Whatever anyone tells you, making homemade gifts probably won’t save you money, especially if you’re as easily swayed as I am by lovely boxes, bags, bottles and tags! But you’ll get huge points for all the effort, creativity and thought you’ve put in. These easy chocolate puddles are not ‘tempered’ (Google it), which means they need to be kept refrigerated before gifting. They can be topped with whatever you like – dried fruit, seeds, nuts, even broken pieces of pretzels. I used up loads of bits from my cupboard (aftera mammoth granola-making session!), but you’re limited only by your imagination. I like to include at least one salty element to counterbalance the sweetness of the chocolate.
Makes approx 25 x 2.5cm puddles
150g dark chocolate (such as Green & Blacks Dark 70% ), broken into chunks
Mixture of toppings (total weight approx 200g)
For my mixure of toppings I used - raisins, salted almonds, hemp seeds, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, desiccated coconut, dried rose petals and bee pollen.
1. Slowly melt the chocolate, either in the microwave or in a bowl set over, but not touching, very gently simmering water.
2. When the chocolate has totally melted, stir and spoon teaspoonfuls onto a tray lined with baking paper. While still wet, gently top with a combination of toppings on each one.
3. Place in the fridge to set, then put them in a small cellophane bag. The puddles will need to be refrigerated until you gift them.
For a festive feel...
Dried cranberries make a particularly Christmassy topping.
To gift the perfect partner...
Give a bag of puddles with a bottle of delicious Pedro Ximénez sherry. Look out for Noe by González Byass, £19, Waitrose.
Make your puddles in advance. They’ll be fine in the fridge for at least a week.