Indulging in copious amounts of chocolate, letting the sweet spicy aroma of ginger permeate your home and finding new favourite festive desserts are all definite highlights of the Christmas season. From edible classic gingerbread to showstopping alternatives to traditional Christmas pudding, we’re sharing six of our favourite festive #foodiesecrets for all the keen bakers out there. Before you get started, check out our collection of non-stick Circulon bakeware to make sure you’ve got the right equipment for the best results, every time.
1. A Candy Cane Cheesecake Makes a Tasty Christmas Pudding
Traditional as it is, Christmas pudding isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It can be quite a rich way to follow Christmas dinner, especially when it’s covered in lashings of brandy cream sauce.
Christmas Day should be the one occasion of the year where everyone tucks into an indulgent dessert, and a candy cane cheesecake is sure to delight those who crave something sweet after the hearty stodginess of a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
Blending candy canes in a food processor and mixing this Christmas dust, as we like to think of it, into a vanilla cheesecake mixture creates a festive-looking red and white, peppermint-flavoured cheesecake.
Using ginger biscuits as part of the base will add extra seasonal spice and balance out that sweetness slightly - just make sure you’re using a non-stick cake tin to release your showstopping cheesecake in one piece.
2. Chocolate Overload? Make a Choc-Tastic Truffle Cake
From Roses to Quality Street and from Celebrations to Miniature Heroes and Matchmakers, Christmas is a time of chocolate overload, with many of us finding an abundance of sweet truffles overtaking our homes over the festive season. And as gorgeous as they are, there are sadly only so many you can eat in one sitting without feeling a little sick.
Using them to top a choc-tastic celebration cake - another alternative to a traditional Christmas pud - would be a great use for them, while providing you with simple yet stunning decoration for a cake.
Bake your favourite chocolate sponge recipe, and stir a few truffles that you’ve sliced in half into the chocolate buttercream you’re using to sandwich them together to give guests an extra surprise when they tuck in. Add whole truffles to the top and you’ll have a celebratory chocolate cake fit for a crowd.
3. Gingerbread: The Most Versatile of Festive Bakes
Gingerbread is very simple to make, but incredibly versatile, especially at this time of year. You only need basic baking ingredients - plain flour, egg, brown sugar, ginger, butter and golden syrup - to make gingerbread.
Non-stick baking trays are essential for making sure your gingerbread comes out of the oven in one piece.
From there, you can make a festive gingerbread house reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel, edible tree decorations, and even Christmas jumper-shaped iced biscuits for a fun charity bake sale.
And here’s a top tip for you: use a gingerbread man-shaped cutter and turn your biscuits upside down and, with a clever bit of icing, you can turn them into fun reindeer shapes, complete with glacé cherry noses.
4. Homemade Bread Completes a Festive Cheeseboard
We all have our own opinions of what completes a Christmas cheeseboard, whether it’s strong stilton, an artisan Wensleydale featuring port or whisky, crumbly Cheshire cheese or colourful Red Leicester. If you’re looking for some truly showstopping cheese, Observer Food Monthly’s guide to the very best on offer this year may help.
Grapes, crackers and sticks of celery are an expected addition, but homemade bread is the ultimate finishing touch to a festive cheeseboard, and it’ll fill your home with a beautifully enticing freshly baked smell, making your home extra lovely for any guests you have coming over. Use a non-stick loaf tin for the very best results.
5. Gluten-Free Christmas Desserts Don’t Have to Be Difficult
Gluten-free baking doesn’t have to be challenging. Meringues can make for a sensational showstopping dessert when decorated with fresh festive fruit like cranberries and satsuma segments, icing sugar and even edible glitter, and they only need to contain egg whites and sugar.
The sticky consistency of a meringue mixture means that they could stick to the baking tray if you’re not careful, but you can rely on Circulon’s non-stick bakeware to provide you with stunning results.
6. Homemade Mulled Wine is Unbelievably Good
So this addition to our #foodiesecrets isn’t strictly baking-related, but you’re going to need something to wash down all those delicious bakes, and what could be better than homemade mulled wine?
Raid your Christmas baking supplies for the ingredients - you’ll need oranges, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves, sugar and, of course, red wine. These will need heating together over a low heat in a non-stick saucepan.
This process will fill your home with a stunning festive aroma, and the finished result will be the perfect accompaniment to a mince pie or any of your other homemade Christmas bakes.
Because it’s Christmas, you can have the chance to enter our #foodiesecrets competition! All you have to do is tell us what your Christmas #foodiesecret is! Enter here: https://contest.app.do/circulon_christmas
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