Christmas pudding recipes created by chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (2024)

Christmas pudding recipes created by chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (1)

This fragrant cake has a great, light texture and will keep, covered, for at least a week. You'll find, though, that you'll go back to it every few hours for "just another sliver". A citrus zester is the best tool for getting long, even strips of orange skin to garnish the cake. Serves eight to 10.

200g unsalted butter
380g caster sugar
4 clementines, zest grated, and juiced
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
280g ground almonds
5 medium free-range eggs, beaten
100g plain flour, sifted
1/8 tsp salt
Orange zest, cut in strips, to garnish

For the chocolate icing (optional)

90g unsalted butter, diced
150g dark chocolate, broken up
½ tbsp honey
½ tbsp cognac

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3. Lightly grease a 24cm spring-form tin, and line the sides and base with baking parchment.

Put the butter, 300g of the sugar (the remaining 80g is for the syrup) and citrus zest in a mixer bowl, and use a paddle attachment to combine. Do not work the mix too much or incorporate much air. Add half the ground almonds and continue mixing to fold through. Add the eggs gradually, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you go. Add the remaining almonds, flour and salt, and work until the mix is smooth.

Spread the cake batter inside the tin and level with a palette knife. Bake for 50-60 minutes - a skewer should come out a little bit moist.

When the cake is almost cooked, in a small pan bring to a boil the remaining sugar and citrus juices (the juices should add up to about 120ml; don't use more), then remove from the heat at once. The moment the cake comes out of the oven, brush it all over with the hot syrup, making sure it all soaks through. Leave to cool down. Serve it as it is, garnished with orange strips, or store for up to three days in an airtight container.

To make the icing, put the butter, chocolate and honey in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until all is melted, remove from the heat and stir in the cognac. Pour the icing over the cool cake, allowing it to dribble naturally down the sides without covering the cake completely. Let the icing set, then garnish with strips of orange zest at the centre.

The flavour of freshly ground star anise is vital for this soul-warming dessert. The trouble is, it's very hard. An alternative to using a spice grinder would be the old pestle and mortar or a small food processor, followed by carefully sifting the powder and getting rid of any hard chunks. Serves eight to 10.

1kg dark plums
600g (net weight) rhubarb
1 vanilla pod
1½ tsp ground star anise
180g soft brown sugar
Juice of 1 orange
Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
200ml crème fraîche, for serving

For the topping

420g plain flour, sifted, plus extra to dust
1 tsp salt
70g caster sugar, plus extra to dust
1¼ tbsp baking powder
170g cold butter
300ml whipping cream
1 free-range egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Quarter the plums, discarding the stones, and put in a bowl. Trim off and discard the rhubarb leaves, cut the stalks into 3cm-long segments and add to the plums. Cut the vanilla pod along its centre, scrape out the seeds and add both seeds and pod to the fruit. Add the ground star anise, sugar and orange juice to the bowl, and mix together with your hands. Transfer the contents of the bowl to a medium-large, ovenproof dish, then push down with a fish slice, or similar, to create a more or less even surface.

Now make the topping. In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, and on low speed, mix the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Cut the butter into small dice, add to the dry ingredients and mix until the butter is dispersed and the mix resembles coarse, uneven breadcrumbs. Stop the machine, add the cream and work just until everything comes together.

Transfer the mix to a lightly floured surface and knead it a little, just until smooth. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry into a 1cm thick sheet. Use a round pastry cutter (or a star cutter for a festive effect) to stamp out discs.

Arrange the discs over the fruit. Lay them out neatly and close together, so they touch, or even slightly overlap. Gently brush the discs with a little bit of egg and top with a restrained scattering of caster sugar.

Bake for an hour; it could take a bit less or even longer, depending on the fruit. It's ready when the fruit is hot and bubbly, and the topping golden and cooked through. Serve warm, lightly dusted with icing sugar, if you like, and with a blob of crème fraîche on each portion.

Christmas pudding recipes created by chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (2)

Here's a Christmas yule log without the chocolate or the sponge. The dried rose petals look a bit like dried leaves and are deliciously crispy, but you can save yourself a job and garnish with fresh petals instead. Thanks to Helen Goh. Serves eight.

4 large egg whites
250g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp white-wine vinegar
1 tsp cornflour
400ml double cream
100ml sour cream
1 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra to dust
1½ tbsp rose water
200g jarred morello cherries, drained, pitted and wiped dry

For the rose petals

40 pesticide-free red rose petals
1 egg white
70g caster sugar

Start with the rose petals. Set the oven to very low, about 70C. Use one hand to dip the petals gently in the egg white, shake off any excess, then use your other hand to scatter them with sugar. You want them well covered and without lumps. Lay the petals on an oven tray lined with greaseproof paper and put in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until crisp, then remove. Some leaves will probably stick to the tray, so scrape them off gently as best you can. Don't worry if some tear - they will still be useful.

Turn up the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. Line the base and sides of a swiss roll tin (33cm x 24cm) with a sheet of greaseproof paper that comes about 1cm above the sides.

