Monthly Archives: December 2019

Christmas Baking, Day 7🎄

Baking Lovers,

We’re getting closer to the Big Day! Yay!

Today’s recipe comes straight from Paris and all of your French afternoon-tea dreams: the macaron. There is a lot talk about how Macarons are one of the hardest cookies to bake, however by following any recipe to a T, you should be able to create the most delightful after-dinner digestif. It is important to follow the recipe exactly for these cookies as everything is so precise, and even the pros sometimes make mistakes!

Macarons have been a favourite of mine since I started watching an American cult favourite TV show about “Manhattan’s Elite”, and decided I HAD to try them. Love at first bite. When I made macarons for the first time, I was trying so hard to impress my Food Tech teacher. I spent my whole lunch time finishing them off and actually got an A! Not too bad for a fourteen-year-old.

For this blog post recipe, I have done hours of reading to find the best tips and tricks to ensure that you have a firm idea of how to properly make macarons (and hopefully avoid total cookie carnage).

I have to say, creating such a delicate bake is a labour of love, but if you enjoy their chewy, yummy goodness then it is worth it.

They’re also gluten free, so perfect if you have gluten-intolerant guests!

For this recipe, I will be using the Italian method of making macarons as it is harder to deflate the meringue and be left with a mess of sugar and almonds. I know, I know… I said French… You are welcome to try the French method. This will give the macarons a crispier texture.

I have added in a minty Christmas twist for the ganache; however, you may wish to change the flavour or use a buttercream instead! It’s totally up to you.

For the Macarons:

  • 120 g Egg Whites leave your eggs out for a couple of hours, so they are at room temperature.
  • 150 g Finely Ground Almonds
  • 150 g Icing Sugar
  • 5g Cream of Tartar
  • 150 g Caster Sugar
  • 37 ml Water
  • 5 ml Green or Red Extra Strong Food Colour Gel (NOT LIQUID)
  • Sugar thermometer

For the chocolate peppermint ganache filling:

  • 300 g Extra Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa solids or more)
  • 200 g Double Cream
  • 10 ml Peppermint Extract or another flavouring of your choice.

For the decoration:

  • Raspberries
  • Mint Leaves
  • Sweets, Candy Canes
  • Edible Glitter is also a nice Christmassy option.

Preparation for this recipe is just as important as following it.

Prep-steps…

  • Thoroughly clean all of your equipment that you plan to use. Wipe down your bowl with vinegar to remove any remaining grease. Any traces of grease or dirt could alter the consistency of the meringue.
  • Separate your egg whites the day before and put them into one of your bowls. Cover with cling film, make a couple of holes, and leave in the fridge for around 24 hrs. DON’T forget to take them out 30 MINS. BEFORE you start whisking!! They need to be at room temperature for this recipe.
  • Make sure you have accurate measuring scales. No using jugs or ‘cups’ for this recipe as this is not accurate enough and won’t produce the results you desire!
  • Measure all of your ingredients before you start baking. This makes the process much easier and ensures that everything is correct, and you aren’t rushing. You should also sieve the ground almonds and icing sugar to remove any lumps. Make sure you do this twice! Lumps will alter the texture.
  • Pipe the macaron mixture with a simple nozzle. You can print out a template/guide on how to pipe the macaron mixture perfectly! Once piped, you should tap the baking tray onto a hard surface to remove any bubbles inside the macarons. Any bubbles that raise to the top should be popped with a clean, sterile needle to ensure a smooth surface!
  • Macarons take practice and a lot of patience. Take it slow with the recipe and make sure you follow every step!
  • Cream of Tartar is not essential to the making of macarons, so you can leave it out if you have made meringues before or feel like you will be able to get the correct consistency.
  • If you want to freeze the macaron shells, you can wrap each individual cookie in clingfilm and put them in a hard, airtight container. They will freeze well for around 3-4 weeks, after that they won’t be at their best.

