of rosemary or sage


    1. Place cocktail onions on a baking tray and glaze with honey.

    2. Place tray in pre-heated oven for ten minutes at 180 degrees.

    3. Remove onions and leave to cool then pierce a hole in the onions and cherry tomatoes with a cocktail stick.

    4. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half so that each half has a hole in it.

    5. Take a sprig of rosemary (or sage) and poke it through the hole of one half of the cherry tomato and cocktail onion.

  • Raw Slaw with Apple, Hazelnuts and Bacon

    From vouchercodes most wanted

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    250g brussel sprouts, trimmed and shaved on a mandolin

    80g of lardons

    1 tbsp Dijon mustard

    2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

    1-2 tbsp maple syrup

    60g hazelnuts, toasted and skins rubbed off with a tea towel or paper towel

    30g of parmesan, finely grated

    1 crisp red apple, grated


    1. Place the lardons in a fry pan over a medium heat and cook until the fat has rendered and the pork strips are crisp.

    2. Scoop the crisp lardons out of the pan and add to the shaved sprouts. Keep the bacon fat in the pan.

    3. Add the Dijon mustard, vinegar and one tbsp of maple syrup to the bacon fat. Whisk to create a dressing. Taste - if it’s too sharp, add a little more maple syrup.

    4. Add the toasted hazelnuts, parmesan and grated apple to the bacon and sprouts. Toss to combine.

    5. Dress with the bacon fat dressing before serving.

  • Ice cream truffles

    Developed for the Discover Organic recipe book by Organic UK

    Ingredients (makes 20-25 truffles)

    250g good quality organic vanilla ice cream

    6 digestive biscuits, crumbled

    50g almonds, toasted and roughly chopped

    200g good quality dark chocolate, melted


    1. Allow the ice cream to soften enough to scoop easily

    2. Using a small ice cream scoop or large melon baller, ball the ice cream and place on a metal baking tray. Put the tray in the freezer until the ice cream is frozen solid

    3. Combine the biscuits with the toasted almonds. Roll each ice cream ball in the dry mixture then dip in the melted chocolate

    4. Return the truffles to the freezer until ready to serve

    5. Serve in baby truffle cases or on cocktail sticks

  • Tenderstem with Hazelnut & Orange Butter

    From Tenderstem Broccoli


    40g blanched hazelnuts

    Zest of 1 small orange

    70g unsalted butter, softened

    Freshly ground black pepper & sea salt to taste

    400g Tenderstem


    1. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan until they are golden brown and smell deliciously nutty. Take care not to burn them - they will only take a minute or two to cook. Tip into the centre of a clean tea towel and cover. Gently crush with a heavy rolling pin or the base of a saucepan. Don’t over crush – it’s nice to have a few bigger bits in the butter.

    2. In a small bowl, using the back of a fork, work the hazelnuts and orange zest into the butter. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. Scrape the butter onto a piece of cling film and roll into a log. Chill for an hour or so to firm up. The butter can be made several days in advance and stored in the fridge.

    3. When you are ready to eat, steam the broccoli for 3 to 4 minutes until tender but with a little bite. Drain and tip into a warm serving dish. Dot with slices of the hazelnut and orange butter and serve immediately.

  • Orkney Crab Spring Rolls

    From Castle MacLellan


    1 tub of Orkney crab terrine

    2 spring onions (thinly sliced)

    ¼ cucumber (thinly sliced)

    ½ red pepper (thinly sliced)

    Filo pastry

    Sesame seeds


    1. Combine all the ingredients, split mix into four.

    2. Take a square of filo pastry. Place the filling towards one end, fold over the sides, approx 3cm roll. Brush or spray with oil.

    3. Oven cook for 15mins Gas Mark 6 200c/400F or deep fry/shallow fry until golden. Drain on kitchen roll.

    4. Sprinkle the top with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with a sweet chilli dip.

  • Christmas Pudding Pannacotta with Spiced Figs

    From Bart Ingredients

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    600ml pouring double cream

    1 vanilla pod

    75g caster sugar

    3 leaves of gelatine soaked in cold water for 10 minutes

    125g leftover Christmas pudding, broken into little pieces

    For the spiced figs:

    250g caster sugar

    300ml water

    200ml red wine

    1 Bart cinnamon stick

    1 small orange, thinly sliced

    1 small lemon, thinly sliced

    4-6 fresh figs


    1. Place the cream and sugar in a pan with the vanilla pod and sugar and bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the vanilla pod, rinse and dry.

    2. Squeeze the water from the softened gelatine, add it to the cream and stir until blended. Add the Christmas pudding to the mixture and stir until it breaks up.

    3. Pour the mixture into 4 ramekins or individual pudding basins. Allow to cool then chill until just set.

    4. To prepare the figs, place the sugar, water, red wine, cinnamon stick, orange and lemon slices in a pan. Add the rinsed and dried vanilla pod and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes.

    5. Add the figs and simmer gently for 10 minutes, turning the figs once or twice. Transfer the figs and syrup to a bowl and leave to cool.

    6. To serve, remove the figs from the syrup and cut into quarters. Turn the pannacottas out of the moulds and serve with the figs and syrup.

  • Christmas Southside

    From Tanqueray


    35ml Tanqueray London Dry

    15ml sugar

    25ml fresh lemon juice

    8 fresh mint leafs

    10 frozen cranberries

    25ml Cranberry juice


    1. Add all the ingredients (apart from the cranberry juice) to a highball and mix together with crushed ice, float the cranberry juice on top and add a sprig of mint.

    2. Enjoy!

  • Roast Christmas Salmon

    From Tabasco

    Ingredients (serves 8)

    25g butter

    8 shallots, peeled and sliced

    175g button mushrooms, wiped and sliced

    225g peeled raw tiger prawns

    250g bag baby spinach

    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    good shake Tabasco sauce for stuffing, cavity, and skin plus extra for cavity and drizzling

    2.8kg oven ready salmon

    To serve:

    baby new potatoes

    roasted courgettes

    roasted cherry vine tomatoes

    green salad


    1. Melt butter in a pan and gently fry shallots and mushrooms over gentle heat until softened. Add prawns and toss around until they go pink. Stir through spinach to wilt. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and a good shake of Tabasco. Cool completely.

    2. Wipe fish inside and out and sprinkle cavity with Tabasco. Spoon stuffing into cavity. Transfer fish to a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in a preheated oven Gas 6 400F 200C for 35 minutes, or until fish is cooked through, basting. Test by gently lifting the flesh from the backbone at a thick point. If it comes away easily - the fish is cooked.

    3. Serve with new potatoes, roasted courgettes and vine cherry tomatoes, and green salad.

  • Boozy Brownie, Cherry and Walnut Trifle

    From Total Greek Yoghurt

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    500g Greek yoghurt

    425g cherries, in syrup

    4 shots brandy

    1 box of mini chocolate brownies (approx 20 – 24 pieces)

    120g walnut pieces

    Cocoa powder for dusting


    1. Drain the cherries, retaining the syrup.

    2. In a bowl, mix the brandy with the cherry syrup and soak the chocolate brownies for ten minutes.

    3. In a trifle bowl, layer the syrup soaked brownies, cherries and yoghurt and repeat.

    4. Finish the trifle on top with a smooth layer of yoghurt and sprinkle with walnut pieces and cocoa powder.

  • Parsnip & sweet potato soup

    From Rob Mitchell, executive chef at Drake & Morgan


    5 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

    8 parsnips, peeled and chopped

    2 onions, copped

    1 large leek, chopped

    1 clove garlic, chopped

    1 dessert spoon of honey

    200ml cream

    2 litre vegetable stock

    1 tbsp olive oil

    Pinch of salt & pepper


    1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, leek and garlic and sauté until softened.

    2. Add the parsnips, sweet potato and honey, then pour in the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

    3. Take off the heat and blend in a food processor.

    4. Add the cream, salt and pepper and serve with a warm ciabatta.

  • Chilled blackberry soufflés

    From seasonal berries

    Ingredients (serves 6)

    350g blackberries

    7 tbsp water

    4 tsp powdered gelatine

    4 medium eggs, separated

    150g caster sugar

    250ml double cream

    2 tbsp fresh chopped mint, optional


    1. Wrap 6, 125ml individual soufflé dishes with a double strip of non-stick baking paper so that the paper encircles the dishes completely and is about 4cm above the top of each dish and tie with string.

