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Classic Christmas treats -gingerbread men

(Shanghai Daily)

09:09, December 13, 2012

(File Photo)

Christmas markets are popping up across the city, malls are heaving with people trying to find that perfect gift for a special someone, and the streets are decorated in festive finery. Kerry McBride talks to chefs about bringing traditional Christmas fare to Shanghai.

Traditional Christmas desserts

Panettone - A type of sweet bread loaf from Milan, Italy. It has a distinctive fluffy texture and includes raisins, candied orange, lemon zest and citron. It can also be made with chocolate and other additions.

Christmas pudding - A dark pudding containing raisins and alcohol such as brandy. It's often made weeks ahead of time and "hung" to dry. It's steamed and served with sauces such as custard or rum butter. It's common in the United Kingdom.

Christstollen or stollen - A German fruit cake with dried fruit, nuts, spices marzipan, and is often covered in icing sugar.

Pavlova - A meringue-based dessert popular in Australia and New Zealand. It has a crunchy outer and a soft, marshmallow-like center. It is decorated with whipped cream and fresh fruit such as strawberries, kiwi fruit and passion fruit.

Eggnog - An American beverage made with milk or cream, sugar, and whipped eggs, giving it a frothy texture. Alcohol such as rum or brandy are added, and it can be finished with cinnamon or nutmeg.

Chefs share their Christmas pastry recipes, so you can try them at home.

Gingerbread men


2 cups of flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 cup of brown sugar, tightly packed

150g butter

1 egg, beaten


1. Sift together flour, baking soda and ground ginger and place in a food processor or bowl. Add brown sugar.

2. Rub in butter with fingertips or pulse in food processor until it is a bread-crumb consistency. Add egg and mix.

3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Roll out on floured surface until it's a suitable thickness and holds together well.

5. Using cookie cutters or a mold, cut into gingerbread-men shapes.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cooked and golden. Leave on a rack to cool.

7. Make icing by adding food coloring and 1 1/2 teaspoons water to icing sugar. Use to decorate the men with faces, hair and clothing. Chocolate buttons, lollies and other decorations can be added to make each one individual.

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