Be naughty, you can get away with it now...

Christ­mas Pud­ding Rum Balls

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FOOD AND DRINK - (Makes 12-18 balls, de­pend­ing upon their size) Tip: Gift it: Claire Spreadbury

CHRIST­MAS is the one time of year when we don’t have to feel guilty for stuff­ing our faces with sweet treats. But for Martha Swift, co-founder and now sole owner of Prim­rose Bak­ery, which she set up more than a decade ago, sug­ary in­dul­gence takes place ev­ery sin­gle day.

“I have a very sweet tooth,” she says with a twin­kle in her eye. “Per­haps it’s no sur­prise I ended up start­ing Prim­rose Bak­ery, be­ing able to make and try cup­cakes, cakes, bis­cuits and many other things all day long.

“Around Christ­mas, my shops are dec­o­rated with lots of fes­tive dec­o­ra­tions, both edi­ble and non-edi­ble, in­clud­ing our cute, dec­o­rated ginger­bread sausage dogs, in hon­our of my sausage dog Charlie, who’s sort of the bak­ery mas­cot and pops up in our shops and books.”

Swift’s new book - the bak­ery’s fourth pub­li­ca­tion - is burst­ing with de­li­cious eats for the fes­tive sea­son. From sickly sweet but ubertempt­ing cup­cakes, to de­li­cious desserts and showstoppers Mary Berry would be proud of.

“It was a plea­sure to write Prim­rose Bak­ery Christ­mas,” says the 45-year-old mum of two. “I hope the recipes are both plea­sur­able and straight­for­ward to make at home, and also for all of us at the bak­ery, to make and sell in the two shops. There’s al­ways a great at­mos­phere in the lead up to Christ­mas, and ev­ery­one seems a lit­tle bit more ex­cited and happy than usual.

“I’m not a huge lover of the clas­sic Christ­mas desserts, but I re­ally love choco­late, so my Christ­mas Day al­ways fea­tures a lot! I’ll be mak­ing a Dark Choco­late

nd Fresh Mint Truf­fle Tart for my mum and I, and then per­haps the Oreo Choco­late Chip Cook­ies for y two daugh­ters,” she adds. “In hon­our of the clemen­tines at were al­ways in the toe of my hrist­mas stock­ing, the Cle­men­tine ake With Greek Yo­ghurt Ic­ing ould make a de­li­cious dessert for pre-Christ­mas din­ner party. “All I can say is hurry up hrist­mas, so I can start mak­ing nd eat­ing all th­ese things!”

Tempted? Try this from Prim­rose ak­ery Christ­mas recipe at home...


200g dark choco­late (70% co­coa

solids), bro­ken into small pieces 175ml dou­ble cream 5tbsp rum Co­coa, finely crushed nuts, or

sprin­kles, to fin­ish Sugar holly dec­o­ra­tions or real

holly, to dec­o­rate


Cover a bak­ing tray tightly with two

lay­ers of cling film. Tip the choco­late into a bowl. Put the cream in a pan and bring to the boil, but only just, then pour over the choco­late and stir un­til it has melted. Add the rum and mix it in. Al­low the mix­ture to cool at room tem­per­a­ture un­til set. Us­ing a melon baller or tea­spoon, di­vide the mix­ture into 12 por­tions. Dust your hands with ic­ing sugar, to stop the mix­ture stick­ing, and roll the pieces into balls. Roll them in the sifted co­coa, crushed nuts or sprin­kles and place them on the pre­pared tray. Dec­o­rate the rum balls with holly sugar dec­o­ra­tions, or real holly, if you wish.

To make a non-al­co­holic ver­sion, the rum can be sub­sti­tuted with one to two tea­spoons of vanilla, pep­per­mint, co­conut or orange ex­tract. If you do this, make sure you in­crease the amount of dou­ble cream to make up for the liq­uid you have lost by not us­ing the rum.

Pack­age th­ese care­fully, not al­low­ing them to touch each other - or any­thing else - too much, and eat soon after pre­par­ing and giv­ing. Store any un­eaten rum balls in the fridge.

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