A new take on traditional Christmas pudding

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For a fresh take on festive desserts, try these decadent recipes from Bibby’s Kitchen that look as good as they taste.

Baklava snowflake

serves | 12 – 14

360g all-purpose cake flour
30ml castor sugar
5ml fine salt
10ml instant yeast
200ml full-cream milk, at room temperature
50g melted butter, cooled 
1 extra-large egg

80g soft light brown sugar
100g butter, softened
3.75ml ground cinnamon
5ml vanilla extract
80g finely chopped walnuts
30ml Aperol marmalade (page 26)
egg wash (1 egg whisked with 15ml water)
30ml icing sugar, for dusting

Sift the flour, castor sugar, salt and yeast into the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk together the milk, butter and egg, then add to the dry ingredients. With the dough hook attachment, whisk on high until the dough comes together, then reduce the speed to the lowest speed setting and knead for 6 – 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and chill overnight.

Bring the dough to room temperature before continuing. For the filling, combine all the ingredients to form a paste.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. Tip the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Divide into four equal portions. Working with one piece at a time, roll into a round measuring about 28cm. Transfer onto the baking sheet. Spread a third of the filling over, leaving a 2-cm border all around. Roll the second piece of dough the same size and place on top of the first. Spread with filling and repeat, ending with the fourth dough circle. Place an 8-cm width glass in the centre of the dough stack. Cut the surrounding dough into 16 equal slices. Working in pairs, twist the cut slices outwards, twice, then pinch the ends together. Set aside to rise in a warm place for about 35 minutes.

Brush with egg wash and bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Cover the top loosely with foil after 25 minutes to prevent the top colouring too far. Cool on the baking sheet for 15 – 20 minutes. Dust liberally with icing sugar.

Holiday cinnamon rolls

serves | 16

550g white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
75g castor sugar
7.5ml fine table salt
7g instant yeast
160ml full-cream milk
4 extra-large eggs
150g butter, softened

120g butter, softened
60g castor sugar
60g brown sugar
17.5ml ground cinnamon
5ml mixed spice
1.25ml nutmeg
egg wash (1 egg whisked with 15ml water)

Cream glaze
150g icing sugar, sifted 250ml crème fraiche or slightly sour cream
45ml maple syrup
5ml vanilla extract

For the dough, combine the flour, castor sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk together the milk and eggs, then add to the flour. Mix on a low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6 – 8 minutes. Add the butter 15ml at a time, mixing well between each addition. Once the butter is incorporated, transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and prove overnight in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

For the filling, combine all the ingredients to form a thick paste. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a rectangle, measuring 40 x 30cm. Spread the filling over the dough. Starting from the longer side, roll the dough up until the seam lies underneath. Dust a sharp knife with flour and cut into 2.5-cm widths. Arrange in a large greased baking dish, allowing some room for spreading. Cover and set aside to prove for about 30 minutes. Brush with egg wash and bake in a 180°C oven for 30 – 35 minutes until golden.

For the glaze, combine all the ingredients together until smooth. Allow the rolls to cool for about 10 minutes before spreading over the glaze.

Side note: Best eaten on the day they’re baked.

Mandarin Christmas pud with rum caramel

serves | 14

30ml golden syrup
10 whole walnuts
125ml mixed dried fruit
30ml brandy (optional)
110g butter, at room temperature
160g demerara sugar
2 extra-large eggs
zest of 1 orange
45ml Aperol marmalade
200g self-raising flour
15ml ground ginger
5ml mixed spice
5ml bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
160ml full-cream milk
4 knobs preserved ginger, finely chopped
50g walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 2-litre pudding basin and line the base with parchment paper. Pour the syrup onto the paper lining and stud with the whole walnuts.

Heat the dried fruit and brandy together in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Set aside to plump up while you make the batter.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and pale. Add the eggs one at a time and beat for 2 minutes. Add the zest and marmalade and mix to combine. Sift together the flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add the flour mixture and milk to the butter in alternate stages. Mix slowly to incorporate. Fold the soaked fruit and any remaining juices into the batter along with the ginger and chopped walnuts. Scrape the batter into the pudding basin. Bake for 1 hour, 15 minutes, covering with foil for the last 15 minutes. Cool for at least 30 minutes before turning out.
This recipe extract is taken from Bibby’s Kitchen by Dianne Bibby, published by Human and Rousseau and retailing for R420.

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