Christmas with all the trimmings with three delicious festive recipes from Donna Hay

Donna Hay makes Christmas cooking and entertaining so easy with her new book, Christmas Feasts and Treats. It’s full of easy, delicious, reliable and totally fabulous recipes to make, enjoy and give over the festive season.

Recipes from Christmas Feats and Treats by Donna Hay, out 14th November.

“While I admit I never stray too far from the classics at Christmas (call me nostalgic!), you’ll find plenty of modern styling ideas and time-saving tricks inside.”

Chewy caramels with salted peanuts

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (420g) salted peanuts
  • 1.1kg white (granulated) sugar
  • 1.125 litres single (pouring) cream
  • 1 cup (350g) golden syrup
  • 100g unsalted butter, chopped

Method

Line a 20cm x 30cm slice tin with non-stick baking paper. Sprinkle the base with half the peanuts and set aside.

Place the sugar, cream, golden syrup and butter in a large saucepan over high heat and stir with a metal spoon until the butter and sugar have melted. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 20–25 minutes or until the temperature reaches 122°C (251°F) on a sugar (candy) thermometer. Working quickly, pour the caramel into the tin and carefully sprinkle with the remaining 1½ cups (210g) of peanuts. Allow to cool completely at room temperature for 3–4 hours. Refrigerate for 25–30 minutes or until firm.

Turn the caramel out onto a board and, using a large sharp knife, cut into pieces+. Wrap each caramel in brown wax paper, twisting the ends to seal. Keep refrigerated and bring to room temperature to serve. Makes 50.

  • If the caramel becomes too soft to cut, simply return it to the refrigerator for 5 minutes.

Tip: Store caramels, wrapped in paper, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Prosecco brined turkey breast with brussels sprouts and speck

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (75g) rock salt
  • ¼ cup (45g) light brown sugar
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
  • 2 bunches thyme (about 12 sprigs)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1.25 litres water
  • 3 cups (750ml) prosecco
  • 2 x 1.5kg turkey breast fillets, skin on
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 350g speck or bacon, chopped
  • 500g Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 bunch thyme (about 6 sprigs), extra
  • lemon garlic butter
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind

Method

Place the salt, sugar, tarragon, thyme, lemon and 2 cups (500ml) of the water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 4 minutes, stirring to dissolve the salt. Allow to cool slightly. Pour the brining liquid into a large (5-litre-capacity) non-reactive container+. Add the prosecco and another 2 cups (500ml) of the water. Using your hands, carefully loosen the skin from the flesh of the turkey breasts. Lower the turkey, skin-side down, into the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours (but no longer).

To make the lemon garlic butter, place the butter, garlic and lemon rind in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Remove the turkey from the container, discarding the brine, and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Using your hands, spread the lemon garlic butter under the skin.

Place the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper. Add 1 turkey breast to the pan, skin-side down. Cook for 4 minutes each side or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining turkey. Return both turkey breasts to the pan, skin-side up. Add the remaining 1 cup (250ml) of water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove the turkey from the pan, loosely cover with aluminium foil and reserve the cooking liquid.

Wipe the pan out and return to medium heat. Add the speck and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until crispy. Remove and set aside. Increase the heat to high, add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until lightly charred. Add the extra thyme and reserved liquid and cook for 2 minutes.

Serve turkey with the sprouts and crispy speck. Serves 4–6.

  • Non-reactive materials include glass, plastic and stainless steel.

Chocolate christmas cake with quince glaze

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups (260g) pitted prunes
  • 1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of (baking) soda
  • 1 cup (250ml) boiling water
  • 1½ cups (240g) dried currants
  • ¾ cup (180ml) rum
  • 85g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (260g) light brown sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons finely grated orange rind
  • 6 eggs
  • 1½ cups (225g) self-raising (self-rising) flour, sifted
  • ⅓ cup (35g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 150g dark chocolate, melted

For the chocolate quince glaze

  • 300g store-bought quince jelly
  • 50g dark chocolate, finely chopped

Method

Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Grease a 2.75-litre bundt tin. Place the prunes, bicarbonate of soda and water in a medium bowl, mix to combine and allow to stand for 10−15 minutes. Using a hand-held stick blender, blend the mixture into a puree and set aside.

Place the currants and rum in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook, stirring, for 5–6 minutes or until plump. Set aside.

Place the butter, vanilla, sugar and orange rind in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 10−12 minutes or until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, allspice, chocolate and the fruit mixtures. Beat to combine.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Invert onto a wire rack and allow to cool in the tin for 10–15 minutes. Remove the tin and allow to cool completely.

To make the chocolate quince glaze, place the quince jelly in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk until melting. Add the chocolate and whisk to combine. Bring to the boil and cook, whisking, for 2–3 minutes or until thickened. Allow to cool at room temperature.

Place the cake on a cake stand or plate and pour the glaze over just before serving. Serves 12–14.

Recipes from Christmas Feasts and Treats by Donna Hay, out now.