Sunday, 11 January 2009
I love to give people home made treats as gifts. I like to be able to say "I made that" and I also like feedback from them too. I made small gift bags of treats for a few friends that came over on Christmas Eve. Along with a large chunk of the tea loaf featured in this post, they got small bags of chocolate fudge and coconut ice.
I love fudge. The chewy and sweet squares of extreme dairyness never fail to comfort me. Having done a little research it seems that in the US fudge is made with chocolate whereas over here in the UK fudge is generally flavoured with just a little vanilla or left plain. Scottish tablet is also plain in flavouring but doesn't have the chewyness of fudge. It's a crumbly sweet treat that is traditional and holds fond memories for many people.
This fudge is none of the above. It's a simple combination of icing sugar, cream cheese and chocolate and while it doesn't really resemble the dairy filled fudge of my dreams it is still quite delicious. It's very simple and this batch made enough for 5 small gift bags with a little left over.
Coconut ice evokes similar warm feelings within me. My dad loves coconut ice and it reminds me of him so much. This simple super-sweet confection has a good coconut flavour and a lot of texture from the coconut. It's really easy to make and again makes enough for about 5 small gift bags.
I found the following recipes in a book called "Chocolates and Sweets to Make" by Rebecca Gilpin. It's a kids book but that just makes things more fun!
Easy Chocolate Fudge
75g full-fat cream cheese
350g icing sugar
1tbsp cocoa powder
75g plain chocolate
1. Grease and line a 15cm square tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Put the cream cheese into a bowl and sift in the icing sugar and cocoa. Mix together well (Note: this can tak a while but persevere!)
3. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler and stir in a tbsp of the cream cheese mixture.
4. Pour the chocolate into the the cheese mixture and beat them together until creamy.
5. Spoon the mixture into the tin and push it into the corners (you may need to use your fingers). Smooth with the back of a spoon and place in the fridge for 2 hours or until firm.
6. Turn the fudge onto a chopping board and cut into squares. Let the squares harden in the fridge for a further 2 hours and store in the fridge in an airtight container.
2 egg whites mixed from dried egg white (according to package instructionss)
450g icing sugar - sifted
175g desiccated coconut
1. Grease and line an 18cm tin with greaseproof paper.
2. In a large bowl, stir the egg whites with a fork until frothy. Stir in 2 tbsp of the sugar.
3. Add the rest of the sugar a little at a time until all combined.
4. Add the coconut and water and stir to mix everything well.
5. Spoon half the mixture into the prepared tin and press down with your fingers.
6. Add a few drops of food colouring inti the rest of the mixture in the bowl and stir until coloured evenly.
7. Spoon the dyed mixture on top of the white layer and leave to set overnight. Cut into squares and leave those to harden for two hours. Store in an airtight container.