Cheesy Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin

This Brussel Sprout Gratin is cheesy, creamy, bubbling and golden. Shredded brussels are gently cooked in butter with finely cut leeks. An incredibly easy cheese sauce made from whole milk, cornflour, cheddar and cream cheese devours the vegetables. Plus this side dish is naturally gluten-free but oh so rich and delicious.

Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin in a cast iron pan on wooden board

This year I made the smart decision to combine two of our traditional Christmas side dishes into one and I am flabbergasted that I have never done it before.

Cheesy Leek Gratin is a staple for our Sunday lunches but the addition of shredded brussel sprouts is such a festive revelation that I can no longer envisage a Christmas without this side dish on our table.

There would be uproar if I were not to serve out both a cheesy gratin and brussel sprouts on Christmas Day. We do have a few brussel sprout hold outs in the family but combined with buttered leeks in this rich creamy cheese sauce this dish will definitely encourage a few converts.

brussel sprouts in a colander next to leeks

Why is Brussel Sprout Gratin such a brilliant side dish?

  • Leeks and brussel sprouts are a vegetable marriage to last the ages.
  • It’s a brussel sprout dish to convert the most adamant haters.
  • It only take 25 minutes and is completely foolproof. No lumpy sauces here.
  • Gluten-free.
  • The perfect side dish which is delicious enough to be the main event for the vegetarians at the table.
  • The cheese sauce is easy to make, rich with both mature cheddar cheese and cream cheese.
  • Full of flavour thanks to smart seasoning.
  • Honey dijon mustard. It adds incredible depth to the sauce.
  • That final grilling means crunchy golden breadcrumbs and bubbling cheese – a tempting sight to add to the table.
  • Easy to make-ahead or freeze.

Shredded brussel sprouts and leeks in a pan

What ingredients do you need for this Brussel Sprout Gratin?

  • Brussel Sprouts – wash, trim the stalk and peel off any grubby layers before shredding.
  • Leeks – wash, trim the ends and slice into thin coins to prepare.
  • Butter – use unsalted so you can control the salt content.
  • Whole Milk – using whole milk means the sauce is very creamy.
  • Cornflour – makes the sauce lovely thick and smooth.
  • Mature Cheddar Cheese – I love a sharp mature cheddar but you can sub for any melting cheese you fancy. Red leicester or gruyere are also lovely choices.
  • Cream Cheese – I always use Philadelphia. It adds lovely richness to the sauce
  • Honey Dijon Mustard – the sweetness of this mustard makes all the difference.

  • Seasoning – onion granules, garlic powder, salt and pepper add lovely depth
  • Breadcrumbs – I use Mrs Crimbles Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs which are lovely and crunchy plus free of xanthan gum.


Close up of Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin in a saucepan

How do you make Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin?

  1. Cook the shredded Brussels and leeks in butter on a gentle heat for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat whilst you prepare the sauce.Brussel sprouts and leeks cooking in a pan
  2. Whisk the cornflour with the milk in a saucepan, then turn on the heat and whisk until bubbling and thick.
  3. Add the cheddar, cream cheese, mustard and seasoning and stir until the sauce is thick and smooth.preparing cheese sauce in a saucepancheese sauce in a saucepan
  4. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and mix until thoroughly combined.Cheese sauce being poured over brussel sprouts and leeks
  5. Transfer the cheesy sprouts and leeks to an oven-to-table dish and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and extra cheese.Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin ready to go into the oven
  6. Grill until golden and bubbling.Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin in a cast iron pan on wooden board

Pro Tips

  • Peel off the outer layer of the Brussels and trim off the stalks to prepare.
  • Shred the brussels and leeks as thin as you can for beautiful ribbony vegetables.
  • You want the Brussels and leeks to be wilted in the butter but just turning golden at the edges.
  • Swap out mature cheddar cheese for red leicester for a beautiful festive colour.
  • If you can’t get hold of honey dijon mustard then regular dijon will do.

Recommended Equipment to make Cheesy Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin

  • Cheese Grater – I have a few Microplane graters but my favourite for grating cheddar is this course grater. It’s grates quickly and is so easy to wield.
  • Whisk – In a similar vein I have a lot of different whisks but my favourite for sauces in this Flexi Whisk which gets into all the nooks and crannies of the saucepan meaning you get no unnecessary lumps.
  • Oven-to-Table Pan – I wouldn’t necessarily  but for our weekly Sunday lunches you can bet I make and serve my gratins in my favourite cast iron pan. It’s large enough that the pan can accommodate one-pan meals and small enough that it can fit into most ovens. Plus it looks pretty good on the table as part of a homestyle meal.

