This is going to sound a little strange, but hear us out, as we think we might be on to something: you can host your own Christmas market at home. Why would I do that, you may be thinking, when just about every city in the UK has pinched traditions from the continent and is serving up festive cheer in market form?
Well, for a start, you don’t need to go out into the cold to experience such cheer if it’s in your own living room. There’ll be no fighting to get to the front of the queue at the waffle stand or push yourself through crowds of people to find your friends. In short, it’s warmer, cheaper, friendlier and more convenient to do it at your place.
So, now that you’ve decided to go ahead with this slightly kooky plan, here’s how to go about it:
First things first, you and your guests will need something to drink. At Christmas markets, this is often a steaming cup of gluhwein – the German answer to mulled wine – which is easily recreated at home. If you’ve got a good mulled wine recipe, then you can follow that, but this Nordic version from ScandiKitchen is also good, and if you make this one you get to call it glogg!
Next, you’ll want some Christmas market-style food and doughnuts are a great place to start. This recipe from Passion for Baking shows you how to make classic doughnuts and from there you can adapt them however you like. Instead of deep frying your doughnuts, opt to cook them in an Actifry to cut down on the fat content. Here is a great recipe for lower fat doughnuts from Culinary Jumble.
Who doesn’t love a light and fluffy waffle loaded with delicious toppings?! Set up your own waffle station at your Christmas market and let your friends go to town on the whipped cream, fresh fruit and chocolatey extras to hand. A Dash of Ginger has a failsafe waffle recipe to get you started – just remember to make them in your Tefal Snack Selection, as it turns out delicious waffles every time.
Ginger is a wonderfully warming spice that lends itself to this time of the year, so it’s not surprising that gingerbread is common in many European cultures. Each nation does something different with it and you can go as simple or as extravagant as you like. Take What Jessica Baked Next’s recipe for gingerbread men, but don’t just limit yourself to making fellas, shape the dough into women, cats, Christmas trees, whatever you like, and then go mad with the decorations.
While it’s tempting just to serve sweet treats at your Christmas market, it’s usually a good idea to have some savoury food too, and for many people it’s the sausages that are the highlight. Have a go at making sausages yourself at home and if you don’t know where to start, Natasha’s Kitchen has got you covered. Experiment with different types of meat and a variety of flavourings to make bespoke sausages you and your friends will love.
No matter how much food and drink you prepare, you’re not going to get that Christmas market vibe at home unless you do a spot of decorating. Traditional wooden ornaments and glass baubles are the vibe you’re going for, with characters like nutcrackers a welcome addition. If you made a showstopping gingerbread house or scene, then make sure you put it centre stage.