Cooking Experiences

Christmas 2015: Five alternatives to Christmas pudding

Does anyone actually enjoy eating Christmas pudding? For me, it’s up there with Christmas cake in the list of items that people think they have to prepare at this time of year but which nobody actually really enjoys. Mince pies are also on that list for me, but I realise I’m in the minority there.

When it comes to rounding off Christmas dinner with a tasty pud (even though everyone is stuffed from the turkey and the boxes of chocolates that have been consumed already throughout the day), there are alternatives to Christmas pudding that can ensure your meal ends as spectacularly as it began.

Here are five alternatives to Christmas pudding for our fellow Christmas pudding haters!

 

1. Yule log

You can’t get much more festive than Yule log. This dessert originated in France, Quebec and a few other former French colonies.

Essentially it is a sponge cake made in the form of a sweet roulade and can be decorated in various ways, from the simple to the extravagant.

There are many recipes online for Yule log, including variations with caramel, popcorn (as above), and fruit.

Interestingly, Mary Berry seems to be some sort of authority on the topic of Yule logs if you do a quick Google search, so could provide the ideal starting point for you if you do choose this for your festive pud.

 

2. Chocolate gateau

Mmm…cake. Nothing beats chocolate cake sometimes, and Christmas provides the perfect opportunity to jazz up the humble chocolate gateau into something a little bit special.

You can make your recipe festive by perhaps infusing the buttercream with brandy, or alternating layers of chocolate cake with a hazelnut sponge.

Whatever you do, make sure you serve the gateau warm so that the icing melts tantalisingly over the soft sponge.

This is another pud where you can get creative with the decorating, perhaps making some fake holly or piping on some little reindeers with icing if you’re feeling particularly inspired!

 

3. Salted caramel tart

Why it took so long for salted caramel to become a ‘thing’ is a mystery. It’s here to stay now, though, which is just as well because we love it.

Salted caramel tart can be intimidating if you don’t like making your own shortcrust pastry, but don’t worry about cheating and buying readymade pastry; this tart is all about the filling anyway.

Good recipes for salted caramel tarts can be found with the likes of Hobbs House Bakery and the Good Food Channel.

This idea is a more refined option than the previous two ideas, and will steal the show at any festive gathering. Oh, and you should be able to pop this in the freezer after it’s been made, which is a great option if you want to prepare as much of your festive meal ahead of time as possible.

 

4. Chocolate mousse

Chocolate mousse is simple to make, but amazing to eat. It can be rich but not too filling and sickly, so does make for a really good end to a huge Christmas dinner.

There are literally hundreds of chocolate mousse recipes online, but why not try the one my Mum makes? It’s fab.

These are also really good for making ahead of time, even a day or two before, and leaving in the fridge ready to pop onto the table when you can face food again after the turkey!

 

5. Baileys cheesecake

Christmas = Baileys. There’s no getting away from that fact. So, why not combine two fantastic festive foodie items: cheesecake and Baileys?

Since cheesecake doesn’t need to be baked (unless, obviously, you’re making baked cheesecake!), it’s easy to make and you can enlist the help of any bakers in the making in your family (as long as the Baileys is kept firmly out of their reach!).

This is another recipe where you can make it as simple or as complex as you like with just a few variations.

Good recipes can be found online with the likes of BBC Good Food and Delicious Magazine.

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