Guy’s Christmas Sweet Treats
4 tbsp warm
2 x 7g sachets fast-action dried yeast
100g caster sugar
250g butter softened
5 medium eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon
grated zest of 1 orange
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
3 tbsp dark rum
100g good-quality candied lemon and orange peel, finely chopped
For the topping
30g whole blanched almonds
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp egg white
1 tbsp icing sugar
Grease a panettone tin or a 20cm deep cake tin, or use a panettone case. Place the warm milk in a bowl and add the yeast and 1 tsp of sugar and leave for a few minutes. Put the remaining sugar in a large bowl and beat together with the butter and vanilla extract until really light, creamy and pale.
Stir in the lemon and orange zest. Add the eggs a little at a time until all are well incorporated. Spoon in a tablespoon of the flour if the mixture starts to curdle and beat this in with the eggs.
Place the flour in a large bowl and mix with a good pinch of salt and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture then the butter and egg mixture, folding in with a large spoon to make a soft dough. Knead for 5 mins in the bowl until it all starts to come together. It will be a pretty sticky dough at this stage.
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a further 10 mins, until everything has come together and you have a very soft and stretchy dough. Add a light sprinkling of flour to the surface and your hands as you go to stop the mixture sticking, but try not to add too much. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place for 2 hrs until doubled in size.
Place the raisins and sultanas in a small saucepan with the rum and heat gently for 5 – 7 mins until the fruit has absorbed the liquid and is plump and juicy. Set aside to cool.
When the dough is risen, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another 5 mins. Gradually knead in the soaked raisins, sultanas and chopped candied peel. Shape the dough into a ball and pop into the prepared tin. If using a 20cm cake tin, wrap a layer of baking parchment around the outside of the tin, to come up about 5cm above the rim, and secure the paper with string. This will help contain the dough as it rises. Cover lightly with cling film and leave to rise for another hour until it has risen to the top of the tin or paper.
Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Adjust the oven shelf to the right height. Mix together the almonds, caster sugar and egg white for the topping and gently brush over the top of the panettone. Place in the oven and bake for 40 – 50 mins until golden and risen and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool completely before dusting lightly with icing sugar and cutting into wedges to serve.
MULLED CIDER OR PERRY
1 litre of apple or pear juice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla pod
5cm piece of ginger, chopped
500ml vintage cider or perry
2 tbsp honey
Good splash of brandy
Pour the juice into a saucepan and add the cinnamon, cloves,vanilla, peppercorns and ginger and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes, reduce the heat and add the cider brandy and honey. Allow to simmer for another few minutes – don’t boil – and then ladle into heat proof glasses.
BUTTER RUM FIG CUSTARDS
Measure dark rum
1tbsp maple syrup
70g dark sugar
Cut figs in half through the length, beat the butter with the sugar add the rum and maple, place the figs cut side up on an oven tray top each half fig with butter cover and roast in a pre-heated oven170oc cook 10 -15 mins until soft but not pulpy remove and cool.
300g double cream
100g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod scraped
4 large egg yolks
1 whole egg
Preheat the oven to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Sit four 175ml ramekins in a deep roasting tin at least 7.5cm deep Pour the cream into a medium pan with the milk. Lay the vanilla pod on a board and slice lengthways through the middle with a sharp knife to split it in two. Use the tip of the knife to scrape out all the tiny seeds into the cream mixture. Drop the vanilla pod in as well, and set aside.
Put the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk for 1 minute with an electric hand whisk until paler in colour and a bit fluffy. Put the pan with the cream on a medium heat and bring almost to the boil. As soon as you see bubbles appear round the edge, take the pan off the heat.
Pour the hot cream into the beaten egg yolks, stirring with a wire whisk as you do so, and scraping through to strain it, encouraging any stray vanilla seeds through at the end. Using a big spoon, scoop off all the pale foam that is sitting on the top of the liquid (this will be several spoonfuls) and discard. Give the mixture a stir.
Pour in enough hot water (from the tap is fine) into the roasting tin to come about 1.5cm up the sides of the ramekins. Pour the hot cream into the ramekins so you fill them up right to the top – it’s easier to spoon in the last little bit. Put them in the oven and lay a baking sheet over the top of the tin so it sits well above the ramekins and completely covers them, but not the whole tin, leaving a small gap at one side to allow air to circulate. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the mixture is softly set. To check, gently sway the roasting tin and if the crème brûlées are ready, they will wobble a bit like a jelly in the middle. Don’t let them get too firm.
Lift the ramekins out of the roasting tin with oven gloves and set them on a wire rack to cool for a couple of minutes only, then put in the fridge to cool completely. This can be done overnight.