    2. Add the blackberries to a saucepan with 2 tbsp water, cover and cook gently for 5 minutes then puree in a food processor or liquidiser until smooth. Press through a sieve to discard the seeds.

    3. Meanwhile add the remaining water to a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle the gelatine over the surface making sure that all the dry specks of gelatine are absorbed by the water. Leave to soak for 5 minutes then put the bowl in a small saucepan of gently simmering water and heat for about 5 minutes until the gelatine has dissolved and become a clear liquid.

    4. Add the egg yolks and sugar to a large heatproof mixing bowl set this over a saucepan of gently simmering water and using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar together until very thick and pale, this should take about 10 minutes. To test remove the bowl from the pan and lift the whisk above the mixture it should leave a ribbon like trail that stays on the surface for a few seconds. If your electric whisk is on a fixed stand this will work just as well but will just take a few more minutes to get the mixture really thick.

    5. Gradually trickle the dissolved gelatine into the egg yolk mixture in a thin steady stream as you fold it in with a large metal spoon. Add the blackberry puree and gently fold into the egg yolk mixture.

    6. Wash and dry the whisk carefully then whisk the egg whites in a second large bowl until they form moist looking peaks. Using the still dirty whisk, whip the cream in a second smaller bowl until it forms soft swirls.

    7. Fold the cream into the blackberry mixture, then gently fold in a spoonful of the egg whites to loosen the mixture. Add the remaining egg whites and chopped mint and gently fold together.

    8. Pour or spoon the mixture into the lined dishes so that the soufflé mixture is above the top of the dishes but contained within the paper collar. Chill for 4 hours or until set.

    To serve, remove the string then loosen the paper and peel away using a small sharp knife. Stand the dishes on small plates or a tray and decorate with extra blackberries and tiny mint leaves. Serve immediately.

  • Wensleydale & Cranberry Parcels

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    1 packet of ready made puff or filo pastry

    150g Real Yorkshire Wensleydale & Cranberries cheese

    1 tbsp melted butter to glaze


    1. Place small wedges of the cheese in squares of pastry and fold in the corners to make little bundles.

    2. Glaze with the melted butter.

    3. Bake in a hot oven on a greased baking tray for 20 minutes until golden brown.

  • Strawberry gin

    From seasonal berries


    450g strawberries

    150g caster sugar

    700ml bottle gin


    1. Very roughly crush the strawberries with a fork or potato masher then spoon into a wide necked glass bottle or le parfait style storage jar. Add the sugar then the gin, seal and give a gentle shake to mix.

    2. Leave the jar at room temperature for 3 days, giving the container a gentle shake twice each day to make sure that the sugar dissolves.

    3. Strain the mixture then decant into a clean, dry serving bottle. Seal well with a screw topped lid, cork or clip top. Decorate the bottle with a handwritten label tied on with ribbon or raffia. Serve in glasses with ice and tonic or add a splash to chilled sparkling white wine with a halved strawberry for a quick cocktail.

  • Tom Herbert's Chocolate Cake

    From Tom Herbert for Taste of Christmas

    Ingredients (makes 1 big cake)

    250g butter

    250g sugar

    10 egg whites

    10 egg yolks

    500g good chocolate (70%)

    Cream, to serve


    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.

  • Causa Santa Rosa canapés

    From Cerviche

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    500g potatoes

    Handful fresh coriander

    Pinch of salt

    1 tablespoon Amarillo or any medium strength chilli

    50ml vegetable oil


    For the filling:

    75g cooked carrots, diced

    75g cooked beetroot, diced

    ½ red onion, diced

    15mm ginger, chopped

    1 limo or any medium strength chilli, finely chopped

    1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

    3 tablespoons mayonnaise

    Juice of ½ a lime

    1 large avocado, lightly mashed

    Salt and black pepper


    1. Prepare the potato: Puree the coriander in a food processor. Steam lightly salted potatoes then mash. Add the salt and chilli and gradually add the oil, beating continuously. Mix thoroughly with the coriander puree.

