The giving of mishloach manot – gifts of food or drink sent to family, friends and others on the day of Purim – has become increasingly popular, with baskets often filled with home-baked goodies, sweets and chocolates.
Here, our chef Denise Phillips dishes up two delicious mishloach manot ideas to treat your loved ones…
Homemade chocolates are a very special treat, so why not spoil your friends at Purim with a box of these gooey chocolate truffles! Easy to make, the toffee centres just melt in the mouth. This recipe is made in two stages and requires time between each.
Preparation time: 45 mins, plus 2 hours freezing
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
~ 450g/1lb jar dulce de leche caramel toffee
~ 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa) – chopped
~ 2 x 200g bars milk chocolate – chopped
~ 142ml pot double cream
~ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~ About 85g cocoa powder – to coat
1. Make the middles first. Heat the dulce de leche in a pan for one minute until warmed and runny, then stir in the chopped dark chocolate and leave to melt.
2. Stir until smooth. Cover a small oven tray with cling film, oil the cling film well, then tip the mix onto it.
3. Cool, then freeze for two hours or until very firm.
4. Put the milk chocolate into a bowl.
5. Bring the cream to the boil in another pan, then pour it over the chocolate.
6. Leave for two minutes, then add the vanilla and stir until smooth. Cool, then chill until set.
7. Peel the caramel from the cling film, then snip into thumbnail-size pieces (wet kitchen scissors work best).
8. Spread cocoa powder over a large baking tray.
9. Take a heaped teaspoon of the truffle mix; then, with cocoa-dusted hands, poke in a caramel chunk.
10. Squash the mix around the caramel to seal, then roll into a ball.
Poppy seed and lemon curd shortbread flowers
These are tasty biscuits that are sandwiched with lemon curd. The secret to their success is to bake them on a low temperature, so that they baked evenly without overspreading. When they cool, they will harden slightly. They are ideal as a foodie gift for mishloach manot, afternoon tea or a naughty snack!
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins
~ 250g butter
~ 140g golden caster sugar
~ 1 egg ~ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~ Zest of 2 lemons
~ 300g plain flour
~ 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
~ 100g ground almonds
~ 3 tablespoons milk/soya milk
~ 2 tablespoons lemon curd
1. Heat oven to 170°C/350°F/gas 3.
2. Whisk the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, zest and a pinch of salt in a large bowl until smooth, then fold in the flour, poppy seeds and ground almonds.
3. Shape into two rounds, flatten them, then wrap in cling film and chill until firm (about 30 minutes).
4. Roll out one circle of dough on a floured board to approx. 1cm thick. Stamp out the biscuit bases using a 5cm cutter.
5. Brush each base with milk, then blob one teaspoon of lemon curd into the centre of every one.
6. Roll out the remaining dough circle as before and stamp out 2½ cm circles using a fluted or flower cutter.
7. Place the tops on each biscuit and brush with milk.
8. Re-roll any leftover dough to make more biscuits.
9. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.