SUNDAY is the day to stir things up – by starting to prep your Christmas treats.Known as Stir-up Sunday, the last Sunday before advent is when people
SUNDAY is the day to stir things up – by starting to prep your Christmas treats.
Known as Stir-up Sunday, the last Sunday before advent is when people traditionally start prepping their Christmas puddings and cakes.
Festive cakes contain a lot of spices and booze and, unless you have all the ingredients already in your cupboard, can cost a fair bit to make.
I sought the advice of experts Sophie Beck, who blogs on Instagram as @SauceWithSoph, and Hannah Harley Young, from crazysexyfood.com and her podcast and YouTube channel Crazy Sexy Food. Here are some of their tips for the festive season . . .
CUPBOARD SWAPSIES: Sophie says: “Check your baking cupboard to see if you already have the same or similar ingredients left over from before. No light brown sugar? You’ll be fine with caster. No baking powder? Stick with bicarbonate of soda. Make use of what you already have.”
GET IN THE SPIRIT: Sophie says: “This goes for spirits too. Christmas cake is usually made with brandy but sherry, whisky or rum can be used. So save yourself buying a whole bottle of brandy at around £20, and use up what you have. If you do have to buy, go for the miniatures — that way you will not end up drinking the rest.”
SPLIT THE BILL: Sophie says: “If you have to buy ingredients, then most of the products will do for baking at least two cakes. It’s also worth buddying up with another baker in your extended family, or a friend, and splitting the bill. This will cost you half the price and means less waste.”
GRAPE IDEA: Hannah says: “One of my favourite tips for making a Christmas cake cheaply, and with a twist, is using red wine instead of brandy. It’s really tasty, and is generally cheaper. Think mulled wine vibes.”
SIZE MATTERS: Hannah says: “Don’t make a huge cake — if there are ten people at Christmas, make a cake for six to seven people. Christmas cake can be quite dense and rich. After a huge Christmas lunch, you will pick at some cake, then switch to other nibbles.”
DON’T POP LEFTOVERS IN BIN: If you do have cake remaining after Christmas Day, Hannah knows just the thing to do. She says: “Squeeze up the sponge in a bowl and roll it into golf-sized balls, poke a lollipop stick in each one — and you have cake pops for Boxing Day. You can also dip them in any icing or melted chocolate you have left over.”
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