    2. Make the filling: Gently mix all ingredients together and season.

    3. To assemble each causa, make a ball of potato and press a small well in the middle. Top with the filling. Garnish with a chive. Delicioso!

  • Valentine Warner's prune & brandy crème brûlée

    From The Good Table published by Mitchell Beazley, photo: ©Jonthan Lovekin

    Ingredients (serves 6)

    150g pitted soft prunes

    150ml orange juice

    4 tablespoons brandy


    600ml double cream

    1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

    4 large free-range egg yolks

    100g caster sugar


    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.

  • Xanthe Clay’s Caramelised Radishes



    1 bunch of small radishes

    2 tbsp butter

    1 pinch of sugar

    1 pinch of salt

    A few black peppercorns, crushed


    1. Trim the radishes. Heat the butter in a pan, and when sizzling stir in the sugar, salt and the black pepper.

    2. Add the radishes and toss in the butter until glazed and just about hot through. The colour will fade to a blush pink. Eat with simply cooked meat or fish.

  • Mary Berry's Cranberry Mince Pies

    From Mary Berry's Christmas Collection (Headline)

    Ingredients (makes 18)

    175g plain flour

    75g butter, cut into cubes

    25g icing sugar

    Finely grated rind of 1 orange

    1 egg, beaten

    350g mincemeat from any good supermarket

    1 egg, beaten, to glaze

    Icing sugar for dusting

    100g cranberry jam


    1. Measure the flour, butter, icing sugar and grated orange into a food processor and process until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse until the dough starts to form a ball. Knead lightly on a floured board.

    2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Roll the pastry out thinly on a lightly floured surface and cut out 18 rounds using a 7.5cm fluted cutter. Use these to line 18 holes of two 12-hole bun tins. Place a small spoon of cranberry jam in each pastry case and then a spoon of mincemeat.

    3. Re-roll the pastry trimmings and cut out 18 stars using a 4.5-5cm star cutter. Put a star on top of the mincemeat, and brush with the egg.

    4. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

  • Cranberry Sauce

    From Great British Chefs


    2 oranges, zested

    400ml of orange juice

    1kg of cranberries

    1 pinch of ground ginger

    1 pinch of mixed spice

    1 pinch of cinnamon

    400g of brown sugar


    1. Start by combining the orange juice, zest and spices in a heavy based saucepan. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half. Add the cranberries and cook on a very low heat to slowly stew the fruit without burning.

    2. As soon as the cranberry mixture resembles a loose jam-like consistency, add the sugar and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a further 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.

    3. When warm, taste for sweetness, adding sugar to taste. Remember that you want to achieve a balance between sweet and sour. Freeze if storing for more than 3 days or refrigerate before serving.

  • Nigella's cheese stars

    See more of Nigella Lawson's exclusive Stylist recipes here


    200g grated smoked cheddar

    50g soft unsalted butter

    100g plain flour, plus extra for rolling

    1/2 tsp baking powder

    1/2 tsp celery salt

    1/2 tsp ground ginger

    1 x star cutter 5cm diameter point to point


    1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

    2. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until the dough comes together. Form into two flat discs, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

    3. Roll out the first disc of dough on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a pound coin and cut out your cheese stars. This is a very good-tempered dough, and any botched stars can be added back to the dough as you go to be re-cut.

    4. Line a flat baking sheet with parchment and arrange on top, then pop into the oven for 12-15 minutes, by which time the stars will be puffed and golden. Repeat the same process with the second batch of dough.

    5. Once the stars are cooked, transfer to a wire rack to cool a little.

  • Smoked Salmon & Asparagus With Dill & Chive Dressing

    From Rachel's Organic


    350g asparagus bunch

    120g smoked salmon

    100g natural yogurt

    20g fresh dill

    Chopped 25g fresh chives

    Chopped finely zest of 1 lemon

    Salt and pepper

    Dash of olive oil


    1. Remove the woody ends from the asparagus by snapping the very bottom of each spear or remove the ends with a knife.

    2. In a suitable pan place the asparagus spears and add cold water until they are just covered. Bring the water to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the asparagus for 3 - 5 minutes until tender - check the spears with a fork before removing.

