Christ­mas presents you can cook up in your kitchen

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GREAT FINDS -

De­li­cious Gifts: Ed­i­ble Cre­ations to Make and Give By Jess Mc­closkey (Ran­dom House Struik) THIS year, I de­cided I would hand­make Christ­mas gifts. Not be­ing much of a knit­ter, sewing whizz or DIY handyper­son, it was al­ways go­ing to come down to ed­i­ble gifts.

And then De­li­cious Gifts: Ed­i­ble cre­ations to make and give by Jess Mc­closkey fell into my hands.

This book has loads of recipes for ed­i­ble treats that are valu­able year-round, and not just at Christ­mas.

With chap­ters on truf­fles and choco­lates, choco­late-cov­ered cake bites, soft treats and can­dies and fudges, the fo­cus is firmly on the sweeter side of things.

How­ever, there are chap­ters on pre­serves, spreads and chut­neys, oils, vine­gars and sauces and other savoury treats for those on your present list who don’t have a sweet tooth.

Some of the savoury recipes came across as slightly bizarre to me – pump­kin spread, ar­ti­choke and spinach spread and pick­led eggs with beet­root did not ap­peal.

There is also a sec­tion on pack­ag­ing the gifts and how to make boxes, with hand-drawn di­a­grams, some of which I found con­fus­ing. It would have been bet­ter if pho­tographs had been used in­stead. But if all else fails, you can buy a box to put your gift into.

The recipes are mostly sim­ple and straight­for­ward, but ob­vi­ously, with good­ies like jams and pre­serves you’ll need time and spe- cialised equip­ment, such as a su­gar thermometer.

The book is not lo­cal, so some of the ingredients may be dif­fi­cult to find. For in­stance, one recipe that had me drool­ing, Dr Chuw’s Marzi­pan Stuffed Apri­cots, calls for whole dried apri­cots, which I’ve never seen lo­cally. There is also a recipe that calls for red­cur­rants, a fruit that may not be easy to find.

The rec­om­mended re­tail price is R160 and the book is also avail­able in Afrikaans as Genotvolle Geskenke. – Bianca Ca­pa­zo­rio

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.