Make Ahead – This dish is so easy to prepare in advance. I usually get it to the stage before the final grill. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Transfer the gratin to an oven-to-table dish and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and extra cheese.

However, at this point heat the dish in the oven instead of the grill to ensure the dish is piping hot. Cook at 180°C for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Freeze – You can freeze any leftovers no problem. However, you can also make the dish ahead of time as above. But instead of storing in the fridge you can freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost completely before cooking in the oven.

Close up of Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin in a saucepan

Variations of Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin

  • Add cooked and chopped streaky bacon into the gratin before the final grill.
  • Sub in some blue cheese into the sauce for a lovely complex dish.
  • Include shredded kale into the proceedings.

Try these recipes if you are looking for more delicious side dishes

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese
Carrot and Swede Mash
Braised Red Cabbage
Cream Baked Roast Potatoes
Duck Fat Roasted Parsnips
Chestnut and Sage Stuffing
Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings
Gluten-Free Gravy

If you make Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own leftover creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Cheesy Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin

Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin is cheesy, creamy, bubbling and golden. Shredded brussels are gently cooked in butter with finely cut leeks. An incredibly easy cheese sauce made from whole
milk, cornflour, cheddar and cream cheese devours the vegetables. Plus this side dish is naturally gluten-free but oh so rich and delicious.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 290kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 750 g brussel sprouts bottom stem removed then shredded
  • 2 leeks washed, topped and tailed and sliced into thin rounds
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • 150 g mature cheddar cheese + 50g extra to sprinkle
  • 150 g cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons honey dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion granules
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a large wide bottomed saucepan then add the shredded brussel sprouts and leeks with the salt.
  • Cook the brussel sprouts and leeks for 10-15 minutes on a gentle-medium heat stirring occasionally. The leaves should be wilted and just starting to turn golden at the edges.
  • Remove from heat and set aside whilst you prepare the cheese sauce.
  • Whisk together the milk and cornflour in a large saucepan until smooth. Then turn on the heat and bring up to a gentle boil, whisking all the time. As soon as the sauce begins to boil then the mixture will begin to thicken.
  • Add the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, onion granules, garlic powder and salt and stir in until the sauce is thick and smooth. Once the sauce just beings to bubble then remove from the heat.
  • Pour the sauce over the brussel sprouts and leeks and mix together until fully combined. Transfer to an oven-to-table dish and sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and extra cheddar cheese.
  • Place the dish under a grill on medium-heat for 5-10 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden and the cheese is bubbling.
  • Serve straightaway.

Notes

  • Serves 6-8 people as a side dish
  • Peel off the outer layer of the Brussels and trim off the stalks to prepare.
  • Shred the brussels and leeks as thin as you can for beautiful ribbony vegetables.
    You want the Brussels and leeks to be wilted in the butter but just turning golden at the edges.
  • Swap out mature cheddar cheese for any melting cheese you like. Festive coloured Red Leicester or nutty gruyere are lovely choices.
  • If you can’t get hold of honey dijon mustard then regular dijon will do.
  • Before the final grill transfer into an ovenware dish you would be proud to serve at your table.
  • Make ahead – prepare the dish up the final grilling stage. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days then transfer to an oven-to-table dish, sprinkle on the breadcrumbs and cheese. But do cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C to ensure the dish is piping hot.
  • Freeze – You can freeze the finished dish or the gratin up to the final grilling stage. Defrost completely then re-heat according to the advice above.

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 384mg | Potassium: 536mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1706IU | Vitamin C: 82mg | Calcium: 277mg | Iron: 2mg

Chestnut Brownies {gluten-free}

These Chestnut Brownies are dark, fudgy and deliciously nutty. An easy festive brownie which is topped with an incredibly light whipped chestnut ganache.

Chestnut Brownies on a wooden board

Think chestnuts roasting on an open fire then baked into irresistible brownies for a festive treat. There is something so warming and comforting about chestnuts and I love including them in my festive baking.

The creamy nutty flavour of the chestnut flour is chocolate’s soulmate. It gives the brownie such depth and their intense courtship is lightened up with the whipped chestnut ganache which you should skip at your peril.

Close up image of Chestnut Brownie on its side on a wooden board

What makes these Chestnut Brownies so darn good?

  • The only flour involved here is chestnut flour which lends a rich nutty vibe to the brownies.

