Thursday, 13 December 2012

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas



...at least in my kitchen it is.

Today we've been pottering about undertaking a Christmas challenge set by Persil and their 'warm spice' fragranced washing up liquid.


Blogger and baker extraordinaire Ruth Clemens of the Pink Whisk has collaborated and come up with a scrumptious selection of Christmas recipes.  The only tough part was choosing which one we'd make.

Actually, it wasn't too tough.  I quickly settled on making Florentines - because I LOVE them!  Forget cupcakes and macarons, florentines is where it's at, you mark my words.

They are really simple to make, you can knock up a batch quickly, and they make a wonderful homemade treat or last-minute Christmas gift.  I've packaged them as a gift using an old Pringles tube, wrapped in a vintage map, with a matching paper bow.  Nifty thrifty huh?



You can watch Ruth and her son making these delicious biscuits here, or you can look at my amateurish photos.  Rest assured, if my kitchen was as pristine as hers, I'd have been filming our efforts too.

Here's Ruth's recipe.

Ingredients:

50g golden syrup
50g Stork Baking Liquid
50g Demerara sugar
50g plain flour
8 glace cherries, chopped
45g flaked almonds
40g mixed peel
50g sultanas
150g milk chocolate 

Oven Temperature:
160c(fan)/180c/Gas Mark 4.

Bake Time:
8-10 minutes

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160c(fan)/180c/Gas Mark 4. 

Measure out the ingredients.

Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper and place the flour, flaked almonds, mixed peel, sultanas and chopped glace cherries into a bowl and stir to mix evenly, make a well in the centre.


Add the golden syrup, demerara sugar and Stork Baking Liquid to a small pan.

Heat the pan over a gentle heat, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from the heat.
Carefully pour into the dry ingredients.


Carefully mix the ingredients together.  Place spoonfuls of the mixture well-spaced apart as they will spread on the baking trays, creating 6 Florentines on each tray. (unless you're us, in which case you'll only do 5)


Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Allow to cool on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled melt the milk chocolate gently in the microwave or over a pan of steaming water.

Turn the florentines upside down on the work surface.  Add a teaspoon of melted chocolate and spread over the Florentine using a pastry brush or the back of the spoon.


Allow the chocolate to set and serve.


We followed the recipe pretty much as above.  However since Ruby is allergic to milk products, we used dairy-free chocolate - using 'milk' on the base and drizzled white chocolate on the tops to decorate.

My only tip would be to reshape them while still warm if they've spread out and no longer resemble a circle! you can gently push them back into shape with the backs of 2 teaspoons.

I did find them quite sweet, so when I make them next time I think I'll try reducing the sugar - the syrup, fruit and chocolate should be sweet enough.  I'd also use a good quality dark chocolate if I'm making them for myself or as gifts next time.

We had a lovely afternoon making these, and as Ruby's advent treat today was for us to do baking together, it was perfect!  The kitchen smelled all Christmassy with the toasted nuts and citrus peel in the oven.

When it came to clearing up, Ruby has her own unique way of doing things...




...and when it was time to wash up she was nowhere to be found.  But still, the aromatic aroma of spices from the Persil Warm Spice made it a pleasant enough chore, although I wouldn't have complained if someone had offered to do it for me while I put my feet up with a glass of mulled wine.



So when you're faced with the mountain of dishes on Christmas Day, do yourself a favour and lighten the load and your mood with this liquid.  If you want to try it for yourself, you'll find it on the supermarket shelves, and better still I have five bottles to give away.

To win one, just leave me a comment below and a way to contact you before midday on Tuesday 18th December 2012 (sorry, UK only) and I'll select five people at random for Persil to send a bottle to.

Disclosure: Sponsored post.

Ruth Clemens has created a range of recipes to celebrate the launch of Persil’s Limited Edition Warm Spice Washing Up Liquid. For more information and recipes visit www.persildishwash.co.uk.

91 comments:

  1. Karen Scammell
    twannywun at hotmail dot com

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  2. I love Florentines! I can almost smell them. I've actually never tried making them myself though so I've pinned the recipe to have a go at myself. I love the packaging idea too! @RedRoseMummy

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  3. Whole head in the bowl - very lol

    @kelloggs_ville

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  4. Wow they look yummy!

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  5. Looks yummy - biscuits that is, not the washing liquid! :-) @astrongcoffee1 x

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  6. These look delish, think I will be giving them a go.

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  7. Mmmmm they look fab! @supermommy1983

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  8. They look great - will certainly try and make them

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  9. Mmmm I can almost smell the aroma from here thank to your great review! You can contac me on twitter if I am lucky! @tracyknixon

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  10. They look really yummy- a really lovely homemade gift. I love the idea of using old maps- really effective. @cromptonvicki

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  11. I agree they look nice.
    Jemton334@gmail.com

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  12. Think I will make my own this Christmas!

    n-mcgill@hotmail.com

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  13. looks brilliant x @angiesandhu

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  14. lovely ,thank you

    @avelte2000 twitter

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  15. ooh, they look yummy! :)
    @toastingmallows

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  16. They look amazing.

    Plus what's better as a child than to lick the bowl out afterwards?

    @onedad3girls

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  17. Going to have to start baking soon

    @medicinalpizza

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  18. thats it, making these today!