How to make these delicious delicate cookies…

  • Preheat oven to 150°C/140°C fan oven/Gas Mark 2.
  • Take 3 flat baking trays approx. 29cm x 35cm and line with non-stick baking paper.
  • Take another sheet of baking paper and cut it to the same size of your baking trays. On this paper draw your templates for the macarons. Each circle should be approx. 4cm in diameter and there should be a gap of approx. 2cm between each circle. Put the template under one of the sheets of the greaseproof paper lining the trays. Alternatively, you could print out a template. A website is listed below for this.
  • Split the egg whites into two equal batches. Put 60g of the egg white into a large clean bowl and set both aside.
  • Put the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and process until well combined and even in colour. Transfer to a sieve and sieve over one of the batches of egg whites. Add the food colouring of your choice (MUST BE GEL) and mix all until well combined and in a paste.
  • Put the remaining 60g of egg whites into the bowl of a freestanding mixer. If you don’t have one, then any electric or hand whisk will do the job just as well!
  • In a small pan add the caster sugar and water and heat until it reaches 117°C, measuring the heat with a sugar thermometer. Try not to stir the sugar a lot as this could cause the syrup to crystallise. Avoid getting too much up the sides of the pan.
  • Whilst the sugar is heating begin whisking the eggs on a med-high speed until frothy then add the cream of tartar and whisk until it forms stiff peaks.
  • Once the sugar has reached the right temperature, put the mixer on high speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the whisked eggs whites down the side of the bowl. Try not to let the sugar syrup touch the whisk directly.
  • Once all the sugar syrup is in the egg whites, continue whisking at high speed for another two minutes then turn down the speed to medium until the bowl of the mixture is at room temperature. Try not to over-whisk the mixture. The meringue should have a glossy finish.
  • Now, gradually combine the meringue with the coloured almond mixture. Do this in three parts. Stir to combine until it is streak free then add the remainder of the meringue. Be careful not to over-mix and knock all of the air out. The consistency you are looking for should be like flowing molten lava. You should be able to form ribbons or a figure of 8 without it dropping instantly.
  • Transfer the green macaron mix to a piping bag with the small nozzle and pipe the mixture onto one of your prepared trays with the guide. Once the tray is full, remove the template from underneath. Now tap your tray onto a hard surface 3-4 times to remove any large bubbles and to even out your macarons. Repeat with other baking trays until you have used all of the mixture,
  • Leave the macarons out to form a sort of skin; they should be tacky to the touch. Bake one tray of macarons at a time for around 15-20 minutes until the macarons are risen and feel solid to the touch. If the macaron wobbles when you touch it then they need a couple more minutes.
  • Once cooked, leave to cool on the baking paper completely before taking them off and setting them aside. Taking them off whilst they are still even slightly warm means you risk your shells being hollow due to the bottom sticking to the paper!

For the filling and putting them together…

  • Once your macaron shells are cooling, make the chocolate peppermint ganache by heating the double cream and peppermint extract in a pan until it starts to steam.
  • Finely cut the chocolate and put in a glass bowl. Pour over the warmed cream and stir quickly until all of the chocolate has melted. Alternatively, use a similar method to that of the truffle filling in myChristmas Baking, Day 1 recipe.
  • Put in the fridge to cool for about 20 minutes, stirring every now and again until the mixture is cold. When cold, whip up the mixture using an electric or hand whisk for a couple of minutes until thick and fluffy in texture.
  • Pair up the macaron shells so that they match and then fill with the ganache using a piping bag with a small nozzle. Start in the centre and leave around 0.5cm. Put both halves together and twist slightly to ensure that the filling spreads and the macarons stay together.
  • Let the macarons mature in the fridge overnight to bring out all of the flavours.
  • Take flat serving platter and assemble your macarons onto it in a circle so it resembles a wreath. You could use a tiny bit of ganache under each one to secure them in place. Decorate with a dusting of cocoa powder, fresh raspberries, mint leaves and candy canes or any other Christmas treats you fancy.
  • If preparing the day before the filled macarons will keep in an airtight container overnight in the fridge. They can be frozen, but I think it is best to wrap each shell individually, then freeze.

