'What makes Christmas... For me, it's all about the festive flavours' says Weekend columnist and Bake Off 2014 star, Martha Collison
Christmas baking is all about the flavours – the smell of gingerbread and amaretto around the house and all those wonderful festive spices filling the kitchen. I normally start doing my Christmas bakes as soon as it gets into December and the weather turns bad: that’s when the Christmas music goes on and the candy canes come out.
This year, I’ve been putting my own spin on Christmas classics: lovely traditional Christmas recipes, but with a twist. I think it’s nice to open them up a little bit and change them around.
Martha's Christmas pudding >
I really enjoy making Christmas puddings – soaking them in brandy is the fun bit. I probably won’t be putting a sixpence in ours, though. When I was at school, they put a 50p in the pudding, but it was in a plastic bag for safety reasons. It didn’t quite have the same magic!
Martha Collison's spiced marmalade bundt cake
This year I’m using Waitrose Signature Spice, which is brilliant. It’s such a nice blend that makes everything taste really warming. Also, it means you don’t have to open endless jars of different spices!
Martha's nut-crusted mince pies >
When coming up with my own variations, I try to incorporate Christmassy flavours. This year I’m using Waitrose Signature Spice, which is brilliant. It’s such a nice blend of aromas that makes everything taste really warming. Also, it means you don’t have to open endless different jars of spices!