It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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We’ve finally got round to putting our Christmas decorations up! This means the festive season has officially begun.

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Christmas time is a very nostalgic time of year, hence the photo of my sister and I in the picture above & my grandmother’s baubles on our tree. It’s also a time for giving. I love giving gifts & I especially love giving gifts of baked treats.

I’m a little famous in the h2b’s workplace for my cupcakes and I was told they were missed so I spent a little time this weekend baking sticky gingerbread cupcakes with a mascapone & lemon frosting…

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and lemon butterfly buns…

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Both recipes are from this book which I use a lot.

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For the sticky gingerbread cupcakes
I doubled the recipe to make 24 but this is the original minus the stem ginger.

115g plain white flour
2tsp ground ginger
3/4tsp ground cinnamon
3/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
4tbsp milk
85g butter
70g soft brown sugar
2tbsp black treacle
2 lightly beaten eggs

frosting
1tub mascapone cheese
1tbsp icing sugar
Juice from half a lemon
method
1) Heat the oven to 160°C.
2) Sift the flour, ginger & cinnamon in a bowl.
3) Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda.into the milk.
4) Beat the butter & sugar and then add the treacle. I ‘wash’ the spoon in bowling water before I put it in the treacle so it comes off the spoon more easily.
5) Add the eggs to the butter mixture.
6) Combine all the ingredients and then put into cake cases.
7) Bake for 20 minutes.
8) Combine the mascapone cheese, icing sugar & lemon juice and when the cakes are cooled spread the frosting.

I went one step further and used Christmas stencils to dust a pattern on in cocoa powder.

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I also decided to make some lemon buns, from the same book, as a lighter alternative.
for the lemon butterfly buns
115g self-raising flour
1/2tsp baking powder
115g butter
115g caster sugar
2 lightly beaten eggs
Finely grated rind of a lemon (the book suggests half)
2tbsp milk

buttercream
Icing sugar
Vanilla essence
Drop of milk
Butter
Method
1) Preheat the oven to 190°C
2) Beat the butter and sugar and then add the lemon rind.
3) Sift in the flour & baking powder and stir.
4) Add the milk and eggs & beat until smooth.
5) Put the mixture into cake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes.
6) To make the buttercream. Put a spoonful of butter into a bowl with a drop of milk and some vanilla essence.
7) When the cakes are cool, cut a dome of sponge out, spoon in the frosting, cut the done in half & then place back on top to look like a butterfly.

Finally, enjoy just as we’re doing now whilst watching ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ following our festive inspired bacon, brie & cranberry sandwich.

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Our stash of cakes to take to work tomorrow.

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Happy Sunday everyone!

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