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Best Homemade Croissant Recipe for National Croissant Day

Best Homemade Croissant Recipe for National Croissant Day

January 30th is National Croissant Day in the United States, giving all of us a chance to celebrate this creamy, crescent-shaped, curved pastry. The croissant rolls are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. There’s nothing better than having a breakfast croissant with the combination of coffee to kick your day off.

What Is a Croissant?

A croissant is a classic French pastry that is rolled into a crescent shape. Although croissants are considered a French specialty, they originated in Austria. Back then, it wasn’t as flaky as it is today. Later, in France, further changes were made to give it a proper shape and a crisper, more tender taste.

The croissant is a crispy nutritious breakfast item. It’s a popular snack that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, simply covered with everything from butter to whipped cream. If you haven’t tried this flaky and delicious homemade breakfast yet, National Croissant Day is the perfect opportunity to make them yourself.

Is It Hard to Make Homemade Croissants?

Making croissants with your own two hands from wholesome ingredients is the best way to taste them and learn how they are prepared. Traditional croissant making is a time-consuming process that involves the tedious processes of laminating, chilling, rolling, shaping, and baking. And with the feature of being airy, fluffy, rich, and buttery all at the same time, it is quite a bit more involved than most baking projects.

But for this homemade croissant recipe, we’ve cut out a lot of steps to save you making time. And the end result is just as good. When coming out of the oven, these fresh, warm, buttery, and flaky pastries will definitely wake up your senses. What a way to start the day!

What Kitchen Appliances Can You Use to Make Croissants More Easily?

A high-quality kitchen appliance can help simplify the cooking steps to a certain extent, saving time and energy.

To make croissants, typically, you’ll need a stand mixer like Ventray Stand Mixer to help mix your ingredients quickly and thoroughly. Another essential piece of equipment is an oven like Ventray Countertop Convection Oven to bake the croissants evenly for better and more satisfying results.

How to Make This Best Homemade Croissant Recipe?

Unlike other croissant recipes, this homemade croissant recipe doesn’t have a lot of steps, folding, and specific measuring and counting, making it suitable even for beginners. So, following our recipe, you’ll still have all those beautiful flaky layers, but it really cuts down on the prep work!

Start by mixing together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt with a stand mixer. Then add unsalted butter. Make sure every piece of butter is coated in the flour mixture.

Fold everything together until the dough forms a ball. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours before you start rolling and folding.

Click HERE to see the specific steps to make this homemade croissant.

Croissants fall into that category of laminated pastry. Cold butter is the key to the success of laminated doughs, so it’s very important to keep the dough cold at all times. Work as fast as possible, and if you notice the butter becoming soft at any point, wrap it right up and chill it until it’s stiff again.

How to Shape Croissants?

Firstly, divide the dough in half to make it easier to work with, and roll it out into a large, long rectangle. Ideally, it measures about 10 inches wide, 22 inches long, and about 1/8 inch thick.

Secondly, use a sharp knife to trim off the edges and cut the dough into long, skinny triangles. The target width is about 5 inches.

Next, cut a small notch in the wide end, which will help the croissant bend more easily and keep its curved shape.

Finally, start at the wide end of the triangle, and roll it all the way away from you. Be sure the point is hidden under the croissant, then bend the croissant into a curved crescent shape. Then pinch the ends together.

What Are the Tips for Success?

Here are some tips to make croissant success easier.

  • The butter needs to be chilled all the time.
  • Keep the sides of the dough as straight as possible while rolling.
  • Remove excess flour before folding.
  • If each step takes more than a few minutes, return the dough to the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Pinch out the square corners before folding the dough.
  • Just rolling lengthwise stretches the dough instead of widening it.
  • Be careful with the dough and be patient with yourself.

FAQs

What Tastes Good on a Croissant?

Croissants can be spread with a variety of delicious toppings. Croissants are also delicious with a little honey, a bit of strawberry jam, clotted cream, lemon curd, or a smear of butter. You can even stuff them before baking. For instance, you can place a few pinches of chopped dark chocolate on the wide side of the triangle before rolling it up.

Why Are Croissants Shaped Like a Moon?

“Croissant” comes from the word for “crescent”. A crescent moon shape was a symbol on the flag of the Ottoman Empire. These delicious crescent-shaped pastries are made to celebrate the defeat of the Ottoman Empire.

How Do People Celebrate National Croissant Day?

Here are some ways to celebrate National Croissant Day.

  • Bake your own croissants.
  • Treat your friends and coworkers to fresh-baked, warm croissants.
  • Make a soup or salad to serve with croissants.
  • Teach others who want to learn how to make croissants.
  • Use #NationalCroissantDay to post on social media.

4 Best Ways to Celebrate National Pie Day

4 Best Ways to Celebrate National Pie Day

National Pie Day is just around the corner. As a huge fan of pies, you probably want to add some new delicious pie recipes to your yesteryear pie menu to kick this year off right. Or, as a Gen Z pie fan, you’re probably looking for new pie-related ways to celebrate National Pie Day this year. If you don’t have an idea yet, we’re here to help.

When Was National Pie Day Created?

National Pie Day is a holiday in the United States, usually celebrated on January 23. This day was started in Colorado in 1975 by a school teacher named Charlie Papazian. His birthday was January 23, and he decided to remember it forever as National Pie Day. Why did he name it Pie Day? Just because he loved pie.

Why Do We Celebrate National Pie Day?

National Pie Day, which began in 1975, is celebrated on January 23. There’s no particular reason to celebrate National Pie Day. On this day, pie lovers typically celebrate pies by baking and eating them, trying new pie recipes, and gifting pies to others to show how much they love them.