  • A touch of melted dark chocolate but mainly cocoa give the perfect balance of fudginess without the brownie being too wet.
  • The Chestnut Ganache is exceedingly light providing a lovely contrast to the fudgy brownies.

How do you make Chestnut Brownies?

  1. Melt the dark chocolate and butter together.Process shot of Chestnut Brownies
  2. Sift the sugars with the chestnut flour, cocoa powder and salt.Dry ingredients in a bowl for chestnut brownies
  3. Mix the melted chocolate with the dry ingredients.process shot - mixing chestnut brownies
  4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.process shot - mixing chestnut brownies
  5. Pour into an 8 inch lined and greased square baking tin and bake for 30 minutes at 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
  6. Remove the brownie from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  7. Remove the brownie from the tin and line the tin with cling film. Place the brownie back on top .
  8. Make the ganache by heating the cream and sugar. Stir into finely chopped chocolate to melt.
  9. Pour into the blender with vanilla and chestnut puree and blend until smooth.Making Chestnut Ganache for Chestnut Brownies
  10. Pour over the brownie then set in the freezer for 15 minutes.Process shot of pouring ganache onto Chestnut Brownies
  11. Remove from the tin, cut into squares and enjoy!

Chestnut Brownies on a wooden board

Baker’s Tips

  • The sifting of the dry ingredients cannot be skipped. You don’t want the ingredients clumping and this ensures perfect mixing.
  • If you don’t have the time or inclination then you don’t need to make the ganache as the brownies are delicious without. But it is Christmas and in the taste test my 4 year old was clamouring for the ‘icing ones.’
  • The Chestnut Puree I buy is from Merchant Gourmet which you can usually get on offer in most supermarkets at this time of year.

  • You could add chopped chestnuts into the brownie batter for even more intense chestnut flavour and added texture.
  • You can use double or heavy cream in the ganache if you can’t find whipping cream. Whipping cream is a little lighter which is why I prefer it but any cream here will do the job.
  • Using the cling film means the ganache does not set to the side of the tin and the brownie can be lifted out easily.

Chestnut Brownies on a wooden board

What Else?

  • Storage – These brownies are best kept in the fridge due to fresh cream in the ganache. Do keep uncut if you are not the serving the brownies straight away.
  • Shelf Life – The brownies can keep up to 3 days in the fridge.

Do you want more brownie recipes? Then check out:

Almond Flour Brownies
Milk Chocolate Peanut Caramel Brownies
Choc Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Black Sesame Peanut Butter Brownies

If you make Chestnut Brownies then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own leftover creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Chestnut Brownies

These Chestnut Brownies are dark fudgy and  deliciously nutty. An easy festive brownie which is topped with an incredibly light whipped chestnut ganache.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 9 brownies
Calories: 638kcal

Ingredients

  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 150 g soft light brown sugar
  • 180 g chestnut flour
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chestnut Ganache

  • 150 g dark chocolate
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 200 g whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons soft light brown sugar
  • 150 g chestnut puree
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 and line and grease an 8 inch square cake tin.
  • Melt the dark chocolate with the butter in a bain marie or a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
  • Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and stir in the caster sugar, chestnut flour and cocoa powder.
  • Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract until completely combined.
  • Pour the brownie mixture into the pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and leave the brownies to cool in the tin.
  • Once the brownies are cool, remove from the tin.
  • Line the tin with a two sheets of cling film criss- crossed along the bottom and up the sides of the tin.
  • Place the uncut brownie back into the tin on top of the cling film. Then prepare the ganache.

Chestnut Ganache

  • Chop the dark chocolate into small pieces, put into a large bowl with the salt and set aside.
  • Pour the cream and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir through to make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Rest for 1 minute so as not to scorch the chocolate.
  • Pour the cream over the chocolate pieces and salt and stir together so the chocolate melts completely into the cream and turns thick and glossy.
  • Pour the chocolate cream, the chestnut puree and the vanilla into a blender and mix until the ganache is thick and completely smooth.
  • Pour the ganache on top of the brownie base in the tin, swirling lightly with a palette knife so the ganache is evenly spread.
  • Place in the freezer for 15 minutes for the ganache to set.
  • Remove from the freezer. Lift the brownie out of the tin using the cling film. Peel the cling film away from the bottom of the brownie and cut into even pieces.

