Christmas recipes from Dubai chefs

Festive dinner recipes with new takes on traditional ingredients Discuss this article

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It’s almost here! For those not heading out to brunch or ordering takeaway turkey on December 25, we’ve scouted out some unusual alternatives to the traditional Christmas Day dinner. There’s still time to prepare a special meal, but if you’re lacking inspiration, or can’t bear any more ‘roasts with all the trimmings’, we’ve asked chefs at Dubai’s top restaurants to come up with creative alternatives using classic seasonal ingredients such as duck, cranberry and ginger. Happy cooking, happy eating and happy Christmas!

Gaucho’s white chocolate and gingerbread cheesecake

Ginger is a popular seasonal ingredient often seen in Christmas recipes, while the luxurious associations of chocolate mean it often appears in desserts at this time. This cheesecake is an unusual way of using these ingredients.
Gaucho, DIFC (04 422 7898).

Ingredients
110g white chocolate
675g Philadelphia cheese
150g caster sugar
4 tbsp corn flour
3 eggs
125ml cream
A dash of vanilla essence
250g ginger biscuits
50g hazelnuts
80g butter

Method

1 To prepare the base, roast the hazelnuts in the oven at 180°C for five minutes. Allow to cool.

2 Wrap the biscuits in a clean tea towel and break them up with a rolling pin until they have a powder-like consistency. Repeat the process for the hazelnuts.

3 Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the biscuit crumbs and hazelnuts. Mix thoroughly, place in the bottom of a medium-sized cake tin and press down the mixture firmly. Place in the fridge to cool.

4 For the filling, gently melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.

5 Combine the cheese and sugar, then add the melted chocolate.

6 Whisk in the flour and mix evenly.

7 Beat in the eggs one at a time to ensure there is a little air added to the mixture. Add the cream and vanilla and mix evenly. Pour the mixture over the biscuit base.

8 Pre-heat the oven to 150°C. Place the cake tin into a deep tray filled with water, ensuring the water comes about halfway up the sides of the cake tin. This will ensure the cheesecake cooks evenly. Place in the oven uncovered and cook for 30 minutes.

By Penelope Walsh
Time Out Dubai,

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