Great Nosh: Christmas puddings

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Sarah Clifford 

We all know that the best thing about Christmas is the food, especially the sweet things. How could it not be when you can buy multiple tubs of chocolate and not be judged for it? But, if you’re looking for something a bit more taxing then here are a couple puddings to wash down the turkey.

If you want to impress with some fine dining, try white chocolate and pistachio parfait: it’s much easier than it sounds. In a saucepan over a low heat, combine 140g white chocolate and 3 tablespoons of double cream until the mixture is completely smooth. In a separate pan over a low heat, beat 2 large egg whites and 25g (using an electric mixer) until they form soft peaks. Remove from the heat and set aside. Remove the chocolate from the heat, ensuring it’s smooth and add 4 tablespoons of ground pistachios and beat well, but don’t let the mixture stiffen (if it does just add a bit more cream)! In another bowl whisk 450ml of double cream until it stiffens and add this to the chocolate-pistachio mixture using a cutting motion. Finally fold in the egg white mixture until it’s completely combined but make sure this is gentle to avoid losing the air bubbles. Pour the mixture into a freezer proof container and pop it into the freezer. Remove ten minutes before serving. Simples!

Finally, for those who don’t want to faff around with Christmas pudding and just get straight into the chocolate…a Christmas swiss roll! Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, and line a baking tray with baking paper. Whisk together three eggs and 75g golden caster sugar until thick. Sieve into the bowl 70g of flour and 45g of cocoa powder, folding the dry ingredients in. Once they are half incorporated, add 1 tablespoon of hot water then continue folding until this has been absorbed. Finally add 1 tablespoon of milk or cream to the batter and continue to fold until the mixture is completely combined (make sure it isn’t too runny). Pour this batter onto the baking tray, making a large rectangle and put it into the oven to bake for 7-10 minutes until the sponge is springy to touch. Dust a separate sheet of baking paper with icing sugar and immediately turn the sponge out onto it. Be careful when you pull away the original baking paper so as not to tear the sponge.  Whilst the sponge cools, you can make the filling (it’s very light). You need 150ml whipping cream and 40g icing sugar. Whisk these together until the cream has just stiffened (don’t over mix otherwise you’ll get a crumbly texture and appearance). If you’d rather a chocolatey filling, just add 15g of cocoa powder to the mixture as well. Once the sponge is completely cool, cover the sponge in a thick layer of the cream mix. Finally make double rows of chopped up raspberries across the sponge (each set should be about two inches apart) and start to roll the sponge gently so as not to tear the sponge or make it too tight. Finally dust with a little more icing sugar and find some Christmassy themed cake decorations to go on top!

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