Thursday, 16 December 2010

Nigella's Christmas Puddini BonBons

My plan this weekend is to make these.

Oh my lord aren't they beautiful? This is a picture I took last year and looking back at it makes me a bit excited about what lies ahead this weekend. I also thought I'd post the recipe before the weekend so if anyone wants to make them, they can give it a go.

I shall be making these to hand out as little presents for everyone in the office on Monday. I have a lovely wicker basket which will contain little bags of 5, decorated with ribbon.

Now in the picture there are roughly 70 bonbons and I cannot remember how many batches I made. Probably 2.

For a batch you will need:
125g plain or dark chocolate
350g christmas pudding (either leftover, or cooked and cooled)
60ml sherry
2tbsp golden syrup
100g white chocolate (though I'm pretty sure I used 1 100g bar to cover all of those babies)
tub of glacé cherries
tub of angelica

The only expensive thing in this is the sherry, and I will be using the bottle I bought last year - so it really is a good investment. I only wish I'd bought brandy last year as well as I could have done with some of that in my cupboard! (Please don't skip the sherry, it really does make all the difference). I used cheap christmas pudding (80p for 454g!) because lets face it, you're not eating it on its own.

First of all, line a tray (or plates) with baking paper, foil or cling film. Ensure it can fit in the fridge.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. As this is gently melting, crumble the pudding in a large bowl and mix in the sherry and golden syrup. (I learnt a tip of Kirstie & Phil's Perfect Christmas - lightly grease a measuring spoon with a little oil and the syrup should just pour off). Add the chocolate once it has melted, and stir again so all the pudding is covered.

Now take out small amounts of mixture and roll into a ball. Keep a cold tap running and once you feel your hands getting warm and the mixture is sticking, run your hands under the cold water. This should cool your hands down enough to get a few more done without melting all the chocolate (a tip I learnt when learning how to make the perfect crumble at Jamie Oliver's Recipease).

You'll need to make sure you keep the ball the same size. About the size of an average chocolate. These things are seriously rich, so don't make them any bigger or you'll struggle to eat them!

Arrange on the lined tray or plate and pop in the fridge while you sort out the decoration. Melt the white chocolate and keep on a low heat whilst you prepare the cherries and angelica. Count the bonbons and cut the cherries into enough pieces to pop one on each. Cut double the amount of angelica.

The next bit is the tricky bit and requires some patience, but it's oh so worth it and really is the wow factor about these beauties.

With a teaspoon, drizzle the melted white chocolate on the top of the bonbons. The key is to not make this too perfect - the dribbles of chocolate down the side make the 'sauce' look more 'realistic'. Whilst the chocolate is still liquid, add one bit of cherry and two bits of angelica on either side. Unfortunately, you really do have to do one bonbon at a time or the white chocolate hardens and the cherry and angelica don't stick. This will take a long time - so I recommend popping on the radio and enjoying it.

Once you've finished - keep the chocolates in the fridge. They are absolutely ideal as gifts, wrapped in a clear bag and tied with ribbon, or put in a little box. I think that out of everything I've ever made - these have gotten the best response. I really wish I could hand them out as gifts every year to the same people, but I would rather not be predictable.

If you have the time this weekend - make these. You will not be disappointed - I promise you!

(Note: I will be making my own gluten-free version using gluten-free pudding so all you avoiding gluten can do the same and not miss out!)

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