Treats for Christmas

Yule log


Cranberry, apricot and sage stuffing

Cranberry, apricot and sage stuffing


Black pudding in blankets

Festive Black pudding in blankets


Chocolate posset, cranberry compote and pistachio shortbread

Chocolate posset, cranberry compote and pistachio shortbread



Scotch egg and brown sauce


Treats for Christmas

Yule log



Ingredients for the buttercream:

250g of soft butter

350g icing sugar (put through a sieve to remove any lumps)

25g cocoa powder

50ml cream


Ingredients for the sponge:

5 eggs

150g caster sugar

100g plain flour

20g cocoa powder

40g melted butter


For the buttercream:

1.  Place the softened butter, sieved icing sugar and cocoa powder into the mixing bowl and slowly mix in the mixer using the paddle attachment on a low speed

2.  When all of the icing sugar has gone into the butter making a smooth paste add in the cream and mix on a high speed for 5 seconds

3.  When the mix has all come together it can sit in the bowl until needed to use for the finishing of the yule log

For the sponge:

1.  Pre heat the oven to 180°C

2.  Whisk the sugar and eggs together until light and fluffy.  Meanwhile sieve the cocoa and flour together to remove the lumps and melt the butter in a separate pan

3.  Once the eggs and sugar have doubled in size and become light and fluffy sieve in the cocoa and flour and fold in without knocking out to much of air trying to keep it light and airy

4.  Drizzle in the melted butter and ensure a smooth aerated batter is achieved

5.  Pour the sponge mix directly on to flat oven tray lined withgrease proof paperand spread evenly to 5mm thick
Carefully place another sheet of greaseproof over the top, place in to the oven and bake for 6 minutes or until the sponge mix sets

6.  Have some flour and sugar to hand to dust the sponge once it comes out of the oven

7.  Take out of the oven and carefully remove the top sheet of grease proof paper and place on the work top.  Sprinkle some flour and sugar on to the worktop, carefully put the sponge on the flour and sugar mix then remove the other sheet

8.  When still slightly warm, evenly spread the chocolate butter cream all over leaving a 2cm gap from the outside of the sponge this will allow for the mix to spread out when rolling

9.  When it is rolled cut the log at an angle around 8cm long and place against the remaining log so that it looks like a branch

10.  Place onto a cake board or plate and finish covering with chocolate butter cream, with a fork run it along all the butter cream to give the bark effect of the log.

11.  Garnish with a dusting of icing sugar and some holy leaves and redcurrants 

Cranberry, apricot and sage stuffing

Cranberry, apricot and sage stuffing



100g chopped dried apricots

50g dried cranberries

100g finely diced onion

100g white wine

100g panko bread crumbs

5g chopped sage

250g sausage meat


Stuffing can be changed to suit the season, at Christmas time cranberries are perfect but you may like to add chestnuts, and/or mixed spice too.  Stuffing can be cooked on its own or can be put into the leg meat and braised in the crown of the turkey.

Method of work 

1. Place apricots, cranberries, onions and wine into a pan, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes, then add the bread crumbs into the pan

2. Cling film and leave to cool for 2 to 3 hours

3. Mix all the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper

4. When the apricot mix is cooled add into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients, mix well

5. Place in a loaf tin lined with a grease proof cake liner and make sure it is flat on top, cover with foil and then place into the oven at 100°C and cook for 45 minutes

6. Serve straight away or chill until required

7. If chilling when reheating the stuffing, take out of the tin and slice, then place onto an oiled tray and put in an oven for 8 minutes at 180°C degrees

Black pudding in blankets

Festive Black pudding in blankets



10g butter

65g diced onion

6g minced garlic

5g salt

4g curry powder

50ml double cream

80g minced pork belly (raw)

40g prunes chopped

75g chopped dried apple

90g dried pigs blood (available from good butchers* or online) soaked in 160ml warm water for 20 minutes

24 slices of smoky streaky bacon

* local to us we get our dried pigs blood from our butcher Vicars Game. If you wanted to give them a call they can organise some for you too – tel: 01635 579662.


