To make your Christmas dinner planning a little easier this year, we’ve selected three Christmas-perfect dessert recipes that will get you through the festive season. Let’s get cooking!
1. Icelandic rice pudding
One of my favorite cookbooks to cook from at Christmas is ‘Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook’ – what’s in a name, right? Although there are a lot of recipes to choose from, a dish you cannot go wrong with is the Icelandic rice pudding.
For the sauce
- 150 grams dried fruits
- 50 milliliters vodka
- 6 teaspoons crème fraiche
- 150 grams redcurrants or other berries
For the pudding
- 300 grams pudding rice
- 1.5 liters semi-skimmed milk
- 500 milliliters single cream
- 3 tablespoons runny honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla pod
- Put the dried fruit and vodka into a large pan and add just enough water to cover. Cook gently for 10 minutes on a medium heat, then tip into a blender with 5 tablespoons of cold water and blitz until smooth, to make your sauce.
- Place the rice, milk, single cream, honey and cinnamon stick in a deep pan. Cut the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds, adding both the pod and the seeds to the pan. Gradually bring to a boil, then simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed, the rice is just cooked through and it looks lovely and oozy.
- Spoon the rice into a serving dish or onto a large platter, ripple through the tangy fruit sauce and top with crème fraiche. Scatter over the fresh redcurrants or other berries and serve right away.
2. Cinnamon rolls
If you have a friend who loves to bake, you might want to buy them ‘Scandinavian Baking’ by Trine Hahnemann. As the name might suggest, it’s full of recipes to make your own bread, your own cookies and… your own cinnamon rolls. We can already smell how your home gets filled with the wonderful scent!
For the buns
- 50 grams fresh yeast
- 500 milliliters lukewarm whole milk
- 1 lightly beaten egg
- 850 grams 00 grade flour
- 100 grams caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 150 grams soft butter
For the filling
- 200 grams soft butter
- 150 grams caster sugar
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Crumble the yeast into the milk and stir to dissolve, then add the egg. Then mix in the flour, sugar, cardamom and salt. Mix the butter into the dough, then knead well on a floured work surface. Put the dough into a bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for one or two hours, or until doubled in size.
- Make the filling by mixing together the butter, sugar and cinnamon. Divide the dough in half and roll each piece out on a floured work surface to make a rectangle measuring about 40 x 30 centimeters. Spread the cinnamon filling over each half. Roll each piece of dough into a wide cylinder, starting from a long side to get a long, slim log, then cut into 2.5-centimeter-thick slices.
- Line some baking trays with baking parchment. Place the cinnamon rolls on the paper, pressing down on each one so they spread slightly. Cover and let rise again in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack before serving.
3. Chocolate Moelleux
I would not be able to call myself Belgian unless I included at least one chocolaty recipe in here. If you speak Dutch, the book ‘Kerst’ by The Holy Kauw Company is actually a really nice one to have lying around during the festive season.
For the moelleux
- 100 grams dark chocolate, cut into pieces
- 110 grams cold butter, cut into pieces
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 100 grams sugar
- 50 grams flour
- A pinch of salt
For the garnish
- Powdered sugar
- Fresh berries
- Melt the chocolate and butter au bain-marie (over a double boiler).
- Put the egg yolks, the eggs and the sugar into a big bowl and whisk them.
- Sieve the flour on top of the egg mixture and stir again until you have a smooth batter. Add the mixture to the molten chocolate, throw in a pinch of salt and stir again.
- Let the batter cool down for a moment before putting it into a piping bag. Put the bag in the refrigerator and let it cool down for at least two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 210°C.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper and grease 4 circular baking cutters or ramekin dishes with a diameter of about 10 centimeters. Put the cutters/dishes on the parchment paper and fill them about 2/3 with the batter. Bake for 8 minutes.
- Gently remove the cutters with their filling from the baking tray and put them on a dessert plate. Remove the cutter.
- Garnish the moelleux with powdered sugar and fresh berries.
- Always serve the moelleux straight away – you want it to still be warm and liquid in the middle.