There are three recipes in this post that’ll get your mouth watering (trust me). One of these recipes will be unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before. The other two are the exact opposite of that. In fact, one of them is one of my personal faves, and you’ll probably end up making it again and again. And the last one? You’ve probably never even heard of it.

The Three Best Recipes That Will Get You Excited About Christmas Brunch :

1. Chocolate-Hazelnut Fudge :

Ingredients – 

200g dark chocolate, 200g cream cheese, 100ml Kahlua (or similar coffee liquor), 150ml cream, 25g butter, 1/2 jar hazelnut spread, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method – 

Melt the dark chocolate, Kahlua and cream cheese together in a large bowl over a pot of simmering water. As it melts, stir slowly with a wooden spoon. When melted, pour it into a greased 20-cm square tin lined with baking paper and leave to cool down in the fridge for about 2 hours. 

Beat together the butter, whipped cream and vanilla extract until peaks form. Remove the chocolate from the fridge and spread an even layer of hazelnut spread across its surface. Top with the whipped cream mixture and then return it to the fridge for another 2 hours. When you are ready to eat the fudge, heat it in the oven at 160°C for about 15 minutes.

2. The Dessert :

Ingredients – 

350g caster sugar, 300ml milk, 100g butter, 200g mascarpone cheese, 2 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 4-5 red plums (preferably dried) soaked in red wine and 250g dark chocolate (60-75% cocoa).

Method – 

Whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla in a large bowl until thick. Add half of the caster sugar and whisk to dissolve. Add the vanilla/egg mixture to a saucepan with the remaining caster sugar and simmer for at least 10 minutes, until it starts to get hot. Take off the heat and whisk in half of the mascarpone cheese.

Return to the stove for a few minutes, until thickened and smooth. Fold in most of the remaining mascarpone, then pour through a sieve into a bowl. You may want to add some of the egg mixture back into this mixture again – this just helps to thicken it! Return it all back into your bowl, cover with cling film and keep cool until needed.

In another large saucepan add sufficient water so that you have three cm of depth. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Place the plums in a bowl, carefully drop them into the simmering water and then turn down to a simmer for about 30 minutes.

 Once this time is complete place the lid on top of them and place back on the stovetop. Melt the chocolate until smooth and set aside.

Remove two thirds of each plum’s kernels and place in a food processor or blender. Blitz or puree until fine but still with some texture. Pour through a sieve into another bowl – you may want to add some of this tiny “fruit pulp” back into your saucepan with other ingredients .

Bring a few cm of water to the boil in the saucepan where you soaked the plums and 2 tablespoons of red wine. Place your mascarpone mixture back into the saucepan and then gently heat through.

 Pour into individual serving glasses with a dollop of condensed milk or even some whipped cream depending on personal preference and garnish with red plum kernels, pistachio nuts or a chocolate twist.

3. The Best Christmas Breakfast Ever:

As a kid I loved puddings, and I still do. I don’t really have anything to add to the pudding debate, but in the spirit of this post, and the fact that puddings have been mentioned several times in this blog post, I figured I’d write about one of my personal experiences with Christmas puddings for a few people who might be interested.

Ingredients – 

200g butter, 250g currants (sultanas), 500g sultanas (dry), 1 small bottle sherry wine, 1 1/2 tablespoon full of golden syrup per person.

Method – 

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan.Pour into an ovenproof bowl and leave to cool for about 30 minutes.

Place your currants and sultanas in a jug . Add enough sherry wine to make sure that each jug is well-covered with liquid. Mix well. In another bowl mix together your golden syrup with 1 1/2 tablespoons of boiling water, stirring until all of it is dissolved.

 Lightly grease a heatproof serving dish with some butter/vegetable oil. Pour the Golden Syrup mix over the sultanas and currants, mix well. Place a circle of greaseproof paper on top of the bowl, press gently to ensure all of the liquid is soaked up and leave to soak for at least 12 hours.

Melt your butter until it is almost boiling – take it off the heat in nearly boiling but not quite. Pour into a separate ovenproof dish or into individual ones and pour as much or as little of your soaked/mixed fruit over this as you wish.


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