Festive BAKES
Woman & Home|Christmas 2019
Festive BAKES
Delicious sweet treats – and those with special dietary requirements have no need to miss out…

Spiced tree-shaped biscuits

The addition of ground spices to the dusting of icing sugar makes all the difference to these festive favourites

Makes 25, depending on size

• Ready in 20 mins, plus chilling

225g unsalted butter, softened

150g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting

1 large egg, beaten Grated zest of ½ unwaxed lemon 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

¼tsp freshly ground nutmeg

½tsp mixed spice Pinch of salt

FOR DUSTING:

100g icing sugar

1tsp ground cinnamon (ideally freshly ground)

½tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1 Beat together the softened butter and icing sugar in a large bowl, until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, mixing well until smooth. Add the lemon zest and mix again.

2 Sift the plain flour, nutmeg, mixed spice and a pinch of salt into the bowl and mix until smooth. Shape the mixture into a disc, wrap in cling film and chill until firm. Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper and set aside.

3 Lightly dust the work surface with plain flour and roll the dough out to a thickness of 3mm. Using tree-shaped cutters stamp out biscuits and arrange on the prepared baking sheets. The number of biscuits you can make will depend on the size of your cutters. Chill for 20 mins and preheat the oven to 180C, Gas 4.

4 Bake the biscuits in the oven for 10-12 mins or until pale golden. Once cooled, dust with icing sugar spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. Per serving: Cals 162, Fat 8g, Sat Fat 5g, Carbs 21g

Chocolate truffe cake

A rich chocolate cake everyone can enjoy – it’s vegan and gluten-free

Serves 12 • Ready in 1 hr 15 mins, plus chilling

325g gluten-free plain flour

6tbsp cocoa powder, plus extra for the truffes

250g caster sugar

250g light muscovado sugar

2tbsp gluten-free baking powder

2tbsp cider vinegar

2tsp vanilla extract

400g tin coconut milk

400g good-quality vegan dark chocolate, broken into chunks

3tbsp raspberry jam Edible gold leaf

1 Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas 4. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together in a bowl and stir in the sugars and baking powder.

2 Stir the vinegar and vanilla together with 500ml water. Then, slowly beat the wet mix into the flour to make a batter. Grease and line 3 x 20cm sponge tins with baking paper. Pour â…“ of the batter into each tin and bake all three sponges for 25-30 mins, until firm but springy in the centre. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins.

3 To make the ganache, pour half the coconut milk in a pan and heat until almost boiling. Take off the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted. Stir in the rest of the coconut milk. Divide the ganache between 2 bowls and chill in the fridge. Leave one bowl for 8 hrs or overnight to set very firmly; remove the other bowl 2 hrs before needed, so it’s at room temperature.

4 To assemble, spread the cakes thinly with a little jam and then a little of the softer ganache. Place the cake layers on top of each other and spread the remaining ganache over the top and sides with a palette knife.

5 To make the truffes, scoop up 1tsp of firm ganache at a time, drop it into some cocoa powder and roll into a ball. Repeat. Decorate the cake with the truffes and gold leaf, if using. Per serving: Cals 531, Fat 17g, Sat Fat 11.5g, Carbs 86g

Gluten-free chocolate biscuits

There’s no added sugar in this recipe – chocolate adds all the sweetness you need

Makes 15 • Ready in 30 mins, plus chilling

1 egg

50g ground almonds

100g Doves Farm gluten-free plain flour

2tbsp double cream

75g unsalted butter

1tsp vanilla extract

75g dark chocolate, melted, but cool

50g chopped roasted hazelnuts

45g desiccated coconut

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Christmas 2019