Individual tiramisu and caramel trifles.
Individual tiramisu and caramel trifles.

4 festive dessert recipes to get you in the holiday spirit

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published Dec 18, 2020

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Dessert is the highlight of any holiday dinner, and this year is no exception.

The festive season is a time to indulge, which means cakes and desserts are on the menu.

And while there are some interesting vegan alternatives, baking with eggs adds a richness and luxe mouthfeel that can’t be beaten. We all love a festive get-together, whether it’s a beach braai with friends, a brunch with mom, or the cook-for-days Christmas extravaganza.

Through it all, eggs are always there, adding that pop of brightness to braai potato salad, taking the star turn in quiche or shakshuka at brunch, and binding all our overindulgence dreams together at the Christmas dessert table (the only course we’re waiting for anyway!)

Any idea which sweet treats you’ll be serving? While custard is a must, there are other exciting new and revered egg-based desserts to consider. Some recipes to try:

Basque burnt cheesecake

Serves: 14

Ingredients

6 large eggs, at room temperature

4 x 250g blocks full-fat cream cheese (room temperature)

225g caster sugar

Pinch of salt

150g thick cream

300g pouring cream

1tsp vanilla extract

60g plain flour

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and place the oven rack in the centre of the oven.

Line a 25cm loose bottom springform cake pan with 2 sheets of baking paper, making sure the paper overlaps. Use the bottom of the cake tin to press the paper into the pan and then use your hands to crease the sides of the paper to hold its shape. Once the paper is moulded to the tin, you can remove the bottom and the paper and then reattach the bottom to the pan, placing the paper on top. Don’t worry about the creases and folds, it is part of the charm. Place the tin on a baking sheet.

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend on medium speed until smooth. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes, to allow the bubbles to subside.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and place in the oven.

Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes, until golden brown and firm with a slight jiggle in the centre. The cheesecake will puff up like a soufflé during baking and collapse when removed from the oven, this is normal and creates the distinct cracked and rustic looking top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Individual tiramisu and caramel trifles

Serves: 6

Ingredients

3 whole eggs, at room temperature

110g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

250g mascarpone, room temperature

1 cup black coffee, preferably filter coffee hot and strong

2 tbs Frangelico or Kahlua, optional

¼ cup caramel condensed milk (Caramel Treat), optional

200g (24-30) sponge fingers, (Boudoir biscuits)

Cocoa, for dusting

Method

Start by making the coffee and caramel biscuits. Spread half the biscuits with the caramel and sandwich together with another biscuit. Mix coffee and liquor together. Quickly dip the sandwiched biscuits into the coffee and line the bottom of individual serving glasses, break in half if necessary to fit snugly into the glasses. Dust with cocoa powder.

Beat the eggs and sugar in a bowl over a pot of simmering water with an electric beater on high speed, until it changes to a very light, pale yellow (almost white), and is thick and voluminous (called ribbon stage as it leaves a ribbon trail in the mixture). Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the mascarpone.

Add the vanilla and half the mascarpone, fold in until combined and smooth and beat in the remaining mascarpone, taking care not to deflate the mixture too much.

Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the biscuits then top with another layer of coffee-dipped biscuits and dust with cocoa powder, then spread with remaining cream.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 to 5 hours, preferably overnight.

Dust with cocoa powder just before serving or after placing it onto serving plates.

Before serving, remove from the refrigerator and allow enough time to reach room temperature. Cut into thin slices with a sharp knife dipped in hot water.

Baked coconut pudding with passionfruit sauce

Serves: 4 - 6

Ingredients

4 whole eggs, at room temperature

125g butter, at room temperature

200g caster sugar

75g self-raising flour

75g desiccated coconut

1tsp. vanilla extract

400ml full cream milk

To serve

2-3 passionfruit, juice, and pips

150g castor sugar

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon cornflour

Method

Grease a 20cm pie dish that will fit in a roasting tin. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Prepare a water bath by filling a roasting tin with boiling water that will come halfway up the sides of the pie dish.

Place the first six pudding ingredients in a food processor and whizz for 2 minutes, until smooth and combined. Slowly pour the milk through the feeder tube with the motor running (do this slowly to avoid splattering). Blend for a minute, until combined and a smooth batter. Do not be concerned if the mixture looks a little curdled, it will come together when baked.

Pour the coconut batter into the pie dish and place in the bain-marie. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the pudding is set. It will be golden on top with a luscious custard underneath. Serve with crème Fraiche and the passionfruit sauce.

To make the sauce, heat the passion fruit juice and pips in a small saucepan with the sugar and lemon. Mix the cornflour with a teaspoon of water and a tablespoon of the passionfruit syrup, making sure it is well blended. Pour into the passionfruit syrup and stir over low to medium heat until thickened.

Notes: To make the recipe on a Weber or a gas braai with a lid, place the roasting tin on the grid of the braai, close the lid and set the temperature to 180°C. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, checking after 35 minutes.

White chocolate semifreddo with roast peaches

Serves: 6 - 8

Ingredients

500ml pouring cream

2 vanilla bean pods

6 large eggs

125g caster sugar

½ cup good quality white chocolate pieces

375ml whipping cream, divided

½ cup icing sugar

Extra white chocolate for grating as garnish, optional

Method

Line a 2 litre loaf tin with plastic wrap.

Start by making the custard: in a bowl whisk the eggs together until well combined. In a double boiler, scald the milk with the vanilla pods, remove the pods and scrape out the seeds, adding them to the warm milk (the pods can be reserved for flavouring castor sugar).

Add the sugar and eggs to the milk. Whisk continually until the custard thickens. Remove and cover with cling wrap and cool to room temperature. The plastic wrap helps prevent a skin from forming on the custard which will cause lumps in your mixture.

Melt the chocolate with 100ml of the cream. Whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form and add the icing sugar. Temper the melted chocolate by adding a couple of tablespoons of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate (this will prevent shocking the chocolate and causing it to seize). Whisk the melted chocolate into the whipped cream. Whisk the chocolate cream into the cooled custard and pour into the lined baking tin.

Freeze for 8 hours or overnight. To serve, turn the loaf tin onto a serving platter, remove the tin and peel away the plastic wrap. Cut into slices and serve with seasonal fruit, and garnish with grated white chocolate.

To make the roasted peaches or seasonal stone fruit (apricots, plums or nectarines work well): Cut peaches in half and place skin side down in a roasting dish, sprinkle with castor sugar, and pour in 150ml rose wine or apple juice. Roast at 200°C for 15 to 20 minutes until soft. Serve with the semifreddo.

Recipes from the South African Poultry Association.

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