I become pathetically happy at Christmas time; the decorating, eating and drinking frenzy is what I live for. It is actually difficult to explain the sensation of joy I feel by being reunited with the likes of fruit mince, copious amounts of ham, brandy butter, prawns and even sickly sweet candy canes. For a grown up version, I’ve combined the peppermint zing of canes with the perennial favourite – melting moments with a chocolate truffle style filling. I make mine the size of golf balls on steroids, utterly supersized, meaning that after just one you feel quite content. These are surprisingly easy to make, and they'll keep for a couple of weeks without refrigeration, although given the Christmas heat that can often strike, I’d store them covered in the cool just to be safe.
250g butter, softened
75g icing sugar
200g plain flour, sifted
50g cocoa powder, sifted
50g potato flour, sifted*
180g white chocolate, finely chopped
160ml pouring cream
50g candy canes, crushed (plus extra to serve)
Preheat the oven to 180C. Beat the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder with electric beaters until creamy and thick. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flours until combined. Knead the mixture gently on a lightly floured work surface until smooth, then cover in plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. Slice 26 pieces of mixture and roll into balls, flattening the balls with the back of a fork. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until crisp. Stand for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
For the peppermint filling, place chocolate in a bowl and set aside. Bring cream to the simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour over chocolate, set aside to melt chocolate (5 minutes), then stir until smooth. Add peppermint extract, set aside to cool to spreading consistency, then stir in crushed peppermint. Spoon a little of the peppermint filling onto half the biscuits, sandwich with remaining biscuits, set aside to set (15 minutes) before gently rolling in the additional crushed candy cane.
- Available from health food stores and some supermarkets or alternatively you can use tapioca flour.