’Tis the season to be jolly, then again while many of us would really like to sit down once more and bask inside the warmth glow of Christmas, maximum folks know that it takes loads of paintings to get there in one piece as we navigate the place of business occasions, family gatherings and long buying lists. So I’ve pulled jointly a celebratory collection of festive puddings that shouldn’t tie you up in knots and that may, optimistically, have something for everyone, be tray of flippantly spiced roast pears in port (just right for using up ultimate 12 months’s bottle), delicately scented and flour-free baked cheesecakes, a decadently wet chestnut and chocolate cake or a lighter, creamier take on the minced pie.
Chestnut and chocolate cake with chestnut cream
This rich, flourless chocolate cake is a delicious tea cake then again, with its rich chestnut cream, it’s so delicate and mousse-like that it doubles up as a very good after-dinner pudding. Serves 10-12.
250g dark chocolate
250g unsalted butter
180g caster sugar
3 tbsp mezcal (or a peaty whisky, or brandy)
200g chestnut puree
4 eggs, separated
1 small pinch ground cinnamon
¼ tsp incredible sea salt
For the chestnut cream
200g chestnut puree
2 tbsp mezcal (or peaty whisky)
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g icing sugar
220ml double cream
30g dark chocolate
Heat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Butter a 25cm cake tin and line it with baking paper.
Break the chocolate into pieces and installed a heatproof bowl with the butter. Position the bowl over a pan of slightly simmering water, and stir until the chocolate has melted. Add the sugar and mezcal, stir another time until the sugar crystals have melted and the mix is blank, then pass away to cool slightly.
In a bowl, beat the chestnut puree with a hand blender until very blank, then beat inside the egg yolks 2 at a time, to make a blank cream. Fold in 1/2 of the melted chocolate mix, then upload the remaining. Season with the cinnamon and salt.
In a transparent bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then use a large metal spoon to fold a third of them into the chocolate aggregate, to loosen. Once well blended, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, then scrape the mix into the tin and bake for 25-30 mins, until merely set.
While the cake is baking, make the chestnut cream. Beat jointly the chestnut puree, mezcal, vanilla and sugar. Gently whip the cream to smooth peaks and fold into the chestnut puree mix.
To serve, decrease the cooled cake into slices and serve with dollops of cream and dark chocolate grated on top.
Super-dark ginger whisky cake with clementine cream cheese icing
Perish the regarded as no longer having a cake inside the cupboard at the moment of 12 months, then again normally a Christmas cake can seem just a little OTT, what with all the mince pies and each factor else as well. This delicate and devilishly gingery whisky cake is the correct compromise, with or without the icing. It will handle for 4 to 5 days in an airtight container.
65g black treacle
65g golden syrup
120g unsalted butter
120g smooth brown sugar
2 tbsp just right prime quality whisky
180g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 egg, overwhelmed
For the icing
75g very smooth butter
200g complete fat cream cheese
100g icing sugar
Zest and juice of 1 clementine
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and line a the ground and facets of a 900g loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
In a small pan, melt the treacle, golden syrup, butter, sugar and whisky over a low heat, stirring gently, then take off the heat as quickly because the sugar dissolves. Transfer to a bowl, and sift the flour, ginger and a pinch of salt on top. Gently fold to combine, then stir in first the overwhelmed egg followed by means of the milk. Pour into the tin and bake for 45-50 mins, until a skewer comes out transparent, then pass away to cool inside the tin for 10 mins previous than shifting to a cord rack.
While the cake is baking, beat the smooth butter in a large blending bowl until delicate, light and pillowy-soft (to save some at the elbow grease, I make the most of beater). Mix inside the cream cheese until utterly blended, then sift inside the icing sugar and fold by way of. Fold inside the citrus zest and juices, spread the icing over the cooled cake and serve.
Port, black pepper and cardamom roast pears
This is a wonderful dinner-party pudding: it’s extraordinarily simple to make and fantastically fragrant. I uncover roast pears so much a lot much less fiddly than poaching. Serves 8 to 10.
Peel of ½ lemon, plus the juice of 1 lemon
8 not-quite-ripe pears
150g smooth delicate brown sugar
8 cardamom pods, overwhelmed
1 bay leaf
1 tsp black pepper, gently overwhelmed
Vanilla ice-cream and 100g hazelnuts, to serve
Half-fill a blending bowl with cold water and upload 1/2 of the lemon juice. One at a time, peel the pears, decrease them in 1/2 of lengthways, and scoop out and discard the cores. Drop each pear into the acidulated water as you pass, to stop them turning brown. You can do this bit an afternoon upfront.
Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Put the port, sugar, lemon zest, cardamom, bay and pepper into a large pan and convey to a boil. Lift the pears out in their lemony tub and lay them out decrease aspect down in a baking dish into which they’ll take a seat snugly in one layer. Pour over the port aggregate and the juice of the remainder half-lemon, then bake for 35-45 mins, until merely smooth, turning them once halfway: the timing will depend on how ripe your pears are to begin with, so check them every 15 mins, and baste every time you check.
Toast the hazelnuts within the equivalent oven for roughly 5 mins, until golden, then more or less chop.
Serve the new pears and their syrupy juices sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts and with scoops of vanilla ice-cream at the aspect.
Baked San Juan cheesecakes with medjool apple jam
There is a dark, mahogany-panelled coffee retailer external the famously foodie San Juan marketplace in Mexico City that sells necessarily essentially the most decadently delicious explicit individual cheesecakes, baked and creamy and stuffed with blackberry jam. This is my flourless take on those desserts, using a delicately fragrant medjool apple jam, even though there’s not anything to stop you using any roughly jam you fancy.
