Recipes

Christmas Cooking: 5 Easy-Yet-Impressive Festive Recipes for The Jolly-Good Season Ahead!

Table is Set!

Set all the placemats you can find, because dinner guests are about to find their way to your home, led by the aroma of these special holiday treats.

1.TORTA CAPERESE 

This gluten-free Italian chocolate cake is the most moist and perfect Christmas dessert you can indulge in. It’s simple yet so densely flavored. A Heaven for all the chocolate lovers.

 

Ingredients:

 Large free- range eggs, separated – 4

Caster sugar- 170g

Vanilla extract- ½ tsp

Dark chocolate, very finely chopped-200g

Almond flour- 250g

Melted and cooled unsalted butter- 200g

Lemon zest- 1 fresh lemon (optional)

Method:

1)Whisk the egg whites using an electric whisker until it forms stiff peaks and keep it aside in a bowl.

 

 2)Beat the egg yolks, caster sugar, and vanilla extract together using an electric whisker in another bowl for 3-4 minutes until it looks nice and pale.

3)Add the almond flour and the finely grounded dark chocolate to the egg yolk mixture and fold it in with a big metal spoon.

4) Now pour in the melted and cooled butter into this batter and fold it in with the metal spoon.

5)Add the lemon zest into this batter. (optional)

6) Finally, add the egg- whites to the batter in 2 batches and fold it in with a big metal spoon making sure you cut through the batter. Do not deflate the batter as the cake depends on the egg-whites to rise.

7)Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch springform pan and level it  on the top.

8)Preheat the oven at 170 degree Celsius for 10 mins and bake at 170 degree Celsius 45- 50 minutes.

9)Serve hot or cold with a dollop of whipped cream or clotted cream!

 

  1. 2. BURNT BASQUE CHEESECAKE

 

This cheesecake is the alter ego to the classic New-York cheesecake. This is the cheesecake that wants to get burnt, cracked and cooked at a high heat. This makes it impossible to mess this amazing version of cheesecake. Once you bite into this rustic beauty, there is no going back!

 

Ingredients: 

Cream cheese – 450g

Caster sugar- 150g

Eggs- 3

Heavy cream -1 cup

Flour- 16g

Vanilla extract- 1tsp

Parchment sheets-2 

Method:

  1. Whisk together the cream cheese and caster sugar until it forms a smooth texture using an electric whisker.
  2. Add the eggs, by whisking it one by one into the batter.
  3. Add the heavy cream, flour and vanilla extract into the batter and whisk until smooth.
  4. Take a 7 -inch baking tin and place 2 parchment sheets vertically opposite to each other after greasing the tin.
  5. Pre- heat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 55-60 mins until u get your desired color on the top.
  6. Let the cheesecake cool completely before serving. Best cooled overnight.

WHOLE ROASTED CHICKEN

This roasted chicken is full of spices and herbs and hence the results are juicy and perfect for a Christmas family dinner! And you’ll be amazed how quick and easy this recipe is. I normally serve it with a side of my favorite veggies to compliment it.

 

INGREDIENTS:

 Whole skinned chicken- 1 

Paprika- ½ tsp

Dried thyme – ½ tsp

Garlic powder- ½  tsp

Cayenne pepper- ½ tsp

Black pepper- ½ tsp

Kosher salt- 2 tsp

Oregano – ½ tsp

Rosemary – ½ tsp

Fresh lemon (heated) – 1

Small onion (sliced in half) – 1

Garlic pods – 4

Potatoes (cut into cubes)- 2

Carrots sliced- 2

Onions sliced- 1

Olive oil 

Herb Butter 

Method:

  1. Wash and pat dry the chicken with a paper towel. Allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a small mixing ball, combine paprika, thyme, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, kosher salt, oregano, rosemary. (Adjust seasoning according to taste).
  3. Place the chicken on a platter and drizzle olive oil on the surface of the chicken.  Sprinkle with the rub mixture and massage until chicken is fully coated.
  4. Stuff the chicken with the sliced heated lemon, sliced onion, and garlic pods. Tuck the wings back and tie up both legs with cooking string.
  5. Place the potatoes, sliced carrots, and sliced onions in the baking dish and season it with the same marinade as the chicken and drizzle olive oil and coat it well.
  6.  Move the veggies to the side of the baking dish and place the chicken into the center breast side up.
  7. Place it in a preheated oven set at 190 degrees C for at least 1 hour and 30 minutes. 
  8. Bast the chicken with herb butter after 1 hour.
  9.  When the chicken is cooked, remove it from oven and allow to sit for at least 15- 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Cooking tip: Turn the chicken every 15-20 minutes to cook well.

