The countdown to Christmas is on, which means barbecue lunches, family dinners and 'friendsmas' events are filling our calendars.
And with all these festivities comes an abundance of Christmas desserts, bakes and treats, from delicious wreath cakes to classic shortbread.
Whether you're a guest or playing host, you'll need a variety of tasty, signature dishes up your sleeve this season to share and savour with loved ones.
To help alleviate kitchen chaos, we've shared the best recipe hacks and shortcuts you need to know to create delicious and stress-free desserts.
First things first: read your recipes. Write a list of every ingredient you need before stopping by the grocery store to create a seamless cooking experience.
There's nothing worse than realising you've run out of plain flour or forgotten to pick up the golden syrup halfway through baking the Christmas pudding! Proper prep allows you to focus on the magic of making - sans stress.
Short on time or lack confidence in the kitchen? Turn to convenient baking mixes that curtail the cooking process without compromising on unbeatable flavour.
Whether it's a box of indulgent red velvet cupcakes or gooey chocolate profiteroles, the White Wings range of baking mixes create crowd-pleasing sweets for holiday festivities.
With a White Wings mix as your baking partner, you can whip up fail-safe homemade desserts that will have everyone coming back for seconds, thirds and fourths…
Steal a page from a Parisian's cookbook and do things the 'mise en place' way. This culinary French phrase means to prep your ingredients, utensils and cookware before you start the baking process.
This tried-and-tested hack allows you to quickly move through each step of your recipe, saving time and stress. Measure, chop and peel your ingredients before you start, and set them around your cooking station for easy access. Et voilà!
The secret to mouth-watering goodies is superior, flavourful ingredients. To bake from scratch with confidence, invest in rich, premium ingredients and fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts.
The range of speciality sugars and syrups from CSR, for example, is 100% natural and enriches the aroma, taste and texture of every dessert and sweet drink.
High-quality sugars and syrups can boost your baking by creating a deeper caramel sauce, a crunchier apple tart or a sweeter gingerbread for Christmas celebrations.
Finally, how you present your dessert is (almost) as important as how scrumptious it tastes. To craft a visual delight, pay attention to the top layer of your bake.
Slices of fruit bring bright pops of colour to your plate, while garnishes – such as slivered almonds, a sprig of fresh herbs or edible flowers – add subtle texture.
To serve, choose a style of tableware that complements your dish. For example, a long, vibrant platter to arrange bite-sized coconut balls, or a cake stand for a showstopper bombe alaska.