Friday, December 19, 2008
We don’t celebrate Christmas but as far back as I can remember, we have always had friends and neighbours who do. I remember, as a child, looking forward to the goodies that would be sent over from their houses. Wherever we have lived, apart from celebrating our religious festivals, we have also been a part of festivities in other religions, because of our friends and neighbours who celebrate them.
I still remember Akshaya waiting for Santa to visit and leave her presents and we didn’t have the heart to disappoint her and so played along. We had to convince her that Santa would come in through her bedroom window as we didn’t have a chimney. Apparently her books had stories where Santa always came down the chimney!!
She used to believe in the Tooth Fairy too. Then one day, I found her telling her younger cousin that there was no tooth fairy, but it was better to pretend to continue believing in so or else we would stop leaving money under her pillow in exchange for the tooth!!!
She’s grown up a bit since those days but loves to celebrate any festival/ occasion. And all such celebrations, as a Cliff Richard’s song puts it, are about “a time to rejoice in the good that we see”.
As for the title of this post, there’s a story behind it.
Yesterday was the last day of my daughter’s end term exams and beginning of her Christmas vacation. She wanted to take some home made gifts (food naturally) for her group of friends at school.
After a lot of discussion, Akshaya and I decided that I would bake some Candy Cane Cookies, Snowflake Cookies and make Marbled Chocolate Bark.
Despite the fact that the making the cookies took time and effort, they turned out perfect. But something as simple as chocolate bark (supposedly) just didn’t turn out right for me.
I really have no idea what went wrong but I just had this mass of chocolate full of raisins and nuts. I have melted chocolate so many times now, so I know that the chocolate didn’t seize.
I just didn’t have the heart to throw out such expensive stuff, so I decided to salvage it if I could. I added some butter and cream to the chocolate and stirred it in. Then I poured it out into a rectangular cake tin, allowed it to set and cut it into squares.
And it was a winner. I know, I know, how can anything that’s chocolate, nuts and cream be anything but a winner.
I also know that what came out of this salvaging operation cannot really be called fudge because I didn’t add any sugar to it. But I can’t think of a name for these squares and they are somewhat fudgy in consistency so……….
Here’s the recipe, just in case anyone is interested.
2 ½ cups dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups white chocolate, chopped
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup chopped roasted and slated cashewnuts
½ cup golden raisins
2 tbsp salted butter
100 ml cream (25% fat)
Put the dark and white chocolate in a glass bowl and melt over simmering water or in the microwave. Add the butter and cream and mix well till smooth. Add the raisins and nuts and mix well.
Pour the mixture into a buttered sheet cake tin (mine was 11” by 7”) and allow to set. Mark into squares and refrigerate, if necessary. Then cut into squares and wrap them individually.
In all the excitement that followed this effort, I forgot to count how many squares this recipe made, but I would say it was between 25 and 30.
The bag of goodies that I made for Akshaya’s friends is also my submission to Happy Cook’s Homemade Christmas Gifts. You can also see what other bloggers have been making to gift this Christmas Season at her blog.