Advent Calender


The Christmas Season officially begins today.

To slowly get you into the Christmas mood, Tentamus Italy sends Christmas greetings from its laboratories and shows you how to decorate a Christmas tree in a different way – in the  laboratory style.


Christmas Tree Italy Laboratory


British Christmas Pudding

No British Christmas is complete without a Christmas pudding. Despite reports that the traditional Christmas pudding has fallen out of favor for lighter desserts, it is as popular as ever. Christmas pudding is best made well in advance to allow it to mature which traditionally is made on “Stir it up Sunday” the Sunday before Advent around the end of November.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 lb (450g)  mixed dried fruit
  • 1 oz ((25 g) candied peel (mixed varieties, finely chopped)
  • 1 small apple (cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoon brandy (plus a little extra for soaking at the end)
  • 2 oz (55g) flour (self-raising, sifted)
  • 1  teaspoon  mixed spice(level, ground)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
  • 4 oz. (110g) suet (beef or vegetarian, shredded)
  • 4 oz. (110g) brown sugar (dark, soft)
  • 4 oz. (110g)  bread crumbs (white, fresh)
  • 1 oz (25g) almonds (whole, shelled, roughly chopped)
  • 2 large eggs (fresh)


How to Make It

  1. Lightly butter a 2 ½ pint (1.4-litre ) pudding basin.
  2. Place the dried fruits, candied peel, apple, orange and lemon juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the brandy and stir well. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to marinate for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Stir the flour, mixed spice, and cinnamon together in a very large mixing bowl. Add the suet, sugar, lemon and orange zest, bread crumbs, nuts and stir again until all the ingredients are well mixed. Finally, add the marinated dried fruits and stir again.
  4. Beat the eggs lightly in a small bowl then stir quickly into the dry ingredients. The mixture should have a fairly soft consistency.
  5. Now is the time to gather the family for Christmas pudding tradition of taking turns in stirring, making a wish and adding a few coins.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the greased pudding basin, gently pressing the mixture down with the back of a spoon. Cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment, then a layer of aluminum foil and tie securely with string wrapping the string around the basin, then loop over the top and then around the bowl again. This will form a handle which will be useful when removing the pudding from the steamer.
  7. Place the pudding in a steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water and steam the pudding for 7 hours. Make sure you check the water level frequently, so it never boils dry. The pudding should be a dark brown color when cooked. The pudding is not a light cake but instead is a dark, sticky and dense sponge.
  8. Remove the pudding from the steamer, cool completely. Remove the paper, prick the pudding with a skewer and pour in a little extra brandy.
  9. Cover with fresh greaseproof paper and re-tie with string. Store in a cool, dry place until Christmas day.

Note: The pudding cannot be eaten immediately, it does need to be stored and rested then reheated on Christmas day. Eating the pudding immediately after cooking will cause it to collapse, and the flavors will not have had time to mature.

On Christmas day, reheat the pudding by steaming again for about an hour.

Serve with brandy or rum sauce, brandy butter, or custard . Leftover Christmas pudding can be reheated by wrapping tightly in aluminum foil and heating through in a hot oven.


Xmas Labofine


Apple Bread Recipe
Christmas Biscuits “Apple Bread” by Lifeprint




  • 750 g apples
  • 250 g sugar
  • 250 g raisins
  • some rum
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon. Gem. cloves
  • ½ Package. Gingerbread spice
  • 500 g flour
  • One pack. Baking powder
  • 200 g coarsely chopped nuts
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa




Peel apples, halve, remove seeds and grate coarsely. Mix the apple mixture with the sugar and cover and leave to stand overnight. Cover the raisins with rum and let them soak overnight, also covered. The next day mix apples and raisins. Mix spices, flour, baking powder, nuts and cocoa and stir into the apple raisin mixture. Fill the dough into a well greased box mould (or form like a loaf of bread).


Baking time


  • approx. 60 min. at 200° (Gas Stage 3) in the pre- heated oven


EPL Merry Christmas

Best Wishes for the Christmas Season and for the New Year from EPL – Bio Analytical Services


Chocolate Santa Claus – 5 Facts

  1. Allergens contained in chocolate Santa Clauses, such as milk, hazelnuts, lecithin and peanuts, must be highlighted in the list of ingredients.

  2. Mineral oil residues ruin the Christmas season. In the past years, MOSH and MOAH have been detected several times in chocolate Santa Clauses, which have a carcinogenic potential.

  3. A sensory analysis of chocolate Santa Clauses examines the appearance, smell, taste and mouthfeel. This is carried out at 18 °C so that the chocolate can best develop its aroma. It is tested whether the chocolate melts gently on the tongue, how crunchy it is, whether it breaks cleanly, whether there are false aromas and much more.

  4. “Fat bloom” is often confused with mould, but is harmless. It arises when liquid fat reaches the surface and crystallizes there. The main cause is temperature variations.

