Chocolate Lip Balm

  
Eaten lots of chocolate over Christmas? Is chocolate now on the naughty list since you made New Years resolutions? Well this lip balm, may just give you that chocolate fix you crave without the calorie intake. The lip balm smells so good…with dark chocolate and vanilla blended in, it’s no wonder.  It has the added benefit of being great for your lips with calendula oil in it, which is packed with antioxidants and is brilliant at healing chapped lips.

It’s very simple to make, you just require some base ingredients (which have many other uses too) and some lip balm tubes, which are cheap and easily available on the internet. It makes 10-12 tubes and they make great pressies.  

Before you start, open up your lip balm containers and have them lined up, as when it comes to putting the mixture you need to work swiftly. 

Ingredients 

  • 30g Shea butter
  • 15g Beeswax 
  • 15g Calendula oil or almond oil
  • 1tsp Vegetable glycerin 
  • 10g Dark chocolate 
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract

Place the shea butter, beeswax, oil, into your double boiler (or similar). Melt, stirring occasionally.

 
Add the chocolate and stir till melted. Turn the heat right down if it’s not already and add the glycerin and vanilla extract, stir through thoroughly. 

Pour into your lip balm containers, but not all the way to the top.  You may need to return the mixture back to heat and stir as it does solidify quickly!  Leave a few minutes and go back and top up each container. Once set pop the lids on. 

 
Next, apply to lips, here’s one treat where a moment on the lips does not mean a lifetime on the hips!

If you like this recipe try tinted lip balm recipe here.

    Vanilla and Cardamom Macaron

    I love macaron’s, a bite of pure pleasure, every texture, and they can be whatever flavour you allow your imagination to run away with. Beautiful enough to be gifts, but they can be tricky little things to make, and believe me I have had a few ugly results. However even the ugliest are still edible even if they can’t be a present for someone!

    For those willing to give it a go its a potentially very rewarding bake, just a little patience and attention to detail required. Here, I have used the French meringue method but the Swiss & Italian methods, are reportedly easier and I’m sure recipes are easy to come by.

    The recipe is adapted from Adriano Zumbos book Zumbarons, who is expert in the macaron.
    Getting equipment ready beforehand is essential. You will need 2 large baking sheets lined with non-stick baking paper. (Ideally the baking sheets should be doubled up to give the most even results).

    Meringue:
    90g ground almonds
    90g icing sugar
    1tsp cardamom powder
    75g egg whites (at room temperature)
    125g caster sugar
    1tsp vanilla paste or essence

    In one bowl sift the icing sugar, cardamom and ground almonds. Then, whisk egg whites until just foaming then add a teaspoon of vanilla, and a third of the caster sugar, keep beating add another third, then when egg whites are quite stiff add the rest of the sugar.
    Continue to beat until soft peaks form and you can turn the bowl upside down without any meringue falling out. Now carefully fold it through the almond mixture. Transfer to a piping bag.
    Pipe rounds of the mixture onto your baking sheets, 3-4 cm across depending on how big you like them and make sure leave plenty of room between them as they do spread.
    Tap the baking sheets to release air , and then leave them out for 30 mins in the air to form a skin on top.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160C fan and bake for 11-12 mins sometimes they take slightly longer depending on your oven. Leave for a few minutes before peeling them off the baking paper and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Ganache Filling:

    60g whipping cream
    1tap vanilla paste or essence
    1tsp cardamom powder
    95g white chocolate
    30g butter

    In a saucepan put the cream, vanilla & cardamom, bring it to the boil.
    Put the chocolate into a bowl, then pour on the heated cream stir until smooth. Cool the mixture until warm, ideally until 50c in temperature.
    Add the butter chopped up, stir until melted, (if cooled too much blitz until blended together). Cool completely, then put in a piping bag and fill and put together your macaron. Voila!
    20140603-110247 pm-82967220.jpg

    20140603-110312 pm-82992526.jpg