In 1986, the American Pie Council began sponsoring the day in honor of Crisco’s 75th anniversary. As a day of celebration, National Pie Day allows us to enjoy one of our favorite desserts guilt-free. Although pie exists in some form worldwide, the United States has an inextricable relationship with this dessert.

How Do You Celebrate National Pie Day?

You can celebrate National Pie Day in many ways. A classic way to celebrate National Pie Day is to spend time with friends and bake different pies. To make your National Pie Day celebration impressive and meaningful this year, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to celebrate the day.

1. Make Your Own Pies

Pies are made up of pastry crusts filled with sweet or savory ingredients. Making your pies will give you a greater appreciation for pies as you learn more about the making process and gain some new cooking skills.

National Pie Day is the best time to treat the pie lovers in your life with different delicious pies like apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and chili pie. Pie making is an art; to help you succeed, here are some delicious homemade pie recipes from Ventray for this National Pie Day.

 

2. Host a Baking Challenge

You can invite your friends, family, or co-workers to your home for the National Pie Day Baking Challenge. Sweet or savory pies, whatever their favorite, it’s always fun to bring people together who share a common interest. The pie contest winner can get creative prizes like a free lunch and even a box full of pie-baking supplies.

Which Kitchen Appliances Can You Use to Make the Best Pies in This Bake-Off Challenge?
As the saying goes, “Who wishes to do his work well must first sharpen his tools.” Here are some of the best kitchen appliances that will give your “contestants” the best cooking experience and will get their appreciation.

  • Ventray Stand Mixer
    Ventray Stand Mixer is a tilt-head stand mixer with a 500-watt, 18,000 RPM motor, 6-speed setting, and 4.5-quart stainless steel mixing bowl that will upgrade your existing baking or cooking tools without stretching your budget too much.
  • Ventray Oven
    Ventray Oven which features 12 built-in cooking settings and 26QT large capacity is an all-in-one countertop convection oven that can handle nearly all of your ingredients. It utilizes super convection technology to distribute heat evenly around the chamber, cooking food faster. This oven is worth every penny spent on its awesome functions.

3. Watch a Pie-Themed Movie

If you love pie and love movies, maybe you can try to put them together. A movie centered completely around pie would probably just make people want to eat. However, some great pie scenes in movies will make your eyes shine.

Our 2 Favorite Pie Scenes in Movies

  • Waitress (2007) – Baking a pie helps a woman remember and honor her mother
  • Labor Day (2013) – Baking a pie helps two characters find love

4. Listen to the Pie-Themed Music

Playing pie-themed music while baking and eating pies is a great thing for pie lovers. Somes songs are dedicated love songs to specific pie flavors; some songs refer to terms of endearment for lovers; some just make a casual reference to pie.

Our Top 5 Songs about Pie

National Pie Day vs National Pi Day: What's the Difference?

January 23 is National Pie Day, a time to celebrate the delicious-sounding day with comforting, delectable pie. This is a day for pie lovers everywhere to host pie parties and share pie with their friends, family, or co-workers.

National Pi Day falls March 14 ever year. It is an international holiday popular among educational institutions and math enthusiasts to celebrate the mathematical constant, π (pi), or 3.14159265359.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, 4 best ways to help celebrate National Pie Day and the holiday season! Ask for our recommendation? We think you can go either way or combine some of them, depending on your preference, to make your pie celebration the best of the year.

It’s Pie Time! Happy National Pie Day!

Celebrate National Bagel Day with Us

Celebrate National Bagel Day with Us

For lovers of carbs and breakfast food, National Bagel Day is the perfect holiday to celebrate! From your classic sesame seed bagel topped with cream cheese to a fancy Everything Bagel topped with smoked salmon, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re making them at home or picking up fresh-baked ones from your local bagel shop, National Bagel Day is the perfect excuse to indulge in a delicious morning treat. 

What is a bagel?

A bagel is a round, chewy bread roll that is boiled and then baked. It usually has a dense texture and is often topped with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or other toppings. 

What is National Bagel Day?

National Bagel Day celebrates the beloved bagel and all of its glory. It’s not entirely clear who first declared February 9th as National Bagel Day, but it has been celebrated since at least the mid-1990s. It’s a great excuse to get bagels for breakfast, brunch, or just as an afternoon snack!

When is National Bagel Day 2023?

National Bagel Day 2023 will be celebrated on January 15th. Bagels, a traditional Jewish bread, are enjoyed around the world and especially in North America. This special day celebrates this beloved morning food by offering freebies and discounts on bagel purchases. Many bakeries create unique flavours to commemorate National Bagel Day each year. Whether you’re a fan of plain or flavored bagels, there is something for everyone to enjoy on this special day. So mark your calendars for National Bagel Day 2023 and get ready to celebrate with a delicious bagel!

Where did bagels originate from?

Bagels are believed to have originated in Poland over 500 years ago and were brought to the United States by Polish immigrants in the late 19th century. They quickly became popular in New York City, where they are still a favorite today.

What kinds of bagels are there?

Bagels come in all shapes and sizes, with different toppings and fillings to suit every taste. From classic sesame seed bagels, pizza bagels, sweet breakfast bagels, blueberry flavour bagels, banana flavor bagels, herb flavour bagels, frozen bagels to jalapeño and maple french toast flavour bagels, there’s something for every bagel lovers! The deliciousness of the bagel is enhanced when it is toasted and then spread with cream cheese or topped with lox.

