Christmas is drawing near and more retailers – Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Lidl and Iceland – have revealed their plans for festive bakery products.
Here’s what’s in store:
Frozen specialist Iceland is serving up all the best bits of a Christmas dinner in a single-portion pie this year. The Festive Pie is filled with turkey, sprouts, cranberries, smoked bacon, onions, peas, carrots and stuffing finished with a hand-placed pig in blanket. If beef is more your thing, Iceland is also serving up a Fillet of Beef Wellington, topped with mushroom duxelle encased in all-butter puff pastry with a sprinkle of black pepper. It comes in plastic-free packaging.
The retailer is also going big on vegan lines this year, although it’s not shouting about the fact instead letting the “quality of the products speak for themselves”. There’s the No Duck Spring Rolls filled with jackfruit and vegetables in hoisin sauce and Chinese-style spices, and No Duck Chinese Selection (main image, centre) featuring sweet plum gyoza, hoisin pastry cones and schezuan filo crackers. No Bull Burger Sliders (right), vegan ‘cheese’ burgers, are also available.
Putting a spin on another classic, Iceland is adding Crumble Top Mince Pies to its festive offering. Comprising an all-butter shortcrust pastry filled with mince meat containing vine fruits and brandy, it’s topped with a crumble and dusting of icing sugar. There’s also the Spiced Rum & Cherry Topped Christmas Pudding made with sultanas, cider and rum.
The centrepiece of Iceland’s Christmas desserts range is the Luxury Five Gold Rings – a dark chocolate gold shell filled with Belgian dark chocolate mousse, salted caramel sauce and a cookie base (main image, right). When it’s time for serving, a dark chocolate sauce is poured over, swirling down the rings.
In addition, there’s a Melt in the Middle Pudding (main image, left), a toffee-flavoured sponge filled with salted caramel sauce, coated with dark chocolate ganache and topped with milk and dark chocolate. Iceland also utilises the classic chocolate orange flavour in a Chocolate and Orange Gateau.
Festive desserts are once again the centrepiece of Lidl’s Christmas bakery range as it looks to offer a twist on classic treats. Examples include the Espresso Martini Roulade and the Salted Caramel & Pecan Pavlova Stack.
With demand still high for puds that can be finished at the table for that extra wow factor, the discounter has also created a Deluxe Chocolate Cottage that comes with a chocolate pouring sauce that melts the outer layer to reveal a chocolate mousse, brownie base and salted caramel sauce.
It is also offering a reiteration of last year’s Chocolate Golden Crown. This year’s version – the Deluxe White Chocolate Crown – comes with a pourable raspberry sauce and is filled with lemon curd and a lemon blondie base.
There are also new variants in Lidl’s mince pie range, which it doubled in 2018. New to the line-up is a Florentine-Topped Mince Pie and a Gingerbread Star Mince Pie that features ginger in the mincemeat as well as a warming hit in the pastry. And when it comes to in-store bakery, the discounter will roll out a duo of filled festive doughnuts – a lebkuchen one and a speculoos one.
Finally, on the savoury side Lidl has created a range of new pies and tarts. The Deluxe Vegetarian Tarts (above) come in three variants – curried cauliflower, caramelised onion & goats’ cheese and beetroot.
Marks & Spencer
M&S says its customers want their Christmas food to be quick and fool proof while also being delicious and showstopping.
Party food inspiration comes from across the globe. Starting close to home are a duo of posh mini crumpets: 10 Porcini & Truffle Crumpets and 10 Pulled Ham Hock & Rarebit Crumpets (main image, left). From the US are bite-sized 10 Mini Meatball Subs (right image, bottom) topped with cheese and a pesto drizzle, while inspiration comes from further afield for the 12 Mushroom Bao Buns, filled with mushroom, soy and hoisin filling, as well as Prawn Sliders – all of which are £7.
In a bid to make sausage rolls more festive, M&S has unveiled Festive Handcrafted Sausage Rolls (main image, right) which are emblazoned with the word ‘ho’ in pastry.
For “the ultimate tear and share” it is introducing Brie En Croute (right image, centre). Consumers won’t need dippers for it as the all-butter puff pastry containing the brie can be ripped off and dipped in the melted cheese.
Like many other retailers, M&S has also added to its vegan range. For on-the-go, there’s The Nutcracker Sandwich filled with sweet potato, chestnut & cranberry roast, butternut squash, cranberry chutney, pistachios and caramelised pecans with an almond butter vegan mayo dressing. Plant Kitchen No Pork Pigs in Blankets are M&S’ answer to the vegan pigs in blanket, while it is serving up Filled Butternut Squash encased in lattice pastry for a vegan main event.
There’s a lot of colour in Marks’ dessert range this Christmas, from the Christmas Rainbow Cake (main image, centre) to the retro Baked Alaska (right image, top) comprising a soft meringue shell encasing sponge and vanilla parfait and a centre of raspberry sorbet. Sticky toffee has also been reimagined in the form of a Sticky Toffee Trifle which has the flavours and crunch of the classic pud.
Salted caramel fans are well catered for at Morrisons this Christmas as the flavour dominates the retailer’s festive dessert range. Kicking things off is Smash Dome (right image, top) with layers of Belgian chocolate mousse, butterscotch mousse, salted caramel sauce and chocolate sponge all topped with white and milk chocolate stars and shiny malt balls. The dessert is hand-finished with a gold-flecked Belgian chocolate dome which is smashed before eating.
Snowflake Tiffin (main image, centre) also embraces salted caramel incorporating it with Californian raisins and shortcake pieces into a snowflake finished with a bronze lustre, as does Salted Caramel & Pecan Pavlova Wreath which is topped with a salted caramel sauce and milk chocolate drizzle.
For those who prefer straight-up sweetness, Morrisons has Woodland Cake comprising a chocolate sponge cake layered with maple syrup sauce and topped with chocolate ganache frosting.
Offering an alternative to traditional Christmas pudding is Panettone Crumb Pudding – a panettone-crumb pudding with vine fruits and candied cherries with amaretto and a hidden dark cherry sauce (right image, bottom). For a twist on another classic, it is offering Florentine Mince Pies (main image, left) filled with morello cherry mincemeat and topped with honey-glazed almonds, citrus peel and cranberries.
On the savoury and party food front Morrisons is extending its vegan lines with Korean Jackfruit Bao Buns designed for steaming at home and filling with pulled jackfruit, BBQ sauce and mixed vegetables in spicy gochujang sauce as well as Vegan Pigs In Blankets (right image, centre). The latter sees jackfruit and chickpea vegan sausages wrapped in streaky pastry blankets. For a vegetarian main event the Layered Vegetable Tart has puff pastry filled with spiced beetroot, cranberry & onion chutney, butternut squash, spinach, onion and chestnuts.
For the meat eaters, Morrisons is serving up Duck Waffles – savoury waffles topped with shredded duck in hoisin sauce – and the unusual Stuffing Mince Pies (main image, right) which sees a pastry base filled with British pork mince mixed with orange and lemon zest and topped with cranberries.
Find out what other retailers have planned for bakery this Christmas by visiting these pages:
- Aldi and Booths
- Asda, Ocado and Tesco
- Co-op, Fortnum & Mason, Waitrose
- Bakery brands including Biscuiteers, Central Foods and Mindful Bites
- Bakery brands including Aryzta, Burton’s Biscuits and McVitie’s
- Food-to-go specialists including Pret A Manger, Costa and Starbucks
- Bakery brands including Paul UK, Maître Choux, Hummingbird Bakery and Paul Rhodes