Christmas Gift Guide 2012

 

Like every year we have put together our list of recommended
Christmas gifts, to make that present choosing task a little bit easier. Revealing our Christmas Gift Guide 2012.
Over the past few weeks we have been taking both the Taylors
Eyewitness Ceramic knives and design coloured knives on a test drive. Taylors Eyewitness
have been making knives since the early 1800’s so as you can imagine the level
of quality and craftsmanship of these knives is exceptional.
The ceramic knives are the perfect gift for the professional
chef. Their soft grip handles combined with their super sharp zirconia ceramic
blades which keep these knives sharper for longer make these knives the must
have knife set. Taylors Eyewitness haven’t stopped at designing stylish knives
but they have also considered their presentation and display in your kitchen by
designing stunning knife blocks and stands which would look stunning in any
stylish kitchen.

The design coloured knives add a modern twist in that the
actual knives blades are vibrantly coloured, non-stick and hard wearing. This
range of knives are a cheaper alternatives suitable for those starting off
experimenting in the kitchen but still want a superior set of knives to give
them ‘the cutting edge’.

Taylors Eye Witness knives are available from many retailers.
You may have read our recent article about Woodwick Candles.
If you have, you will know why we rave about them so much. If you haven’t you
can read it here. We believe Woodwick candles are by far the most
superior candles which are very excellently priced for their burn time.
Woodwick have recently started producing their candles with a new cross shapes
wick opposed to the flat wood wick, this means they burn more evenly and
release even more of their gorgeous smell. With new scents coming out every few
months we are sure we will be writing more about Woodwick in the coming months.
Some of this year’s Christmas inspired candle scents are Snow Day, Enchanted Evergreen, Holly Berry and our absolute all-time favourite…. Camp-fire Marshmallow! Yes toasted marshmallow smell could just be a candle away from
flowing through your house. We also love the Santa’s Cookies scent which is made up of freshly baked cookies, natural vanilla extract and a hint of nutmeg. Their presentation makes them perfect for gifts
which are why we have listed them in our top gifts this year for Christmas. You
can buy Woodwick candles in the UK from here and in the USA from here.

DotComGiftShop

With the steady growth of home baking and the growing trend
of retro kitchen accessories we have found that DotComGiftShop offers a great
selection of retro kitchen items which will have childhood memories flooding
back. One item which we particularly love is the selection of retro kitchen scales.
Kitchen scales went from being beautiful and practical pieces of
kitchen equipment which took pride of place, to horrible moulded plastic
scales, to flat and uninspiring digital scales in recent years. We’re glad
these beautiful scales are making a comeback. We love the injection of colour
and retro vibe these give your kitchen. These scales are not only a beautiful
gift for someone but a practical one too.

The Pampered Chef has quickly become known as one of the
most trusted and reliable cookware companies. We have selected two of their key
products from their many quality items as our recommended Christmas gift ideas
this year. These are the Brownie Pan and the Pizza Stone. The heavy and
superior non-stick aluminized steel of the brownie pan means that the brownies
are evenly baked and more importantly the brownie pan makes individual brownies
so say goodbye to having to neatly cut your brownies again. This pan makes
perfectly square and identical brownies every time. The second item is the
medium sizes pizza stone with handles. Any Italian cook will tell you how
invaluable pizza stones are in the kitchen. They make beautiful thin and crispy
pizzas by quickly absorbing moisture and are also perfect for cooking pastry
and even bread! This is a brilliant gift idea as the recipient will get
hundreds of uses out of it. The brownie pan can be bought from the UK store here or US store here. The pizza stone can be bought from the UK store here or US store here.

