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Whatever anyone tells you, making homemade gifts will rarely save you money, especially if you’re as easily swayed as I am by lovely boxes and bags and bottles and tags and end up spending as much as if you’d just popped down the shops. Whoops. However, of course, it’s really about the time, effort, creativity and thought that’s gone into it.  These very quick and easy chocolates puddles are not ‘tempered’ (Google it) which will mean they need to be kept refrigerated before gifting. They can be topped with whatever you like. I used up loads of bits from my cupboard (after a mammoth granola making session!) but you’re limited only by your imagination  - dried fruit, seeds, nuts, even broken pieces of pretzels. I love to include at least one salty element to counterbalance the sweetness of the chocolate.

Makes approx. 25 x 1” puddles

150g dark chocolate (look for approx 70% Dark), broken into chunks

Mixture of toppings (total weight approx. 200g) – I used raisins, salted almonds, hemp seeds, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, desiccated coconut, dried rose petals and bee pollen

1.      Slowly melt the chocolate, either in a microwave or in a bowl set over (but not touching) very gently simmering water.

2.      When it’s totally melted, stir and spoon teaspoonfuls onto a tray lined with baking paper. While still wet, gently top with a combination of toppings on each one.

3.      Place in the fridge to set, then place in a small cellophane gift bag. They will need to be kept refrigerated until you gift them.

  • DRIED CRANBERRIES make a particularly Christmassy topping

  • GIVE A BAG AS A GIFT with a bottle of the deliciously Christmassy Pedro Ximenez sherry. Look out for Noe from Gonzalez Byass

  • MAKE THESE IN ADVANCE they’ll be fine in the fridge for at least a week

This recipe originally appeared in my column in InStyle Magazine in 2015