Countdown to Christmas - The Fabulous Baker Brothers' Christmas cracker
The brothers whip up this delicious festive offering, that will impress even the meat-eaters round the table.
Recipe - Makes: 4
For the crackers
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 sprig of thyme, chopped
100g peeled cooked chestnuts, crumbled into small chunks
500g wild mushroom or mixed field mushrooms, sliced
50ml marsala wine (optional)
100g bag baby spinach
1 tsp Waitrose Truffle Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)
Juice of ½ lemon
200g log goats cheese, diced
1 medium egg, beaten
16 sheets (2½ x packs) Jus-Rol Filo Pastry
8 tbsp semolina
For the sauce
60g shallots, thinly sliced
75ml white wine
250ml double cream
50g Dijon mustard
50g wholegrain mustard
½ x 20g pack tarragon, finely chopped
1. First make the filling. In a large pan, melt half the butter and sweat the garlic with most of the thyme. Add the chesnuts to the pan. As the butter foams, the chestnuts will start to caramelise.
2. Add the mushrooms and turn the heat up to give them some good colour. When the mushrooms have softened, add the masala and reduce by half. Add the spinach and sweat down. By now you should have a thick buttery mushroom filling. Remove from the heat, season, add the truffle oil (optional) and a squeeze of lemon juice to freshen. Finally, add the goat’s cheese and set aside to chill.
3. Heat your oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. For each cracker, lay 4 filo pastry sheets out. Melt the remaining butter and brush the top of each sheet, layering the 4 pastry sheets one on top of the other. After brushing the final top pastry sheet with butter, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of semolina to ensure the cracker filling doesn't soak through creating soggy pastry. Trim the ends of the pastry as necessary to fit the length of your baking tray
4. In the middle of each rectangle, place a quarter, or a fat sausage-sized, portion of the chilled filling. Roll the pastry up lengthways and squeeze the ends to form a Christmas cracker. Place on a large baking tray, brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle on the remaining thyme. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
5. Whilst the strudel is baking, make the mustard sauce. In a saucepan, sweat the shallot in butter. After 2-3 minutes, add the white wine and reduce quickly by half. Pour in the cream and mustards, then bring to the boil. Stir constantly until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of warm custard. Remove from the heat and season. Stir in the chopped tarragon and serve with the Christmas crackers.
Typical values per serving: