Recipes to make your Christmas one to remember from Healing Manor

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Lincolnshire Chef, Steven Bennett from Healing Manor, based in Grimsby, has created four recipes just in time for the festive season.

Get your aprons on and turn up the festive music and make this Christmas one to remember with the recipes below:

Festive Hot Chocolate

  • 1pt Whole milk
  • 1tbsp Horlicks powder
  • 1 tbsp Cornflour
  • 1 ½tbsp Icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 50g Grated dark chocolate
  • ½tsp ground Cinnamon
  • A pinch of of salt
  • 100ml Whipped double cream
  • Marshmallows

Bring the milk to the boil and mix in the rest of the ingredients.

Whisk continually whilst bubbling away.

Once everything has combined place into mugs and top with freshly whipped cream, marshmallows and grated chocolate.

Christmas Gingerbread

Ginger bread men:

  • 150g Light brown soft sugar
  • 4tbsp Treacle
  •  tbsp Black treacle
  • 2 tbsp Cold water
  • 2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground Ginger
  • 1tsp Mixed spice
  • 180g Butter
  • 1tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 450g Plain flour

In a heavy based sauce pan place the sugar, treacles, water and butter.

Gently heat until all of the ingredients have melted together.

In a large bowl sift together all of the dried ingredients and pour in the sugar, butter and treacle mixture.

Bring together with your hands until all of the ingredients have combined.

Leave the dough to cool in a covered bowl for 20-30 minutes.

Pre heat your oven to 180ºc.

On a floured surface roll out half of the dough to around 5mm thick and cut out your favourite gingerbread shapes.

Using a spatula carefully place on a lightly floured baking sheet and using a cutter place a 5mm hole in each of the biscuits if you’re making these for hanging on your Christmas tree.

Place into the centre of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the gingerbread feels firm to touch when lightly pressed.

Once cooked, place to one side to cool.

Royal icing:

  • 1kg Icing sugar
  • 5 Medium egg whites
  • 2tsp Lemon juice

Beat the egg whites and lemon juice until soft peaks form.

Add Icing sugar to the mixer.

Cover with a dampened tea towel and mix for 1 minute.

Remove towel and beat together for a further 5-7 minutes until the icing has stiffened.

To decorate the gingerbread biscuits, place some of the royal icing into a piping bag and create your favourite characters or patterns!



  • 185g Plain flour
  • 175g Unsalted butter, cubed
  • 6 Large eggs, beaten

Pre heat the oven to 200ºc.

Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan with 450ml water.

Gently heat until the butter has melted, before brining to the boil and immediately adding the sifted flour.

Beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball and leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time until the mixture is thick and glossy, only just holding its shape.

Spoon in half the mixture into a large plastic piping bag with a 1cm plain piping nozzle.

Pipe 2cm small rounds onto lined baking sheets, trimming away the paste with a knife, making around 75 choux buns.

Bake for 25 minutes until well risen and golden.


  • 600ml Full fat milk
  • 1 Vanilla pod, split
  • 6 Large egg yolks
  • 75g Caster sugar
  • 65g Plain flour

Bring the milk and vanilla slowly to a simmer.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, flour and sugar until pale and creamy.

Remove the vanilla pod and pour the warm milk over the egg mixture, before pouring it back into the pan and cooking over a low heat for 4-5 minutes, whisking continuously.

Once you have a custard-like consistency, remove from the heat and sieve, removing any lumps.

Cover with cling film and leave to cool.

Using a long nozzle, fill a piping bag with cream and fill each of the choux buns though holes created with steam.

To assemble:

  • 300g Caster sugar
  • 225ml Water

Place sugar and water into a clean pan and dissolve over a gentle heat.

Once dissolved, bring to the boil, 154ºc without stirring.

Once at 154ºc plunge the pan into a larger pan of cold water toprevent the temperature from rising.

To assemble, dip each choux bun on it’s side and arrange around the base of your croquembouche mould.

If the caramel thickens reduce by returning it to the heat to warm up.

Decorate with spun sugar, edible gold dust and party-safe sparklers!

These can be made a month ahead and stored in the freezer, or 2-3 days and kept in and airtight container.


Sweet Bread:

  • 75ml Dark Rum
  • 75g Raisins
  • 75g Sultanas
  • 550 – 620g Strong white bread flour
  • 175g Butter
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 65g Caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 10.5g Fast action dried yeast zest
  • 1 Lemon zest
  • 1 Orange
  • 2 Medium eggs
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 175ml Milk
  • 150g Candied orange and lemon peel, chopped

Grease a 17cm round cake tin and line the base and sides with a sheet of baking paper that sits 5 inches above the rim.

Place the rum, raisins and sultanas in a bowl and leave for 2-3 hours.

Sift the flour into a mixer with a bread hook and add the butter and salt.

Mix on a medium speed for 2 minutes until combined.

Add the sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, yeast, orange and lemon zest, eggs and milk and blend on a fast speed for 2 minutes until a soft dough has formed.

Knead in the bowl for a further 2 minutes.

Remove the bowl and cover with clingflim and leave for 2-3 hours until the dough has doubled in size.

Replace the bowl onto the mixer a kneed on a fast speed for 2 minutes, to knock the dough back down.

Add the sultans and raisins and kneed for a further 2 minutes.

Lightly flour a cold surface and kneed with your hands for 2-3 minutes.

Work the dough into a ball and place into the cake tin.

Lightly cover with cligflim and leave to rise for a further 1 hour until the dough has risen just above the tin.

The topping: 

    • 30g blanched, chopped Almonds
    • 1tbsp Caster sugar
    • 1tbsp Egg whites
    • 1tbsp Icing sugar

In a bowl combine the almonds, icing sugar, egg whites and caster sugar.

Using a pastry brush, gently brush over the top of the risen dough.

Bake in a 200ºc oven for 15 minutes before turning down the temperature to180ºc and baking for a further 40 minutes.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling completely.

To serve, wrap in parchment or baking paper for decoration and generously top with icing sugar.