The following recipes make a great edible gift, or as a delicious festive snack!
Christmas Pudding Bonbons
The following recipes make a great edible gift, or as a delicious festive snack - makes about 24
125g best-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
350g cooked and cooled Christmas pudding
3 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons golden syrup
Add some chopped nuts if you like!
For the decoration:
100g white chocolate
Decorate with holly leaves to make a Christmas pudding or with sparkles and glitter to make a Christmas bauble!
1. Line a baking sheet (that will fit in the fridge) with baking paper and set it to one side while you make the bonbons.
2. Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended above a pan of simmering water.
3. Crumble the cold Christmas pudding into a bowl, add the brandy and golden syrup and stir briskly till all is incorporated.
4. Pour in the melted dark chocolate and stir again: this will make the mixture much more cohesive.
5. To make this step easier, put on a pair of those disposable vinyl gloves sold in hardware stores and supermarkets, pinch out small lumps of mixture and roll so that you have little rounds about the size of a chocolate truffle. You should get about 24 from this mixture.
6. Cover with clingfilm and slot into the fridge to firm up.
7. To decorate, melt the white chocolate either in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water, then let it cool for about 5 minutes, to make it easier to work with.
8. Using a teaspoon, drip a little of the melted but slightly cooled white chocolate on each bonbon or dip them in completely, it’s up to you! Then decorate as you wish! Chill.
9. Place in boxes or bags to give away or on a plate to hand round with coffee, instead of dessert, after a post-Christmas dinner treat.
Makes about 20, cook for 8-10 mins at 180 degrees
75g golden caster sugar
10g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
65ml double cream
50g whole almonds, cut into thin slivers
50g ready-flaked almonds
50g whole candied peel, chopped
25g glacé cherries, chopped
25g angelica, finely chopped
175g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
2 baking trays lined with greaseproof paper
1. Start by putting the butter together with the sugar and flour in a small, heavy-based saucepan over a very low heat, and keep stirring until the mixture has melted.
2. Now gradually add the cream, stirring continuously to keep it smooth. Then add all the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate. Stir thoroughly again, then remove the saucepan from the heat and put the mixture on one side to cool. You’ll find it easier to bake one sheet of the Florentines at a time, so now place heaped teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto one of the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2.5cm apart (to allow the mixture room to expand while baking).
3. Flatten each spoonful with the back of the spoon, then bake on a high shelf for about 10–12 minutes, or until golden. Then take them out of the oven and leave the biscuits to harden on the baking sheet for 2–3 minutes, before quickly removing them to a wire cooling tray to cool.
4. Repeat with the second batch.
5. Next, melt the chocolate in a basin over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. This will take about 5–10 minutes.
6. Place the cooled Florentines base-up on the wire rack and, using a teaspoon, coat the underside of each Florentine with warm melted chocolate.
7. Then, just before it sets, make a patterned, wavy line on each one, using a fork. Now leave the Florentines to cool completely, before enjoying!