Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Well, Christmas is over for another year. I’m always surprised by how enthusiastic I get about the day. We are fortunate here at Pilyara that we don’t have to go anywhere. The family comes to us. It means I prepare most of the food, but the trade-off is that we don’t have to pack up the car and drive for miles.

Xmas 2012 008My daughter H made a stunning assortment of Christmas cookies – real works of art. Here’s the very simple recipe for Christmas Truffles. They really are to die for!


  • 500g      light fruitcake, coarsely chopped
  • 100g      dark chocolate melts, melted
  • 60ml      (1/4 cup) brandy
  • 2 tbs      apricot jam
  • 250g      dark chocolate melts, extra
  • 60g      copha, chopped
  • 150g      white chocolate melts, melted
  • Red and      green glace cherries, finely chopped, to decorate (I used sprinkles in      holly leaf & berry shapes)
  1. Step 1

Place the cake in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the dark chocolate, brandy and jam. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until slightly firm.

  1. Step 2

Line 2 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Stir the cake mixture. Roll 2-teaspoonful quantities of cake mixture into balls and place on the lined trays. Place in the fridge for 1 hour or until firm.

  1. Step 3

Place the extra dark chocolate and copha in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Cook on High/800watts/100% for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

  1. Step 4

Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Use a truffle dipper or fork to dip 1 truffle in the chocolate mixture to coat. Remove truffle, tapping the dipper or fork on the side of the bowl to shake off excess chocolate. Place on 1 lined tray. Repeat with remaining truffles and chocolate mixture. Set aside to set.

  1. Step 5

Spoon the white chocolate into a small sealable plastic bag. Cut 1 corner from the bag to make a small hole. Drizzle a little white chocolate over each truffle. Top with glace cherry (or, in my case, sprinkles) to decorate. Set aside until set.

Xmas 2012 007My son M on the other hand, was in charge of the cheese platter. Not to be outdone, he made a fortress of cheese cubes with turrets of crackers, mortared together with hummous. An interesting creation!

The day was one of fun and family; a fantastic conclusion to an exciting year. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and my writing in 2012. I couldn’t have done it without you, and look forward to the continuing journey. Wishing you all a very happy, peaceful and productive New Year!