    3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl mix the yogurt and fresh herbs, zest and seasoning and mix well.

    4. Once the asparagus is tender, turn off your stove top. Remove the pan and pour the asparagus through a strainer, being careful not to burn yourself on the pan.

    5. Immediately and working quickly, layer over the slices of smoked salmon.

    6. Finish with a drizzle of yogurt dressing and olive oil and serve straight away.

  • Sam Harris' Christmas Pannacotta

    From Sam Harris, chef patron of Zucca restaurant

    Ingredients (serves 10)

    2.5 leaves of gelatine

    330ml of double cream

    330ml of whole milk

    130g caster sugar

    2.5 vanilla pods


    1. Put the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla in a pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

    2. Remove from the heat and add the gelatine leaves – stir until dissolved.

    3. Pass through a sieve and pour into individual moulds.

    4. Place in the fridge and chill until set.

  • Lancashire Red Onion and Pepper Tart

    From British Cheese


    4 individual shortcrust pastry tarts

    15g butter

    2 red onions, sliced

    100g roasted red peppers (from a jar), torn into pieces

    8 cherry tomatoes, halved

    A few drops balsamic vinegar

    100g Lancashire cheese, cut into chunks

    Freshly ground black pepper

    Fresh thyme sprigs


    1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Arrange the pastry tarts on a baking sheet.

    2. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan and gently fry the onions for 8-10 minutes until soft and tender. Add the roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, stirring gently.

    3. Spoon into the tarts and share the chunks of cheese between them. Season with black pepper and add a couple of thyme sprigs to each tart.

    4. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until warmed through. Serve with salad.

  • Meringue Topped Mince Pies

    From Nielsen-Massey


    250g plain white flour

    100g butter (cold and cubed)

    25g lard

    3 tbsp golden caster sugar

    400g mincemeat

    Ice sugar (to dust)

    For the topping

    2 free range eggs (whites only)

    Pinch salt

    125g golden caster sugar

    1 tsp almond extract


    1. Place the flour in a large bowl and using your fingers, gently rub in the butter and lard until it resembles breadcrumbs (or place in food processor and whiz until it resembles breadcrumbs). Add two to three tablespoons of ice cold water, a little at a time, until it comes together in a soft dough. Knead gently into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.

    2. Preheat the oven to 220°C.

    3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the pastry until three millimetres thick. Take a seven and a half centimetre fluted cutter and stamp out 24 circles and use to line a 12 hole bun tin. Place a heaped teaspoon of mincemeant into each pastry case.

    4. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

    5. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites and a pinch of salt to medium peaks in a mixer, then gradually add the sugar. Whisk until stiff and glossy.

    6. Spoon the meringue onto the pies and bake for three to four minutes until meringue is lightly golden.

  • Wild Mushroom Stroganoff with Mustard and Chive Mash

    From Ocado

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    750g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

    60g butter

    1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

    150ml milk

    1 tbsp chives

    3 shallots, finely chopped

    2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

    ½ tsp paprika

    500 white mushrooms

    1 tbsp brandy

    150ml double cream

    1 tbsp dill, finely chopped

    1 small handful parsley, finely chopped


    1. Boil or steam the potatoes until tender. Drain and return to the pan.

    2. Mash and add in 20g of butter , mustard and chives. Heat the milk, pour over the potatoes and beat in well.

    3. Melt rest of the butter or margarine in a pan. Add shallots and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the paprika and the mushrooms and cook until just soft.

    4. Add the brandy and stir in the cream and dill. Season to taste then heat gently - cover and keep warm.

    5. To assemble, serve individually by placing equal portions of the mashed potato on each plate. Spoon the stroganoff over the top, and garnish with parsley.

  • Baked Peaches with Honey Crumb Topping

    From Wholegrain Goodness


    4tsp honey

    1tbsp rapeseed oil

    Zest of 1 orange

    50g sultanas

    125g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs

    4 ripe peaches, halved and stone removed


    1. Preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4.

    2. Heat the honey, oil, orange zest and sultanas in a frying pan for about 1 minute. Stir in the breadcrumbs and cook for 1 minute. Allow to cool slightly.

