Christmas Recipe Tips From the CES Staff

Christmas Recipe Tips
From the CES Staff
Chocolate Buche de Noel Recipe - France
The first Christmas yule log cake, or buche de Noel, recipe was
cleverly created in the late 1800s by a French pastry chef looking to
replace and pay culinary homage to the original yule log tradition.
This new, gastronomic tradition caught on in spectacular fashion,
and the Christmas dessert is now celebrated worldwide. This
chocolate buche de Noel recipe showcases a light-as-air, vanilla
Genoise cake rolled into a cylinder with the richest, homemade
chocolate buttercream frosting.
 Sponge cake:
4 eggs (room temperature)
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cake flour
Chocolate buttercream:
7 egg whites
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups plus 3 tablespoons butter, softened
How to make chocolate buche de noel: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 10-inch by 15-inch
baking pan with a 1-inch lip (jelly-roll pan) and line it with parchment paper. Butter the parchment or
spray it with cooking spray. Set the pan aside. Beat the eggs for 5 minutes, until they turn thick and
foamy. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and salt to the eggs and continue beating for 2 minutes. Fold the
flour, a few tablespoons at a time, into the whipped egg mixture. Once the flour is incorporated into the
batter, stop mixing. Do not overmix or the cake will bake up into a tough texture. Gently spread the batter
into the prepared pan. There will be peaks of batter; gently smooth over them, but do not press the batter
down. Bake the cake for 10 minutes, until the cake is just set. Invert the baked cake onto a clean, dry
kitchen towel and peel off the parchment paper. Wait 3 minutes and then gently roll the cake, still in the
towel, starting at the 10-inch end. Allow it to cool completely.
To make the chocolate buttercream: in a clean, completely dry bowl beat the egg whites on high until soft
peaks form. Set them aside for a moment. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and 2/3 cup water to a
boil. Allow it boil until it has reduced into a slightly thickened syrup. Begin beating the egg whites on high
speed again, and pour the hot sugar syrup into the eggs in a slow, steady stream. Pour the melted
chocolate, espresso powder, and vanilla extract into the egg whites and continue beating them until the
meringue has cooled completely, about 5 minutes. Add the softened butter to the meringue, 2 tablespoons
at a time, while beating on high speed, until all of the butter is incorporated into the frosting. If the
buttercream becomes runny at any time in this process, refrigerate the meringue until it has chilled
through and continue the process of beating the butter into the meringue.
To assemble the chocolate yule log:Unroll the cake and set aside the towel. Evenly spread 2 cups (or
desired amount) of the chocolate buttercream on the inside of the cake and following its natural curve,
gently form it into a cake roll. Cut off the ends of the cake roll on the diagonal and reattach them in the
center of the cake with a bit of buttercream to fashion a “branch” coming off the main Yule log. Spread the
exterior of the buche de noel with enough chocolate buttercream to cover it and gently pull a butter knife
or small, offset spatula through the frosting to give the appearance of rough tree bark. Add a Pere Noel
figure and meringue mushrooms to complete the festive look.
Ausstecherle (Cookies) -Germany
Germany is well known for its delicious Christmas cookies.
Why not try Ausstecherle this year? Kids love to decorate
them and they are very tasty, too. Guten Appetit!!!
You will need:
300g flour
100g sugar
2 packets vanilla sugar
1 packet baking powder
150 butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk for the decoration
Sift the flour onto a baking board. Add the sugar, vanilla sugar and
baking powder. Flake the butter with a knife and add to the flour mix.
Make a well in the middle and add the egg. Bring all the ingredients
together and knead well to form a soft smooth dough.
Place in the fridge for an hour. Roll out the dough and using Christmas
cookie cutters such as a Christmas tree, angel, star etc. cut out shapes
from the dough.
Place the shapes onto a prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven
for 10-15 mins at 180 degrees C.
Mix one egg yolk with a fork or a whisk and brush the
cookies with it. The kids can now have fun decorating
the cookies with sprinkles or whatever takes their
Bejgli - Hungary
Pastry rolls with walnut and
poppy seed filling
A traditional Hungarian Christmas is not
complete without bejgli. The poppy seed and
walnut fillings are going to be to your liking, I
can promise!
The dough
500 g flour
150 ml milk
250 g butter
1 tablespoon sugar
20 g fresh yeast
1 egg
50 g castor sugar
a pinch of salt
Warm the milk a bit. It should be lukewarm when you add the 50 g caster sugar and
crumble the fresh yeast to it. Let it rise. Add diced butter to the flour; sprinkle it with and
a pinch of salt. Add the risen yeast and the egg; work out the dough. Make 4 loaves, wrap
them up in cllingfilm and let them rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours (even better, if you
leave it there for a whole night).