Chocolate….everyone loves to receive chocolate as a gift.
But premium high quality and curiously unusual chocolate is in a completely
different ballpark altogether! Montezuma’s has come up with a fab range of
‘Best of British’ inspired flavour combinations. Whether it is the crunch of
the meringue pieces in the 100g Eton Mess chocolate bars or the salted peanuts
and butterscotch pieces in the huge 500g Nanny Goat bar there is something for
everyone. Using exceptional high quality Venezuelan Milk Chocolate or Ecuadorian
dark chocolate these bars wont fail to delight!
Of course if you wish to stick with the theme of Christmas,
Montezuma’s has a fantastic Christmas range this year. From carefully put
together hampers to delicious selections of Christmas truffles there is a gift
to suit everyone. There is even a Christmas chocolate bar library made up of 5
different 100g chocolate bars including Minted – Milk with Crunchy Peppermint
and Sea Dog – Dark with Lime & Sea Salt.
Earlier this year we reviewed the Adagio IngenuiTEA teapot and
we were not disappointed! With the growing popularity of green tea, white tea,
black tea…in fact all teas more and more people are looking for convenient ways
to get their tea fix during the day. The IngenuiTEA makes using loose-leaf tea
not only a doddle but fun too! The IngenuiTEA teapot is uniquely designed that
it holds just enough tea for a cup, or a little more of tea. Simply pop the
required amount of loose-leaf tea in the chamber, add the hot water and allow
to brew for a few minutes. Now comes the fun bit. When the IngenuiTEA and set
it on top of your cup, the IngenuiTEA’s unique design means that a valve is
then opened and the tea is filtered out into your cup, minus the tealeaves. The
tea is crystal clear thanks to the metal mesh filter. MAGIC! With hundreds of
teas available from Adagio Teas this teapot makes having tea fun! Adagio also has a US website which can be found here.
Most of you will know who much we adore the Netherlands and
it doesn’t stop there. We are massive fans of Henri Willig cheese. Henri
Willig’s traditional Dutch methods of making cheese attract over a million
tourists annually to their farms in the Netherlands. If you’re ever in the
Netherlands keep your eyes open for their 12 stores. But don’t worry, Henri
Willig has exceptional customer service meaning you can order all the cheese
you need online from their website! There are many many varieties of cheese to
cheese from whether it is individual cheeses or specially put together gift
baskets such as the ‘Vincent’ gift basket consisting of Goat cheese and Smoked
Cow cheese together with their two new cheeses, Fenugreek and Hot & Spicy
and a jar of Dutch Honey Mustard.
If you want to pick your own selection of
cheeses you will find everything from highly recommended Pesto Cheese to AgedGoats Cheese which is won the best old goats cheese in the world award at the 2006
World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison Wisconsin.
Whittard has been around since 1886 so what they don’t know
about tea and coffee isn’t worth knowing. We have selected a special collection
of their items for a ‘coffee lover’s gift’. This comprises of the wonderfully
varied selection of Whittard’s 9 most popular ground Coffees from around the World which is beautifully presented in a gift box and individual boxes for
each coffee. Coffees include Monsoon Malabar, Santos and Java, Sumatra,
Guatemalan Elephant, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Pico Duarte, Colombian, Costa Rican
and Mocha Djimmah. To go alongside this wonderful collection of coffees
Whittard offer a Flavoured Coffee Syrups Set which comprises of Vanilla,
Gingerbread, Hazelnut, Caramel and Cinnamon. Add a bit of extra extravagance to
your coffees made in your own home. You’ll think twice about buying high street
chain coffee again.
Hotel Chocolat has a long standing reputation as being one
of Britain’s most respectable cocoa growers and chocolatiers. As with all
occasions throughout the year Hotel Chocolat has not failed to deliver when it
comes to their fantastic Christmas selection. There is truly something for
everyone, young and old, modern or traditional. Forgot buying a holly wreath
this Christmas, why not buy one of Hotel Chocolat’s selection of huge 450g
chocolate wreaths. There are a few to choose from including The Purist FestiveWreath. Made with fine Arriba cocoa, premium Piedmont hazelnuts and Marcona
almonds, and the succulent jumbo golden raisins. Or try the Festive Wreath.
Made with 50% cocoa milk chocolate, cookies and hand cut florentines that
beautifully balance the sweetness of the chocolate.
Or if you are after some
fantastic stocking fillers Hotel Chocolat has them all. From the Christmas PickMe Up gift box  or for those who don’t
like traditional Christmas mine pies why not try Hotel Chocolat’s AlternativeMince Pie gift box of 6 mini chocolates shaped like mince pies containing layers
of praline and salted caramel… delicious!
Everyone loves a bit of sophistication at Christmas, and
even more to receive it as a gift. How about something from Britain’s oldest
wine and spirits merchants? By appointment to both HM The Queen and The Prince
of Wales Berry Bros. & Rudd has been synonymous with sophistication and
luxury. No3 London Dry Gin was created using as few ingredients as possible to
achieve what Berry Bros. & Rudd believe gin should truly taste like. There
is an interesting, almost fascinating fact about No3 London Dry Gin, in that
the number 3 repeatedly appears. From the number of the shop on St James’s
Street, 3 centuries of heritage of the company, the 3 fruits and 3 spices used
in the creation of the gin and even 3 men and 3 woman gathering the juniper
berries which give the gin its well-known flavour. Berry Bros. & Rudd prise
this gin on its simplicity; it is still distilled in copper pot stills. To get
your mouth watering for this delicious gin we’ll run through some of the
enticing ingredients. From the obvious inclusion of the juniper berries to the
Spanish orange peel and grapefruit and don’t forget the hints of Angelica root, Moroccan coriander
and, finally, cardamom. The simplicity of this gin reflects back in both the
history of this illustrious company and the origins of how dry gin was
introduced into Britain by William of Orange, crowned king of England in 1688.
The design and presentation of No3 London Dry Gin is unforgettable. From the
key inset into the bottle, the high shoulder green glass bottle to the traditional
cork stopper.
Most of you may not have heard of Magisso Ltd, but you’ll
wonder why when you discover some of their fantastic creations. Magisso is a
production house for Nordic design and innovations. Magisso aims to develop
products to make our lives a little bit easier, and in the process come up with
some fascinating design features. The one product we love the most and which we
recommend for any keen baker this Christmas is the Magisso Cake Server. When
you first lay eyes on the cake server you’ll struggle to see how it could
possibly even be a cake server, or anything to do with baking for that matter.
But once you see in in operation you will wonder why someone didn’t create this
before now to avoid those sticky fingers or messy slices of cake.  Presentation is just as important when
serving cake and this wonderful product has mastered it perfectly as having an
intriguing design which is guaranteed to be a conversation starter when someone
receives it as a gift. You can view a demonstration of the cake server here.

