Homemade Christmas Hamper Treats 🎄

Not long now all…  This year I am making Hampers for all of my family members, just little Homemade treats I know they will enjoy. I will post simple, cost offective ideas over the next few weeks, I hope you enjoy them 😊

Homemade Crystalised Orange Peel dipped in Chocolate and Caramelised Red Onion Chutney – Yummmm 😋 Plus an extra little treat, using the excess Chocolate 😇

I am starting with one Hubby’s favourites, crystallised Orange Peel, dipping in dark chocolate.  These are ridiculously expensive to buy, and so simple to make, at a fraction of the cost of shop bought – John Lewis are selling 105g of Godiva Orangettes for £10.75 😱 – I think I can save bit on that 😉

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The basic ingredients are all from Aldi, and 4 oranges £1.45, a bag of sugar 49p (500g used) and 2 bars of plain chocolate 60p cost £2.30. But I don’t have their overheads 😇

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I start by cutting the end off of the Oranges.

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Cut in half and carefully remove the flesh, this will leave you with the skin and the pith.

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Using a sharp knife slice the orange skin into half to 1 cm slices – I cut them on the short side, but cut them whichever way you like – I saved the flesh for lunchbox’s.

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Once you have all of your slices, pop them into a large saucepan, and add enough boiling water to cover, boil for 5 minutes, then drain – repeat this process 4 times.

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On the last ‘drain’ leave the orange to one side and add 250g water and 500g of granulated sugar, heat till,the sugar has completly disolved. At this point add the Orange peel back to the syrup and simmer for 40-45 minutes, leaving a gap in the lid for the steam to escape.

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Remove the peels from the thick syrup, and spread out on waxed paper – you will need to work very quickly here or it will clump together, and please be very careful as it is VERY HOT, I separate it with 2 forks, leave to cool and set for 4-5 hours – you can speed this up by putting in a 50 degree oven for 3 hours.

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As you can see, a few bits have caught, but I like those bits, it’s like orange flavoured toffee 😉 Some I have shaken in sugar, as Hubby like the ‘crunch’.

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When they are dried and set, put into an airtight container till you are ready to dip them in Chocolate.

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Gently melt the chocolate – I do this in the Thermomix, I added 200g of Aldi bbasic plain chocolate, and blitzed it at speed 9 for a few seconds, then scraped down the bowl, and removed 50g of the grated chocolate. To temper the Chocolate,  cook at heat 50,speed 2 for 4 minutes, then add the 50g of chocolate set aside, this will bring the temperature down to about 37, sit at speed 2 no heat till combined.

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Once melted, I dip the peel into the chocolate, using the sugared ones dip one end of each piece of orange peel into the melted chocolate and lay it on a sheet of waxed paper, allow the chocolate to set.

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Package up – I use cellophane bags bought from eBay and hey presto – a prezzie that looks amazing and tastes even better 🤗

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Don’t and excess Chocolate (as if you would 😉), I drip the melted chocolate into puddles on the weaned paper, then use Aldi’s Sinless Seed mix (36p at the tills) to sprinkle over them – a lovely healthy’ish treat for those more health conscious.

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Caramelised Red Onions

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Aldi also have red onions on offer in their super6 at the moment, so I am taking advantage of that and making some jars of caramelised onion for Hampers too. This is great to spread in a pastry base and top with Goats cheese, for a delicious starter, or add to sausage meat when you are making Sausage Rolls, add to a toasted cheese sandwich or use as a pickle with a cheese board – it is delicious 😋

I use the Thermomix for this, but a traditional method would work too.

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Start by slicing 650g onions into ‘half moons’, add to the Thermomix bowl with 50g balsamic vinegar and 50g olive oil. Cook at reverse speed 2 for 30 mins at varoma heat, then scrape down the bowl, add 75g brown sugar and cook again for 5 mins, varoma heat, reverse speed 2

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Pour into sterilised jars and leave to cool – it’s is that simple 😇

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Thank you to Aldi for paying for the ingredients.

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Author: emptynestfulltum

Hi - I'm a 49 yo Mum to 3 kids - Jordan (23), Grace (21) and Max (19). And Wife to my lovely Husband, Dave and step mum to 4 fur babies, our cats Eric, Ernie, Cilla and Bobbie. We live on the beautiful Isle of Wight, Hubby and I were born here, and just love our home. As I hurtle towards 50, my life as a full time (working) parent is coming to an end, with my eldest 2 kids living their own lives, and my youngest who started University in September. I realised that this is not a time to be sad, but a time to take time to spend time on some of the things I enjoy doing - mainly cooking, crafting and creating Pinterest boards for said thing s :) This blog is just a way for me to record the next stages of our lives - I hope you enjoy my ramblings...

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