Tip in the flour, milk, vanilla bean paste and a pinch of salt, and mix everything together using a wooden spoon until you have a dough. Divide the dough into two pieces, and set one half aside. Divide that piece in half again. Colour one half with red food colouring gel and the other with green. They must be a dark, intense shade because they will lighten slightly as they bake.
Roll golf-ball-sized pieces of the plain dough into 15 x 1cm sausages between your palms, then repeat with the red and green doughs. On a work surface, lay a plain dough sausage parallel to a red or green one. Join the bottoms together, then lightly twist along the length. Do this gently – don’t be tempted to press them together or the colours may meld. One by one, carefully lift each twist of dough, place on one of the prepared trays and curl at the top to form a hooked candy cane. Repeat until all the dough is used (you should have about 12 canes), spacing them apart by about 5cm.
Bake for 12-14 mins until set and slightly golden. Leave to cool slightly on the trays before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Will keep in an airtight container for up to three days.