Christmas – Baked In England – part 2

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas if you didnt stuff yourself silly over the festive season.

After wanting to explode from eating far to much Christmas pudding and Christmas cake there are the additional Christmas tea time treats to look forward to. Once you get past the cold meats, the sausage rolls and the Christmas cake then comes the Pièce de résistance the yule log and the mince pies.

Yule Log
The Yule log, a great alternative to Christmas cake, or if you like me look forward to enjoying both.

The Yule Log (or bûche de Noël) is a traditional dessert served near Christmas, especially in France. Of course, the English decided that just having one form of Christmas cake wasnt enough so we stole the idea from the French and now the Yule log (as we know it in England) is a cake that is found on most tables during the festive season.

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The Yule Log (or chocolate log) is essentially a roulade. It is made from chocolate sponge, filled with chocolate buttercream, rolled to form a log shape then covered in rich chocolate buttercream. A fork is then dragged through the frosting to create a bark like texture and it is often decorated with a sprig of holly or powdered sugar to resemble snow.

Continue reading Christmas – Baked In England – part 2

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Christmas – Baked In England – part 1

There isn’t much that is still made in England, but one thing we do make are some very good Christmas treats.

I have been in the US nearly 7 years and while I love it here the one thing I truly miss is Christmas in England and all the traditions that go with it, in particular the wonderful desserts and cakes.

We of course have the Victorians to thank for most of the wonderful creations, in particular the Christmas Pudding, and there are many delights us Brits love to consume in abundance during the festive season (and I am not just talking about the  tins of Quality Street Chocolates that can be found in homes up and down the nation). Every family has their traditions and their personal favorites of what they like to eat over the Christmas period, and many have recipes that have passed through many generations.

Generally you will find most of the following delights on the table at most homes in England:

  • Christmas Pudding
  • Christmas Cake
  • Chocolate Yule Log (aka known as Buche de Noel)
  • Mince Pies

Christmas Pudding
Lets start with everyone’s favorite the Christmas pudding. This beast of a pudding is truly delightful and is traditionally served as part of Christmas dinner. The pudding typically consists of many dried fruits held together by egg and suet, moistened with stout and rum, and flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices. The pudding is then steamed in a basin for around 6 hours (depending on its size), stored for a month (to let the flavors come together) and then steamed for a further 2 hours on Christmas day. It sounds laborious but it is well worth it.

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My mum has always made her own puddings and I have carried on the tradition, but the recipe is a closely guarded secret and if I shared it with you Mrs. Austin would not be pleased.

Continue reading Christmas – Baked In England – part 1

Recipe – Mincemeat (sweet)

You can’t have Christmas without a mince pie. But you can’t have a mince pie without mincemeat. This luxurious, alcohol infused dired fruit mixture that everyone loves in England can be quite hard to find in America. Even harder to find is suet (a key part of the mixture), however this recipe is very easy to make and uses butter instead of suet.

Click here for the Full Recipe