When people are asked what their favourite things are about Christmas, the food is always somewhere in the top five.
For me, it comes in at number two, right after “time to see my friends and family”.
That’s right, ranked even higher than presents and getting to wear dorky Christmas T-shirts, the chance to create some culinary delights is one of the most exciting things about the holiday season.
This year we’ve gathered up some great ideas to give your treats a little bit of a twist with some pop culture references.
The surprising flexibility of gingerbread pieces glued together with icing has paved the way for a range of tributes to popular television shows, movies and video games. Rosanna Pansino’s Nerdy Nummies YouTube channel has a full video tutorial on making a gingerbread Dr. Who Tardis complete with tiny Christmas wreath.
If you like tabletop games and feel up to challenge of making an edible icosahedron (a 20-faced polyhedron), check out this tutorial for a gingerbread d20 dice, which also features some Christmas-coloured d20 chocolates.
There’s also a guide for a charming Super Mario castle (with little gumdrop Goombas!) over at The Nifty Nerd, but as long as you’ve got a little bit of model-making experience and a clear idea in mind, the sky’s the limit for what you can construct with gingerbread for your Christmas centerpiece.
Heart-shaped health bars go hand-in-hand with gaming, and Christmas is the perfect time to add a special something like a stained-glass sugar window to your baked heart-shaped cookies. You’ll find a little bit of American language in the recipe for Zelda Heart Piece Cookies, so allow me to translate into our tongue: a cookie is a biscuit, and a Jolly Rancher candy is a hard-boiled sweet. Google’s Unit Converter has got you covered for all your Fahrenheit-to-Celsius conversion needs.
If you’d rather save the hearts for Valentines, grab some star-shaped biscuit cutters instead and make yourself some Super Stars from the Mario universe – eyes optional, because I think dark-coloured icing may stain the stained-glass in a bad and blurry way. Licorice is hit-or-miss flavor with a lot of people, so a piece of purple gumdrop or chocolate buttons may be the right way to go.
Golden Snitch Truffles
Although your gran will ask if they’re angels, true Harry Potter fans will recognise these gorgeous Golden Snitch Truffles in a heartbeat. If you’ve always wanted to have a go at using those fancy edible cake decoration powders to make food gold and shiny, this simple recipe is the perfect excuse.
The blog warns that the truffles are fairly fragile once assembled, so you should store the wings separately if you’re taking them round to a friend or family member’s house. Alternatively, you can skip the wings, decorate with pearlescent red instead and dub them Philosopher’s Stone truffles. I know not everyone likes to be bustling in someone else’s kitchen on Christmas day.
We won’t let this Christmas cake go
You thought you could escape the endless onslaught of Disney’s Frozen, but nay! I saved it for last on purpose. Whether you love the hit movie or you want to hit the movie, you have to admit that this Olaf icescape Christmas Cake is a wonderfully creative use of marzipan fondant and hard toffee.
As for the insides, I know fruit cake can be a point of Christmas contention. If you want something lighter for the Australian climate, consider taking a leaf out of Japan’s book with a white-iced strawberry sponge. There’s also the humble Pavlova to consider, though with a cake that light and fluffy you may want to skip the heavy ice shards and stick to some snowmen made out of fruit and whipped cream.
What are you planning to make this Christmas? Tell us in the comments.