50g unsalted butter
250g cream cheese
100g double cream
½ tsp incredible sea salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
The juice of 1 lemon
5 eggs, separated
70g corn starch
110g caster sugar
For the jam
2 apples, peeled and cored (about 220g internet weight)
500g medjool dates, pitted
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 cinnamon stick
250ml apple juice
Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3. Line 2 muffin trays with 24 huge muffin paper cases (crucial size you will have to purchase; or make your own using 18cm sq. sheets of baking paper, even though that’s admittedly a slightly fiddly process).
Put all the jam parts in a medium saucepan and simmer gently for 15-20 mins, until the apples are smooth, then blitz with a stick blender and push by way of a sieve to get a good looking, blank puree. Refrigerate until sought after (if you want, make more than you need for the desserts, because of the puree is lovely on morning yoghurt).
To make the cheesecakes, melt the butter over a actually mild heat and whisk inside the ricotta, cream cheese and cream. Season with 1/2 of the salt, then stir inside the vanilla essence and the juice of 1/2 of the lemon. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then whisk inside the corn flour. Pour inside the cheese and cream aggregate, and whisk to a blank, creamy batter.
In a transparent bowl, beat the egg whites, salt and last lemon juice to smooth peaks, then upload the caster sugar and beat to stiff peaks. Use a large metal spoon to fold a third of this mix into the cheese mix, to loosen, then gently fold in the rest of the egg white mix. Add enough of the cheesecake mix to fill each muffin case by means of a third, then top with a small teaspoon of the jam. Add additional of the cheesecake mix until it fills the cases enough to depart 2.5cm of paper at the top, to allow for the cheesecakes to upward push.
Pour enough boiling water into 2 roasting tins to fill them by means of 5cm, then conscientiously position 1 muffin tray into each water tub. Bake for 25-30 mins, until the cheesecakes are golden and risen, then turn off the oven and pass away the door slightly ajar, until the cheesecakes cool. They will shrink once more reasonably.
Once cool, refrigerate for as a minimum 4 hours, or in one day. If you prefer, you perhaps can bake 1 huge cheesecake crowned with a thin spread of jam, all the way through which case cook dinner dinner it in a greased and coated spring-form tin and beef up the cooking time by means of 15-20 mins.
Orange and sauternes custard tarts with boozy raisins
Not everyone loves a mince pie – hard to consider, I know, then again true. Well, those little tarts have the entire gorgeous booziness of plump, soaked raisins, then again as a substitute of a heavy mincemeat, they’re enveloped in a lightweight custard and crisp pastry. They are decidedly moreish. Makes 12.
75g icing sugar
380g simple flour
1 pinch salt
1 egg, overwhelmed
For the custard
400ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, get a divorce in 1/2 of
Zest of 1 orange, plus the juice of ½ orange
4 egg yolks
55g caster sugar
1 tbsp corn flour
3 tbsp sauternes, muscat or other pudding wine
For the raisins
3 tbsp sauternes
1 superstar anise
Juice of 1 orange
Put the icing sugar, flour, salt and butter in a foods processor and blitz to the consistency of incredible breadcrumbs. Add the egg and a teaspoon of cold water, and blitz only some events additional: the dough ought to easily come jointly (if it doesn’t, upload one different teaspoon of water and process another time). Roll the dough proper right into a ball, flatten it out reasonably, then wrap in clingfilm and put inside the freezer for 1/2 of an hour.
Meanwhile, make the custard. Put the cream in a saucepan and upload the vanilla pod, orange juice and zest. Bring up to boiling degree, then turn off the heat without delay and scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod into the cream (don’t throw out the pod: wash and dry it, then handle it in a jar of sugar for some selfmade vanilla sugar). Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, corn flour and pudding wine in a bowl, then pour in a ladle of the new cream and whisk well. Beat in the rest of the new cream, go back the lot to the cream pan and put on a low heat. Stir recurrently, until the custard thickens enough to coat the once more of a picket spoon; be careful not to let it boil, in another case the eggs will curdle. Once the custard has thickened, pass away to cool totally.
Take the pastry out of the freezer, ruin off a third, wrap this in clingfilm and put inside the refrigerator. On a flippantly floured ground, roll out the remainder larger piece of pastry to 6-8mm thick, then use a round 7-8cm-diameter cookie cutter to cut out discs. Place those in a 12-hole muffin tin, gently pressing down the pastry discs into the holes, then pop the tray into the freezer for 15 mins, to company up. Take the smaller piece of pastry out of the refrigerator, roll that out to 6-8mm thick, too, then use the equivalent cookie cutter to cut out 12 lids. Place those on a plate and put once more inside the refrigerator. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3.
Put the sauternes, 2 tablespoons of water, the superstar anise and the orange juice in a small pan, ship to a boil, then turn off the heat, upload the raisins and pass away them for 10 mins, to soak and plump up.
Now you’re ready to bake. Scoop the raisins into the tarts with a fork (that manner, you received’t risk together with a substantial amount of soaking liquid to the filling). Spoon about 2 tablespoons of custard over each (you’ll have reasonably custard left over, then again that’s no great hardship), then gently take a seat the lids on top and crimp jointly the edges. Bake for 20-25 mins, until golden, then pass away to cool totally previous than serving. These are delicious with double cream and will handle in a sealed container for 3 to 4 days.
- Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay.