Gifts from the kitchen - recipes
Angela Day has a few recipes for delectable treats that will make perfect presents over the festive season.
SHERBET WITH LOLLY DIPPERS
500g castor sugar
15ml citric acid
5ml bicarbonate of soda
a few drops of peppermint essence
a few drops of rose essence
a few drops of green or red food colouring
300g castor sugar
150g golden syrup
3ml cream of tartar
5ml peppermint essence
5ml rose essence
green or red food colouring
SHERBET: Put the sugar into a food processor and blend until it is finely ground.
Add the citric acid and bicarbonate of soda and blend again to combine thoroughly.
Tip half the sherbet into a bowl and set aside.
Add a few drops of peppermint essence and green food colouring to the processor. Blend until thoroughly combined and the sherbet turns a delicate pastel green.
Tip out of the processor and repeat with the reserved sherbet, this time adding rose essence and red food colouring to make a pastel pink.
LOLLIES: Make 2 batches.
Put the sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan. Add the cream of tartar and water and heat over a medium heat, stirring frequently, to dissolve the sugar.
Bring the syrup to the boil and boil to hard-crack stage – 154°C on a sugar thermometer. Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Add the peppermint essence and green food colouring to the syrup and stir until evenly mixed.
Repeat the process, this time using the rose essence and red food colouring.
Leave the syrup to cool and thicken slightly, then spoon on to greased, lined baking trays in neat circles and place a lolly stick into the middle of each circle.
Leave to set until solid and completely cold before removing.
To serve, pour the sherbet into little jars and serve with the lolly dippers.
CANDY CANE TRUFFLES
40 cookie and cream biscuits
250g thick cream cheese
200g dark chocolate
sprinkles for decoration
Put the biscuits into a food processor and process until finely crumbed.
Tip them into a bowl and add the cream cheese. Mix until well combined.
Roll the mixture into balls and place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes until well chilled and firm.
Melt the chocolate either over a pot of hot water or in the microwave on 50 percent power for 2-3 minutes.
Dip the chilled balls into the chocolate and place on the baking paper.
Before the chocolate sets, decorate with sprinkles. Place in the fridge to harden.
* I used packets of candy cane Oreos which are available at Woolworths for the festive season. You can also use plain Oreos and add a few drops of peppermint essence.
Works best using a thick brick cream cheese.
Makes about 6-8
250ml glass jars
625ml cake fruit mix
250ml glacé cherries, halved
250ml dried cranberries
150g good quality dark chocolate
180ml brown sugar
150g chocolate chips
50ml extra sherry
melted apricot jam
white fondant icing to decorate
Put the cake fruit mix, cherries, cranberries, chocolate, butter, sugar and sherry into a saucepan and heat without boiling until the butter and chocolate have melted.
Increase the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour mixture into a bowl and allow to cool completely.
Add the eggs, chocolate chips and flour and mix well.
Spoon the mixture into well-greased glass jars or small metal mugs and bake at 150°C for 30-40 minutes depending on the size.
Remove from oven and pour over extra sherry.
When the cakes are cold brush the tops with apricot jam.
Using a cookie or scone cutter, cut discs of fondant icing to fit the top of the cakes and press into place. Decorate using Christmas motifs as desired.
PEACH AND AMARETTO JAM
Makes 4 250ml bottles
1.8kg dessert peaches
250ml fresh orange juice
60ml lemon juice
5ml pectin powder
50ml Amaretto liqueur
Peel the peaches by either plunging them into boiling water to loosen the skins or with a potato peeler.
Reserve the skins and put them in a pot.
Cover with water and simmer on a medium heat until the liquid has reduced to about 60ml.
Strain and discard the skins.
Halve and pit the peaches and dice the flesh.
Place in a pot with the orange juice and the liquid that was boiled with the skins. Cover and simmer until the flesh is soft.
Remove the lid and stir in the lemon juice.
Combine the sugar and pectin and mix well. Add to the peaches and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Increase the heat and boil rapidly until the setting point is reached.
Stir frequently to prevent it catching at the bottom.
Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Add the Amaretto and bottle in sterilised jars. Seal while still hot.
* To test the setting point, place a saucer in the freezer and when the jam is thick and reduced, drop a little mixture on to the cold saucer.
If it forms a gel that wrinkles when you push it with your finger, then the jam is ready.
Makes 1 litre
250g frozen berries
200g castor sugar
Remove the rind from the oranges in strips using a potato peeler.
Combine with the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir well until the sugar has dissolved.
Cover and set aside for
2 weeks to mature.
Strain through a fine sieve and pour into pretty bottles. - The Star