Stock your festive larder with the most delicious British cakes, bakes, preserves and confections – picked by our expert judges as part of the Great British Food Awards 2017
Lauden First Class Chocolate Collection, £20, laudenchocolate.co.uk
This sumptuous box of artisan chocolates looks and tastes absolutely stunning and makes a truly special gift.
Our expert, patissier and celebrity chef Eric Lanlard, said: “Just by the look and size of each chocolate you know that you are in for a treat. My favourite flavours were the passion fruit and the lemon fillings which tasted so natural. They were not overpowering and super zesty. They are just so, so good!”
* Popcorn Shed Salted Caramel Gourmet Popcorn, £2.99, popcornshed.com
* Walkers Non Such Liquorice Toffees, £1 for 150g, sainsburys.co.uk
Bessie’s Tea Parlour Leek & Kentish Blue Cheese Tart, £4.75 per slice, bessiesteaparlour.co.uk
Sweet leeks and super savoury blue cheese combine to make the most gloriously fresh and flavourful filling. The pasty is beautiful too – thin, crisp and buttery. We love that pretty much every ingredient used in the tart is from the local area too; The team use locally sourced leeks, cheese, eggs, milk and herbs to create a truly local and superlative tasting product.
Our expert, chef and local food champion Nathan Outlaw, said: “I loved the filling, which was well seasoned and balanced. The blue cheese was just right. It looked, felt and tasted like a homemade tart – lovely!”
* Fuud Ltd’s Chicken & Chestnut Pie, £4.75, fuud.co.uk
* Aryzta Beef, Horseradish & Cheddar Pie, £3.50, aryztafoodsolutions.co.uk
BEST SWEET BAKE
Bessie’s Tea Parlour Allotment Cake, bessiesteaparlour.co.uk
A fantastic (and utterly delicious!) celebration of local produce, this allotment cake is just outstanding. We loved the use of seasonal and local fruit and veg including Kentish cobnuts as well as butternut squashes grown by the tea room’s customers!
* The Proof Of The Pudding Marmalade Sponge Pudding, from £6, theproofofthepudding.co.uk
* Tiptree Patisserie Ltd Raspberry & White Chocolate Gateau, tiptreecakes.com
BEST SWEET PRESERVE
Blood Orange & Gin Marmalade, £2.99, ludlowfoodcentre.co.uk
This is a truly luxurious marmalade, made with a perfect balance of rich, juicy blood oranges and a good kick of gin. Perfect for smothering on toast for Christmas day breakfast!
Our expert, chef and teacher Rosemary Shrager, said: “Great consistency and texture with the perfect amount of rind. Completely delicious on all levels!”
* Season’s Bounty Strawberry Jam with Norfolk Lavender, £3.75, seasons-bounty.co.uk
* Gower Cottage Brownies Ltd Orange Brownie Butter, £6.95 gowercottagebrownies.co.uk
BEST GLUTEN FREE BAKE
Oast To Host Quongo Leek & Bacon Quiche, £3.97, oasttohost.com
The quality of gluten free baking just gets better and better, so there’s no need for coeliacs to miss out at Christmas. This stupendous gluten-free quiche is ideal for festive buffets.
Our expert, River Cottage’s nutrition guru Naomi Devlin, said: “The real test of free-from food is whether it tastes like something is missing or not and this quiche isn’t missing a thing! In fact, it was hands-down the most delicious thing I tasted whilst judging this category. There are no unpronounceable ingredients, just crisp, buttery pastry and a rich, savoury filling. I was sad to find after my last mouthful that there was no more left!”
*Pollen + Grace The Mojo Bar, £3, pollenandgrace.com
*Love Brownies Handmade Double Chocolate Brownies, from £16, lovebrownies.co.uk