As we get closer to Christmas I would like to share with you something a bit different from my recent 'makes' and also introduce you to my partner in this venture!
My baby son, who is actually 17, decided it would be nice to make some chocolates as gifts for his friends. I remember making gifts of chocolates myself so was really excited to know that he wanted to do this.
After several days of selecting the types of chocolates we were going to make I set about buying the ingredients and getting all the equipment together. To be fair it wasn't that hard; most sweetmeats are made from the same basic ingredients.
We first made Peppermint Creams. A nice easy start to the proceedings. Sticky, but very satisfying to make.
|Peppermint Creams - Oh look there is chocolate in them!|
We mixed icing sugar with the egg whites, this was a hoot as the icing sugar formed vast clouds of sweet dust which found us 'sucking in' the air to get a hit of sugar!! A few drops of essence and a grating of lemon rind and the mix was complete. Lots of rolling and cutting and hey presto! Little discs of peppermint sugary sweetness.
Next we went on to make Coconut Balls, renamed Coconut Snowballs to fit in with the festive season. Now these were one thing that didn't have chocolate in them but we were quite tempted to add a drizzling of chocolate on them at the end but restrained ourselves as they wouldn't have looked so 'snowball' like with chocolate on them.
|Snowballs - No chocolate but there could have been!|
Once the snowballs were safely settled in the oven we went on to the fudge! Now this did contain chocolate, and marshmallows, and evaporated milk, and butter, and sugar. None of it any good for you really but not something you would eat every day.
|Fudge - Don't contemplate it for too long, just enjoy it carefully!!|
The fudge was easy to make, and probably something that we might try with white chocolate, or coffee to flavour next time. A bit of heating and melting was all that was needed. Poured into a tin and popped in the fridge to set.
And so onto the final 'make', one which we had both been looking forward to the most, we got ready to make our moulded chocolates. A nice couple of silicone moulds and a paint brush were our tools. We melted just a little dark chocolate, well a LOT actually, and prepared to paint the moulds.
|Some Chocolate - enough to send a small school hyperactive really!!|
This turned out to be a really messy and difficult process. The booklet accompanying the moulds showed lovely clean hands, perfectly painted moulds, and smiling faces! We on the other hand were covered in melted chocolate, found more chocolate on the brush than in the moulds and exasperated facial expressions all round!!! But we got there in the end.
Each mould was filled with a cherry which we had soaked in a little Vodka and then topped up with more dark chocolate. Left in the fridge to set we were actually very pleased with the final result.
|Bags of Goodies|
It had been my intention to take photographs of every stage of each of the different chocolates we made but a combination of sticky hands and enthusiasm meant we only got a few shots, but non-the-less I think the pictures we did get are enough to give you a flavour of what we got up to! By all accounts the chocolates were well received by his friends and there are enough left for me to take some to work on Christmas Eve.
I plan to put more photos and information over on my Baking Exploits pages so pop back again soon.
Have a great Christmas followers! I look forward to seeing you all again the New Year.