Almond Brittle (v)

Lex wanted me to make peanut brittle. But he doesn’t actually like peanuts… so I managed to talk him out of that and we made this instead. It’s lovely, if a little dangerous for those with brittle teeth to eat..!

For one batch you need:
175g vanilla caster sugar
50g blanched almonds
1 tbsp water

Gently heat the sugar and water in a pan until the sugar has melted. Then keep cooking until it reaches a light caramel stage (or however dark you like it).

Meanwhile lightly toast the almonds. Roughly chop them. When the caramel is at the right stage, stir in the almonds and then tip everything out on to an oiled baking sheet to cool and set. Smash into pieces before serving. It’s nice as a snack or on top of ice cream.

Peppermint and Orange Cremes

Christmas is coming… and so it’s time to make lots of yummy sweet things.

These cremes are very easy and are destined for the present hampers we’re doing this year. Assuming Lex and I don’t eat them all first that is!

You need:

250g sifted icing sugar. It’s really REALLY important to sift it so don’t be lazy like I was one year or you’ll end up with lumpy, bumpy nice tasting gloop.
2 1/2 tsp egg white made with dried egg powder
2 tsp lemon juice (or orange juice for the orange cremes)
1 tsp orange or peppermint flavouring
some food colouring if you wish

Begin by sifting the icing sugar in to a bowl. Then make a well in the middle and add the wet stuff. Mix thoroughly. Don’t be tempted to add more liquid as it is enough. Knead a little until soft (you’re basically making a flavoured, coloured fondant icing). Then roll to about the thickness of a ¬£1 coin. Stamp out shapes and leave them somewhere cool (but not the fridge or they will sweat) to harden a bit. Best tip is to leave them on a cling film lined board.

Florentines

I absolutely adore the Florentines that Betty’s sells. OMG they are seriously divine, but seriously expensive! So when I found a recipe for florentines in Good Food this month I thought I’d give them a go. I couldn’t believe how easy they were, or how good they taste.

The original recipe can be found on the BBC Good Food website but in case they remove it it’s below too…

You need
* 140g light muscovado sugar
* 100g clear honey
* 200g salted butter
* 100g desiccated coconut
* 140g flaked almonds
* 300g glacé cherries , sliced
* 4 tbsp plain flour
* 250g dark, milk or white chocolate , or a mix

Melt the sugar, honey and butter in a pan. Meanwhile slice the cherries. Once the butter mix has melted, add everything other than the chocolate to it and then pour into a lined tin (30x40cms) and bake at 180 for 12 mins (it needs to be golden and bubbly all over). Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Whilst it’s cooling melt the chocolate. Turn the cooked and cooled florentines on to a board lined with more baking paper and then spread the melted chocolate on the back. Leave to set. Then cut into shapes and scoff. Then go to the gym. Lots.

Next time I make them I will omit the coconut I think and add some peel to make them more like Bettys ones. But these are pretty good!