It’s the time of the School Christmas Fairs, Nativity Plays and Carol Concerts and we are always being tapped for products or being asked to do some baking.
But one of the problems we have always had is that, firstly, Christmas is our busiest part of the year for Steenbergs Organic in terms of order volume, and secondly, the fairs etc seem always to be mid-week. But as both Sophie and I are working baking mid-week is almost impossible beyond the odd cake or biscuit.
As I discussed in an earlier blog, I have been experimenting with sweet making instead of baking. Sweets last longer and can be made at the weekend and children (and adults) possibly prefer sweets to baked goods!
I have devised my own egg-free marzipan which we have coated in delicious dark El Rey 61% chocolate from Venezuela, as well as moulding chocolate into santa shapes, snowmen shapes and christmas bauble shapes; we used El Rey chocolate for all these – the dark one, a milk one and a white chocolate. We have dipped brazil nuts in dark chocolate and milk chocolate. We have also made milk chocolate circles and sprinkled them with mixed chop nuts and some sultanas.
These have then been bagged up into some polythene bags and then put into some nice Christmassy small bags for sale. As always, the amount of effort, cost of materials and packaging never quite add up to the sales price, but you cannot be an accountant about everything in life.
This morning I have also started my token bit of baking – some shortbread snowmen, using a mould that we got at Lakeland.
So I’ve done my duty and I can go and listen to the school carol concert today in Ripon Cathedral with a clear conscience.
For those who are interested, the marzipan I made is a variation on something I found on the web. I am going to keep my recipe a secret but heres the one from the Internet:
Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and knead dough until smooth. Sprinkle some icing sugar on a baking board, roll flat and then cut into shapes – I made round balls and simple rectangles.