Before we look back at the Blog year 2015 tomorrow, there is one last Christmas recipe I want to share with you. The little chocolate rounds are a delicious addition for the cookie plate and are a very nice little Present for everyone with a sweet tooth. And as they are easy to make they are a good last minute present as well!
For a good, shiny surface it is important to temper the chocolate. I do this by melting part of the chocolate, then adding the remaining part and then carefully heating it up to 30°C. This work best with a digital thermometer!
For the topping you can use what ever you like: dried fruits, nuts, candid fruits. I for myself prefer highly the variant with chopped (homemade) candid orange peel, as I like the contrast of sweet chocolate and the slightly bitter, fruity flavour of the Orange!
This year you can buy a lot of different bread mixes backed in Weck-Flasks. Even our book stores sells them. When I studied the flasks there I realized that they charge ten Euro for 750g of flour, yeast, salt and some spices or seeds! Really, ten Euro? I mean, ok, the Weck flask would cost something about two Euro. But then there are still 8 Euro left for a little bit of flour.
Home again I grabbed an old juice flask and filled it with layers of wheat flour, rye flour and potatoe flakes. I used the organic instant mashed potatoes from Alnatura which consists only of dry potatoes flakes, salt and spices. Filling the flask took its time, so choosing one with a wide bottle neck would be better! The 500g of flour, potatoe flaks, yeast and salt cost me about 1,20 Euro and the flask was for free. And it is a nice present, even a last minute one, as long as you have the ingredients and a flask/glass with one litre volume at home.
Of course I test-baked the recipe, too! And I was surprised about the potatoey taste of the rolls, and I like their moist crumb and crisp crust very much, too. Maybe I should rethink my “no instant mash potatoe-rule” in favour for easy potato rolls!
Christmas eve is now near. And the nearer this day comes the more I enjoy the fragrance of almonds, cinnamon, vanilla, clove and other spices. And when I read a recipe for Chocolate Almonds I knew instantly that I has to try this recipe. But – and I knew this instantly, too – that I would have to make spiced chocolate almonds, with cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla – just like the delicious chocolate almonds that you can buy at this time of the year.
They are not very complicated to make but to coat them with chocolate needs some time. The chocolate is added in small increments and then the almonds have to be stirred until the chocolate sets. And then the next increment of chocolate is added… And that repeatedly until the almonds are covered with a thick layer of chocolate. It is a similar principal as dipping candles.
When the almonds are done you have to find a save spot hide the almonds, otherwise small or big christmas mice will eat them
This year was a bad year for quinces and apples. There were only few on the the trees of my parents, and the fruits stays rather small, due to a mostly cold summer. But anyway, we harvested the few fruits and I cooked quince juice in my pressure cooker. And then I freeze it because the boyfriend protested against more quince jelly, because there was still glasses left from the last year when we had so much quinces.
In December I was planning to cook some little treats from the kitchen for my lovely colleagues and then I remember the quince juice once again. After thawing I cooked the juice with some sugar and vanilla bean, getting a delicious syrup. Mixed with some sparkling water this syrup is delicious, a perfect mixture of tartness and sweet fragrance, with a hint of vanilla.
I decoreated the bottles with some printed labels which I created with Inkscape. If you like, you can download them here.
A homemade Hot Chocolate Mix is a simple but delicious little Christmas gift. In the cookbook “Süße Geschenke aus der Küche: Leckereien backen und verpacken” I found not only nice recipes like a Hot Chocolate Mix flavoured with cinnamon and cardamom but also great Ideas for beautiful decorated glasses, bags and boxes. After I prepared the “normal” Hot Chocolate Mix, which I liked very much, too, I started to experiment with the recipe to create a orange flavoured mix.
I had this idea because some of my colleagues like an orange flavoured cacao from Quai Sud very much to flavour their coffee with it. But this cacao is expensive and hard to get. So I thought a homemade hot chocolate mix would be a great Christmas gift for them.
The best way to get the orange flavour into the chocolate mix is to grated a lot of orange peel, dry it in the oven and ground it together with sugar in a food processor.
I like the taste of the orange flavoured hot chocolate mix very much – I hope that my colleagues like them, too.