It’s that time of year again when my younger daughter’s school asks the children to show a talent or a skill to their teacher and classmates. This happens about once a term. Having gone through three years of it with my older daughter, you do get to a point when there is simply no skill that has been left unshown…..so what do you do?
Because my children are baking fans (especially Junior Bake Off on CBBC), I came to the conclusion we would all be better off by focussing on one skill, cooking/baking, and choosing to make something together that she would then enjoy taking in to school to talk about.
We came up with a couple of winning recipes, but the one that I’m featuring here is also something that both children and adults would enjoy to eat. The recipe for these Christmas cake truffles is adapted from Annabel Karmel’s “Family Cookbook” Magazine (Winter & Christmas 2008). I used dried cranberries and currants to replace the glace cherries and raisins. My daughter always loves a recipe that involves melting chocolate and stirring in lots of little goodies and this recipe fitted the bill as well as tasting indulgently decadent.
Christmas Cake Truffles
Ingredients :~ Makes 24 approx
For the Truffles :~
150g dark chocolate
200g Christmas cake (sponge cake also works)
75g dried cranberries & 25g currants
25g pecan nuts,walnuts to blanched almonds roughly chopped
1/2tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1tbsp icing sugar and a pinch of sea salt
For decorating :~
Red & green ready to use fondant icing
100g white chocolate melted
For the truffles:~
Melt the chocolate and butter over a pan of simmering water.
Set aside to cool slightly.
In a separate bowl break up the cake into crumbs with your fingers. Add in the cranberries, currants and nuts which you should break up into pieces by hand.
Place the cake, fruit & nut mixture into a food processor and pulse a few times until the mixture forms lumps and begins to look like a sticky mass. Don’t overwork it though.
Put the crumb mixture back into a bowl and add the melted chocolate mix, vanilla, pinch of sea salt and the icing sugar.
Stir thoroughly and then refigerate for about 1 hour.
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a walnut sized shape with your hands.
Put the truffles in the fridge to set for another hour.
For decorating :~
Shape your red and green fondant icing into holly leaves and berries for decoration.
Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted.
Place a teaspoon of the melted chocolate over the chocolate truffle then decorate with your berries and leaves shaped from the icing.
Leave to set in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
The truffles can be frozen (undecorated) for eating at a later date. If you want to give them as gifts nearer to Christmas, you can freeze them and decorate once defrosted.