It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And one of the things I love most about Christmas is the food. The hearty flavours and warming combinations – after all, if you can’t indulge at Christmas, then when?
The festive season brings about the opportunity to bake with some of my favourite ingredients. A main one of these for this time of year is, of course, spices. In particular cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg make for delicious participants. And they often pair really well with other ingredients. For example, apples and pears tend to match particularly well with cinnamon and hints of nutmeg. Oranges are more suited to undertones of cloves or ginger. Oranges work well with another main player in the Christmas game – chocolate. Is there anything better than being cosied up next to a warm crackling fire, indulging in that lifelong friend we call chocolate?
When baking with chocolate, I try to be aware of the sweetness of each type. Dark chocolate is obviously the most bitter, milk chocolate is sweeter, and white chocolate is the sweetest. I like to pair dark chocolate with more flavours on the whole. The slight bitterness balances out other sweet ingredients and therefore tends to be the most accommodating to work with. Around the festive period, I enjoy it best with flavours such as dates, figs, orange, and toffee. In the winter, milk chocolate is my favourite with hazelnuts. And if I plan on baking with white chocolate, I’ll prefer to go with sour and bitter fruits, such as cranberries and currants for a more Christmassy tang. In the summer, swap them out for lemon or grapefruit!
Happy baking, everyone!
- Roxy ♡