Foodie gifts: Bake up a batch of Shane Smith's edible presents
Bake up a batch of sweet love this year with Shane Smith's irresistible edible present ideas.
Mini Christmas Pudding Truffles
230g dark chocolate
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160ml single cream
1 tbsp butter
½ tsp vanilla extract
125g white chocolate
Green and red fondant icing, for holly and berries
Icing sugar, for dusting
1. Place the dark chocolate, cream, butter and vanilla in a bowl over a pot of gently simmering water. Stir until the ingredients are melted and combined.
2. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to firm up.
3. Once cold and set, using a dessertspoon, scoop out 12 balls and roll between the palms of your hands for a smooth ball. Return to the fridge until needed.
4. In a bowl placed over simmering water, melt the white chocolate. Set aside.
5. For the holly and berries, dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out some green fondant icing. Using a holly cutter or a small knife, cut out the holly leaf and place on a lined tray. For the berries, simply roll some red fondant icing into small balls and leave to firm up with the leaves.
Spoon some of the melted white chocolate over the truffle and place 2 holly leaves and 3 berries on top. These are best kept cool until needed.
Undecorated truffles can be made in advance and frozen for up to 3 months or alternatively, if made fresh, can keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
Chocolate Candied Fruit Bark
Makes 6 gift bags
150g milk chocolate
150g dark chocolate
150g white chocolate
Selection of nuts and dried fruit, such as: · 50g chopped hazelnuts
· 50g chopped pistachios
· 50g chopped almonds
· 50g dried apricots
· 50g dried cranberries
· 50g raisins
· 30g desiccated coconut
1. Melt each type of chocolate separately in a bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water.
2. Once each chocolate is melted, pour onto a lined baking sheet. Spread with a spoon and sprinkle on your desired toppings.
3. Place in the fridge to set. Once set, snap into random shapes and place a selection of each chocolate into gift bags.
Wrapped in gift bags, these can keep up to 3 weeks in a cool environment.
Stained Glass Window Cookies
125g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium egg
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
10 mixed boiled/glucose sweets
100g white chocolate, melted
1. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until creamy and pale.
2. Add the egg, and mix. Next add the flour and cinnamon, and combine.
3. Wrap this dough in cling film and chill for 1 hour.
4. Once rested, on a floured surface, roll out and cut into your desired Christmas shapes (trees, stars, etc).
5. Taking a smaller similar-shaped or round cutter, cut out the centre of each cookie. Place the cookies on a lined baking sheet.
6. Place the boiled sweets in a bag and crush with a rolling pin. Sprinkle into the centre of each cookie and place in a preheated oven at 165°C (325°F/Gas 3). Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.
7. Once baked, remove and allow to cool on the tray.
8. Decorate with piped melted white chocolate.
Can be kept for 2 weeks in an airtight container.
500g caster sugar
10 sheets of gelatine
2 medium egg whites
50g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp rose water
¼ tsp red food colouring
1. In a medium-sized pot, mix the caster sugar and water together, and place over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, turn up the heat.
2. Soak the gelatine in cold water and set aside.
3. Place the egg whites in a clean, dry mixing bowl.
4. When the sugar mixture reaches 125°C, remove the gelatine from the water, squeezing to get rid of the excess water. Add this to the hot sugar mixture and stir in.
5. Start to whisk the egg whites at full speed for 1 minute until 'firm peak' is reached.
6. Carefully drizzle in the hot sugar and continue to whisk for 10 minutes until thick and glossy.
7. Line a 20cm x 20cm brownie tray with parchment paper. Mix the icing sugar and cornflour together.
8. Grease the parchment paper and dust with the icing-and-cornflour blend.
9. Add the rose water and red colouring to the egg whites and mix until blended.
10. Spoon this thick, glossy mixture into the prepared tin and allow to firm up at room temperature for a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
11. Turn out onto a work surface dusted with icing sugar and cut into 6 x 6, giving you 36 bite-size pieces.
12. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
Can be kept in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 2 weeks.
Salted Caramel Butter Fudge
600g caster sugar
250ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, mix 200g of the caster sugar and the water together.
2. Cook over a medium heat until a golden caramel is reached.
3. At this point, carefully add the remaining sugar with the cream, vanilla and butter, and cook to a temperature of 120°C.
4. Remove from the heat, add the salt, then place the mixture into a mixing bowl. Mix until slightly cooled and thick.
5. Spoon this fudge into a greased and lined square 23cm x 23cm baking tin.
6. Allow to set at room temperature for 1 hour before cutting.
This fudge can be kept for up to 4 weeks.