I packed up some cute boxes of mini Christmas treats to give to my friends at an early Christmas dinner this week. Every year my best girlfriends and I go out to celebrate the silly season, and we have fun giving each other Kris Kringle gifts, cards and small sweet treats.
These desserts are very easy to make, which means you can make lots to give away to friends and family, and still have some left in the fridge to share with friends who pop over. I hope you enjoy making and enjoying them as much as I did.
Melt 200g dark chocolate and 1tbsp butter. Crumble 400g shop bought plum pudding into the mixture, add 2tbsp Grand Marnier and stir everything together. Use your hands to roll into small balls (about a small spoon size) and place on tray in fridge to set. When set, melt 100g white chocolate. Drizzle over the tops of the balls, and add slices of glace cherries to decorate. Pop back in the fridge to set.
white chocolate rocky road
I don’t remember the quantities I used, but the ingredients are white chocolate, white marshmallows, red glace cherries, cranberries and almonds. Melt the chocolate and some of the marshmallows in a saucepan together. Stir in the remaining ingredients and spread out in a lined pan. Allow to chill in the fridge before slicing into small squares (it is very sweet).
candy cane chocolate
Crush about 10 large candy canes in a plastic bag with a mallet or rolling pin. Melt about 200g dark chocolate, and spread over the base of a large, lined, baking tray. Sprinkle the candy cane shards over the chocolate. Allow to set in the fridge before breaking into pieces to eat.
I have always loved gingerbread houses – edible desserts that you could only dream of living in – and as much as I appreciate the beauty of a fully iced gingerbread house, it’s the lollies that really attract me!
My boyfriend and I decided to create our own gingerbread house on the weekend. We had never made one before, and thought we were being a bit too ambitious for a first attempt, but we figured if we were going to put the effort in we may as well throw ourselves into it! Luckily we managed to pull it off, and if we may say so ourselves, we think it looks pretty damn awesome.
The first weekend in December always sends me into a bit of excitement that Christmas really is just around the corner. I’ve been tagging recipes in books that I want to try, writing down ideas for decorating the table for christmas lunch, and gathering goodies to make my own crackers.
I haven’t started any Christmas baking yet, but I have been stirring a batch of Christmas Pudding Vodka (thanks for the recipe Lorraine!) which I started a few days ago. Every time I open the jar it smells more amazing as the fruits and spices mix together, slowly overtaking the powerful vodka. I’ve started making this super early so that it is ready to make lots of drinks in the week leading up to the big event.
I also went to the Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar yesterday. It is hosted by the Swedish Church in Toorak and runs on the first weekend of December every year. I like getting in early on the first day so I don’t miss out on all the good stuff! I brought home with me a gorgeous tin of gingerbread biscuits, delicious mulled wine chocolate, a cute reindeer decoration and lovely christmas spiced tea (chocolate and tea from Swedelicious).
Is Christmas excitement building in your home yet?
I love making food for friends and family, so when I read that the recipe for these cupcakes only made 12, I knew I would have to double it! My sisters and I always use our trusted cupcake recipe but I thought it was time to step up and try something new – these marble cupcakes with rocky road topping looked like they might actually be worthy competition to our favourites.
I was excited to find that everybody that tried them loved them. The cupcakes are moist and colourful and the rocky road topping is so deliciously rich (you really can only eat one of these at a time). Have fun baking them!
I’ve split the following recipe into two components – the marbled cupcake and the rocky road top.
Recipe adapted from Classic Cupcakes by the Australian Women’s Weekly. Makes about 24 cupcakes.
- 250g butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1+ 1/3 C caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2+ 1/2 C self raising flour
- 2/3 C milk
- pink food colouring
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 4 tsp milk, extra
- Preheat oven to 160 C (fan forced) and line muffin tins with paper cases.
- Beat butter, extract, sugar and eggs with an electric or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the sifted flour and milk to the mixture in three batches, stirring between additions.
- Split the mixture into three bowls. Add the cocoa and extra milk to the first bowl and stir to combine. Add a couple of drops of pink food colouring to the second bowl and stir to combine. Leave the third bowl as is.
- Add one spoon of each coloured mix to each cupcake case. Use a skewer to swirl the batter slightly to create the marbled effect.
- Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Allow to cool before decorating with rocky road topping.
Rocky Road Topping
- 250g pink and white marshmallows, chopped
- 300g red glace cherries, halved
- 1 C unsalted peanuts
- 1 C flaked coconut
- 400g melted milk chocolate
- 50g extra melted milk chocolate to drizzle over the top
- Mix all ingredients (except a couple of the marshmallows) together in a bowl.
- Use a spoon to add the mixture to the top of the cooled cupcakes.
- Add extra marshmallows to the top of the cupcakes and drizzle the extra milk chocolate over the top to hold it all together. Enjoy!
TGIAF – Thank God It’s Almost Friday.
I’ve been very busy at work this week and I’m glad I have a relaxing evening ahead of me before heading back to work tomorrow. In my mind, Friday lunchtime is the start of the weekend and therefore Thursday night it’s time to start thinking about enjoying myself.
To start the night I spent a relaxing half hour sitting on the balcony perusing my latest book purchase from Paumes – Patisseries of Paris. Any moment now my dessert craving will kick in – tonight I am going to make a nice big bowl of vanilla ice cream and lace it with shaved Green & Blacks orange chocolate and some ginger in stem syrup. I love that I never need to share this dessert – S doesn’t quite understand my ginger and dark chocolate obsession.
What are you planning to enjoy as a sweet treat tonight? Even if you haven’t thought of something yet I am sure these pictures from my new book purchase will get you in the mood. There are pastries, macarons and tarts from Stohrer, Pierre Herme, Laduree, Angelina’s and more….