Posted 2nd Dec 2016
If you're entertaining this Christmas why not try one of these delicious recipes? Coming courtesy of Nicola Millbank AKA Milly Cookbook, they're easy to prepare and make great alternatives to the usual options, while also using up any leftovers you may have left
Mulled Christmas Creme Brûlée (Makes 4)
The Classic and comforting Creme Brûlée gets a festive makeover with flavours of Mulled Wine. Easy to prepare and can be done the day before this is a perfect alternative to Christmas pudding on the big day.
You will need:
500ml of double cream
1 mulled wine sachet
1 tsp. of vanilla paste
100g of castor sugar and extra for the topping
6 free-range egg yolks
1 Preheat the oven to 150C.
2 In a heavy based pan, heat the double cream and mulled wine sachet over a medium - high heat until it starts to reach boiling point but don’t bring it to the boil.
3 Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla paste until fluffy and paler in colour.
4 Remove the mulled wine sachet from the cream and then very slowly, pour into the bowl of egg yolks and sugar and whisk together to form a custard.
5 Pour the mixture into ramekins and place onto a high topped baking tray. Pour water into the tray up to half way up the ramekins and pop into the oven, cooking for 30-35 minutes. Once done, the Creme Brûlées should have a bit of a wobble to them. Allow to cool fully.
6 To make the crunchy topping, spoon over a tablespoon of sugar over the Creme Brûlée and shake so it’s fully covering the custard. Using a blowtorch or the grill, caramelise until golden and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before serving.
Festive Filo (Serves 2)
Make this light but festive flatbread on Boxing Day to tackle some of the leftovers. Perfect as a light lunch with a salad or cut into slices as a canapé.
You will need:
A large handful of leftover shredded turkey meat
2 sheets of filo pastry
1 tbsp. of melted butter
2 tbsp. of cranberry sauce
Any leftover cheese, brie works very well
1 spring onion, sliced
Seeds of half a pomegranate
Salt and Pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 180C.
2 In a frying pan, fry the shredded turkey meat over a medium - high heat in a teaspoon of olive oil until it’s started to crisp and turn golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
3 Grab the filo pastry and brush both sheets with the melted butter. Fold them in half and sandwich them together with a layer of butter. Pop onto a non-stick baking tray and brush the top layer with butter around the edges, creating a border.
4 Spread the cranberry sauce over the base up to the border and top with the shredded turkey and ripped up lumps of cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
5 Once cooked, sprinkle with spring onion and scatter with pomegranate seeds and serve immediately.
English Onion Soup (Serves 2-4)
The classic French Onion soup gets an English makeover with dry cider and lashings of cheddar cheese.
You will need:
80g of butter, cubed
3 banana shallots, peeled and chopped into discs
2 white onions, peeled and chopped into discs
2 red onions, peeled and chopped into discs
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp. of brown sugar
1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. of plain flour
200ml of dry English cider
600ml of beef stock
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme and more for serving
A good pinch of salt and pepper
1 small French baguette
2-4 large handfuls of grated cheddar
1 Fry the onions in a heavy based pan on a medium heat in the butter, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar for 10-15 minutes until soft. Once all of the moisture has evaporated continue to fry until the onions start to brown and caramelise.
2 After 20 minutes in total of cooking and when the onions have started to brown, stir in the flour and mix well until coated. Pour in the cider and allow to bubble away, stirring constantly. Add the stock, fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper and cover the pan. Allow to cook for 45 minutes.
3 Slice the French baguette into thick slices and toast either in your toaster or under the grill. Top with lots of grated cheddar and grill until golden brown.
4 To assemble, ladle the soup into mugs half way, then add a layer of cheese. Top with more hot soup and finish with cheesy croutons, more cheddar and a fresh sprig of thyme.
5 Enjoy immediately.
Christmas gingerbread mittens (Makes 12)
You will need:
300g plain flour
1 tsp. of bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp. of ground ginger
2 tsp. of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla paste
125g of unsalted butter
100g of dark brown sugar
3 tbsp. of golden syrup
200g of icing sugar
1 In a bowl combine the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon.
2 In a small pan over a medium heat, melt together the vanilla paste, butter, sugar and golden syrup. Pour the mix into the flour mix and combine to form a dough.
3 Knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth and sandwich between two sheets of greaseproof paper. Roll the dough out to 5mm thick and cut the dough with your chosen cookie cutter.
4 Place onto a non-stick baking tray and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
5 Transfer to a cooling rack and prepare the icing. In a large bowl mix the icing sugar with the food colouring and 2 tbsp. of water. Keep adding water by the tablespoon until the icing forms a thick but runny consistency that you can pipe. Transfer to a piping back and ice the cookies with any design you like. Allow the icing to set before serving.
Recipes by Nicola Millbank AKA Milly Cookbook. Milly’s debut book, Milly’s Real Food will be published by Harper Collins in hardback, priced at £20 and released on 4th May 2017. For more information and additional recipes see: http://millycookbook.com/