This is probably going to be the most intricate and longest recipe I will post, but I think it’s totally worth the extra time. If you fail the first time, keep trying because they are very hard to make. This recipe, however, should provide you will a fail-proof way to create these cookies and wow your friends and family!

Bonne chance mes chers!

Merry-almost-Christmas!

Wenzels xo

🎄

Head to https://www.thespruceeats.com/tips-for-perfect-macarons-435128 for some extra tips on how to make the perfect Macaron shells!
This recipe is adapted from:
https://www.oetker.co.uk/uk-en/recipe/r/macaron-wreath
https://letthebakingbegin.com/basic-macarons-italian-meringue-method/
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Christmas Baking, Day 6🎄

Baking Lovers,

So, so close!! Yay!

I’ve nearly finished all of my Christmas shopping, put the decorations up (even in the office) and am now just waiting to get giving!

Today’s recipe comes all the way from Romania where one of my colleagues is from! She was telling me stories about fond memories that she associates with this lovely, easy recipe; Christmas nights eating this sweet treat with family and let me tell you: this is so easy and yummy that you will want to make it every year.

Chocolate and biscuits in the traditional Salam de Biscuiti, a no-baking-required recipe that is great for making with the kids – provided you don’t mind them getting a bit messy – is a delicious combination, which can also be made even more Christmassy with the addition of dried fruits, nuts, mint or orange, or another type of biscuit! As the name entails, it’s a chocolate ‘salami’ that you roll up and can cut into little portions; perfect for sharing with your family and friends with a nice hot cup of tea or even a glass of Mulled Wine.

Now, for this recipe you will need…

  • 300 g butter biscuits (perhaps left-over biscuits from the last recipe…)
  • 120 ml milk
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 70 g unsweetened cocoa powder (50g for the mixture, 20g to roll the salami in)
  • Icing sugar (to dust the roll in)
  • 1 teaspoon rum aroma (this is optional)

To get things rolling (pun intended)…

  • Break up your chosen biscuits. You can do this by hand or use a rolling pin to crush them underneath a tea-towel. You don’t want the pieces to be too small, or too large. This could be great for getting out all the stress… worked wonders for me! Make sure to put the biscuit pieces into a heat-proof glass bowl.
  • Next, put the milk and sugar into a pan and put on the heat. Bring this to the boil, stirring from time to time. Only let the mixture boil for around 1 minute, you don’t want the sugar to burn! Take off the heat and add the butter and stir until it has completely melted.
  • When it has cooled slightly, add in 50g of cocoa and the rum aroma. Stir until everything is mixed together and completely smooth.
  • Pour the mixture over the broken biscuits in the glass bowl, mix until all of the biscuit pieces are coated with the cocoa mixture.
  • Cut two large pieces of cling-film and lay as flat as possible on a cool surface. (I struggled a lot with the cling-film, it definitely stood up to its name… I nearly cried, my family nearly witnessed a grown woman struggling to hold down a piece of plastic and start crying… not a good time for me.)
  • Separate the mixture into two even batches and put them on the two pieces of cling-film. Form a rough sausage with the mixture and start to tightly roll it in the cling-film to create a ‘salami’. Repeat with both batches of the mixture.
  • Place the rolls in the fridge until they are nice and firm, perhaps for a couple of hours or overnight.
  • Before serving, take the salami out of the cling-film and roll in the remainder of the unsweetened cocoa, then dust with icing sugar. You can then put them back in the fridge, or slice and serve straight away.

There you have it. Super easy, but great taste – what’s not to like? Instead of butter biscuits, you could use Wenzel’s Gingerbread biscuits to create your own version, without the rum aroma.

Get rolling!

