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Christmas Baking

PUBLISHED: 11:53 16 December 2015 | UPDATED: 11:53 16 December 2015

Get baking this Christmas

Get baking this Christmas

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Here’s a festive recipe to keep you busy in the kitchen this December from Somerset hospitality student Kira Crossfield

The Pieminister Christmas pie rangeThe Pieminister Christmas pie range

Baked Christmas Trees

Ingredients for the brownie base:

315g unsalted butter, softened

510g caster sugar

6 eggs

120g plain chocolate

3 tsp instant coffee granules

6 tbsp warm water

3 tsp baking bowder

165g plain flour

165g cocoa powder

3 tsp vanilla extract or 2 vanilla pods

Green butter icing:

Green colouring (amount depends on how bright/dark you wish to have the icing)

300g butter, softened

350g icing sugar

Christmas tree:

2 punnets of strawberries

White and red sprinkles/ gold and silver balls

Golden stars

Gold edible glitter

Method for the brownie base:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/gas mark 4.

2. Prepare cupcake tins.

3. In a clean bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

4. Chop the chocolate and fold into the butter and egg mixture. Then add the vanilla pod/extract.

5. Dissolve the coffee granules in two tablespoons of warm water and add to the mixture and mix well.

6. Add baking powder, then sift in flour and cocoa powder. Mix well.

7. Spoon/pipe brownie mixture into the cupcake holders half way.

8. Bake in the oven for 10-12 mins. Allow to cool before putting on a

wire rack.

Green butter icing:

1. Whisk butter and icing sugar together until it is pale and fluffy.

2. Then add green colouring. Mix well.

Christmas tree:

1. Place a strawberry on top of the brownie.

2. Pipe the butter icing with a star nozzle all over the strawberry, until all is covered resembling a Christmas tree.

3. Decorate the trees with white and red sprinkles/ balls. Place gold star on top.

4. To finish, spray gold glitter over the trees and tie a red ribbon around the bottom. Kira Crossfield is 17 years old and a hospitality student at The Combe, the training restaurant based at the Skills & Enterprise Centre at West Somerset College, Minehead. Her dream is to become a patisserie chef.

Food & Drink News

A pieminister christmas

Waitrose is stocking a range of Pieminister Christmas pies again this festive season. Mistle Moo is a British beef steak and Long Clawson stilton pie with chestnuts, free range British bacon and port and Christingle is a roast parsnip, chestnut and West Country Cheddar pie from the Bristol company. Deer Santa is a wild British venison, free range British dry cured bacon, red wine and green lentil pie and Three Kings is an open top, free range British Kelly Bronze turkey pie with free range British smoked bacon, parsnip and cranberry. We think we’ll be spoilt for choice.

And a few

more things we have seen:

Michelin star for hotel

The Bath Priory has retained its Michelin star following the release of the Michelin Guide 2016. Executive Chef Sam Moody, who joined The Bath Priory in 2009, was awarded a Michelin star for the first time in 2013, aged just 28, and the latest announcement marks four continuous years for the hotel to hold the award.

A starring role

Thatchers Cider has been featuring in a new BBC Two series of Harvest 2015. In three episodes presenters Gregg Wallace, Philippa Forrester and James Manning, a 28-year-old dairy farmer from North Herefordshire, met farmers from across Britain, including three generations of the cidermaking Thatcher family in the heart of Somerset. They met John Thatcher, his son Martin, and Martin’s children, Eleanor and Peter. Filming for the series has been taking place at Thatchers Myrtle Farm since January, following, in detail, the cidermaking year, including planting of new orchards, through to harvesting the apples and crafting the cider.

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