CHRISTMAS CHOCOLATE COOKIES:

The perfect Christmas cookies you can ever bake to get into the best of the moods! These treats are going to be loved by every sweet tooth in the household and I’m sure it could also make great Christmas favors.

Makes: approximately 24 cookies

INGREDIENTS:

 FOR THE BISCUITS:

Soft butter – 250g

Caster sugar- 150g

Cocoa powder- 40g

Plain flour- 300g

Bicarbonate soda- ½ teaspoon

Baking powder- 1 teaspoon

FOR THE FESTIVE TOPPING :

Cocoa powder- 2 tablespoons

Icing sugar- 175g

Boiling water- 60 ml

Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon 

Christmas sprinkles

Method:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degree C and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  2. Cream the butter and caster sugar in a bowl and when you have a light, soft whipped mixture, beat in the 40g of cocoa powder and when that’s mixed in, beat in the flour with the bicarb and baking powder.
  3. The mixture is going to look very soft and sticky, so pinch off pieces about the size of a large walnut, roll them into balls, the slightly flatten into fat discs as you place them, well-spaced on your baking sheet. (About 12 at a time)
  4. Bake each batch for 15 minutes; even though the biscuits won’t look done, they will continue to cook as it cools. They will look slightly cracked on the top and that’s exactly what we are looking for.
  5. Remove the baking tray to a cold surface and let it sit for 15 minutes before transferring the biscuits to a wire rack, with a piece of newspaper under it to catch drops of the glaze while pouring.
  6. To make the topping, put the cocoa powder, icing sugar, water and vanilla extract into a small saucepan and whisk over a low heat until everything’s smoothly combined. Take off the heat for 10 minutes.
  7.  When the biscuits are cool, drizzle each one with a tablespoon of chocolate glaze to glue the sprinkles.
  8. After you ice 5 biscuits, scatter with some of the Christmas sprinkles, and continue until all the biscuits are topped. If you ice them all before sprinkling, you will find that the cocoa glue has dried and the sprinkles won’t stick.

GARLIC KNOTS:

All the pizza and garlic bread lover’s heaven!

Ingredients:

Homemade dough: 

All-purpose flour- 3 and ½ cups (440g)

Salt- ¾ teaspoon

Olive oil- 2 tablespoon

Warm water (between 38 – 43 degree C)

Instant yeast – 2 and ¼ teaspoon

 Granulated sugar – 1 tablespoon

 

Topping: 

Melted unsalted butter- 5 Tablespoon (70g)

 Minced Garlic cloves- 3

Italian seasoning- 1 teaspoon

Salt- ¼ teaspoon

Parsley – 2 Tablespoon (optional after baking)

Grated parmesan cheese- ¼ cup (optional after baking)

Method:

1) Prepare the dough: whisk the warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar in a bowl and cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

2) If the mixture has frothed, this means your yeast has been activated. Add the olive oil, salt and the flour and knead the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead using lightly floured hands to avoid sticking of the dough. Knead the dough for about 7-8 minutes until it’s soft. Poke it with your finger- if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise.

 

3) lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough into the bowl, turning it to coat all sides with the oil. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.

4) Shape the dough:  when the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Using floured hands on a lightly floured work surface, shape the dough into a 16×5 inch long log. Using. Very sharp knife, slice into 16 1-inch strips. Roll each strip into 8 -inch ropes. Tie each into knots. Tuck the two ends of the knot underneath. Arrange the knots on 2 lined baking trays with parchment paper.

5) lightly cover the shaped knots and let them rest for 30 minutes to rise. (They will fluffy up producing softer rolls)

6) Preheat oven 204 degree C for 10 minutes.

7) Topping: stir the melted butter, minced garlic, Italian herbs, and salt together. Brush on the knots and reserve some for when the knots come out of the oven.

8) bake for about 18-23 minutes or until golden brown on the top. Remove them from the oven and brush the warm knots with remaining garlic butter. Sprinkle with parsley and parmesan and serve hot with a dip.

About the writer:

Ifable started on instagram just as an honest food review page of restaurants and cafes in Chennai. Rana and Iffah are both students of medicine and law respectively, so when they found the time to explore in the kitchen during the lockdown, they took it! Currently, they share their recipes and experiences to inspire more people to cook or bake. Follow them on https://www.instagram.com/ if.able/?hl=en

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