Fab festive dessert

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By Jan Bilton

Christmas — a time to indulge in delicious desserts.

But it’s important to balance rich temptations with generous servings of fresh summer fruits. A (glass) bowl of mixed berries such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries is simple, eye-catching — and delectable.

For variation, enhance berries with a balsamic syrup. Combine equal amounts of good balsamic vinegar and sugar. Heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Cool. Drizzle a little over the berries just before serving with lavish dollops of whipped cream, ice cream or yoghurt.

FROZEN CHRISTMAS PUD

This can be frozen several days — or even weeks — in advance.

A fab festive frozen Christmas pudding

100g butter

400g mixed dried fruit

50g each: red, green glacé cherries, halved

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup each: cream, brandy

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

100g blanched almonds, chopped

2 litres French vanilla ice cream

Topping: 100g plain chocolate, melted

Line the base and sides of a 1.5 litre pudding bowl with plastic film.

Place the butter, dried fruit, cherries, brown sugar and cream in a saucepan. Heat until the butter is melted. Add the brandy and baking soda. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until the baking soda stops fizzing. Stir in the almonds. Cool a little.

Break up the ice cream in a large bowl. Stir in the just-warm fruit mixture. Pour into the prepared pudding basin. Freeze for at least 24 hours before turning onto a serving plate.

To serve, slowly pour the melted chocolate over the top allowing it to dribble down the sides. Serves 8-10.

  • Jan Bilton is an award-winning, professional food writer. For more of her recipes visit her website here.

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