Merry-almost-Christmas,

Wenzel’s xo

🎄

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Christmas Baking, Day 5🎄

Baking Lovers,

When I was younger Christmas was great; the amount of Secret Santa presents and biscuits we were given was crazy… I can thank my mum for that! We would always have some sort of treat to keep my little brother and I happy and it was brilliant. One bad thing about becoming an adult – no more treats for me. Sad times. However, the highlight of my festive season was going to a family friend’s house to bake many different types of Danish cookies – and eating them after. This recipe comes from this lovely family friend who was more than happy to share this traditional recipe with me!

You might think, ‘oh they look exactly like Scottish Shortbread.’ They are not. They are buttery, vanilla-ry biscuits which melt in your mouth and leave you wanting more. So, be warned, it’s very easy to finish a whole tin on your own. You may have tried the little blue tin of Danish biscuits, but they don’t even compare to the lovely home-made version.

*This recipe contains almonds*

What you’ll need…

  • Piping bag with small star nozzle
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod OR 1tsp of vanilla bean paste (you can add more vanilla if you’d like. Seeds from 2 vanilla pods would work great.)
  • 375g cold Danish butter
  • 375g plain flour
  • 125g potato flour
  • 100g blanched, very finely chopped almonds
  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 1 medium egg

How to make…

  • Sieve and mix the plain flour and potato flour together in a large bowl.
  • Cut the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour – not beating yet. This should create a crumbly texture.
  • Add the vanilla seeds, almonds and sugar to the dry ingredients and mix together.
  • Once all of the dry ingredients are combined, beat in the egg quickly to form a dough.
  • Leave the dough covered in a cool place overnight. This will make it easier to pipe, so the longer in the fridge before piping the better.
  • The next day, line two baking trays with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/350˚F/Gas 4.
  • Put the dough into a piping bag with a small star nozzle/tube. Pipe the dough into strips of around 10cm and form into rings. The biscuits should be well spaced out to allow for them spreading slightly. Once you have filled the baking tray, put into the top of the oven for around 8 minutes, or until slightly golden brown, depending on your oven.
  • Put the dough in the fridge between batches to keep it cool and to ensure it does not go too soft to pipe and form rings.
  • Once baked, leave to cool completely before taking them off of the baking paper, then transfer to a wire rack. Sprinkle some extra sugar over the cookies before serving and enjoy!

 

This ultra-simple recipe is quick and easy to follow, even when everything is getting hectic, so they’re perfect for this time of year. If you wanted to jazz them up even more, you could skip the sprinkling of sugar and dip each ring in melted dark or milk chocolate on one side, and leave to set. The vanilla rings should keep in an airtight container for about a week, and three months if frozen.

These little butter biscuits can also be used in the next recipe that I’ll be posting, so keep your eyes peeled!

Enjoy making these with your little ones, and carry on my own little tradition.

Merry-almost-Christmas!

Wenzel’s xo

🎄

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Christmas Baking, Day 4🎄

Baking Lovers,

Today’s instalment of the 12 days of Christmas Baking is a delicious mix of two favourite sweet treats; mince pies and brownies! These sticky, chocolatey brownies are sure to be a winner in many people’s books, making them great to serve for Christmas dessert with yummy ice cream should people not want to eat the Christmas pud’. These are a Christmassy take on a classic that can be a great alternative to Christmas pudding, or Christmas cake, as it incorporates a lot of festive elements. Perfect for kids and big kids at heart!

For this recipe, I recommend using the Wenzel’s Luxury Mince Pies; you’ll need to buy two boxes but that way you’ll also be in for a chance of winning our Golden Ticket! Imagine winning £250 for making brownies… good deal if you ask me! You could also jazz them up even more and choose some other additions to put into your brownies. Chocolate chips, other dried fruits, or maybe extra rum? Hmm that would be a great addition, just don’t give them to the kids!

Now, get going and bake these delicious brownies! (Or not. Completely up to you… but I would.)