  5. Chocolate Santa Clauses have a best-before date and no use-by date. I.e. they can still be consumed when the best-before date expired….if they are still alive 😉


Christmas spices – how long can you keep them?

Store cinnamon, cloves etc. right.

A nice smell of cinnamon and vanilla is in the air – it’s Christmas time. Before the Christmas baking begins, it is a good idea to look through your spice rack. Why? Because spices cannot be kept unlimited.

Although these natural products aren’t likely to spoil but they lose their aromatics over the time in storage. This applies especially for grounded products, which should be used relatively quickly after opening them. The best before date only refers to closed goods.

In case you have some spices left from last year, do an “aroma-check”.  Check if the smell is already volatilized, it has a strange smell or if it has lost its color. If you like it very fresh, use unshredded Christmas spices. Cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks can be stored up to four years. The essential oils are not released until grinding with a mortar or a grater.

Ideally spices should be bought in smaller amounts and not bought ahead. This applies especially to Christmas or seasonal spices which are only used at certain times. If you want to keep them for a longer period, the right storage is important. Here a some tips:

  1. Store spices individually e.g. in spice boxes or dark spice glasses with an airtight seal.
  2. Store spices cool, dry and protected from light (humidity can cause mold and heat and scents can affect the aroma).
  3. Do not hang up your spice rack right above your stove (too much heat and humidity).

Enjoy your Christmas bakings with good and aromatic spices.


BAV Merry Christmas


VelaLabs_Advent calendar (5)


Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year from VelaLabs!




Christmas Charity

Tentamus Italy supports a charity again this year.

Our Christmas gift supports the SAN PATRIGNANO community, which has provided young drug addicts with a welcoming atmosphere, hope, recreation and a new future over the past 40 years.

San Patriniamo gift 2019

The community’s commitment has saved over 26,000 people and their families.

The community of recovery from drug addiction is also a commitment to a better society through various prevention projects such as specific activities in schools, international events or activities to fight addiction.

We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!


Traditions from Switzerland – by Tentamus Helvetia

There is no traditional Christmas dinner in Switzerland, because every region is linguistically (4 national languages), mentally, but also culinarily very differently shaped. We are a country of contrasts!

Tentamus Helvetia therefore shows you two great recipes:

1) Bernese Plate

The Bernese plate is prepared with sauerkraut, beans and lots of meat. It is considered a hearty feast.

Ingredients boiling meat pot

  • 400 ml vegetable stock well seasoned
  • 1 piece bay leaf
  • 1 pc clove
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g boiling meat (e.g. neck or feather piece of beef)
  • 300 g soup vegetables (carrots, celery, leek, onion)

Ingredients dried beans & tongue

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 100 g dried beans (dried green beans)
  • 1 l boiling water
  • 100 ml beef stock
  • 300 g tongue sausage
  • 1 piece onion finely chopped

Ingredients sauerkraut & smoked meat

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 400 g smoked bacon
  • 400 g Ripple of kidney piece
  • 500 g mild raw sauerkraut
  • 4 pcs juniper berries mortared
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 1 piece onion finely chopped


  1. Soak the dried beans in water for a few hours before preparing the dish.
  2. For the beef, wash the soup vegetables, prepare them and cut them into pieces. Peel the onion and add the bay leaf and the clove. Heat the oil in a pan, sauté the soup vegetables briefly and deglaze with the vegetable stock. Add onion and beef. Allow to simmer for about two hours. Stir occasionally and skim off the foam.
  3. Drain the water from the dried beans and cook with fresh salted water until soft (about half an hour). Drain. Melt butter in a frying pan. Steam onion briefly until glassy. Add the beans and continue to steam. Deglaze with stock and add tongue sausage. Bring the liquid to the boil briefly, then reduce the heat. Simmer at medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  4. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the onion and steam. Add sauerkraut and steam for five minutes while stirring constantly. Deglaze with wine. Add juniper. Season sauerkraut with salt, pepper and bouillon powder as desired. Place the ribs and bacon on the sauerkraut and pour the bouillon over them. Cover and simmer for half an hour.
  5. Remove meat and sausage from the pans and carve. Cut the bacon into pieces. Arrange the sauerkraut and beans on a preheated plate.
  6. Spread the meat on top and serve with boiled potatoes.

En guete mitenand!

Please find another great recipe from Switzerland here.



Season Greeting from SMS Lab

SMS Labs Christmas


Take a closer look at the Christmas tree.
Can you guess what kind of decoration it is?

SMS-Labs-Season-Greetings - Christmas


Roscón de Reyes from Tentamus Spain

The Roscón de Reyes (also known as the “Rosca de Reyes” in Spanish America, “Rosco de Reyes” or “King’s pie”) is a bun made with a sweet toroid-shaped dough decorated with slices of crystallized fruit (frosty) with various colors. It can be filled with whipped cream or cream, also with mocha, truffle or chocolate. “Surprises” are hidden inside it, usually ceramic or plastic figures. A very remarkable feature is that inside the Roscón is also a dry bean. It is a tradition that those who find the bean pay for the Roscón. It is served on January 6 called the day of Kings.



