The fifteenth day of our Crime Vault advent calendar brings you a recipe idea from our very own Jade. This recipe is fun to make for kids and grown-ups alike and will impress Christmas visitors more than the usual mince pie!
(P.S. No reindeer were harmed in the making of this recipe.)
Crime Vault Christmas Reindeer Madeleines
I’m going to come clean before we get going with this recipe. I am not a natural baker and the madeleines that I used to make these cheerful reindeer came ready-made from my local bakery! I then topped these parcels of deliciousness with a fun topping idea that I have outlined below.
To make 20:
20 plain cupcakes or madeleines, 200g plain chocolate, 150ml double cream, 20 red candy-shell sweeties (you know the ones I mean), 20 large milk chocolate buttons, 40 white chocolate drops, salted pretzels (for antlers!).
For this recipe you will need a batch of 20 plain madeleines. If, like me, baking is not your forte then you can buy some ready-made cakes, which will work just as well and will leave you more time for the fun decorating part. You could also use standard round cupcakes for more chubby-cheeked reindeer.
You should start with the entertaining task of breaking the pretzels into suitable antler shapes. NB: This will take longer if you pause to eat all the ones that aren’t quite the right shape. I used a small knife to cut each pretzel at the bottom, which seemed to work 80% of the time.
After lining up your madeleines on the worktop, break the bar of chocolate into a bowl and carefully melt over a bain-marie. When the chocolate has turned to a beautiful goo, gently stir in the double cream, having fun with the pretty marbling effect as you go.
Allow the mixture to cool for a couple of minutes (otherwise it just melts all over the worktop) and then artfully layer it over the tops of your madeleines. You can expect to get covered to the elbows in chocolate topping whilst trying to get an even coverage!
Next, whilst the topping is still warm, daub a little blob of topping in the middle of each chocolate button and use this to stick the red sweeties on to form the nose. Then, simply stick a button to each reindeer’s snout area.
Follow this with the delicate exercise of daubing a tiny amount of topping onto the tips of the white chocolate drops, making fun googly eyes for your little Rudolphs. Take it from me – this is much easier done when the topping has cooled down a bit. Pop the eyes on the madeleines where you would expect to find them.
Finally, take your pretzel antlers and gently insert at antler-level. If you should accidentally break one, dip it in a bit of the leftover chocolate topping and eat it immediately. This is an important part of the process.
Ta–da! Festive fun for all ages.