Belfast Telegraph

Spoil yourself with these festive treats


Snowball cake
Snowball cake
Pork and turkey pies
Chocolate hazelnut torte cake

By Staff Reporter

Try these delicious National Trust recipes for a last-minute showstopping Christmas menu.

Pork and turkey pies

Makes 6 mini pies

These filling festive pies are packed with rich flavours of pork, sage and cranberry:

What you'll need

250g diced pork, finely chopped

100g sausage meat

salt and ground black pepper to taste

125g turkey breast, finely chopped

25g dried cranberries

25g smoked bacon, finely chopped

5g dried sage

For the pastry:

125g lard

175ml water

300g strong white flour

Salt to taste

For the glaze:

1 egg, beaten

Method

For the filling: Place all the filling ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly.

For the pastry: Place the lard and water into a pan and heat until the lard has melted. Tip in the flour and salt and mix until combined and a soft dough has formed.

Place a ball of pastry, approximately 50g in size, in each hole of your muffin tin. Shape each ball into the tin, trying to keep the pastry an even thickness, with a little lip above the top of each hole.

Pack with filling, pushing down to keep it as compact as possible, and mound the top slightly. Take a ball of pastry, approximately 30g in size, flatten into a disc, and place on top of the filling, pressing the edges down on the pastry lip.

For the glaze: Smooth the edges, make a small hole in the top with a knife, and glaze with the egg wash.

Place in the oven at 160C for 45-50 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crisp, and the filling is cooked. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin.

Snowball cake

Makes: 1 x 23cm (9”) cakea

This vegan showstopper has a light and fluffy meringue topping and coconut sprinkle finish:

What you'll need

375g vegan baking margarine

600ml soya milk

50ml white wine vinegar

600g self-raising flour

450g caster sugar

3tsp baking powder

2tsp ground ginger

2tbsp mixed spice

200g vegan mixed candied spice

2 oranges, zest

For the filling:

400ml soya milk

150g caster sugar

2 orange, juice

75g cornflour

150g icing sugar

60g vegan baking margarine

method

Pre-heat the oven to 160C fan (180 conv) Gas mark 4. Melt the vegan margarine in a microwave or in a pan over a low heat, put to one side. Pour the soya milk into a bowl, stir in the vinegar and leave to one side.

Place the self-raising flour, caster sugar, baking powder, ground ginger, ground mixed spice and the orange zest in a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in the melted vegan margarine then the curdled soya milk and the vegan candied peel. Stir well until incorporated. Divide the mixture between the tins and place in the oven at 160C for around 25-35 minutes or until risen and soft. Check by inserting a skewer into the middle to see if it comes out clean. Leave to cool before removing from the tins.

For the filling, place the soya milk in a pan over a medium heat, bring to the boil then reduce the temperature down to a simmer. Pour the orange juice into a bowl and add the cornflour and caster sugar. Mix to a smooth paste. Pour the cornflour mix into the soya mix and beat until thick and smooth, making sure the mixture gently simmers for a couple of minutes. Leave to cool.

Place the cooled filling in the bowl of your mixer, add the icing sugar and baking margarine and whisk until light and fluffy. Sandwich the cakes together using the filling mix. Place the aquafaba in the bowl of your mixer and start to whisk on full speed. While it's whipping, start to make your sugar solution. The aquafaba should be at stiff peak stage when the sugar is ready.

Place the sugar and 75ml water in a saucepan over a high heat. As soon as it boils reduce the heat slightly, continuing to simmer until it reaches a temperature of 121C. Remove from the heat and pour slowly into the whipped aquafaba with the whisk still going on medium until all added. Whisk until cooled and then use to coat the sides and top of the cake. Sprinkle the desiccated coconut along the meringue sides and top, ensuring an even coverage.

Chocolate hazelnut torte cake

Serves 12

A mouth-watering explosion of white and dark chocolate, this gooey cake will bring added glamour to Christmas Day or a New Year's Eve party:

What you'll need

180g dark chocolate

200g margarine

10ml vanilla flavouring

100g hazelnuts, toasted and blitzed until fine

50g cocoa powder

5g baking powder

5 eggs

150g caster sugar

1tsp salt

1tsp white wine vinegar

For the ganache:

100ml double cream

100g dark chocolate

20g white chocolate

method

Melt the chocolate and margarine together and add the vanilla flavouring, leave to cool while you whisk the eggs.

Place the hazelnuts, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl and mix together well. Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of your mixer, attach the whisk and start to slowly mix, add a teaspoon of salt and the vinegar and continue mixing.

Increase the speed of your mixer, continue to whisk until when you lift the whisk over the mixture the batter falls slowly forming a ribbon that will hold its shape for a few minutes. Remove the whisk and slowly pour in the cooled chocolate mixture, stirring with a metal spoon until incorporated. Sprinkle the hazelnut mixture over the top of the mix and gently fold through until incorporated. Pour into a 9" sandwich tin and tap once on the worktop to remove any large air bubbles.

Place in the oven at 150C and bake for around 45 minutes, or until risen and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove and leave to cool.

For the ganache topping: Place the cream in a pan and bring to a boil, immediately switch off the heat and add the chocolate, stir until melted and smooth.

Pour the ganache over the top of the torte, letting it drip down the sides.

Melt the white chocolate and drop randomly over the top of the cake, use a spoon to swirl gently. Leave to set before serving.

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