What tastes describe Christmas? Peppermint, orange, spices, candied fruit, almonds…although, I personally believe that anything with ‘Christmas’ in front of the title and with a spring of holly as the decoration can pass as a festive treat.
It’s always fun finding out peoples’ family traditions when it comes to Christmas breakfast, dinner and dessert – for the former, I’ve heard about waffles and ice cream, apple pancakes, croissants and mince pies (why wait for dessert later when you can have it when you wake up?). None of them are particularly Christmassy (well, except the mince pies), but because they've been given the coveted title of Christmas Breakfast, Rudolph himself might as well be delivering it to their table.
To clarify, these are not on the menu next Sunday morning…
Cupcake ingredients (makes around 24):
½ cup (120ml) vegetable oil
⅓ cup (70g) sugar
1 cup (220ml) molasses (dark treacle)
¾ cup (175ml) hot water
2 ¼ cups (290g) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups (380g) powdered (icing) sugar
⅓ cup (75g) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
2-3 teaspoons instant coffee (depending on how strong you want the coffee flavour to be)
1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Blend liquid ingredients together, then add the dry ingredients until just mixed.
2. Prepare a muffin tray with cupcake wrappers. Fill each one three-quarters full with the gingerbread batter.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
4. To make the frosting, cream butter and sugar, then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend thoroughly.
5. Frost each cupcake. Top with chocolate shavings, if desired.