What kitchen tools can you use to make bagels?

The first step to make delicious bagels is finding the right tools. 

 

You’ll need a stand mixer like Ventray stand mixer for kneading the dough and shaping it into rounds, a baking sheet for baking them in the oven, and of course an oven like Ventray Convection Countertop Oven Master. Additionally, you may also want to invest in a lye or malt solution for a golden-brown crust and a chewy texture. Finally, you’ll need a slotted spoon or spider skimmer to drop the bagels into boiling water before baking and a wooden spoon for stirring them around during the boiling process. 

Bagel FAQ

Q: What are some creative ways to enjoy a bagel?

A: There’s so many possibilities when it comes to enjoying a modern bagel! Try topping your bagel with fresh fruit and yogurt or any other your favorite topping for a tasty breakfast or lunch. You can also get creative with your toppings and fillings by adding peanut butter, jam, mashed avocado, eggs, or cheese. Don’t forget about dessert – bagels are great for making sweet treats like french toast or cinnamon sugar bagel bites. 

Q: What's the best way to store a bagel?

A: The best way to store a bagel is by wrapping it in foil or plastic wrap and storing it at room temperature. This helps prevent your bagels from drying out and will keep them fresh for up to 3 days. If you plan on storing bagels for longer, you can freeze them for up to 3 months. 

Q: Are bagels healthy?

A: Yes! Bagels are a great source of complex carbohydrates and contain important nutrients like fiber, protein, iron, and B-vitamins. By topping your bagels with fresh vegetables or lean proteins, you can make a balanced and nutritious meal. Just be mindful of the calories in your toppings, as they can quickly add up. If you’re looking for a healthy snack, try half of a bagel with some nut butter or low-fat cheese to help keep you full between meals.

Whether you’re enjoying a classic bagel at home or picking up them from your local bagel shop, National Bagel Day is a great excuse to indulge in this delicious treat. So grab some friends and get ready for a day of tasty bagels! 

Happy National Bagel Day! 

Thoughtful Back-to-School Gifts for Parents and College Students in 2023

Thoughtful Back-to-school gifts for parents and college students in 2023

As Christmas break draws to a close, which means a busy new school year is just around the corner. An appropriate back-to-school gift idea is a great way to keep parents and college students motivated, comfortable, and happy throughout the year. If you’re looking for back-to-school gifts for parents or college students, here we’ve gathered some of our favorite items and brands we trust.

Most Meaningful Gifts for Parents

1. Stand Mixer

This Ventray SM600 Stand Mixer with unique capabilities that can streamline the making process is a great gift for busy parents. This tilt-head stand mixer offers 6 speeds and three included accessories – wire whisk, dough hook, and flat beater that can quickly and easily knead, stir, mix and whip ingredients for a variety of recipes and a multiple multipurpose attachment hub and three optional accessories – pasta maker, meat grinder, and vegetable slicer that can help you unlock more cooking possibilities.

2. Countertop Convection Oven

If you want to easily prepare breakfast, lunch, or dinner for your kids during the workday, a powerful and versatile oven will come in handy. With 12 cooking functions, this easy-to-use Ventray Countertop Convection Oven can do it all – from baking to air frying. This compact appliance is big on features, with convection cooking that cooks food evenly and quickly, making it perfect for everything from pizza to roasted chicken. The timer automatically shuts off after 90 minutes, so you can focus on your other tasks. This oven is made with stainless steel and a nonstick coating, making it easy to clean.

 3. Bookshelf Speakers

The Edifier R1280T Bookshelf Speakers are a great option to pair your turntables with a complementing audio system. These speakers will look great in any room. The smooth teak-colored wood paneling will work with most decor themes and could possibly even be the center of attention. The quality features are almost endless. With dual RCA inputs, a universal power supply, and a 4-inch bass driver with a calibrated and flared bass reflex port, you will experience the ultimate sound performance.

4. A Cup of Tea- Fleur Gift Set

A good cup of tea is a great way for you to enjoy your breaks. The charming green lidded porcelain cup and tea-bag cradle inside make the perfect gift, while the 10 enclosed sachets (of Blueberry Merlot, Earl Grey, Hibiscus Blossom, Jasmine Green, and Peach Blossom tea) make the perfect break-time treat. This set makes an ideal gift for any lover of fine tea, art, and nature.

Most Practical Gifts for College Students

2. KitchenAid Siphon Brewer

A quality coffee maker will make sure that your college student’s morning pick-me-up brewed to perfection. The KitchenAid Siphon Brewer is a unique combination of spectacle and quality. This coffee maker brews rich, rich, and enticingly delicious coffee. Its vintage brewing process, based on steam pressure and vacuum suction is also mesmerizing, watching the coffee drip into the glass bottle. The Siphon Brewer comes with a reusable stainless-steel filter so no paper filter is required.

2. Okaysou Aqua Q6 Humidifier

A good humidifier can make your college student’s door room more comfortable by keeping the surrounding air at optimal moisture levels. This Okaysou Aqua Q6 Humidifier has a 360° rotating nozzle to generate both warm and cool mist for quick humidification and reducing dust in the air. It is equipped with an advanced touch panel that displays your room’s humidity and multiple control functions. It works quietly and the built-in essential oil tray lets you enjoy your favorite aromas while breathing in moist air.

3. Edifier MP280 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

An updated back-to-school gift list should include a good portable Bluetooth speaker. It is a must-have gadget for modern life. This compact and portable Bluetooth speaker by Edifier allows your college student to stream music and sound clips with ease. It offers a 360° full range of high volume to fit a large space. It also has long battery life and an emergency charging station.

