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Christmas Crumbs
Adam White finds the best of Christmas baking. No figgy puddings here.

By Adam White | Dec 09, 2010

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  • Christmas Crumbs
    Agnes B gingerbread men
  • Christmas Crumbs
    Agnes B spicy-sweet ginger candy mouse in log form
  • Christmas Crumbs
    Stollen from the Hyatt Regency Sha Tin
  • Christmas Crumbs
    Jean Paul Hevin’s “Macaron Pyramid”
  • Christmas Crumbs
    Jean Paul Hevin’s signature Guayaquil cake
  • Christmas Crumbs
    The Mistral's Christmas chocolate cake
  • Christmas Crumbs
    Starbuck's hazelnut chocolate chip muffin

Christmas is a time for home-cooked meals and family arguments. But in between explaining to grandma why you’re 29 and still alone in the world, and trying to get the turkey in the oven, making a pudding from scratch is often a step too far. If you’re looking for a freshly-baked Christmas dessert to ease some of the load on Christmas Day, then we’re here to help.

Chocolate Christmas
Christmas cake doesn’t have to be a big, stodgy, crumbly lump. It can be a dense, gooey, chocolatey square instead. The Mistral at the InterContinental Grand Stanford offers a deliciously rich Christmas chocolate cake ($250), with hints of cinnamon and ginger. It’s available in a beautiful hand-crafted wooden box, making it an ideal gift for those who like their cake with a sense of occasion.
InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, 70 Mody Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2721-5161. Order at 2731-2831

Gingerbabies
Part of the joy of eating gingerbread men is choosing which part of the unwitting pastry person you’re going to destroy first. Will you eat the arms and legs, leaving a terrified gingerbread torso, or will you be a merciful consumer, and end it quick by taking the head? You may be a hardened ginger-eater, but can you do it to the adorable gingerbread babies from Agnes b.’s Le Pain Grillé ($138 for a box of 12)? If you just couldn’t live with yourself, then perhaps you’d be better off with a spicy-sweet Ginger Candy Mousse, which comes in both mini cake ($30) and log ($350) form.
Various locations including Shop 1, G/F, 111 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, 2577-2718

Christmas in Hevin
If you like macarons, but find merely stacking them displeasing to the eye, then Parisian chocolatier Jean Paul Hevin’s “Macaron Pyramid” ($1,288) is for you. This rack comes with 60 macarons which you choose yourself, displaying them in a pleasing fashion to admiring Christmas well-wishers. If, on the other hand, you find yourself wishing from time to time that you had a more edible Christmas tree, then get your hands on a chocolate Christmas bulb decoration ($588), which comes on the chocolatier’s signature Guayaquil cake.
Shop 212, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2735-3268, or Shop 2045A, IFC Mall, Central, 2111-9770

Stollen my Heart
Stollen are the German Christmas bread of fruit, nuts and candied peel, dusted with icing sugar to look like yeasty Matterhorns. Sadly, you’ve just missed Dresden’s 17th annual Stollenfest, but pencil it into your diary for next year and try the Stollen ($88) at the Hyatt Regency Sha Tin’s patisserie instead. If that’s too dry for you, then try a chocolate yule log cake ($210 per pound) instead, although it looks suspiciously like a real tree.
Hyatt Regency Sha Tin, 18 Chak Cheung St., Sha Tin, 3723-1234

Boozy Christmas
If you’re a traditionalist who wants a good old-fashioned English Christmas, then that means mince pies and a Christmas pudding. Mincemeat, which contains no actual meat, is a blend of dried fruit, spices, and lots and lots of brandy which soaks into the fruit. Stuffed into crumbly little shortcrust pies, mince pies are rich, dense, and just the right thing for a Christmas party. Warm them in the oven if you get the chance. Or pick up a Christmas pudding, which should be steamed until piping hot and tender, and then liberally doused in brandy and brought flaming to the table. Order both homemade from Ali Oli bakery, which is doing a long list of Christmas specialties including a “Decadent Christmas Pudding” ($80 large, $45 small) and mince pies at $78 for six.
G/F, 11 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung, 2792-2655

Whole Latte Love
Cakes not your thing? For many across the world, the start of the Christmas season isn’t marked by Christmas trees, snow, or big lights strung up over our skyscrapers. No—for the truly devoted, Christmas begins once Starbucks puts its Gingerbread Latte ($35-$41) back on the menu. All of the taste, none of the crumbs. If a liquid Christmas doesn’t hit the spot, then the hazelnut chocolate chip muffin makes an already saccharine season a much nuttier affair ($15).
Various locations

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