Recently I had the opportunity to attend a cookery class at Good Housekeeping Institute's newly opened Cookery School in Soho, London. It was a fun morning learning to make Christmas special treats/ gifts like mulling syrup, chocolate truffle, cheese biscuits and cranberry chutney. The kitchen space is fabulous and state of the art complete with all kinds of modern gadgets/appliances. I imagine that if the sic-fi folks had a kitchen, theirs would look like this one.
The course was a three hour one and it was pretty hands-on. After watching the demo, we cooked our own batches, which we were then given to take away. It was a friendly set-up with jokes and banter and a lot of tasting in between the preparations and the cooking. We worked in pairs, which made the work load easier to tackle. The pace of the course was relaxed and at no point was there a feeling of being rushed or stressed. When needed the instructor or the helpers came over to give a helping hand and some advice. Like my cooking partner and me, we made a mistake while preparing the dough for the cheese biscuits. We were given a fresh batch of ingredients to work with, but also allowed to keep the older batch, just to see how different it turned out. I enjoyed the experience and would love to go back to the school for another course. If you enjoy cooking, I would recommend a session. Or if you know someone who does, this would be a perfect gift.
Inspired by the class, I came home and experimented with Christmas chocolate treats. I wanted to make something different from the traditional truffles. Finally I hit upon this marbled chocolate recipe. Technically these can no longer be called truffles, since they do not look like one. But I found a recipe for a new treat. Loved the look of them and the white chocolate with the dark brings in wee bit of sweetness and adds to the creaminess. These are super easy to make, you just have to be patient for the chocolate to set.
I tried different combinations, equal amounts of dark and white chocolate, white more and dark less. What I realised is that the white chocolate is rather gooey and does not set properly. Whereas when the quantity of dark chocolate is more it sets perfectly.
Make these as a special treat for your guests this Christmas.
On another note, I also visited the Good Housekeeping Cookery Institute to sample some non dairy ice creams. Yes Dream Ice Creams are totally dairy free being made with almonds and as a result has a lesser calorie content too. So if you are lactose intolerant or don't want to murder your diet plan with a little indulgence this ice cream is perfect. The best part is this ice cream does not compromise on the taste or the creaminess which we usually associate with ice creams. If I did not know, I would not have been able to tell from the taste that it's non dairy. Currently these are available in Waitrose in the ice cream section. Go grab a tub as a special treat!