BAKO celebrates Christmas 2014

6 January, 2015

The festive period is the perfect time for bakers to show off their creations and this year’s selection certainly didn’t disappoint. From Christmas classics, to the less traditional alternatives such as cake pops and afternoon tea variations, the North West’s bakers embraced the festivities and created some delicious looking seasonal bakes.

We’re already looking forward to next year but, until then, here are some of the highlights.

Did you whip up some Christmas creations for your customers? BAKO would love to see your bakes, so why not get in touch on Twitter and share your pictures with our community.

BAKO’s Christmas classics

22 December, 2014

With Christmas less than a week away, the BAKO team thought we would take a moment to appreciate all the delicious traditional bakes that only get enjoyed during this festive time of year.

Christmas pudding

As many bakers will have experienced, the Christmas pudding is a real labour of love with most being traditional family recipes handed down through generations and soaked in alcohol for up to a month in advance. Known for its dark, dense texture and its distinct aromas it will definitely split opinion as most either love it or hate it.

Typically served after Christmas dinner doused in brandy or rum and flamed, it creates a sensational centrepiece for any table.

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Mince pies

Some may say that the mince pie is the most popular seasonal treat enjoyed by many, hot or cold with a dollop of brandy butter. These small buttery pies filled with sweet mincemeat have been a firm favourite for years, but bakers have gradually begun to put their own unique twists on the tradition. From bite size pies, to those topped with sponge instead of pastry, there is an alternative that it sure to impress all your customers.

Why not try creating a Danish pastry inspired, mince pie pastry? Simply spread the mincemeat mixture across a sheet of puff pastry and roll tightly before baking. Slice and decorate with a drizzle of soft icing and sprinkle with chocolate or chopped nuts for some extra texture.

Danish Pastries

Christmas cake

Often prepared months in advance, the Christmas cake is fed regularly with alcohol to build up its famous flavours and aromas whilst keeping the cake moist. The combination of dried fruits, zests, almonds and spices creates its distinguished look and aroma. Commonly decorated with a thick layer of marzipan and white royal icing, there are just some bakes that should remain in their classic form.

Decorated Christmas Fruit Cake with slices taken

Yule Log

A lighter yet still indulgent alternative to Christmas pudding is the classic chocolate yule log. Sure to go down a treat with chocolate lovers and prove a hit with all ages.  The combination of delicate sponge and rich chocolate buttercream make this Christmas Yule log as delicious to eat as it is pretty to look at! Covered in more chocolate fondant and decorated to create a log effect, sprinkled with icing sugar, it makes a tempting centrepiece.

Yule log

Christmas drinks

Eggnog traditionally made with milk or cream and sugar and eggs, is a unique classic at this time of year. Served warm and typically topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg, for those who love this indulgent treat, cream may be included to make a richer and thicker drink, and for the grown-ups spirits such as brandy, rum or bourbon can also be added.  This is another Christmas tradition that will separate your customers’ opinions; Many may prefer the fruity flavours and spices of mulled wine as their chosen festive tipple.

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Served warm, mulled wine is a traditional drink enjoyed during the colder winter months either at home or at Christmas markets. Usually made with red wine along with various mulling spices and raisins, it’s not hard to create your own homemade version. Mulled ciders and ales have also become a popular choice, or a mulled apple juice or ginger ale can be provided as a non-alcoholic alternative.

If you’re looking forward to indulging or preparing some of these Christmas classics over the festive period we would love to hear from you on Twitter.

 

Christmas left over creations

19 December, 2014

Christmas left over creations

For many, Christmas is largely associated with the extensive amounts of food on offer. Often this leads to preparing far too much food and so bakeries and kitchens are left with a variety of Christmas treats that could last well into the month of January.

As Christmas approaches, BAKO are sure there will be many bakers out there already planning some innovative creations to create with their Christmas leftovers and with this in mind, we thought we would share some inspirational recipe ideas for those who want to use up all their odds and ends from the festivities.

Turkey creations

There’s always scraps of Christmas turkey left over, so try creating some bite size shortcrust pastry pies filled with turkey and cranberry sauce, making a great addition to your bakery shelf or Boxing Day buffet.

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Turkey curry always proves a hit at Christmas parties, easy to make and offering lots of portions served with fluffy rice or crispy potatoes. This won’t be around for long!

Soup

Don’t waste any of the delicious vegetables or stock that you have left over, create a warming vegetable soup with some crusty croutons or how about a roasted chestnut soup with some crispy bacon on top? This is sure to go down a treat with your customers, or even families.

Butternut quash soup in a bread bowl

Christmas pudding

For those who are lucky enough to have some Christmas pudding left over, why not create a Christmas pudding trifle for your New Year’s Eve party? Simply replace the traditional sponge fingers with a layer of Christmas pudding and top with all your usual trifle toppings.

christmas dessert with gingerbread,whipped cream and caramel

Or how about creating a Christmas pudding strudel? Simply spread your pudding leftovers across a sheet of sweet filo pastry and roll tightly. Once baked serve warm with a dusting of icing sugar and a side of brandy butter cream. The buttery layers of pastry mixed with the rich pudding flavours are sure to impress.

If you’ve had enough of rich desserts, why not create something lighter by adding small chunks of your leftover pudding to a creamy vanilla ice cream?

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Brownies

If, like we know many of you do, you always stock up on lot of nuts and nibbles at Christmas how about incorporating them into a brownie mix? The addition of sweet leftover cranberries or raisins with chopped nuts will add a delicious texture to your gooey brownies.  Or if you’re struggling to eat all the chocolate treats in the house, why not add some chocolate chunks to the mix too or melt them down and drizzle over the top for a mouth-watering decoration?

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Bread and butter pudding

Use up the last of your pannetone or stollen by creating a twist on the traditional bread and butter pudding. Soaked in a warm vanilla custard and then baked, these breads make the perfect base for this buttery pudding. Add some chunks of your left over chocolate or spoon some marmalade or jam in places across the pudding; when baked they will ooze out into the sweet custard dessert.

Bread butter pudding

If you’re planning on using your left overs in some delicious recipes we’d love to hear about them on Twitter.

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