Roll them out into a 1/2 cm thick rectangle on a floured board. Spread filling onto the
dough, leave out a 2-3 cm strip at the longer side. Fold back a 2-3 cm strip at the shorter
sides (prevents the stuffing from coming out). Roll the dough up and place them in
buttered oven dish. Prick the top and the sides of the rolls with a fork, it prevents
cracking. Brush the top of the rolls with slightly beaten egg yolk and let them rest for 30
Bake the bejgli in preheated oven at 180 °C for about 40 minutes until the top gets a nice
brown colour. Let the pastry cool before slicing and serving.
The poppy seed stuffing
200 g ground poppy seed
150 g castor sugar mixed in 100 ml milk
1 sachet (10g) of vanilla sugar
50 g raisins soaked in 50 ml rum
grated rind of a well-washed lemon
Bring the milk with the sugar in it to the boil. Remove the mixture
from the heat and pour onto the ground poppy seed. Mix in the
drained raisins and the vanilla sugar. Add grated rind of a lemon.
The walnut stuffing
400 g ground walnuts
250 g caster sugar mixed in about 1 dl milk
50 g raisins soaked in rum
1 sachet (10g) vanilla sugar
Bring the milk with the sugar in it to the boil.
Remove the mixture from the heat and pour onto the ground
walnuts. Mix in the drained raisins and the vanilla sugar.
Mince Pies - Ireland
During Christmas in Ireland you cannot miss
this delicious treat! If you like spicy fruit
with velvety butter dough then this is a
Makes 20 mini mince pies
170g flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
100g cold butter, cut into small chunks
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons of water
420g jar of mince meat
1 egg
fluted circular cookie cutter
star cookie cutter
Place the flour and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
Add the butter and rub in using your finger tips until you have a rough breadcrumb like
mixture. Don’t worry it will come together!
Add the sugar and the egg yolk and mix through with a spoon.
Add the water slowly until a dough comes together.
Form a ball with your hands, cover in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for at least 10
Preheat the oven to 180oC/Gas Mark 5.
Roll the pastry dough out to about half a centimetre in thickness and cut out 20 circles and 20
stars. You may need to gather the scraps and re roll the pastry to get enough cases.
Oil a mini muffin tray and fill with the pastry circles.
Fill each mini pie with the mincemeat and top with the pastry stars.
Whisk the egg and brush each mini pie with it.
Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the pastry turns golden brown.
Serve straight away or save some for Santa, word has it there his favorite snack!
ALMOND BRITTLE (croccante alle mandorle)
very little
Cooking time:
15 min
15 min
Portion for:
8 people
Origins of the brittle:
The brittle is a traditional Christmas dessert, tasty and easy to make. Its origins are not clear: it is prepared in
many Italian regions, especially in the Centre-South of Italy. There are different hypothesis on its origin. There
are written papers on this dessert on a Spanish text of 1475, implying its Spanish origin. However, others
affirm that the brittle finds its origins in the South of Italy about the year 1200, deriving from an typical Arab
dessert made out of almonds, sugar, honey and spices.
Recipe of the brittle:
• Just under 2 cups of sugar
• 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons of water
• about 11 oz of almonds
The first thing you'll need to do is to peel the almonds. To do this, put a pot of water up to boil, put the almonds
in the boiling water and after a minute drain them. Spread the dried almonds onto a plate and while they're still
hot, remove the skins. At this point, they should come off easily because boiling the almonds softens and
expands the skin. After you've peeled the almonds, spread them on a baking sheet covered with parchment
paper, and toast them in an oven at 350F for a few minutes. The almonds don't need to be completely
browned, but just a bit toasted and dry.
After the almonds have been toasted, place the sugar, water and lemon juice into a large pan. Then let it all
dissolve together over a low heat. In the meantime, take half of the almonds and chop them roughly. Almond
brittle can be made with all of the nuts chopped, all whole, or half and half.
The almonds have been chopped, the sugar has dissolved and now it's time to prepare a small oven-safe dish
by lining it with parchment paper into which you'll pour the brittle mix. You can level out the mixture with a oiled
spatula, or with a lemon half which will also give flavour to the brittle.
Now that the sugar is golden, add the almonds. Then, mix the sugar and the nuts together well. Now you can
pour the brittle mix into the dish. Be very careful because melted sugar reaches very high temperatures and
can cause serious burns. Spread the mixture out so that it has an even thickness throughout. Then wait for the
brittle to cool.
When the brittle has completely cooled, you're ready to cut it up. It's usually cut at a slant or into simple
rectangles. And here is our brittle ready to serve.
Merry Christmas and a happy almond brittle!
This easy recipe for Lithuanian Christmas bread is made with a slightly
sweet yeast dough that has white raisins and a poppy seed-honey glaze and
it only takes one rise!
