5 Essex Things with Amy-Beth Ellice
PUBLISHED: 11:24 18 November 2014 | UPDATED: 11:24 18 November 2014
At only 16 years of age, Amy-Beth Ellice has taken the baking world by storm. Since she was a small child, growing up in a creative family in Stanford Rivers near Ongar, Amy has loved to make cakes and sweet treats for her friends and family, inspired by her mother, Gillian. After many years of taking orders for her special cupcakes and decorated cakes, her first baking book, Amy's Baking Year, has been published and is now on the shelves! Amy's Baking Year follows the four seasons, including fresh, light recipes for Mother's Day, Easter and summer picnics and warming treats for Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas, of course. Here, Amy shares her top five Essex things about the Christmas season…
1 My favourite Christmas thing to do…
I love Christmas; it is my favourite time of year. The run up to Christmas is so exciting and magical, planning what treats I will make over the festive period to entertain family and friends. Making a gingerbread house from scratch, a traditional Christmas cake and crumbly mince pies are just a few family traditions in my home.
I have found that family and friends really appreciate the thought that goes into homemade edible gifts and I love to spend the winter months planning and preparing baked treats which I know they will love.
2. My favourite Christmas music…
Choral singing in Brentwood
In our home over the festive period we all enjoy listening to Christmas music. One of my favourites is Michael Buble’s Christmas Album. But a real highlight for me at Christmas is singing in my school choir at the annual Christmas carol service held at Brentwood Cathedral, when families come together to sing and to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
3. My favourite thing for feeling Christmassy…
Picking the Christmas tree
Every Christmas my father takes my sister Lara and I to the local garden centre to choose the perfect Christmas tree, which has become a special occasion and tradition. When the tree comes home, we love to dress it with Christmas decorations that we have made and collected since we were very young.
4. My favourite Christmas walk…
Out in the Essex Countryside
We like to make the most of our surrounding countryside by talking our three dogs for walks and it is a great way to walk off those mince pies. Then we all come home to hot chocolate and toasted chestnuts in front of a blazing log fire .
5.My favourite part of Christmas day…
I do love being in the kitchen, so another one of my favourite things about Christmas is helping to prepare Christmas lunch with my family. It is always a fabulous feast with all the trimmings, especially my favourite caramelised carrots and onions and my alternative to Christmas pudding, sticky toffee puddings with toffee sauce.
Get the Book
Amy’s Baking Year is published by John Blake, priced £14.99, and is available in all good bookshops and on Amazon.