Notes

  • I always use medium eggs in my recipes
  • I have used both 70% and 54% dark chocolate for these brownies and both work well so use whichever percentage dark chocolate you have to hand.
  • Always sieve brown sugar and cocoa powder – both have a tendency to clump.
  • You can use double or heavy cream in the ganache if you can't find whipping cream. Whipping cream is a little lighter which is why I prefer it but any cream here will do the job.
  • I use Merchant Gourmet's Chestnut Puree which is usually on offer in most supermarkets at this time of the year.
  • You do need to blend the ganache so that the chestnut puree is incorporated as smoothly as possible.
  • Keep these brownies in the fridge otherwise the ganache might spoil. They keep for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 638kcal | Carbohydrates: 74g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 242mg | Potassium: 444mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 840IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 5mg

Braised Red Cabbage

Braised Red Cabbage is a wonderfully sweet tangy and spiced side dish for your winter gathering. It tastes wonderful alongside a roast turkey but equally well with rib of beef, game or even a nut roast. Make it ahead of time and stash in the freezer as it re-heats brilliantly.

Braised Red Cabbage sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and star anise in a white dish on a wooden board

Everyone in our family has their own ideas over the one side dish that simply must be present on the festive table. My sister advocates for brussel sprouts, Luke clamours for cheesy leeks and I stamp my foot for mashed swede with caramelised onions. However, there is one thing that we can always agree on. Braised Red Cabbage. It’s a must on Christmas Day and in fact I try to cram it into as many meals as I can during this cold season.

Braised Red Cabbage sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and star anise in a white dish on a wooden board

Why is this Braised Red Cabbage so marvellous?

  • Apples, red onions, red wine, balsamic vinegar and spices give a delightful full bodied sweet and sour flavour.
  • Cabbage is cooked until just tender, rather than being over-softened in the braise.
  • It can accompany any roasted meat, nut roast or pumpkin dish.
  • Ready in just 45 minutes and is mostly hands off cooking.
  • Easy to make ahead and freeze. It actually tastes better that way.
  • Stunning colour – makes any table more festive.

Ingredients for Braised Red Cabbage

How do you make Braised Red Cabbage?

For more detailed instructions view the recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Melt butter in a large wide bottomed pan.
  2. Add shredded red cabbage and cook until well coated with the butter.
  3. Stir in the sliced red onions, grated apple, allspice, a whole star anise and seasoning. Process shot of making braised red cabbage in a large pan
  4. Place the lid on and cook on a gentle heat for 30 minutes.
  5. Stir in the red wine, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Process shot of making braised red cabbage in a large pan
  6. Place lid back on and cook for a final 15 minutes.
  7. Serve scattered with pomegranate seeds.

Pro Tips

  • You can substitute the balsamic vinegar for apple cider vinegar if you would like a sharper flavour.
  • Remember to remove the whole star anise before serving.
  • Braised Red Cabbage tastes amazing alongside your Glazed Christmas Ham.

Close up of Braised Red Cabbage sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and star anise in a white dish on a wooden board

Do you need to add the sugar?

The sugar balances out the sharpness of the vinegar. However, if you are avoiding refined sugar then you can substitute with honey or maple syrup. The end result won’t have the same sweetness and will take on the flavour of your substitution.

Can you make vegan Braised Red Cabbage?

Absolutely. The only ingredient you need to switch out is the initial butter. You can use vegan butter or olive oil.

Can you freeze Braised Red Cabbage?

Yes, in fact I heartily recommend it. Braised Red Cabbage tastes better if you make it ahead and it retains its rich flavour during the freeze. Just bring it out of the freezer the night before to defrost thoroughly before re-heating for 10-15 minutes in a lidded saucepan.

How long does Braised Red Cabbage keep for?

You can make it about 3 days in advance but store in the fridge. Re-heat before serving.

Braised Red Cabbage sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and star anise in a white dish on a wooden board

If you are looking for more accompaniments to your Roast/Christmas Dinner then why not try:

Sage and Chestnut Stuffing
Yorkshire Puddings
Cauliflower Cheese
Cream Baked Roast Potatoes
Duck Fat Roasted Parsnips with Thyme
Cranberry Clementine Sauce
Gluten-Free Gravy

If you make Braised Red Cabbage then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own leftover creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Braised Red Cabbage

Braised Red Cabbage is a wonderfully sweet tangy and spiced side dish for your winter gathering. It tastes wonderful alongside a roast turkey but equally well with rib of beef, game or even a nut roast.
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 163kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 small red cabbage about 700g, shredded thinly
  • 1 red onion halved and sliced thinly
  • 2 dessert apples grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 whole star anise
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 100 ml red wine
  • 100 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
  • 75 g pomegranate seeds

Instructions

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan then add the shredded red cabbage and coat thoroughly.
  • Add the red onion, apples, ground allspice, star anise and seasoning and mix it all together. Place a lid on and cook on a low heat for about 30 minutes or until the cabbage is soft.
  • Pour in the red wine, balsamic vinegar and sugar and stir together until completely combined. Place the lid back on and continue cooking for a further 15 minutes until the liquid has reduced by a third.
  • Serve scattered with pomegranate seeds.

