Australian Christmas Desserts & Drinks

There have been many times throughout the years where we’ve been asked to bring a plate of ‘something’ to a Christmas lunch or dinner. Someone always brings the meat and vegetables but what about the most important part of any meal? The dessert!

We’ve surveyed the team and these are our top three recipes to wow any festive gathering. We’ve also added a special drink recipe for adults only!

PASSIONFRUIT PAVLOVA

INGREDIENTS

6x Egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups of caster sugar (330g)
2 tsp cornflour
300ml thickened cream
1 tbs icing sugar
1 tsp icing sugar mixture
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 kiwifruits
Half a pineapple
1 mango
2 passionfruits

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 100 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Draw a 20cm circle on the paper and turn over.

2. Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar in a bowl until firm peaks form.

3. Gradually add sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is thick and glossy. Add the cornflower. Stir until combined. 

4. Spoon the mixture onto the lined tray. Use a spatula to shape into a disc. 

5. Bake for 1 ½ hours or until pavlova is dry to the touch. Turn oven off. Leave the pavlova in the oven to cool with the door ajar.

6. Wisk the cream, icing sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer. 

7. Place the pavlova on a plate, top with cream mixture, and cut fruits into shapes and drape the passion fruit over the top.

AUSTRALIAN ANIMALS

INGREDIENTS

250g butter, chopped
140g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
80ml (1/3 cup) golden syrup
80ml (1/3 cup) honey
2 eggs
750g (5 cups) plain flower
2 tbs ground ginger
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tbs cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp bicarb soda

METHOD

1. Combine the butter, sugar, syrup and honey in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. 

2. Set aside for 30 minutes or until cool. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cocoa, bicarb and cardamom in a large bowl.

4. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the butter mixture and mix well to combine (the dough will be very soft). Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. 

5. Flatten slightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Transfer to a tray or plate and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until firm.

6. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough on a large sheet of baking paper until 5mm thick. Slide the paper with the dough onto a baking tray. 

7. Use a knife or cookie cutters to design animal shapes from the dough, allowing 2cm between each piece. Place the tray in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill.

8. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Remove the excess dough from between the gingerbread pieces and reserve.

9. Bake the pieces for 10-12 minutes or until golden and firm to touch. Set aside to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

10. Decorate animals with royal icing as desired.

WEIS BAR CHEESECAKE

INGREDIENTS

200g Arnott's Butternut Snap Cookies
35g (1/2 cup) shredded, coconut
100g butter, melted, cooled
4 medium mangoes
2x 80g Weis Mango and Ice Cream bars
4 1/2 tsp gelatin powder
250g cream cheese, chopped, at room temperature
125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream (or coconut cream)
70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

1. Process cookies and coconut in a food processor until cookies are coarsely crushed.

2. Add butter and process to combine. Use the back of a spoon to firmly press the mixture into a base and sides of a 12 x 34cm loose-bottomed fluted tart tin. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes or until firm. Wipe the food processor clean. 

3. Meanwhile, cut cheeks from mangoes and remove skin. Cut Weis bars to separate the ice-cream half from the mango half. Transfer fresh mango and Weis bars half to the bowl of the food processor (reserve ice-cream in a bowl in the fridge until needed). 

4. Process mango mixture until smooth. Measure out 375ml (1 1/2 cups) mixture and return to processor. Reserve any remaining mixture for another use.

5. To divide the tart base in half, fold a 32cm length of foil in half lengthways. Fold lengthways again, smoothing flat. Fold in half one more time to make a crease line and open to make an V-shaped piece of foil. 

6. Place the foil down the length of the tart tin<br>with one side sitting flat on base of tin and other edge upright to create a wall. Place a ruler upright in the crease of the foil to support the foil wall. 

7. Scrunch up extra pieces of foil to wedge between ruler and side of tin, to hold the flattened foil and ruler in place (it will stabilise once the filling goes in).

8. Place 60ml (1/4 cup) water into a small wide bowl and sprinkle the gelatine over. Set aside for 2 minutes to absorb and soften. Microwave gelatine mixture on High for 20 seconds, then whisk with a fork to dissolve. Set aside to cool slightly before adding to mango mixture. Process to combine.

9. Transfer to a jug. With the tart tin sitting on a shelf<br>in the fridge, pour the mango mixture into the tart shell, on the side without foil. Store in fridge for 1 hour or until set.

10. Use electric beaters to beat the cream cheese, cream, reserved ice-cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Dissolve gelatin in 1 1/4 tbs water as above. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.

11. Take tart shell from the fridge and carefully remove foil and ruler. Spoon the cheesecake mixture into the empty half and use the back of a spoon to gently spread, smoothing the surface. Return to the fridge for 1 hour or until set. Remove from fridge and stand at room temperature for 5 minutes to soften crust slightly. Cut into slices. 

WATERMELON, GINGER AND MINT PUNCH

INGREDIENTS

2kgs seedless watermelon, halved, rind removed
70g (1/3) cup caster sugar
125ml (1/2) cup fresh lemon juice 
750ml (3 cups) chilled ginger ale
375ml (1 1/2 cups) chilled vodka 
750ml (3 cups) chilled sparkling wine 
1 bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked 

METHOD

1. Cut half of the watermelon into small cubes and place on a tray and place in the freezer for 1 hour or until frozen. 

2. With the other parts of the watermelon blend in a blender until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine sieve into a jug. 

3. Stir in sugar, lemon, ginger ale, vodka and wine until combined. Stir in the mint and frozen watermelon pieces.