Christmas Dessert Round Up

Sunday 24 December 2017

Most of you have probably got all of your Christmas Menu planned now right down to the last olive and pickle on the tray, but I thought there might be some of you who are still lacking in a bit of inspiration, and who were looking for something to delight your family in the dessert area of your festive celebrations!

I am drawing today from the vast archive of dishes that I used to make when I worked at the manor and bring to you a selection of four different desserts that are fabulous contenders to grace your holiday table, if not for Christmas lunch then perhaps for New Years, or really any time you are wanting something just a tiny bit special! 

A Dark Chocolate Yule Log.  Christmas and Yule Logs go together like peas and carrots!

*Dark Chocolate Yule Log*
Serves 8

A dark chocolate ganache covered holiday treat! 

150g caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling (3/4 cup)
115g self raising flour, plus extra for dusting (3/4 cup)
4 large free range eggs, separated
1 tsp almond extract
280g dark chocolate broken into squares (10 ounces)
225ml double dream (8 fluid ounces)
2 TBS rum
holly to decorate
icing sugar to dust 

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Butter a 16 by 11 inch Swiss roll tin and line with baking paper.  Butter the paper and dust with flour. 

Reserve 2 TBS of the caster sugar, and then using an electric whisk, whisk the remainder together with the egg yolks in a bowl until thick and pale.  Stir in the almond extract and set aside.  Using clean beaters and a scrupulously clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually whisk in the remaining sugar until stiff and glossy.  Sift half of the flour over the egg yolk mixtures and fold it in.  Fold in one quarter of the wgg whites.  Sift and fold in the remaining flour.  Fold in the remaining egg whites.  Spoon into the prepared tin, smoothing it out evenly.  Bake for 15 minutes until light golden brown. 

Have ready a large sheet of grease proof paper which you have dusted liberally with caster sugar.  Turn the baked cake out onto the sugar dusted paper and remove the paper from the back  Roll up tightly and leave to cool. 

Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Bring the cream just to the boil and then pour it over the chocolate in the bowl.Stir to melt th chocolate.  Beat with an electric whisk until smooth and thick. Reserve one third of the chocolate mixture, then stir the rum into the remainder of the chocolate mixture.  Unroll the cake and spread the rum chocolate filling over the cake. Re-roll and place on a plate or a silver board.  Spread the reserved chocolate mixture over all to cover.  Make with a fork to make it look like tree bark.  Chill until you are ready to serve.  To serve decorate with a sprig of holly and dust lightly with some icing sugar. 

Chestnut spread

This next recipe makes use of Sweetened Chestnut Puree as a part of the filling.  This Chocolate Roulade is fabulously delicious, gluten free, and a very simple bake!  

Chocolate Roulade

*Chocolate Roulade*
Serves 6
The perfect after dinner dessert.  Simple to make and quite delicious! 

6 large free range eggs, separated
150g golden caster sugar (3/4 cup)
1/2 tsp of either vanilla or chocolate extract
50g cocoa powder (scant half cup), sifted
icing sugar to dust 

To fill:
250ml double cream (9 fluid ounces)
250g sweetened chestnut puree (approximately 1/2 pound)
2 TBs brandy
70g cooked peeled chestnuts, chopped (1/2 cup) 

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*f. gas mark 4.  Butter a 9 by 17 inch Swiss roll tin and line with baking paper.  

Beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together in a bowl, using an electric whisk until they have approximately doubled in volume and are pale and fluffy.  In a separate bowl and with clean beaters beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Fold a tablespoon of the egg whies into the egg yolk mixture and then gently fold in the remaining egg whites and sifted cocoa powder.  Spoon into the prepared tin, smoothing the top over.  Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Leave to cool in the tin.

Lay out a clean tea towel.  Top with a sheet of baking paper and dust liberally with icing sugar. Invert the sponge onto the baking paper and gently peel away the tin lining paper.  Whisk  the double cream until almost stiff, then stir in the chestnut cream and brandy  Spread this mixture over top of the sponge leaving a 1 inch border around the edges.  Scatter the chopped chestnuts over top. Using one end of the teatowel, roll up from the long side carefully.  Place onto a serving plate and dust liberally with some more icing sugar. 

Chill until you are ready to serve.  Cut into slices to serve. 
stem ginger

Ginger Cake is a real favourite around here.  This recipe used Preserved Stem Ginger in syrup.  Stem Ginger and the holidays are wonderful companions!

*Frosted Ginger Cake*
Serves 6 to 8

Moist and spicy with a lovely finish. 

175g unsalted butter, softened (3/4 cup)
175g golden caster sugar (very scant cup)
3 large free range eggs, beaten
1 TBS black treacle or dark molasses
2 TBS ginger syrup (From a jar of preserved stem ginger)
225g self raising flour (1 1./2 cup pous 2 TBS)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 TBS ground almonds
2 TBS whole milk
70g stem ginger, chopped (about 4 knobs) 

To Ice:
225g icing sugar (2 cups)
1 tsp ginger syrup (again, from the jar of preserved stem ginger)
edible gold or silver leaf to decorate (Optional) 

Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.  Butter a 6 by 10 inch cake tin and line with baking paper. 