    3. Press the crumb mixture on the cut surface of the peaches and place in a small baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.

  • Tarragon-Baked Chicken and Carrots

    Developed for the Discover Organic recipe book by Organic UK

    Ingredients (serves 4)

    400g organic carrots

    2 tbsp olive oil

    1 clove of garlic, chopped

    Zest and juice of 1 lemon

    20g fresh tarragon, trimmed and chopped

    50g butter, softened

    4 organic chicken breast fillets with skins on

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper


    1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C.

    2. Scrub the carrots clean and trim off the tops, then place them in a large roasting tin.

    3. Add the oil, garlic, lemon juice, a third of the tarragon and plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper, then toss well to mix.

    4. Mix the butter with the lemon zest, remaining tarragon and some more black pepper.

    5. Divide the butter into four portions, then use your fingers to push each quarter under the skin of a chicken breast fillet.

    6. Lay the chicken breasts skin-side up on top of the carrots and bake for 25–30 minutes until the carrots are lightly charred and the chicken is golden and tender.

    7. Serve with green vegetables and new potatoes.

  • Christmas Crown

    From Ocado

    Ingredients (serves 10)

    2 large oranges

    250g golden caster sugar

    6 large free range eggs

    250g ground almonds

    1 tsp baking powder

    10 small pears with stalks

    250g caster sugar

    3 drops vegetarian red food colouring

    12 dried apricots, to decorate

    6 fresh figs, to decorate

    1 handful physalis, papery coverings pulled back, to decorate

    2 sprigs mint leaves, to decorate

    2 sprigs rosemary , to decorate

    2 tbsp creme fraiche, to serve

    1 handful dried cranberries, to decorate

    1 handful macadamia nuts, to decorate


    1. Generously butter a 24cm savarin tin or ring tin with a hole in the middle, then carefully line it with thin strips of non-stick paper, sticking them to the butter, so that the tin is completely covered (a bit fiddly, but you'll be so glad you did it when the cake comes out perfectly later).

    2. Wash and prick the oranges. Place in a suitable container and microwave on high for 10 minutes, or until they are very tender and pierce easily with a sharp knife. Cool.

    3. Remove and discard the pips from the oranges. Roughly chop the rest of the oranges and put into a food processor. Whiz to a fairly smooth puree, then add the sugar, eggs, almonds and baking powder, and whiz until smooth and thick,

    4. Spoon the mixture into the tin. Bake at 150°C for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

    5. Cool in the tin, then carefully slip a palette knife around the sides of the cake to loosen it and turn out. If you're freezing the cake, keep it in its tin.

    6. Peel the pears leaving the stalks intact. Heat the sugar and water gently in a pan until the grains have dissolved. Add the pears, bring to the boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Add a few drops of red colouring to the syrup and stir gently until the pears are the colour you want. Cool and store in a plastic container in the fridge.

    7. To assemble the cake, turn it out onto a flat serving dish. Fill the centre with drained poached pears putting more around the sides. Cut the figs down almost to the base and open them out, to look like flowers, then arrange around the cake, along with the physalis, apricots, dried cranberries, macadamia nuts and herbs. Serve with a bowl of creme fraiche.

  • Mont Blanc Roulade

    For more recipes and to buy Divine visit Divine chocolate. Photo: Lisa Barber


    For the meringue:

    4 large free-range egg whites, at room temperature

    A large pinch of cream of tartar

    225g caster sugar

    1 tsp cornflour

    Divine Cocoa Powder for dusting

    For the chocolate & chestnut cream:

    200ml whipping cream

    100g Divine Dark Chocolate, 70% or 85% cocoa solids (available at supermarkets)

    1 x 250g can Crème de Marrons (sweetened chestnut puree)

    To decorate:

    Marrons glaces, grated chocolate or chocolate curls


    1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Put the egg whites in to a spotlessly clean large bowl and whisk until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue whisking until the mixture stands in stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted.

