Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Food Gifts Three Ways

Food Gifts Secret Santa Cassie Cakes
Food gifts to giveaway but make sure you keep some for yourself!
My goodness, we just seem to be hurtling towards the big day now aren't we! With less than 10 days to go, you may be well in to your Christmas shopping with hardly anything left to get or maybe you haven't even started! In either case, these three food gifts may be just the thing for gifting to friends and family. And since they are all mail-friendly, they might be just the thing for those a little further away.

Last Christmas, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and came upon the hashtag '#foodiesecretsanta' - a fantastic food swapped organised by the Brisbane based blogger Claire from Claire K Creations. I signed up at the first chance I got! And I am so glad I did! There is few things more fun in the world than coming home to find a surprise package waiting for you. And it's even more fun when you can eat it! I've received two of my three gifts from my Foodie Secret Santa's, check out my Instagram for the photos. I haven't seen my reciepents get theirs yet but I'm so excited to hear how they like them.

So here are the three foodie gifts that I sent...

Food Gifts Secret Santa Cassie Cakes
Sweet, creamy eggnog fudge.
Fudge with big eggnog flavours! Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and creamy, sweet eggnog. This fudge is easy, made easier with the help of marshmallows to stabilize it. Because of the high proportion of sugar, fudge will withstand being mailed and will keep for two weeks in the fridge.

Eggnog Fudge

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins
Total time:  25 mins

Servings: 50 pieces of fudge 

2 cups caster sugar

150ml thickened cream
125g butter, cut in to pieces
¾ cup eggnog
200g white chocolate melts
200g white marshmallows
1 tablespoon spiced rum
1 teaspoon nutmeg - approximately 1/2 a fresh nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Line a 30cm x 20cm tin with baking paper
  2. In a large, heavy based pan, place the sugar, cream, butter and eggnog and melt over a medium-high heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
  3. Use a sugar thermometer, bring the sugar mixture to the soft ball stage - 118°C-120°C/235° F-240° F. This can take some time, stay with it and wait patiently.
  4. Once it has reached soft ball stage, turn the heat down to low.
  5. Add the white chocolate and marshmallows and stir with a wooden spoon. The marshmallows will take some time to melt down.
  6. When the marshmallows have begun to melt, turn heat off.
  7. Add the rum, nutmeg and cinnamon and continue to stir until the marshmallows have completely melted.
  8. Pour mixture in to prepared pan and grate over extra nutmeg and sprinkle with extra cinnamon.
  9. Refrigerate overnight.
  10. Cut fudge into small pieces and wrap with vellum or baking paper.
Food Gifts Secret Santa Cassie Cakes
Homemade Nutella
Who can resist the combination of hazelnuts and chocolate! This is a chocolate lovers dream. You will be on the top of your friends nice list when you give them a jar full of delicious Chocolate Hazelnut spread!

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread - Homemade Nutella
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Total time:  20 mins

Servings: 2 cups

250g whole hazelnuts
400g milk chocolate melts
3 - 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
50g icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C and line a cookie sheet with baking paper
  2. Add hazelnuts to tray and bake for 10 minutes until skins have blistered.
  3. Place the hazelnuts in a tea towel and roll gently to remove the hazelnut skins. Allow to cool.
  4. Melt the chocolate in short intervals in the microwave, or over a double boiler, until completely melted and smooth.
  5. Place the cooled, skinned hazelnuts in to the bowl of a food processor and process until they form a paste.
  6. Add vegetable oil, icing sugar, cocoa and vanilla and pulse until thoroughly mixed.
  7. Add the melted chocolate and process until desired smoothness is achieved. Add more oil if necessary.
  8. Add hazelnut spread to jars and seal.

Food Gifts Secret Santa Cassie Cakes
Crunchy and delicious!
The American treat gets an Australian makeover with Macadamia brittle. Ludicrously simple and ridiculously delicious, add to ice cream for a taste sensation or enjoy on it's own!

Macadamia Brittle
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Total time:  30 mins

Servings: 2 large trays

500g raw whole macadamia nuts
500g caster sugar
125ml water
100g butter, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C and line 2 cookie sheets with baking paper 
  2. Add macadamia nuts to one tray and bake in the over until nuts are just turning golden.
  3. Allow nuts to cool and roughly chop. Divide the nuts between the two prepared trays and spread evenly.
  4. Place sugar and water in a large, heavy based pan and melt over a medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Cook the mix without stirring for 5 - 10 minutes until the sugar has turned golden.
  6. Turn off the heat and add butter, swirling pan to melt.
  7. Pour half the sugar mix over the macadamias on one tray then the other half over the nuts on the second tray.
  8. Allow to set, then break into portions.
Food Gifts Secret Santa Cassie Cakes
Merry Christmas!

Visit Four Weeks of Christmas Baking past!:2015
Week 1: Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Shortbread
Week 2: Bauble Macarons

Week 1: Christmas Star Cherry Tart with Cinnamon Honey Roasted Macadamia Ice Cream
Week 2: Raspberry Jam Drops
Week 3: Rum Ball Trifle
Week 4: Eggnog Cake

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