Saturday, 26 December 2009

A roll call of Christmas favourites

Happy Christmas to you all! If Christmas is a time for feasting and abundance I don't think I've done too badly....

It’s nice to try new things, but Christmas is often a time to revisit old favourites and follow tradition. This post will round up all the items I made this year that have featured on my site before, and will include links to the recipes. My new bakes will appear in later posts over the holiday period.

Christmas cake

My Christmas cake (recipe here) was a totally homemade affair this year with rich fruitcake, almond paste and fondant icing.

The reindeer decorations were made from leftover almond paste.

Medley of mince pies

The recipes for all these mince pastries can be found here.

These are the most traditional of the three variations with simple pastry decorations:

Here we have a shortcrust pastry roll, cut into slices and baked:

Finally, a frangipane topped mince pie:

Gingerbread men

A cup of tea at Christmas just doesn’t taste right unless it’s accompanied by a gingerbread man. I made these really hot this year – they definitely blew away any Christmas cobwebs! You can find the recipe here.

Almond cake

This was the first cake to ever feature on my blog – check out the recipe here; it remains one of my favourites. It’s a delicious light almond Madeira that keeps for days in an airtight container, and just seems to get tastier!

Chocolate dipped strawberries

A little bit of decadence for after dinner. They couldn’t be simpler – strawberries dipped into melted chocolate and then left to set. Even if you don’t have room for pudding I bet you can manage a couple of these!

I love the way that the chocolate takes the shape of the paper case when it sets:

These were my “tried and tested” items. I’ll post again soon with my debut items .

Finally, I hope you'll permit me to boast a little. The CCBF (Caked Crusader's Boyfriend) bought me the most gorgeous copper mould for Christmas - forget Santa, it's the CCBF I clearly need to keep sweet! We'd seen it on a day trip out in the summer and I'd fallen in love with it but I couldn't justify buying it even though it was possibly the most beautiful piece of kitchenalia I'd ever set eyes on. What made this such a special gift - apart from being gorgeous, have I mentioned it's gorgeous? - was that the CCBF had to drive to the specific shop over an hour a way to purchase it. Sometimes you're given something and you just know you'll own it and treasure it for ever - this is such an item. Thank you CCBF!

Hope you’re all having a lovely Christmas!


trash said...

My word! It would certainly pay to continue to being nice to CCBF. That isn't just kitchenalia, that is art.

Joy said...

What fabulous festive delights. And what a gorgeous copper mould!

Katie said...

What a lovely lot of festive treats you made. The reindeer on your Christmas cake are just adorable! Love the sound of the almond cake too. Your copper mould looks fab.

Cakelaw said...

Merry Xmas CC! itely have to keep that boyfriend sweet - what a gorgeous mould. Love all of your baked goods too - delish!

Anonymous said...

All looks good where did you get the reindeer cutter from? it looks really sweet, and how did you do the eyes? and what did you use for the nose? will have to try making the almond cake recipie sometime, cheers Nikki ps are you going to use the cake tin or is it decorative? just wondered!!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Nikki

The reindeer cutter was a present from the CCBF - not sure where he got it!

The eyes are ready made sugar decorations - I used to get them from UK companies but now have to order them from the US - which is a pain!

The nose is a humble red smartie! I toyed whether to use a Smartie or M&M and decided to stay loyal to my childhood!!!

The tin will definitely be used. Definitely!

Hope you're having a great Christmas

Margaret said...

Ah I love the cake tin your BF bought for you - this is only acceptable for those of us who love cooking! Hope you are keeping the boyfriend CC!!!
The Xmas Cake is wonderful and I love the originality of using reindeers.

Elizabeth said...

I'm still getting caught up with all the notes I should have posted during the holidays... Happy New Year CC! Thanks for another year of wonderful baking, and thanks for passing the baton of cake baking.

That holiday spread looks especially good - those were lucky people who got to eat all that.

P.S. Cake pans are such great gifts; I love your new copper one. I got a elaborate Bundt pan for a present - I love pans that do the heavy lifting of making a cake look decorated with no extra work from me.