Here at Odlums we have been baking Christmas Favourites from Christmas Cakes to Mince Pies, for over 170 years! Throughout this time we have picked up some tips and tricks for getting the perfect Christmas Bake.
For rich fruit cakes strong flour is more suitable than ordinary flour because it ensures a flat top for decorating, and the cake will slice or cut better and won’t crumble. Best to use ordinary flour for plum pudding.
Often, bakers find that when they cut into their Christmas Cake they crumble. This can be due to over baking or using too much flour.
There is no need to soak your fruit in alcohol before you prepare your Christmas Cake as it often evaporates during baking, instead pour your alcohol over once the cake is baked!
To get your Christmas Cake as moist as possible ensure you are baking ‘low and slow’, low temperature for a longer time.
Try using heated Rowse Honey to stick the almond paste to your Christmas Cake instead of the usual warmed apricot jam – a delicious alternative!
If wrapped in grease proof paper, then tinfoil and stored in a cool dry place Christmas Cakes and Puddings should keep for at least 6 months.
There is often debate on the perfect date to start making your Christmas pudding, however we have found that this date is actually more flexible than people might think - anything from 6 months to 3 days before Christmas is fine!
To make sure your Christmas Pudding is cooked to perfection, make sure it is steaming for at least 5 hours, this will ensure it is cooked through, however the longer they are cooked the darker the pudding will become.
To make your Christmas Baking run as smoothly as possible prep is key! The great thing about Mince Pie Pastry is it can be made up to 3 months before hand and then frozen, remove from freezer 24 hours before making your mince pies.
To get your pastry a little more crunchy add a little sugar to the pastry!
Mince pies are often considered an ‘adult’ treat, however – try adding fruit like raspberries or strawberries, grated apple or chopped pear, to encourage kids to try.
To try to make your pastry as light as possible don’t handle it too much and make sure to sit it in the fridge for a half hour before rolling.