Homemade fresh mint truffles and The Hobbit

So marvellous to finally be on holiday! Took a couple of days to get into it, to remember I don’t have to check emails or do anything other than what I fancy, to be lazy and indulgent. These Homemade fresh mint truffles from Dan Lepard in The Guardian (second recipe down) are a proper indulgent treat:

IMG_0480Dan suggested them as a Christmas gift and, in a sense I made them as a gift, only a gift for Beloved and me. Obviously, mine are very messy – shaping was tricky and I thought I’d be clever and use a rubber ice cube tray to freeze some but then they wouldn’t come out so that really wasn’t very clever. The rest I just shaped with a couple of teaspoons and froze on greaseproof paper as suggested so they ended up being all sorts of different shapes and sizes. I finished them yesterday afternoon with a good coating of melted dark chocolate, only the chocolate was cooling too quickly to give each one a second ‘smooth’ coating so I just made them look even more messy. Now I think they look quite cute and they definitely taste way, way better than anything shop bought. They contain a huge amount of chocolate (400g white and 200g dark) beautifully balanced with both fresh mint and essence. More fiddly to do than Dan’s other edible Christmas gifts I’ve made over the past few weeks but so very good.

We braved the outside world – or rather the West End yesterday morning for a special screening of The Hobbit at Empire on Leicester Square and this was the queue:

IMG_4857┬áRather, this was the back of the queue, it went on and on. Amazingly all these people bothered to get up and turn up on a miserable and wet Saturday morning and even more amazingly, they all fitted in. I thought the film was just about OK, too much technical gimmickry, thought 3D was unnecessary, didn’t particularly add anything and the high speed frame rate (or whatever the technical term for this is) kind of worked OK in some bits but made others jerky. I’m very, very fond of Lord of The Rings (books more than films but I do like the films too) and I guess this was a bit of a disappointment. There isn’t a huge amount of character development, a lot of the scenery seems identical to what’s been used for various Lord of The Rings films and, most annoyingly, you just see the group running in the same or a very similar way to what they did in mines of Moria, plains of Rohan and so on. Still, I enjoyed the film, just not as much as the others. Am glad we saw it in a good cinema and now definitely want to re-read the book, very much looking forward to it.

First though, I’ve a brioche to make, lovely for Christmas Day breakfast, no?