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Foodies’ Festive Favourites

We love to get extra creative at Christmas, making fanciful desserts and sweet treats for all, and making sure they’re perfectly worthy for the ‘gram! We’ve come together with three of our favourite influencers this festive season, to deliver you four delicious, gourmet desserts that’ll put the wow-factor in your Christmas plans!

Melt in the Middle
Gold Chocolate Fondants

By Firdaus Takolia @PrismBakes

‘Who doesn’t love a melt-in-the-middle chocolate fondant pudding? These remind me of my childhood, indulging at an early age set me up for a sweet tooth for life! These chocolate fondants are a little bit of luxury, perfect for a quarantine date night in. I know many of us are limited to our outings at the moment. In these testing times, it’s still nice to be able to make our evenings feel special with our loved ones at home. This recipe is simple yet dazzles and delights with its molten gold centre. It is easy to prepare ahead of time and bake or reheat when ready to serve.

Serves 4

Gold Chocolate Ganache Truffles

Make these ahead of time…

Ingredients

Method
  1. Place the cream in a small saucepan, heat until it just begins to boil
  2. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and you have a thick glossy texture
  3. Refrigerate to allow it to set for at least 2 hours or overnight
  4. Make the truffles for the fondant filling by taking 2 teaspoons of the ganache mixture and rolling into a ball in your hands

Chocolate Fondants

Ingredients

 

To decorate

 

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C
  2. Grease 4 deep ramekins/dariole moulds with butter, and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess
  3. Place a pan of water on the hob and bring to a gentle simmer. Combine the milk chocolate, dark chocolate and butter in a bowl and place on the pan of water, ensuring the base of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Allow it to melt together, stirring occasionally
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until thickened and pale in colour
  5. Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture, whisk until combined
  6. Sieve in the flour, and fold in gently using a spatula
  7. Pour the mixture in the prepared dishes, just to halfway
  8. Place a gold chocolate ganache truffle in the centre of each fondant. Top up with the rest of the chocolate mixture to cover
  9. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes and leave it to rest for 1 minute
  10. To serve, demould into serving bowls, pour over warm chocolate sauce, sprinkle over a few Crispearls, and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Top Tips

  • These desserts can be made ahead of time! You can either bake, demould and store in the fridge, and microwave for 60 seconds to serve. Or alternatively prepare the mixtures in the moulds, and store in the fridge until ready to bake!
  • Play around with flavours… try a delicious pistachio ganache filling by simply adding 1 tsp pistachio paste to your boiling cream before poring over white chocolate. Or add the zest of 1 orange to the fondant mixture to make this a chocolate orange treat!

Ginger Caramel Tiramisu

By Firdaus Takolia
@PrismBakes

“This is a twist on the classic Italian tiramisu, using ginger biscuits and creamy dulce de leche. A rich and decadent dessert that can be made ahead of time and is perfect for the festive season. Feel free to use decaf coffee if you’re as sensitive as I am to caffeine and want to enjoy this for dessert in the evening! For indulgent desserts like this, only the best ingredients will do. LemonVanilla has a great range of high-quality baking ingredients for home bakers everywhere. I’m using a few of their gems that work a treat for this dessert.”

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 120ml strong coffee (3 shots espresso OR 3 tsp coffee stirred into hot water)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 packet ginger nut biscuits
  • 80g dulce de leche 

To decorate

Method

  • Begin by separating the eggs into two large bowls
  • Into the egg yolks, add the caster sugar and whisk for 3-4 minutes, until pale and thickened
  • Add the mascarpone, whisk in to combine
  • Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks, then take half of this and fold gently into the mascarpone mixture until it is just incorporated, before folding in the remaining egg whites, forming your tiramisu mixture
  • Prepare your espresso and pour into a wide dish. Leave it aside to cool slightly, and then add in the vanilla extract
  • In a medium baking dish, spread a thin layer of the tiramisu mixture over the base
  • Begin dipping each ginger biscuit into the coffee; immerse for a few seconds and then place on the dish base. Continue to do this to create an entire biscuit layer
  • Drizzle half of the dulce de leche over the biscuits
  • Pour over half of the tiramisu mixture and spread out evenly
  • Repeat the ginger biscuit and coffee stage to create another layer
  • Drizzle over the remaining dulce de leche
  • Pipe on the remaining tiramisu mixture (or simply spread over)
  • Finish with a dusting of cocoa powder and a sprinkling of chocolate curls

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving

Paris-Brest Dessert

Makes 4
Ingredients

Choux Pastry (pâte à choux):