Makes 1 loaf of Lithuanian Christmas Bread
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup 110-degree water
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup cold water
1 large beaten egg
1 1/2 cups white raisins
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon poppyseeds
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons honey
1. Dissolve yeast in 110-degree water. In a large bowl or a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, salt, scalded
milk, cold water, and dissolved yeast. Using a dough whisk, batter blender, wooden spoon or paddle
attachment, beat in the egg, raisins and 1/4 cup poppy seeds until thoroughly mixed. Add flour and beat
until a smooth dough forms. The dough will be very slack.
2. Grease a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan and pour mixture into it. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise
for about 1 1/2 hours or until light. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 50-60 minutes or until an instant-read
thermometer registers 190 degrees.
3. Warm honey and brush over bread. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon poppyseeds and return to oven for 5
minutes. Remove and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
The Netherlands - Oliebollen
Oliebollen (literally oil balls) are traditionally eaten on New
Yar's Eve. Fried until golden and served warm, dusted with
icing sugar.
How many you make, depends on how big you make them
250 gram of self-raising flour
250 ml milk
1 egg
100 gram raisins and currants, mixed together
25 gram succade*
1 large tart apple, like Granny Smith
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Pinch of salt
Caster sugar
Deep fryer
* Succade is candied peel of any of the citrus species, if this is hard to come by you use grated lemon peel.
Rinse the currants and raisins
Cut the succade is small pieces
Peel and core the apple; cut it into small pieces
Put the flour in a mixing bowl
Add the egg
Add a pinch of salt to the flour
Add half of the milk
Mix this flour-egg-salt-milk mixture into a smooth consistency
When you have a smooth mixture, add the rest of the milk
Add the succade, currants, raisins, lemon juice and apple pieces
Fill a deep-fryer one-third full with oil and heat over medium heat to 160°C
Working in batches, use 2 dessertspoons to form 6 cm balls
Then gently drop them into oil and deep-fry, turning halfway
For 5 minutes, or until golden en cooked through
Remove with a spoon and drain on paper towel
Dust the oliebollen generously with caster sugar and eet smakelijk!
Polish uszka
Polish uszka, also known as "little ears" because of their shape, are one
of the three main Polish filled dumplings along with pierogi. They are
typically made with savory fillings and boiled in broth. Mushroom-filled
uszka served in beetroot soup barszcz are a favorite for Christmas Eve
Wigilia dinner. They can be made into miniature versions of pierogi or
Here's an easy way to make Polish uszka. Use the uszka filling of choice.
Ingredients: mushroom filling
1. Pour the boiling water over the mushrooms to
reconstitute. Let them sit for about 30 minutes.
1 cup dried mushrooms
2. Strain and reserve liquid.
1 cup boiling water, or enough to cover
3. Trim, rinse and finely chop the leeks.
4, Heat the oil in a large sauté pan.
1 tablespoon olive oil
5. Add the leeks and garlic, sautéing until soft.
1 clove garlic, minced
6. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the
1 leek, white and light green parts
leeks along with the thyme, salt and pepper; sauté
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped for 2 minutes more.
7. Remove from heat and add the parsley.
pinch of salt and pepper
8. Cool mixture and make the dough.
Ingredients: dough
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large beaten egg
3 tablespoons of warm
water, or more as
Preparation:Place flour in a stand mixer or large bowl.
Blend in the salt and add the remaining ingredients. Knead
until a smooth dough forms, adding additional water, if
necessary. Remove dough from bowl, cover with plastic
wrap and let rest 20 minutes.
Put a large pot of broth or salted water on to boil. On a
lightly floured surface, roll dough very thinly. Cut into 2inch squares. Place a spoonful of filling on each square.
Moisten two edges of the dough with water and fold in half
to form a triangle, pressing out any air. Dab one of the
points with water and lap the other point over and press
them together. It will look a little like a tri-cornered hat.
Repeat with remaining dough.
Note: The dough can be cut into circles and folded as for
Drop uszka into boiling water and cook 10 minutes or until
tender when tested.
Portugal: Bolo Rei
Bolo Rei (King Cake) is a delicious cake, very sweet and full of sugary fruit.
250g of flour
5 soup spoons of sugar
½ decilitre of milk
½ decilitre of Port wine
1 soup spoon of butter
3 eggs
3grs of bicarbonate of soda
Candied fruit to taste
Nuts, almonds, grape raisings to taste
Mix the flour, the sugar and the sliced fruit.
In another bowl, mix the eggs, the milk, the Port wine, the butter and the bicarbonate.
Bring the two mixes together and stir well.
Put the dough in a cake form with a hole in the middle, previously buttered.
Before going in the oven, brush the cake with the egg yolk and decorate it with the candied
fruit and sugar.
