Christmas Food & Drink: Christmas is coming…

The Christmas countdown has begun and here are our tips for the best indulgent sweet treats available, writes Paloma Lacy.

The annual debate over which are the best mince pies is heating up but here are our two favourites so far.

Artisan baker Paul has come up with a spectacular version with a difference. I give you the mince pie croissant – all-butter pastry filled with rich, sweet mincemeat and dusted with icing sugar is the perfect breakfast to wake up to on Christmas morning.  £2.55 and available throughout Paul stores in December.

Plant-based company OGGS, located in Vauxhall, has launched its egg and dairy-free mince pies, just as delicious as the traditional mince pie, perfect for anyone not wanting to miss out due to an allergy. Priced £2.75 for four and available at Sainsbury’s.

Nearly every year, I’m caught out when someone drops in unexpectedly but this year the cupboards will be stocked with Christmas treats for all.

Hummingbird Bakery has a range of cakes set to impress visitors. The Christmas Cupcake Selection Box (6 cupcakes) – Vanilla, chocolate and Red Velvet – priced £19.95.  Available from its London stores or online: www.hummingbirdbakery.com

Battersea-based Biscuiteers knows a thing or two about biscuits for all occasions. Hand iced, there’s a ready-made range, including the most delicious ginger spiced and shortbread, or they’ll make and decorate to order. Great to eat or to send as presents. www.biscuiteers.com.

Another excellent find in the biscuit stakes has been Fiona Cairns, maker of William and Kate’s wedding cake, with its range of cakes and biscuits, available from Waitrose and directly from www.fionacairns.com

And what would the season be without chocolate but not any old bar of the sweet stuff – Tony’s Chocoloney.

This fair trade chocolate is aiming to change the cocoa industry and ensure that growers are treated fairly, while making good chocolate itself.

The range includes Extra Dark Chocolate made using 70% cocoa and Milk Chocolate with a surprising 32% cocoa.  Priced £3.98 for a 132g bar. Available at Sainsbury’s.

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