Monday, 29 December 2014

Christmas Puddings


We have had some delicious food this week. Very grateful to Liz and Jon for preparing our splendid Christmas meal, ready for our arrival in Norfolk. Roast beef [from village butcher] and all the trimmings.

And on Boxing Day we all went over to Adrian and Marion – so 7 of us enjoyed a selection of turkey, ham, sausages, stuffings, vegetables – all very pleasant.



The main courses were relatively traditional, but we have been having some different desserts. I brought a choux pastry wreath on Thursday, and on Friday Marion made a blackcurrant roulade. For our meal on Sunday with Gaz and Fiona, I did my take on the Forest Hills Millionaires’ Shortbread.


The wreath was a simple choux pastry ring [from Rachel Allen].I put the dough in a plastic bag, snipped the corner and doodled a multilayered circle**, then when in was cooked, I pierced it to let out the steam, then sliced in half horizontally. The filling was whipping cream [plus 1 dsp icing sugar], and a punnet of fresh juicy blueberries. The topping was 100gm dark chocolate, melted with 100ml cream, and sprinkled with dark and white choc chips.


The roulade was stunning, and came from a BBC Good Food Magazine, which Marion has had for ages, although the blackberries were her wise adaptation [personally I do not like strawberries at Christmas either!] The shortbread dessert I adapted a lot…



For a start, I ditched the strawberry, and I reduced the portion size! I served it in shot glasses – after a large first course, a smaller sweet, plus a bowl of fresh fruit is all you need! [and I hadn’t got enough wineglasses here at Cornerstones] Here’s what I used for 6 glasses

  • 30g shortbread biscuits, bashed into crumbs
  • 2 tsp of Carnation Caramel*
  • 2 tsp chocolate mousse**
  • 1 tsp whipped cream
  • 2 chocolate ‘matchsticks’

*I’d usually cook up a tin of condensed milk and make my own, but it was on offer, and it saves time and energy! Yes I did have two thirds of a tin left over, but I made that into a banoffee pie.

** Melt 75g dark chocolate over a pan of simmering water, then allow to cool for 2 minutes. When you have taken the bowl of choc out of the pan, stand the tin of caramel in the hot water- the warmth will soften it and help make it easier to spoon!

Meanwhile separate an egg. Beat the white till stiff, then beat in 1 level tbsp. caster sugar. When the chocolate is cool, stir in the egg yolk, then fold in the white till fully incorporated. You just put each of the layers in turn into your serving glasses, and there you are!

** I ought to confess that I had two attempts at this – the first time, I spooned balls of dough round a circle drawn on my parchment, leaving room for expansion – but they didn’t expand very much and I ended up with lots of little separate choux balls! As there is no sugar in the pastry, I have frozen them, and will use them as a topping for a casserole sometime soon.

“Slimming World” pushed a promotional leaflet through the letterbox early on Sunday morning. Do you think they are hinting??


  1. Oh these are delicious. Most unhelpful as I endeavour to step away from the fudge an Quality Street today! I made that pavlova Christmas wreath that was all over the Internet. First time I had managed to make a successful pavlova after previously disastrous attempts! Am thinking of making a tiny cheesecake today to use up dollops of cream and puree and things at the back of the fridge...

    1. "Deconstructed" puddings are always wonderful - go for it Mags!

  2. The millionaires dessert was lovely - as was the rest of the meal. Great to finally come over to cornerstones.

    1. It was lovely to see the pair of you- enjoy the rest of your holiday!


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