Butter Up Your Holidays: How to Create a Festive Butter Candle Centrepiece!

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

Butter Candle anyone? Try this clever and easy way to serve bread and butter this Christmas. It's so easy and effective-you can place your butter candle in a cut out cob loaf or bake your own buns from scratch too. This will totally wow your guests and casts a beautiful glow over Christmas dinner. It also makes a wonderful edible Christmas gift! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader.

TikTok is full of food ideas and some are great, some are not but they're all very creative. I saw this all over TikTok last year but saved it for this year. I had no idea it would be this simple. All you have to do is mix some softened butter with some flavourings and then do a low level crafting project. You know if I am suggesting a craft during Christmas, it has to be low level right? Nobody needs extra stress.

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

All You Need For a Butter Candle:

  • 1 paper cup (200ml/7ozs capacity)
  • 3 inches kitchen twine
  • Oil
  • Knife
  • Butter mixture

That's it! Dipping the kitchen twine (aka the wick) in oil ensures that it lights well and keeps going and going.

Other Butter Flavours

I personally love garlic butter because I am a savoury lover but you can also make other flavours or delve into sweet butter candles. These make an AMAZING edible gift too!

Savoury Butter Candle Flavours:

  • Cafe de Paris Butter Candle (for a steak dinner)
  • Salted Honey Butter Candle
  • Chilli and Lime Butter Candle (great for roast chicken)
  • Herb Butter Candle
  • Red Wine and Shallot Butter Candle (for steak)

Sweet Butter Candle flavours:

  • Cinnamon Sugar Butter Candle
  • Cranberry Butter Candle
  • Strawberry Butter Candle (perfect for scones!)
  • Maple Walnut Butter Candle
  • Pumpkin Spice Butter Candle

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

I love this idea so much because not only is it clever but it's practical too. Butter for spreading on bread is often too hard but serving it as a candle means that it melts just so, and it's perfectly spreadable. Of course if Christmas Day in Australia it is going to be hot but if it's cold weather where you are at Christmas this butter candle will be your new best friend.

So far the forecast for Christmas Day in Sydney looks warm. For the past couple of weekends it has been so hot that we had to plan everything around the weather. One recent saturday it got up to 40°C or 104°F and Laura and I had big plans to go to Costco and then go to an outdoor night market. We had to confer regarding our plans as she was concerned that going to an outdoor market wasn't the best idea. I'm fine at handling heat (it's the Singaporean blood) so I was happy to go along with whatever we had planned. After some discussion we decided to stick with our plan as a cool change was expected in the early evening.

That day, Mr NQN and I stayed inside with the air conditioning on the entire time. We had all of the curtains drawn and we spent the whole day watching tv and lying in bed under air conditioning only getting up to prepare food. Then Laura picked me up, we made a slight detour for a slurpee and then we availed ourselves of the Costco air conditioning which was honestly struggling. We bought a drink but the ice has run out as had some of the drinks. And thankfully the cool change happened just as we needed it to go to the market!

So tell me Dear Reader, do you plan your activities around the weather? What do you do on really hot days? Have you ever tried a butter candle?

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

Garlic Butter Candle

Did you make this recipe? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oil plus extra
  • 200g/7ozs butter, very soft
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • You will also need a paper cup and kitchen twine

Butter Candle Bread Wreath
Caramelised garlic

Step 1 - First make the caramelised garlic. Preheat oven to 180C/350F fan forced. Chop the very top off the garlic so that the tops of the cloves show but keep the whole head intact. Place on a sheet of foil and drizzle with oil with salt and pepper and wrap up tightly. Bake for 35-40 minutes until soft and garlic turns a caramel colour. Cool. You can make the garlic 2-3 days ahead of time and store in the fridge.

Butter Candle Bread Wreath
Dipping the wick in oil

Step 2 -Blend the garlic in a food processor and then add the butter, chives, garlic powder and salt and pulse to combine well. Place in a piping bag and leave at room temperature while you do the rest. Cut a piece of kitchen twine that is two inches longer than the height of the cup and dip it in oil. Cut a hole in the base of the paper cup and thread the twine through it. Pipe the butter around the twine stopping to gently tap the cup against the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Smooth down the top of the candle and then keep tapping the cup against the counter. It should even out the top even further. Cover and place in the fridge until needed. You can make this 4-5 days ahead of time.

Butter Candle Bread Wreath
Threading the wick through the bottom of the cup

Butter Candle Bread Wreath
Keeping the wick vertical while you fill it with butter

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

Step 3 -When needed, trim the wick to leave 3/4 a centimetre/0.3inch of wick and cut the cup and remove the cup. Place inside a wreath bread or you can cut out a little round of a cob loaf to snugly fit it. Light and serve. This works best if the butter has sat at room temperature for a bit but still works if the butter is cold (it just takes longer for it to come to a spreadable temperature).

Bread Wreath

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Makes 21 bread rolls

  • 4 cups/600g/21ozs plain all purpose or bread flour
  • 1 cup/250ml/8.8flozs milk
  • 1/4 cup/90g/3ozs honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant dried yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 60g/2ozs butter, cubes, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons each of white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, chives, tajin seasoning and caraway seeds in separate bowls

Step 1 - Make the tangzhong or water roux. Take 1/6 cup/25g/1oz of the total flour from the whole measurement and whisk with 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs of water in a saucepan until smooth. Heat on low to medium heat and stir until it thickens to become a roux. You want it to reach 65ºC/149ºF and it will take about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the milk, honey and salt and whisk until the honey melts and you get a smooth mixture. Cool to 45ºC/113ºF.

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

Step 2 - Place the rest of the bread flour (use 3 1/2 cups and then add the extra if you need it) and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix to combine. Whisk the eggs into the milky tangzhong mixture and add to the flour mix and knead until elastic. Add a bit more flour if the mixture is too wet. Finally add the butter cubes one at a time. It needs to be elastic and stretchy but not break. You should be able to pull it apart between your fingers and see through it without it breaking. Roll it into a ball making sure that there are no cracks on top of the ball and allow it to rise in a warm place to triple the size - this may take around an hour or so depending on how hot it is.

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

Step 4 - Preheat the oven to 180C/350F fan forced. Line a baking tray with parchment and place a second paper cup in the centre to leave room for the butter candle. Flour your hands and a surface and divide the dough into 21 portions (I like to use a digital scale for this). Your dough will be sticky but try not to add too much flour. A little is fine because flour varies from supplier to batch but adding too much will affect the texture of the buns. Instead, add a little flour and then lightly oil your hands just before shaping them.

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

Step 5 - Brush each roll with beaten egg and dip in the seeds alternating between each topping and leaving some plain. Place them around the paper cup but not quite touching (they will expand). Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes or until puffed up. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool and then remove the paper cup from the centre. Place the butter candle in its place and light and serve.

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

Butter Candle Bread Wreath

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