There are lighter alternatives to rich Christmas puddings, still festive but fresher, with a delicate touch. Try the following recipes sprinkled with silver cachous or gold leaf for an opulent accent.
250g plain flour
120g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
200g butter, chopped
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Title:For the filling
3 tsp amaretto (or other liqueur)
25g soft butter
90g icing sugar
250g dark chocolate, melted
Gold leaf, optional
Fresh cherries, to serve
Preheat oven to 160C. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add yolk and vanilla and process until mixture forms a ball. Roll dough between two sheets of baking paper to 5mm thick, then cover and rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until firm. Using a 7cm star-shaped cutter, cut out 24 shapes. Place biscuits on baking paper-lined oven trays and bake for 10-12 mins or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
For the filling
Beat amaretto, butter and icing sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Sandwich biscuits together with teaspoonfuls of filling.
Half-dip biscuits into melted chocolate and rest on a wire rack. With tweezers, decorate with a little gold leaf, then rest until set.
Serve two biscuits with cherries on the side.