Orange Christmas Sponge, Apple Purée, Cranberries and Brandy Custard

Serves 4
For the Orange Sponge – makes 12 sponges

  • 60g Orange Puree
  • Zest of ½ Orange
  • 7 Eggs
  • 310g Caster Sugar
  • 310 g Ground Sunflower Seeds
  • 12g Baking Powder
  • 125g White Chocolate
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Paste

For the Apple Puree

  • 5 Granny Smith Apples – Cored and Quartered
  • 500g Apple Juice
  • Green Food Colouring


For the Brandy Custard

  • 200g Double Cream
  • 250g Whole Milk
  • 100g Egg Yolk
  • Small Pinch of Salt
  • 60g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Paste
  • 125g Double Cream – whipped to a stiff peak


For the Poached Cranberries

  • 150g Cranberry Juice
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Cranberries


For the Cranberry Pearls

  • 125g Cranberry Juice
  • 12.5g Veg Gel (Sosa)
  • Edible Glitter
  • 500g Vegetable Oil – Fridge Temperature


Whisk eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Combine the sunflower seeds and baking powder. Melt the White chocolate over a pan of water, take off the heat and add the orange and vanilla. Fold the egg mix into the chocolate in stages, then fold in the sunflower seed mix and the orange zest. Line small metal rings with greaseproof paper with a 3cm over-hang, grease the inside of the paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 150 deg cel, for around 12 minutes or until cook through (clean skewer or knife).

For the apple puree place the Granny Smith and apple juice in a sauce pan, cover, and place over a medium heat. When the apple is cooked remove the lid, and cook until most of the moisture has disappeared. Blend, and then add a little colouring, pass through fine sieve.

For the brandy custard whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt until ribbon stage. Bring the milk, double cream (200g) and vanilla to a simmer, pour half of the milk onto the yolk mix and mix thoroughly. Combine this mix with the remaining milk and mix thoroughly, and cook until 82 deg cel, stirring continuously and add brandy to taste. Chill to 25 deg cel, then add the whipped cream until combined.

For the poached cranberries bring the cranberry juice and sugar to the
boil, until sugar is dissolved, and then add the cranberries, turn the heat to very low and cook until cranberries are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool in the liquid.

For the cranberry pearls combine the cranberry juice, veg gel, and glitter in a small sauce pan. Mix thoroughly, then place on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and cool slightly, then place in a squeezy bottle, and drip into the cold oil. Then place back in the fridge for 15 minutes. Then drain through a sieve (reserve oil for next time) and rinse lightly with warm water. Drain on kitchen paper.


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