Whether you’re the host or a guest bearing gifts, whip up some crowd-pleasing bites for New Year’s Eve with recipes from Edward Hayden.

Culinary greetings to you all! The lead-up to Christmas was, for me, extremely busy. Over the past couple of months I have given lots of cookery classes, showing people how to create their own festive fare. So, my intention for the run-up to New Year’s is to take time out with friends and family, relaxing over good wine and good conversation, and really enjoying each other’s company and time – filling the memory bank with happy memories.

My invitation to you is to do the same. Host a very simple soirée over the next few days; invite some family and friends around and savour their company. To assist you with this, I have devised some super recipes for platters and desserts that you can serve up at your festive and New Year’s celebrations. And if you’re the guest, why not help out your host by bringing one along?

My friends will attest that, when I am entertaining, I love shared, family- or convivial styles of dining: that is putting the food in the middle of the table and letting people help themselves. We usually continue to nibble or graze throughout an evening. I really hope that you enjoy cooking your way through these recipes and that your family and friends will enjoy them as much as mine will.

Wishing you all a very happy New Year. Hopefully 2019 will bring good things for us all!

For more of Edward’s recipes and top culinary tips, visit edwardentertains.com


Baileys, Chocolate & Maltesers Cheesecake

Baileys, Chocolate & Maltesers Cheesecake. Photo: Julia Dunin


Serves 10-12


For the base:

450g (1lb) digestive biscuits

175g (6oz) melted butter

For the topping:

400g (14oz) cream cheese

50g (2oz) icing sugar

500ml (17fl oz) cream, lightly whipped

200g (7oz) good-quality chocolate, melted

100ml (3½ fl oz) Baileys Irish Cream

1 bag of Maltesers (crushed roughly)

For the garnish :

75g (3oz) dark chocolate

25g (1oz) crushed toasted hazelnuts

150g (5oz) whipped cream

50g (2oz) grated white and dark chocolate


1. Lay a 23cm (9in) cheesecake ring on top of a flat cake stand. Break the biscuits into fine crumbs and mix in the melted butter. Press the biscuits into the base of the tin in an even layer and allow to chill.

2. Meanwhile, whip the cream cheese and the sugar together until smooth. Next add in the lightly whipped cream and whisk gently.

3. Add in the melted chocolate. Carefully whisk this in, ensuring that you don’t over-beat at this stage. Add in the Baileys and the Maltesers and mix well, then pour this mixture on top of the biscuit base and allow to set.

4. Melt the dark chocolate and spoon teaspoons of it out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle with the toasted hazelnuts and allow to set.

5. To decorate, pipe some whipped cream rosettes on top of the cheesecake, place the chocolate and hazelnut discs on top of the cream and then sprinkle the grated chocolate on top of the cheesecake and, if desired, some additional Maltesers.

Chef’s tip

Feel free to choose a different type of biscuit for the base.


Bruschetta Selection

Bruschetta Selection


I love having people over and very often my friends Olivia and Jim will call for canapés and a glass of wine. If they do, I love to do a selection of bruschetta to enjoy with a drink. These recipes are perfect for a seasonal drinks reception.

Serves 6-8


For the bruschetta:

3 ciabatta, sliced thinly

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

6 slices Parma ham

6-8 sprigs flat leaf parsley

For the red onion marmalade:

4 medium red onions, peeled and thinly sliced

1 tsp oil

75g (3oz) brown sugar

3 tbsp red wine

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

For the guacamole:

1 ripe avocado

1 dssp chopped coriander/flat-leaf parsley

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ red chilli, chopped very finely

Pinch of salt and pepper

2 dssp mayonnaise (optional)

For the roasted vegetables:

1½ mixed peppers, diced

½ red onion, diced

6 chestnut mushrooms

8 cherry tomatoes, diced

2 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

For the basil pesto:

1 large handful of fresh basil leaves

1 dssp grated Parmesan cheese

1 dssp pine nuts, toasted or untoasted

2 cloves of garlic

100-150ml olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice


1. Rub the toasted, sliced ciabattas with some rapeseed oil and the sliced garlic.

2. Heat a chargrill pan and cook on both sides until well toasted. Allow to cool down and top with the toppings as required.

3. In a large pot, place the onions and the oil over a high heat. Continue to stir the contents to move the onions around and prevent them from sticking.

4. As the onions begin to colour and soften (after about 3 minutes), add in the brown sugar and continue to stir. The sugar will begin to soften and will coat all of the onions.

5. Allow the softened sugar to come to the boil gently. Next add in the red wine and the red wine vinegar. Allow the mixture to come to the boil and then simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until all of the liquid has evaporated off.

6. Make sure that you stir it occasionally to prevent anything sticking to the base of the pot. Transfer to clean, sterilised jars and store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

7. To make the guacamole, add all ingredients (except the mayonnaise) to a food processor or large mixing bowl and blitz (you can use a hand-held blender if desired) until a relatively smooth purée has been achieved. Remove from the blender and mix in the mayonnaise. Make sure this product is well chilled.

8. Place the vegetables onto a lined baking tray with the garlic and rapeseed oil. Season with some salt and pepper and cook at 180°C (350°F/Gas Mark 4) for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool down and then drizzle with some rapeseed oil.

9. To make the pesto, place all ingredients into a food processor and blitz. Store in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

10. To assemble the platter, pile some of the toasted breads with basil pesto and roasted vegetables. Spread some red onion marmalade on the others and sprinkle with crumbled goat’s cheese. Spread guacamole on the remaining breads and top with some Parma ham. Garnish with some flat-leaf parsley.



