Homemade rose creams – think pink
What was I thinking of when I gave my sugar-addict 12 year-old daughter a sweet making recipe book for Christmas? Was it a case of displaced present-giving (when you buy something you want for a member of your family)? Or an urge to shop in my comfort-zone (as exhibited by my husband when he bought me a putter for my birthday after I’d had three golf lessons)? Or perhaps nostalgia?
My most avidly read non-fiction when I was 12, was a cook book called ‘How to make sweets’ and I think it was by Marguerite Patten. This plain-looking paperback with no pictures stimulated my childish cooking imagination. I remember talking my lovely Gran into letting me attempt toffee-making in her kitchen but ended up with a treacley mess. Sweet-making is much more difficult than you imagine, especially without the right equipment (a sugar thermometer being top of the list). The fall-back, no-cook recipe that my sister and I made most often were peppermint creams. A dough made of icing sugar bound with egg white, a drop of peppermint essence and some green food colouring, rolled out and stamped into hundreds of little rounds with an apple corer.
My own daughter is much more ambitious than I was and turned browsing into action pretty quickly after receiving the book. I was presented with a long shopping list and the kitchen commandeered until I had to put a limit on the amount that she was allowed to make in one week. I tried to channel this enthusiasm by suggesting a home-made sweet stall at her school Spring Fair which I’ll tell you about some other time.
One of the first recipes she made though, was actually a more luxurious version of our old favourite. Rose creams have a boudoir kind of name and make you want to drape yourself over a velvet chaise longue to nibble one.. or two… or three.
My daughter made these unsupervised by me. She did a good job of making them didn’t she? They would make a superb gift if going out for dinner or just an indulgent treat at home. And if you eschew soft centres in a box of chocolates (like I do – orange creams – yuk) let me tell you these are nothing like. Be warned of their addictive nature (oh and dogs like the look of them too!).
If you have a penchant for pinkness you might like to pop over and visit Sarah at Maison Cupcake who is hosting this month’s Mingle themed ‘Think Pink’ (brainchild of Meeta of What’s for lunch, Honey?
Rose creams – slightly adapted from Life is Sweet by Hope and Greenwood*
Makes 20 rose creams
- 3 tablespoons double cream
- Pink (rose) gel food colouring
- 3 tablespoons rose syrup
- 275g (10oz) icing sugar
- 200g (7oz) good quality,dark chocolate, broken into small bits
- 1 teaspoon groundnut oil
- Place the double cream, a small dab of pink food colouring and the rose syrup into a bowl and mix well. Sift the icing sugar over the cream mixture and stir to combine. Tip the mixture out onto a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar and knead the fondant with your hands until it all comes together in a firm ball (add more icing sugar if necessary). Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Using your hands, roll 20 teaspoon-sized lumps of mixture into balls, then flatten them slightly and place on a plate. Heat 5cm (2in) of water in a pan. Pop a heatproof bowl on top, making sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Place the dark chocolate and the groundnut oil in the bowl and warm until melted. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
- Line a large, flat baking sheet with baking parchment. Carefully take a fondant ball, one at a time, and, using two forks, dip it in the melted chocolate until coated all over. Do this quickly, as you don’t want to melt the fondant. Place the coated fondant ball onto the baking parchment. Leave to cool and set in a cool place.
What were your favourite childhood sweets (or candy if that makes more sense where you live)?