4. Sonoma Modern Lunchbox

Fully insulated and personalized with your college student’s initials, this 6″ half-height tote is a stylish, thoughtful, and stylish gift. This cotton tote has handles and a top zip to comfortably hold a can of soda, lunch, and snacks.

5. Yeti Refillable Coffee Mug

This coffee mug that features double-wall, vacuum-insulated body can protect your hands from hot or cold contents while keeping coffee, chili, or oatmeal nice and hot. Yeti is now a major player in the reusable mug industry, creating a heat-retaining cage that many coffee lovers now claim to be their favorite. The slide-on sip top and side handles make it super comfortable to hold in your hand.

Final Thoughts

The start of January feels like every day is just one small step toward school. While we can’t delay the school year, we’re here to help you make the school year happy and comfortable. Pick a thoughtful gift of encouragement for parents or college students to kickstart this national back-to-school prep day.

10 Practical Resolutions to Make 2023 Your Healthiest Year

10 Practical Resolutions to Make 2023 Your Healthiest Year

Ring in the New Year with a fresh start! Take charge of your health and make 2023 the year you take your wellness journey to the next level. 

Why is it important to have a New Year's resolution?

It’s important to have a New Year’s resolution because it allows us to take stock of our lives, assess our goals and areas for improvement, and create a plan for achieving them. Having something tangible to work towards gives us motivation and focus, as well as bettering our overall health and wellbeing. It also allows us to challenge ourselves in new and exciting ways, which can be empowering and rewarding. Finally, it’s a great way to start the New Year by setting ourselves up for success. 

Here are some resolutions that could help get you there.

1. Eat healthier 

Eat less takeout and focus on home-cooked meals. Make sure to stock your pantry with healthy ingredients that you enjoy, such as fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and nuts.

 

2. Reduce your sugar and fat intake 

Sugar and fat can quickly add unnecessary calories to your diet, so it’s important to be mindful of how much you are consuming. Try to reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet by avoiding processed foods and opting for fresh fruit instead. Similarly, limit the amount of saturated fats you eat by cutting out fried foods and choosing lean proteins instead.

 

3. Eat breakfast every day

You’ve heard it before, but eating a healthy breakfast can set the tone for the rest of your day – and help keep hunger pangs at bay. Aim to start each morning with something that has quality protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats.

 

4. Slow down while eating

When you eat too quickly, it’s easy to overeat. Try taking smaller bites and chewing each bite thoroughly before moving on to the next one. This can help you slow down and actually experience the flavors of the food, giving your brain time to register when you are full so that you don’t overindulge.

 

5. Try something new 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new recipes or ingredients. Challenge yourself to learn how to prepare more health-conscious meals, such as grain bowls, salads, and veggie-filled dishes.

 

6. Drink more water

Staying hydrated is important for overall health and wellbeing, so try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. This will help flush out toxins, keep you feeling energized, and improve your focus.

 

7. Take time for yourself

Too often we forget to take care of ourselves and end up feeling sluggish and overwhelmed. Make time each week to do something that you find enjoyable and calming, like reading a book or taking a walk.

 

8. Exercise regularly

Find a form of exercise that you enjoy – whether it’s running, biking, swimming, or yoga – and do it at least three times per week. This will help keep your body and mind fit and energized and could even reduce stress levels.

 

9. Get more sleep

Aim to get seven or eight hours of sleep each night, as this is essential for optimal health. If you find yourself having trouble sleeping, try some relaxation techniques like taking a hot bath before bed or drinking herbal tea.

 

10. Spend more time with family and friends

A strong social network can be hugely beneficial to our mental health, so try to make some extra time for those closest in your life this year. Whether it’s going out for coffee or having a movie night, quality time with loved ones can be life-changing.

How to make sure you can stick to these resolutions?

To ensure you follow through on these resolutions, it’s important to make yourself accountable. Track your progress in a journal or online calendar, and set reminders for yourself so that you don’t forget what you need to do. Additionally, try to find a friend or family member who is willing to hold you accountable and encourage you to stay on track. With a little dedication and self-discipline, you can make 2023 the year of improved wellness.

Not all resolutions have to take the form of major life changes – sometimes even small changes can make a big difference. Write down your goals and prioritize them according to importance so that you know exactly what you need to focus on. Then, take actionable steps towards achieving them, remembering to break them down into achievable chunks. This way, you can make steady progress and stay motivated throughout the year. With a little patience and dedication, you’ll be sure to reach your goals in 2023 and beyond. 

Don’t forget to be kind to yourself and reward yourself for any progress you make. Best of luck with reaching your 2023 goals! Happy New Year!

How To Soak Fruits for Christmas Cake: A Quick Guide

How To Soak Fruits for Christmas Cake: A Quick Guide

One of the best things about Christmas is the delicious food. There’s nothing quite like the smell of a freshly baked Christmas cake wafting through the house. If you’re making a fruit cake this year, you’ll need to soak your fruit before adding it to the cake mix. Here’s a quick guide on how to soak fruits for Christmas cake.

How To Soak Fruits to Make a Delicious Christmas Cake?

Fill the Jar with Fruit:

Choose your fruit before soaking dried fruit for the cake. You can use any combination of dried fruits, fresh fruits, or even frozen fruits. Just make sure that they are chopped into small pieces before soaking dried fruit for Xmas cake.

