Not to alarm or induce stress, but it is officially less than a month until Christmas! That means we are about to enter the funnest (yes, I know that isn’t a word) time of the year. Mainly it is just an excuse to catch up with friends over boozy afternoon sessions ensuring we “catch up before Christmas”. It is a time for family celebrations and hoping to goodness your Italian father doesn’t spontaneously break into song and embarrass you in front of… wait, that is probably just my Christmas.
So that means you’ll need some Christmas food inspiration and this year I’m sharing some favourite treats, drinks and Italian dishes that are sure to appeal.
Each year I try and share a Christmas treat that you can give to friends. Perfect for dinner party hosts or work colleagues (well, the ones you like), giving the gift of a homemade treat is really something rather special – you can see it in the eyes of those you lovingly present it too.
Last year I shared my recipe for Italian panforte, and the year before that I made flavoured salts. This year, I’m going even simpler and sharing a recipe (if you can really call it that) for flavoured honey. All up, it takes about 15 minutes. 10 minute to toast the hazelnuts and 5 minutes to put it in jars with honey and some gorgeous dried flowers.
The key is the quality of the honey – you want to make sure you get a great organic honey. One that is fragrant but not too strong on flavour so that your added elements can shine through. I chose to add dried roses to one pot and dried jasmine flowers to the other (the dried flowers I found at asian supermarkets here in Sydney).
You can also add lemons, oranges and limes (like Valentina does on her blog Hortus Cuisine), but you will need to ensure you consume it a little quicker.
Hazelnut and Flower Honey
- Good quality organic honey
- Dried edible flowers, I used rose buds in one jar and jasmine buds in the other
- Hazelnuts, toasted with skins rubbed off
Inspired by Valentina's post on Hortus Cuisine
The size and quantity of your jars will determine the amount of ingredients you will need. You can make lots of small jars or a couple of larger jars, but the key is the quality of the ingredients when the recipe is so simple.
Place roasted and skinned hazelnuts in your empty jars and add a tablespoon full of dried flowers. Top with honey and seal. It's rather warm in Australia around this time, so my honey is usually the right consistency, but if your honey isn't runny enough to pour easily just warm it gently in the microwave in a short burst before pouring.
Seal and set aside for a couple of days to infuse before using.