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Recipe: Make and gift our caramel vodka truffles and savoury mince pies

PUBLISHED: 10:58 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:58 18 December 2017

Christmas food shoot with Charlotte Smith Jarvis. Savoury Pies.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Christmas food shoot with Charlotte Smith Jarvis. Savoury Pies. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Our savoury mince pies and caramlised vodka truffles are perfect presents for the person who has everything.

Christmas food shoot with Charlotte Smith Jarvis.  Chocolate truffles.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChristmas food shoot with Charlotte Smith Jarvis. Chocolate truffles. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

What do you give the person who has everything at Christmas? Or those pesky relatives who say they don’t need anything? We say a homemade gift will always go down a treat.

So here are two recipes perfect for making and gifting this festive season. Just try not to eat them all yourselves!

Nelson’s Gold truffles

(makes 40)

For the chocolate lover in your life. These easy French-style truffles have a smooth, silky texture and just enough booze to let you know it’s there without knocking you sideways. I’ve used Norfolk-made Nelson’s Gold, but if you can’t get hold of it I’d recommend using Adnams Spirit of Broadside..or even a bit of Baileys. They’re best eaten within a week of making.

Ingredients

300g dark chocolate (70% solids), chopped finely

280ml double cream

6tbsps Nelson’s Gold (or other spirit)

50g unsalted butter

Pinch salt

Melted chocolate or cocoa to coat

Method

They couldn’t be simpler. Heat the cream in a pan until it just begins to simmer. Take off the heat and add the chocolate, butter, salt and booze. Stir until smooth and thick. All the chocolate should melt. Line a roasting tray and pour in the mix. Place in the fridge to chill for an hour or so. Roll into truffles the size you’d like (I dust my hands with cocoa first) then chill again before coating as you like.

Savoury mince pies

(makes 12)

I’ve got several friends who hate mince pies but love a cheese scone or cheesy biscuit and these pies were a way of keeping everyone happy. I Candi’s Chutney’s Norfolk-made Bramley Ale and Norfolk Ale chutney which has a lovely tang and isn’t gloopy at all. Candi’s onion chutney would be perfect too.

Ingredients

1 pack all butter shortcrust pastry

1 jar chutney

1 onion, finely chopped

175g strong cheddar, grated

175g chunky white breadcrumbs

1 medium egg

2tbsps milk

1/2tsp fresh ground black pepper

Splash Worcestershire sauce

1tsp mustard powder

1tsp vegetable extract

Oil for frying

Flour for rolling

1 egg for glazing, beaten

Method

Fry the onion in a little oil until softened. Place the onion in a bowl and add the cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, pepper, mustard powder, vegetable extract and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Combine well.

Heat the oven to 200C.

On a floured surface roll out the pastry to about 2-3mm thick and cut circles big enough to line a 12 cup cupcake tin. Line the tin with the circles. Place about ½ teaspoon chutney at the bottom of each (more if you like) and spoon in filling to just about fill each pie.

Roll out the remaining pastry and cut to fit the tops of the pies. Press the lids on top and use any leftover pastry to make shapes which you can ‘glue’ to the pies with a little water or milk.

Glaze with the beaten egg and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden. I usually let them cool in the tin for a while then remove them to a tray and bake them for a further five minutes for a crisp bottom.

Lovely served warm.

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