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Three easy festive bakes
Turning on the oven and knocking up some delicious Christmas bakes is a guaranteed way to forget about how bitterly cold it is outside. Get the fire going, close those window shutters, put your favourite slippers on and spoil the family with these three easy festive bakes.
The ultimate Christmas bake does of course have to be the humble mince pie. If you’ve already eaten Tesco out of stock, the good news is that they’re not actually as difficult to make as you might think.
To make 18 pies, all you need is six simple ingredients:
225g cold butter, diced
350g plain flour
100g golden caster sugar
1 small egg
Icing sugar to dust
- To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour and thenmix in the caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Combine the pastry into a ball – don’t add liquid – and knead it briefly.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Line 18 holes of two 12-hole patty tins, by pressing small walnut-sized balls of pastry into each hole. Evenly distribute the mincemeat into the pies.
- Next, take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before and pat them out between your hands to make round lids big enough to cover the pies. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal.
- Beat the egg andbrush it on the tops of the pies. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. To serve, lightly dust with icing sugar.
Whether you want to make traditional gingerbread men, gingerbread Christmas decorations or you plan to get really creative and make an edible festive scene, this simple recipe is perfect for novice bakers. You can find out more details here: www.familyholiday.net/50-gingerbread-decoration-ideas-christmas-craft-ideas/
To decorate your gingerbread, simply use ready-made writing icing and chocolate buttons or sweets.
175g dark muscovado sugar
85g golden syrup
350g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 egg (beaten)
- Melt the sugar, golden syrup and butter in a saucepan. Let bubble for 1-2 minutes and cool for about 10 minutes.
- Tip the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices into a large bowl. Add the warm syrup mixture and the egg, stir everything together and then gently knead in the bowl until smooth and streak-free. Wrap in cling film and chill for at least half an hour.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and leave at room temperature until softened. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line two baking trays with baking parchment.
- Roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin, then cut out gingerbread people with a cutter. You can keep re-rolling the excess dough until it’s all used up.
- Lift the biscuits onto the trays and bake for 10-12 minutes, swapping the trays over halfway through cooking.
- Leave to cool on the trays for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as you wish and leave to set for at least one hour.
Christmas Yule Log
Yule log is a traditional Christmas dessert but with this recipe, you can add a unique salted caramel flavoured twist.
Butter to line the tin
3 large eggs
100g golden caster sugar
100g plain flout
½ teaspoon baking powder
The seeds of 1 vanilla pod
150ml whipping cream
100g salted caramel spread
Redcurrants and mint leaves to decorate
For the icing:
200g unsalted butter (softened)
400g icing sugar (sieved) plus extra for dusting
200g salted caramel spread
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Line a 24 x 32cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment so that it hangs over the edges, then butter well. Whisk the eggs and sugar together with an electricwhisk for 3-4 mins or until pale and thick.
- Fold the flour, baking powder and vanilla seeds into the egg mixture with a large metal spoon until there are no pockets of flour visible. Gently spread into your tin and bake in the oven for 12-15 mins or until lightly golden and springy to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Carefully roll up the sponge lengthways while it’s still warm (keeping the baking parchment attached). Leave to cool completely in its rolled-up shape.
- To make the icing, beat the butter and icing sugar until smooth, then mix in the caramel spread. Set aside. Whip the cream to soft peaks.
- Carefully unroll the sponge, then turn it so one long edge is towards you. Dot lumps of the caramel spread and caramel icing over the sponge (be careful not to use it all because you will need the rest to ice the cake). Keep the last centimeter at the end furthest from you clean because the filling will spread as it rolls. Spread the cream over the top using a palette knife. Using the parchment, roll up the sponge.
- Use the remaining icing to ice the cake. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with the redcurrants and mint to serve.
For further information follow the link: www.whychristmas.com/customs/yulelog.shtml
Not only are these recipes quick and easy (they should all take less than an hour) they’re also guaranteed to make you the most popular member of the household this Christmas.