  • 112g strong white bread flour
  • 80ml water
  • 60ml milk
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 55g butter (unsalted or salted) cut into small cubes
  • 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 medium egg, for the egg wash

Hazelnut Praliné Chantilly:

Chocolate Decoration:

Method:
• Preheat the oven to 220°C / 200°C Fan / 425°F / Gas Mark 7. Line two large baking trays with parchment paper and draw 4 circles that are 10cm in diameter on the underside of the paper

 

To make the choux pastry:

  1. Sift the flour onto a sheet of parchment paper. Now place the water, milk, pinch of sugar and salt and the cubed butter in a medium sized pan and slowly bring up to the boil and heat until the butter has melted
  2. When the mixture is bubbling remove from the heat and add the flour in one go and beat vigorously until a dough forms and leaves the sides of the pan clean
  3. Return the choux pastry to the heat and continue cooking it on a low heat for a further 5 minutes
  4. Leave the dough to cool slightly before adding the beaten egg in a bit at a time. Beat the choux pastry well after each addition of egg and continue mixing until you have a smooth and glossy textured mixture – you can save a bit of elbow grease and use an electric hand whisk to do the job for you!
  5. Fit a piping bag with a large star tip nozzle or if you don’t have any piping nozzles then you can just snip the corner off the bag. Fill the piping bag with the choux pastry and pipe 4 thick rings in one motion onto the baking trays using the circles you drew earlier as a guide
  6. Lightly brush the tops of the choux with the extra beaten egg and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, now reduce the oven temperature to 200°C / 180°C Fan / 400°F / Gas Mark 6. Continue baking the choux pastry for a further 10 minutes until the choux is risen and lightly golden
  7. Leave the choux to cool on a wire rack completely until it’s at room temperature

To make the hazelnut praline cream:

  1. Place the double cream and hazelnut praline paste in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until soft peaks have formed, taste and see if you want more sweetness and add icing sugar to taste – personally when I tested this recipe, I found it sweet enough, but again you can adjust this to your personal taste. Place the whipped cream in a piping bag that’s been fitted with a large star tip nozzle.
  2. Using a serrated knife slice across the choux horizontally cutting right through the centre. Take the bottom half of choux and pipe a generous amount of the hazelnut praline cream around the ring. Top the piped cream with a drizzle of extra hazelnut praline paste

For the chocolate decoration:

  1. Gently melt the chocolate in a bowl either over a pan of gently simmering water (bain-marie) or in the microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between until completely melted
  2. Place the melted chocolate in a piping bag and snip a small piece off the end of the piping bag (it will need to be big enough to allow the chocolate to flow out of the piping bag but not too big that it pours out uncontrollably.)
  3. Sit the top halves of the choux on a wire rack that’s sat upon a tray or plate – this helps with the cleaning up later on!
  4. Drizzle the chocolate over the top halves of the choux and top with white chocolate curls
  5. Allow the chocolate to set slightly and then place the top piece choux onto the filled bottom half of the choux. Serve immediately and enjoy!

White Chocolate and Fudge Brownie Yule Log

“This one is definitely for the chocolate lovers! If you haven’t attempted a yule log before, give it a go! This was my first attempt too! The Callebaut Chocolate, Colac White Chocolate Sauce and Chocolate Fudge Brownie pieces make this so original and you can really taste the high-quality ingredients!”

You will need:

  • Large baking tray with 2cm height
  • Metal spoon
  • 2 large bowls
  • 1 medium bowl
  • A handheld or stand mixer
  • A large rectangular cake board (or you can make one from cardboard, tin foil and Sellotape)
  • Baking parchment
  • A spatula or two!
  • A large piping bag and star nozzle (optional)

Ingredients:

For the Sponge:

For the White Chocolate Buttercream:

For the Fillings:

For the Milk Chocolate Buttercream and Extra Decoration:

Method:

Making the sponge:

