There is no doubt: Christmas will look a lot different this year. Depending on where you live, the regulations may differ but chances are you will celebrate the most festive day of the year with a tiny group of close relatives or friends. And while that’s not how we might have imagined it, that can be great too. You can still spend hours in the kitchen preparing a Christmas-worthy dinner, from appetizers all the way to dessert. To make your life a little easier, we selected three Christmas-proof dessert recipes that will get you through this 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 of dried fruit
- 50 milliliters vodka
- 6 teaspoons of crème fraiche
- 150 grams of redcurrants or other berries
For the pudding
- 300 grams of pudding rice
- 1,5 liters of semi-skimmed milk
- 500 milliliters of single cream
- 3 tablespoons of runny honey
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 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 you sauce.
- Place the rice, milk, single cream, honey and cinnamon stick in a deep pan. Score the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds, adding both pod and seeds to the pan. Gradually bring to the boil, then simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the liquid had been absorbed, the rice is just cooked through and it’s lovely and oozy.
- Spoon the rice into a serving dish or across a large platter, ripple through the tangy fruit sauce and top with crème fraiche. Scatter with fresh redcurrants or other berries and serve right away.
2. Cinnamon buns
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 buns. We can already smell how your home gets filled with the wonderful scent!
For the buns
- 50 grams of fresh yeast
- 500 milliliters of lukewarm whole milk
- 1 lightly beaten egg
- 850 grams of 00 grade flour
- 100 grams of caster sugar
- 2 teaspoons of ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 150 grams of soft butter
For the filling
- 200 grams of soft butter
- 150 grams of caster sugar
- 4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- Crumble the yeast into the milk and stir to dissolve, then add the egg. Now mic 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. 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 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 leave to rise again, in a warm place, for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Bake the cinnamon buns for 25 to 30 minutes. Leave to cool down 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 of dark chocolate, cut into pieces
- 110 grams of cold butter, cut into pieces
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 100 grams of sugar
- 50 grams of flour
- A pinch of salt
For the garnish
- Powdered sugar
- Red fruit
- Heat the chocolate and the butter au bain-marie.
- Put the egg yolks, the eggs and the sugar into a big bowl and stir everything with a whisk.
- 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 with a diameter of about 10 centimeters. Put the cutters on the parchment paper and fill them for about 2/3 with the batter. Let bake for 8 minutes in the oven.
- 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 red fruit.
- Always serve the moelleux straight away – you want it to still be warm and liquid in the middle.