Gingerbread_house_with_gumdrops

Indulgent Christmas Treats

It’s a well-known fact that Christmas is a time for indulgence. It’s a chance to step away from the library, an opportunity to sit by a cosy fire watching ‘Love Actually’ on repeat for days on end. The festive period is a reason to eat as much of whatever you’d like to eat just for a few weeks, and there are loads of Christmas treats to choose from. Only now is it classed as acceptable to have pigs in blankets for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and supper.

Stollen. Photograph by Ellie Edwards

Stollen. Photograph by Ellie Edwards

There’s no reason to wait until Christmas to start the indulgence. It’s important to keep yourself fuelled over the last couple of weeks of term and there’s no better way to do this than with some pistachio, orange and marzipan stollen. Not only is it easy and quick to make – meaning you don’t have to leave your essay unattended too long – but it’s a crowd-pleaser. You’d be the most-loved housemate if you were to deliver pieces of sweet nutty stollen and cups of tea to the rooms of your housemates. The orange provides a light sweet flavour to contrast to the rich, nutty marzipan.

For when you’re feeling a little more adventurous and have a little more time on your hands, there’s nothing more satisfying than making, constructing and decorating your own gingerbread house. The fun of baking a gingerbread house lets you release your inner child, the child who left carrots out for Rudolph and sent letters to Santa up the chimney. Even if the end result looks like it has been decorated by a seven year old it’ll taste absolutely delicious – sweet and spicy with a satisfying crunch when you bite into it. It’ll make a great showstopper at a Christmas meal, or is just a way to get you into the Christmas spirit.

For all those Christmas pudding haters (myself included) there’s only one suitable alternative for a Christmas Day dessert: a chocolate yule log. It’s a light sponge so won’t push you overboard after the Christmas dinner indulgence, but it’s packed full of chocolate and cream….the ideal way to continue the celebrations! It also looks very impressive, covered in chocolate frosting with icing sugar dusted on top to make it look like a winter wonderland.

By the time it reaches New Year’s Eve, you’ve had a few days of lying on the sofa wrapped in a blanket and the chance to go on some lovely brisk walks. You are ready to have one last night of indulgence and what better way to do it than

Photograph by Ellie Edwards

Chocolate and satsuma cake. Photograph by Ellie Edwards

with a chocolate, espresso, almond and satsuma cake. It’s visually elegant and has the perfect flavour combination. It’s made using ground almonds and egg whites so it has a very light texture. The dark chocolate and coffee provide a richness to the cake whilst the caramelised satsuma adds a burst of sweetness to round it off. There’s a dash of cinnamon in the cake too, which provides a rich spiciness. Every Christmas flavour in one cake.

Baking over the festive period is the perfect way to relax and treat yourself. No matter what you bake, make sure it’s rich and indulgent and you eat it in the best company, by the warmest of fires, with the cosiest of blankets.

 Links to the recipes:

Stollen

Gingerbread house

Chocolate Yule Log

Chocolate, espresso, almond and satsuma cake

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