Category: Gifts

Stick it, hang it, tag it

A classic case of things not turning out quite how they were meant to this week. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, but my housemates managed to cajole me into embracing the rustic charm of these makes nonetheless. By the end I managed to accept them as ‘not too bad after all’ and the lack of precision means that they would be a great little craft for kiddies as the winter creeps in.

With Christmas decorating just around the corner these guys are a great finishing touch as tree decorations, tags on presents and for card making. They are cheap to make and are cute little token gifts for the people you love, or at least those you like enough to want to give them something, but not enough to actually apply yourself to Christmas shopping.


You will need

A block of FIMO modelling clay

Shape cutters

Festive string or ribbon

Acrylic paint and a small paint brush

Alphabet cookie stamp, I go this from Tiger recently (or regular stamps might work)

A paperclip


Step one

Roll the FIMO out into a thin sheet, about 2-3mm thick.

I learned a few things here. Greaseproof paper is not the easiest thing to roll this out onto, a clean surface would be better. Roll the FIMO into a ball with your hands first to warm it up a bit as it will be easier than just rolling straight onto the block. Dust will get into the FIMO so easily, it picks up EVERYTHING, so make sure you wipe your rolling pin and surface carefully.


Step two

Cut out a variety of shapes. Re-roll and keep cutting until you have used all the FIMO. It’s surprising how many you get in the end out of such a small block.


Step three

Stamp the names of your nearest and dearest into the shapes. I found that words longer than four letters were problematic. I employed some creative shortenings, although my housie Marianne was not impressed with Matz as her new nickname. It will depend on the sizes of your cutters, but you might want to do initials or words like ‘love’, ‘joy’ and ‘noel’ if there’re some long names knocking about.


Step four

Using a cocktail stick or bent out paperclip make a hole at the top for the hanging. Wiggle the stick about in a circular motion to make sure the opening is big enough for your string or ribbon.

I then made dots all around as an edging with a paperclip.


Step five

Place on greaseproof paper and onto a tray. Bake in the oven on 100C/200F/gas mark 1 for about 30 minutes. I guessed because the packet provides zero instructions, other than to not heat it above 130C. You can tell by picking them up as they start to feel less soft and a bit lighter as they cook.


Step six

Using very watery acrylic paint, brush over the letters and the edging. Quickly dab away the excess with some clingfilm to create a rustic look.



Use one: Tie up with a couple of trimmings from the garden, maybe a button/pom pom/little bell like mine. Tie with the string around a gift wrapped in brown paper.


Use two: String up and hang from a jug of twigs or your Chrimbo tree.


Use three: Make mini ones with initials and create a simple Christmas card with a piece of wash tape and brown card.




Guten Tag friends! This week’s blog post is inspired by a lovely German tradition that warmed my little heart when I was told about it.

A few weeks ago I was sent these photos of a very beloved little boy; you might remember way back when we helped him make birthday party invites? Well, about 18 months later and it was the first day of school for our young sir.


What is that thing he’s holding I hear you cry? My exact response, and I didn’t have the benefit of seeing the contents like you guys at first. Well, I’m reliably informed that in Germany children get a Schultüten on their first day of school, a cone full of lovely treats. The best part is that sometimes adults get a mini version for their first day at a new job. Cute or what?!

I considered making myself one for my new job a few weeks ago, but that is mildly tragic. Thankfully, to rescue me from celebrating myself in that slightly embarrassing way, my friend Matt (who also happens to be Vicky’s husband) managed to land himself one starting this week, yay Matt. Enter Katie and her Schultüten.

By the way, I did take some of these truffles into work myself, and to brag not to brag, but one of my new colleagues described them as “chocolates worthy of a transcontinental move”. I may have asked her to workshop her review a little until we got to that point, and in return I will probably end up making some for her to give her boyfriend to encourage such a move.

Moving on. From THE LONGEST introduction to any blog post ever, I really shouldn’t write these tired.


You will need

For the truffles:

400g/14 oz milk chocolate

400g/14 oz white chocolate

180ml/6 fl oz double cream

Caramel flavouring (I swear by Natural Professional Flavours – buttery caramel)

(makes up to 40 truffles)

For the cone:

Nice quality wrapping paper (I got mine from Foyles if you’re in the UK)

Tissue paper (preferably a colour that doesn’t clash with your choice of paper)


Double sided tape


Step one

Melt 200g of each chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.


Step two

Add 1 tsp or so of the caramel flavouring (you can use other brands of flavouring by the way, a lot of supermarkets offer a caramel flavour now).

