It’s New Year’s Eve today and wanted to make a last post to thank all of you who have become my friends, through our common love, which is blogging, even if we are scattered in the four corners of this small world. With some of you, we’ve met in person and I cherish this friendship even more. Even if we haven’t met, I’ve learned so many things about your culture, food and traditions and have realized over these years what a wonderful thing it is to have love and support from people I have never met but always hope that this day will come in the future. Some of you I’ve lost during the course of the year mainly because I was busy trying to write my cookbooks but also reach my goal of losing weight. I tried hard to visit back, may be not all the times because all your wonderful and delicious recipes were very tempting and I needed to stay away, in order to achieve that goal.
The Christmas holiday period is one of the most difficult of the whole year and is the period I usually used to gain most of my weight. I know I’ve baked a lot but I am trying very hard not to eat too much and after the holidays, I will go back to my healthy eating habits again:)
Like every year, this year as well I’ve made our favourite cookies and desserts. I made a bigger dose for each of our traditional desserts, which part of it, I gave as gifts to friends together with a jar of My Mixed Citrus Ginger Marmalade and Citrus Spoon Sweets.
I made the Marmalade and Fruit Preserves earlier in December, when we visited our house in Nafplion and picked lots of citrus fruit from our trees and this time I experimented using ginger and some other flavours.
I used this Marmalade as well as Citrus Fruit Preserve in some of the desserts I made. I even printed out some labels, which I glued on the jars, dreaming that may be, one day in the future, I could make a business, selling some of these products!!!! Wishful thinking!
As much as we love all these desserts, no matter how many we eat, there are bound to be leftovers. Each year I make something different with the leftovers. One year I dipped the Kourabiedes and Melomakarona in chocolate, another year I used them as a base for cheesecake, last year I used some in a Black Lava Orange Gateau.
Due to the economic crisis in Greece, the new trend in Greece on T.V. food shows and magazines is showing people ways to use their leftovers and save money. I am glad that I was way ahead as I’ve been doing this for years.
As usual, I made Kourabiedes, which are buttery shortbread cookies with almonds, wrapped in icing sugar, Melomakarona, which are olive oil-based cookies, flavoured with orange and traditionally brandy but this year I used an orange liqueur, they are then bathed in a sweet honey syrup and topped with chopped walnuts, (here is an older recipe), I made Amygdalota, which are no bake almond cookies flavoured with orange blossom water (this year I filled them with citrus and bathed them in chocolate, I made my traditional Christmas Cake (this year it had an amazing citrus flavour), I made 2 chocolate cookies using my fruit preserves and marmalade and last but not least, I made Kydonopasto (Quince Paste), using the leftover honey syrup from Melomakarona.
I decided to make truffles using some of the above desserts. Truffles are a good way of using any of your leftover desserts but his was not the reason I made them.
The other day when I had some guests coming over, although I had most of the desserts I mentioned above, I decided to make something new, which would not remind them of the traditional desserts. I know at this time of the holidays, they are probably fed up of eating Kourabiedes and Melomakarona at home but also at any houses they visit. I used a few melomakarona together with lots of leftover walnuts in the platter, some Kourabiedes and a large piece of Christmas cake, which has lots of spoon sweets, nuts, raisins and spices and of course some almond paste and royal icing on top. I crashed and mixed up all these desserts and prepared a ganache which I mixed with the cookies. I then formed them into small balls and finally I rolled some in sifted cocoa and some in different colours of sprinkles.
The taste and flavour was totally something amazing and new, which reminded none of the above desserts. They disappeared in no time as when you try them you surely cannot stop at just one!
Easy Chocolate Truffles from Christmas Leftovers, recipe by Ivy
Cooking time: 10 minutes Preparation time: about 1 hour Makes: about 40
1 large piece of Christmas Cake
200 grams couverture chocolate
1/3 cup milk (or single cream)
1 tbsp butter
40 grams cocoa
½ cup sprinkles
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Add butter and milk (or cream) and mix until smooth.
Crumble the cookies and cake. Add the melted chocolate and mix. If the mixture is too runny crumble some ordinary biscuits or add a couple tablespoons dried breadcrumbs. Set aside for the chocolate to cool for about five minutes.
Meantime sift cocoa and in separate plates add the sprinkles. I used three different kinds.
Using a teaspoon, scrape up some of the mixture and using your hands form mixture into a ball (approximately 3 cm / 1″ diameter) and lay on the plates.
Continue rolling mixture into balls adding some in the sprinkles and some in the cocoa and just roll to coat them. Remove them on parchment paper.
By the time you finish with all, the chocolate will harden.
Wash and dry your sticky hands and reshape them again and place them on a platter.
Note: You can make them with any other leftover cookies or just plain biscuits (see older recipe below) and add roasted nuts, dried fruit, candy etc. If you make them during summer, it is best to refrigerate them before serving.
My best wishes to all of you for Personal Happiness and a Peaceful and Happy New Year,