I have a bit of a weakness for gingerbread lattes. During the rest of the year, I tend to drink flat whites or, on tired days, just plain old espresso shots, but there’s something so alluring about the gentle gingerbread spice, and on a dull wintery day, a ginger-scented coffee always lifts my spirits. Out here in the country, however, fancy coffees are few and far between. It recently occurred to me that the way forward was to devise a recipe for homemade gingerbread syrup.
After a little kitchen pottering (and one particularly disastrous batch of unintentional caramel), I found myself with a jar of spiced sweetness. Having posted a photograph over on Instagram, I was asked for the recipe, and so here it is:
Homemade Gingerbread Latte
For the gingerbread syrup:
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 a vanilla pod
1 large chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into 1 inch chunks
a couple of gratings of nutmeg
1 cup of caster sugar
1 cup of water
For the latte:
2 tablespoons of the gingerbread syrup
1 or 2 shots espresso (I usually make mine with a stovetop coffee maker)
Ground cinnamon/ nutmeg (optional)
To make the syrup, place the water, and all the ingredients apart from the sugar into a small pan. Heat until just about to boil, then turn off the heat and allow to infuse for twenty minutes.
Add the sugar and place the pan on a low heat, gently swirling to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture up to the boil, then immediately turn off the heat.
Leave the syrup to cool. Once it is cold, remove the cinnamon stick, ginger pieces, vanilla pod, cloves and peppercorns. Pour the syrup into a jar and store in the fridge.
To make a gingerbread latte, pour a shot or two of hot espresso into a mug, and stir in two tablespoons of the gingerbread syrup. Top up with warm, frothy milk (you can whisk it in a pan if you don’t have a steam wand.)
If you want to be extra fancy, you could dust the top of your coffee with ground cinnamon or nutmeg.
You can keep the leftover gingerbread syrup in a jar in the fridge.
May it sweeten your Christmas!