This is really just a great excuse to taste test the melted chocolate until you’re happy with it. It’s ok if this takes a few spoonfuls, being a perfectionist is a good thing.


Step three

Remove the chocolate from the heat and stir in the cream until fully combined. You will probably need to leave this to set for a while.

Leave it on the side if you have time, the fridge if you’re slightly hurried, or even the freezer if you’re desperate to take photos for your blog in the fading natural light (thanks winter).


Step four

Once the mixture is pipe-able, lay out a sheet of cellophane or greaseproof paper and pipe out evenly sized blobs (yes, that’s the technical term). They need to be about, well, truffle sized, whatever that means to you pal.


Step five

Leave to set, you can put them in the fridge if you want to.

They look appetising, don’t they?


Step six

With clean and cold hands (clue: wash them under the cold tap). Squash the piped shapes a little with your fingers and roll into a ball between your palms.

You will probably need to wash your hands a few times as you go as they will start to melt as your hands warm up.

I then put mine back in the fridge while I melted the chocolate for coating.


Step seven

Melt the remaining white and milk chocolate separately and pour simultaneously into a small, deepish container or bowl. This is to get a marbled effect on the outside, but you could always stir them together if you don’t fancy the look of that.

Using either a plastic fork with the middle prongs taken out, or the end of a metal kebab skewer, dip the truffle centres in the chocolate.


Step eight

Repeat until you’re out of truffles. Leave to set. This time, don’t shortcut with the fridge, you want them to set at room temperature so that they don’t melt at room temperature.


Step nine

Put the leftover dipping chocolate in a piping bag and drizzle over the truffles.

Put the remaining melted chocolate in your mouth with a spoon. Or just pipe it straight in there.


Step ten

Cut open a piping bag so that it lies flat and use it as a template to cut round. Add a little extra on one side for overlap, and snip the pointy end off the bottom so it’s flat.


Step eleven

Cut three or four sheets of tissue paper to the same shape, but add another 10 cm to the top.

Tape the straight edges of the tissue to the wrong side of the wrapping paper.


Step twelve

Fold back the top of the tissue paper on the large curved edge. Place double-sided tape around the edge and fold the tissue back over so that it is stuck the whole way round the top.


Step thirteen

Use another strip of double-sided tape down the straight edge to roll the paper into a conical shape. You should have something like the below.


Step fourteen

Fill another piping bag with truffles and place in the cone, or Schultüten, and tie up the top with a piece of ribbon.





If you go down to the woods today…

This weekend saw the baby shower of a rather lovely lady by the name of Anna. You may (but probably won’t) remember us celebrating Anna’s hen party a while back, well now she’s about to pop a sprog would you believe?

Anna is a rather large fan of gnomes. Yeah, that was my reaction too, but you learn to embrace it after a while…she’s very endearing that way. Well, our friend Taylor (party planner extraordinaire and all round kindred spirit when it comes to carrying things out to obsessive levels of detail) decided to throw Anna a woodland themed shower. I know right? Cute. I totally took my camera and promptly forgot to take photos of all the lovely things; gingerbread fawns, woodland creature bunting, sausage roll snails and toadstool cupcakes to name just a few.

Anyway, other than baking some little flowerpot grassy gnome type cupcakes, I decided my contribution would be to carry the theme into my present and make a small selection of woodland characters to entertain baby upon her arrival into the world.

So here’s how to make your very own arsenal of woodland animal finger puppets, with a downloadable template of course.


You will need

Felt (for the patterns I have provided you need brown, beige, white, black, grey and orange)

Thread in corresponding colours

A needle

This free downloadable template


Step one

This is entirely optional. If you want to draw your own characters (or expand on the set I’ve provided) You will need to draw out a few designs. I used a deodorant can lid and a ruler to keep basic shape of my characters consistent.

If you want to cheat you could just trace the shape off the printable and add your own features to it.


Step two

Cut out all the shapes in the relevant coloured felt.


Step three

Sew on the faces, I just used simple stitches overlapping them for the noses and just a little line of backstitch for the mouths. No fancy embroidery techniques here.


Step four

Edge all the remaining features/bits of fur with blanket stitch (see below). You will notice that for the fox I sewed the tummy fur straight onto the puppet but left the cheeks separate to glue on later. With the badger I sewed his cheeks straight on because they followed the shape of his face and I just found it less logistically challenging somehow.


