CAKES AND BAKES
Cupcakes, truffles and biscuits make for beautiful gifts. To personalise them, write the recipients name on them with iced filigree: lightly whisk 1 egg white, then add enough sifted icing sugar to make a thick icing. Use a piping bag and fine nozzle to pipe the decoration onto the surface:
Lavender sugar is sublime in desserts, tea, cakes and biscuits and simply unbeatable sprinkled over fresh berries. Whizz a heaped tablespoon of lavender leaves (preferably organic English lavender) with 1 cup sugar and store in an airtight container.
Whizz together 1/2 cup of course salt with up to 1 tablespoon of your favorite dried herbs and spices, either singly or a mixture of several. If you use fresh herbs, the salt should be stored in the refrigerator. Store in pretty jars that you can label with your name.
Preheat the oven to 80ºC. Using a fork, stir a drop of purple food colouring through 220g caster sugar. The sugar will become purple in colour, but must remain dry in texture. Whisk 1 egg white with another drop of purple food colouring. Dip clean, pesticide-free violets first into the egg white then into the sugar. Place on baking paper on an oven tray. Dry in the oven for 1 hour then turn off the heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, place in an airtight container.
Few gifts can beat these meringue rounds sandwiched together with butter icing or ganache (a melted mix of cream and chocolate). Here’s our easy recipe.
Fresh whole-fruit jam is much easier to make than you’d think, and still makes a great personal gift.
Preserves are eternally popular. Especially if they’re home made. Try our delicious fig and pomegranate preserve.