Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Christmas treats 3: mini Bouches de Noel

The Bouche de Noel is a staple of the Christmas period. Everyone has their recipe, and to everyone that special combination of chocolate and butter tastes like Christmas. My personal favourite is my uncle’s White Chocolate Orange Cranberry Bouche.
These baby ones aren’t as complicated as the big ones, but they are delightful to serve with coffee under the Christmas tree when you have people over for coffee and presents in the Holiday season.

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup dark muscovado sugar
½ cup of sultanas soaked in rum
1 tablespoon crystallised orange skins
200g butter
1 cup dark chocolate chips, which you will melt
3 eggs

Mix all the ingredients together into a doe. Put it in a plastic bag, squeeze it all in a corner and cut the corner.
Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and then squeeze little logs onto it – that is small cylinders of about 1 inch diameter and 4 inches length. Space them out enough so they won’t touch each other when they go in the oven and raise.
Prop the baking tray in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes, then take them out and let them cool. Transfer them on a rack after 10 minutes and wait until they are completely cool.

1 cup milk or white chocolate chips, melted
Christmas sparkles. I like a mix of golden starts and little silver and red dots.

Dip the bouches in the chocolate and put them on the cooling rack for the chocolate to firm up. When it is a bit more firm, you can draw a wood-like pattern on the cylinders with a fork, so it looks like the bark of a tree. Lastly, add some sparkles and ste in the fridge to dry.

These are delicious with eggnog or, for more grown-up parties, with my eggnog Christmas martini.  Drop a tablespoon of eggnog at the bottom of a Martini glass, top it with a shot of coffee liqueur of Bailey’s, a shot of vodka and a shot of cranberry juice. Garnish with a mint leaf or a peppermint stick. 

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