Christmas DessertsDecember 27, 2009
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas Day, and for those of you who do it, a relaxing Boxing Day as well. Or for those of you brave enough to face the crowds, some excellent bargains at the sales.
We had a lovely Christmas here this year, we were down some people this year with part of the Clan in the UK and my mum and brother on the otherwise of Australia! we did some creative skype webcam goodness though, ate breakfast together (they did pancakes and ham & cheese croissants; we did pancakes (GF) with rhubarb and soy yoghurt, poached egg & bacon and choc chip waffles) and then moved on to opening presents together. The Husband got creative and used our TV to show them, which was nice. The technology wasn’t brilliant of course, but better than nothing right?
We then of course had the main affair with the remainder of the Clan. Food was kept fairly simple, what with my injury and well, the Clan traditionally doing cold spreads! so MIL cooked the Husbands favourite Christmas dish Gammon (studded with pineapple and cherries), and I made Silverside (as requested by my Puppa) with Mustard Sauce and Cranberry & Macadamia stuffed Chicken. We also roasted vegetables and steamed others. It was yummy.
However, this post is about the desserts! The 2 I created anyway – there was a choc-orange pudding as well, but this was purchased, and I already posted about the GF pudding (which went down a treat, with GF & DF custard) but these 2 were my favourites!
On the left we have a vanilla bean creme brulee made especially for the Husband who will not eat Christmas Pudding to save his life. It didn’t turn out perfectly, I think I may have slightly over cooked the custard base but it still tasted delicious, and looked so good speckled with vanilla and then with its gorgeous burnt sugar top (thank you Husband for my birthday present!) and the Husband ate 3 of the 4 created so it can’t have been to bad hey?
The Pudding….oh the Pudding! I wanted to eat all of it too myself, I ate a huge slice as it was, and everyone went back for seconds. Even MIL who usually only likes a “slither” because she says she doesn’t really like Christmas Pudding that much. I served mine floating in custard (just the way I like it) all warm and toasty, others just had a small dollop of custard (cold….) and still enjoyed it. The fruitiness was just right, texture, moist and perfectly pudding like. Oh if I do say so myself it is one of the best puddings I’ve ever had! there was half of it left at the end – I fear I went a little overboard, this I provided to our neighbour because he was unfortunately having a lonely Christmas with just a flyby visit from his daughter and her husband before they went on to their main event. I did not know this until half way through my day though, otherwise I would’ve invited him over. He keeps me supplied with fresh eggs all year round from his chickens! And, I saw him on boxing day and he informed me he ate half of it in one sitting because it was that good – gosh these wonderful ego boosting things!
Anyway, below are the recipes for the two desserts. Both were adapted from recipes I originally got from BBC Food
Christmas Pudding – made at least 2 months in advance
225g caster sugar
225g butter (frozen and grated)
955g mixed fruit
60g candied peel
110g plain flour
55g flaked almonds
zest of 1 lemon
5 eggs beaten
1t ground cinnamon
1t mixed spice
150ml rum (I use white rum)
Lightly grease 1 x 2L pudding basin (or multiple smaller ones)
Mix together all the dry ingredients
Stir in the eggs and rum, mix well
Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin, cover with a circle of baking parchment and foil secured with string.
Put the basins in a large steamer of boiling water and cover with a lid. Boil for 5-6 hours, topping the water up from time to time. The water should cover the sides of bowl up a third of the way. I always use my pasta pot so I can just lift out the steamer at the end.
Cool. Change the baking paper and foil. Store in cool cupboard for Christmas Day, feeding it every now and then.
On Christmas Day steam as before for 2 hours.
Vanilla Creme Brulee
1 vanilla bean, split
1/4 cup of caster sugar (plus extra for top)
3 egg yolks
Combine cream and vanilla in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over a low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Whisk the sugar with egg yolks until thick, remove the bean from the cream and stir cream into egg yolk mixture.
Transfer to a heavy based saucepan and cook, stirring constantly over a low heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, do not boil.
Remove from the heat, divide equally between 4 ramekins and cover with cling wrap and put in the fridge for at least 3 hours if not overnight.
To Serve, sprinkle the surface with extra caster sugar to form a layer about 3mm thick. Use torch to caramelise sugar – or you can use a hot grill. Allow to cool before serving.