What you’ll need to make these brownies…

  • 185g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 185g high-quality dark chocolate 80%, chopped
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder (plus extra for dusting the tin)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g golden caster sugar
  • 6 mince pies or 9-12 mini mince pies
  • icing sugar, for dusting

How to make the best Christmas brownies EVER…

  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium bowl, either in a microwave –heat in 20-second blasts, careful not to burn the chocolate; this will make it grainy – or by putting the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stirring occasionally. Once melted, leave the mixture to cool. Similar to making the chocolate truffle ganache mixture, you don’t want the chocolate and butter to heat up too much.
  • Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter the sides of a of a shallow 20cm square tin and coat the sides with cocoa powder. Line the base with grease-proof baking parchment.
  • Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into a large enough bowl to hold all of the ingredients.
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy, or when the mixture runs off the beater and leaves a trail for a second or two. It should not be too runny or too think.
  • Add in the cooled chocolate mixture, then fold together with a spatula, moving the bowl round until the mixture is a marbled dark brown. Be gentle so you don’t knock out all of the air.
  • Sift in the cocoa and flour mixture and continue gently folding. The mixture will eventually look fudgy. Stop just before you feel you should, as you don’t want to over-mix it.
  • Spoon a little mixture into the prepared tin so that it is around 2cm thick, then add the mince pies, leaving them whole. Pour over the rest of the mixture, gently pushing it between the mince pies. Make sure the top is level, and covers all of the pies, to ensure an even bake.
  • Put in the pre-heated oven for about 25 mins. If the brownie mixture is very wobbly in the middle, it’s not quite done, so bake for another 5 -10 mins, or until the top has a shiny crust, sides are just beginning to come away from the tin and the centre is less wobbly. If you want sticky brownies, the centre should still be slightly soft.
  • Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin before attempting to remove.
  • Once completely cool, remove from the tin ad put onto a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and cocoa powder. Cut the brownies into 16 even squares, or less if you want bigger brownies for desserts.

 

You can serve these mice-pie chocolate treats warm with your choice of ice cream (rum and raisin or vanilla would be great partners), or just on their own as a snack with a tea or coffee! Enjoy!

Merry-almost-Christmas!

Wenzel’s xo

🎄

Recipe adapted from:
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/mince-pie-brownies
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Christmas Baking, Day 3🎄

Baking Lovers,

Today’s Christmassy treat traditionally comes from Scotland, and it is a family favourite of mine, with a nice cuppa in front of the TV in the evening on Christmas Day: Scottish Shortbread! Usually my Mum doesn’t have the time to make them herself, so I make them with my Nan when I go to pick her up on Christmas eve. It’s a little tradition of ours. I have adapted an easy to follow recipe I found online (link below), which makes baking these buttery, crumbly treats easier than you thought!

If you wanted to jazz them up a lil’, you could add in dried fruit or chocolate chips – depending on your taste. Unfortunately, these cannot be frozen, so they’re best made the day before you eat or give them as a present! Everyone loves to get yummy biscuits at Christmas because it is ALWAYS a “cheat day” and calories do not count!

It is important to get the balance between dry and wet ingredients right. If the biscuits have too much butter, they will be too soft and won’t bake right. Too little and they’ll be too dry to stay together.

To make the shortbreads you’ll need…

  • 350g plain flour
  • 125g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 250g butter, cut into small cubes
  • Caster sugar, for dusting
  • 2 x 23cm round sandwich tins, buttered and base-lined with grease proof paper.

Making the biscuits…

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
  • Put the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Put the butter cubes into the bowl and start to combine the mixture by hand. (This is where you would also put in the Chocolate chips etc) Work the mixture until it forms a ball – do not beat the mixture with a spoon or whisk. The mixing may take a while as you are doing it manually, but don’t be tempted to use another method!
  • Divide the mixture into 2 and put a portion into each tin, pressing it into an even layer.
  • Use the handle end of a fork to create a dimpled pattern around the edges of the tins, then use the prongs to prick over the surface to create small holes. Not too many!
  • Place the tins in the centre of the oven and bake for about 30-40 mins, or until the mixture is a pale golden colour.
  • When baked to perfection, take out of the oven and leave to cool for around 5 minutes.
  • Remove the shortbread from the tins and cut into petticoat tails, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with caster sugar before serving by rolling each one in the sugar or sprinkling it over.