Seafood Tasting Plate: Smoked Trout Pâté, Asian-Style Crab, Smoked Salmon

Seafood Tasting Plate: Smoked Trout Pâté, Asian-Style Crab, Smoked Salmon. Photo: Julia Dunin

So many families sit down to a seafood starter on Christmas Day, but this tasting plate can make a great party platter too. Serves 6-8


For the crab salad: 450g (1lb) fresh crab meat

½ red chilli

1 tbsp chopped coriander

2 tbsp crème fraîche

Juice of ½ lemon/lime

Cracked black pepper

For the smoked trout pâté:

2 fillets of Goatsbridge smoked trout

1 small shallot, finely diced

Juice of ½ lemon

Tiny pinch of cayenne pepper

75ml (3fl oz) cream cheese

2 tbsp mayonnaise


1. Place all of the crab meat in a large bowl and, with the tips of your fingers, pass it through your hands to make sure that all pieces of bone and shell have been removed, as they can be quite sharp. Dice the chilli very finely (in case you are the person to get the big piece!)

2. Add the diced chilli, chopped coriander and crème fraîche to the crab meat and season with the citrus juice and cracked black pepper.

3. Mix thoroughly and correct the seasoning to suit your own taste.

4. Dice the trout and place it in a food processor with the shallot, lemon juice and cayenne pepper, and blitz it until a relatively coarse purée has been achieved. Scrape down the mixture, then turn back on the processor (at low speed) and add in the cream cheese and the mayonnaise until a much smoother consistency has been achieved. Taste the pâté and correct the seasoning if required.

5. Serve with some smoked salmon (I get mine from the Duncannon Fish Company in New Ross, Co Wexford – it’s smoked in-house and is simply delicious), sliced brown bread and some chargrilled lemons.


Black Forest Trifle

This is a marriage of my three favourite desserts: trifle, meringue and Black Forest gâteau. It definitely takes a bit of effort to make this dessert but, trust me, it will be the toast of the party.

Serves 10-12


For the jam Swiss roll: 4 eggs

110g (4oz) sugar

75g (3oz) self-raising flour

25g (1oz) cocoa powder

For the garnish:

4 dssp raspberry jam

1 tin of black cherries with syrup

1 tsp cornflour

50g (2oz) caster sugar

50ml (1.6fl oz) kirsch/brandy

10-12 fresh black cherries

300ml (10fl oz) freshly whipped cream

Chocolate shavings

For the meringue:

2 egg whites

110g (4oz) caster sugar

For the fresh egg custard: 300ml (10fl oz) milk

300ml (10fl oz) cream

6 egg yolks

75g (3oz) sugar

110g (4oz) white chocolate

1 dssp cornflour


To make the jam Swiss roll:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350F/Gas Mark 4). Grease and line an oblong (13 x 9in) tin with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, beat the 4 eggs with the sugar for the sponge base. It should become very light and aerated. The whisk should leave a figure-of-eight pronounced on the surface of the mixture when the whisk is lifted out of it.

2. Gently fold in the sifted flour and cocoa with a metal spoon. Be very gentle so as not to knock any of the generated air out of the sponge base, but also ensure that all of the flour is incorporated. Pour the mixture into a prepared Swiss roll tin. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until well risen and golden brown, and take the sponge out of the oven.

3. Before the sponge is fully cooled, invert it onto a sheet of parchment paper dusted with extra caster sugar (50g) and use a rolling pin; roll it over it to flatten it lightly and then spread with a thin layer of raspberry jam. Carefully roll the Swiss roll up from the longest side rather than from the shortest.

4. Place the tin of black cherries and syrup in the saucepan and bring to the boil. Mix together the teaspoon of cornflour with a teaspoon of water and add this to the boiling cherry mixture. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes at a low heat. Allow to cool.

5. To make the meringue, choose a large, spotlessly clean mixing bowl. Put the egg whites into the mixing bowl and beat them vigorously until they are stiff. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the sugar bit by bit until it is all incorporated. It is important to beat well between each addition of sugar and then beat at full speed for 50-60 seconds.

6. Using a piping bag, pipe the meringue mixture into small shells onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place in the oven at 110°C (225°F/Gas Mark ¼) for 60 minutes or until the edge of the meringue feels crisp to the touch but the centre is still quite soft.

7. To make the custard, bring the milk and cream to the boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Meanwhile, in a large, spotlessly clean bowl and using a whisk, beat the egg yolks, sugar, white chocolate and cornflour together until light and creamy. Spend about 2 minutes on this process. Pour the boiled milk and cream mixture onto the eggs and mix well.

8. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook until the mixture can coat the back of a wooden spoon and is almost ready to come to the boil. It is important to stir the mixture at all times to prevent it from curdling. This process should take no more than 2 minutes on a very gentle heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil at this time. Taste the custard at this stage to make sure that you can not taste the cornflour. If you can, return to the heat and stir continuously on a low heat for another minute or so.

9. To assemble, slice the Swiss roll into thin slices and arrange in individual glasses, or a large bowl in a layered pattern. Pour some of the cherry compote on top.

10. Pour the custard over the sponge mixture. Repeat this two or three times, finishing with a layer of custard, and then cover with some cling film and allow to cool for a couple of hours or overnight. Cover with a disc of parchment paper or cling film to prevent the formation of a crust.

11. Top with the meringue and then pile some of the whipped cream on top and sprinkle, if desired, with some chocolate shards.

Photography by Julia Dunin

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