Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Making Chocolate Truffles by Kitty

This is a very rough guide on how to make chocolate truffles. I have made white chocolate truffles before, but not dark chocolate ones, so this was a trial run as I plan to make some for Christmas presents.

I used a truffle recipe from the BBC Good Food site, just a plain recipe which can be tweaked by adding various flavours.

First you chop up a couple of bars of dark chocolate:

You could whizz the chocolate chunks into finer pieces in a food processor if you like.

Next, heat double cream and the unsalted butter over a low heat in a saucepan:

When the mixture is just about to start simmering, take it off the heat and pour it over the chocolate bits. Mix well to melt the chocolate and combine the ingredients together.

If your mixture looks like mine, don't worry – according to a few recipes, the mixture might look like it has 'split' but it will taste fine. Next step is very important - choose your flavouring. You can use liquid flavourings like orange essence or peppermint oil, or dry like chilli powder. Or you can use a liqueur.

I split the chocolate mixture into two bowls, and added about a tablespoon of alcohol to each bowl. Stir well to mix it in, cover the bowl and leave to chill for a few hours.

A few hours later (or even better, overnight), use a teaspoon or melon-baller to scoop up small amounts of the mixture and shape into balls. Place the truffles onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper (which I couldn't find - tin foil works as well). Once all the mixture has been made into balls, you can roll them in cocoa powder:

I could've done this for hours - it's quite relaxing. Once the truffles are coated with cocoa, leave them on the paper/foil-covered tray to chill again, ideally overnight, so that they firm up nicely again.

I have also just made milk chocolate truffles, and I left out the butter, and they worked just as well.

Before you dash off to have a go at making these gorgeous truffles don't forget to have a look at Kittyballistics Facebook page  where you can see her beautiful pieces of jewellery made from buttons and beads, or read more on her blog here.
Many thanks Kitty.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Market place 16.12.13 - 24.12.13

Friday, December 13, 2013

Riddle Me This 7 - Craft Pimp Weekly Puzzle Treasury

Can you solve the puzzle?  Do you know what connects the treasury items?  For a chance to play in our weekly draw, just solve the link between the items in this treasury by Lynn of Nemeton send her your answer through Etsy and see if you win.
This is just for fun but has proved popular with lots of people playing so join in the fun, anyone can play.

'Riddle Me This 7' by nemeton

CPteam's weekly prize puzzle! When you know what connects these items, convo me with your answer. If you're right, I'll put your name in the hat for a beady prize. Winner and answer will be announced on Monday. Good luck!

Lampwork glass focal glass a...

Black and white doorbells wi...

Tabby Kitty Lampwork Focal B...

I Love The Rain The Most (5 ...

Repurposed Woodland Wool Fin...

English Dresser with 5 shelv...

Apple watercolor pie cake re...

Large Set of Snowflake Chris...

Rose Bud Beads - Lampwork B...

Vintage 60s Empire Waist Whi...

Gold Parcel Glass Christmas ...

Spring Loaded - Farm Gate Cl...

Mayrhofen, Austria snowy mou...

Moon and stars handmade lamp...

Green Horse-Pattern Cushion

SCARF - Grey or White Flying...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Table Decoration by Vic Tierney

A wonderful tutorial from Vic of Cornish Dragon for a totally unique table decoration this Christmas.

Some of you may know that I’m a qualified florist, it was my first job and I still have my box containing oasis, wires, etc. stashed away in my shed. It comes out at Christmas ready for me to wire up pine cones, ribbons and even walnuts for a Christmas decoration or a wreath for my door.
I thought I would share with you how I make up a quick table decoration I will show how to wire up a pinecone and hopefully pass on a few tips and tricks. What you will need is:

A Pot / container, Fresh or artificial foliage, Wet / Dry oasis depending on the type of foliage used, Pinecones, baubles or other decorations and ribbon, Florist’s wire, I recommend a heavier gauge, scissors. 

The pot or container can be anything like a flower pot, drinking glass, even a plate. One thing to consider is if you want to use fresh foliage your container must be waterproof and not leak. I found that the hard way one year with some lovely mini buckets as they leaked like sieves. I have used a flowerpot and put a small plastic dish inside to stop any water from escaping. You will also need some oasis, if you are using fresh foliage you will need a block or round of wet oasis which is a green colour and if using dried or artificial foliage you will need to use the grey brown dry oasis. The oasis may need to be cut to fit your container and the wet oasis will also need to be soaked in water for a while. This will ensure your fresh foliage has plenty of water and won’t wilt too quickly. The oasis can be easily cut with a knife, one thing though the dust is very fine and if it gets in your eyes it can be painful,  I have managed to get both types in my eyes many times.

I used a few pieces of foliage I found in the garden and I had a small tub of decorations I got in a pound shop. The tub had pinecones and baubles inside, to use these they will need to be wired up. The baubles are easy just thread the wire through the hanging hole and twist. With the pinecones you need to thread the wire round and twist, I have shown how it’s done in these three photos. 

When you are ready you can then start to add the foliage to the oasis, I start with a central piece and then the edges and you can then fill in with more foliage mixing it all up to give an interesting texture. The next part is to add in the extra bits like the baubles and pinecones. Mine had a few places where you could see the oasis and I felt it was lacking something so I added some wired up ribbon loops.

There is no wrong or right amount of foliage you can use, just use what you feel looks good. You may feel you don’t need to use the pinecones, etc. or you might want to use something else entirely. I have used walnuts, wired and sprayed gold, cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices in the past. If using artificial foliage like the picks or bunches you can buy, I would cut them apart and wire them up, this will mean you will need less of the picks and the completed decoration won’t look to bulky.  
You can make the decoration as large or as small as you want and it does not need to be just for your table. I have made these a few days before Christmas and kept them outside in the cool to keep them fresh a bit longer and bring them in on Christmas Eve. I have also added fresh flowers like roses, tulips or carnations and given them as a gift.

 Hope you have enjoyed this and I hope you have a Merry Christmas. 

If you enjoyed our tutorial from Vic at Cornish Dragon you might like to visit her shop
or visit her blog
or even see what's new with her on her FB page 
Thanks Vic!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Market Place 8.12.13 - 15.12.13

New goodies from CPF

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Market Place 02.12.13

Monday, November 25, 2013

Market Place 25.11.13