They may be friends, or family or neighbours, but people over a certain age can be very tricky to buy for (my own parents present a challenge each and every Christmas!)
- Invest a little time in creating
something special and the
thought will be truly appreciated..
Why not bake two recipes from the Dairy Diary and present them (in beautiful wrapping of course) with the 2015 Dairy Diary? The edible gifts will be an instant delicious treat and then the Dairy Diary will provide a daily source of information and inspiration throughout the following year.
Win win win!
Mincemeat Bakewell Squares
These are just gorgeous! With a crisp pastry base, juicy mincemeat and almondy Bakewell topping, this festive treat is perfect to accompany a mid-morning cuppa.
Time 1½ hrs plus cooling
Makes 32 squares
Fat 15g of which 6.3g is saturated
Suitable for freezing
Readymade sweet shortcrust (dessert) pastry 500g packet
Mincemeat 300-350g (11-12oz)
Butter 250g (9oz), softened
Caster sugar 250g (9oz)
Eggs 5 medium, beaten
Self-raising flour 125g (4½oz)
Ground almonds 125g (4½oz)
Almond extract 1 tsp
Sifted icing sugar for dusting
1 Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2 Roll out pastry on a floured surface to a rectangle a little smaller than the baking tray, then lift into the tray and push pastry into sides, corners and edges to cover the base.
3 Bake pastry for 8-10 minutes until golden. Spoon mincemeat onto pastry while it’s still warm and spread thinly, until it just covers pastry base.
4 Using an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs a little at a time, adding a tablespoon of flour to prevent it curdling. Fold in almonds, flour and almond extract. Spoon over mincemeat and spread evenly.
5 Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and firm. Leave to cool. Remove from tray and peel away paper then cut into 32 squares. Dust lightly with icing sugar.
Luxury Coffee Truffles
Truly decadent and luxurious, chocolate lovers will delights in these little treats. (Remind the gift recipients to store these in the fridge when they receive them.)
Time 1 hr
Fat 24g of which 13.6g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians
Cocoa powder 60g (2½oz)
Guinness 200ml (7fl oz)
Butter 250g (9oz), softened
Caster sugar 300g (11oz)
Eggs 2 large, beaten
Self-raising flour 225g (8oz), sifted
Baking powder 1 tsp
Buttermilk 75ml (2½fl oz)
Double cream 150ml (¼ pint)
Cook’s dark chocolate 150g (5oz), finely chopped
Green sugar and grated white chocolate to decorate, optional
1 Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line 16 muffin tin holes with paper muffin cases.
2 Sift cocoa into a pan, add Guinness and bring up to boil, stirring. Cool for 10 minutes.
3 Using an electric mixer, cream 225g (8oz) butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs, beating well after each addition. Fold in flour, baking powder, buttermilk and cocoa. Mix until blended. Divide mixture between cases, then bake for 25-30 minutes until firm. Leave to cool in tins for a few minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
4 Heat cream until almost boiling, then pour onto chocolate and remaining butter. Mix well. Spread onto each muffin and decorate if wished.
Both recipes taken from Dairy Diary 2015.