Posts Tagged Food gift
Christmas is almost upon us! I had such good intentions of writing some Christmas blog posts, however I’ve found that time is fast disappearing and all I do seem to be writing are lists! I’ve yet to even finish writing my Christmas cards! I did want to share this speedy gift idea though.
Although I love the idea of giving homemade gifts, sometimes food gifts can be tricky. The can have a short shelf life, don’t travel well and sometimes less foodie friends just don’t know what to do with them! This gift however has none of these issues!
Flavoured salt is what I’m talking about. It’s easy to use, just a little sprinkle onto food before serving can really add a little lift to the dish. At this time of the year flavoured salts are often sold as a gift idea in stores at inflated prices, It really is so easy and much cheaper to make your own. Just sea salt, the flavour of your choice, a little jar and you are all set.
I’ve chosen to make lemon salt as the person I have this in mind for cooks a lot with lemons (and I want the leftovers!). This took less than 10 minutes to make. It makes a pretty and thoughtful little gift that lasts a long time and travels well. You can use any sea salt, I used Maldon. Do use organic, unwaxed lemons as you will be using te zest.
- 75 grams (2/3 cup)
- zest of 1 medium-sized lemon
- Pre heat the oven to 180 c, 350 f, Gas 4.
- Mix the sea salt and the lemon zest together. It takes a minute or so to get the zest evenly throughout the salt, turning it a lovely shade of yellow.
- Sprinkle onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and put into the oven for 5 minutes, until the zest looks dry.
- When the salt has cooled put into a jar of your choice.
I recently took part in a Secret Santa food gift swap and have been astounded at the generosity and imagination of the people taking part. I am not really the most imaganitive of people but I am good at following rules so while the package got posted by the date specified it sadly wasnt the most exciting of parcels, I do apologise for that to the recipient! After the event and seeing the many wonderful things others had sent I began looking at more recipes for sweet treats that would survive posting. I came across this recipe from Martha Stewarts Everyday Food. It sounded so good I decided to try it right away. I am a fan of almonds and covering them in the cinnamon sugar coating was good enough for me but then they are covered in chocolate and rolled in cocoa! They really are a “Christmassy” treat. I put 150 grams of the almonds into little bags and tied them with ribbon for handing out with some of my Christmas cards.
The recipe really just works so I havent changed it but I added the word cinnamon into the title as cinnamon is not as popular in the UK as it is in America so I didnt want to surprise anyone with the unwanted taste of cinnamon!
Cinnamon Sugar, Chocolate Covered Almonds (from this recipe)
- 14 ounces whole almonds (unblanched)
- 10 ounces Caster sugar (I use unrefined)
- 2 ounces Water
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 16 ounces Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped
- 6 ounces Cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Put the whole almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until the nuts are toasted. Shake the pan half way through cooking.
- Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Add the sugar, water, cinnamon and almonds to a medium sized saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and turns a golden brown. Tip onto the lined baking sheet and chill in fridge or freezer until hard, around 15 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simering water.
- Line 1 or 2 abking sheets (depending on size) with greasepoof paper. Add the chilled almonds to the chocolate, stirring until all almonds are coated with the chocolate. Tip the almonds onto the baking sheet(s), separate the almonds with a fork and chill until teh chocolate is set, about 5 minutes.
- Some of the almonds will be stuck together and to the paper, break them up.
- Put the cocoa powder into a bowl and add the almonds, tumble the almonds gently in the cocoa until all are covered.
- Shake off excesss powder and store in a tupperware box or put into little bags to give as gifts.