Notes

  • ACCOMPANIMENTS - Braised Red Cabbage is equally excellent with Rib of Beef, Roast Turkey or even a Nut Roast.
  • VEGAN – Swap the butter for olive oil.
  • BALSAMIC VINEGAR – You can swap for apple cider vinegar to give a much sharper flavour.
  • SUGAR-FREE – Swap the brown sugar for honey or maple syrup. Or just leave it out – the end result will have a mellow tang rather than a more even balance of sweet/sour.
  • FREEZING - Make a couple of weeks ahead of time and stash in the freezer. Braised Red Cabbage defrosts and re-heats particularly well.

Nutrition

Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 240mg | Potassium: 509mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1652IU | Vitamin C: 85mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 2mg

Baking Essentials Gift Guide

Are you stuck what to get the baker in your life? Or are you putting together a little wish list of your own? Well this Baking Essentials Gift Guide is a little special as I have scoured the internet to find the best deals on all your baking essentials. Everything is priced under £10, meaning that these gifts are perfect for a Secret Santa or a stocking filler.

That’s not all, I’ve also thrown in a bonus gift guide if your passion is really in baking yummy layer cakes. Have a look below, you are sure to find exactly the gift you need.

A collage of images of baking essential for stocking fillers

  1. DENIM APRON
    When I was working on the cake stall I would always get comments on my denim apron. The good news is that I’ve found this denim apron at an amazing price. And it’s just as stylish.
  2. BALLOON WHISK
    An indispensable item in baking. I use a balloon whisk from everything to custards to beating eggs to whipping up double cream. You really can’t go wrong with this Oxo Good Grips Balloon Whisk.
  3. MUFFIN WRAP
    Do you want your muffins to look as good as the ones from the bakery? Then grab these gold patterned muffin wraps.
  4. SILICONE SPATULAS
    If you’re making caramel, chocolate, buttercream or scraping out bowls and jars then silicone spatulas are the only utensils that will get the job done properly. And these spatulas are great as they are crafted in one piece and come in a range of sizes.
  5. GOOD QUALITY EXTRACTS
    Nielsen-Massey make excellent extracts. Choose from Almond Extract or Vanilla Extract or even Lemon Extract.
  6. SILICONE PASTRY BRUSH
    Since I turned to silicone pastry brushes I’ve never looked back. They are dishwasher proof, clean up really well and last an age. I love this Zeal Silicone Pastry Brush in Mustard.
  7. DIGITAL SCALES
    I was taught to bake in weights rather than volume measurements and I really know no other way. It’s reliable, accurate and these excellent scales are under £10. For more reasons why you should make the switch take a look at my post on why you should weigh ingredients rather than measure with cups.
  8. OVEN GLOVES
    It’s important to have a lovely pair when you’re pulling your pies and cakes out of the oven and these do just the trick.
  9. COOKIE CUTTERS
    These cookie cutters are great because you can choose the fluted or plain edge to your cookies. Although the most common use for these cookie cutters in my kitchen are for the perfect shaped scones.
  10. PIE TIN
    This pie tin is brilliant because the perforations mean a perfectly baked pastry base. No soggy bottoms here.
  11. METAL MIXING BOWL
    Metal mixing bowls are the best choice. They are light, easy to clean and keep your ingredients cool as you are mixing them. Plus they don’t retain odour and can stack really easily. I have them in a variety of sizes.
  12. MAGNETIC MEASURING SPOONS
    There are no pesky metal rings keeping these measuring spoons together, they stick with magnets. So much easier to store, use and clean. Plus the double sided measures here mean you can measure both liquid and dry ingredients without a wash in between.

And now for that bonus Baking Essentials Gift Guide I promised you. The below guide is for the cake obsessed. You know, the friend who can’t stop bringing delicious layer cakes into work. The guide includes all the basics for making and decorating beautiful cakes, plus everything is under £10.

