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Christmas recipes: How to make a Yule Log and more

By Rediff Get Ahead
December 25, 2018 09:00 IST
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It's time to impress your guests with some Christmas delicacies.

Yule Log by chef Rakhee Vaswani

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 100 gm castor sugar
  • 75 ml cream
  • 75 gm flour
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder 
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the icing:

  • 100 gm chocolate ganache
  • 50 gm raspberry compote
  • 200 gm whipped cream

Method

  • In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  • Beat together the eggs, vanilla and sugar at medium speed.
  • Add a tbsp of cream and flour mixture. Fold in like an 8. So as not remove the air created. Add the reaming cream and flour.
  • When completely mixed, pour it into a greased and lined Swiss roll tin. Bake for 10 mins at 200°C or till done.
  • Keep a butter paper ready with sprinkle icing sugar. Remove it from the oven and immediately invert it on the icing sugar butter paper. Gently roll with the help of a spatula and keep aside for some time till you make the filling.
  • Reopen and spread the filling and re-roll and make it into a yule log .

For the filling/icing: 

  • In a bowl, mix the ganache, raspberry compote and the whipped cream and ice it on the cake once it cools down.
  • Spread some more filling with a palette knife on the log (a thicker layer) and with the help of a cake comb, create lines so as to resemble a yule log.
  • Garnish with chocolate flakes, fondant garnish and red berries.

Ham and cheese croissant by Vivek Swamy, Head Chef, Deli By the Blue 

Ingredients:

For the croissant dough:

  • 1.5 l warm milk
  • 1/4 cup jaggery powder
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1.5 cups butter

You will need a damp cloth for keeping the dough moist.

  • 750 gm croissant dough
  • 140 gm ham
  • 140 gm sliced provolone cheese

Method:

  • Roll the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut using a croissant cutter, which would cut the dough into elongated triangles.
  • Now place a slice of ham and a slice of cheese along the broad end of the croissant and then roll it over to form the shape of a croissant.
  • Start with steam injection for 4 mins and then in convection mode continue cooking at 175°C for 8-9 mins.

Pulled Pork Benny by Head Chef, Nishant Mitra, Eddie's Bistro Bandra

Ingredients:

For pulled pork:

  • 2-3 nos star anise
  • 1 small stick cinnamon
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3" piece of fresh ginger
  • 7-8 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • Boneless shoulder of pork (about 2 kg)

For Hollandaise:

  • 150 gm unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste

For poached eggs:

  • 2 large eggs
  • Synthetic vinegar
  • Salt

For English muffins:

  • 150 gm all-purpose flour
  • 3 gm yeast
  • 3 gm salt
  • 8 gm castor sugar
  • 8 gm butter cut into small pieces
  • 43 ml milk oil for greasing
  • 10 gm semolina for dusting

For demi glace:

  • 1/8 cup refined oil
  • 2-3 kg chicken or beef bones
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • 2 medium size onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 medium size carrot (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 2-3 stalks celery sticks
  • 4-5 tbsp tomato paste
  • Bouquet garni
  • 4 cups red wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method (slow cooking):

For pulled pork:

  • Toast the whole spices over medium high heat and grind to a fine powder using spice grinder. Mix it along with smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, coriander powder, cumin powder, onion powder, garlic powder, ginger and garlic paste, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Rub over the boneless shoulder of pork. Let it sit in the marinade at least for couple of hours.
  • Put the pork in a big casserole dish or in a deep baking dish, skin side up, and pour in two cups of pineapple juice. Cover with a lid or wrap it with a silver foil and cook in the oven at 150°C for anywhere between 4 to 6 hrs until falling apart. Check every few hours in case it gets dry -- if it does, add another cupful of pineapple juice.
  • Take it out of the oven and put the meat in a big dish, leaving the liquid in the pan or casserole. Cut the skin off, then shred the meat using two forks. Ditch any fatty bits, and skim any excess fat off the surface of the sauce.
  • Add hot sauce to the pan or casserole, put the pulled pork back in the pan with the juices to keep it moist. Season to taste. Can be made one day ahead.

