By hitting okay and proceeding to my site, you are agreeing to your data being used in this way.
Christmas Kitchen: After Dinner Chocolate Peppermint Creams
Are you one of those families who always have a box of After Eights, mint Matchmakers or something a little bit fancier on hand to enjoy after dinner at Christmas time? If so, this year rather than picking some up in that last minute supermarket rush, why not make your own After Dinner Chocolate Peppermint Creams with 5 simple ingredients you’ve probably already got to hand?
This recipe comes from the baking book I always gift to beginner cooks: Mary Berry’s Ultimate Cake Book (ad). It is the book I learned to bake from, and it is the battered copy of my mothers I used to pour over the double photo pages of when I was small.
One of my first solo projects from the book where the stunningly round, clean white peppermint creams that were piled in the corner of my favourite page (the one with the mini chocolate fairy buns topped with white water icing and brightly coloured Smarties, before they removed the artificial colours and rendered them useless for cake decorating) – they came out beautifully, and for some years now I thought they’d make the perfect festive treat, dipped in sinfully dark chocolate to contrast with the sweetness of the filling, and decorated with a sprinkling of crushed candy cane.
Honestly, once you’d realised how easy it is to make a paste out of egg whites, icing sugar and flavouring that you can roll out and cut into all manner of shapes you’ll want to try them with every flower and spice essence in your baking cupboard: I want to make rose creams next, topped with little crystallised petals.
Make them a day or two ahead – you’ll want to leave the naked creams to set overnight in any case – and keep them in an air tight container. If, unlike me, you can actually temper chocolate properly they’ll have a glossy sheen and the chocolate will set 100% hard, perfect for gifting – otherwise, just melting the chocolate like I do will mean the chocolate melts ever so slightly on your fingers as you pick them up – but I don’t mind that, when I’m just making them to enjoy with friends and family. You could even go full on American with a Christmas cookie box, pairing some of these in a festive bundle along with my other edible gift favourites for this time of year: German Cinnamon Stars, Mummy’s Chocolate Florentines, and our Homemade Amaretti Biscuits?
I always love BBC Good Food for learning new techniques, and I’ve got their guide on How To Temper Chocolate bookmarked if you fancy giving it a go!
These easy, 5-ingredient Chocolate Peppermint Creams are perfect for serving with coffee after a festive meal or for packaging up for holiday gifting!
1 large egg white
1/2 tsp American-style peppermint essence
150g (5 1/4 oz) icing (confectioners) sugar, plus extra for dusting
120g (4 1/4 oz) 70% dark chocolate
1 candy cane
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white and peppermint essence until light and frothy.
Sift the icing sugar and gradually stir it into the egg white to form a thick, malleable paste – you’ll need to knead in the last 1/4 or so by hand. Knead in the bowl until smooth.
Turn the fondant out onto a clean surface dusted with more icing sugar to prevent the paste from sticking. Roll out the fondant to just shy of 1 cm thickness and cut out rounds with a small cutter or glass – I find the larger side of a cocktail jigger is the perfect size. Transfer to a baking parchment lined sheet, bringing the fondant together and re-rolling until you’ve used up all the scraps.
Leave the peppermint creams to set for 1 hour, then flip them to dry the other side. leave to set overnight.
Melt the chocolate (see note), tempering if desired.
Dip each peppermint cream carefully in the chocolate, allowing as much chocolate as possible to drip back into the bowl for the thinnest finish possible, and set aside on either a wire rack spritzed with neutral oil to prevent sticking, a silicone baking mat, or a clean sheet of parchment paper.
Bash the candy cane into small pieces in a mortar and pestle, and decorate the top of each peppermint cream.
Allow the chocolate to set before serving.
I melt my chocolate broken up in a heatproof bowl set over a simmering saucepan of water, the water never touching the base, stirring occasionally until liquid.
I'm a food writer living in London and the English Countryside. Welcome to my online diary where I share easy, weeknight recipes, foodie travel diaries and some of the best places I've eaten out recently.
My newsletter, ingredient, takes a deep dive into a different ingredient - unusual, basic or seasonal - every month delivering stories, histories and most importantly recipes right into your inbox. It's your new favourite food magazine column, but in email form!
One Pan Pescatarian: 100 Delicious Dinners – Veggie, Vegan, Fish
My second cookbook contains 100 delicious dinner recipes, all of which are either vegetarian, vegan or which celebrate fish and seafood - all cooked in either one pot or one pan.*