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Posts Tagged ‘homemade gifts’

Whenever I make lemon curd, it doesn’t last long enough for me to take a decent picture. That’s a testament to its deliciousness, I suppose. This is good on everything. Seriously.

A note about the quality of your fruit – the lemons should be just past ripe, firm with a bit of give and if you want to be the freak in the grocery store sniffing the produce, they should smell, well, lemony. I’m all for being frugal, but don’t cheap out on the lemons in this case or you’ll end up with an inferior end result.

Recipe from Odlums, with my own observations thrown in. I’ve tried others and ended up with something resembling lemon taffy. Not cool.

Ingredients

3 egg yolks, beaten

125g caster sugar

The zest of 2 lemons (just the yellow part, no underlying white rind)

1/3 cup of lemon juice (2-3 lemons, or if you’re just shy with the juice of 2, add a bit of water)

50g butter

  • Melt the butter over a low heat and add the sugar, juice and zest.
  • Whisk in the egg yolks and continue whisking for 1-2 minutes for a light texture.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, stir with a wooden spoon. The curd is done once the mixture coats the back of the wooden spoon without dripping off. This usually takes 6-8 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and strain into a bowl while still hot to remove the zest (or leave it in if you swing that way).
  • It should be a bright, vibrant yellow and still liquid while hot. It will thicken as it cools into a gel-like curd.
  • Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container (or old jam jar in my case) and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
  • Goes well with pancakes, rice cakes, yoghurt, buns, porridge, muffins, toast…you get the idea.

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P1020010Christmas is in a few weeks and you know what that means? Presents. Lots and lots of presents, to be given and gotten. I’m a bit on the broke side (ha!) so this year I decided I’m going to make baked goods for my extended family. Today was a test run for chocolate truffles, as I’d never made them before. They turned out really well but rolling them out is a very messy process. As you probably know truffles are little balls of chocolate ganache coated in cocoa powder. They’re meant to resemble the other kind of truffles – chocolate that looks like fungus, yum. I think mine look appetising enough, don’t you? If you have a melon baller, use that. Mine aren’t perfectly round because it was physically impossible to do so without melting the ganache. That’s the only messy part though, these are delightfully simple. I mean, there’s only three ingredients!

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I love dark chocolate but I know a lot of people don’t, so you could make these with chocolate that’s 60% cocoa solids instead. I tried white chocolate out of curiosity and the ganache didn’t set so that’s going to go between some biscuits this afternoon. If I end up experimenting with milk chocolate I’ll post the results.

Ingredients (makes about 12)

200g dark chocolate (I used Tesco’s own brand 85%)

100ml double cream

2tbsp. cocoa powder for rolling (I used Green & Black’s, it’s not that much more expensive and tastes far better in my opinion)

You can also roll these in nuts, powdered sugar, anything really. If you want to add flavourings, add it to the cream at the beginning.

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  • Break the chocolate into small pieces.
  • Bring the cream to a boil and immediately pour over the chocolate.
  • Let it stand for a few minutes then stir until fully melted.
  • If the chocolate doesn’t melt, heat in the microwave on thirty-second intervals until the ganache is smooth.
  • Let cool and then leave in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. (I left mine overnight in the fridge and it was rock solid, I had to re-melt it in the microwave and just used the freezer.)
  • Put the cocoa powder in a bowl. At this point, run your hands under very cold water for 10 seconds.
  • Using a tablespoon and your hands, form the ganache into rough balls and roll in the cocoa powder.
  • You can transfer them to petit-four cases or an airtight container.

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Apparently these last for 3 months but I don’t think we’ll get around to testing that in my house.

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