December 11, 2016

Hello everybody!
Now that we are getting fully immersed into the Christmas spirit, we want to get you feeling festive too! We have decided to make for you 3 delicious different types of hot chocolate each with their own tiny gingerbread biscuit! Three PERFECT drinks for cosying by a warm fire, watching Christmas films. 

We have a divine Red Velvet Hot Chocolate, a festive Gingerbread Hot Chocolate and a beautiful Amaretto and Orange Hot Chocolate, all topped with cream and an adorable gingerbread biscuit! Seriously, how ridiculously cute are the little houses?!

Let's start by making the mini gingerbread men, trees and adorable tiny houses. These are quick and easy (with a bit more of time needed to build the houses), super fun to decorate and they make any hot drink absolutely beautiful! We used the gingerbread recipe from Tanya Bakes but halved the ingredients (and still had too much). Below are the measurements that we used, but you can always make more or less if you want to...

75g unsalted butter, softened
75g dark muscovado sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tbsp golden syrup
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger

For the icing...
8oz icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 egg white

Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4, and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and golden syrup and combine well, then mix in the flour, baking powder and spices to make a smooth dough.

Roll out the dough onto a floured surface to about 3-4mm thick. Cut out with Christmas cookie cutters of your choice. We made ourselves a simple template for the house but you can easily find one on the Internet or create your own; ours were about 4cm tall and 3cm wide. Keep going until you have used up all of the dough, arranging them onto the baking trays as you go.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. 

To build the houses and decorate the biscuits we made a royal icing so that it would dry hard. To do this start by whisking the egg white until frothy, then add in the lemon juice. One spoon at a time, sieve and fold in the icing sugar. Once it is all mixed in, beat the icing to make sure there are no bubbles. Transfer this into a piping bag and cut a small hole in the end of the piping bag. 

Decorate the gingerbread, however you would like, this is the time to get your creativity flowing. After the icing is set (or before if you can't wait), your biscuits are ready to be eaten alongside a delicious hot chocolate, or on their own if your prefer!

These biscuits are delicious on their own or with one of these delicious hot chocolates...

For the divine Red Velvet Hot Chocolate...

1 cup of milk 
50g dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla 
red food colouring

Heat the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, take it off the heat, and whisk in your chocolate chunks until smooth. Add your vanilla and red food colouring and stir well. Pour into your cup, top with squirty/whipped cream, dust with cocoa powder and serve with a cute little gingerbread tree!

For the festive Gingerbread Hot Chocolate...

1 cup milk
50g dark chocolate
gingerbread syrup

Gingerbread Syrup...
150g caster sugar
100ml water
1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick

We love this gingerbread syrup and it can add a festive flavour to any drink or dessert.
To make the syrup, start by putting the caster sugar, water, ground ginger and cinnamon stick into a saucepan. Gently bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. 

For the hot chocolate, heat the milk in a saucepan on a medium heat, until it starts to simmer. Then add in the dark chocolate and whisk until smooth and combined. Add in the gingerbread syrup to taste. Pour into your cup, and decorate with squirty/whipped cream, dust with cocoa powder and ginger, and top with your homemade gingerbread men.

For the beautiful Amaretto and Orange Hot Chocolate... 

1 cup milk
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange
50g dark chocolate

Heat the milk, orange zest and orange juice together in saucepan over a medium heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and pass through a sieve into a jug. Add the chunks of chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has melted. The amaretto is optional but if you love amaretto like we do, then go right ahead and add to taste. Pour into your mug of choice, and serve with squirty/whipped cream, a dusting of cocoa powder and an adorable little gingerbread house.

All of our drinks are full of flavour, fun, and smooth delicious chocolate! We are insanely in love with the mini houses, and think that they would look adorable on the side of any hot drink, even a cup of tea! The red velvet is so exciting looking and tastes just like red velvet cake! The orange hot chocolate is as delicious as it sounds, but we think it could maybe be even better if you used chocolate orange instead of dark chocolate. Maybe we will try that out and give you an update!

The gingerbread biscuits are so quick and easy to make, and we had so much fun decorating them! They are perfect with or without a hot drink, and are definitely a quick fire way to impress your friends.

Thank you so much for reading this post, 
we really hope you enjoyed it and that it has given you a few ideas for delicious hot chocolates this Christmas!
What is your favourite flavour of hot chocolate? 
A few other ideas we had for flavours were salted caramel, Nutella, white chocolate and peppermint or black forest, so please let us know if you make any of these or the above hot chocolates by tagging us on any of our social media!
Please follow us on Bloglovin', Instagram and like our Facebook page 'Sharkett Sisters', if you want to see more of us, and see what we are up to! 
(All social media links are at the top of the page or in a box to the side!)
And please check out our updated Pinterest profile for lots of gorgeous ideas and maybe some sneak peeks of what we're planning!
See you soon,

Lots of love, Antonia and Imogen x

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