You may already be an expert when it comes to making Christmas food, so we’ve put together a collection of slightly less conventional festive recipes to help you think outside the box this year.
Cheddar, spinach and pine nut roulade
Vegetable oil for greasing
300g fresh spinach, washed
5 eggs, separated
150g Pilgrims Choice Extra Mature Cheddar, finely grated
300g soft cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives or parsley, plus extra for garnish
50g pine nuts, toasted
Seasoning to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C/Gas mark 6. Grease a 20x30cm Swiss roll tin and line with non-stick baking paper. Grease the paper with vegetable oil.
2. Cook the spinach in a small amount of water for about 5 minutes, until wilted. Drain thoroughly and squeeze out the excess moisture, then puree or chop finely. Allow to cool. Tip into a large bowl and mix in the egg yolks. Stir in half the grated cheddar and season to taste.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold into the spinach mixture using a large metal spoon. Pour into the prepared tin and spread into the corners. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set and light golden brown.
4. Turn out the roulade onto a large sheet of non-stick baking paper. Peel away the lining paper and leave to cool.
5. Beat the soft cheese until smooth and creamy, then mix in the remaining cheddar and herbs. Season well. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the mixture, then spread the rest over the roulade and roll up from the short end.
6. To garnish, spread the remaining soft cheese mixture along the top of the roulade and sprinkle with the pine nuts and chopped herbs.
Courtesy of Pilgrims Choice
Sweet onion and olive focaccia
600g strong white flour
50g pitted black olives, chopped
6 Haywards Sweet Onions, sliced, plus 6 halved to garnish
7g fresh rosemary, chopped, plus extra to garnish
14g fast action yeast
350ml warm water
2 tbsps olive oil, plus extra to drizzle and for greasing
Balsamic vinegar and olive oil to dip
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, olives, onions, rosemary, yeast and a pinch of sea salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the warm water and oil. Combine with a wooden spoon or spatula in a figure of eight motion.
2. Knead the mixture by folding the mixture into itself over and over again. Do this for 10 minutes, then take it out of the bowl and stretch it out by pulling it between your hands. Place on a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Place back into the bowl, drizzle with olive oil and cover the bowl with cling film. Leave to prove (rise to double its size) for 1 hour in a warm place.
3. Grease a flat tray with oil, then remove the cling film and knock the air out of the dough with your fist. On a lightly floured surface, knead for 5 minutes, then shape and stretch the dough into a rectangle shape and place on the prepared tray. With the end of a teaspoon or your thumb, make 12 incisions in the dough and fill with the halved sweet onions. Sprinkle with sea salt and cover with a clean damp tea towel. Leave to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7, then bake for 20 minutes, until risen and golden. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and serve with balsamic vinegar and olive oil as a dip.
Courtesy of haywardspickles.co.uk
20g melted butter
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp light soy sauce
3.5kg whole goose
1 tbsp plain flour
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Combine the butter, honey and soy sauce in a small bowl and brush the goose inside and outside with the mixture. Tie the legs with kitchen string and tuck the wings under the goose. Prick the skin to release fat during roasting.
3. Place on a wire rack in a large roasting tin. Cover with foil and roast for 1 hour. Remove the foil and roast for a further hour until browned all over and cooked through. Remove the goose from the pan, remove the string and discard.
4. Stand for 15 minutes before carving.
5. You may wish to serve your goose with roast garlic, red onion and potatoes.
Courtesy of lakeland.co.uk
Miniature tea break gingerbread houses
120g unsalted butter
100g dark muscavado sugar
4 tbsps golden syrup
500g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2.5 tsps ground ginger
500g royal icing
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
2. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan on a medium heat, making sure the mixture does not burn or stick to the pan.
3. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger in a mixing bowl.
4. Add the melted mixture in the saucepan to your dry ingredients and fold in to make a dough. You may need to add more flour at this point. You should be left with a solid dough.
5. Roll out very thinly and place on a flat baking tray. You may find it easier to do this in batches, as the gingerbread cooks very quickly and you need to cut out the shapes while it’s warm.
6. Cook for approximately 5-10 minutes until the edges begin to turn brown.
7. Once you have cut your shapes out, prepare to stick them together and decorate. Use the royal icing (see below) to glue the houses together and decorate. You could also add hearts or star shapes, glitter, or hundreds and thousands.
To make the royal icing:
1. Combine the royal icing sugar and water in a bowl and whisk well, until the icing forms a stiff mixture. Spoon into a piping bag, and get ready to build.
2. Use the icing to stick the houses together, and pipe on snow and roof tiles.
Courtesy of Silver Mushroom
Raw Christmas cake recipe (free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar)
1 cup almonds, soaked for at least 1 hour and water discarded
1 cup mixed seeds
½ cup of walnuts
¼ cup raisins or incan berries
¼ cup of goji berries
¼ cup of dried cranberries (without sulphur dioxide)
1 cup pitted dates
1 tbsps maple syrup
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
1 tbsps grated orange zest
3 tbsps coconut butter, melted
1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 30 mins
½ tin coconut milk
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsps maple syrup or agave nectar
½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla pod extract
1. Place the seeds and nuts into a food processor and blend until broken down into a biscuit-like consistency.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until all the fruit is broken down into a dough-like consistency.
3. Pour into silicon mould and press down with your hand to make a firm base.
4. Place in the freezer while you make the topping.
1. Place the cashew nuts, coconut butter, maple syrup and coconut milk into the food processor and blend until creamy.
2. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon and orange zest and blend until mixed in.
3. Pour this over the base and spread out evenly.
4. Place the cake back in the freezer to set for 30 minutes.
5. Take it out an hour prior to eating and leave to defrost. Serve chilled with grated orange zest.
Courtesy of Juliette Bryant
Christmas pudding ice cream
1. 2 x 500ml cartons of Devilishly Delicious Crème Brulee
2. 500ml Devilishly Delicious Crème Anglaise
3. 150g Christmas pudding (roughly broken up)
4. 100g caster sugar
1. Pour the Devilishly Delicious Crème Brulee into a bowl. Stir in the caster sugar.
2. Churn in an ice-cream maker until thick.
3. Stir in the pieces of Christmas pudding. Pour into a suitable container and freeze.
4. Prior to serving, remove the ice cream from the freezer and allow to soften.
5. Finish with Devilishly Delicious Crème Anglaise and serve with shortbread stars.
Courtesy of lakeland.co.uk