The thing about baking is that it’s rather disappointing when a recipe doesn’t go to plan. I always research and try to choose recipes carefully but I do struggle to commit to new challenges – preferring to rely on a tried and trusted friend who I know will perform as I expect and rise beautifully!

In terms of festive baking I’ve cracked a mince pie recipe, and last year I made Nigella’s Christmas Rocky Road for the first time which was a real winner! One of my favourite Christmas flavours is gingerbread – I love the rich dark flavours combined with the spices and so I thought I should find something with these characteristics to add to my repertoire.

I read lots of recipes for gingerbread biscuits, but many of them seemed flawed – people reported dough that was flaky and difficult to work with. Too risky! This sent me in search of a gingerbread muffin – you know the big overblown kind of thing you get in coffee shops. Sometimes dry and bland and not actually something I choose very often, but perhaps a higher success rate than a biscuit?

Again I looked at some different recipes and found this one from Seasons and Suppers: http://38d.gs/2hoiriL . I adapted it slightly – substituted some of the honey for golden syrup, added nutmeg instead of ground cloves. I have to say, it says ‘easy’ and it really was easy. It would be a good one to do with kids as it doesn’t involve any heating or melting, just measuring the dry ingredients and mixing, then measuring the wet ingredients and mixing, then combining and popping in to your muffin cases.

The flavour is great: sweet and rich from the honey and treacle, but with a nice spiced edge from the generous teaspoons of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. When I make them again I might add some finely chopped crystallised ginger for extra texture and moisture. With a sprinkle of icing sugar these were lovely with a hot drink and have a nice warming flavour – not in the least bit dry or bland! Definitely adding these to my December bakes!

It is with an increasing repertoire of Christmas bakes I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

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