Santa Maria UK Foodservice

Smart tips to help you succeed with Christmas baking

We have gathered our best tips for you to succeed with Christmas baking. Learn how to get that extra taste from saffron, how to make the best caramel and why grinding spices yourself tastest better.

Let saffron soak in spirit before baking

The flavours of saffron are released when the spice dissolves in spirits and sugar. It is therefore a good idea to use a mixture of saffron and spirits during baking. By doing it this way you get the most taste from your saffron cakes and buns.

Mix 1g of saffron with 2-3 tbsp of cognac (other spirits will also work) and 1 tbsp of sugar. Then add the mixture to the dough. Remember to let the bun dough rise for a long time at room temprature before baking. 

Caramel is perfect at 125 °C.

Home made caramel is so tasty at Christmas! The secret of perfect caramel is to use a thermometer! Boil the caramel until the temperature is 125° C. Then it is ready and the consistency will be perfect when it has cooled and is ready to be eaten.

The gingerbread dough needs to rest

Let the gingerbread dough rest in the fridge overnight before baking. The dough needs time to set so that it's easy to roll out. It will also help to release all the delicious gingerbread flavours. 

Use room temperature ingredients

Let all ingredients get to room temperature before you start to bake. When butter, eggs and milk are at room temperature, they mix easily with each other, giving you nice, fluffy cakes. Cold ingredients do not mix in the same way, which may make the end result not as good.

Freshly ground spices taste better!

Freshly ground spices taste better than pre-ground spices. It also smells wonderful with freshly ground spices! Use a spice mill or mortar to grind the spices. If you are going to grind a lot of spices at once, an electric coffee grinder works perfect! Just keep in mind that the coffee you ground afterwards will have the taste of spices. Coffee flavored with cardamom is delicious, while coffee with a hint of black pepper probably does not taste as good...

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