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Christmas goodies

Treat one and all to these puddings, marzipan and cookies on December 25.



SWEET CHEER: Enjoy this spread.


CHRISTMAS IS the time to eat cakes and goodies. The traditional Christmas cake, essentially a plum cake, is made in most households for which the preparations start many months ago. Besides the cake and turkey, which comprise the traditional Christmas menu, there are others like marzipans, cookies and pies. Here are some different recipes one can try out on the festive day. They are a little elaborate in terms of ingredients and method, but they will surely be enjoyed by family and friends.

Caribbean Christmas pudding with Brandy Butter

Ingredients for pudding:

Black currants - 240 gms
Candied cherries or other dry fruits as figs, apricot - 120 gms
Prunes (pitted) - 120 gms
Chopped peel candied orange, lemon - 100 gms
Nutmeg powder - 1/2 tsp
Ground ginger - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Dark rum -200 ml (optional)
White bread crumbs - 3 cups
Brown sugar - 150 gms
All purpose flour - 90 gms
Eggs - 3
Unsalted butter - 150 gms

Method: Cream butter, brown sugar together. Add eggs one at a time. Beat until pale.

Add fruits, flour and rum and fold together. Bake at 150 degrees Centigrade for 2-1/2 hours or steam in the double boiler, and serve with brandy butter.

Ingredients for brandy butter:

Unsalted butter (room temperature) - 90gms

Powdered sugar - 150gms
Brandy - 75 ml

Method: Cream butter, sugar together and add brandy little at a time and pour on to the pudding.

Marzipan X'mas goodies

Ingredients:

Almond powder - 250 gms
Icing sugar - 750 gms
Egg white - 3
Almond essence - few drops

Method: Sieve almond powder and icing sugar together. Pour it into a cleaned steel vessel. Add one egg white at a time and knead. Add few drops of essence. Make a firm dough and store in a container.

For making goodies: Take a requirement of marzipan to make goodies and use appropriate colours to match the fruit and shape them accordingly for different fruit based goodies.

Tartan Christmas tree cookies

Ingredients:

Butter - 75 gms
Powdered sugar - 40 gms
Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
Flour - 150gms
Salt - 5 gms

Method:

For dough:
Beat unsalted butter in a large bowl until light. Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix until combined. Gather dough into a ball, flatten into a dish, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for two hours

Topping:

White chocolate (melted) - 240 gms

Red, yellow, green food colouring.

Method: Roll dough on floured board. Using a Christmas tree cutter, cut 10 cookies. Transfer cookies to a baking sheet and bake at 140 degrees Centigrade for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Leave for cooling. After cooling, apply white chocolate on cookies and pipe with coloured piping.

Scandinavian spiced Christmas Apple cakes with apple sauce filling

Ingredients for cake:

Flour - 225 gms
Ginger powder - 5 gms
Mace powder - 5 gms
Cardamom powder - 5 gms
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1/4 cup
Shortening (butter) or margarine - 120 gms
Egg - 1
Mild flavoured molasses or melted jaggery or caramelised sugar - 75 gms
Buttermilk - 1/2 cup

Method: Cream butter and sugar. Add egg. Mix with buttermilk and molasses. Fold with flour and spices. Bake at 180 degrees Centigrade for 20 minutes.

Ingredients for filling:

Apple sauce (a mix of apple and sugar) - 200 gms
Brown sugar - 100 gms
Unsalted butter - 70 gms

Method: Melt butter and pour into the apple sauce. Beat well and add brown sugar, whisk till thick and layer in to a three-tier filling.

For frosting:

Whipped cream - 250 gms
Golden brown sugar - 80 gms
Molasses (mild flavoured) or melted jaggery or caramelised sugar - 40 gms
Brandy (optional) - 30 ml
Sliced almond toasted - 50 gms

Method: Frost the cake with a mixture of cream, molasses, brown sugar and brandy. Add toasted sliced almonds on top and serve.

O.P. KHANTWAL

The writer is Executive Chef at ITC Kakatiya Sheraton Hotel and Towers.

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