Baking: Sweet treats for Christmas Day

Mini Christmas Pancakes

As we are in the month of December and Christmas is fast approaching, some families like to plan their meal schedules ahead of time. I know that in my family, it is a common theme that every Christmas morning, we would be woken up by the delicious smell of Oatmeal, Chocolate, Cinnamon and Banana Pancakes. The combination of the chocolate, cinnamon, oats and banana is like none other. Of course, they would only be mini pancakes as we would only have a matter of hours before our huge Christmas lunch.

Here is my delicious recipe for Mini Christmas Pancakes:

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 3 to 5 minutes

Serving Size: 12 to 14 mini pancakes

Ingredients

– 100g Porridge Oats

– 1 Large Banana

– 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

– 70g Shaved dark chocolate (I like to use over 70% Cocoa)

– 4 tbsp Milk

– 4 tbsp Warm Water

Method

– In a clean, dry bowl add your oats, milk and water.

– Stir your ingredients together until smooth.

– Using a fork, mash your banana up and add it to the mixture, mix again until smooth.

– Add in your chocolate shavings and beat all of your ingredients.

– Heat your frying pan on a medium to high heat and line it with a little bit of butter, just enough to stop your pancakes from sticking.

– Using a small ladle or a small spoon, spoon your mixture into the pan and smooth out so that your pancake is around 1cm thick.

– Once the top of the pancake forms a skin and bubble appear, it is time to flip your pancake over.

– Once your pancake is a golden brown colour on both sides, it is ready.

Serving Suggestions:

– Serve with some powdered sugar or a little jam for sweetness.

There you have it, my delicious Christmas morning delight of Oatmeal, Chocolate, Cinnamon and Banana Pancakes.

If you would like to see more oatmeal ideas check out this delicious recipe: http://www.jenniferscakes.co.uk/raisin-oatmeal-and-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Egg-citing Eggnog Cupcakes

When thinking about Christmas, Eggnog always pops into my head. As a baker I was thinking of a way I could incorporate the flavour of eggnog into a cupcake. These delicious creations are perfect to serve at your Christmas lunch as well as or instead of eggnog. These innovative cupcakes are a great way to wow your guests and are so easy to make.

Here is how you make my ‘Egg-citing Eggnog Cupcakes’:

Preparation Time: 30 to 40 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 12 regular sized cupcakes

Ingredients

– 200g Butter (at room temperature)

– 200g Golden Caster Sugar

– 200g Plain Flour

– 2 Large Free Range Organic Eggs

– 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder

– 1 ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

– Pinch of Salt

– 1 ½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

– ½ tsp Grated Fresh Nutmeg

– 1 ½ tsp Cinnamon

– 1 ½ tbsp Double Cream

– 2 tbsp Brandy

For the Butter Cream:

– 500g Icing Sugar

– 250g Unsalted Butter (at room temperature)

– 2 tbsp Double Cream

– ½ tsp Grated Fresh Nutmeg

– 1 ½ tbsp Brandy

Method

– Set the oven to 180C and line a cupcake baking tray with paper cupcake liners or muffin liners, depending on the size of the cupcakes you would like. This recipe makes 12 regular sized cupcakes.

– In a clean, dry bowl add in your butter and beat continuously for 5 minutes, until the colour changes from a yellow colour to a pale cream colour. Once this colour change occurs, your butter has become fully aerated and ready for the next step.

– Add in your caster sugar and beat again until the consistency becomes light and fluffy.

– Add in your eggs one at a time, ensuring that your first egg has been well mixed in before the addition of the second egg.

– Add in your brandy, vanilla extract and double cream, mix well until these ingredients are combined.

– Now, in a separate bowl add your flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon, stir with a spoon and then add this flour mixture to your wet egg mixture 1/3 at a time, ensuring that the first 1/3 has been well incorporated before the next addition.

– Once all of your ingredients have been added together and the mixture is smooth, spoon into your cupcake or muffin paper liners, until they are 2/3 full, this will leave enough room for the cupcake to rise in the oven and prevent any overspill.

– Place your cupcake batter in the oven and leave to bake for 20 minutes.

– A way to see if your cupcakes are ready is by either placing a skewer into the centre of each cupcake and if you can remove it without any batter on it, then your cupcakes are ready to go. Another way of checking is by very carefully applying a little pressure to the centre of the cupcakes and if it springs back to its original shape, then they are ready.

– Once your cupcakes are ready, remove them from the oven and leave to stand in the cupcake baking tray for 10 minutes.

– Once the 10 minutes is up, remove your cupcakes from the baking tray and leave to cool fully on a wire cooling rack.

Butter Cream Method

– In a clean, dry bowl add your butter and beat for 5 minutes, the same way as above, until the butter changes colour from a yellow to a pale cream colour.

– Once this colour change occurs, add in your icing sugar a spoon at a time and mix it in. This stage will take a little while and requires some patients. If you place all of the icing sugar in and use an electric mixer, then your icing sugar will end up everywhere other than in your butter cream.

– Once all of your icing sugar has been added to the butter, you will notice that the butter cream will appear quite tough. Add in your double cream, brandy and nutmeg and mix again.

– If your butter cream still appears tough, then you can add in some milk a tablespoon at a time until your butter cream reaches the correct consistency.

– Once your butter cream is ready, pipe it onto your cold cupcakes and serve.

If you’re looking for some more ideas for Christmas cupcakes, then check out this delicious recipe –

http://www.jenniferscakes.co.uk/thoroughly-christmassy-chocolate-christmas-cake-cupcakes/

Merry Christmas!

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