by Diane Cosgrove
There is no escaping it, Christmas is undoubtedly the most stressful time for anyone connected with the hospitality industry.
So how do you meet the requirements of your diners in an ever-competitive market without putting your staff under too much pressure?
Traditional with a twist
The trend for nostalgia continues into the Christmas season with a festive twist.
Traditional flavours are used in new ways and new flavours for established menu items.
Starters are nodding to the meat-free trend, with lots of roasted vegetables in soups and tarts.
You may find that prawn cocktail returns to your menu, with a hint of on trend prosecco in the marie rose.
It’s turkey all the way as usual for the main course.
However, the pigs in blankets are more adventurous this year, and are balanced in pyramids, cheerleader style or stretched to a foot long sausage.
But it’s the dessert course where the flavours are making the biggest change.
Alcohol is out of the bottle and onto the plate, giving a celebration meal a bit of wicked glamour with prosecco flavoured puddings proving to be a key early trend.
Flavours new and old
Gingerbread, salted caramel and clementine are this year’s flavours, all of which can be complementary to the perennial favourite chocolate.
Even Black Forest gateau has been coaxed out of retirement as part of the continuing nostalgia trend.
Panna cotta and crème brulee are two desserts that easily work with flavours like prosecco and gingerbread, making them a great option.
Chocolate bomb desserts, with covers that melt to reveal a brownie or mousse are showstoppers, but they require warm chocolate or praline sauce to pour over at the table.
A ready-to-use sauce can be a boon for the kitchen when a table of 15 or 20 needs served at the same time.
Christmas pudding is still an obligatory menu item, doused in a healthy dose of brandy sauce which is firmly on trend for this year.
Taking the strain
With more than one sitting each day, Christmas is a season of long hours in hot kitchens.
And it’s not just the water that can reach boiling point.
So what can be done to take some of the heat out of the Christmas kitchen?
Here’s a few suggestions for using our products to simplify your Christmas dessert preparation using on trend flavours.
Christmas pudding crème brulee
Heat 1 litre of Macphie Creme Brulee (vegetarian and gluten free) with chopped Christmas pudding. Chill and sprinkle with demerara sugar and allspice before glazing under grill. Makes 12 portions.
Glitzy prosecco and white chocolate crème brulee
Heat 1 litre of Macphie Creme Brulee (vegetarian and gluten free), with prosecco and white chocolate. Layer bottom of brulee dish with raspberries and pour the creme brulee on top. Chill and sprinkle with demerara sugar and glaze under grill. Makes 12 portions.
Ginger beer panna cotta crumble
Heat 1 litre of Macphie Panna Cotta (vegetarian and gluten free), ginger beer and ground ginger together. Chill and turn out when ready. Sprinkle over ground ginger biscuits or cake when ready to go out. Makes 10 portions.
Chocolate & salted caramel Oreo pot
Pour Macphie OTT Salted Caramel (vegetarian and gluten free) into the bottom of a glass. Heat 1 litre of Macphie Chocolate Dessert (vegan, vegetarian and gluten free) and put in glass. Sprinkle 200g crushed Oreo cookies over the top. Makes 10 portions.
- For more Christmas inspiration, visit our recipe pages.