What fruits are best for a Christmas cake: 

  • Black Raisins
  • Candied Fruit
  • Currants
  • Dried Fruit
  • Figs
  • Mixed Peel
  • Orange Peel
  • Other dried fruits: Prunes, apricots, cranberries, cherries, mango, apple, etc.

Preparing the Fruit:

  1. Start by washing the fruit in cold water. This will remove any dirt or pesticide residue.
  2. Cut the fruit into small pieces if necessary. You want all the pieces to be roughly the same size, so they soak evenly.
  3. Place the fruit in a large bowl or container.

Fill the Jar with Liquid:

Next, fill the jar the rest of the way with liquid.  

What is the best liquor to soak fruitcake in? 

Best alcohol for soaking fruit cake:

There are many types of alcohol that can be used for soaking fruit cake, but the best options are generally going to be those that are high in sugar content. This includes options like rum, brandy, whisky, and port wine. These types of alcohol will help to keep the fruit cake moist and also add some extra flavor to the cake. 

You can also soak the fruit in orange juice, apple juice, or any other type of fruit juice. This is a good option if you’re making a cake for someone who doesn’t drink alcohol. Just make sure the liquid covers all of the fruit.

Best jars for preserving freshness of fruit:

Choose jars that are airtight and made of glass or food-grade plastic. Avoid using metal containers as they can react with the fruit and affect its flavor.

  • Glass: food-safe, airtight, can be reused
  • Plastic: food-safe, airtight, reusable if BPA-free
  • Flip Lid Design: for easy opening and closing
  • Jar with Wide Mouth: easy to fill and clean

Seal the Jar:

Tightly seal the jar and give it a shake to make sure all of the fruit is coated with liquid. Then, store the jar in a cool, dark place for at least 24 hours.

  1. Stirring occasionally.
  2. After 24 hours, taste a piece of fruit to see if it’s soft enough. If not, let it soak for another 12-24 hours.
  3. Once the fruit is soft, drain it in a colander.
  4. Place the drained fruit on a clean towel and pat it dry.
  5. Spread the fruit out on a baking sheet and allow it to air-dry for 1-2 hours.
  6. Once the fruit is completely dry, add it to your Christmas cake mix.

How much alcohol do you soak fruit it for Christmas cake?

The amount of alcohol you soak fruit in for Christmas cake depends on your personal preference. If you want a strong alcohol flavor, soak the fruit in a cup of brandy or rum. If you prefer a milder flavor, soak the fruit in a cup of orange juice or apple cider.

Does fruit soaked in alcohol need to be refrigerated? 

No, the fruit doesn’t need to be refrigerated if it’s soaked in alcohol. However, if you’re using a non-alcoholic liquid, such as fruit juice, then you should refrigerate the fruit.

How long does it take to soak the fruit in alcohol for fruit cake?

The longer you soak the fruit, the more flavorful your cake will be. If you’re short on time, you can soak the fruit for as little as 30 minutes. However, if you have the time, we recommend soaking the fruit overnight or for more days for the best results.

Christmas Fruit Cake Dark Rum Flavor

This recipe is for a dark rum-flavored fruit cake that is perfect for Christmas. The cake is moist and full of flavor, and the rum gives it a nice boozy kick. This cake is also relatively easy to make, so it’s perfect for those who want to avoid the hassle of making a traditional fruit cake.

Soaking fruit for Christmas cake in advance is an easy way to ensure that your cake will be delicious and flavorful. By following these simple steps, you can look forward to a moist and tasty dessert this holiday season! 

Tips Every Baker Should Know This Holiday Season

Tips every Baker Should Know This Holiday season

Baking is one of the most beloved parts of the holidays. Many of us love the aromas and flavors of the holiday baking season and the fond time to enjoy sweet and delicious desserts with family and friends. Holiday baking is a joyful and stress-relieving activity in which the whole family can get involved. To make sure that your holiday baking brings nothing but joy, you may need some handy Christmas baking hacks to help you skip all that frustration.

What Are Some Failures in Baking?

Baking is a science. Many things matter, such as method, temperature, time, etc. Here are some common failures you may come through during your baking.

Cookies

  • Your cookies are dry and dense
  • Your cookie dough is hard
  • Your cookies always stick
  • Your cookies are not baking evenly
  • Your cookies are flat

Cake

  • Your cookies are flat
  • Your cake does not rise
  • Your cake comes out too dry and dense
  • Your cake is stuck in the middle
  • Your cake browns unevenly
  • Your cake is rubbery or stiff
  • Your cake has crusty edges

What Are the Five Tips for Successful Baking?

Good bakers aren’t born but made. A few minor adjustments and careful attention when baking will fix everything. Follow these five-holiday baking tips, skip all the failures, and go straight to making beautiful cookies, cakes, and baked goods.

1. Soften the butter properly

Butter that is too cold or warm will lead to dense and flat cookies, so leave your butter at room temperature before beginning to bake. Here are a few ways you can try to soften butter:

  1. Let your butter sit on the counter for 2-3 hours.
  2. Cut the refrigerated butter into small cubes, then leave it at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  3. Soften the butter in the microwave on low power in 15-second intervals, turning the pieces after each interval.

2. Aerate during the dough mixing 

If you don’t aerate your flour, your dough will be too dry. Stirring the butter with sugar creates small air bubbles that aerate the dough and help it rise in the oven. The way to mix ingredients is important. You can beat the butter and sugar with a stand mixer or hand mixer until light yellow and fluffy.

Here are some common terms you should know in baking, especially for beginners:

  • Beat means stirring quickly and thoroughly to add air to the mixture.
  • Blend means stirring together until combined.
  • Mix means stirring until the ingredients are fully combined.

