Cracking Christmas Cooking!

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Next level yule log from Barney Desmazery with BBC good food.

“Ingredients

For the sponge

  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 125g light brown soft sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder (make sure it’s pure cocoa)
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • white caster sugar, for sprinkling

For the brandy butter filling

  • 100g soft butter
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp brandy
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting

  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100ml double cream
  • 25g butter

For the decoration

  • 75g white chocolate , chopped
  • 10 fresh bay leaves , or organic rose leaves
  • icing sugar , for dusting
  • edible gold lustre , food spray or powder

Method

  • STEP 1 Line a 35 x 25cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment and heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Beat the egg whites with an electric whisk until just holding peaks, then add half the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until the peaks hold. Set aside. Beat the yolks with the remaining sugar until pale and fluffy in a clean bowl. Sift in the cocoa, spices and a pinch of salt and gently fold them through. Beat in a third of the egg whites, then gently fold through the rest until you have an airy mousse. Pour into the tin and spread evenly. Bake for 12-15 mins until springy.
  • STEP 2 Sprinkle caster sugar over a large sheet of baking parchment. Turn the cake out onto the sugared parchment, then peel off the sheet you used to line the tin. Cover with a clean tea towel, then leave to cool completely. Trim the edges, then score along the inside edge of one of the short sides and roll it up from there, using the parchment to help. 
  • STEP 3 To make the filling, beat the butter, icing sugar, brandy and vanilla together with an electric whisk for 10 mins until light and fluffy. Unroll the sponge, then turn it so that one long edge is facing you. Spread the buttercream over the sponge using a palette knife, keeping the end furthest from you clean. Using the parchment, roll the sponge up again into a roulade.
  • STEP 4 For the frosting, tip the chocolate into a large bowl. Put the cream and butter in a saucepan and heat gently until the butter melts and the cream reaches simmering point, then pour over the chocolate. Stir to create a smooth mixture, then leave to cool, stirring occasionally, until you can spread it over the sponge. Make bark lines using a fork, then chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
  • STEP 5 To decorate with chocolate leaves, melt the white chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and paint the underside of the bay leaves with it. Put in the fridge to set for 30 mins, then gently peel away the bay leaves. Arrange over the log, then lightly dust with the icing sugar and lustre. “

READ MORE: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/next-level-yule-log

Baked cheese bread flower by Cassie Best from BBC good food.

“Ingredients

  • 100g butter, softened
  • small bunch rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped, plus extra sprigs to decorate
  • flour, for dusting
  • 880g ready-made pizza dough, defrosted if necessary (we used The Northern Dough Co), or make your own
  • 150g cranberry sauce
  • 250g box camembert or chaource (or vegetarian alternative)
  • oil, for drizzling

Method

  • STEP 1 Mash the butter, rosemary and some seasoning in a bowl. On a lightly floured surface, cut the dough into four sections (it will already be divided if you’re using ready-made pizza dough). One at a time, roll out each piece of dough to a thickness of about 4mm, keeping the pieces you’re not using covered. Use a 7cm cutter to stamp out 30-36 circles.
  • STEP 2 Spread the rosemary butter over half the dough circles, then spread the cranberry sauce over the remaining rounds. Fold each circle in half and bring the two points together like a fortune cookie; these are the ower ‘petals’.
  • STEP 3 Line a large baking tray with parchment. Put the cheese – in its box but with the lid removed – in the middle of the baking tray. Arrange a ring of dough petals around the box, alternating the rosemary butter and cranberry sauce fillings. Tuck the pointed ends neatly under the box. Arrange another ring of petals around the first, this time tucking the pointed ends under the row in front. Repeat with the remaining dough petals to create a neat ower pattern. Loosely cover the tray with oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm to prove for 30 mins, or until almost doubled in size. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  • STEP 4 Remove the cling film and slash the top of the cheese a few times. Poke in the rosemary sprigs, drizzle everything with a little oil and bake for 35-40 mins until golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 mins before serving. “

READ MORE: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/baked-cheese-bread-flower

Vegan nut roast by Sarah Cook with BBC good food.

“Ingredients

  • 150g pearl barley (uncooked weight)
  • 1 vegan vegetable stock cube (check the packet)
  • 330g parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp ground linseeds (or flaxseed)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g mixed mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 5 rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped, plus extra to decorate if you like
  • 6 sage leaves, shredded
  • 100g blanched hazelnuts, toasted until golden
  • 50g vegan Italian-style hard cheese, grated (optional)
  • small pack flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • a good grating of nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • handful parsnip crisps with sea salt & black pepper (optional)

Method

  • STEP 1 Cook the pearl barley with the stock cube according to pack instructions. Reserve 4 tbsp of the cooking stock, then drain the grains well.
  • STEP 2 Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then add the parsnips, and cook until really soft. Drain well, tip back into the pan to steam dry for a few minutes, then roughly mash. Mix the ground linseeds with the reserved stock water, and leave to go gluey.
  • STEP 3 Put 2 tbsp of the oil in your largest frying pan with the onions and garlic. Fry gently until soft and golden, then stir in the mushrooms, rosemary and sage. Fry the mushrooms until they’re golden too, and any liquid that comes out has evaporated. Scrape into a big mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
  • STEP 4 Grease a 22-24cm savarin or ring tin generously with oil. If it’s not a non-stick tin, line it with thin strips of overlapping baking parchment.
  • STEP 5 Add the mashed parsnip, cooked pearl barley, gluey seed mix, grated vegan hard cheese (if using), chopped parsley and whole hazelnuts to the fried mushroom mixture. Season generously with salt, then mix everything together really well.
  • STEP 6 Spoon the filling into the tin, and press down firmly to fill the tin and flatten the top. Bake straight away or keep in the fridge for up to 24 hrs before baking.
  • STEP 7 Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cover the tin with foil. Bake for 45 mins, until a skewer poked into the centre of the mixture comes out piping hot.
  • STEP 8 Use a small palette knife or cutlery knife to release the filling all the way around, then sit a serving plate on top and flip over. Carefully lift off the tin, and top the wreath with some parsnip crisps if using and whole pumpkin seeds to serve – plus some extra rosemary sprigs if you like. Slice into wedges and enjoy. “

READ MORE: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/vegan-nut-roast

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