Sweet Treats for the Festive Season

Fresh Berries with White Chocolate Yoghurt, Fennel Seed Brittle and Sugared Shortbread Stars

Here’s a couple of simple suggestions for sweet treats to have on hand for elevating fresh berries to a simple yet sensational dessert.  All components can be made ahead and dessert pulled together in minutes.


White Chocolate Yoghurt

INGREDIENTS
100g white chocolate
200g Greek yoghurt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Break white chocolate into small pieces and place in a small heatproof bowl.
  • Microwave on medium for 1½ – 2 minutes.
  • Remove from microwave and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth
  • Whisk in about a tablespoon of the Greek yoghurt, then whisk in the remaining yoghurt (if you dump the whole lot in at once it may make the chocolate “seize”)
  • Whisk the mixture together until smooth and blended
  • Chill until needed

Notes:

  • If you don’t have a microwave, melt the white chocolate over a small pot of simmering water until melted (don’t let the water touch the bowl)

Fennel or Sesame Seed Brittle

INGREDIENTS
1 cup plain white sugar
1 Tb fennel seeds (or sesame seeds)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Line a baking sheet with baking paper
  • Spread the sugar evenly over the base of a medium frying pan
  • Place over medium-low heat and cook sugar without stirring, until melted
  • Remove from heat and stir in the fennel or sesame seeds
  • Immediately pour onto the baking paper and spread it with a sturdy spatula – it sets very quickly so don’t delay
  • Once cool, break into shards

Notes:

  • Once the sugar is melting and you can gently swirl the pan to help sugar dissolve, but do not stir or it will crystallise
  • Store brittle between sheets of baking paper in an airtight container – do not refrigerate
  • Brittle will quickly go sticky in humid weather, so keep it airtight until you are ready to use it

Sugared Shortbread Stars

I tried a variety of shortbread recipes and couldn’t go past this one from McKenzie’s which uses a combination of rice flour (what gives this shortbread it’s fabulous short & crunchy texture) and plain flour.

On the basis of “if it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it”, I subsequently came to the conclusion that developing my own recipe was somewhat pointless given that I had found exactly what I wanted printed on the back of the rice flour packet!

My contribution was to sprinkle the biscuits with sugar before baking for a crunchy sugar sparkle – it is Christmas after all.

Shortbread Stack


Food Styling:  Harriet Harcourt
Photography:  Harriet Harcourt