3. Measure for wet and dry ingredients accurately 

Precision is a must for baking. Liquids should be measured in a glass or plastic measuring cup, which is designed for liquids with a handle and spout. Dry ingredients should be measured in smaller individual cups. When measuring the flour, scoop the flour into the measuring cup, let it overflow, and use a straight-edge sweep across the top to make it even.

4. Check the oven temperature

All ovens are slightly different, so many don’t match the temperature called for in the recipe. Before starting a recipe, check the temperature required in the recipe and adjust the baking time as needed. Most recipes require the oven to be preheated, which means getting the oven to the correct temperature before you put the item in. Preheat time varies by oven.

5. Pick the right tools

Want to level up your baking game? Consider these top baking tools recommended by our team.

 

Stand Mixer 

With a powerful 800-watt motor and three included accessories (a flat beater, a dough hook, and a wire whisk), the Ventray SM600 Stand Mixer will whip, knead, and whisk all your ingredients powerfully. A 6.35-quart stainless steel mixing bowl is a good choice for baking large quantities of bread dough. Plus, its tilt-head design allows you to easily access the bowl.

 

 

Oven Thermometer

 

Temperature accuracy is important for baking. This Rubbermaid Instant Read Oven Thermometer features an easy-to-read dial, a 60 to 580 F temperature range, and durable stainless steel construction, making it handy when baking recipes with non-standard temperatures. Just place it in the oven, so you know the actual baking temperature all the time.

 

 

Cooling Rack Set

 

Anyone with limited countertop space will love this Ironwood Gourmet Stackable Cooling Rack Set. It’s stackable to save space and features a sleek non-stick chrome finish for easy release and quick cleanup. This cooling rack allows air to circulate, providing a proper cooling spot for your freshly baked cookies and hot dishes. Three racks are included. 

 

 

Blender

 

This Ventray PRO 600 Blender will be a boon for anyone looking to speed up a special recipe. With a powerful motor that can boost up to 30,000 RPM, this blender can easily grind and smooth all your ingredients in seconds. Plus, thanks to its precisely controllable 8-speed settings, it can make anything from silky green smoothies to creamy soups. 

 

 

Silicone Baking Mat

 

A quality silicone baking mat is a must-have because it’s non-stick and reusable, saving you money and the hassle of over-cleaning. Made from a dedicated silicone and reinforced fiberglass mesh, this Silpat Silicone Baking Mat can replace the need for butter, grease, oil, and sprays, spending less time cleaning up and more time enjoying baking.

FAQs

How Do You Make Gingerbread Keep Their Shape?

Chill the dough – When you’ve made the dough and let it sit for at least an hour, cut out the gingerbread cookie shapes and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or more before baking.

Turn up the oven temperature – Baking the cookies at a higher temperature helps gingerbread cookies rise quickly and hold their shape during baking.

Why Does My Gingerbread Always Sink in The Middle?

Baking soda is a very active raising agent. Adding too much baking soda will cause the gingerbread to rise up a lot during baking, then sink dramatically. To prevent gingerbread from sinking in the middle, try mixing the baking soda with the wet ingredients, then coarsely beat some of the batter to strengthen the flour. This will give your gingerbread a sturdier texture while retaining its moisture.

Which Ingredient Makes Cookies Moist and Tender?

Adding a tablespoon of molasses or honey to a standard-sized cookie recipe can add moisture to your cookies, resulting in a moist, soft texture. One tablespoon is just enough. More than a tablespoon will make your cookies super sweet and fluffy.

What Gives Cookies More Flavor?

Some complex proteins, like malted milk powder and browned butter, can bring bright flavor to your cookies. Adding vanilla will also give these cookies more taste and bring out the chocolate flavor.

When to Make Christmas Cake?

Making Christmas cakes is one of the best Christmas traditions. You’d better make it two or three months before Christmas because the cake needs to be fed at regular intervals with a high ABV like brandy, rum, and whisky to help mature it.

Your Must-Have Christmas Cake Recipe List

Your Must-Have Christmas Cake Recipe List

Looking for the best cake recipes to make your own Christmas cake this year? Nothing turns any occasion into a celebration like a cake, especially during the holidays. Cakes are not only for family consumption but also for relatives and friends. Whether you’re looking for a beautiful centerpiece for a holiday dinner or simply an easy addition to your Christmas party dessert table, we’ve compiled some cake recipes for everyone and we hope you’ll find something to love here at Ventray.

5 Best Christmas Cake Recipes to Make This Christmas

Baking our Christmas cakes will bring more joy to Christmas celebrations this year. Check out our best Christmas cake recipes and give them a try.

1. Mary Berry’s Christmas Cake

About the cake-

This Mary Berry-inspired Christmas cake is a classic and a hit and is the perfect festive treat. This super moist fruit cake recipe is full of fruit, almonds, brandy, and treacle. Remember to soak the dried fruit overnight to allow it to absorb the alcohol and plump up.

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2. Cranberry Christmas Cake

About the cake-

This Cranberry Christmas Cake is delicious and easy to make. The fresh cranberries in this recipe are bright and beautiful, providing the perfect balance of sweetness and light tartness. This cranberry Christmas cake is a wonderful way to enjoy fresh fruit. Try this incredibly easy Christmas cake recipe this year!

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3. Vegan Christmas Cake

About the cake-

Rich, moist, and dark vegan Christmas cake is a perfect Christmas cake idea for the holiday season. In this vegan fruit cake recipe, we substitute chia seeds for eggs and add coconut oil for a great background flavor and to keep the cake moist. Simple to make, no overnight soaking required.

