Christmas Baking 2016

I was a little bit ambitious for Christmas this year, and wanted to showcase a variety of cakey snack things for my friends. I like to give cake because it’s relatively cheap while still being something people can appreciate and not be some tacky knick-knack that will eventually contribute to landfill. With that in mind, everything I made I packaged either in takeaway containers that I’d washed and reused, or paper bags that could be recycled. It really bums me out that candy canes have to be individually wrapped in plastic, but I’m hoping since Coles supermarkets recycle soft plastics, they can recycle tiny bits of candy cane wrappers.

I think if I had more time or thought about it a bit sooner, I’d look into pretty jars/Tupperware to put treats in. 

Anyway, this year I made a few things for my family and friends that have really looked out for me this year. Everything was vegan since I have many vegan friends/friends allergic to dairy. I made blondies using a recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra, and topped with peppermint candy canes and Sweet William white chocolate.

I also made chocolate truffles dipped in dark chocolate. They were originally going to be rum balls, until I remembered a lot of my friends are parents. Haha.

Finally, I also made some gingerbread, using a recipe from the same Isa Chandra book. I think of all the cookbooks I have, I use hers the most! I did my baking over a couple of days rather than all at once. Well worth the effort! This is probably the last baking I’ll do for the year, so looking forward to more baking in 2017!

Gingerbread Brownie Cereal Bowl

image

I’d been planning something really special for my pal Ness for her birthday, but then we won a cake on Instagram from Sugar and Nice in Inglewood, so we ate that instead.

(Here it is. It’s so good. And all the better for being free. I love the internet).

image

Even we can’t eat too much cake in one weekend, so we spread the birthday fun over two weeks. I had the idea of making a sweet cereal-inspired cake, since Ness is the most cereal-obsessed person I know. This idea went through heaps of evolutions – a custard, a white chocolate fudge with cereal bits, a panna cotta, until I finally decided on an edible cereal bowl.

image

I went with gingerbread for the bowl, and moulded it around the only oven-proof bowls I have. Deciding what to fill the bowls with was a tough choice, but eventually I settled on brownie bits, because brownies are the best. Ness makes the best brownies in the whole wide world, and I’d never actually made brownies before, so there was a lot of pressure to make good brownies. I stuck to a recipe in a random cookbook and it paid off! Very tasty and dense and chewy.

image

Figuring out what to do for the ‘milk’ part was hard. Gingerbread bowls aren’t exactly the most architecturally sound food vessels, after all. Eventually I came up with meringue fluff, since Ness (and I) loves that shit. The meringue came out runnier than I wanted, but at least in a semi-liquid state it looked like milk. Topped with the most colourful cereal (Froot Loops), plus sprinkles, made for a lot of good times.

image

I met Ness at the park so we could watch the ducks and eat our feelings. The bowls kind of fell apart on the walk to the park, which was a bummer. Luckily I brought emergency wet wipes and napkins. I think the gingerbread was a bit soft and because it was a square bowl, not round, it wasn’t as structurally sound. But other than that it looked and tasted SO GOOD. Pretty stoked with how everything came together.

image

Christmas Gingerbread Snow Cakes

image

I love gingerbread, especially around Christmas. I wanted to make cupcakes for my gym’s Christmas party (counter-intuitive, I know). I had some wafer snowflakes that I impulse-purchased on my UK holiday earlier in the year, so from that my idea for Christmas cupcakes was born.

image

The gingerbread cupcake recipe itself is from Isa Chandra’s Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which I then topped with a vegan frosting.

image

Making the snowy ‘ground’ by spreading flat blobs of frosting

image

I spiralled the frosting so it mimicked a Christmas tree.

image

Then I topped with silver glitter spray and a wafer snowflake!

image

Woo hoo! Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas Eve (Christmas in the eastern states, but we’re a few hours behind. But still ahead of US and UK!). I’m at my parent’s house and managed to find some privacy before being reluctantly carted off to midnight mass (just as I typed that my brother walked in yelling “hey Kim’s in here!” Sigh.).

I managed to squeeze in some Christmas baking and wanted to share!

image

Mini Christmas tree meringues! I burnt these which made me sad, so here is a pre-oven picture.

image

Gingerbread reindeer and mini trees! I used the trees as cupcake toppers (see below), pretty chuffed with how they turned out.

image

I also made a pavlova at my brother’s request, but it kind of collapsed so I’m too embarrassed to post a picture, haha. Otherwise I’m pretty happy with what I did manage to pull off. My dream is to one day have the time and money to make a Christmas dessert table!

Hope everyone has a super lovely holiday season! I’ve already stuffed my face and still have four days here before I go back home… oh dear.

Much love xo