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat the eggs and ginger syrup together with the ginger syrup. Sift together the flour and spices.  Mix the flour into the creamed  mixture alternating with the egg mixture until you have used up both.  Beat in the almonds and milk.  Stir in the chopped ginger.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.   

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch.  Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, prior to turning out onto  a wire rack to cool completely. 

Make the icing by whisking together the icing sugar, ginger syrup and just enough cold water to make a thick icing for spreading.  Do be careful not to add too much water.  Spread the icing over top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides a bit.  Decorate with the edible leaf if using.  Cut into squares to serve. 

Now if I have whetted your appetite for a Christmas Ginger Cake and you find it impossible to
get the preserved Ginger.  This other Ginger Cake is a most suitable replacement,
and when baked in a bundt tin, very impressive! 

Finally something cold to whet your appetites.  Orange Ice Cream, served with a tasty Almond Praline!

*Orange Ice Cream*
Serves 6
This is a lovely ice cream. Serve with an almond praline for that extra festive touch. 

1 large orange sliced
100g granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
175ml water (6 fluid ounces)
1/2 tsp orange flower water
butter for greasing
225g caster sugar (1 1/4 cup)
125g flaked almonds toasted (3/4 cup) 

For the ice cream:
1 vanilla pod
300ml single cream (1 1/4 cup)
4 large free range egg yolks
2 tsp custard powder
50g caster sugar (1/4 cup)
300ml creme fraiche (1 1/4 cup) 

Peel the orange, leaving the rind and a little pith.  Cut the rind into 1 inch pieces.  Put the granulated sugar and 100ml/3 1/2 fluid ounces of the water into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Bring to the boil and add the orange flower water along with the orange rind  Reduce to a simmer and cook gently for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Leave to cool slightly before lifting out the rind to a piece of greaseproof paper to cool completely.  Roughly chop. 

Grease a sheet of foil with butter.  Put the caster sugar in a saucepan with the remaining water and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.  Bring to a simmer, swirling the saucepan, and cook until the syrup reaches a caramel orange colour.  Remove from the heat and tip in the almonds. Stir, then pour onto the greased foil and then spread apart using two forks.  Leave to cool completely before breaking into shards. 

TO make the ice cream, slit the vanilla pod open and scrape out the seeds.  Put the spent pod into a saucepan with the cream and heat gently.  Put the vanilla seeds, egg yolks, custard powder and sugar in a heatproof bowl and whisk until smooth.  When the cream is just to the boiling point, remove the vanilla pod and (whisking constantly) pour over the egg mixture.  Continue to stir as you return the mixture to the saucepan and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer over low heat until thickened.  Submerge the base of the saucepan base into a bowl of ice water and stir until cold. 
Whisk in the creme fraiche and orange peel.  Pour into an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer's directions.  Alternately pour into a freezerproof container, cover and freeze for 12 hours.  Remove from the freezer and beat to break down any ice crystals.  Refreeze and beat as before, then refreeze until solid. Serve in scoops, garnished with the broken praline. 


My English Kitchen is now closed for Christmas and I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a  Very Merry Christmas.  May it be filled with lots of love and family and plenty of good eats.  See you on the flip side!  (If you do have any pressing questions I will be checking comments and e-mails periodically!)  Thank you all so very much for your faith and loyalty over this past year.  You make blogging fun for me!  God bless!


  1. Wishing you and yours a joyful Christmas!Great desserts, want to try them all.

  2. Just wanted to thank you for another year of lovely recipes. Merry Christmas to you and your family too. I'm sure your fans are eating delicious things this Christmas thanks to your recipes! Best wishes, Esther

    1. Thanks very much Esther! I am looking forward to sharing more after Christmas and on into 2018! xoxo

  3. Just wanted to say thank you Marie for all your wonderful recipes, they are much appreciated by me and the family. This afternoon they will all be tucking into your Stollen Cake. They adore it but I only make it at Christmas, otherwise it wouldn't be special! Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones Marie.

    1. THanks very much Eleanor! It is very much a labour of love on my part! It pleases me that you enjoy my recipes! xo

  4. A lovely portfolio!!
    You are so knowledgeable it's unreal!
    Happy days to you:)

    1. Thanks Monique! This is just the tip of the iceberg! I learned so much working at the Manor! It was a great training ground! Happy days to you too! Xo

  5. Merry Christmas, thank you for sharing your daily cooking inspirations. I hope 2018 brings you much joy and happiness.

    1. Thank you very much Lorraine. Same to you and yours! Here's to more tastiness in the coming year! xo


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