Step five

Blanket stitch the back and front of the puppet together. Utilising the memory bank of primary school sewing club for me, thanks Mrs Gothard, nailed it.

You basically need to put the needle through the felt at the height you want your stitching, and as you pull the thread through catch the loop so that it is held at the top. I’m sure the youtube can furnish you with a useful tutorial if my description and photos fail to do the job.

You need to include the ears as you go round, I just came back through at the top of the first stitch so my loop was on top of the felt to keep the effect going. I know, I wouldn’t understand that explanation either.


Step six

By this point if you’ve managed to follow any of my hapless instructions you will have yourself a blind little fox. On second thoughts, maybe we should have just started with the hedgehog.


Step seven

It’s ok to cheat. Just glue his eyes and fluff on, pop him over a fork or something just to make sure the glue doesn’t soak through and seal him shut.


Step eight

Make your fox some furry little friends.


Carved from stone

Now then, let me tell you about an ongoing battle between two of my favourite people. Beth is a responsible and considered little person who takes a great deal of care over her things. As a result, everything she owns looks brand new and nothing ever gets broken. Amy, whilst she’s not exactly going round throwing her stuff at walls, is the type to put her fingers on your computer screen and is totally incapable of keeping a case on her iPhone. It won’t surprise you to learn this drives Beth to distraction.

A few months ago, Amy, to our disbelief, actually bought a case for her phone. However, when it came to unpacking it unfortunately she found it didn’t fit. Unsurprisingly, it has not been replaced, but I felt quite sorry for her; she’d finally done what she was told and was not rewarded for her efforts.

Meanwhile I was being berated by another friend (David) for choosing a practical, but admittedly rather ugly case for my own phone. I had also been admiring the various uses of the nail varnish marbling effect on Pinterest. All this to tell you that today I made myself and Amy phone cases.


You will need

A white phone case to fit your phone (easily found on the internet for less than £5)

A tray or tub that’s disposable

Nail varnish (try to avoid quick drying brands – I only had quick drying ones so it is possible without but you have less control over the look as it sets quicker)

Cocktail sticks

Warm water

Acetone (only if you have serious perfectionism problems like me)


Step one

Fill your tray with warm water and de-cap your nail varnishes. You need to work quite quickly so have everything ready to go.


Step two

Drop a couple of drops of your chosen colours on the surface of the water. I used small quantities of nail varnish because I like the translucent effect. If you want a more opaque look and more time to play with your pattern use more varnish.

It will spread out quite nicely on its own, but I had a little swirl with a cocktail stick but it dried fairly quickly.

Step three

Dip your phone case face first into the water. be sure to completely submerge it so that the sides are coated too.


If you don’t like your design you can remove it with acetone and a make up wipe. I didn’t like the original colours I chose to put together, so I started again.

You will also notice that the one in the gif wasn’t my final design, forgive me, there was a gap in it I didn’t like. I later learned this is easy to cover with another thin layer using the same technique, making sure you line it up over the gap.

DISCLAIMER: this may only work with certain cases. The one I bought for my phone (above) was very forgiving, I am fairly sure I could do this limitlessly. However, Amy’s was a hard case (mine was flexible) and it was already coated in some white varnish, which the acetone was not kind to.

If you love your design, you might consider some mod podge or spray adhesive to seal it. I’m going to leave mine and redo it when I get bored.



Until next time friends. xx

Smelling of roses

Friends, I am sorry. I have definitely become a little lax on the blogging front. Too busy having fun recovering from the craziness of the last few weeks and, of course, the joys of job hunting.

So back to business as usual on fabrefaction this week, no more cupcakes for a while, and as far as I know, no more hen parties. I’m sure I will find something else to do a little series on soon though.

I actually did make this rose and vanilla sugar scrub from the left over flowers from Vicky’s hen party, so it’s not entirely true that we are leaving it behind. My advice is not to make this too far in advance if you’re gifting it as the petals did discolour a little.


You will need

500g/1lb 2 oz granulated sugar (3 cups)

120ml/4 fl oz baby oil (1/2 cup)

4 roses

1-2 vanilla pods

1tsp rose extract



Step one

Remove the petals from the roses and spread them out over a surface you won’t need to use for a couple of days, maybe a tray or something so you can move them about with ease.


Step two

Allow the petals to dry for at least two days until the moisture has gone.


Step three

Using a sharp knife, chop the petals into small pieces.


Step four

Chop the vanilla pods up. Mine had hardened as they were fairly old so I just did it this way to add to the exfoliating feel and make it easier for myself. If yours are still soft you could slice them down the middle and scrape the beans out instead.


