Tag Archives: Christmas

Sparkles, Glitz and Glamour

If ever you were going to have sparkles, glitz and glamour as your wedding theme, then a celebration between Christmas and New Year is the time to have it! The bride came to me at the end of last year with a limited budget for her wedding cake spread, but big ideas of lots of gold and sequins to match her theme. Rather than go down the well-trodden naked wedding cake route, I created a styled dessert table of decadent little bites for their guests, swapping the usual cake centrepiece for a pyramid of gold embellished brownies!

The wedding reception was held at Loft Studios, Kensal Rise. A huge thank you to Paper and Primrose for the lovely pics and Westwood Design for the little floral finishing touches.

Where else to look for sequins and sparkle than of course Rebecca of Glimmer and Threads who supplied the beautiful gold sequin table cloth.

I created personalised “Oreo” love heart cookies dusted with gold…

Gold dusted hazelnut praline macarons…

Vanilla meringues sprinkled with edible gold glitter…

And sparkly vanilla marshmallows!

For the “cake cutting”, the couple lit sparklers on their gilded brownie pyramid and sliced into a brownie of course!

All in all a wonderful winter wedding celebration don’t you think? Plus all of the cake platters are now available for hire from my new Hire page. Click here for details!

Christmas Cheesecake

Every year, my friends and I get together for a “fake Christmas”. It’s always a merry affair with everyone bringing a dish, a Christmas playlist pumping, copious amounts of red wine and of course a good old game of Charades.

I’m usually on pudding duty and having made a yule log the passed few years, this year I wanted to try something a little different. New York cheesecake is always a favourite amongst our friends and so I decided to put a festive twist on my classic recipe. I replaced my usual digestive base with ginger nuts, added some brandy soaked sultanas, a hint of clove and topped each slice with chunk of florentine.

Ingredients

75g sultanas, soaked for at least an hour in 30g brandy
250g ginger nuts
135g butter, melted
850g Philadelphia full-fat cream cheese
250g caster sugar
20g plain flour
1/8 tsp of ground cloves
1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract)
1 lemon
3 medium eggs
1 egg yolk
100g cream

To decorate

150 ml double cream
1 tblsp icing sugar
florentines

Method

Preheat the oven to fan 160C. Lightly grease and line the base of a 9″ deep loose bottom tin.

Blitz up the ginger nuts in a food processor until you achieve a fine crumb. Stir in the melted butter before evenly pressing the biscuit mix into the base of the tin.

Place in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the base from the oven and allow to cool. Turn the oven up to 200C.

Meanwhile, place the cream cheese and caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the bowl along with the finally grated zest of 1 lemon.

With the mixer on a medium speed, beat the ingredients together until just combined. Add the flour and ground cloves and mix to combine.

Sour the cream with the juice of the lemon and leave to stand for a moment.

Lightly beat the eggs with the yolk and gradually add them to the cream cheese mix.

Add the soured cream and lightly mix.

Blitz the brandy soaked sultanas in a small food processor until they are fairly finely chopped.

Finally add them a spoonful at a time to the mixture and gently fold them through.

Pour the mix into the prepared tin and place in the preheated oven.

Bake for 10 minutes at 200C before turning the oven down to 90C and cooking for a further 50 minutes to an hour.

The cheesecake is done once it is lightly coloured and the centre has a slight wobble.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for at least an hour before transferring it to the fridge and allowing it to set overnight.

To decorate, whisk 150g double cream with 1 tablespoon of icing sugar until it reaches stiff peaks. Pipe rosettes around the edge of the cheesecake and place half a florentine on top.