Integrated Fridge Freezers

Offering a pleasant twist to Christmas dinner, Kate Hackworthy of VeggieDesserts has created an elegant Alternative Christmas Feast using her Leisure range cooker for all to indulge in.

By Kate at veggiedesserts.co.uk

STARTER

Individual Baked Camemberts with Roasted Vegetable Rosemary Skewers

These individual baked camemberts are perfect with skewered seasonal vegetables to dip into the oozy soft cheese. Skewering the vegetables with rosemary stalks imparts a lovely aroma through the vegetables.

This quick starter is easy to make. You can part-cook the vegetables on the hob of your Leisure range cooker then skewer them and cook the vegetables alongside the camemberts in the oven.

Integrated Fridge Freezers

Ingredients

Serves 6

For the camemberts:

  • 6 mini baking camemberts
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 6 small sprigs of rosemary
  • For the skewers:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 6 firm woody rosemary stalks
  • 12 Brussels sprouts
  • 2 parsnips, cut into thick rounds
  • 2 carrots, cut into thick rounds
  • 12 fresh cranberries

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Remove other packaging and place the camemberts back into their wooden boxes and place them on a baking tray. Score the top of each one with an x and poke a peeled clove of garlic into each one. Set aside.

Mix the oil and rosemary in a bowl.

Steam the sprouts, parsnips and carrots for a 5 minutes to soften and slightly cook through.

Using a knife, carefully sharpen one end of each rosemary stalk to a point.

Alternating, thread the part-cooked vegetables onto the rosemary skewers (it may be easier to pierce the vegetables with a metal skewer first), then brush liberally with the oil.

Place them on a baking tray and cook both the skewers and camembert for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is soft and the vegetables begin to turn crispy.

Serve each camembert with a sprig of rosemary. To eat, dip the vegetables into the melted cheese.

MAIN

Mini Bundt Chestnut Roasts with Sage Gravy

It isn't a vegetarian Christmas feast without a nut roast, but this one is extra-special. The individual roasts are cooked in decorative mini bundt pans to make each one a showstopper.

The chestnuts and mixed nuts bring wonderful flavor and texture, working perfectly alongside the fresh herbs. The chestnut roasts are quick and easy to prepare, particularly with a Leisure range cooker, which means you can have them cooking in one oven while the rest of the meal cooks in the other ovens and the sage gravy bubbles on the stove.

You can make these roasts a day or two ahead to save time on Christmas day, as you’ll only need to reheat them.

Integrated Fridge Freezers

Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 300g cooked peeled chestnuts (store-bought vacuum-packed is easiest)
  • 150g mixed nuts
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the sage gravy:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tsp plain flour
  • 500ml vegetable or mushroom stock
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a 6-cup mini bundt tray well with cooking oil spray (or grease a baking dish).

Heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

Place the chestnuts and nuts into a food processor and blitz until fine and crumbly. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and add the onions, breadcrumbs, stock, soy sauce, herbs and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Press the mixture into the mini bundt pans, ensuring that it gets into all the ridges. Bake for 35-45 minutes (depending on the size of your pans) or until golden on top and cooked through. Allow to cool in the pan completely. Place a large plate or chopping board over the bundt tray and carefully invert to turn out the loaves. Serve warmed up with the gravy poured on top.

Alternatively, to cook without mini bundt pans, spread the mixture into a large baking dish and cook for 35-45 minutes.

For the sage gravy

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium/low heat, then add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and herbs and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring.

Pour in the stock, add the salt and pepper, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened and reduced.

Place a fine sieve over a bowl and pour the gravy through it, pressing down to extract as much gravy and flavours as possible.

DESSERT

Gingerbread Layer Cake with Salted Honey Buttercream

From gingerbread houses to gingerbread biscuits, the heady aromas of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg are a major part of Christmas. In this moist layer cake, all those familiar warming spices are in the sponge, making a wonderfully festive dessert. The salted honey buttercream adds an extra special dimension and you can decorate the cake as you like with gingerbread biscuits and fresh winter greens.

This cake can be made a day or two before Christmas in one of the ovens of your Leisure range cooker.

Gingerbread Layer Cake with Salted Honey Buttercream

Ingredients

Serves 10-12

  • 325g plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 50g black treacle
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml milk

For the salted honey icing:

  • 120g salted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 500g powdered icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp whole milk
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

To decorate (optional)

  • Mini gingerbread house
  • Mini gingerbread men
  • Festive greens and cranberries

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line 3 x 20cm round cake tins.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, bicarb and salt. Set aside.

Beat the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one in well. Add the golden syrup, treacle and vanilla and beat to combine.

Gently mix in ⅓ of the flour mixture, then ⅓ of the milk and continue alternating with the flour and milk until it’s all combined.

Divide the batter between the prepared tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tins for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing

Beat the butter until smooth. Add the honey and beat well. Add the powdered icing sugar and milk, then beat until smooth and mix in the salt.

To decorate

Divide the icing into two bowls. With one bowl of icing, spread a little between each layer of the cake and sandwich together. Spread the remaining icing in a thin layer onto the top and sides of the cake, creating a thin ‘crumb coat’. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to set the icing, then spread the remaining icing on the top and sides.

Decorate the cake as desired with gingerbread biscuits, greens and cranberries.

We hope you enjoyed this beautiful Alternative Christmas menu! We invite you to re-create it and share it with us on our Instagram account. Don’t forget to tag us: @leisureliving

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