Over the next few days I intend to share some baking experiments, a few tried and tested recipes, and the end results of a few long planned projects for some very special friends. Today however, before Christmas has been and gone completely, I wanted to share a few Christmas staples, and hope that a few of you may still yet benefit from the tips and links!
A few weeks ago, my Grandma took me Lakeland to buy Christmas presents (I was like a child in a sweet shop, seriously) and one of the treasures I brought home in my loot was a cookie cutter set for a gingerbread house. This little gem was just £4.99, and I have used the cutters over and over this Christmas, from shapes for icing cakes, to making a more festive shaped batch of cheese scones! This is the link, and comes thoroughly recommended by yours truly ... http://www.lakeland.co.uk/16675/Gingerbread-House-Cutter-Set
The box the set came in has a recipe on the back for gingerbread, and having never made it before, I used this and followed it to the letter to make my first batch of gingerbread. I made a batch of Christmas shapes, which have formed part of my Christmas hampers for friends and family, and decorated them with coloured royal icing. A lot of the blogs I have read over the last few weeks have all made a similar complaint, trying to find a red food colouring that does not come out pink when mixed with buttercream or royal icing. I have to say that the best by far is Sugarflair. You can find this in any good cake decorating shop, and is in small pots of gel. A small amount of this on the end of a cocktail stick is enough to produce a strong colour, and because it is a gel it doesn't affect the consistency of the substance you are adding it to.
These were my finished gingerbread shapes...
My third and final share for the day is my first attempt at a Yule Log, or Buche de Noel to give it it's Sunday name! I have had a couple of requests for Yule Log this year, and spent a little time researching various recipes to give myself a starting point. I settled on the Mary Berry recipe from the BBC Food website - http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/yule_log_15656
My only deviation from the recipe was I decided to swap the listed whipped cream centre for a chocolate mousse, which I made from melted chocolate and whisked egg whites. This was the end result, and it went down very well with my testers it has to be said - I now have to make another for the family for Christmas Day!
|Buche de Noel : Yule Log|