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Ami Ellis, Head Pastry Chef at The Bailiwick, gave Express.co.uk her Christmas baking tips in the run-up to the holiday. She suggests a number of delicious alternatives to the traditional desserts, mince pies and Christmas pudding.
The pastry chef said: “Mince pies can be like Marmite to kids, they either love them or hate them.
“Being one of the most iconic Christmas treats an easy way to make them loved by all is by adding them into a brownie. Who doesn’t love a brownie?”
Ami explained a simple way to create this dish and make mince pies a little more appealing to children and fussier guests.
She said: “Make a simple brownie recipe but when you come to adding it into the tray, add half followed by a layer of broken up mince pies then top with your remaining mix.
“A simple twist but something that makes the humble brownie a festive one to be enjoyed by the whole family.”
Instead of a Christmas pudding, Ami suggested a boozy tiramisu, still providing that hit of spirit without the dense, nutty cake.
She said: “For people who aren’t a fan of the classic Christmas pudding at the end of their dinner, why not try making a Bailey inspired tiramisu.”
Britons can do this by “swapping out coffee liqueur for baileys or another Irish cream alternative?”
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“With the addition of some drunken cherries soaked in Amaretto for instance (Disaronno being one of my favourites as it’s nut-free but lends its self to having almond tasting notes), you can still end on a boozy dessert but a lighter one if you ate one too many sprouts,” she went on.
For those who are allergic to nuts, Christmas baking can be challenging.
Many of the traditional desserts and cakes contain nuts.
Being allergic to nuts herself, Ami has some excellent suggestions.
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She said: “As we all know nuts are used in abundance over Christmas and especially in desserts such as Christmas puddings and mince pies.
“Having a nut allergy myself, I am always looking at ways to compensate for textures and flavours in desserts that would normally come by adding nuts.
“A quick and easy alternative is adding different seeds such as toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
“These offer the same texture and by roasting them add a nutty flavour to your dish.”
For those who are mince pie fans, but fancy something a little different, how about a puff pastry mince pie recipe?
All you need is mincemeat, ready-rolled pastry, and icing sugar.
Kirsty Redden, who posts her recipes at @lovetocook4ppl, created the recipe with Traeger.
It differs from the traditional mince pie, made with shortcrust pastry.
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