Naughty puddings to impress

A little bit of what you fancy does you good

Festive meals don't have to include puddings - if you don't have a sweet tooth, you can just move on to the cheeseboard straight after your main course - but for many, they're a hotly-anticipated highlight.

If you think your kitchen is going to be very busy, then choosing recipes that can be made in advance can take some of the pressure off. For example, Gordon Ramsay's decadent but impressive pannacottas crowned with a gorgeous sticky glaze made from pomegranate juice can be made the day before. Just add the shards of dark chocolate immediately before you serve them.

But if you are going to have time for a dessert you make the same day, why not try out the luxuriously creamy tiramisu in the video above? The recipe appears below. Alternatively, a luxurious white chocolate version looks great presented in individual glasses.

And if you know you're only going to have a few minutes to spare on the day, why not consider that old favourite, an Eton mess? This is a summer recipe that can easily be adapted for winter. If you're lucky enough to have access to good supply of strawberries or raspberries, the classic version is here, but there's also a winter-friendly one here using tinned mandarins.

All three of these puddings are rich and filling so consider making them in small glasses as your guests may not want a huge portion after a heavy meal.

Creamy Amaretto tiramisu

2 eggs, yolks only
3 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp amaretto liquor
250g mascarpone
100ml strong cold coffee
12-14 sponge finger biscuits
3 tbsp flaked almonds
1 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder

1. Place 2 egg yolks and caster sugar into a bowl and beat together until pale and fluffy. Pour your mascarpone into a separate bowl and give it a quick mix to loosen it. Spoon the mascarpone into your egg mix and whisk the ingredients together. Now add about 3 tbsp of amaretto liqueur, depending on your taste and stir through. Do not worry if the mixture is quite runny as it will set in the fridge.

2. Mix together the coffee and about 1 tbsp of amaretto, then dip your biscuits one by one quickly into the mixture and place them into the bottom of your glasses. You may need to break them up a bit so that they fit snugly. Spoon over a little of the mascarpone mixture so that the biscuits are covered. Dip 1 or 2 more biscuits quickly into the coffee mixture and pop these on top of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat with the other 3 glasses. Finally spoon over the rest of the mascarpone mixture. Place the glasses into the fridge to set for a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight if possible.

3. Whilst they are chilling, heat a frying pan over a high heat. Add the flaked almonds and sprinkle over the icing sugar. Use a wooden spoon to constantly mix the two together. When the almonds start to turn golden brown, remove the pan from the heat immediately, and tip the nuts out onto a piece of baking/parchment paper. Spread them out and leave to cool.

4. Remove your desserts half an hour to an hour before you plan to serve them, making sure they are set. Dust the tops with cocoa powder, then sprinkle over a few of the caramelized almonds. Serve.

More puddings to impress:
Poached pears in cassis
Chocolate profiteroles
White chocolate and berry trifle
Sweet sherry trifle
Luxurious crème brûlée
Bombe Noel
White chocolate panna cotta
Strawberry and white chocolate cheesecake

More festive food ideas:
Christmas menus: Festive food for everyone
Christmas cooking for one or two
Festive cocktails, hot drinks and party food
How to have a Scandinavian-style Christmas
Christmas baking and dessert recipes

Make Christmas easier on yourself:
Nine magic Christmas hacks
The ultimate Christmas countdown
Quick and easy last-minute Christmas
Take the stress out of Christmas