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4. White Christmas Cake

About the cake-

This white Christmas cake is a stunning Christmas cake that will sparkle on your table. Your family and guests will be amazed by this vanilla almond cake with cream cheese icing. This lovely cake contains white chocolate, coconut, and pecans and it’s delicious.

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5. Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

About the cake-

This gluten-free Christmas cake brimming with dried fruit, almonds, and glace cherries is the best homemade treat this Christmas season. It’s delicious as a traditional Christmas cake. Your Christmas menu needs this gluten free Christmas cake.

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How Do You Keep a Christmas Cake Moist?

Depending on how long you plan to store your cake, follow these simple steps to keep your Christmas cake moist.
For short-term (1-4 weeks) storage – Just be sure to store the fruitcake in an airtight container between servings.
For medium-term (1-4 months) storage – Use plastic film to wrap the fruitcake before placing the cake in an airtight container. Then put that container in the refrigerator.
For long-term (more than 4 months) storage – Wrap your fruitcake with a layer of plastic wrap, then wrap it with a layer of foil. Make sure your fruitcake and foil don’t touch each other. Then place the wrapped cake in an airtight container and put that container in the refrigerator.

Is Brandy or Rum Better for Christmas Cake?

Traditionally, Christmas cakes have a strong, spicy, fruity flavor, so it’s best to choose liquor with high alcohol content, as these tend to have a longer shelf life, keeping Christmas cakes from spoiling. Brandy, rum, whisky, sherry, and fortified wines like Madeira or Port are all good options to feed your Christmas cake. However, feeding liquor is entirely a matter of personal preference, whichever you use, just make sure you complement the fruit cake’s rich flavors.

How Far in Advance Should You Make a Christmas Cake?

Christmas fruitcakes should be baked two to three months in advance depending on the recipe you use to allow enough time for maturing and regular feeding.

Here are some things you need to know when you make your first Christmas cake.

  • You’ll need to cool the cake in a cool place for up to 3 months before decorating.
  • Every few weeks, you’ll need to feed the cake alcohol.
  • Brand, rum, whisky, and sherry are the common choice to feed the Christmas cake.

How Long Should You Soak Fruit for a Christmas Cake?

You can let the fruit soak for 24-48 hours, weeks, or months, depending on the recipe you use before baking your cake.

How to soak the fruit for Christmas cake?

  • Buy different types of dried fruit and cut them into small pieces if desired.
  • Mix all the chopped dried fruit well in a bowl, then pour the fruit mixture into a glass jar.
  • Pour alcohol over it, just enough to soak the dried fruit. Cover with a lid and store at room temperature until further use.

What Are the Ingredients to Bake a Christmas Cake?

Ingredients for baking a classic Christmas cake typically include:
For the cake: Dried mixed fruit, glace cherries, brandy, orange (zest and juice), lemon (zest and juice), butter, dark brown sugar, black treacle, eggs, self-raising flour, ground almonds, whole almonds (or walnuts or pecans), and mixed spice.
For the Marzipan layer: Sieved apricot jam, ready-made marzipan, and icing sugar.
For the icing: Egg white, icing sugar, and lemon juice.

Final Thoughts

This holiday season, choose some recipes from these homemade Christmas cake ideas from Ventray and bake up a cake filled with the flavors that remind you of Christmas to kick off your celebration right.

Holiday Treats That Will Knock Your Socks Off

holiday Treats That Will Knock Your socks Off

Are you getting ready for the holidays? Do you want to make something special and delicious that will knock everyone’s socks off with its taste? Look no further! We have gathered some of the most delicious holiday treats that are sure to impress your guests. From decadent desserts to savory snacks, these recipes will satisfy all of your cravings. So, get cooking and make some amazing Christmas day desserts that will have everyone asking for more!

What is the Most Popular Dessert at Christmas?

Everyone loves classic Candy Cane Cookies! These soft and chewy cookies are filled with a peppermint flavor that will surely have everyone coming back for more. Decorate your cookies with festive sprinkles or candy canes for extra fun.

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Indulgent dessert ideas for the festive season:

This one-pot soup is packed with protein and fiber, making it a nutritious and filling meal. Plus, it’s super easy to make and can be on the table in 30 minutes or less!

• Gingerbread Cookies

• Sugar-Dusted Macaroon Trees

• Holiday Shortbread Cookie

• Flourless Chocolate-Coconut Drops

• Gluten-Free Snowballs

How to Make the Best Christmas Dessert Ever!

Are you ready to make the best Christmas dessert ever? Well, then, we have just the recipe for you! This delicious and decadent dessert is sure to be a hit with your guests.

 

Christmas Fruit Cake Dark Rum Flavour

 

This Christmas fruit cake is a classic recipe that has been in the family for generations. This dark rum flavor version takes it to a whole new level!

Christmas desserts that are so delicious, even Santa will love them!

Which Sweets are Eaten on Christmas?

Christmas isn’t just about presents; it’s also about delicious desserts! From traditional treats like gingerbread cookies and Christmas eve desserts to modern favorites like peppermint bark and chocolate truffles, there are so many sweet treats you can serve on Christmas. Holiday cookies, fudge, mince pies, panforte – these are all classic recipes that will sweeten up your celebrations. If you’re looking for something a bit different, try making a pumpkin pie or Christmas trifle – both are sure to be crowd-pleasers!

The Perfect Way to End Your Holiday Sweet Tooth Craving!

Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert that is sure to be a hit! It’s light, creamy, and delicious – perfect for any special occasion. You can easily make it at home using your favorite ingredients. Try adding some extra flavors like coffee or chocolate for an extra decadent treat. Some other recipes that will hit the spot include Christmas ice cream cake, Strawberry Shortcake with Thyme and Whipped CreamCoffee Cake MuffinsChocolate Chip Pancakes.

What Snack was Originally a Christmas Treat?

The traditional Christmas treat of centuries past is animal crackers. This sweet and crunchy treat has been around since the late 1800s and is still enjoyed today. It was originally made with butter, sugar, eggs, and flour but can now be found in a variety of flavors. Many people enjoy them as an afternoon snack or even with a cup of hot cocoa during the holiday season.

Holiday Snacks That Will Keep You Going Through the Holidays

What do People Eat as Dessert at Christmas Around the World?

From traditional gingerbread cookies in Germany to the classic French Buche de Noel, there are so many different types of desserts that can be enjoyed during the holiday season around the world. In Mexico and Latin America, natillas are incredibly popular and often used as a topping for flan or served alongside buñuelos. In Italy, panettone is a classic Christmas dessert, while in the United States and Canada, pumpkin pie is a popular choice. No matter what country you’re from or where you’re celebrating the holidays, there are plenty of delicious and elegant Christmas desserts to be enjoyed!

What Dessert Should I Serve on Christmas Day?

If you’re looking for a classic Christmas dessert to serve on the big day, look no further than the traditional fruitcake. While it has been around for centuries, this timeless dessert is still as popular and delicious as ever. You can also make other more unique desserts like gingerbread cheesecake or even pumpkin cheesecake

 

From classic cookies to special gluten-free Christmas treats, these best holiday desserts and recipes are sure to make your holiday season a sweet one. Make sure to try out some of these delicious recipes and spread the joy around! Everyone will be happy that you put in the extra effort for them this holiday season!

Best Christmas Gifts under $200 for Mom in 2022

BEST CHRISTMAS GIFTS UNDER $200 FOR MOM IN 2022

Shopping for the perfect Christmas gift for moms is one of the most important, delicate, and challenging tasks of the season because you want to give them something they deserve. We may not be able to express all our gratitude to mom in one gift, but we can approach these options.

Moms come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and attitudes. To help you find meaningful, thoughtful, and personalized gifts within your budget, here, at Ventray, we’re sharing 5 of the best gifts under $200 that mom will love. Happy gifting!

1. For the Health-Conscious Mom

Juicers are antioxidants, energy boosters, and cancer preventers. Get your mom juicing, especially if she is a fresh juice lover and if you really care about her health and well-being.

The Ventray 408 Slow Press Masticating Juicer is easy to use and has a large chute for easy feeding of ingredients. The advanced slow-press masticating technology makes the juice from this juicer smoother, fresher, and more nutritious. With this Ventray juicer, your mom can experiment with different flavors and recipes. Add all-natural, preservative-free juices to your mom’s diet now to energize her healthy life.

2. For the Busy Mom

Every busy mom understands the importance of saving time and increasing efficiency. A blender is a quick and easy way to help them put together healthy food prep, making nutritious breakfast smoothies, soups, or shakes for the family to enjoy.

The Ventray PRO600 is a pro blender that comes with a 68 oz jar and a commercial-grade 1500 w, 30,000 rpm motor with 8-speed settings. It has features that most busy moms will appreciate, including high-speed performance, long-term durability, ease of assembly, operation, and cleaning for everyday use.

3. For the Mom Who Loves to Bake

A powerful stand mixer is a must-have kitchen appliance for moms who love to bake to make everything from bread to cakes.

With three different mixing attachments—a flat beater, dough hook, and wire whisk, the Ventray SM600 Stand Mixer can smoothly whip eggs, egg whites, heavy cream, yeast doughs, and heavy mixtures like creamed frosting with ease. In addition, it can help your mom make everything from fresh pasta to burgers and noodles with its multipurpose attachment hub. This versatile time-saving Ventray SM600 Stand Mixer is a great way to take your mom’s baking and cooking skills to the next level.

4. For the Hardworking New Mom

A quality baby food maker will be the best Christmas gift for new moms, helping them easily make the healthiest food for their babies.

The BabyGrow Elite is an all-in-one baby food processor that can steam, defrost, and blend. This baby food maker is easy to operate and consistently creates smooth purees. Additionally, it comes with a larger 750ml blender jar for making large batches of baby food and a built-in timer for continuous steaming or defrosting for up to 30 minutes. With the help of this BabyGrow baby food maker, the new mom in your life will make baby food that contains all nutrients and vitamins the baby needs to grow up healthy.

 

5. For the Mom Who Prefers Homemade Everything

For mom who loves to make everything at home, the versatile smoke-free indoor electric grill will expand her cooking abilities and take her cooking skills to the next level.

This Multifunctional Smokeless Electric Indoor Grill from Ventray will absolutely steal mom’s heart. From breakfast bacon sandwiches to indoor BBQ and even midnight hotpot, this electric indoor grill with a large 4-quart capacity, 1200 watts of power and a wealth of optional accessories does it all quickly and healthily. The taste of grilled food cooked with this Ventray Electric Grill is unmatched, including juicy steaks, delicious hamburgers or grilled vegetables.

Conclusion

Rather than cluttering her home with cute items that’ll just sit there, quality kitchen appliances are a great example of a gift that moms are sure to use in abundance. Pick one of these recommendations from Ventray and make her happy cry this Christmas.