Tag Archives: Sweets

Food Monday ~ Yellow man

Lammas Day is in fact the 1st August , but nowadays the last Monday and Tuesday in August are when Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, becomes home to the Ould Lammas Fair.   It claims to be Ireland’s oldest traditional market fair, dating back to the 17th century.  Its exact origin is uncertain but one theory is that it began as a Hiring Fair for the area around Ballycastle.

At the present day Fair, horse trading, street entertainment and market stalls attract thousands of people to Ballycastle.  Today it’s famous for dulse, edible seaweed collected from local shores and dried out, and yellow man, which is similar to sweet rock.

There has even been a ballad composed about the fair – The Oul’ Lammas Fair by John Henry MacAuley, a bog-oak carver and well-known fiddle player. He died in 1937, long before the song became popular.

I nearly forgot…. You want a recipe!

Yellow Man

300g White Sugar (caster or granulated)
200g Golden Syrup
100ml Water
1 tblespoon White Wine Vinegar
2 heaped teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda

Prepare your tin/dish by lining with lightly oiled baking parchment.
Heat the sugar, golden syrup, water and vinegar until it starts to turn amber and reaches 150C/the hard crack stage.  Add the bicarbonate and stir thoroughly, then pour into your lined tin. Leave to cool to room temperature.

If you want it to be cut into ordered shapes, cut with an oiled knife when it has cooled to room temperature. I like it to look a little rough and tumble so cut it when it’s cool.
Store in an air tight container. It is delicious covered in chocolate or roughly crushed into chocolate mousse or Ice cream.

Now, mind the fillings when you eat this 😉

Food Monday ~ Chocolate Orange Truffles

Chocolate Orange Truffles

¼ cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
4ozs semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
4ozs semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter and cream. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Stir in 4 ounces chopped chocolate, orange liqueur, and orange zest; continue stirring until smooth. Pour truffle mixture into a shallow bowl or a 9”x5” loaf pan. Chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Shape chilled truffle mixture by rounded teaspoons into small balls (a melon baller also works well for this part). Place on prepared baking sheet. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
In the top of a double boiler over lightly simmering water, melt remaining 4 ounces chocolate with the oil, stirring until smooth. Cool to lukewarm.

Drop truffles, one at a time, into melted chocolate mixture. Using 2 forks, lift truffles out of the chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the pan before transferring back onto baking sheet. Chill until set.

Food Monday ~ Sweets

The Best Chocolate Truffles appeared in May.


Brandy Truffles

8ozs Plain Chocolate
1 tablespoon Condensed Milk
2ozs Butter
2 teaspoons Instant Coffee
2 teaspoons Brandy
8ozs Icing Sugar, sifted
3ozs plain Chocolate Vermicelli

Put chocolate into a bowl and place over a pan of boiling water.Do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.When the chocolate has melted stir in the condensed milk, butter, coffee, brandy and icing sugar.Form teaspoons of the mixture into balls and roll each in vermicelli.Place on baking parchment and leave to set overnight.


Chocolate Covered Orange Balls
Yield: Enough for a sweet shop!

8ozs Icing/confectioners’ sugar
6ozs vanilla wafers, crushed
½ cup chopped walnuts
2ozs butter
3ozs real orange juice
12ozs milk chocolate, melted

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla wafers, walnuts, butter and orange juice. Mix well and shape into 1 inch round balls; allow to dry for 1 hour.

Place chocolate in in a bowl over a pan of hot water, do not allow to come in contact with the water. Stir frequently over medium heat until melted. Dip balls into melted chocolate and place in decorative paper cups.

Seriously this quantity made 82 sweets.

Food Monday ~ The Best Chocolate Truffles

This being the Birthday week of someone very special, I allowed her to suggest the recipe of the week. The young lady came back to me with an ‘either or’ reply. Now we have already had the ‘or’ – Hugh’s Peanut Biscuits, so today you get the ‘either’!

I would normally use this recipe at Christmas time, but Birthdays are for celebrating and 30 is a Landmark year, so why not have Truffles.

The Best Chocolate Truffles

200g good quality Dark Chocolate
Cocoa Powder
200g Double or Whipping Cream
small amount Unsalted Butter (optional, butter gives the truffles a longer shelf life)
Chocolate to coat the Truffles

Finely chop your chocolate to achieve an even melting. Try and make the pieces the same size. If you are only making a small quantity, the finer the chocolate is chopped up the better as this will help to bring it up to room temperature. Cut your unsalted butter into small hazelnut sized pieces and again bring it up to room temperature. But do not allow the butter to melt.
Warm your mixing bowl it should feel hand hot.
Heat your whipping or double cream gently until just boiling. Immediately drizzle a quarter of the cream into the centre of your chocolate. Mix the cream into the chocolate to make the ganache, add more cream a little at a time, gradually working outwards as the mixture develops just like making mayonnaise.
Blend in your softened butter to the warm mixture. You should aim to achieve the consistency of mayonnaise to ensure a perfect result.
Cool your mixture overnight in a cool airy room.
Form your desired truffle shape.
Dip into melted chocolate if you want to keep the truffles for more than two days and finally roll in cocoa powder. Or simply roll in cocoa powder and eat…