Monthly Archives: November 2011

Homemade Christmas Hampers

For a DIY Christmas that’s fun but frugal, get baking!

Whether you want to cut down on costs, or simply enjoy being creative in the kitchen, baking homemade goodies is a great way to create personalised, heartfelt gifts for Christmas without breaking the bank.

From homemade jams, to mini mince pies and individual Christmas puddings and why not try your hand at a few different recipes and create a tantalizing homemade hamper?

These adorable Mini Brandy Christmas puddings are sure to please. The great thing about this recipe is that it can be made well in advance and reheated on the day. 

Here at Baking Mad we believe the perfect Christmas cake or pudding should be dense, moist and oozing decadence. To achieve this we recommend using only the very best quality ingredients.

For an extra impressive Christmas pud, choose Billington’s Dark Muscovado Sugar. The world’s finest dark brown soft sugar, its rich taste and natural colour adds depth to all your cooking and baking.

To gift wrap these gorgeous mini puddings, simply wrap each in greaseproof paper, then tie in a muslin square. A sprig of holly and some raffia add the perfect finishing touches.

Looking for something more continental for your hamper? Why not try our delicious recipe for Stollen. In recent year’s this traditional German recipe has fast become a festive favourite in Britain. Lighter than traditional Christmas cake, it makes a delightful alternative and a great addition to any festive hamper.

With so many great Christmas recipe ideas to choose from, what will you be putting in your Christmas hamper?

Christmas Countdown

It’s that time of year again! The Christmas lights have been lit, everyone is starting to say “I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas” and the baking extravaganza is about to begin.


We’d thought we’d help you out by creating a Christmas countdown calendar, which you can download for free, to help you plan out your most perfect Christmas yet. Filled with inspiring recipe and homemade gifts ideas (not to mention the all-important dates you can’t afford to miss) we hope this helps you have a very Merry Christmas.

Click here to download:

Enjoy x

Save 1/3 with Sainsburys

Billington's Dark Muscovado Sugar
Good news for all those eager bakers out there! Sainsburys are offering 1/3rd off selected home baking ingredients until 22nd November.

Included in the offer are Billington’s Dark Muscovado Sugar and Billington’s Glace Cherries, the perfect ingredients for a delighfully decadent Christmas pudding.

We’ll be using Billington’s Dark Muscovado sugar in all our Christmas baking this year. The world’s finest dark brown soft sugar, Dark Muscovado is rich in taste and full of natural colour, adding depth to all your  baking- just perfect for Christmas!

Sainsbury’s also have 1/3rd off Silver Spoon’s range designed by Mich Turner, including Ready to Roll Icing, Marzipan and Lustres. The queen of couture cakes, and baker to the royals and many A-list stars, we just adore Mich’s products. Made from fine quality ingredients, they’re guaranteed to lift your baking and help you achieve a high quality finish.

Feeling inspired, why not see our How To Videos with Mich Turner and learn how to make the most of these fantastic ingredients!

 *offer applies while stocks last. See instore at Sainsburys for details.

Win Tickets to Taste of Christmas

Of all the festive foodie events taking place this year, we’re particularly looking forward to attending Taste of Christmas in London between 2nd- 4th December.

Taste of Christmas invites food lovers to indulge in a day of adventurous festive eating, shopping, and entertainment. You’ll also find plenty of inspiration from some of the country’s best chefs, including Eric Lanlard, Jamie Oliver, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Rachel Allen, Gary Rhodes and Michel Roux Jr. They’ll help you refine that ambitious festive menu and prepare for the ultimate season of extravagance.

A selection of London’s top restaurants will also be serving up seasonal menus designed to inspire, so give your tastebuds a treat and create your own menu from some of the capital’s finest kitchens. Between bites, browse for that ideal gift, essential ingredient or winter warmer at the boutique market and stock up on old and new festive favourites.

After a full day’s shopping, settle down to a fine wine tasting or to learn about the best cheese and chocolate for your Christmas table or a cozy night in. And while you’re feeling hands-on, join an interactive cookery class – it’s sure to fire up your imagination and help you hone that holiday feast.

