Recipes: Delicious Christmas desserts

By Jan Bilton


Some delicious recipes to see you through every Christmas occasion.


Christmas Fusion


This yummy dessert is a mixture of summer pudding, trifle and tiramisu. Use homemade or bought custard. I made my own using EasiYo custard mix, which contains a culture. It's not too sweet. Use crisp lady fingers - ordinary sponge cake is too soft.

3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup each: fresh or frozen raspberries, blackberries

1 cup icing sugar

3 tbsp each: water, lime juice

200g lady fingers

1/2 cup sherry or your favourite liqueur (I used Cointreau)

1 & 1/2 cups custard

Topping: 200g mascarpone

1/2 cup cream

4 tbsp lime curd

Finely grated rind 1 lime

1 tbsp cocoa powder

Put berries in a saucepan with icing sugar and water. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring gently once or twice. Simmer until berries are soft but still holding their shape. Transfer to a bowl. Add lime juice and cool. Can be prepared a day ahead.

Brush lady fingers generously with the liqueur. Line base of a round or oblong glass bowl with the lady fingers. Make a double layer, if possible. Sprinkle with any remaining liqueur.

Spread with custard. Top with berries and 4 to 6 tablespoons of the juice.

Gently whisk mascarpone and cream. Fold in lime curd and rind. Spread over top. Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight. Sprinkle with cocoa just before serving.

Serves 8

CHOCOLATE PAVLOVA

3 egg whites

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup demerara sugar

1 tsp cornflour

1 tbsp dark cocoa powder

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp white vinegar

Topping: 300ml cream

50g dark chocolate, melted

2 tbsp grated or curled dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 150C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Whip egg whites and salt, until frothy. Gradually whisk in sugar, then add sifted cornflour and cocoa. Fold in vanilla and vinegar.

Pile on to the baking paper in an 18cm diameter round tray. Bake for about one hour, until crisp on the outside. Turn oven off and leave pavlova to cool. Remove to a serving plate.

Whip cream and add melted chocolate. Pile on to pavlova. Top with the grated or curled chocolate.

Excellent with cherries. Serves 6 to 8

TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS PUDDING

200g each: pitted prunes, dried apricots, cut into quarters

1 cup each: dried currants, mixed peel, glace cherries

1 cup water

1/2 cup each: white sugar, brown sugar (lightly packed)

125g butter

1 tsp each: finely grated orange rind, baking soda

2 medium eggs

1/4 cup sherry or brandy

1 cup each: plain flour, self-raising flour

2 tsp ground mixed spice

Place fruit in a saucepan with water, sugars and butter. Stir over low heat until butter has melted. Simmer for eight minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in orange rind and baking soda.

Stand until cold.

Lightly beat eggs and sherry or brandy. Stir into the cold fruit mixture. Stir in the sifted flours and mixed spice.

Spoon into a greased, 2-litre pudding basin or bowl.

Cover tightly with foil. Steam over simmering water for three hours, replenishing water from time to time. This pudding can be prepared weeks ahead, cooled, wrapped in plastic film and stored in refrigerator.

Reheat over boiling water for about 45 minutes or in the microwave on medium (50 per cent) power for about five minutes.

Add a good dash of sherry or brandy before reheating.

Serve with brandy sauce, custard, whipped cream or icecream.

Serves 8

ITALIAN-STYLE CHRISTMAS PUD

A delicious pudding prepared using panettone, an Italian-style light-textured bread containing dried fruit.

70g hazelnuts

500g ricotta

250g mascarpone

1/2 cup icing sugar

100g each: dark chocolate, mixed dried fruit

4 tbsp grated orange rind

1 loaf panettone bread

1/4 cup orange-flavoured liqueur

Line an eight-cup metal pudding basin with plastic wrap, leaving enough to wrap over the top of the pudding.

Cook hazelnuts in a heavy-based frying pan for five minutes over a medium heat until lightly browned.

Pour into a large sieve and shake to remove skins. Coarsely chop.

Beat ricotta, mascarpone and icing sugar, until smooth. Chop chocolate into small-medium pieces. Add to ricotta mixture together with hazelnuts, chocolate, dried fruit and orange rind.

Using a sharp knife, cut panettone lengthways into six 1.5cm thick slices. Remove crusts.

Arrange 4 of the slices, overlapping slightly, around the sides and base of the pudding basin. Brush with 2 tablespoons of the liqueur.

Spoon ricotta mixture into the panettone, pressing in firmly.

Brush both sides of the remaining panettone with the remaining liqueur and place firmly on top of the pudding. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to chill.

Serves 9

- Hamilton News

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