“I have a confession to make” Flora Shedden tells us with the face of a guilty baker, “I really don’t like fondant icing”. Phew, we thought she was going to tell us that she buys her Christmas cake - not that we ever do that…
If you’re looking to whip up a perfectly iced Christmas cake just in time for the big day, Great British Bake Off finalist Flora Shedden (you can read all about Flora's Bake Off experience here) revealed her top tips for a perfect festive centerpiece over Christmas cocktails at AO.com.
Grab the mulled wine, it’s baking time…
Flora’s Top Tips
1. Use a huge range of fruits in your cake. Get some cranberries in there, and loads of orange zest.
2. Go blonde. For something slightly different, we use a New Zealand recipe for a blonde Christmas cake, with papaya, dried mango and apricots in it.
3. Ditch the marzipan. I think it’s always a bad move, it’s always picked off and left on the plate.
4. Instead… Go for royal icing. With royal icing, you can swirl some decorative patterns on, or create a snowy scene with peaks – it sets really well.
5. Pass the brandy. Make your standard butter cream, but use brandy butter instead of an unsalted butter. It’s really got the taste of Christmas, and you can get a lovely finish with it. It doesn’t keep quite as well, though.
6. Don’t be afraid to be different. You can be so creative, but I think people are panicked that they need to go with traditional recipes. There are loads of options that people are scared to explore.
If that's not easy enough, Flora also gave us 8 genius baking hacks to use in the kitchen