Festive dessert board

Festive dessert board

Mix up your festive dessert course with an all-in-one sweet feast to share, with peppermint tiffin, gingerbread-spice doughnuts, mini meringues and more
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 12 persons



  1. Step 1

    For the tiffin, butter a 20cm square tin and line with baking parchment. Melt 150g each of the dark and milk chocolates with the butter and syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Remove from the heat and stir in the shortbread chunks, cranberries, peppermint extract and cherries. Press the mixture into the prepared tin using a spatula and level the surface. Set aside.
  2. Step 2

    Tip the rest of the dark and milk chocolates and the white chocolate into three separate heatproof bowls and microwave in short bursts until melted and smooth. Dot each batch of melted chocolate over the tiffin and gently swirl together using a skewer to create a marbled effect. Chill in the fridge for 5 hrs to set. Remove 30 mins before serving, then cut into 16 or 32 squares.
  3. Step 3

    For the doughnuts, tip the yeast and 150ml warm water into a large bowl. Set aside for 10 mins until bubbly and frothy. Add 50g of the sugar, 1 tsp salt, the eggs, flour, ginger and 1 tsp of the cinnamon. Mix to combine into a dough, then knead by hand on a lightly floured work surface or in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook for 5-10 mins until smooth and elastic.
  4. Step 4

    Add the butter, a little at a time, kneading between each addition, until all of it has been incorporated. Knead for 5 mins until elastic and smooth again, then form into a ball and put in a clean bowl. Cover and leave to prove in a warm spot for 1 hr until doubled in size.
  5. Step 5

    Knock the dough back on a clean surface for 1 min. Divide into 20-24 pieces and roll into tight balls against the work surface using the palm of your hand. Arrange on a large, lightly oiled baking tray, spaced well apart. Cover and leave to prove again for 1-2 hrs, or until doubled in size.
  6. Step 6

    Mix the remaining 50g sugar with the remaining 1 tsp cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Fill a piping bag with the toffee sauce and put in the fridge to chill. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan to 180C, or until a cube of bread browns within 30 seconds. Fry the doughnuts in batches of three or four for 1-2 mins on each side until golden. Cool slightly before tossing in the spiced sugar. When all the doughnuts are fried, gently poke a hole halfway through one side of each using a skewer, then snip the end off the piping bag and carefully fill the doughnuts with toffee sauce.
  7. Step 7

    To assemble the board, arrange the doughnuts and tiffin squares on a serving tray alongside the fruits, mini meringues, candy canes and palmier biscuits. Serve with a bowl of melted chocolate for dipping.