Christmas Treats: Brandy and Ginger Baubles

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Last weekend I had a pre-Christmas cosy pot luck feast with friends. I love pot luck dinners for their element of surprise and to be able to enjoy a range of tasty morcels. We had an enormous roast chicken with herby pork stuffing roasted on a bed of sliced lemons, carrots, potatoes and onions, puréed potatoes and parsnips (funnily enough this felt a bit like bread sauce!), pea and pancetta muffins, brussel sprouts with chopped chestnuts and pancetta, cheddar and herb scones, and a leek and mushroom pie. I hasten to add that there were 10 of us before you think I’m a greedy so and so. For dessert I made a chocolate Christmas cake (the recipe is one by Eric Lanlard which I read whilst relaxing in a bubble bath a few nights before – I highly recommend this relaxing activity of reading recipes in a bubble bath!). I only put marzipan on half the cake as marzipan isn’t adored by everyone. I am one of the adorers! I even mopped up the melted chocolate left over in the bowl from making the cake with a wodge of marzipan! An Italian friend made a Torta della Nonna (Granny’s Cake) which is like a  pastry pie with a custard filling topped with a sprinkle of pine nuts and finally we had Brandy and Ginger Baubles! The star of this post!

These are ludicrously easy to make and they trick you into thinking that you are eating truffles!

Takes 20 mins making and 2 hours chilling// Makes about 20 baubles

What you need:

150g gingernut biscuits

100g walnuts

60g icing sugar and a bit more for rolling the truffles in

2 tablespoons brandy

2 tablespoons cocoa powder and a bit more for rolling the truffles in

2 tablespoons golden syrup

What you need to do:

1. Break the biscuits up into about 6 pieces each.

2. Put the walnuts in a blender and blend until well ground.

3. Add the broken gingernuts and blend again.

4. Now put the remaining ingredients into the blender with the mix of walnuts and gingernuts.

I discovered a great way to avoid leaving a sticky mess of golden syrup on a spoon (and thus wasting a bit unless you lick it off!). I had measured the cocoa powder with the spoon before so it had a silky layer of the powder on it so when I squeezed the golden syrup on top it slid off beautifully! Neat!

6. Blend until you see the mixture come together into a ball.

7. Put the ball in a bowl and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

8. Take the mixture out, sprinkle some icing sugar on one plate and cocoa powder on another, make small balls of the mixture (about the size of a big marble) in the palms of your hands and roll them in the icing sugar or cocoa powder.

That’s all! They’re ready!

You can substitute ingredients such as the walnuts for pecans, for example, to make them more to your taste and use honey instead of golden syrup if you prefer.

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