Dark Chocolate Mendiants & Other Edible Christmas Presents
I love making edible Christmas Presents especially for somewhere like work if you have a big gang to think of. Here are a few lovely easy ideas for presents which you can tuck into cellophane bags and give away.
Chocolate Mendiants – Easy to make and delicious for a sweet treat or edible Christmas Present, You can use any selection of toppings you like- I also love to use dried raspberries and crystallized ginger.
200g of 70% dark chocolate, chopped very finely
20g of pistachio nuts, chopped finely
25g dried cranberries
15g desiccated coconut
sea salt flakes, optional
I used a macaron silicone mat for making these but you can simple draw circles onto a sheet of parchment paper and flip it over so you don’t place the chocolate onto the pen or pencil marks!
A simple method to temper chocolate is to very gently melt 90% if your amount of chocolate (in this case 180g) over a very low heat on a bain marie. Take off the heat and stir in the remaining amount (20g in this case) and stir until it has melted.
Working quickly, spoon the chocolate onto your circle marks and spread evenly using the back of a teaspoon, sprinkle over your nuts cranberries and coconuts plus the sea salt if using.
Leave to set then gently peel off and store in an airtight tin in a cool place (Not the fridge) or into small cellophane bags to give away.
Baci Di Dama – Ladies kisses
Makes 40 (20 pairs)
Zest of 1 orange
150g butter at room temperature
150g rice flour or plain flour
150g almonds or ground almonds
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g caster sugar
Oven at 170C
Grind the Almonds with the sugar until light and floury
If you are using ground almonds then simply mix them mix together
Add to bowl with rice flour, salt, rub in the butter
Grate in the zest of an orange and add the vanilla essence
Work the pastry until it comes together, wrap in cling and chill for an hour or more. Roll into small balls (about 10gr ea).
Gently press them to flatten and bake for about 20 mins until light golden.
Sandwich together with chocolate ganache from here or melted chocolate.
Chocolate Nut Biscotti
250gr plain Flour
250gr golden castor Sugar
5 Eggs beaten lightly
240g Chocolate drops
50g shelled pistachio or other nuts if you prefer
1tsp each espresso powder and vanilla essence
15 gr Confit orange zest (Optional but lovely!)
Oven at 180C
Line two baking trays with parchment paper;
Combine flour, espresso powder, baking powder and sugar.
Make a well in the center, add the eggs and vanilla essence and stir until combined.
Stir in the chocolate, the pistachios, and orange zest if using. Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using cold, wet hands, divide dough into four equal portions. Shape each portion into a log. Place logs a few inches apart on prepared baking sheets; flatten logs slightly then bake for 25 minutes or until firm and light brown. Remove from oven and cool for about 15 minutes.
Use a very sharp serrated knife to cut each log diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on to baking trays and bake for 15 minutes more or until crisp and golden brown. Cool and enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container or cellophane bags at room temperature for up to a month.