Monday, 19 December 2011

Handmade Christmas

This year, I decided I would try make all my Christmas presents, rather than buying them.  So far, so good.  I think I've made about 95% of the presents I needed to get (ironically, my mother, who pretty much always gets a handmade effort, got shop-bought this year...).  By far and away, these have been the most impressive:

If I were a good blogger, I'd have taken photos of each stage of the process, but I'm not, so I didn't.  The good news is it's so easy, you can do it without a visual aid.

You need:

Dark chocolate
Nuts (I used chopped nuts and whole almonds - you can decorate with whatever you like)


Cocktail sticks (to help with the dipping)
Baking parchment (to place them on post-dipping)
A bain-marie (pan of hot water, with a bowl balanced above)

NB: It helps to have your decorations set out cookery-programme style, in little bowls so you can grab and sprinkle them at will, before the chocolate sets.

Melt your chocolate

Either roll out your marzipan (mine was about half a cm thick) and cut into squares, or roll it into little balls.

Stab with cocktail stick

Dip into chocolate

Place on baking parchment


If you're not a fan of nuts, try cutting into squares and dipping half the square into the chocolate.  Once they've set, flip them over, dip a fork or a whisk into the chocolate and flick across the marzipan side of your chocs for some stylish stripes.

I managed to find some mini bun cases which look lovely with a chocolate nestled in the middle.  Mine are wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon and a jingle-y bell for a festive touch.

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