Make a funny and silly but delicious present by shaping this delicious chocolate truffle mixture into the shape of the poo of the recipient’s favourite animal. This recipe will make about 150g of chocolate poo!
You will need:
- 100g of dark chocolate (I would recommend using dark to even the devotees of milk chocolate as dark melts much better than milk and the sugar and crème fraîche does make them sweet and creamy and I reckon they would be very sickly if you were to use milk)
- 15g of butter
- 15g of icing sugar
- 25g of crème fraîche
- 10g of cocoa powder
- An image of your chosen animal poo
What to do:
- Break up the chocolate.
- Heat water in a saucepan, remove from the heat before it comes to the boil. Place a heat proof bowl over the saucepan and add the chocolate and a tablespoon of water to the bowl.
- When the chocolate has melted add the butter and crème fraîche and stir for five minutes.
- Sieve the icing sugar to remove any lumps and add to the mixture with a tablespoon of water.
- Cover the bowl and place in the fridge until it has set a little (allow about four or five hours).
- Using your image as a reference, shape the mixture and roll in cocoa powder.
- Keep in the fridge, I expect they keep well for about a week but they’ve never lasted long enough in our house to find out!
A sweet, last minute gift idea for any child you are seeing on Christmas Eve. This Magic Reindeer Food will guide Father Christmas to their house!
This is an incredibly satisfying and fun way to use up scraps of wool and is perfect for making little gift baskets. These instructions use a flour and water paste but I used PVA glue mixed with water which seemed to work perfectly. I also happened to uses that fluffy wool (which isn’t to my tastes when its knitted) which looks wonderful used like this. I think it would look lovely filled with tissue paper and a few small gifts.
I love this gorgeous design for a brooch made from felt. Its quite easy although does require a lot of patience while waiting for the glue to dry.
This year I’m designing my own wrapping paper using brown paper. This is not the very cheapest option (really cheap wrapping paper does cost less than brown paper) but if you need something more durable brown paper is much cheaper than the better quality wrapping papers. Then simply decorate as you please, try using things that need using up or resources you already have. I made some birthday paper the other day simply by rubber stamping on to brown paper which looks lovely.
But I am creating my Christmas wrapping paper by staining the brown paper with tissue paper and crepe paper and then doodling on it with gold pen.
I happen to have loads of tissue paper which isn’t colour fast. If you place wet (not colour fast) tissue paper or crepe paper onto paper (or any surface) the dye with bleed onto and stain the paper. This could also be done by cutting shapes out of tissue paper and spacing them out.
This year I have made some of this wonderful sounding flavoured vodka, admittedly it isn’t the most economical idea but it still makes a gift that appears worth more than the cost of the components. Further money could be saved by reusing bottles rather than buying them. Unfortunetly it does take six weeks to make but four weeks are spent in the bottle, so could be made to give as a present this year with instructions to leave it for the required amount of time.
I have yet to try mine but it promises to be good!
So as to waste nothing I used the cranberries and orange zest strained from the vodka to make mincemeat, which is delicious!
I have recently developed an (possibly unnatural) obsession with putting things in jars! Notably mincemeat, chutney and flavoured vodka (OK, that was a bottle but it makes little difference). But I also love the idea of putting dry ingredients of different recipes in a jar and I came across loads when searching for homemade gift ideas. Just search for “gifts in a jar” for almost infinite ideas. Below are a selection of ideas I came across which I’ll be trying soon, but this is my idea:
(Pepparkakor is Swedish gingerbread and alliterates with popcorn)
You will need:
- 2 tsp icing sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Cellophane (or baking parchment)
- Gift ribbon
- Small jar
- 100g popcorn
- Fabric or paper (cut into a circle a few centimetres wider than the lid of the jar)
What to do:
- Mix together the icing sugar, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Make a small sachet with the cellophane, place the spice mix in and secure with the ribbon. To ensure the cellophane and ribbon are clean you can wash them by hand just as you would the dishes (although I have a feeling putting them in the dishwasher would not do them any good!).
- Weigh 100g of popcorn into the jar, place the sachet on top and place the lid on the jar.
- Tie the paper or fabric circle to the top of the jar with some more ribbon and attach a label with the following instructions:
1. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a saucepan with a lid.
2. Remove the cellophane sachet from the jar.
3. When the oil is hot, tip in the popcorn and place the lid on.
4. When the popping begins to slow remove from the heat.
5. When the popping has stopped completely transfer to a bowl.
6. Add the contents of the cellophane sachet and mix well.
Cowboy Cookie Mix in a Jar
Gingerbread Mix in a Jar (I’ve seen these in shops which have a gingerbread man cutter tied on with the label and I love the idea)
Hot Chocolate Mix in a Jar
Curried Lentil Soup in a Jar