Method of work:

1. Gently fry the onions and garlic in the butter and salt for 5 minutes until soft but with no colour

2. Add the curry powder and cook out for 2-3 minutes

3. Then add the cream and cook on a low heat until reduced by half

4. Add this to the pork mince, prunes and apples in a suitable bowl allowing you to mix it all together

5. Now add the soaked pig’s blood into the same bowl so all the mix is combined, mix with a spoon to help you

6. Place in a lined loaf tin either with cling film or a grease proof liner and make sure you push down the mix so is flat on top

7. Place in an oven at 130°C for 40 minutes.  To check it is cooked, like a cake place a knife in the middle and if it comes out clean it is ready, take out and chill

8. When it has chilled cut into small rectangles and wrap in thin slices of smoky bacon

9. To cook place on an oiled dish or tray and place in an oven at 180°C for 10 minutes

Chocolate posset, cranberry compote and pistachio shortbread

Chocolate posset, cranberry compote and pistachio shortbread



Ingredients for the cranberry compote:

100g cranberries

80ml red wine

40g sugar

Zest and juice of one orange

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise


Ingredients for the posset:

250ml milk

250ml double cream

100ml egg yolk

50ml sugar

1 orange juice and ½ zest

30g dried cranberries

15ml white wine vinegar

240g dark chocolate - 50% to 60%


Ingredients for the shortbread:

135g flour

15g rice flour

100g butter

55g sugar

75g chopped pistachios

Cinnamon sugar to dust (50g sugar and 5g ground cinnamon)


Chocolate posset, cranberry compote and pistachio shortbread

Serves 4

Chocolate posset:

Posset is amazingly simple to make, the resulting silky texture is almost magical.  At Christmas a cranberry compote is the perfect accompaniment.

Cranberry compote - method of work 

1. Place all ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil

2. Turn down and simmer for 30 minutes or until all is soft and becomes a sticky consistency looking like jam

Chocolate posset - method of work

1. Scald the milk and cream just bringing it to just under boiling

2. Whisk the yolks and the sugar together in a bowl

3. Pour the milk and cream over the egg mix whilst whisking all the time

4. Put back into the pan and add the orange zest and juice with dried cranberries and vinegar

5. Place back on a medium heat not allowing it to boil and you are looking for the mix to coat the back of the spoon without running all off, then add the chocolate and mix well

6. Pour into the preferred dishes and allow to set in the fridge.  These can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days

7. When serving add the cranberry compote on top and around and finish with segments of clementine or orange

Pistachio shortbread:

We like to use rice flour in our shortbread as this gives it a more crumbly texture.  Adding pistachios and cinnamon sugar too is our nod to Christmas. 

These shortbread will add a crunch your dessert when served alongside the chocolate posset. 

Method of work

1. Sieve the flours together into a bowl

2. Mix together the butter and sugar to a smooth paste in another bowl

3. Now crumb the fat mix into the flours and pistachio, bring to a smooth dough working it in quickly

4. Roll out into a rectangle approx. 1cm deep and allow to rest in the fridge

5. After 15 minutes of resting, create small holes with a fork ensuring not to go fully through to the work surface, 50% depth is good.  Bake at 140°C until crisp this will take around 40 minutes

6. When you have removed from the oven cut into finger size pieces with a serrated knife whilst hot and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and allow to cool.


Scotch egg and brown sauce




5 large eggs

300g good-quality pork sausage

1 tsp black peppercorn

140g cooked ham shredded

25g sage

apple & onion stuffing mix

1 tsp chopped sage

1 tsp chopped thyme

1 tsp chopped parsley

100g plain flour seasoned plus extra for dusting

100g dried breadcrumb (preferablyPaxo)

sunflower oil for frying


1. Bring a pan of salted water to a rapid boil, then lower 4 of the eggs into thepan and simmer for 7 mins 30 secs exactly. Scoop out and place in a bowl oficed water, cracking the shells a little (this makes them easier to peel later).Leave them to cool completely, then peel and set aside. Can be boiled the daybefore.

2. Put the sausage meat, pepper, ham, stuffing and herbs in a small bowl, mixto combine, then divide into 4 equal balls. Squash one of the balls between apiece of cling film until it’s as flat as possible

3. One at a time, lightly flour each cooked egg, then use the cling film to helproll the sausagemeat around the egg to completely encase. Repeat with theremaining sausageballs and eggs.

4. Beat the remaining egg and put on a plate. Put the flour and breadcrumbs on 2 separate plates. Roll the encased eggs in the flour, then the beaten egg andfinally the breadcrumbs. Can be prepared up to a day in advance.

5. To cook the eggs, heat 5cm of the oil in a wide saucepan or wok until itreaches 160°C on a cooking thermometer or until a few breadcrumbs turngolden after 10 secs in the oil. Depending on the size of your pan, lower asmany eggs as you can into the oil and cook for 8-10 mins until golden andcrispy6. Drain on kitchen paper, leave to cool a little, then serve cut into half.