 

These crumbly, yummy biscuits are so moreish that you might want to make several batches! Use an old biscuit tin to share with your family and friends around Christmas time, for a treat that no one can turn down. They aren’t heavy chocolate biscuits that you may usually receive as a present, so they’re great for when you want a little bit of something sweet to round off your Christmas foody celebrations.

Hope you enjoy this easy recipe!

 

Merry-almost-Christmas!

 

Wenzel’s xo

🎄

This recipe is adapted from here:
Scottish Shortbread
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Christmas Baking, Day 2🎄

Baking Lovers,

It’s that time again: my next instalment into the 12 Days of Baking!

As I said in my first post about my Christmas blogging, I wanted to explore some different traditions from around the world where my colleagues are from. I have accumulated a few great recipes that are worth the effort, and taste amazing. Some are easier than others, but today’s recipe may take a little extra TLC…

Today we’re going for a traditional Hungarian sweet treat which one of our directors suggested to me. Being from Budapest (it’s actually pronounced Buda-pesht!), he told me that he remembers it from when he was young, always at Christmas and Easter. After I did my research, I found a great, easy recipe that makes a perfect Beigli.

The Beigli is (sort of) Budapest’s take on a yule log – hopefully Hungarians won’t curse me for that comparison! It’s light and perfect as an after-christmas-dinner bite.

***This recipe contains nuts and seeds, so please avoid if there are any nut and seed allergies in your family***

For the Dough

  • 5 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 220g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 230ml sour cream
  • 450g self-rising flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast

For the Filling

  • 250ml whole milk
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 250g finely chopped walnuts or poppy seeds
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 75g golden raisins
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Start by making the light dough…

  • Combine the granulated sugar, butter, egg yolks, and sour cream in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade and process well. Alternatively, you can use an easier method of just the usual bowl and wooden spoon!
  • Add the flour and yeast and beat until the dough comes together. The dough should be moist and easy to work with, if not add in a tables.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, cover with a damp towel, and set aside.

To make the filling

  • Heat the milk and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture has a syrupy consistency. Add the chopped walnuts and stir to combine. Remove the saucepan from the heat; stir in the lemon zest and raisins and let filling cool.
  • Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

Construct the rolls…

  • Divide the dough into three pieces. Roll one piece of dough out on a lightly floured surface to form a long rectangle about a 1/4-inch thick; keep the remaining dough covered.
  • Spread 1/3 of the walnut filling on the dough, leaving about an inch of dough at each edge. Roll the dough up to form a log and press to seal. Place the dough, seam-side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  • Beat the egg with the tablespoon of milk to make an egg wash. You can use a tablespoon of water if you prefer. Brush the loaves with egg wash and let rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
  • After the dough has risen, brush it again with egg wash and put the baking tray in the fridge for half an hour (this will give the dough a shiny finish).
  • Bake the loaves until they’re a deep golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  • Take them out and leave to cool. Once they’re nice and cold, you can slice them and get ready to serve! Brilliant as a dessert or just a light, sweet snack!

 

This is one of the first traditions that I have written about that isn’t something I had tried before, and I was so pleasantly surprised – I don’t usually like nuts, but this bread is to die for. It really tasted like Christmas in a mouthful, and it made my family very happy. (Although I’m not sure if that was the Beigli or the constant stream of baked goodies…)

I hope that all of your Christmas prep and baking is going well! We would love to see your goodies, so share them on social media and tag Wenzel’s so we can see!

Merry-almost-Christmas!

