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Digital Subscriptions > Food Heaven > issue78 > Christmas Baking

Christmas Baking

The delicious scent of sugar and spice wafting through the kitchen will get everyone in the festive spirit!

XMAS HEAVEN

Allinson almond & cherry stollen

Enjoy with coffee or make as a gift!
By Allinson for Baking Mad (www.bakingmad.com).

MAKES 1

For the sweet white bread dough

500g (1lb 1oz) Allinson strong white bread flour

7g Allinson Easy-bake yeast sachet

275ml (9floz) milk

50g (1¾oz) cold butter, diced

1 medium free-range egg, beaten

75g (2¾oz) caster sugar

1½ tsp salt

For the finishing touches

75g (2¾oz) glace cherries

75g (2¾oz) sultanas

75g (2¾oz) toasted flaked almonds

200g (7oz) marzipan

50g (1¾oz) melted butter, plus extra for greasing

1 tsp almond extract

icing sugar

1 Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Mix the milk and the beaten egg into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon.

2 Tip onto a lightly flour-dusted surface and knead for 10 minutes (or use the dough hook attachment on your mixer).

3 Lightly grease the mixing bowl with some oil. Put the dough back in, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size – up to 2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.

4 Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Knead the cherries, sultanas and flaked almonds into the dough. Roll the marzipan into a 30cm (12in) long sausage. Roll the dough into a 20x30cm (8x12in) rectangle on a floured baking sheet and sit the marzipan along the middle. Close the dough like a book around the marzipan, tucking the ends under to keep it sealed inside.

5 Cover the dough again with a clean tea towel and leave to prove until nearly doubled in size.

6 Bake the stollen for 30 minutes until risen and golden. Mix the melted butter and almond extract together then, when the loaf comes out of the oven, transfer to a wire rack and brush all over liberally with the almond butter. Dust thickly in icing sugar and cool completely.

Gingerbread trifle

By Baking Mad (www.bakingmad.com).

MAKES 1

For the sponge

225g (8oz) unrefined molasses sugar

225g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened

300ml (10floz) whole milk

225g (8oz) marmalade

370g (13oz) wholemeal self-raising flour

1 tbsp ground ginger

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp grated nutmeg

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 free-range eggs

7 stem ginger, drained and finely chopped

100g (3½oz) raisins

For the trifle

500g (1lb 1oz) vanilla custard

600ml (1pt) double cream

260g (9½oz) salted caramel

100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, softened

50g (1¾oz) unrefined light muscovado sugar (we like Billington’s)

5 tbsp golden syrup

225g (8oz) plain white flour

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp ground ginger

1 For the gingerbread men, place the butter and muscovado sugar in a medium-sized saucepan and heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Stir until the mixture blends together, but do not boil.

2 Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger together, then beat it into the muscovado sugar mixture with the golden syrup until smooth.

3 Turn the mixture out onto clingfilm and pat into a flat ball. Wrap tightly and chill for 30 minutes, or until firm enough to roll out.

4 Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.

5 Dust the worktop with a little flour, then roll out the dough to the thickness of a one pound coin. Cut out your gingerbread men (or whatever shape you like) and place on the baking trays.

6 Bake for 10-12 minutes until just turning slightly darker at the edges.

7 Leave to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes, then slide the gingerbread onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

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About Food Heaven

Celebrate the festive season with our must-make party treats for the whole family! Whether you're after simple biscuits for a homemade gift, or you're planning on creating a show-stopping dessert to wow your guests, our Christmas recipes will be the talk of the party! We've got incredible cheesecakes, magic cakes (you make one simple batter and end up with a three-layer cake – genius!) and new recipes from the GBBO contestants and judges, including a delicious hot chocolate cake. Find out how to make cream puffs, profiteroles and eclairs in our masterclass, create step-by-step chocolate-hazelnut biscotti, plus make your favourite French bakes at home with foolproof recipe hacks for millefeuille, brioche, croissants and pains au chocolat!