I was sent some milk chocolate and some fruit and nut milk chocolate from Lindt recently to have a play with and I used the fruit and nut chocolate to make the foil wrapped decorations. For the chocolate shapes I used a Christmas pudding shaped silicone mould that I bought from Sew White along with some gold foil squares that I bought on ebay. The foil squares were smaller than I was expecting so I had to use 2 to wrap each chocolate pudding and ended up using 6 on the giant one. You could use any silicone mould you like to make these but as I can't have Christmas pudding this year (my boyfriend doesn't like it and it's just us this year) I thought this was the closest I would get to it. To make these I melted 250g of the fruit and nut chocolate, poured it into the moulds and left to set in the fridge for a few hours before wrapping in gold foil. You could just use tinfoil but I like a red and gold colour scheme on my tree, I'm a bit of a traditional sort sometimes. To make a hole for hanging the chocolates, heat up a skewer in hot water then poke it through the top of each chocolate and thread through some coloured cotton.
For the biscuits I used my speculoos spice blend from the speculoos book I bought in France earlier in the year. This time I used a half quantity of the biscuit recipe in the book as it is more stable for hanging from the tree than my shortbread version. I then half coated the biscuits in milk chocolate.
Ingredients - makes 30+ biscuits depending on cutters used, I used an assortment of Christmas tree, snowflake, holly leaf, star and gingerbread man cutters. Recipe adapted from Petits Plats et Desserts aux Speculoos
250g self raising flour
90g unsalted butter, softened
150g soft dark brown sugar
1 large egg
pinch of salt
25 ml water or milk
1 tbsp speculoos spice mix
300g milk chocolate, I used Lindt Swiss Premium Milk Chocolate
- In a large bowl mix together the flour, spices, salt and sugar, break up any lumps in the sugar with your fingers, make a well in the centre and add the egg and butter and beat into the flour mixture. Next add the water/milk a little at a time until you get a smooth dough.
- Knead the dough lightly into a ball and if you have time, let it rest in the fridge for an hour or so. I didn't bother resting mine and the biscuits came out fine.
- Preheat the oven to 170C, dust the work surface and your rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough to about 4mm thick and cut out shapes using whichever cutters you fancy. Place the biscuits on non stick baking trays and if you want to hang them on the tree use a skewer to make a small hole in the top of each biscuit. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and cool on a wire rack. Re pierce the hanging holes if they have closed over whilst the biscuits are still warm.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and use a small spatula or spoon to half coat the biscuits in chocolate leaving the hole at the top clear ready for hanging. Leave the coated biscuits to set on a large piece of greaseproof paper.
- When the chocolate has set, thread some coloured cotton through the holes (you may find it easier to use a needle to do this) and hang from the tree.
Disclaimer: I was sent two 300g bars of Lindt chocolate, everything else was paid for by myself, all opinions are my own and I was not paid for this post.
This is my last post before Christmas and all that's left to do now is to wish you all a merry Christmas and I hope you all have a lovely time with family and friends.