Handmade gifts go a long way
Give the sweater and socks the sack and go DIY this Christmas. DIY gifts are thoughtful, fresh and uniquely you. Easy to make presents include biscuits, soap, sauces, calendars, scrubs, recipe books and art. But let’s start with everybody’s favourite: chocolate. TRUFFLES Truffles are easy to make and wrapped in a cellophane bag or presented in a tin box with a personalised tag, they’re a great gift for any chocoholic or gourmand. 100ml milk cup ground coffee beans 1kg dark chocolate buttons 250ml cream 50g butter 1 heaped tbsp glucose 30ml rum 70g cocoa Bring milk and coffee to a simmer in a saucepan. Strain through a coffee filter or clean tea towel. Melt 500g of chocolate and place in a large bowl. Bring coffee-infused milk, cream, butter and glucose to the boil and pour over chocolate. Add rum and stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny. Pour into a container and set in the fridge. Use a teaspoon to shape into balls and place on a tray. Freeze. Melt remaining chocolate. Cover a tray with the cocoa. Using your fingers, coat truffles with chocolate and drop onto cocoa so that they don’t touch each other. Agitate tray so that truffles roll around and become covered in cocoa. Store in an airtight container with excess cocoa on top in the fridge. Makes about 100. SOAP You can make a bunch of bars in one go for useful, sweet smelling gifts. You’ll need: Boiling pot Molding trays Mixing boil Wooden spoon Electric mixing wand
Wax paper (required if using a wooden molding tray to prevent soap from sticking when hardened) Rubber / cooking gloves Plus ingredients. Green Organics takes you through the process step-bystep. RECIPE BOOKLET Lifestyle doyenne Martha Stewart suggests making a personalised booklet of your favourite recipes, accompanied by a sweet sample, for a gift that will be appreciated for years.
CREATE YOUR OWN CALENDAR
You can buy a blank calendar (Kikki-k does a smart, plain one) and then personalise it with your own photos, drawings, messages or prints.
A simple idea that lasts throughout the year.
DO IT YOURSELF: Try making gifts this year.