A collage of images of baking essential for stocking fillers

  1. CAKE LEVELLER
    A cake leveller is something you don’t know you need until you have one. It can even off the domed tops of your sponges creating a perfectly flat layer for decorating so you can avoid wonky cakes. It also can split a sponge in half, creating thinner layers for your sponges.
  2. OFFSET SPATULAS
    Absolutely essential when decorating your cake with buttercream. These offset spatulas allow you to create beautifully smooth or rustic swirls of icing around your cake. The range of sizes mean you can really achieve perfection.
  3. DECORATING TURNTABLE
    The ability to spin your cake around as you are decorating it is so useful when decorating your cake. This decorating turntable is basic but does just the job.
  4. ANODISED ALUMINIUM CAKE TIN
    The silver light metal of these Anodised Aluminium Cake Tins conducts heat evenly meaning your cakes are perfect every time. Your cakes will slip out of their tins no problem. However, you must always handwash. They come in all range of sizes but the 8 inch round x 4 inch deep ones are my go-to.
  5. CAKE BOARDS
    For the longest time we could only get foil cake boards in the UK which are great at not sticking to your cake but don’t always look exactly as you need them to. These white card boards are perfect for placing your cake on. They look innocuous and a little bit rustic.
  6. CAKE SMOOTHER/SCRAPER
    For achieving perfectly smooth buttercream edges then you need a cake smoother/scraper.
  7. BASIC PIPING TIPS
    This set is the really the only piping set you need. I usually stick to these four tips for creating stars, swirls, ruffles, buttercream flowers. They do everything you need them to.
  8. DISPOSABLE PIPING BAGS
    I like disposable piping bags and these ones are heavy duty, easier to use than cloth bags and fit all kinds of piping tips.
  9. RELEASE SPRAY
    Investing in release spray means you are not coating your cake tins with lumpy butter or too greasy oil. This spray gives a very light mist which doesn’t affect your cakes at all. Invaluable for bundt cakes.

The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry

I might be biased but this really is the best Leftover Turkey Curry you could hope to make. It’s totally creamy with coconut milk and double cream, punchy with spices, garlic, chilli and ginger and is gorgeously relaxing to make. A little bit of chopping, a stir here or there and you’re done.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice

The main reason that my mum advocates for having turkey every year for Christmas lunch is so we can have Leftover Turkey Curry for Boxing Day dinner. I’m more than happy to comply as not only is it absolutely delicious but it’s also my favourite meal of the year to make. The soothing job of lightly chopping and stirring is a perfectly relaxing Boxing Day task. The promise of Leftover Turkey Curry is the reason that we always get a turkey which is way bigger than we actually need.

This is a curry for a special occasion. Rich, creamy and delicious, after all we’re still celebrating Christmas. It’s a great meal for the whole family and you can amend the chilli heat depending on the age of your youngest contingent.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice

Why is this Leftover Turkey Curry the one you should make this year?

  • It’s so creamy. Using both coconut milk and double cream, this curry is rich and delicious.
  • Punchy spices, garlic, chilli and ginger give this curry a tasty kick.
  • Roast potatoes – do you add potatoes into your curry? No? Oh my gosh, you need to get on that!!
  • It feeds a crowd really well if you still have all your family staying.
  • You can make huge batches of this curry for storing in the freezer for cold January nights.

For another turkey curry option try this Turkey Peanut and Kale Curry.

How do you make Leftover Turkey Curry?

  1. Heat onions on a low heat for 15 minutes to gently caramelise.
  2. Add spices, garlic, fresh chilli, fresh ginger, tomatoes and chutney.Process shot of Leftover Turkey Curry
  3. Cook for 15 minutes or until pulpy.Process shot of Leftover Turkey Curry
  4. Add the turkey, coconut milk and double cream and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the roast potatoes and cook for a final 15 minutes before sprinkling with fresh coriander and serving.Process shot of Leftover Turkey Curry

Pro Tip

  • Peeling the tomatoes – this sounds fiddly but it’s really easy and if you don’t like bits of tomato skin getting stuck in your teeth then it’s worth the extra step.

tomatoes in a bowl of boiled water for peeling tomatoes waiting for their skins to be peeled peeled tomatoes on a wooden board

How do you peel tomatoes?

Cut a small cross at the base of each tomato and submerge in just boiled water for 5 minutes. The small cut naturally elongates in the heat and creates a split down the sides of the tomato peel. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon. Leave until cool enough to handle and the skins should peel off pretty easily.