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  19. Yummy they look delicicous.

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  20. RIGHT OFF TO MAKE SOME WITH MY DAUGHTER THEY LOOK DELICIOUS
    @miriamkrutska

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  21. Yum!

    Love anything and everything christmas scented!
    roxyjo0209@gmail.com

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  22. These look amazing, will definitely be trying the recipe!
    beccawte@hotmail.com

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  23. Brigitte Leprince15 December, 2012 14:29

    Yes I think because there is sugar in the cherries and the syrup aswell as the mixed peel I would probably try and make them without the sugar. Actually the chocolate is sweet too and I may try making them using a combination of maple syrup and golden syrup! They do look amazing!@Rainbow1861

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  24. Om nom nom They look tasty! @quirky2u

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  25. I would love to try this, I love the smell of Persil and it makes me hands feel good too

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  26. Bet this smells lovely. I'm @snowted on Twitter.

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  27. YUM! looks fantastic but I bet it tastes better
    @paperwrist

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  28. They look so yummy! @mamamakes

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  29. grainne marnell-fox15 December, 2012 17:33

    yum marnellfox@hotmail.co.uk

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  30. Just the thing for all that Christmas washing up !!!
    goforalex@hotmail.com

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  31. Perfect for my husband this Xmas.
    fixalex@hotmail.co.uk

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  32. Bet your house smelt lovely!

    @hammahnator

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  33. Those Florentines look great xx

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  34. those biscuits look yummy!!!
    @emmav6

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  35. Yum, these look fab!

    @rachiegr

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  36. did someone say biscuits?

    @mister_steven

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  37. These look really tasty :) as for the persil, it's almost like bringing a bit of Christmas to the washing up bowl and might just give me the strength to do all the washing up afterwards!!! Happy Christmas xxx

    @marjoleine72

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  38. Looks fun (and messy!) @dreamland4u

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  39. The Persil will surely motivate me to tackle the mountain of dishes. (amrgaberyasmin@gmail.com)

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  40. Looks deliciouse! Best part of cake making, licking the bowl. Twitter ID @libra10001

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  41. Forgot to put Twitter ID @cheesecakefanat

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  42. please include me!

    @ashlallan

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  43. Loving christmas smells!
    @spookyrachael

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  44. rubber gloves and the smell of christmas!! what a heady mixture! love it twitter @sharonkeane5

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  45. I am rather sad and get v excited about new smelling washing up liquid! Would love to try this!

    @spritneybeers on twitter

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  46. will be trying these next weekend. @lsfun84

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  47. I didn't even know you could get the washing up liquid in this flavour! I love anything christmassy :)

    @lpurdy53xy

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  48. Bohdan Kuczynski16 December, 2012 22:19

    Just right for all the washing up to come. @BohdanK on twitter

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  49. Lovely competition! caitlincheyenne(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  50. Ha ha, licking out the bowl, very cute! As for washing up liquid - anything to make the task more pleasant!

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  51. Would love to give this a go. Looks like you both had fun before and after using it.

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  52. Licking out the bowl is always the best bit - Personally, I wouldn't need to wash my bowl after my two had licked it - it would be sparkling ( only kidding !!! ) @kezzy999

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  53. might help the washing up seem more appealing :-)

    nicolabarter@live.co.uk

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  54. What a lovely idea to get children involved with the joys of giving. rebecca.foster757@gmail.com

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  55. Lovely for making with my daughter during the Holidays @RockKittyChick

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  56. rebecca_pawsey@yahoo.co.uk
    we do a lot of cooking here aswell :)

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  57. a Xmas present for my hubby lol some new washing up liquid @clareo122

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  58. Thanks for the giveaway
    @felisisfriend

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  59. Thanks for the competition!
    @MorningPostie

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  60. Really enjoyed this, might have a bash at them myself too! Merry xmas Sam, lalalucee@hotmail.co.uk

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  61. Fantastic, I love licking the bowl

    (c.mutter@sky.com)

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  62. yummy! @lilysmum2008

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  63. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  64. Sounds fun to make and yummy too!
    The washing up liquid sounds as if it may make all the post Christmas dinner washing up more bearable!
    @VeeJay78

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  65. Those look yummy and I love your Pringles gift box! @rahelaa

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  66. Lovely recipe, will hve to try @ali991

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  67. sounds a great recipe and i would like to say even at 41 years old i still lick the bowl!! Infact i last did yesterday. lol Ssshhhh

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  68. These look so scrummy! Great ideas - @happymandz

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  69. They look delicous

    @Sally_Poole53

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  70. Love the recycled packaging idea too - very simple but looks very professional

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  71. they look yummy, one for the recipe book :-) @babyann1984

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  72. Yummy @pa2539Laura

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  73. the recipe makes these look so easy, think even I could have a go
    @competitiontart

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  74. Love your Florentines! (and it was a Studio Kitchen, hence the tidyness!) x

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  75. i will try that recipe, thanks. @bobimara on twitter

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  76. forgot to say @sundial040 on twitter ty

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  77. Great that even the washing up smells like Christmas

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  78. baking looks nice & the washing up liquid sounds good
    anna@marikar.net

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  79. I want to do some cooking now!!

    @kiki_725

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  80. thanks for sharing.

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