A Cornish girl's food adventures

Tag: gifts

Creamy peppermint truffles

Creamy peppermint truffles

For me it’s the melting point of a truffle that makes it so delicious. There needs to be that soft, yielding luciousness when you bite into them. I once read that the reason this is so satisfying is because the melting point of chocolate is […]

Gingerbread truffles

Gingerbread truffles

Spending the first few years of my life living in Germany has definitely had a big influence on the way I celebrate Christmas. Even the baubles hanging from my tree are the ones that I inherited/pinched from my mum which she bought when we lived […]

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 flavoured version is just what your homemade gift repertoire has been waiting for!
It goes without saying that you have to be super-careful when you’re making this (it’s not one to do with kids) as the sugar will be crazy-hot and can give you a nasty burn if you splash yourself with it. It’s useful to have a jam thermometer but you can always test for ‘hard crack’ stage by dropping a tiny bit of the caramel into some ice-water.

Ingredients
makes loads
150g sugar
6 tbsp golden syrup
2 1/4 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
about 150g dark chocolate for coating

Mix together the spices and bicarbonate of soda and set aside until later. Line a deep sided baking tin or dish with foil and lightly oil.
Combine the sugar and syrup in a large heavy based saucepan and bring to boiling point. Heat until it reaches 140°c or ‘hard crack’ stage. Remove from the heat and quickly and carefully whisk in the spices and bicarbonate of soda so that the toffee foams up excitedly. Be very careful!
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and let it set and harden – don’t be temped to touch it and don’t try to spread it out, it’s just going to do what it wants to do!
Once it has hardened, cooled and set, cut or break it into bite sized pieces. Melt the chocolate and dip the honeycomb into it to half coat them and then leave them on a wire rack to set.
The tiny bits and dust from breaking up the honeycomb is really delicious sprinkled onto whipped cream on top of hot chocolate by the way!

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 […]

Salted honey & olive oil truffles (vegan)

Salted honey & olive oil truffles (vegan)

Olive oil and honey vegan 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 honey is truly vegan or not but if you need to you can switch it to a light amber maple syrup.

Olive oil and honey vegan truffles
I love the slightly peppery flavour from the extra virgin olive oil and salt with dark chocolate is always a winner for me.
Like all truffles these do get a little messy when you are actually shaping them but that’s half the fun. The other half is eating them of course!

Olive oil and honey vegan truffles

Ingredients
makes 12-14

130g high quality dairy-free chocolate (60% cocoa or more) chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp honey
big pinch coarsely ground sea salt
cocoa powder to coat

Olive oil and honey vegan truffles

Melt everything together but the cocoa powder and stir it well. Short bursts in a microwave does this quickly and easily. Pop the truffle mixture in the fridge to cool and set.
Once it has set firm use a teaspoon to scoop out little balls of the truffle mixture, gently roll them into balls between your palms and then roll them in the cocoa powder to coat them. Put them on a baking tray or plate and pop them back in the fridge to firm up again before enjoying.

Olive oil and honey vegan truffles

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

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 […]

RUM ‘N’ RAISIN FUDGE (small batch)

RUM ‘N’ RAISIN FUDGE (small batch)

rum & raisin fudge

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 combo and they’re wonderful rich flavours for this time of year. I like to steep my raisins in the rum as I think this makes them plump up a bit more and it also means that some of the ‘raw’ alcohol flavour burns off a bit. This is rich and mellow and creamy and wholly indulgent. There’s enough here to share but it’s totally up to you if you do or not!

Ingredients
Cuts into 12 big pieces

50g raisins
50ml dark rum
200g condensed milk
55g butter
125g soft brown sugar
100g granulated sugar
75ml cream
1 tsp vanilla paste

rum & raisin fudge

Put the rum and raisins in a decent sized pan and gently heat them for a minute or two.  Put the raisins in a mixing bowl but don’t worry about cleaning out the pan properly.
Combine all of the other ingredients except the vanilla in the pan and melt it together over a low heat. Stir it well as it melts to ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved.
Increase the heat a bit to bring the mixture to boiling point. Continue to gently stir it (you don’t want to splash yourself!) to stop the mixture catching on the bottom of the pan and burning. Let the mixture bubble for about 10 minutes, it should darken a little and have reached ‘soft ball’ stage when it’s done. You can check for ‘soft ball’ using a sugar thermometer or by dropping a little of the mixture into some ice-water. It should form a soft ball, obviously!
Once you’ve reached soft ball stage you can remove the pan from the heat and pour the hot fudge into the bowl containing the raisins. Add the vanilla paste and then beat the living daylights out of the fudge with a wooden spoon. You’ll need to keep beating it for quite some time but eventually it should start to lose its glossiness and become thicker with a slightly crystallised texture.
Pour the fudge into a small tin lined with grease-proof paper, smooth off the top and leave it in the fridge to cool completely before cutting into squares and lifting it out of the tin.

rum & raisin 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 […]