    2. Mix the sugar and cornflour and whisk into the egg whites, a heaped tablespoon at a time, to make a stiff glossy meringue. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and spread evenly. Put a little cocoa powder – about a teaspoon – into a fine sieve or tea-strainer and lightly dust the top of the meringue.

    3. Bake in the heated oven for 50 minutes until puffed, lightly coloured and crisp to touch (the centre layer of the meringue will still be slightly soft). Turn out the meringue on to a cooling rack covered with a sheet of non-stick baking paper. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then carefully peel off the lining paper. Leave until completely cold.

    4. Break up the chocolate and place in a bowl along with 100ml of the cream. Set the bowl over a pan of steaming hot but not boiling water and leave to melt gently then stir until smooth. Remove from heat, leave to cool at room temperature.

    5. Whip the remaining cream in a bowl until thick and bring to room temperature. Fold in the melted chocolate mix. Then fold in the Crème de Marrons until evenly blended.

    6. Spread the mixture evenly over the meringue. Roll up the roulade from one long side, using one hand to guide the meringue into shape and the other to use the paper to support the meringue, and pull it into shape as it rolls up. Don’t worry if it cracks! Once it has become a ‘roulade’ use the paper around it to hold it in shape, wrapping it firmly. Chill for an hour or so before serving.

    7. To decorate – roll the roulade onto a serving platter or board, discarding the paper. The top should be speckled with the cocoa powder, and slightly cracked. Decorate with marrons glaces and plenty of grated chocolate or chocolate curls.

  • Albert Roux's Christmas Pudding

    From Roux at the Landau

    Ingredients (serves 16)

    500g raisins

    300g sultanas

    300g currants

    190g whole blanched almonds

    375g suet

    Juice and zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon

    1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

    1 large Bramley apple, peeled and grated

    200g breadcrumbs (white bread and brioche or croissants)

    375g soft light brown sugar

    6 whole eggs

    1 pinch salt

    1tb spoon cinnamon

    2tb spoon mixed spice

    125g Chopped candied peel

    125g glacé cherries

    330ml Guinness

    60ml brandy

    200g plain flour


    1. Put all the ingredients in a very big mixing bowl or even the kitchen sink. Mix well, then cover and refrigerate for a least 24hrs

    2. Fill the pudding basins up to 2cm below the rim. Cover with greaseproof paper then a cloth and tie tightly with string. Place in a double-boiler or steamer and cover.

    3. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1hr, topping up with boiling water when necessary. Transfer to a bain-marie or a shallow pan filled with water and bake in the oven at 150c for a further hour and half without the lid. This will help to dry out the top of the pudding a little – sealing it until Christmas.

    4. Remove and check whether the pudding is cooked by gently pressing the top with your fingers – it should be firm to the touch. Alternatively, insert a knife into the pudding – it should come out clean.

    5. Leave to cool. The basin may be slightly greasy and sticky on the outside - wipe it off and tie on a clean cloth. Keep refrigerated and forget about the pudding until Christmas.

    6. To serve, put the pudding back into a double boiler or steamer with a loose fitting lid and simmer for 3hrs, pour more brandy over the pudding and flambé if you like. Accompany with some thick double cream or brandy butter.

  • Happy Chilli Peppers

    From Garner's


    1 jar sweet pickled baby onions

    4 mild green chilli peppers – the rounded ones

    3 tbsp couscous

    1 heaped tsp of fresh chopped herbs – parsley/chives/basil

    Freshly milled salt & pepper

    Rapeseed oil to drizzle

    Red pepper/pimento to garnish


    1. Pre heat oven 220°C

    2. Halve chillies and remove seeds. Place upwards like canoes on a baking tray and drizzle with rapeseed oil. Roast for 10 minutes to cook yet retain their shape.

    3. Meanwhile place couscous in a small bowl and cover with boiling water straight from the kettle. Season and set aside to hydrate, stirring from time to time. Add herbs – and a pinch of chilli if wished.

    4. Spoon teaspoons of warm couscous into the chillies and dot with wedges of the pickled onions – you can add a smile with a little pimento if wished!


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Alessia Armenise

Alessia Armenise is picture editor of Stylist and In her free time you'll find her tasting vegan street food around east London and sharing her (many) opinions on London Fields Radio. Instagram