Christmas presents you can cook up in your kitchen
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