More Pro Tips

  • Spices – Dry-fry the whole spices before crushing so they can release a delicious toasty flavour. To crush the spices you can use a pestle and mortar but I have had great use out of my spice grinder (often bought as a coffee mill) and really recommend them.

  • Chilli – I love to add the seeds in here as for the adults it give a delicate amount of heat. If you are serving to children you can omit the seeds which is where the real heat lies, or even the red chilli entirely. To be honest I usually just mix my toddler’s portion with extra yoghurt.
  • Chutney – It’s totally optional but I recommend adding a tablespoon of chutney to the curry. The sweet vinegary flavour really punches up the curry up a notch. You can use mango chutney but I usually use an open jar of the chutney we used on the Boxing Day cheeseboard. Usually this Boxing Day Ale Chutney.
  • Roast Potatoes – If you’re like us you will have tonnes of roasties left over from your Christmas lunch. You will find that adding them to this curry is the best culinary decision you made all year.

A saucepan of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry

Best way to serve Leftover Turkey Curry

Basmati Rice
Cucumber Raita
Naan Bread

How do you make dairy-free Turkey Curry?

Just replace the double cream with coconut cream or more coconut milk.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice

Vegan Option?

So obviously here you’ll leave out the turkey. Replace it with any pre-roasted vegetables you have to hand. Butternut squash, pumpkin, cauliflower or carrots would be so delicious here. Switch out the double cream for more coconut milk too.

Can you freeze Leftover Turkey Curry?

Absolutely. We make huge batches of this curry and freeze in portions for enjoying on wintery January nights. In fact this past summer I discovered a forgotten Tupperware of Leftover Turkey Curry in the freezer and was utterly delighted with my unseasonal treasure.

A bowl of The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry with naan bread, raita and rice

For more ideas on using up Christmas leftovers have a look at these recipes:

Bubble and Squeak
Bramley Apple Mincemeat Pudding
Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake

If you make The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own leftover creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

The Best Totally Creamy Leftover Turkey Curry

I might be biased but this really is the best Leftover Turkey Curry you could hope to make. It’s totally creamy with coconut milk and double cream, punchy with spices, garlic, chilli and ginger and is gorgeously relaxing to make. A little bit of chopping, a stir here or there and you’re done.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 522kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 large onion
  • 8 to matoes peeled and chopped *
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 red chilli diced with seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon chutney mango, ploughmans or ale chutney
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 400 g leftover turkey meat
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 200 g leftover roast potatoes halved (optional)
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large flat bottomed pan.
  • Add the diced onions and cook very gently for 15-20 minutes until transparent.
  • Dry fry the caraway, fennel, cumin and coriander seeds in a small pan over a low heat for about 45 seconds – 1 minute. Keep a close eye so they don’t burn. Then pound them in a pestle and mortar until finely crushed.
  • Add the crushed seeds along with the turmeric and garam masala into the onions. Also add the chilli, garlic and fresh ginger. Stir in for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, chutney (if using) and salt cook on a gentle simmer for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes and spices have reduced to a pulp.
  • Add the coconut milk, double cream and turkey meat. Stir together well. Turn up the heat to bring the curry to boil, then turn down to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the roast potatoes (if using) but do not stir in too heavily or the meat and potatoes will break up too much. Cook for a final 15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle over the fresh coriander just before serving.

Notes

  • Peeling the tomatoes is totally optional. I really dislike cooked tomato skin so it’s always an extra step I take but if you can’t be bothered then don’t worry. To peel the tomatoes cut a small cross at the base of each tomato and submerge in just boiled water for 5 minutes. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and the skins should peel back pretty easily.
  • You dry fry the spices because it releases a toasted flavour so it is worth the effort.
  • The red chilli adds a slight heat to the proceedings but if you would like your curry ultra mild then discard the seeds.
  • The chutney is optional but well worth it if you have an open jar lying around.
    If you want your curry dairy-free then substitute the double cream for coconut cream.
  • Instead of the roast potatoes, or alongside them you could also add any leftover vegetables. Squash, cauliflower, parsnips and carrots work the best.
  • Serve with basmati rice, cucumber raita and naan bread.