Step five

Stir together the sugar, petals and vanilla.


Step six

Add the rose extract/essence and the baby oil. Stir together until fully combined.


Step seven

Fill whatever pot you’re using and you’re ready to go!




Ta, Ma.

Apparently when I think Mother’s Day blogging I think fudge. It’s a good thing my mum likes fudge. What’s that? You didn’t realise Mother’s day was so soon? I know, right? Me neither. It’s this Sunday for those of you in GB, the rest of you should check your calendars, this is the sneakiest holiday of the year.

This is a super super easy way to make a treat for your Ma. It’s not like the last fudge recipe I posted, which while being totally delicious I’d wager none of you actually made. Well there’s no boiling sugar or a thermometer required for this one, and barely any cooking at all.

You might need to cut this recipe by half or even more, it makes quite a large batch for just one mummy to eat. It can be frozen.


You will need

600g/1 lb 3 oz White chocolate (yeah, this is serious stuff)

397g Condensed milk (1 can basically)

125g/4.5 oz Cranberries

85g/3 oz Mini marshmallows

25g/1 oz Dark chocolate

Other decorations (I used silver balls and freeze dried raspberries because that’s what I had, but any manner of nuts and dried fruits would be acceptable, even as a substitute for the marshmallows and cranberries)


Step one

Break the white chocolate into chunks and place in a pan with the tin of condensed milk.

Melt together on a low heat. Once you have a smooth fudge-like mixture, remove from the hob.


Step two

Add two thirds of the cranberries and marshmallows, stir to combine.


Step three

Drop the mixture into a brownie tin lined with greaseproof paper. Push into the corners with the back of a spoon and even the top out a bit.


Step four

Sprinkle the remaining cranberries, the silver balls and freeze-dried raspberries on top and push down slightly so they stick.

The alternative would be to swap this step with the next one so they stick to the chocolate (this would probably also look nicer because you would actually be able to see them rather than hiding them with a load of dark chocolate…). I make the mistakes so you don’t have to.


Step five

Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave and drizzle over the fudge. Sprinkle the remaining marshmallows on top. I had a bit of dark chocolate left so did another layer on top of the marshmallows.

Place in the fridge to allow the whole thing to set.


Step six

Using a cutter of your choice (this heart-shaped one was from Lakeland), cut the fudge into pieces. If you don’t have a cutter, then bars or chunks would look nice too.


The final sprint

Some years (every year) I have grand plans for home made gifts and decorations at Christmas. Rarely does this materialise in the lovely relaxed and whimsical way it looks in my head. Generally I end up covered in the contents of my baking cupboard feeling totally harassed by the number of hampers I’ve decided to make.

If you’re anything like me, or if you’re completely handmade/craft-phobic in the first place, this one is for you. Three super quick festive crafts to brighten up the house and fill up stockings at the last minute. You don’t need an ounce of artistic/baking ability for any of these. So no excuses.

#1: Cute Christmas bunting


You will need

String (I got this two colour spool from Tiger for £1)

Christmassy washi-tape


Step one

Cut a random length of tape and place the string in the middle. If you really want to punish yourself you can try and make them all the same length, but I really like them random and it’s much easier that way too.

For this step I cut loads and stuck them on the edge of the table so I had them ready and did them in batches so I wasn’t constantly cutting one then sticking it etc etc.


Step two

Fold over the wash tape and stick together. Again, I found it easier to do this step in bulk and then snip them in one go (see below).


Step three

Cut an upside-down ‘v’ shape into the end.



Step four

Hang them. 


#2: Twig decoration


You will need

Some twigs foraged from the nearest tree

White or cream spray paint

Fairy lights or decorations

Jug/vase/plant pot


Step one

Spray twigs.

Step two

Place in holder.

Step three



Just in case you want the tutorial, here’s how to make the candle holders in the photo.


#3: Hot chocolate stirrers

I saw one of these at the shops today, it was £3! These make a great little stocking filler, present topper-upper or gifts for the neighbours. Just swirl into hot milk for a luxury hot chocolate.


You will need

400g/ 14oz Milk chocolate

50g/ 1.5oz White chocolate

Condiment cups (if the closest McDonalds doesn’t have these you can buy them online, or use mini-muffin cases)

Mini mini marshmallows (these tiny fellows are from Waitrose)

Fudge pieces

Cake pop sticks

Edible glitter (optional)

(Makes 10-12. You need roughly 35g chocolate per cup so adjust the above to suit the number of hot chocolates you want to make).

