Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Party #2

Last night I was invited to dinner at Siobhan's house. Every Wednesday 12 of us play tennis and retire to the bar afterwards for a drink and a gossip. Siobhan invited all 12 of us plus two girls who regularly sub for drinks, dinner and fun. The evening started off with a couple of glasses of fizz with nibbles including smoked salmon on brown bread, vegetables and dips and crackers and bread served with the most delicious pate. Mary, who brought the pate, was accosted by most of us wanting the recipe and had to admit that she had bought it in Cavistons, a local deli.

Next we sat down to a delicious dinner of chicken pieces cooked in a spicy sauce, jacket potatoes and steamed vegetables. This was followed by yummy desserts of chocolate roulade or (or in my case and) individual meringues with chocolate. This was all washed down with a never ending supply of wine.

Suddenly the lights went out and Vivienne emerged with a plate holding a snow covered Christmas tree with a sparkler on top. It was beautiful. When the light came on we could see that it was constructed from plain chocolate. It was delicious to break bits off to nibble with our coffee (or tea).

Today I decided to recreate the tree to bring to my parents-in-law tomorrow as we are having our Christmas lunch there because we will be away for Christmas. Vivienne made her tree from melted dark chocolate mixed with nuts and raisins. As there will be lots of children at lunch tomorrow I decided to make some branches with dark chocolate, nuts and raisins and some branches purely from milk chocolate. I don't have any sparklers so stuck a star on top. I melted the chocolate in the microwave, I used 250g of both milk and plain. I stirred in a handful of nuts and a handful of raisins into the dark chocolate. Using a teaspoon I dribbled the chocolate into the branch shapes making lots of different sizes. I allowed the chocolate to set a little then added more chocolate to make the branches thicker. Once the branches had set I melted some more chocolate to 'glue' each branch together. I finished the tree off by sifting some icing sugar over it.
Simple but effective.


sallywrites said...

Nice tree - and I know you said it was simple, but looks like lots of work. Is it not?

Bet it tastes good though and great idea for decorating the Christmas table.


Sam said...

beccy - that's fantastic - please can you nip over here and cater my christmas eve soiree for me?

ChrisB said...

Beccy this is very clever they will love it have a lovely time at Marie's. Please will you ask her if she got the photos I sent.

Beccy said...

It really is simple Sally, my only advice would be to let the chocolate harden a little before making branches as it splodges everywhere but don't forget about it and let it get too hard (as I did with the last of the dark choc)!

Sam I'd love to come and be catered for!

The great thing about this is the branches can be made days in advance and constructed when needed.

Mum I could make one for us if you get the ingredients.

ChrisB said...

What a good idea but you will need to give precise ingredients i.e. how much choc etc. email me before I go shopping tomorrow;that's if you are awake after your night out!!!!!

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