Wenzel’s xoxo

🎄

 

We have taken some inspiration from this recipe as our Director told us that this one was the most authentic!
https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/97500/hungarian-beigli/
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Christmas Baking, Day 1🎄

Baking Lovers,

Not to make anyone panic but… 12 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!! The child in me is so excited, the adult who still needs to buy Christmas presents – not so much.

It’s time for my first instalment into the Twelve Days of Baking! Christmas baking and cooking might be something you’re interested in, whether it be a hobby or something enjoyable to do with the kids, keep reading for yummy baking ideas and ways to keep your festive fun stress free!

The first recipe I would like to grace your screens with is a simple, yet effective, Christmas Chocolate Truffles recipe! These dark chocolate truffles are a perfect after-dinner bite as they aren’t too big and taste great. You can also make them with the little ones to give to their loved ones as a lovely home-made gift. They can be coated in a smooth, satisfying chocolate shell, or rolled in a Christmas topping of your choice. You might be thinking ‘hmm am I interested?’, so read ahead to find out how you can make these perfect morsels suitable for adults.

We have taken recipes from our own experience and other various sources, but we take no credit from those we have sourced from elsewhere. Links will be provided.

 Christmas Chocolate Truffles

This is a recipe that I’ve loved making since I was old enough to be sensible (or so my mum thought…) It’s an easy recipe to follow, no baking included.

What you’ll need:

  • 400g Dark Chocolate (70%), finely chopped.
  • 200ml Double Cream (150ml of cream if using milk or white chocolate, due to a higher fat content in the sweeter chocolates)
  • (OPTIONAL ADULT ADDITION: Swap out 100ml of the double cream with a liquor of your choice to make these yummy chocolate truffles a little less PG.)
  • Cocoa Powder
  • 200g Dark or Milk chocolate, for the coating.
  • 25g of white chocolate

Recommended:

  • A couple of large glass bowls
  • Chocolate thermometer
  • Saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Measuring jug
  • Weighing scales
  • Spoon and fork
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Piping bag or bottle

Toppings ideas…

  • Cocoa powder
  • Hazelnuts
  • Crushed candy canes
  • Crushed Wenzel’s gingerbread biscuits
  • Christmas sprinkles
  • Coconut shavings
  • White chocolate shavings
  • Daim bar
  • And any other yummy Christmas treats you can think of.

How to make these decadent treats…

Make the ganache filling

  • First step is to combine your cream, chocolate and liquor – if you’re opting to use it. VERY finely chop your 400g of chocolate. Put the cream and liquor into a pan on a very low heat. DO NOT LET THE CREAM BOIL!
  • Once the cream has started to steam, take it off the heat and combine with your chopped chocolate and stir until all chocolate has melted and the ganache is a silky texture. Leave to set at room temperature, then transfer to the fridge.

Tempering the chocolate for the coating

  • Whilst the ganache cools, create the melted chocolate for the coating. Finely chop the chocolate and put 150g in a glass bowl over a Bain Marie. Do not stir the chocolate. Heat to 45°, using the thermometer to check. If using milk or white chocolate, it should only be 43°.
  • When the chocolate has melted, take away from the heat.
  • To temper the chocolate, gradually add in the other 50g of finely chopped chocolate and stir continuously until it has reached 32°. If not all of the chocolate has melted, you can take it out!

