The month of love is upon us. Send a message, pick up the phone, bake something and gift it to your loved ones. The little gestures bring the biggest smiles.
Here are some ideas you can make at home.
This is an easy snack and makes a perfect gift. You can use whatever chocolate you like and fill it with your favourite fillings. You can even just fill them with your favour liquor and have them as shots.
- Cut the top and bottom of the strawberries so they can sit flat
- Scoop the inside of the strawberries out to form a little cup. I used a tiny spoon
- Melt some chocolate. I went with dark
- Dip the bottom of the strawberry to form the cup base
- Place on some greaseproof paper
- Fill the strawberry cups with more melted chocolate
- Chill them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the chocolate sets
- They should peel off easily from the paper
- Crumble some biscoff on top and then use the top of the strawberries you cut to finish them off
- Perfect as petit four or just to snack on. So delicious
Cranberry Heart Macarons
French macarons are less faffy. When I feel experimental I use the Italian method. Click here for the recipe I use.
Here are some tips that I have learnt since I published that recipe
- For the fine finish on your macarons don’t force any ground almonds through the sieve. If you have a nutri bullet blitz the icing sugar and almonds and sieve it through again
- Add a bit of the meringue mixture and fully combine with the icing suagr & almond mixture. Once combined add the rest of the meringue
- Pipe onto a silicone mat. At the bottom of the mat you can put the pattern you want i.e hearts or circles
- The macaron mixture is more forgiving than you think but you have to be quick. For the heart-shaped ones I just followed the shape of the heart and once piped, made any fine details with a toothpick
- Don’t forget to tap the macarons once piped to flatten out and even
- Ganache works better than buttercream. It isn’t as sweet and can be flavoured how you want.
I filled these heart shaped ones with chocolate ganache and dried cranberry to give them that slight tang.
These cute biscuits taste like shortbread and are perfect with a thin layer or jam or chocolate.
- Beat 115g caster sugar and 115g softened salted butter
- Add in 1 tsp vanilla essence and beat again
- Add in 1 egg, 260g plain flour and 1/4 tsp salt and combine together to form a dough
- Roll it out. I went for thick and think and like them both. From 2mm – 4mm
- To make it easier to roll you can try putting it between two parchment sheets
- Cut out the shapes, peel off excess dough and roll out again and keep repeating until you have finished the dough
- Stick the cut shapes in the fridge for 30 minutes
- Bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Again it depends how golden you like them. I went for all variations.
- Once cooled, gently heat some strawberry jam.
- Sandwich between the biscuits
Chocolate Bombs (Ruby Chocolate & Beetroot)
The craze for chocolate bombs is still going. With so many shapes and fillings around there is so much choice. This time I went with cocoa amore ruby chocolate and tried an artistic touch by using their dark chocolate too and putting some white food colouring and gold dust.
To give the hot chocolate that slight healthy addition and add to the pink colour, I added in some beetroot super blend.
Painting the melted chocolate into the mould works better for me and there is less wastage. Ensure you chill the chocolate so it sets well before removing it from the mould. To avoid breakages, you can add another layer of chocolate once the first one has set.
Once you have them out of the mould, on one half add in chocolate powder and marshmallows.
To assemble the chocolate halves together, gently melt the rim of one half of the dome. This can be done on a heated plate. You have to be quick.
Hope you get to make one of these.