On Saturday whilst the girls are visiting their Godparents, I'll be finishing off the last few things ready for Christmas.
One of the things I enjoy doing is making a few food gifts. This year I'm making fudge and truffles. Both are really easy to make and once wrapped in pretty cellophane bags with a gold ribbon they're greatly received. Plus they taste good too.
Here is the Fudge recipe I use:
397g can Carnation Condensed Milk
450g demerara sugar
You will also need...
20cm square tin lined with baking parchment
1. Place the ingredients into a large non-stick saucepan and melt over a low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
2. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously and scraping the base of the pan. Take care while the mixture boils and during stirring as the fudge will be VERY hot! To test its ready drop a little of the mixture into a jug of ice-cold water. A soft ball of fudge should form. Or check with a sugar thermometer if you have one (approx 118°C).
3. Remove from the heat and beat the fudge until very thick and starting to set (about 10 minutes). See our tip below!
4. Pour into the prepared tin and leave to cool before cutting into squares.
Try adding nuts, fruit or chocolate chips at the end of step 2!
My homemade truffle recipe.
280g good-quality dark chocolate , 70% cocoa solids
284ml pot double cream
50g unsalted butter
Chop the chocolate and tip into a large bowl. Put the cream and butter into a saucepan and heat gently until the butter melts and the cream reaches simmering point. Remove from heat, then pour over the chocolate.
Stir the chocolate and cream together until you have a smooth mixture. Add any flavourings to the truffle mix at this stage (divide the mixture between bowls and mix in liqueurs or other flavourings, a tsp at a time, to taste. Try bourbon, Grand Marnier, coconut rum or the zest and juice of an orange), or leave plain. Cool and chill for at least 4 hrs.
To shape the truffles, dip a melon baller in hot water and scoop up balls of the mixture, then drop the truffles onto greaseproof paper. Or lightly coat your hands in flavourless oil (such as sunflower) and roll the truffles between your palms. You could also use a piping bag to pipe rounds onto greaseproof paper.
Coat your truffles immediately after shaping. Tip toppings into a bowl and gently roll the truffles until evenly coated, then chill on greaseproof paper. Try: crushed, shelled pistachio nuts; lightly toasted desiccated coconut; or roll a truffle flavoured with orange zest and juice in cocoa powder.
To coat in chocolate, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Melt 100g milk, dark or white chocolate for 10 truffles. Allow chocolate to cool slightly. With a fork, pick up one truffle at a time and hold over the bowl of melted chocolate. Spoon the chocolate over the truffle until well-coated. Place on the baking tray, then chill.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days, or freeze for up to a month. Defrost in the fridge overnight.