Making the chocolates

  • Prepare a baking sheet or another flat surface with baking parchment or grease proof paper.
  • Use a cold metal spoon to scoop out a 1” ball of the chocolate ganache. Dust your hands with cocoa powder and roll into a ball. Can use gloves instead if you prefer.
  • Drop one of the ganache balls into the tempered chocolate. Use a metal spoon to ensure it is completely covered. Take it out with the spoon and transfer onto the baking parchment/ grease proof paper.
  • Leave at room temperature to set or put them in the fridge to speed things up! By putting them in the fridge, you are less likely to get shiny, smooth chocolates.
  • Alternatively, rather than dipping the ganache into the melted chocolate, you can roll them in cocoa powder or another Christmassy coating of your choice!
  • When the truffles are set, you need to temper the white chocolate to decorate. Use the same method as per the dark chocolate but only let the chocolate get to 43°, to avoid splitting. When adding the remainder of the chopped chocolate, the temperature should be reduced to 30°.
  • When the chocolate has been tempered, put into a small-nozzle piping bag or bottle, and drizzle over a selection of the chocolates.
  • Leave to set completely and serve at your next family gathering, friends meet-up or office party! They’re perfect as gifts wrapped in a little box with tissue paper, or whatever else you’d like to conceal these with! Be as inventive as you can 😉

If you try this recipe, let us know! Post your gorgeous truffles on social media and tag Wenzel’s, we’d love to see your own efforts.

I hope that your Christmas season is festive and as stress-free as it can be, and that you and your little ones enjoy trying out this recipe and the ones to come!

Merry-almost-Christmas!

Wenzel’s xo

🎄

 

I took some inspiration from these sites and my own experience:
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Christmas Baking and Golden Ticket

Baking Lovers,

It’s CHRISTMAS!!! Well, nearly.

The time of year for giving is almost upon us, and we cannot wait to share the holiday with you, our family, and treat you to some delicious recipes and gifting ideas.

With Christmas right around the corner, and the school holidays coming into sight, it’s no wonder things are getting stressful! I don’t know about you, but I’ve already started my present shopping and Christmas planning; the earlier the better I always say.

In my Christmas blog this year, I would like to start a new tradition for Wenzel’s and our Baking Lovers: I will be posting new recipes every day for the 12 days running up to Christmas. Yes, I know the actual 12 days of Christmas are after the Big Day, but these recipes are too good to wait and they could make good present ideas for the foodies in your life! Plus, who doesn’t love a little bit of baking, especially at this time of year when the kids need something to do, or you’re just bored of sitting inside away from the chill of the wintery air? Even if you aren’t a fan of baking, we have some no-baking-required ideas that’ll blow your Christmas Stockings off and delight your taste buds!

We’ve made a mini collection of yummy Christmas recipes, some from our families and some adapted from other various sites that we’ve tried out. In the Wenzel’s head office and main bakery, we have employees from many different cultures that mix to create the most amazing place to work. I spoke to many of my co-workers and gathered a few recipes which they see as traditions!

Some traditions from us at the offices include Mákos Beigli – one of our Wenzel’s Directors is from Budapest and told me about this delicious pastry – Romanian Chocolate Biscuit Salami, Danish Butter Cookies, Scottish Shortbread and Chocolate Truffles. Personally, I love to try new food and see what new favourites I can find. I hope that the recipes that I will be uploading on the blog can provide some new recipes for you to try and fall in love with. The 12 Days of Christmassy Baked Goodness will commence on Friday 13th December and will run until Christmas Eve. We are also encouraging anyone who tries the recipes to take some pictures, upload them to social media and tag Wenzel’s! Hopefully we can build our Baking Lovers family and encourage other people to get baking in their homes.

 

The festive treats and products are out in stores, the office Secret Santa has been given out, the Christmas party is coming up and the buzz is huge. With all of our planning, we have been thinking of ways to give back to our loyal customers at Wenzel’s and have recently launched our Golden Ticket competition for another year! Visit your nearest store and purchase a box of 4 Luxury Mince Pies to see if you have a Golden Ticket in your pack. You could win £250 and a tour of our bakery in Watford! If you don’t win, keep your mince pies pealed for our next competition announcement… coming soon.

*Queue the annoyingly catchy music and pretty Christmas lights*

Merry almost-Christmas!

Wenzel’s xo

 For Full terms and conditions of the Golden Ticket competitionclick here
DISCLAIMER: We do not take any credit for the recipes we have sourced from websites, cookbooks or any other form of published work. Any recipe origin locations will be mentioned.
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