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Christmas gifts sleighed

Christmas gifts sleighed

The gift of chocolate is timeless. This multi-sensory treat is a hit all year-round, but Christmas provides the perfect opportunity to have some fun and make some breath-taking creations.

“Handmade chocolates are such a thoughtful and luxurious gift which can be enjoyed by all of the family,” says Henley Bridge Development Chef, Samantha Rain. “To elevate them further, sell a handmade chocolate sleigh as a centre piece and let your customers pick their favourite chocolate goodies to fill it. It would make an amazing centrepiece for Christmas dinner tables!”

Sleigh moulds are available but can be costly, so Samantha crafted her own chocolate sleigh by making sheets of chocolate and cutting out shapes with cookie cutters before sticking them together. Using an airbrush, she then sprayed the sleigh with Sosa gold powdered food colouring mixed with cocoa butter. Alternatively, you can brush the Sosa gold powdered food colouring directly onto your sleigh.

The sleigh features handpiped décor and Sosa crispy wet proof – moisture resistant crispy yoghurt flavour pieces - to give it a snowy effect. 

You could also add crunchy beads, such as Mona Lisa biscuit balls in ruby chocolate, for added detail.

Festive fillings

Once your sleigh is created, it’s time to fill it full of festive delights.

“Choosing a variety of different coloured and shaped chocolates will make it look irresistible,” continued Samantha. “You could even mould some square chocolates to look like boxed gifts, complete with brightly coloured ribbons. I also included a few chocolate snowmen, which children in particular will love."

In terms of flavours, Samantha recommends including a variety of Christmas truffles and festive caramels.

“Chocolate orange, mint, and anything with Christmas spices, such as nutmeg and cinnamon, work well,” she adds. “This year, I’ve also included a decadent cherry and kirsch caramel, using Distilleries Peureux Kirsch 48% and a few alcohol-based ganaches. I’ve also made a ganache with sweet mincemeat to emulate the festive mince pie flavour, plus a delicious mulled cider and spiced apple caramel.”

Beautiful baubles

As an alternative to boxed chocolates, why not offer customers the option of filling a clear plastic bauble with handmade chocolates? Who wouldn’t want that hanging on their Christmas tree?!

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