Nutrition

Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 935mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2265IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 5mg

Cranberry Cream Pie

overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie

Cranberry Cream Pie is tart and fruity with a buttery gluten-free biscuit crust, topped with whipped cream clouds.

overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie

I have to be honest that the main reason I made this Cranberry Cream Pie was because I wanted some colour. Our house has a tendency to be a bit brown. There is original stripped wood everywhere; floors, doors, skirting, shutters, my bakers rack and our dining table. And that is just our living area. It definitely has a cosy relaxed feel (and by relaxed I mean messy) but it does crave colour. I love this time of year when the bright red and plush burgundy tones really ramp up the warm snug vibe we’ve got going on. And sometimes I need that colour to not just be present in the cushions, candles or Christmas decorations but in our glorious Christmas feast.

side view of a slice of Cranberry Cream Pie

It helps that Cranberry Cream Pie is not only the most stunning deep magenta but is also utterly delicious. This pie has it all, the looks and the personality. Zingy, creamy and crunchy.

overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie

Cranberry Cream Pie has a thick biscuit crust, made from my favourite gluten-free oat biscuits and plenty of melted butter. The filling is so easy to pull together. just fruity fresh cranberries pureed and mixed with condensed milk, a spritz of lemon juice and egg yolks. It’s really just a wobbly cranberry custard. I used whipping cream to adorn this lovely pie as it’s a bit lighter than double cream and dissolves beautifully in your mouth. Of course use double cream or heavy cream if that’s all you can find. Whipping cream doesn’t see as prevalent as it once was.

I really like the idea of serving Cranberry Cream Pie on Christmas Eve this year alongside our Christmas Glazed Ham. The beautiful colours of the Christmas table lit by candlelight, with a vibrant taste to match, sounds incredibly appealing.

overhead view of Cranberry Cream Pie with slice taken out

If you make this Cranberry Cream Pie then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own kitchen creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

side view of a slice of Cranberry Cream Pie

Cranberry Cream Pie

Cranberry Cream Pie is tart and fruity with a buttery gluten-free biscuit crust, topped with whipped cream clouds.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 726kcal

Ingredients

  • 450 g cranberries + 3 tablespoons water
  • 500 g gluten-free oat biscuits*
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 tin condensed milk 397g
  • 400 ml whipping cream

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/ 150°C fan/gas mark 3.
  • Place the cranberries in a medium sized saucepan with the water and cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cranberries have broken down.
  • Blend the cranberries until they are smooth then set aside in the fridge to cool completely.
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan and leave to cool for a few minutes just so the butter is warm rather than hot which helps your biscuit base from becoming too greasy.
  • Whizz up the biscuits in a food processor then with the mixer still on pour in the melted butter until it combines with the biscuit to become a thick sandy texture.
  • Press the biscuit crust into a 23cm pie dish using the back of a spoon and push the base up the sides of the dish.
  • Bake the crust for 18 minutes then remove from the oven. Gently re-press and shape the biscuit crust which might have puffed up a bit and then leave to cool in the fridge to set whilst you make the filling.
  • Turn the oven down to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 1.
  • Mix the cranberries, lemon juice, egg yolks and condensed milk in a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour the cranberry filling into pie shell, smoothing out the top.
  • Bake the pie for 25 minutes, the cranberry filling should still be a little wobbly.
  • Leave to cool and set in the fridge overnight.
  • Whip the cream until thick and it can hold its shape then pipe over the top of the pie.
  • Serve chilled.

Notes

*my favourite oat biscuits to use at the moment are Nairn's Oats & Syrup Biscuit Breaks. They are too yummy!

Nutrition

Calories: 726kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 277mg | Sodium: 337mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 1470IU | Vitamin C: 7.3mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 1.9mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

I would be nowhere without my Magimix 4200XL Food Processor – Satin for making the crust for this recipe. I have easily had it over ten years and I use it nearly every day for whipping up dips, pestos, nut butters, nut and oat flour and making my breadcrumbs. The Magixmix is an impressive piece of kit which even survived being dropped when we moved into our house (although it did have to have the motor replaced but that wasn’t too expensive). I put all the attachments in the dishwasher and they come out brilliantly clean but it also gives just great results. I love my Magimix and along with my Kitchenaid is the piece of equipment I use most often in my kitchen.

I bought this immersion blender when I began weaning Beau a few months ago and haven’t looked back. My big blender isn’t always appropriate when blending a small amount of food. Also these cranberries blend to quite a thick paste and I could imagine most of the fruit getting lost beneath the blades. This immersion blender is perfect. You stick it directly in the saucepan and your cranberries are blended in moments. I also liked the fact that there was still a little bit of texture – the blend is not 100% smooth. I like this Russell Hobbs Food Collection Hand Blender 22241, 200 W – White as it’s extremely affordable and straightforward to use.

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