For Hollandaise:

  • Get a saucepan and a heatproof mixing bowl that will sit stably over the pan. Half fill the pan with water and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat as low as it can go but still have the water simmering.
  • Place the butter in a medium pan over a low heat, so it starts to melt, but doesn't burn. When the butter has melted, take it off the heat.
  • Place the egg yolks in your heatproof mixing bowl, which you should then place over the pan of just simmering water. It's important that the saucepan is on a low heat, or the eggs will scramble.
  • Using a balloon whisk, start to beat your yolks, then whisk in your white wine vinegar. Keep whisking, and then start adding the melted butter by slowly drizzling it in, whisking all the time, till all the butter has been incorporated. The result should be a lovely, smooth, thick sauce. Season carefully with salt and loosen if necessary with little squeezes of lemon juice. Keep tasting the sauce until the flavour is to your liking.

For poached eggs:

  • Half fill a pan with boiling salted water and vinegar, bring it to a light simmer over a medium high heat.
  • Crack one of the eggs into a cup and gently pour it into the water in one fluid movement. Repeat same with the other egg. You'll see them begin to cook immediately -- don't worry if the edges look little untidy. Depending on the pan, a really soft poached egg should take around two mins and a soft to firm one will need four mins (it depends on the size of the eggs and whether you're using them straight from the fridge).

For English muffin:

  • Tip the flour into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast, salt, sugar, butter, milk then mix all the ingredients together to form a soft dough.
  • Turn the mixture out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins, or until soft, smooth and stretchy.
  • Lightly grease a bowl with oil. Place the dough in the oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for about an hr, or until doubled in size. Dust the work surface with a mix of semolina and flour.
  • Tip the dough out onto the work surface and roll out to about 2.5 cm thick. Lightly dust a baking tray with half of the semolina.
  • Using a cutter, cut out 4 or 5 muffins. Place muffins evenly spaced apart on the dusted baking tray. Dust the semolina over the top of the muffins. Leave to prove for another 30 mins.
  • Preheat the hot plate or a heavy based frying pan on a very low heat. Griddle the muffins for approx 5-6 mins, then flip over and griddle for another 5-6 mins on the other side.

For demi glace:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Pour the oil into a roasting pan and put it in the preheated oven for 3-5 mins to heat up the pan.
  • Spread the bones out on the roasting pan and cook until browned, turning the bones occasionally so they brown evenly.
  • Transfer the bones to a stock pot with water and bring to a simmer. Skim the surface of the stock occasionally to remove any fat or impurities.
  • While the stock is simmering, discard all but about 1/8 cup of the fat from the roasting pan. Bring the pan back up to temperature over high heat on the gas flame.
  • Add the onions and carrots and cook until golden brown & caramelised.
  • Add the celery and cook for another 10 mins.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and bouquet garni and cook stirring regularly, until the tomato paste gets dark red in colour about 10 mins.
  • Add 1 cup of the red wine and stir it into the vegetable mixture.
  • Add the mirepoix mixture to the stock after the 2-3 hrs of simmering time. Bring the stock back upto a simmer and continue to cook it for another hr or two.
  • In a separate pot, bring the remaining red wine to a boil and cook until reduced by half, 10 to 15 mins.
  • When the stock has simmered for 4 to 5 hrs, strain it through a fine mesh strainer and combine the strained stock with the reduced wine.
  • Bring the stock to a boil, lower the heat to low and reduce the stock until it has a consistency that coats back of spoon and is about 4 cups in volume, up to 40 mins.
  • Season with salt and pepper and then strain the sauce through a strainer again.
  • Demi glace will keep in the fridge for at least a month and in the deep freezer for at least 3 to 4 months.

Assembly:

  • Warm up the English muffins and top them with hot pulled pork followed by poached eggs. Drizzle spoonfuls of demi glace and layer of Hollandaise. Garnish it with fresh chives and serve it with a side salad of your choice.

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