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Spruce up your festive treats

The Dunbrody House’s star chef Kevin Dundon shares his favourite recipes

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Chocolate Christmas Trees

Chocolate Christmas Trees

Turkey and Ham Jambons

Turkey and Ham Jambons

Port and Cranberry Sauce

Port and Cranberry Sauce

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Chocolate Christmas Trees

This upcoming week will be very busy with Christmas and St Stephen’s Day, so I’m sharing two recipes that can be made by all the family. Firstly, we have my chocolate Christmas trees. Who doesn’t like chocolate? You will need good-quality dark chocolate to bring a more intense flavour. This is the perfect baking treat to also get the kids involved. The decoration on the brownie can be prepared by combining icing sugar and a drop of green colouring. Make sure the mixture is thick enough to hold once drizzled on the trees. Add a few shiny sugar pearls and you will have a delicious treat that keeps fresh for three days. Next is my ham and turkey jambons. This year, instead of the bubble and squeak, try this tasty pastry. You will need some puff pastry, leftover turkey and ham and cheese.

Take the time to relax and enjoy good homemade food with your family. Have a great Christmas.
Happy cooking,
Kevin

CHOCOLATE CHRISTMAS TREES

Ingredients (Makes 10-12)
■ 200g dark chocolate
■ 250g butter, softened
■ 250g caster sugar
■ 4 eggs
■ 130g plain flour
■ 100g royal icing
■ 1-2 drops green colouring
■ 2-3 tsp silver crisp pearls/sweets to decorate


Method: 
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Once nearly melted, add the butter and stir until combined. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
3. Place the caster sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat using an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
4. Very carefully, fold the chocolate in the the egg mixture, then sift in the flour. Mix with a spatula until no pockets of flour are left.
5. Pour the mixture in the prepared baking tray and spread into an even layer.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes until just soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside until fully cooled.
7. Prepare some royal icing in a bowl following the pack instructions.
8. Trim the edge of the brownie to obtain a neat rectangle and cut out triangles. Transfer the triangles onto a serving platter.
9. In a bowl, combine the royal icing with the green colouring. Decorate using a piping bag and sprinkle on the sweets.
10. Set aside and store in a tight container until ready to eat.

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Turkey and Ham Jambons

Turkey and Ham Jambons

Turkey and Ham Jambons

TURKEY AND HAM JAMBONS

■ 30g butter
■ 30g flour
■ 300ml milk
■ 300g butter puff pastry (Roll It pastry if possible)
■ 1 egg wash (1 egg yolk combined with 1 tbsp milk)
■ 200g cooked ham, chopped
■ 100g cooked turkey, chopped
■ 200g cheddar cheese, grated
■ 50g grated parmesan
■ 4 tbsp cranberry relish, optional
■ Salt and freshly ground white pepper


Method:
1. Firstly, you will need to make bechamel sauce. Melt the butter over a low heat in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and mix with a whisk. Cook gently for 2 minutes until the roux is off white colour, being careful not to allow the flour to overcook causing discolouration.
2. Next, slowly pour the milk onto the roux and increase the heat to medium. Whisk continuously until it comes to the boil and add the salt and white pepper. As it simmers, whisk for a further 3-5 minutes to ensure the flour is cooked through. Remove from the heat and add 100g cheddar cheese. Set aside to cool.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
4. In the meantime, roll the butter puff pastry on a floured surface.
5. Cut the puff pastry into approximately 6-8cm square pieces and place on the baking tray. Set in the fridge for 10 minutes to settle.
6. Once cooled, remove from the fridge and brush each square with egg wash. Spoon some bechamel sauce in the centre of each square of pastry then add some ham, turkey and the remaining cheese. Season with extra pepper.
7. Lift each corner of the square and join them over the mixture to create a crown. Brush with more egg wash and sprinkle with grated parmesan.
8. Place in the oven and bake for 25 mins.
9. Serve warm or at room temperature with some cranberry relish, if using.

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Port and Cranberry Sauce

Port and Cranberry Sauce

Port and Cranberry Sauce

TOP TIP: HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT PORT
AND CRANBERRY SAUCE FOR THE BIG DAY

Christmas is just a few days away and the big day just wouldn’t be the same without a colourful cranberry sauce on the side to compliment your main. Try this simple recipe.

INGREDIENTS ONE JAR

■ 225g cranberries

■ 110g caster sugar

■ 1 orange, Juice & zest

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■ 50ml port

■ 1 cinnamon stick

Method: Place all the ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil for 10-12 minutes until the liquid has reduced. Remove the cardamone and cinnamon stick then pour the relish to a jar.

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