Saturday, 7 January 2012

Hamper Gifts

For christmas this year I made the strange decision to make food gifts for my friends at christmas. Whilst going through the process I was adament that I would never, ever do it again. The stress of making the food leaving enough time to deliver to everyone and for it to survuve in their fridge long enough so they don't have to eat it instantly. Then there is the question of packaging everything and making little labels. Arrghhhh, I spent every night in the kitchen making two or three items  surrounded by cellophane and little jars and boxes. But after all that it was completely worth the effort. The great thing was that I had plenty of things left from each batch to be able to give everybody at work something too. So what did I make?
Winter spiced lemon curd with cinnamon and cloves. There was a moment while I was making this that I thought the world was about to come and swallow me home. I know looking back it wasn't that big a deal, but I do go into slight neurotic meltdowns when things don't quite go to plan. It looked like the mixture had completely curdled until I realised that the butter wasn't melting. I must have had the heat so low in a worry about curdling that nothing was cooking so I wacked the heat up and it was fine. When I make it in future I think I'll melt the butter before I start. It didn't get quite as thick as a shop bought curd and maybe if I'd boiled it for longer it would have. But it still tasted good.

Peanut Butter Truffles. I love peanut butter and I love chocolate but I'm not a big fan of combining them. I wasn't sure about putting something into a hamper that I wouldn't eat but Mark said they were nice so in they went. The last time I tried to make truffles the mixture just didn't get hard so I was very relieved when these worked. Really need to make sure the peanut butter is stirred in though because when I was rolling them I had huge lumps of the stuff.

Apple and Blackberry Chutney. I love chutney with cheese, but strangely I haven't tried it yet. I have a huge jar of it still sitting in the garage but I just can't bring myself to try it. The smell of cooking vinegar was so potent while I was making it that I can't face tasting it, incase that's all I can taste. Soon I will.

Marshmallow and brown sugar fudge. This recipe is amazing. The last time I made fudge it just didn't harden or you felt like you would have a heart attack with each piece. My husbands answer to failing fudge is to stick it in melted chocolate and it'll be fine. But this one, it was hardening almost as soon as it hit the tin. After the lemon curd this was my favourite thing in the hamper and we will definitely be making it again.

Overall the hampers were well received, although no news on the chutney yet. So I will do it again, but maybe not next year I don't think I could take the stress so soon.

1 comment:

  1. HAMPERS WERE AMAZING! No news on Chutney from our side as we already had some open then we ran out of cheese. But we still have a good couple of weeks left and we both love chutney mmmm! Wah you are so clever. Can't decide what was my fave, if I had to chose I would say fudge followed by truffles but it was all so scrumptious. I admire you for even attempting it, not surprised how stressful it was! I will review chutney when it has been consumed haha x