As you can probably tell by now I love Christmas! Part of the reason for this (and its a large part!) is all of the festive baking and cooking that I get to do.
Obviously Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the traditional favourite – mince pies. However with the amount of food everyone is indulging in some times the poor old mince pie can be left to one side due to the fact it can be quite a ‘heavy’ treat. That is why I decided to add Almond Frangipane to my mince pie recipe this year, keeping the sweet pastry base, and a generous dollop of freshly prepared mincemeat, the Frangipane spreads and swells over the top creating a sweet and light cake like topping that is a refreshing change to the traditional pastry, pastry, and more pastry!
It is important when making these that the sweet pastry cases are rolled out as thin as possible so that a really lovely crunchy texture is achieved that blends well with the sweetness of the mincemeat and the soft light almost gooeyness of the frangipane.
Only 2 more days until the official countdown to Christmas can begin – have you got your advent calendars ready?
The weekend was a little wet and miserable and the winter blues were setting in so I decided to cheer up the troops with a moreish batch of Millionnaires Shortbread. For anybody who hasn’t tried this before its a combination of rich butter shortbread, gooey caramel and a final layer of chunky milk chocolate, I think its the combination of textures that makes these so popular. I decided to top them with some tinsy tiny golden edible stars to stay in the spirit of the upcoming Christmas events! Next post will be Almond Frangipane topped Mince Pies – for those of you who like traditional with a modern twist!
I am a very traditional type of girlie when it comes to making the much loved Christmas favourites, but traditional doesn’t mean little modern touches cannot be added that give the baking in question a beautiful extra something that makes it really special.
I have already posted about the finished Christmas Cake but this post is all about those things that make the cake TASTE great. I opted for an Orange and Spiced Rum Christmas Fruit Cake this year.
I have 4 key tips for anybody out there tackling this Christmas tradition (and please do, its so satisfying!)
1. Do not skimp on fruit! – Pile it all in there…raisins, sultanas, currants, cherries, apricots, cranberries, mixed candied fruit – as much as you can cram. Make sure you add your liquids to the fruit at least 12 hours before you plan to start baking the cake, this will give it chance to become deliciously plump and full of soaked up loveliness!
2. Add something extra special – for me this year – Morgan’s Spiced Rum. Christmas is all about indulgence and this just adds such a warm, rich flavour to the fruit.
3. Protect your cake from the elements – This is a very important part of making the cake extraordinarily moist and is something that has been passed down from my grandparents generation and their grandparents generation…Once you have lined your cake tin with baking parchment wrap the entire outside of the cake with newspaper and tie with string, your cake is going to be in the oven for at least 4 hours so it makes sense to protect it! This stops the outside of the cake from cooking too quickly and becoming dry…and in my book there is nothing worse than a dry fruit cake.
4. My final tip…it’s Christmas so there is one last thing that is a must have add to your traditional cake…Love!
Saturday was RosyCheeks Bakery’s first ever Christmas Fair! It seemed only right to include some special limited edition Christmas flavours that are only brought out at this time of year these were:
Christmas Cupcakes – A cupcake filled with Christmas Spices such as warming cinnamon and all spice, as well as sticky raisins, sultanas and dried apricots, topped with a vanilla brandy buttercream and for that extra special festive touch – edible holly berries.
Gingerbread & Caramel Cupcakes – A vanilla and ginger sponge decorated with vanilla buttercream, mini gingerbread men and a swirl of rich toffee caramel sauce.
Simply Snowflake – For the purists! A light moist vanilla sponge topped with a vanilla buttercream and finished with a sparkling edible snowflake.
Chocolate Twinkle Cupcakes – A moist chocolate sponge topped with a gooey chocolate custard and a swirl of chocolate buttercream sprinkled with edible gold stars for that final lavish touch!
As well as the limited edition cupcakes I also served up a choice of double stuffed Oreo Brownies and Chocolate Gooey Brownies. Doggy treats were also on offer as there should always be a choice for the best friend in our families!
If you didnt get chance to come and taste any of the delicious treats on offer – don’t worry!
RosyCheeks Bakery will be in St Austell this coming Saturday – 26th November 2011 as part of the MAKE Craft Fair from 10am until 4pm. This is a one day get together at St Austell’s fabulous Market House celebrating all things handmade and local. Come and take a look around, eat some delicious Cornish food, listen to local live music, try something new, tell your friends and why not showcase your own crafty skills! The event is the first of many, to celebrate the stunning 19th century building that has soooo much to offer!
You can also order cakey goodness directly from firstname.lastname@example.org and free local delivery is provided right up until Christmas Eve in Newquay and the surrounding areas, why not treat yourself and your family and friends for Christmas!
Have I gone mad you say? Its only the 13th of November…
It is only 42 sleeps until Christmas Day is upon us…and the truth be known I LOVE Christmas!
The festive season seems incomplete without traditional Christmas Cake so this is something I have been working on for a few months now so that the cakes have time to be ‘fed’ properly. I like to make a very rich Christmas Cake with lots of fruit – raisins, sultanas, cranberries, apricots and cherries combined with a divine splash (when I say splash I mean pour!) of a good oak whisky and freshly squeezed orange juice…all in all it creates a beautifully moist, sweet cake – perfect for the most important day of the year!
I wanted to achieve a more vintage elegance with the finish of the Christmas cakes so decided to opt for beautiful pure white snow flakes (something we all wish for at Christmas!) that shimmer and shine when the light catches the sparkling irridescent powder the cake is lavishly covered in. To finish I added a vintage lace ribbon.
I like to try adding new and interesting things to my baking and I have always loved the sweet crunch and ‘pop’ of pomegranate seeds. Their glossy jewel like appearance makes them so easy to admire with a certain rich charm you can’t quite place. I decided to create a vanilla and pomegranate cupcake mixing the brightly coloured seeds into both the sponge and lavishly sprinkling them over the buttercream. Finally I added a little bit of sparkle and here are the results…
I had to write this quick post about a beautiful brown labrador called Coco! Recently she received a personalised Giant Dog Biscuit ordered by her lovely Mummy from Rosy Cheeks Bakery for her birthday! I was emailed this pic today and just couldnt help but mutter an ‘awwww’. Perfect story for 5pm on a wet and windy November week day I am sure you will agree!