What better way is there to celebrate Christmas than to do it with a golden
bun, straight from the oven; moist, comforting, and blissfully addictive…
Saint Lucia Buns – Lussekatter
The Sicilian saint Lucia is celebrated on the 13th of December every year in
Sweden. Traditionally you start the day by eating these buns.
Makes 20 large ones
100 g fresh yeast (you can find this in the fridge in
most eastern European shops)
400 ml milk, full-fat
100 ml cream (35-40% fat)
200 g butter
1-1,5 g saffron
200 ml sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 kilo white flour
1 egg, beaten
Crumble the yeast into the bowl of your stand mixer
(or a regular bowl, if making this by hand). Melt the
butter, then add the milk and the cream and heat until
it's about 37°C - it should just barely feel warm to the
touch. Add this to the yeast and stir until it has
Put the saffron with a pinch of sugar in your pestle and
mortar, and mix well. Add to the dough, along with
salt, sugar, the egg and most of the flour. Work into a
smooth and silky dough - it will look pretty sticky, so
add the rest of the flour, but don't worry if it's still
sticky. It's supposed to be. It shouldn't stick to your
fingers though.
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, and leave to rise, covered, for 45 minutes. Then it's time to shape the dough. I started by dividing
the dough into equal portions, using digital kitchen scales. I like my lucia buns fairly large - that, again, helps counter any dryness.
The traditional shape is as you can see in the photo below a fairly tight "s". Place raisins in the middle of the swirls on each side.
Place on a cookie sheet, cover, and let the buns rise for about 15 minutes. Brush with a beaten egg, and bake at 200°C for 8-10
Spanish baked stuffed squid
This is delicious traditional Spanish dish you cannot miss out during the festive season! If
you want to give it a special twist, add to it some ham, and it will become your favorite
500g squid
250g prawns, peeled and deveined
250g firm white fish fillets
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, quartered
125ml olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons dry white wine
1 slice white bread
4 slices lemon to garnish
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Clean squid, removing tentacles, spine and outer skin. Rinse well in cold water
and let drain on kitchen roll.
Coarsely chop prawns. Flake fish fillets and combine with prawns, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Blot squid with kitchen roll to remove any excess water. Use a small spoon to pack each squid with prawn
mixture, leaving 2.5cm unfilled at bottom. Secure open end with a toothpick and place in glass baking dish.
Repeat until filling is gone. Any extra squid, including the tentacles, can be cut into rings and scattered over the
stuffed squid.
Place tomato, onion, olive oil, the rest of the salt, paprika, wine and bread in a blender or food processor and
purée. Pour mixture over stuffed squid.
Cover dish with aluminium foil and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake for another 30
Serve warm, garnished with lemon wedges.
Melomakarona - Honey Cookies with Walnuts
This is a cookie recipe that produces moist cake-like cookies flavored
with orange and brandy that are bathed in a sweet honey syrup and
topped with chopped walnuts. You can find them in every house in
Greece at Christmas!!
For the cookies:
•1 cup olive oil
•1 cup vegetable oil
•3/4 cup sugar
•Zest of one orange
•3/4 cup orange juice
•1/4 cup brandy
•2 tsp. baking powder
•1 tsp. baking soda
•Pinch of salt
•7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•3/4 cup walnuts, ground coarsely
•Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
For the syrup:
•1 cup honey
•1 cup sugar
•1 1/2 cups water
•1 cinnamon stick
•3-4 whole cloves
•1-2-inch piece lemon rind
•1 tsp. lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, using your fingers, combine the
orange zest with the sugar – rubbing the grains to release the orange oils into the
sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat the oil with the orange sugar until well mixed. In
a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add
the orange juice and brandy to mixer and mix well. Slowly incorporate the flour cup
by cup until the mixture forms a dough. Once the flour is incorporated fully stop mixing. To roll cookies, pinch
a portion of dough off about the size of a walnut. Shape in your palms into a smooth oblong shape, almost like
a small egg. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Shape and roll cookies until the sheet is filled. Press the tines
of a large fork in a crosshatch pattern in the center of each cookie. This will flatten them slightly in the center.
The cookies should resemble lightly flattened ovals when they go in the oven.Bake in a preheated 350-degree
oven for 25 – 30 minutes until lightly browned. While the cookies are baking, prepare the syrup.In a saucepan,
combine the honey, sugar, water, cinnamon, cloves, and lemonrind. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the
heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the cinnamon, cloves, and lemon rind and
stir in lemon juice. When the cookies come out of the oven and while they are still very warm, carefully float
the cookies in the syrup and allow the cookies to absorb syrup on both sides. Using a fork or small spatula,
remove the cookie from thesyrup and place on a platter or plate. Press ground walnuts lightly into the tops of
the cookies and sprinkle lightly with ground cinnamon.Enjoy!!!