Vegetarian Christmas Menu
Starter: Roasted tomato soup (vegan)
Main: Mushroom Wellington (vegetarian/vegan)
Dessert: Orange Spice Cake (vegetarian)
Sides: Butternut gratin (vegetarian), roast potatoes and root vegetables, sweet potato and ginger mash (vegan)
Butternut Squash Gratin
(from Rachel Allen: Home Cooking)
1 large butternut squash (500g needed)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed, or finely grated
175ml double or regular cream
75g Parmesan or Gruyere cheese, finely grated
1 litre (1 3/4 pint) pie dish
1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
2. Using a sharp knife, peel the skin of the butternut squash. Remove all seeds, and cut into fine slices about 5mm (a quarter of an inch) thick.
3. Layer the slices of squash into the pie dish and season with salt and pepper.
4. Place the garlic and cream in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and then pour over the squash in the dish. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.
5. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to one hour, removing the foil after 30 minutes of cooking time. When cooked, the butternut squash should be soft and the top golden and bubbly.
Mary Berry's Orange Spice Cake
A fresh, spiced orange cake. If liked, you can ice the cake as well as fill it. Use just under half the orange filling to sandwich the cakes together and spread the rest on top
1 small thin-skinned orange
275g self-raising flour
3 level tsp baking powder
275g caster sugar
225g butter, softened
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
For the orange filling
50g butter, softened
175g icing sugar, sifted, plus a little extra for dusting
2 level tblsp orange pulp, reserved from the cake
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line two deep 20cm tins with greased greaseproof paper. Place the whole orange in a small saucepan, cover with boiling water and simmer until soft, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. When the orange is soft and cold, cut in half and remove any pips. Process the whole orange, including the skin, until medium chunky. Reserve 2 level tablespoons of the orange pulp for the icing, and leave the rest in the processor. Add the remaining cake ingredients and blend until smooth. Avoid overmixing. Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool in the tins for a few moments, then turn out, peel off the paper and finish cooling on a wire rack.
4. To make the orange filling, cream the soft butter, then add the sieved icing sugar and reserved orange pulp. Sandwich the cakes together with the icing, and sieve icing sugar over the top of the cake.
TIP - Thin-skinned oranges are usually smaller – avoid using Jaffa oranges as they have a very thick pith.
Best eaten fresh, but it will store in an airtight container for 2-3 days. You could also freeze the filled cake for up to 2 months. Thaw for 2-3 hours at room temperature.