I’m finally going to wrap up my little series of posts from Matt and Vicky’s engagement party this week. I know, you didn’t think there could possibly be more right? Well, no party is complete without a banner.
Just in case their guests forgot, I made a little congratulations banner. A congrats banner, let’s be honest, congratulations is a long word.
You will need
Some pretty paper or card
A craft knife and a cutting mat (or chopping board)
Using a chunky font, type out the message for your banner. I think this was Futura in case you want to copy exactly (but then you would also need to find a Matt and a Vicky to congratulate).
Cut out little flag shapes big enough to house your letters, remember to leave at least half a centimetre at the top to fold over.
These are super simple to get even, just draw a rectangle with a line down the centre and then draw two diagonals from the corner to the same point on the central line. Use the first one as a template.
Glue the front of the letters and stick them face down on the back of each flag.
Use a craft knife to cut around the edge of the letter. The child in me was bizarrely satisfied by punching these out.
When cutting out letters like A and O which have a counter in them remember to keep a small stem so you don’t totally hollow them out.
Using open scissors score the top of the flag (on the back) to create a fold.
Stick double sided tape inside the fold, making sure it’s right to the top edge. Place the string in the fold and stick down.
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)
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)
Prepare your toppings if they need preparing. I wanted my drops to be quite small so I chopped up my fudge and pecans.
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.
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.
Add the rest of the chocolate and stir until its melted in. Keep stirring until the whole lot has cooled to 28 degrees C.
Place back on the heat and bring to 32 degree C.
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.
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.
Repeat with the rest of the chocolate.
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.
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.
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.