  • Preheat the oven to 195°C or 175°C (for a fan assisted oven)
  • Line your baking tin. Grease the tin with a small amount of butter or Stork and stick down a large piece of baking parchment, ensuring most of the sides are covered with paper
  • Separate the eggs into two large bowls, one with the whites and one with the yolks
  • Whisk the egg whites with a handheld whisk or stand mixer until they are firm, thick and pale
  • Add the caster sugar to the egg yolks and mix with the handheld whisk, it’s fine if there are still egg whites on the beaters. The mixture will thicken and will be paler in colour
  • Sieve the cocoa powder and the plain flour into the egg yolk mixture and mix by hand using the spatula, ensuring you scrape around the bowl
  • Using a metal spoon, add a small amount of the egg white into the yolk mixture. The metal spoon will prevent the air from being knocked out. Cut and fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture lightly and carefully
  • When mostly combined, add the rest of the egg white into the yolk mix, again cutting and folding gently to prevent knocking the air out
  • Pour the mixture into the lined baking tin, gently spread the mixture evenly across the tin and bake in the preheated oven for 11-12 minutes
  • While the sponge is baking, cut a piece of greaseproof paper larger than the size of the tin. Sprinkle caster sugar over the piece of paper and leave it out on the side ready to be used
  • When the sponge is ready, remove it from the oven and using a dry tea towel, position the long side of the tray next to the long side of the greaseproof paper and quickly flip downwards so the top of the sponge is now on the sugar sprinkled greaseproof paper. Carefully remove the piece of greaseproof paper from the top of the sponge (the piece that went in the oven). Be careful as it will be hot!
  • Now the sponge is ready to roll, this needs to be done straight away while it is still hot! Use the piece of greaseproof paper that is underneath the sponge to carefully roll the sponge up with the greaseproof inside. This will act as a barrier to make it easier to unroll later. Try not to roll the sponge too tightly
  • Leave the sponge and paper rolled up to cool

 

Making the White Chocolate Buttercream:

  • Melt the 200g of Callebaut White Chocolate Chips in a medium bowl in the microwave on medium power at bursts of 20 seconds. Stir between each with a spatula. When melted, leave to cool for 10 minutes
  • Add the 125g of unsalted butter to a large bowl and beat until creamy
  • Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and beat again

Add the cooled white chocolate to the buttercream and beat until just combined

Filling the Yule Log:

  • You will now need your cake board (if you can’t find one suitable you can wrap a piece of cardboard in tin foil and tape the bottom!), your rolled-up sponge and paper, the white chocolate buttercream, Chocolate Brownie Pieces and Colac White Chocolate Sauce.
  • Carefully unroll your yule log sponge, don’t press it down to make it flatter!
  • Spread the buttercream over the cake evenly, you can use a spoon or a palette knife If you find there’s too much buttercream for your liking, leave a bit off
  • Drizzle the white chocolate sauce over the buttercream. You can do this however you’d like; I did mine in thin lines across the whole cake. Be careful not to add too much as it may end up seeping out later!
  • Sprinkle the brownie pieces over the white chocolate buttercream and sauce. Try to make sure all sections of the sponge have a similar amount and avoid adding them too close to the edges of the sponge as it will make it difficult to roll
  • Please read the next step before beginning! Tightly roll the sponge up, beginning at the section you unravelled last, applying the same amount of pressure with both hands. Don’t press down too hard as the filling will begin to seep out. Keep rolling the sponge and leave it seam side down on the baking parchment
  • This now needs to be transferred onto the cake board. I did this by shifting the parchment over the board and gently manoeuvred the sponge onto the board. If you’re worried about doing this, you could instead roll the cake up straight onto the cake board
  • Put the cake in the fridge to firm up before decorating

 

Decorating the Yule Log:

  • Melt the 250g of Callebaut Milk Chocolate Chips in a microwavable bowl on 20 second bursts until just melted. Leave to cool for 10 minutes
  • Add 150g of unsalted butter to a large bowl and whisk as much as you can until creamy and lighter in colour
  • Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl and mix again on a slow speed until fluffy
  • Add the cooled milk chocolate and whisk again until just incorporated, then scrape around the bowl with a spatula to ensure all is combined
  • Prepare a large piping bag with a 1m star nozzle and transfer the buttercream into the piping bag, push down to remove air bubbles, then twist the top of the bag to create a seal
  • Remove the yule log from the fridge, cut a small amount from each end to ensure the sides are flat. Clean up the cake board if necessary
  • Pipe stripes of buttercream down the straight part of the yule log, applying pressure to the bag but ensuring that you don’t pipe too much out
  • Pipe a swirl on each end of the yule log
  • If you wish, use a fork to scrape down the long section of the yule log to add a wood texture, be careful not to scratch too deep into the sponge!
  • Place the yule log back in the fridge to allow the buttercream to set

 

Finishing touches:

Now that your yule log is complete, you can add a few final touches!

  • Dust a bit of icing sugar over the yule log using a sieve. You only need a tiny amount and it will transform it!
  • Decorate with any sprinkles, or Callebaut Milk Chocolate Curls!  

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