In a large, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until they begin to firm up. Add the caster sugar in a slow stream, whisking, until you get a firm, glossy meringue. Use a large, metal spoon to fold in a teaspoon of vanilla essence, the vinegar and cornflour. Spread inside the lined tin and level with a palette knife.

Pop into the oven and lower the heat to 160C/325F/gas mark 3. Bake for 30 minutes, until a crust forms and the meringue is cooked through (it will be soft, mind). Remove and leave to cool in the tin.

Tip the meringue out of the tin and on to a piece of greaseproof paper. Carefully peel off the paper from the base. Place the creams in a mixing bowl, along with a tablespoon of icing sugar, the rose water and another teaspoon of vanilla. Whisk until the cream just holds its shape. Spread most of the cream mix over the original bottom side of the meringue, leaving a thin border around the edge and reserving a few tablespoons. Scatter cherries all over the cream.

Use the paper to assist you in rolling up the meringue, along its long edge, into a perfect log shape. Carefully transfer to a serving dish. Use the reserved cream to create a rough, wavy strip along the top of the log, then chill for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, dust the log with icing sugar and scatter the dried rose petals over the strip of cream.

No apologies, this is totally over the top. Just close your eyes and savour the sumptuous richness. Serves six.

3 free-range eggs
100g caster sugar
300g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
125g unsalted butter
500ml whipping cream
Cocoa powder, to finish (optional)

For the Baileys cream

200g mascarpone cheese
75ml Baileys
30g caster sugar

Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until light and airy - the longer you whisk, the better, so give it at least eight to 10 minutes. (You could do it by hand, but that would be a big effort.)

While the eggs are whisking, put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir with a wooden spoon until they melt completely.

With the mixer running on medium speed, add the chocolate mix to the egg mix in a steady stream - it is important to combine the two gradually but continuously, with the chocolate going into the eggs and not the other way around.

Whisk the cream until it firms up just a little - it needs to reach a loose ribbon stage (when you lift the whisk, the cream dribbling off should create clear lines in the surface before disappearing). Gently fold the semi-whipped cream into the egg and chocolate mix, and pour into a serving bowl. Chill for at least an hour to set.

Make the Baileys cream in advance, or just before serving. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk. The cheese will go loose and runny, but it should firm up again. Stop when it reaches a very soft peak consistency.

Serve the mousse directly from the bowl with a huge dollop of Baileys cream on top. Dust with cocoa powder, if you like.


Not so much a pudding as a treat to be there in the cupboard, ready to be picked at throughout the festive period. Their chewy texture and deep almond aroma are immediate spirit-lifters. Makes 15-20 biscuits.

180g ground almonds
120g caster sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
½ tsp natural almond extract
1 pinch salt
2 egg whites
1 tbsp honey
100g flaked almonds
Icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/ gas mark 3. In a bowl, mix together the ground almonds, caster sugar, lemon zest, almond essence and salt. Rub everything together with your fingertips to disperse the zest and essence evenly.

Whip the egg whites and honey until firm peaks form. With a large, metal spoon, gently fold the meringue into the almond and sugar mix, to get a soft but malleable paste. With your hands, roll the paste into 20g rounds. Flatten them a little, roll in a plate of flaked almonds to cover, then roll in plenty of icing sugar. Put on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 14-18 minutes - they should turn a very light golden colour, but stay relatively pale and chewy in the centre. Leave to cool completely before storing in a sealed jar.


Christmas pudding recipes created by chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (3)

You could do a lot worse than have this little lot on your cheeseboard:

Caprini tartufo
A great luxurious, Italian goat's cheese from Piedmont.

Roquefort Carles
The Rolls-Royce of roquefort.

An Irish goat's cheese with a lovely light, creamy texture.

Comté D'Estive
Or any other superb, mature Comté.

And to drink...

White Mount Harrocks 'Cordon Cut' Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia, 2006
(from £14.99, Bennett's,; Philglass & Swiggot,; Reserve, Manchester,; Virgin Wines Online,; Wimbledon Wine Cellar,

Madeira Barbeito, Malvasia 10-year-old reserve
(from £25.50, Corks of Cotham, Bristol,; Reserve,; Worth Bros, Lichfield,; Lockett Bros, North Berwick,

Port Niepoort Colheita 1991
(from £18, Fortnum & Mason,; The Halifax Wine Co,; The Fareham Wine Cellar, Fareham,; Czerwik's, Brighouse,; Luvians, Cupar, Fife, 01334 654820)

Vin santo Selvapiana Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina, Italy, 2001
(from £24.50, Green & Blue,; Harrods,; Valvona & Crolla,; Swig,; Noel Young Wines,; Wimbledon Wine Cellar,

And to finish you off completely ...
Very rich hot chocolate

Serves eight to 10.

550g dark bitter chocolate, chopped into small pieces
500 whipping cream
1 litre whole milk
60ml dark rum

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a saucepan, boil the cream and milk, pour over the chocolate and stir to melt. Mix in the rum and serve.

Christmas pudding recipes created by chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (2024)


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