For wrapping

Cellophane roll (available online or from craft shops)

Chrismassy ribbon or string


Step one

Chop the fudge into little chunks so that they’re roughly in proportion with the marshmallows.

Step two

Melt the chocolate slowly in the microwave and put into piping bags. You can temper it if you want, but given that you won’t see much of it, it might not be worthwhile. I go into a bit more detail as to how to temper chocolate here.


Step three

Fill cup to near the brim with milk chocolate. Add a little white and swirl in with a cocktail stick.

Place stick in and surround with fudge and marshmallows.

Leave to set.


Step four

Dust on a little glitter.


Step five

Wrap up. Cut a square of cellophane wrap and place cup in the centre, bring corners up to the middle and secure. I used a loom band to do this, you could use a small elastic band or go straight in with the ribbon/string.

Trim off the corners and ‘foof’.


Go on. There must be one spare you can treat yourself to?

Little pudding

This week two celebrations collided when my lovely teacher at college had a special birthday and we crept ever closer to the 25th December. Thankfully, teach didn’t mind the seasonally confused gift – Happy Birthday Lana!

This week it’s Christmas pudding truffles, surprisingly easy to make, and with a large yield they are perfect for last minute gifts on a budget.


You will need

300g/10.5 oz Dark chocolate

100g/3.5 oz White chocolate

300ml/10.5 fl oz Double cream

30g/1 oz Unsalted butter

Red sprinkles

Cocoa and caster sugar for dusting

(Makes 60-70)


Step one

Chop the dark chocolate finely using a bread knife. Resist the urge to eat it all.


Step two

Heat the cream and butter gently in a saucepan. Wait until it starts to bubble and steam dances across the surface. There is no need to let it boil, as Mary Berry always says – chocolate melts in a child’s pocket.

Step three

Take the cream off the heat and whisk into the chocolate until fully melted. Place in the fridge to speed up the setting process.


Step four

Check regularly on the truffle mix, don’t let it harden fully. Once a spoonful holds its shape when dropped onto the rest of the mixture it’s pipe-able.

Place into a piping bag, and, holding it perpendicular to the greaseproof paper (which you have put down as instructed, um, nowhere in this post) squeeze downwards. Don’t worry if these are a bit misshapen, it’s just to make sure they’re roughly the same size.



Step five

Pipe pipe pipe.

Leave to set a bit longer, preferably with a window open to cool the truffle down quickly. The truffles won’t thank your winter central heating.


Step six

When the truffles are set roll them into balls. You will need fairly cold hands for this, so rinse them in cold water.

Step seven

Dust the truffles in cocoa and caster sugar. I mixed these at random so I’m not sure on quantities, but I used about two thirds caster sugar to a third cocoa powder.

I dusted as I rolled, as hands warm the outside of the truffles so the caster sugar will stick.


Step eight

Melt the white chocolate slowly in the microwave, pipe little splodges and drop some red sprinkles on top. I got these from Sainsbury’s, so not too hard to track down.


Leave the white chocolate to set and pack away your truffles into little bags or boxes and spread the Christmas (or Birthday) cheer!

Count up count down

There’s lots of things happening right now. The first one to mention is that fabrefaction TURNS 1 TODAY! I know, crazy right? I will leave any sentimental ramblings to my new year post, but it seems mad to me that my first little blog about an advent calendar made from egg boxes was only a year ago.

The other major thing that’s happening is that MEGAN IS GETTING MARRIED. In 12 days no less. Gawsh.

In honour of this we had a hen party last weekend in beautiful Bath. For part of the afternoon we had time to kill and every activity we looked up was crazy expensive or not available etc etc. After some deliberation it was suggested that I conjure up something to do.

So in honour of Meg’s wedding, fabrefaction’s birthday, and being as close as we are to December, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to use our make shift craft workshop to make an heirloom for Meg and Olly to obligingly hang at Christmas…at least as long as we’re friends…which will be forever, so…

DISCLAIMER: This post isn’t so much the usual step-by-step, more a little inspiration and a few tips along the way.


You will need

These little drawstring bags (or some like them)

24 little pegs (I got mine from Tiger, they’ve got numbered ones at the moment too)

3m ribbon to hang the pegs off

A whole plethora of Christmas themed haberdashery (The Range and Hobbycraft furnished us nicely)

A team of Santa’s little helpers


Now it depends how crazy you are, I rate as ‘very’ on the scale when it comes to craft. Cool kid I know.

