Hooray - we have finally made it to Christmas week!!! With the Christmas preparations seeming to start earlier and earlier each year (Christmas carols in the shops in September!!??), the build-up and anticipation towards The Big Day grows to such a level that sometimes Christmas can be an anti-climax when it finally arrives.
Sometimes, we are too busy getting ready to host ‘The Perfect Christmas’ that we lose sight of what it’s all about. And for me – the important things are spending time with my friends and family. I truly enjoy giving presents more than I do receiving them. Watching people open a gift that I have put thought into buying for them. Seeing their eyes light up with excitement. For me that is the best part of Christmas
Recently we have had a Secret Santa at work. You pick a name out of a hat and then choose a gift for that person up to a set budget. Every workplace has very different people making up the mix. People who would appreciate a funny present, people who would appreciate something more serious, people who forget about the gift they need to buy until the last moment and the people who plan ahead and present a wonderfully thought out present. Add to this minefield the complication of picking a person who you know very little about…. Complicated!
When I picked a name for the Secret Santa it was someone I have both worked with and socialised for a long time. ‘Great’ I thought, this will be easy! I thought about what to buy this person, and I thought some more…and some more… No inspiration came. I think the fact of knowing this person well added to the pressure of finding the ‘perfect gift’. Something funny, something they would enjoy, something they would be able to use.
So – I thought about what I would like to receive as a gift. Easy. Something food related. Chocolate related in particular. But how to add extra thought into a present based on chocolate. Sure, I could go and buy some truffles or a nice box of chocolates, but that’s a bit easy isn't it? A bit like an emergency present that you wrapped at the very last minute because you forgot to get something else. And then I thought – let’s make something! A nice handmade chocolate gift! Who wouldn't love that...?
WHAT YOU NEED
300gr Dark Cooking Chocolate
300gr White Cooking Chocolate
50gr Unsalted butter
60gr Mascarpone Cheese
3tsp Instant Coffee
100ml Amaretto Liquor
10 Amaretti Biscuits
70gr Mocha Beans or Dark Chocolate Chips
WHAT YOU DO
Line a baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Cut the white chocolate into pieces and melt in the microwave. Stir in the mascarpone cheese and mix until soft and smooth. Microwave for 10/20 seconds if needed. Add the mocha beans or chocolate chips and pour the mixture into the baking tin.
Put the amaretti biscuits randomly.
Now, cut the dark chocolate into pieces and melt in the microwave. Add the butter and put the mixture 10 more seconds in the microwave. Finally add the coffee and liquor. Mix and pour on top of the white chocolate mixture.
Let the turron to harden and cold up completely.
Unmould and cut into pieces. Tip: put the knife under hot water to make cutting easier. Dry up the knife before cutting the turron!
Enjoy over Christmas or any other time of the year!