The Best Christmas Cakes and Pastries: Tested by Ravneet Gill | christmas food and drink

from Amazon Our selection Stuffed minced meat empanadas
£2.50 for 6, amazon.co.uk
It smells incredibly buttery and beautiful. The dough is nice and golden, the stuffing point. Good hot or cold. I really love these.
★★★★

Morrisons free mince pies
£3 for 4, morrisons.com
The dough is a bit powdery, you get that with the GF dough. Served hot, it’s very good. If I was a celiac or a vegan I would be seriously impressed. It is sweet; but put on some cream, no problem.
★★★★

Christmas cakes and pastries

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Gingerbread Blondie Cakes
£2.25 for 4, sainsburys.co.uk
If I didn’t like mince pies I probably wouldn’t like that, it’s pretty spicy and pretty sick. More pleasant cold.
★★

Heston of Waitrose Pear and Fig Pies in Cheese Puff Pastry
£3.50 for 6, waitrose.com
I love puff pastry, but not this. Is it cheesecake? I can’t taste that. It might have worked better if they had put a square of cheese in the middle.

Asda extra special giant mince pie to share
Serves 6, £4.50, groceries.asda.com
It must be served hot. Thick dough and a thin filling – some people love it. It is tasty enough and serves a good purpose.
★★★

Cooperative Irresistible Cinnamon Sugar Knots
150g, £1.80, coop.co.uk
It smells spicy but it’s not overpowering. Warm flavor, super crunchy. I would dunk this in a hot drink so the sugar melts. I love this.
★★★★

Vegan Cinnamon Blackberry Cookie Crosstown
£12.95 for 6, crosstown.co.uk
Pretty good for a vegan cookie. It doesn’t taste like butter, but it has a good texture. The jam inside is sweet. I would be happy to give it to someone.
★★★

Christmas cakes and pastries

SUPERIOR TASTE
Heston of Waitrose Mandarin Negroni Stollen

530g, £10, waitrose.com
Wow! It’s super orange and spicy. A ripple of marzipan, and the dough is fluffy. I would love it warm, with custard. It looks retro and pretty. This would do.
★★★★

Morrisons Finest Hand Finished Stollen
600g, £7, morrisons.com
He smells so drunk. This is dense. It has a lot of marzipan, too much. I love marzipan but find this to be overwhelming.

Waitrose Christmas Parmigiano & Black Pepper Panettone
500g, £9, waitrose.com
Wow, that’s cheese! Unnecessary. I don’t think I like that. Why would you put cheese on a panettone? Leave it alone.

Carluccio Vegan Panettone
750g, £17.95, carluccios.com
Really pretty good. I don’t know if I would know right away that he is a vegan. For a baking that usually has so many eggs and so much butter… you don’t notice that it doesn’t have them. Interesting.
★★★★

Aldi’s specially selected Black Forest Snow Globe Dessert
550g, £7.99, groceries.aldi.co.uk
This is great. Break the dome and take out the mousse and sponge. There’s cherry jam. Hmm! Can you imagine putting this on the table and telling everyone to grab a spoon? It’s so fun.
★★★★

Asda Extra Special Vegan Chocolate Garnish
£4.50 for 2 (340g), asda.com
Vegans never eat milk chocolate mousses, so this is different. It could use a little salt.
★★

BEST BUY
M&S Helter Skelter Cake
1.1kg, £25, markandspencer.com
Slide the candy down the shell…then lift it up and there’s a penguin! It’s so silly and cute. The cake is beautiful, well made. Perfect cake for tea time. Full marks for how much fun it is.
★★★★★

Tesco Finest Salted Caramel & Chocolate Millionaire Choux Wreath
472g, £4.72g, tesco.com
I love elaborate choux. caramel candy; choux is crunchy. For those who like incredibly sweet desserts.
★★★

Ravneet Gill is the author of Sugar, I Love You and the founder of Countertalk.

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