Hosting Christmas – How to prevent kitchen nightmares

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Christmas day is undoubtedly one of highlights of the year for people with a sweet tooth, but it can be a bit of a nightmare for those of us who are stuck in the kitchen!

To help you prepare for the very best Christmas ever and ensure you cook up a stress-free storm on Christmas day, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite festive dessert recipes from BBC Good Food.

We also recommend picking up some new kitchenware ahead of the big day, such as the KitchenAid Artisian 4.8L Stand Food Mixer, a large capacity food mixer perfect for the Christmas cake.

Or the Kenwood Premier Chef Kitchen Machine, another large capacity food mixer capable of perfect mixing all your Christmas ingredients.

And now for the recipes!

Christmas Salted Caramel Yule Log

Ingredients

butter, for the tin

3 large eggs

100g golden caster sugar

100g plain flour

½ tsp baking powder

1 vanilla pod, seeds only

150ml whipping cream

100g salted caramel spread

redcurrants and mint leaves, to decorate

 

For the caramel icing

200g unsalted butter, softened

400g icing sugar, sieved, plus extra for dusting

200g salted caramel spread

 

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Line a 24 x 32cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment so it hangs over the edges, then butter well. Whisk the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk for 3-4 mins or until pale and thick.
  2. Fold the flour, baking powder and vanilla seeds into the egg mixture with a large metal spoon until there are no pockets of flour visible. Gently spread into your tin and bake in the oven for 12-15 mins or until lightly golden and springy to the touch.
  3. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 1-2 mins or until cool enough to handle, then carefully roll up the sponge lengthways while it’s still warm (keeping the baking parchment attached). Leave to cool completely in its rolled-up shape.
  4. To make the icing, beat the butter and icing sugar until smooth, then mix in the caramel spread. Set aside. Whip the cream to soft peaks.
  5. Carefully unroll the sponge, then turn it so one long edge is towards you. Dot lumps of the caramel spread and caramel icing over the sponge (don’t use too much – you need the rest to ice the cake), keeping the last centimeter at the end furthest from you clean, as the filling will spread as it rolls. Spread the cream over the top using a palette knife. Using the parchment, roll up the sponge.
  6. Cut one end off a few centimeters in at an angle to make a branch. Put the roll on a plate or board and add the branch so it fits on snugly. Use the remaining icing to ice the cake, making bark lines in the icing using a fork. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with the redcurrants and mint to serve.

 

Millionaire’s Ice Cream Bombe

Ingredients

250g digestive biscuits

50g butter, melted

200g dulce de leche or Carnation caramel

200g chocolate ice cream (not soft-serve)

300g caramel or vanilla ice cream (not soft-serve)

4 x 121g bags Maltesers

150ml double cream

200g bar dark chocolate, finely chopped

 

To serve

holly, to decorate (optional)

icing sugar, to serve (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Line a 1.2-litre pudding bowl with a double layer of cling film, leaving plenty overhanging, and make a space for the bowl in the freezer. Put the biscuits in a food processor and blitz until they resemble fine crumbs. Add the butter and 2 tbsp caramel, and blend until well mixed. Save about 3 tbsp for the top and tip the rest into the lined pudding bowl. Use the back of a spoon to press evenly over the base and up the sides of the bowl. Freeze for 30 mins.
  2. Remove the chocolate ice cream from the freezer and allow it to soften at room temperature for 10 mins. Remove the pudding bowl from the freezer too (the biscuits should be firm by now.) Spoon the ice cream into the biscuit- lined bowl, packing it into the base. Spoon over the remaining caramel, spreading it to the biscuit walls. Return to the freezer for 30 mins.
  3. Remove the caramel ice cream and allow it to soften for 10 mins. Meanwhile, tip 75g Maltesers into a bowl and lighty crush with the end of a rolling pin, leaving some chunky bits. Add the ice cream to the bowl and stir through the Malteser pieces – work quickly so the ice cream doesn’t melt too much. Remove the pudding bowl from the freezer and tip in the Malteser ice cream, spreading it to completely fill the bowl, then level the top. Scatter with the remaining biscuit crumbs. Return to the freezer for at least 4 hrs (or for up to 2 weeks).
  4. Put the cream in a pan and heat until steaming hot but not boiling. Put the chocolate in a large bowl and pour over the cream. Leave to stand for 1-2 mins, then stir to make a smooth ganache. Set aside to cool until the sauce thickens to a spreadable consistency (you can speed this up by putting it in the fridge, but remember to stir it every 5-10 mins or it will set around the edges).
  5. Remove the pudding bowl from the freezer. Turn it onto a plate and remove the bowl and cling film. Spread half the chocolate ganache all over the pudding and, as quickly as you can, stick the remaining Maltesers all over the surface – this is easiest if you start around the bottom and work your way up in layers. The chocolate ganache will start to set, so use a little more from the bowl to make the Maltesers stick. Once covered, return to the freezer for at least a further 4 hrs (or for up to 3 days), removing it 10 mins before serving. Top with a dusting of icing sugar and a sprig of holly, if you like.

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Posts from the Harvey Norman blog team.

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