How to make the ultimate DIY Christmas hamper
11.12.2019

How to make the ultimate DIY Christmas hamper

Four Pillars Christmas Gin
Words by D’arcy McGregor

Get creative friends.

Nothing says you care more than a homemade Christmas hamper, and if you’re smart about it then it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Here’s a few recipes to get you started, and a few suggestions you can purchase to bulk it out to your budget.

Italian soft Amaretti

A favourite of mine, and super easy to make – these bad boys are gluten-free as well! This recipe can be easily divided or multiplied. Depending on your preference you can replace the cherries with almonds and for something fun try changing the Marsala for other liqueurs such as Amaretto or Sambuca.

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 ½ tsp of almond extract

1 ½ tbsp of Marsala

Zest of a lemon

200g of almond flour or meal

40g of caster sugar

Glace cherries to decorate

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°/180° fan-forced.
  2. Line baking tray with baking paper.
  3. Whisk the egg, almond extract, marsala and lemon zest. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, combine the almond flour with the sugar.
  5. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and combine.
  6. Either pipe mixture into swirls onto the baking paper OR roll into table tennis sized balls and place onto the baking paper.
  7. Gently press a cherry into the top of the biscuit.
  8. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden.

Rocky Road

My mum makes this exact recipe for Christmas every year. It’s stupidly easy and damned delicious. We use dark chocolate, otherwise it’s too sweet, but feel free to use whatever chocolate takes your fancy! If you’re a cooking novice, I’d suggest using dark cooking chocolate, if you’re a little more experienced then use coverture chocolate and temper it to get that beautiful glossy-look chocolate.

Ingredients:

280g of marshmallows

200g of dark chocolate

2/3 cup of toasted slivered almonds

2/3 cup of Allen’s raspberry lollies (cut in half)

Method:

  1. Melt (or temper) chocolate in large bowl.
  2. Add the marshmallows, almonds and raspberries.
  3. Stir to combine, make sure everything is coated in chocolate.
  4. Line a slice tin with baking paper.
  5. Tip mixture into the slice tin, spread evenly.
  6. Put in the fridge to cool until set.

Infused oils

Honestly, the easiest thing to make – and it can be quite impressive too! All you do is buy some olive oil, pop it into a jar, and add ingredients you want to infuse. If you put the jars in a dark space inside a cupboard then it infuses better. I like to use herbs to infuse, but make sure not to chop up or remove leaves from stems. If you want to infuse things like chillies or garlic, just crush them with the flat of a knife before putting them in an oil to ensure the flavour is released. I’d suggest buying a nice oil to make sure it tastes good, but whatever oil you want is fine.

Bulking out your hamper

If you want to bulk out the hampers, you can make some more gifts or even put in one or some of the following suggestions.

A bottle of alcohol

  • Four Pillar’s Christmas Gin – $100
  • Aperol Spritz and Prosecco Gift Pack – $31.90
  • Kahlua salted caramel 350ml – $14.90

Chocolates

  • Lindt Mini Pralines – $15
  • Quality streets (small) – $6
  • Corinthian wafers – $3.50

Fruit cake or Christmas pudding

  • Cannoli Bar’s Panettone – $25
  • Grandma’s Puddings 200g Traditional plum pudding – $13.85
  • Coles 200g decorated fruit cake – $5