A Cornish girl's food adventures

Tag: gifts

Gingerbread Honeycomb

Gingerbread Honeycomb

What do you call this? Honeycomb? Cinder toffee? Hokey pokey? Mr Colonial Cravings always laughs at me when I call it hokey pokey, but that’s what we call it in Cornwall and I think it’s pretty cute. Whatever name you have for it, this gingerbread […]

Crochet mug cosy

Crochet mug cosy

A homemade gift is always extra special. It’s the fact that you’ve gone to the trouble to make something for someone rather than just buying them something. This makes a really nice little stocking filler. It doesn’t use very much wool and works up very […]

Cardamom espresso brownie bites

Cardamom espresso brownie bites

Nothing shows just how much you care about someone more than letting them indulge in these delectable little bites of rich chocolatey goodness, rather than just scoffing the lot yourself.
I’d forgotten just how delicious the combination of sweet chocolate, bitter coffee and fragrant cardamom is until I was looking back through some of my older posts and I came across my recipe for little pot au chocolate using the same flavours.
It works really well in these fudgy little two bite treats too. These are very rich and moist but not quite as dense as my usual brownies, which means that you can eat a few more of them in one sitting!

Ingredients
makes plenty to share

160g butter
150g chocolate (I like a 50/50 mix of milk and dark)
25g really, really strong espresso
3 eggs
125g soft dark brown sugar
100g granulated sugar
pinch of sea salt
90g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
100g chocolate chips and a little extra milk chocolate to decorate(optional)

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and line a 13″ x 9″ tray with foil before lightly greasing it with butter.
Using a double boiler or in a microwave, melt together 150g chocolate and the butter then stir in the espresso before setting it aside to cool.
Whisk together the eggs, both types of sugar and the salt until they are fairly pale and very fluffy. This may take a few minutes, even in a stand mixer. Gently stir the cooled chocolate mixture into the eggs and sugar, being careful not to knock out too much of the air.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, cardamom and baking powder into the batter, all together to ensure that they are well blended and then fold them in. Finally fold in the chocolate chips if you’re using them.


Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin and give it a little shake to level it off. Bake the brownies for 20-25 minutes, by which time the top should have formed a nice crust and it should still be a little soft underneath. Leave the brownie to cool completely in the tin before lifting it out the tin with the foil, drizzling with a little chocolate decoration and cutting into bite-size pieces.
These will keep for several days in an airtight container (unless, like me, you have zero will power!)

Salted honey and olive oil truffles

Salted honey and olive oil truffles

These are just bonkers easy to make. Seriously, I almost feel like I’m cheating you out of a recipe with this one. These are also dairy-free, although you wouldn’t guess it from how gloriously melty and creamy they are. I’m never 100% certain about whether […]

PINK PEPPERCORN PETTICOAT TAILS

PINK PEPPERCORN PETTICOAT TAILS

Try saying that five times fast! Shortbread petticoat tails always make me think of Christmas. Someone always gets one of those tartan boxes filled with them, hopefully the ones coated in dark chocolate. Yum! These have a little spicy twist to them in the form […]

CHRISTMAS BISCOTTI

CHRISTMAS BISCOTTI

Christmas biscotti

I generally find that tackling wrapping a particularly daunting pile of Christmas presents is easier with something close by to keep your energy levels up.
Yes, coffee alone could do it but a piece of gingerbread biscotti on the side doesn’t hurt. And your reward after the final bow is tied and gift tag signed? A wee drop of your favourite festive tipple with a piece of Christmassy mincemeat biscotti to dunk in it of course!

Gingerbread biscotti
Biscotti in America tends to have a slightly softer texture to the stuff I’m used to in Europe so that’s what I’ve aimed for with these but it’s just down to the length of the first bake really. If you want these to be very crunchy (which is better for dunking) then give them an extra five minutes or so the first time the dough goes into the oven. This will also make them a bit easier to slice.
I like to use dark chocolate to decorate the gingerbread ones and white for the mincemeat but use whatever you like. Or even leave them plain (although it is Christmas…)

Mincemeat biscotti

Ingredients
makes 20 slices

75g butter
50g white sugar
50g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
pinch of salt
300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

100g of mincemeat
OR
75g golden syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
big pinch of allspice
40g crystalized ginger, finely chopped

chocolate to decorate

Christmas biscotti

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c and lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Cream together the butter, sugars and salt until they are pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and follow each addition with a spoonful of flour to stop it from curdling.
Next add either the golden syrup, if you’re making the gingerbread biscotti, OR the mincemeat and mix this in. Finally tip in the flour and baking powder (and spices and crystalized ginger for the gingerbread flavour) and beat the mixture to leave you with a soft sticky dough.

Mincemeat biscotti
Coat your hands in flour and then roll the dough into a sausage shape on the baking sheet. Flatten it a bit and then bake it for about 20 minutes. It should be starting to crack on the surface a little but not yet browned when it’s ready.
Take it out of the oven and leave it to cool for at least 20 minutes, until it is cool enough to handle and feels fairly firm. Cut the biscotti dough into 1.5cm thick slices and lay them out flat on the baking sheet.
Return these to the oven for 10 minutes then flip them over and cook them on the other side for another 10 minutes. They should be quite golden and crisp when they are done. Leave them to cool on a rack.
Melt some chocolate, any type you like, and use this to dip or drizzle over the biscotti. Allow the chocolate to set before munching away!

Gingerbread biscotti

RUM ‘N’ RAISIN FUDGE (small batch)

RUM ‘N’ RAISIN FUDGE (small batch)

Fudge is now my go-to recipe when I have a little bit of condensed milk to use up. I find making it in small batches much easier on the wrist too as it requires so much less beating! Rum and raisin is a classic fudge […]

NEW YORK DECOUPAGE PICTURE FRAME

NEW YORK DECOUPAGE PICTURE FRAME

I made this picture frame as a wedding present for two of my favourite people. A couple of years ago they came out to visit me in America-land we all went on a pretty awesome trip to NYC so I thought it would be nice […]

CROCHET T-BAR BOOTIES

CROCHET T-BAR BOOTIES

Tiny crochet T-bar booties...
Tiny crochet T-bar booties…

This is a pair of dinky little purple T-bar shoes which I made using a free pattern I picked up at my local craft store. I had some wool left over from another project so I thought that I may as well have a go at making them.

I think they turned out pretty well, considering the fact that I’m not very good at following patterns (I always lose my place and confuse the abbreviations.) Apparently they have been well received by the little lady to whom I sent them, well she tried to eat them, which as we all know is a pretty big compliment if you’re less than a year old, so that’s good enough for me!

...for cheeky feet!
…for cheeky feet!
MALTED MILK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

MALTED MILK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

Chocolate truffles are ludicrously easy to make and taste so much better than shop bought chocs. These ones do take a bit more time from start to finish than the usual recipes, although for a lot of the time they are just sat in the […]