Doesn’t Christmas seem a whole world away now that spring is evidently on its way? Shortly before Christmas, Jamie Oliver had a festive special on television and one of his ideas, After 10 Chocolates, really stuck out to me. So often with cookery books or shows the same recipes keep appearing over and over again. Chocolate cookies, treacle tart, Victoria sponge, lemon cupcakes – there are endless recipes in nearly every recipe book you buy. The After 10 Chocolates were really refreshing because it was an idea I hadn’t seen before and hopefully its new to you to!
Flavoured sugar soaking before being arranged in stripes The idea is you roll out a long piece of parchment paper – over a metre. Then you get five or six (although you could do as many flavours as you wanted) bowls and add a small amount of demerara sugar to each. Then you flavour each sugar bowl differently with a few drops of extract – I used almond extract, orange blossom water, lemon extract, rose essence and vanilla extract. These form pastes, and you spread these in separate vertical strips down sections of the paper. You can add non sugar flavourings as well – I did a strip of coffee and a strip of salt. It helps to label the different strips before the best part: going crazy drizzling a whole lot of melted dark chocolate all over the sugars. Write your name, write a secret, draw a picture with the chocolate – it all merges together into one long, lacy piece of chocolate with all the different flavours hidden inside…You can either go Russian Roulette with your chocolate – break it all into shards and jumble them up so nobody knows what flavour they’ll get, or keep all your flavours separate. It is so much fun to make – especially when you’re mixing up the sugars and your kitchen suddenly feels like a science laboratory. Favourite flavours in my family were the rose (although be careful not to add too much as it can become overpowering and taste like strong Turkish delight) and the surprise hit – coffee granules. I think this would be a fun, different talking point at a dinner party instead of normal shop bought mints especially as its so easy to do. You can find Jamie’s proper recipe here, enjoy!