  • Put the fresh yeast in warm milk and stir it with your fingers. Leave for 15 minutes.
  • Put 320 grams of flour in a bowl. In the center place the orange zest and sugar.
  • When the milk and yeast are ready add it to the center of the flour
  • Stir the center with a spatula, slowly arrange the flour on the bottom and sides of the bowl until a thin paste forms, however flour must remain on the walls of the bowl
  • Add the butter, the orange blossom essence, the rum, the egg yolk and the salt
  • Mix well with the spatula until you have a sticky dough, mixing in the flour of the walls of the bowl
  • Sprinkle the table you will be working on with the rest of the flour. Put on the dough and knead it. It will stick to the surface at first, but as you knead it will stop sticking. If it’s impossible, add some more flour (only if strictly necessary). The dough has to be slightly sticky.
  • When the dough is ready shape into a ball. Sprinkle some flour in a large bowl and put the dough in it. Cover with cling film and put the bowl in a warm place, perhaps a room with a heater. The mass must double it’s volume (2-3 hours depending on the temperature).
  • When the dough has grown enough, remove from the bowl and knead for 1 minute.
  • Form a ball with the dough. With both thumbs make a hole in the middle and enlarge to give the Roscón de Reyes it’s shape (size of the baking tray you will be using).
  • Line the tray with baking paper and put the dough on it. It’s likely that it will shrink a little again. Spread it evenly on the tray until it has a good size. It doesn’t matter if the dough sticks on the baking paper.
  • Cover the dough with another sheet of baking paper and leave in a warm place until it’s size doubles (30-60 min).
  • Paint the Roscón de Reyes with a brush with egg batter and decorate it to your taste
  • Put the tray in the oven for 25 minutes at 160º C (302º F) until it gets a golden color and take it  out of the oven.
  • Let it cool before cutting or filling it.


If you would like to, you can hide a small surprise inside the dough. When your guests take a piece of  the cake, they will be excited if they get a surprise gift!


If you are visiting Spain during the winter holidays, don’t miss out on Roscón de Reyes!

¡Feliz Navidad!



QSI Team Xmas

After an eventful 2019, the QSI team is looking forward to a wonderful Christmas season and looks forward to the challenges that 2020 will bring!


This life, which had been the tomb of his virtue and of his honour, is but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.


VelaLabkuchen Recipe


Cinnamon aroma

The path of the “isotope-marked cinnamon scent”

At Christmas time in the synthesis laboratory of aromaLAB something “Christmassy” is produced: Zimtaldhyd-d5.

As the name suggests, this is one of many natural flavourings, such as eugenol, found in the bark of various cinnamon trees. To bake cookies, or even in mulled wine or children’s punch not to be imagined without.

To ensure that an isotope-labelled standard is available for the analyses, this standard is synthesised in the synthesis department in painstaking manual work and of course with a great deal of love over several stages. This produces a cinnamon aldehyde, which instead of the five hydrogen atoms on the ring, has five deuterium atoms (heavy hydrogen). This compound is used in analytics to quantify the cinnamaldehyde naturally contained in cinnamon.


With this in mind we, aromaLAB GmbH, wish you a Merry Christmas.


happy family bake christmas cookies

Food Safety: Tips for baking Christmas Cookies

Baking biscuits and cookies during the Christmas season is very popular, especially with children. To avoid infections some tips should be followed.

One of the baking ingredients is usually one or more raw eggs. However, these can carry germs in the bowl or inside (e.g. egg yolk) and thus get into the delicious cookie dough.

Therefore, consumers should pay attention to the following points when baking:

  • Use fresh eggs
  • The best way to bake the dough is right after preparation
  • Do not leave the dough at room temperature for more than 30 minutes
  • Store larger quantities of dough in the fridge until you’re ready to use and only take the quantity you need immediately
  • Do not eat dough – this applies in particular to children

These rules apply to the processing of eggs generally:

  • Store eggs in the fridge at a maximum temperature of 7°C (to avoid salmonella proliferation)
  • Do not use eggs with very dirty or defective shells
  • Do not use raw eggs for food consumed without further heating (e.g. desserts, baked goods with cream fillings & toppings, mayonnaise)
  • Sensitive people (infants, the sick and the elderly, pregnant women) should only eat eggs that are completely heated
  • Eggshells or raw eggs must not come into contact with other food
  • Clean kitchen appliances thoroughly with hot water and detergent or in the dishwasher
  • After processing raw eggs, wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap and dry them carefully


This life, which had been the tomb of his virtue and of his honour, is but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.


This life, which had been the tomb of his virtue and of his honour, is but a walking shadow; a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.




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