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Don’t bring us figgy pudding

19 December 2014

ISTOCK

MARTHA COLLISON, the youngest ever contestant on the BBC's Great British Bake Off, whom I interviewed ( Interview, 14 November), inspired me to think about puddings this Christmas. Not the pudding, but some Christmassy cakes and puddings for all the other days of Christmas. A seasonable one is Lemon, honey, and whisky cake.

175g (6 oz) self-raising

wholewheat flour, sifted

100g (4 oz) honey

175g (6 oz) butter

2 eggs, beaten

4 tablespoons whisky

zest and juice of a lemon

Rolled cream frosting:

500ml (¾ pt) double cream

juice and a little rind of 1 lemon

honey to taste

optional edible gold glitter,

candied lemon, etc., for

decoration

 

Make the lemon cream by bringing the double cream, in a pan that is big enough, to a rolling boil. Remove it from the heat and flavour it with lemon juice, rind, and honey. Allow it to cool, and thicken in the fridge.

Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and butter two round 6-inch sandwich tins. Cream the honey and sugar together until light, and then add the flour. Add the egg mixture slowly, and finally the whisky and lemon zest. Put the mixture in the tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cake is done. Cool and turn out and sprinkle the lemon juice over the top. Spread the rolled cream over both cakes, stack one on top of the other, and decorate with a little edible gold glitter, or candied lemon slices.

Another standard favourite at Christmas is the Yule log, but since my daughter Trinity won all hearts with her meringue Roulade recently, I'm going to do one for Boxing Day, with chestnut stuffing. 

4 egg whites

225g (8 oz) caster sugar

a pinch of cream of tartar

300ml (½ pt) whipping cream

small tin of chestnut purée

honey to taste

toasted chopped hazelnuts or

flaked almonds and melted

chocolate for decoration 

Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. Whisk in one teaspoon of sugar, and keep whisking for two minutes. Then fold in the rest of the sugar with a metal spoon. Spread the meringue mixture on the baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool on a wire rack.

Turn the meringue out on to another sheet of baking paper, and peel away the base sheet. Whip the cream. Stir most of it into the chestnut purée, and a little honey. Spread the chestnut cream and the plain cream over the meringue, and then roll it up carefully. Decorate the roulade with toasted nuts, and drizzled melted chocolate.

Lemon fruit tarts make a change from mince pies.

shortcrust pastry or vol-au-vent

cases

lemon cream

a selection of jewel-coloured fruit

cut into small shapes

Bake some little pastry cases. Make the lemon cream by bringing double cream (as above) to a rolling boil. Remove it from the heat, and flavour it with lemon juice and honey. Allow it to cool and spoon into the pastry cases. Decorate with fruit.

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