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Digital Subscriptions > Baking Heaven > December 2019 > Christmas delights

Christmas delights

Celebrate the festive season with these cute and classic bakes that are sure to impress…

Winter fruit & nut pavlova


6 large Clarence Court Burford Brown egg whites (keep the yolks in the fridge for another day) 300g (10½oz) caster sugar a pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp icing sugar 50g (1¾oz) pecans 300ml (10floz) double cream 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 200g (7oz) mixed berries (red currants, raspberries)

1 clementine or tangerine, peeled into segments

4 figs, quartered

4 tbsp sweetened chestnut purée ground cinnamon

1 Preheat the oven to 120°C/Gas Mark ½. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and draw a 30cm (12in) circle on it as a template.

2 Place the egg whites in a large, spotlessly clean mixing bowl and whisk with a hand-held or freestanding electric mixer until stiff peaks have formed. Add the caster sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking the whole time, then add the salt and vanilla. Continue to whisk for around 8 minutes, or until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. To test this, take a pinch of mixture between your finger and thumb and rub together – if it’s a little gritty continue mixing.

3 Spoon the mixture onto the lined baking sheet using the back of the spoon to create peaks. Place the pavlova in the oven for around 1 hour and 20 minutes or until set and crisp. Once baked, switch off the oven and allow the oven to cool down completely. Once cooled, you can keep the pavlova in an airtight box for around 3 days in a cool, dark place.

4 About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove the pavlova from the oven. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.

5 Line a small roasting tin or baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Rinse the pecans under cold water in a sieve and tip into a roasting tin while wet, then sprinkle over 1 tbsp icing sugar, toss together and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes until toasted and crunchy.

6 Meanwhile, pour the cream into a large mixing bowl with the remaining icing sugar and vanilla bean paste. Whisk to soft peaks and set aside.

7 Wash the fruits and quarter the figs. Place the pavlova on a serving plate or board, then spoon over the cream. Spoon the chestnut purée on top and arrange over the fruit. Scatter over the caramelised pecans and dust over a little ground cinnamon.

Juliet Sear’s meringue wreaths

Recipe by Clarence Court Eggs


4 Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs, separated 200g (7oz) white caster sugar food colouring of your choice shimmers and decorations baker’s twine (if you’re hanging them up)

1 Preheat the oven to 120°C/Gas Mark ½. Whisk the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl until completely stiff peaks form.

2 Gradually add the caster sugar, whisking until fully incorporated in between each addition.

3 Add your favourite food colouring and whisk. Pop the mixture into a piping bag and, using a small open star nozzle, pipe your wreaths.

4 Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven to 100°C/Gas Mark ¼ and bake until dry and crisp.

5 Decorate with your favourite festive edible toppings and enjoy!

Iced Christmas snowmen biscuits


Meringue (egg white) powder, icing pens and lustre dust are all available online or from speciality cookware/baking stores.

Recipe and photography by Stockfood, the Food Media Agency


For the biscuits

250g (9oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting

½ tsp salt

125g (4½oz) shortening, or unsalted butter, softened

125g (4½oz) caster sugar

1 large free-range egg yolk

1½ tsp vanilla extract finely grated zest of 1 lemon

125g (4½oz) ground almonds

For the icing and decoration

400g (14oz) icing sugar, plus extra as needed

2 tbsp meringue powder, or egg white powder (see tip) natural blue food colouring white icing pen (see tip)

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About Baking Heaven

The countdown to Christmas is officially on! Escape the chaos and indulge in a little me-time by making some of your favourite bakes. Whether you're planning on surprising your friends and family with a showstopping dessert, want to spend some time baking with the kids or give some homemade gifts as treats, we've got you covered! Plus make amazing cakes by Paul, Prue and the 2019 GBBO bakers, try Mary Berry's boozy roulade and have a go at making lavash. Get your copy now!