Pinterest Christmas Crafts

I did a lot more gift crafting in 2015... Some were tailor-made for people and one idea in particular came from Pinterest, and that one I wanted to do for months and was glad for the excuse to make it.

Terry's Chocolate Orange Christmas Pudding

So this was my Pinterest spot and I was longing to make it. I decided I was going to make 5 of them (yes I was cocky and confident) for friends and family. Here's my chocolate pud making experience with some handy tips thrown in...

Step 1: Buying the chocolate

So I went off to The 99p Store (because that extra penny saved from Poundland makes a difference!) and brought all my maltesers. I have never seen a chocolate orange in any of the 99p/£1 shops, so next it was off to Tesco to get those, some milk and white chocolate for melting and then some icing for the decoration.

I can't really tell you how many boxes of maltesers you'll need as an amount of them ended up in my mouth... one also made it onto the floor and I still haven't found it. It's about a box and a half per orange, my five ended up using seven boxes... on a separate note the recycling men are going to think I had an emotional breakdown over Christmas with the amount chocolate boxes in the crate.

Step 2: Sticking the chocolate

Once you've melted some chocolate you need to let it cool a bit. You can stick the maltesers on with the hot melted chocolate but it takes an age for them to stick enough to do the next one. If you start with one in the dimple and then work around it you get quite a good coverage. The three oranges in the back of the pictures above are the first phase of sticking. Once you get to that point (single malteser surrounded by two circles) let them sit for a while. After 20 minutes or so turn them over and you can complete the malteser ball. Put them in the fridge for 30 minutes and then take them out and leave them in a cool place.

Step 3: More melty chocolate

After they've come out of the fridge you'll probably want to turn them upside down. You won't be able to get a perfect coverage so put the section with gaps between the maltesers on the bottom.

I would also note that at this point my whole house smelt of chocolate, and that should be a wonderful thing... it was horrible... it was traumatising... I didn't want to eat chocolate again. That only lasted for about three days, but after Christmas it's pretty much back on again!

To create the snow on the top you need to melt a bar of white chocolate. Once I'd done that I worked out that the easiest way to cover the tops was to spoon on three teaspoons right at the top and then "push" it out to drip over the edges. Before you do that it might be wise to leave it too cool slightly if you want thicker snow.

Make sure you put the puds on something easy to clean as the melted chocolate will in all likelihood go everywhere.

After the snow is on, put them back in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take them out and leave them in a cool place. You might not be able to tell from the picture but I used a plastic cake container to store them. A large one was just the right size for five, so I kept them sealed in it between chocolate adventures.

Step 4: Decorating the puddings

The puddings I saw on Pinterest had holly leaves made out of coloured royal icing and berries that were smarties... but I couldn't face any more chocolate to get ten red smarties... and buying a slab of coloured icing to make five or ten leaves seemed wasteful.

Tescos have quite a good baking section and I was hoping that as it was Christmas they'd have some pre-made icing shapes as they often do. I would imagine somewhere like Hobbycraft or a specialist baking shop might. Not finding any I looked at my options and instead picked a pack of bright coloured pipeable icing. They're not actually very easy to use, even if they were handy and cheap... but when needs must!

So that's five complete Terry's Chocolate Orange Puddings... an excessive amount of chocolate in one pudding sized ball. A perfect Christmas gift for people who you exchange small gifts with but don't know what to get them.

These don't look too bad compared to the picture I found originally! Add some cellophane, ribbons and tags and you have a fantastic home made gift!

Other Christmas Crafts

Apart from my Christmas tree decorations I decided to craft other bits. We had a crafty secret santa at work and I painted some Star Wars themed Russian dolls. I have a horsey friend who I painted a jigsaw rocking horse into a reindeer for (there are some pipe cleaner antlers not featured in the picture below too). The last picture was actually a friend's birthday present back in July, it felt very Bristolly to give her a Shaun the Sheep, and he needed a girly makeover.


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