This year I took a week off before Christmas and I go back to work after the bank holidays. Its my favourite time of year the lead up to Christmas as I love all the festive smells of cloves and cinnamon, the Christmas movies, the Christmas music on the radio and the general happiness that Christmas evokes. I had a family Christmas with my family at the weekend followed by Christmas with the hubbie’s family over Christmas itself. This only means one thing – plenty of baking…and then some more baking.
This holiday thus far I have baked three chocolate Yule Logs with a gorgeous milk and dark chocolate ganache (A Mary Berry Classic – recipe here); three fruit cakes two of which were covered in marzipan and fondant then decorated; two lots of frangipane mince pies; three jars of Christmas Crimson Chutney (click here for recipe); four lots of flavoured biscotti; a trifle; Chocolate cupcakes; gingerbread; and a heavily decorated gingerbread house with a chocolate roof!Wow I feel like I need another week off to recover but it was all worth it – love baking especially at Christmas when I get to bake with my nieces. This year they helped me decorate the giant gingerbread house and also made lots of batches of biscotti to give to their teachers as end of year gifts – so much thought went into them as they made them all my themselves, with me just aiding and instructing! And they tasted amazing so sharing the recipe with you, a recipe that originated in a Sainsbury’s magazine but have developed over the years.Biscotti Recipe:
200g Caster Sugar
2 Medium eggs
200g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
200g of fillings
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan assisted and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Whisk together the egg, caster sugar and orange zest
- Stir in the sifted flour and baking powder to make a sticky dough
- Add your chosen filling
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smoother and then divide the mixture into two.
- Roll each half of the mixture into a 30cm log
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until lightly browned.
- Cool on a wire tray for 10 minutes and reduce the temperature of the oven to 160C/140C fan assisted
- Cut the logs into 1cm thick slices diagonally and place back onto the baking tray
- Bake for ten minutes – turn over and bake for a further ten minutes
- Cool on a wire track
- Makes perfect edible Christmas gifts for teachers – simply add to decorative bag.
- Cranberries (50g), White Chocolate Chunks (100g) and Hazelnuts (50g)
- Hazelnuts (50g), Pistachios (100g)and Macadamia Nuts (50g)
- Milk Chocolate Chunks (100g), Pistachios (50g) and Macadamia Nuts (50g)
- Milk Chocolate Chunks (100g), Crystallised ginger (50g) and Macadamia Nuts (50g)