 

If you’re looking for a practical gift for that loved one
who is always cooking or baking look no further than Demarle’s fabulous range of baking sheets. Professional and celebrity chefs swear by them and claim they
just can’t live without them anymore. We know you can buy non-stick trays and
other non-stick mats but the non-stick coating eventually wears off and you’re
left with an ugly sticky mess when you try and cook something. Demarle offers
three main fantastic products, the SILPAT, the SILPAIN and the ROUL’PAT all
with their specific ingenious purposes. The SILPAT is our absolute favourite
product perfect for most baking needs, from pastry to cookies, from candy to
chocolate nothing sticks! You’ll be seeing us using the SILPAT with almost all
our baking going forward! The SILPAIN has a very specific purpose but an
equally important one. The SILPAIN is designed for using with all types of dough
from pizzas to breads. The uniquely perforated non-stick baking sheet ensures
that moisture from the underside of your bread or pizza can escape ensuring a
crisp base rather than a soggy one. The last product has saved us so many
incidents of our worktop being covered in sticky dough, melted chocolate or
just about anything when it comes to baking. The ROUL’PAT is essentially a
non-stick countertop workstation. Whether it is for rolling out pasty, dough
and working with fondant or even craft projects! There are literally millions
of uses and it doesn’t stop with baking. You can buy these products from many companies worldwide. In the US these are available from Bed, Bath and Beyond and Macy’s to name just two.
We’ve long been fans of Suzanne’s Shazzam Jams. Our love
first began with her More than Strawberry Jam which contains a hint of apple
and Malibu rum, who wouldn’t love that! But Suzanne has been busy in the
kitchen because there are a whole new variety of jams available just in time
for Christmas! If you’re after something Christmas themed there is everything
from Mulled Cranberry & Orange Sauce, Bramley Apple & Cranberry Jam and
our popular flavours of Christmas Pudding Chutney, Christmas Chutney, Mulled
Plum Jam, Cinnamon Marmalade & Hot Toddy Marmalade! If you’re after
something just a bit different Suzanne’s alcoholic shot variety is perfect!
They include everything from Raspberry Vodka Jam, Blueberry Smash Jam and even
Strawberry Daiquiri Jam! Or even if you want a taste of Northern Ireland there
are fabulous gift sets which include pottery pieces fired by Suzanne herself in
her very own kiln!
We discovered Blond Amsterdam while we were Live Blogging
from the city earlier this year. If you missed this you can read our
Live Blog which we have kept on the site here. Blond Amsterdam has
created a treasure trove or new, modern, fresh design ideas on their ranges.
One of our favourite gift ideas from Blond Amsterdam is the Travel Coffee Cup for coffee on the go! Of course make sure to browse their other
ranges for other gift ideas. Not a fan of coffee not to worry! Blonde
Amsterdam has an amazing range of tea cups, saucers and even cake plates. Our
favourite is the Pink Cup & Saucer with matching cake plate. Jazz up your
tea parties a little with Blonde Amsterdam!
Do you read recipes off your iPad when you’re baking in the
kitchen?  Fed up getting your iPad messy
with your sticky fingers? Belkin has come up with a perfect solution, the
Belkin Chef Stand and Stylus. The Chef Stand has a non-slip base making it
perfect for kitchen use and has two different positions to suit every need. The
stylus, or as Belkin like to call it the wand comes with its own stand and is
completely washable in soapy water, as is the stand. The stylus makes browsing your
recipes on your iPad a breeze without the mess. In the UK you can find details
here or in the USA here.

bakingbar

BakingBar was launched in 2010 to provide simple and straightforward baking guides and recipes. BakingBar are currently recipe developers for Neills Flour and MyProtein.

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