Christmas cake traybake:
I left it a bit late to bake a traditional Christmas cake, but this is something I would like to try in the future. I personally am not a big fan of Christmas cake and, in particular of boozy desserts, but the whole “feeding the cake” with brandy over a period of weeks intrigues me. As an alternative I made a Christmas cake traybake. (http://www.womanandhome.com/recipes/532261/christmas-cake-tray-bake-recipe) It was really straightforward to make and is good for having on hand to serve to guests. It is a basic fruit cake recipe, baked in a rectangular tin, topped with marzipan and royal icing.
Red Velvet Roulade:
I have wanted to make a swiss roll or roulade for a while now, but have always been nervous to do so, for fear of it breaking and falling apart. As such, I watched a very good instructional video on Youtube to get advice on inverting the cake from the tin and then rolling it. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uZQ7gNh_wU) This helped give me the confidence I needed to give this a try. Due to the need for a very light cake, this is a little different from traditional Red Velvet cake. I was a little freaked out by the lack of flour – only 25g of cornflour and 25g of cocoa powder! The eggs also needed separated and folded in separately. The white meringue looked amazing when it was being folded in:
Thankfully, I ordered the really potent red colouring that really works in terms of giving a real true red colour. It also came in handy for Santa biscuits later.
After baking, the cake is inverted and rolled while still hot. This is to “train” the cake to stay rolled. After the cake was completely cooled I unrolled the cake, smeared the inside with cream cheese frosting, re-rolled the cake and covered the outside with the rest of the frosting. I then decorated with white chocolate shards, (melt the chocolate, spread on baking paper, set in fridge, then cut) edible glitter and silver balls.
It turned out well. I was pleased! ( http://www.womanandhome.com/recipes/538054/red-velvet-roulade)
I usually make some biscuits for Santa with Scott on Christmas Eve and we kept up the tradition this year. We had fun using our Christmas cookie cutters to cut out some seasonal shapes. I just used a basic shortbread recipe and added a hint of cinnamon to give the Christmassy feel.
The Santa cutter was very awkward to use and the dough kept breaking when we tried to remove the cutter so we only ended up with three – plenty for Santa! I didn’t bother icing many as shortbread biscuits are yummy enough by themselves!