When ready to serve, wipe round the top edge of the dishes, sprinkle 1½ tsp of caster sugar over each ramekin and spread it out with the back of a spoon to completely cover (A tip for an even layer). Spray with a little water using a fine spray (the sort you buy in a craft shop) to just dampen the sugar – then use a blow torch to caramelize it. Hold the flame just above the sugar and keep moving it round and round until caramelized. Serve when the Brule is firm, or within an hour or two.
Assemble: once you have toasted the top of the Brule place a couple of figs on top and serve.
CRANBERRY AND MARIZPAN FRANGIPANE TART
300g Frozen cranberries
100g light brown sugar
Juice and zest 1 orange
Place cranberries in a sauce pan with juice and zest of orange and 100ml water, simmer 5 minutes until berries start to burst then add the sugar simmer for further 10 minutes remove and cool taste add more sugar if required
Sweet pastry with almonds
90g icing sugar
2g fine salt
30g ground almond
60g plain flour
175g plain flour
Cream the sugar, butter, salt, almonds, eggs and 60g of flour as soon as the mixture is smooth (be careful not to over work or the pastry will become tough)
Add the remaining flour and mix quickly. Remove dough and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using to rest.
Frangipane (almond paste)
110g unsalted butter cold
110g caster sugar
85g ground almonds
25g plain flour
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs one at a time and beat in well between additions. Sieve the flour and nuts together and beat in to mix
Assembly place a disc of marzipan in the bottom of the pastry case spoon on a little cranberry compote, then top with frangipane, sprinkle with almonds, place in pre heated oven 170oc until sponge is cooked and golden remove from oven cool a little before eating with fresh cream.
CRANBERRY MINCEMEAT AND MARZIPAN PALMIERS
1 quantity ready roll puff pastry
450 g fresh cranberries
Grated zest and juice 2 lemons
50 g whole almonds, cut into slivers
4 level teaspoons mixed ground spice
½ level teaspoon ground cinnamon
Fresh nutmeg, grated
6 tablespoons brandy
225 g Bramley apples, unpeeled, cored and chopped small
225 g shredded suet
350 g raisins
225 g sultanas
225 g currants
225 g whole mixed candied peel, finely chopped
350 g soft dark brown sugar
grated zest and juice 2 oranges
Place all ingredients, except for the brandy, in a large mixing bowl, stirring and mixing them together. Then cover the bowl with a cling film and leave the mixture in a cool place overnight or for 12 hours. After that pre-heat the oven to 120°C
Then pour in to an oven proof bowl cover loosely with foil and place in the oven for 3 hours.
Then remove the bowl from the oven. Don’t worry about the appearance of the mincemeat – it will look as if it is positively swimming in fat, but this is how it should look. As it cools, stir it from time to time: the fat will coagulate. When the mincemeat is quite cold, stir in the brandy. Place in jars and seal store in cool dry place.
Roll out the pastry, egg wash, sprinkle the mincemeat and dot with marzipan over and roll up seal the edges, cut into 1 inch slices, egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake in pre heated oven 180oc until golden and crisp.
CARAMELIZED ORANGES WITH MASCARPONE CREAM
200g Caster sugar
Good dash Grand marnier or dark rum
1 Cinnamon stick
Zest two oranges and then peel all the oranges
Place a pan on the heat add half the sugar and stir until it starts to caramelize then add the rest stirring all the time until you have a nice caramel color now the dangerous part remove from heat and slowly add the water it will bubble up like a volcano so watch your hands as it falls back down stir .now gently place in the oranges, cinnamon and the zest cook for 10 minutes roll the oranges around as they cook remove from heat add the liquor and cool.
150ml Double Cream
1 Vanilla Pod (seeds only)
20g Icing Sugar
Beat vanilla and icing sugar into mascarpone
Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold in place in fridge to set 2 hours aprox
Use as required
Serve: slice the oranges, place on plates with a spoonful of the sauce and a good dollop of the cream.
CHRISTMAS PUDDING PARFAIT
8 Egg yolks
125g Caster sugar
750ml Double cream
125g Dried and candied fruit
45g Toasted almonds
¼ tsp Grated nutmeg
1 stick of Cinnamon
Warm the rum with the cinnamon and nutmeg add the fruit and soak overnight.
Whisk the double cream so it has slightly thickened.
Place a sauce pan with about an inch of water in the bottom, on the stove and bring to the boil and turn down to simmer
Place the yolks, brandy and sugar in a pan with a tablespoon of water into a mixing bowl and whisk over the pan of simmering water until you have reached sabayon stage (when you lift your whisk it will leave a trail) remove from heat.
Keep whisking until cool.
When cool add the fruit, removing the cinnamon stick, and fold in the cream gently
Spoon into 6 rings or ramekins and put into the freezer for about 3-4 hours or until frozen
Serve with some seasonal fruit