Festive recipes for 2019 from Esker employees

Merry Christmas from all at Esker! Once again we’ve compiled some of our favourite recipes to share with you this festive season. If the below doesn’t fill your boots, have a look at our 2018 recipes for even more inspiration.

Wishing you a joyful Christmas and prosperous New Year.

Prune and Chocolate Torte
Submitted by Amy Rees from BBC Good Food


  • 250g no-soak prunes, halved
  • 4 tbsp brandy
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 100g plain chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), in pieces
  • 50g butter
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 85g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Lightly whipped cream or crème fraîche, to serve

Put the prunes and brandy in a small bowl and leave to steep for about 30 minutes until most of the brandy has been absorbed.

Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5/fan oven 170C. Grease a 23cm/9in loose-bottomed cake tin or springform tin. Put the cocoa, chocolate, butter and 140g/5oz of the sugar in a pan, add 100ml/31⁄2fl oz hot water and gently heat until the mixture is smooth. Leave to cool slightly.

Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then gradually whisk in the remaining sugar. Sift the flour and cinnamon over and gently fold in with a metal spoon, until almost combined. Add the chocolate mix and fold in until evenly combined.

Pour the mixture into the tin and arrange the prunes over the top (they will sink into the sponge during baking). Sprinkle over any remaining brandy and bake for about 30 minutes until just firm. Serve with cream or crème fraîche.

Christmas Game Pie
Submitted by Georgina Kershaw via Paula Rowlinson

It’s that time of year again, when we have been asked for our traditional recipes, and once again I asked my good friend Paula Rowlinson to look through her grandparents original recipe book and here it is :


  • Chicken. Pheasant, Rabbit, Guinea fowl or any variation
  • 4oz parsley
  • White sauce, stock
  • Short crust pastry
  • Prunes
  • Walnuts


  • Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180C
  • Cook game, remove from bone (do not use too much  water)
  • Line a baking tin with pastry
  • Chop meat into cubes and place in the tin
  • Make the white sauce with the stock and add the parsley, pour over the meat.
  • Cover this with the prunes and walnuts
  • Cover the pastry by brushing with beaten egg
  • Before putting in the oven make 2 small holes for the release of steam
  • Cook for 1.5 hours

Whiskey Turkey
A special Christmas recipe from Stephen Wynne-Jones

Step 1: Go buy a turkey
Step 2: Take a drink of whiskey
Step 3: Put turkey in the oven
Step 4: Take another 2 drinks of whiskey
Step 5: Set the degree at 375 ovens
Step 6: Take 3 more whiskeys of drink
Step 7: Turn oven the on
Step 8: Take 4 whisks of drinky
Step 9: Turk the bastey
Step 10: Whiskey another bottle of get
Step 11: Stick a turkey in the thermometer
Step 12: Glass yourself a pour of whiskey
Step 13: Bake the whiskey for 4 hours
Step 14: Pour another whisk of glasskey
Step 15: Take the oven out of the turkey
Step 16: Floor the turkey up off of the pick
Step 17: Turk the carvey
Step 18: Get yourself another whittle of Boskey
Step 19: Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey
Step 20: Bless the saying, pass and eat out
Bon Appetit !!!! 🙂

Trench Cake – a Christmassy, vegan take on the classic!
Submitted by Sam Townsend

The non-vegan recipe was first used during the Great War, December 1914 (just replace with margarine and cows milk).


  • 1/2 lb flour (about 2 cups)
  • 4 oz non-dairy margarine
  • 1/4 pint of oat milk
  • 3 oz brown sugar
  • 3 oz cleaned currants
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • grated lemon rind


  • Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C/ GM4
  • Grease and/ or line an 8” cake tin
  • Rub together the non-dairy margarine and flour (just like making a crumble topping)
  • Add the rest of the dry ingredients EXCEPT the bicarb
  • Mix together the oat milk and bicarbonate of soda
  • Add to bowl and mix well – it will make a thick batter
  • Pour into tin and bake for around 1 hour, or until knife comes out clean
  • Remove from tin once slightly cooled and then allow to cool completely
  • Best served with a steaming hot cup of tea!

Tropical Christmas Cake with Coconut Icing
Submitted by Jennifer Ball, original version on bakearama

A fresh twist on the original classic!


  • 600g mixed tropical dried fruit (I used a 200g mix of apricots, sultanas and apples, plus 400g mix of pineapple, papaya and mango)
  • 50ml rum or other spirit (optional)
  • 185g butter
  • 185g golden caster or light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 30g chopped crystallised ginger
  • Spice blend as desired (I used 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and ginger, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of nutmeg )

For the icing: –

  • 75g butter
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 200g desiccated coconut


If you’ve time, soak the dried fruit overnight in the rum , in a covered bowl.
Beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, spices, baking powder and sieved flour, and beat again until smooth.
Finally, add the dried fruit and ginger and mix well combined with an even distribution of fruit.
Pour into a greased, lined in – 7 inches round with high sides is perfect, but you could use a larger round, a square or even a novelty tin.
Bake at 150 degrees for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Timing will very much depend on your oven type, mine took around 2 1/2 hours in a fan oven. If the top is starting to brown then cover with tin foil for the remainder of the cooking time.

Remove from the tin and leave to cool completely – overnight is ideal as you don’t want the icing to melt off!

For the icing, simply beat together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. If you have an electric stand mixer then leave it on for 4-5 minutes, the extra beating will lighten the mixture so that the tallow of the butter fades into a white.
Add the coconut and beat again until smooth, use a dash of milk if it’s a little too stiff.
Use immediately as it will set hard – applying generously all over the cake, and smoothing with a palette knife dipped in hot water.

Jennifer Ball

As Marketing Co-ordinator for Esker UK, Jennifer manages all of Esker UK's marketing campaigns and PR. She has been part of the Esker family since 2019.

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