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Foraged Rosehips and Luxury (Frugal) Chocolate Confectionery
This time of year is great for foraging. Right now, although the blackberries, sloes and elderberries have a bit to go, the place is alive with rosehips of every shade, from pale orange through to deep, blood red. Some are such a deep red that they have passed burgundy. I opted for a russet shade of rosy red for my late summer delicacies. The hips are enormous this year and these all grow along the south facing wall of our garden, so not far to go for foraging.
I picked about 500g of hips, gave them a quick rinse and then popped them into the mocrowave in a covered dish with a couple of tablespoons of water. It takes only 10 minutes on high power to reduce the berries to pulp, which is then squeezed through a jelly bag to remove all the skins and seeds. You can, of course, stew the berries down in a pan on the cooker.
In this particular case, the resulting liquid came out mango coloured. I did taste it once it had cooled and, even without sugar, it had a lovely flavour to it, so I was happy enough to use this foraged produce as an ingredient in my August entry to 'weshouldcocoa'.
My Frugal Recipe for Rosehip Truffles
150g of chocolate
5 tablespoons of icing sugar
3 tablespoons of stewed & strained rosehip 'juice' (or any other flavouring you fancy).
A seperate 100g of chocolate
1/2 tablespoonful of icing sugar & 1/2 level tablespoonful of cocoa powder combined
Being a frugal household, I don't usually have any sort of luxury baking items in stock, so this time around, the 'past their sell by date' milk chocolate santas got used. We bought a full case of these when they were on offer from one of the clearance stores, I can't remember which it was, but if you check on the Frugaldom forums, they are all listed in the 'Frugal Food' section.
Melt your chocolate in a bowl over over a pan of simmering water. I just use my steamer on the cooker top, as it seems to work as well as anything else I have tried.
While your chocolate is melting, you can sift the icing sugar into a seperate bowl and then slowly combine that with your chosen flavouring. In this case, I'm using the juice from stewed, garden-foraged rosehips.
It changes from a deep mango colour to a shade more like condensed milk once it's mixed with the icing sugar.
As soon as your choclate has melted into a smooth paste, slowly pour the icing sugar mix into the bowl, stirring and blending at the same time.
Your mix will lighten a few shades, regardless of whether you have used milk or plain chocolate.
You can now set this aside to cool. I cover mine with cling film and put it in the fridge as soon as I can.
It doesn't take too long before the truffle mix is set, so it's a good idea to keep your hot water in the pan, ready to melt the next lot of chocolate, which is for covering the truffles.
I left this lot to set in the fridge, overnight, then shaped them into 'logs' before pressing them down with a fork. If you love chocolate and don't mind a bit of a chocolatey mess, handmade truffles are the very thing for you to try.
The above recipe is exactly the same as before. You can use almost any flavour you choose, be it alcoholic or otherwise. In case you missed my last lot of truffles, check HERE
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