We have 5 pairs of tickets to give away to this mouth-watering event. To enter our competition simply visit our Facebook page.

If you’re not lucky enough to win, why not take advantage of our exclusive offer. Buy 2 standard tickets for £26 and save £18 on the door price – simply call 0871 230 7132 and quote BAKINGMAD when booking.

*Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras. Booking and transaction fees apply. Saving calculated on the door price. Jamie Oliver’s Dining Tickets and other ticket types available from

Stir Up Sunday- 20th November

Stir Up Sunday
For us home bakers, Stir Up Sunday, is probably one of the best parts of the whole festive season.

Traditionally the day to begin preparing your Christmas cake or pudding, Stir Up Sunday always falls on the last Sunday before advent- which this year is the 20th November.

For many the delicious aromas which float through the house as you begin soaking your fruit mark the beginning of the festivities.

The customs surrounding Stir Up Sunday bring the whole family together as each takes a turn to stir the mixture and make a wish and even add coins- the finding of them on Christmas day traditionally bringing wealth, health and happiness! (So long as you don’t manage to swallow the thing!)

Here at Baking Mad we believe the perfect Christmas cake or pudding should be dense, moist and oozing decadence. To achieve this we recommend using only the very best quality ingredients.

For an extra impressive Christmas pud, choose Billington’s Molasses Sugar. The ultimate soft brown sugar, Billington’s Mollasses is packed full of natural cane molasses making it deep in colour and rich in taste. Perfect!

And for the superior Christmas cake taste why not add Billington’s Unrefined Light Muscovado Sugar to your shopping basket. Recommended by Good Housekeeping, this sugar is the world’s finest. It’s richness and depth of flavour is unmatched.

Happy Stir Up Sunday everyone!

Show Your Spots, Bake & Raise Lots

Allinson Nature Friendly Self Raising FlourAllinson’s have teamed up with supermarket giant Asda to help raise money for this year’s BBC Children in Need appeal. The annual event which will take place on 18th November will help raise money for disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

To support the appeal Allinson’s will be donating 15p from the sale of special packs of their Nature Friendly Plain White and Self Raising flours to the charity. The special packs, which will feature the iconic Pudsey bear character, are due to go on sale in November and are available exclusively at Asda supermarkets. So next time you’re out shopping be sure to look out for Pudsey in the home baking aisle!

And, once you’ve bought your flour, why not raise even more money by baking some scrumming treats for a cake sale? Allison’s flour is expertly produced by British millers and is a great quality ingredient that can be used in a whole host of recipes. We love these super cute Pudsey biscuits.

Pudsey Biscuits

To create these delightful treats, just download our Pudsey template and have your Silver Spoon decorating icings at the ready!

With your support, we’ll be able to make a real difference to the lives of children all across the UK. So go on show your spots, bake and raise lots for BBC Children in Need!

Celebrate Bonfire Night with a Bang

Toffee ApplesA chill in the air can only mean one thing, winter is well and truly on its way!

After the excitement of Halloween, we’re already looking forward to celebrating Bonfire night. And what bonfire night would be complete without a delicious, chewy toffee apple?

Best enjoyed with a fireworks display and a group of friends, the traditional toffee apple has become an integral part of November 5th festivities. If like us, you’re a stickler for good old-fashioned tradition, why not give our classic toffee apple recipe a bash. Really easy to follow, this family-friendly recipe is so much fun to make so why not make a batch and personalise them with Silver Spoon sprinkles? Add a cellophane wrap and a pretty ribbon for the finishing touches and voilà- a tasty seasonal gift to share with friends beside the bonfire!

And after you head home, how about warming up with our delicious churros? Churros are a deep fried sweet pastry which taste great when cooked fresh, dusted with a little sugar and served straight away. A truly decadent delight, our churros are best devoured with a cup of frothy hot chocolate- the perfect way to warm up after a night out in the cold. Just don’t forget to dip and dunk!