Well, I didn’t quite fancy the thought of the hens free styling the numbers because I think a little bit of consistency helps the overall look of this kind of thing. Yes, I did tell them that as an introduction, and yes, I do have problems.

I printed the numbers in a chubby font to begin with using them as a template on felt.


If you don’t trust yourself to hold and cut at the same time turn the numbers upside down and draw round them very lightly. Then you won’t have pen marks when you turn them over. I was a bit heavy handed with the pen at first, so be warned.


I love a little blanket stitch on Christmassy craft. You basically need to put the needle through the felt at the height you want your stitching, and as you pull the thread through catch the loop so that it is held at the top.


Voila. Not fiddly at all. Nope.


If you are cutting regular fabric use pinking shears (the zig zag ones) so it doesn’t fray. Otherwise you may have to hem it all. The alternative if you don’t own pinking shears and don’t want to sew is to use felt, or just chance it with the fraying (but then we can’t be friends).

How cute are those little gingerbread buttons?! It helped to hold them down where I wanted them and half turn the bag inside out to sew.


I found it best to sew any details onto the individual items and then glue them down using a few dabs of PVA. You can be a lot more precise that way.


One down. Twenty three to go. Time to rope in some helpers…


Everyone got involved with the gluing action so don’t be ashamed. I loved little Rudolph with his number 11 antlers.


A few more.


The whole shebang! I love the way this turned out, and now Meg has a keepsake from some of her favourite people.

Thank you for visiting my little space of internets. It’s kept me going all year, here’s to another.


Drip drop

A couple of months ago my lovely housemate got engaged. A couple of weeks ago we celebrated that fact.

I decided I wanted to make some party food. Given that we’re fast approaching Christmas (I mean, it’s the 17th November already, what?) this little series of posts should furnish your party season with delightful nibbles and may double as last minute Christmas present/hostess gifts.

This one falls into the second category, so get online and buy yourself some cellophane bags and a roll of ribbon, your colleagues and your milk man will never have been happier. Well, I hope their lives are better than that, but either way, there won’t be any disappointment, and that’s all anyone’s looking for at Christmas.


Things you need

200g/7 oz White chocolate

200g/7 oz Milk chocolate

200g/7 oz Dark chocolate

Decorations (I used freeze dried raspberries, fudge pieces and pecans)

Cocktail sticks

Piping bags or strong sandwich bags.

Cellophane (from a florist or a craft shop, or you can use greaseproof but the bottoms won’t be shiny)

Food thermometer (ideally)


Step 0.5

Prepare your toppings if they need preparing. I wanted my drops to be quite small so I chopped up my fudge and pecans.


Step one

Now. This is the first time I have actually tempered chocolate. It was easier than I expected and well worth it for the shiny finish. I encourage it. I also encourage the purchase of a thermospatula. I’m not being paid to say that, it’s changed my life (in a small but significant way).

If you’re joining me on the tempering train you need to split the chocolate into a third/two thirds split. Ignore the photo above and just chop it all into big chunks.  I learned as I went with this one.


Step two

Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water; make sure the water isn’t touching the pan.

Add two thirds of the chocolate and allow to melt slowly. Stir occasionally. Mainly so you can feel like you’re doing something productive.

Bring to 45 degrees C and remove from the heat.


Step three

Add the rest of the chocolate and stir until its melted in. Keep stirring until the whole lot has cooled to 28 degrees C.

Step four

Place back on the heat and bring to 32 degree C.

Step five

Take back off the heat and dry the bottom of the bowl with a tea towel. Trust me, you don’t want water in your chocolate.

Step six

Pour into a piping bag.

Don’t trim the end yet. In fact, once you have twisted the opening to close it you should push any chocolate in the tip end back towards the rest, otherwise it will cool and solidify there while you’re tempering the rest.

Step seven

Repeat with the rest of the chocolate.


Step eight

Lay down the cellophane and start piping.

You want to hold the piping bag at a 90 degree angle to the table and squeeze. The chocolate will flood into a lovely little pool.

Add a small blob of another colour on top and swirl about with a cocktail stick to create a marbled effect.


Step nine

Sprinkle your decorations on top.

Some cranberries would go down well for christmas drops, but I was explicitly instructed not to buy any. These freeze dried raspberries looked rather pretty and tasted good too. See children? Compromise isn’t always bad.


Step ten

Keep going until you run out of chocolate/the will to live. But look…so shiny. You did well to temper it, it was worth it after all.


Step eleven

Go forth and make someone’s day.