I first knew of her when I asked why my friend kept her nail varnishes in the fridge. "Oh, Nigella said to do so. It works!"
Her Christmas shows always make me want to throw fairy lights over absolutely everything and call it done. When I saw her make Puddini - mini Christmas pudding bonbons - I knew I had to make them too. I did, and became hooked.
Over the years I have changed up the recipe to make a Spring version, and now a Summer version.
Spring was Madeira cake, marmalade, white chocolate, apricot brandy, chopped glacé pear, orange and lemon extracts and a milk chocolate covering.
Summer was what I made today. I used to adore a chocolate bar when I was a child called Cabana. Tender and moist coconut filling, cherry pieces, a layer of soft caramel on the top and all covered in milk chocolate. Bounty was NOTHING compared to them, especially now.
I had that in my brain when I made these.
125 grams best-quality white chocolate (finely chopped)
PLUS 75g for swathing purposes
350 grams shop bought coconut cake
60 millilitres coconut rum
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tsp coconut or vanilla extract
2 tbs coconut milk powder
4 tbs coconut flour if the mix is a bit liquid (not all shop bought cakes are created equal)
10-15 chopped glace cherries
1/2 cup butterscotch chips (optional)
Gently melt the white chocolate. White can catch fast, so watch out.
Smoosh the cake in a bowl - icing, filling and all - and pour in the melted chocolate, syrup and rum.
Mix in the cherries and butterscotch chips if using, and then the coconut milk powder.
If the texture seems too loose to roll into balls add in coconut flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
Once the whole is a stiffish paste, cover it and pop it in the fridge to set up. It makes them easier to roll.
Once set up, roll them into balls and place them on a baking tray. What size ball is up to you!
Melt the second lot of white chocolate, and pour a spoon over each ball. Don't use it all up though, if you want to decorate further. My chocolate skills consist of 'blob it all on and see what happens' so just go for it.
I held a few spoonfuls back, and mixed in 1/8 tsp beetroot powder* to colour it a light pink, then drizzled that over the tray of confections.
A tiny touch of desiccated coconut went on, and a piece of cherry in a fit of whimsy.
Behold, a trayful of delicious whimsy!
*I knew that the powder wouldn't cause the chocolate to seize, whereas a liquid food colouring might.