Homemade chocolate truffles

Our latest recipe has been kindly written by head chef of Sweeney Hall Hotel, Thomas Roberts. Thomas is 28 and has spent his whole life Pant. “My family are local and from Llanymynech,” he says. “I have worked at Sweeney Hall Hotel in Morda for 11 years and became their head chef in April this year.”

Homemade chocolate truffles
Homemade chocolate truffles make ideal Christmas gifts

Since taking over as head chef at the hotel, Thomas says he has been passionate about making everything from scratch. “From our breads that we serve in the restaurant, right down to the homemade fudge we put in our hotel bedrooms, we make it all,” he says.
According to Thomas, Christmas is a time for sharing. And what better way to show you care than to make a handmade present using Thomas’s recipe for homemade chocolate truffles?

“This is a nice and simple recipe,” he says, “and it makes beautiful truffles, perfect for a gift or to impress your dinner guests.”


Homemade chocolate truffles

Makes approx 25 truffles

For the truffles:
175g of chocolate – any of your choice. I use a dark chocolate with a high cocoa content.
40g unsalted butter
25g caster sugar

For the coatings:
100g of hazelnuts, toasted and chopped for hazelnut truffles
2 tablespoons of icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder combined for chocolate dusted truffles
Mixed colour sugars for sugar coated truffles
Crushed meringue for meringue truffles
Plus many more – you can be as creative as you like with the coatings!

Put on a pan with some water in the bottom and bring to a simmer. Place all the truffle ingredients into a metal mixing bowl and place over the pan of water.

Mix until smooth and then place the chocolate into a fridge for approximately four hours – just long enough to partially set the chocolate, but still easy enough to handle.

Break up the mixture into small pieces, enough for 25 truffles, and roll each one into the different coatings. My personal favourites are the hazelnut truffles as they roll easily and look the most effective.

Place the made truffles into truffle cases and you’re done!

Christmas waste collections in Pant

Staff from Veolia depot
Staff from the Oswestry Veolia depot

Shropshire Council is reminding people in Pant to check when their recycling and household rubbish collections are due over the Christmas and New Year period.

The day of the week that waste and recycling is collected will change over the Christmas period. These changes start the weekend before Christmas 2014 and end on Saturday 3 January 2015. Across the county, some collections will be before the usual day of collection and some will be later than usual.

In Pant, the black bin collection which would normally be made on a Tuesday morning will be made on Monday 22 December instead.

The changes to collection dates are already highlighted clearly on the existing calendar that was delivered to all homes.

Go wild in Pant!

RabbitHere in Pant, we’re lucky enough to see lots of wildlife on a regular basis. From rabbits hopping about on the lawns to bats flitting in and out of the trees, you don’t have to look too far for some animal magic.

Now we want to know what wild creatures you regularly see (or hear) where you live. Whether it is an urban fox in the bins or a flock of seagulls by the sea, most of us see some sort of wildlife in our daily lives.

In Pant, for example, we have seen badgers bumbling up the road and owls hooting from the chimney tops. There are lots of birds to see too, from wood pigeons and collared doves to magpies and robins. In summer, we often see buzzards circling above the fields and we have even seen and heard green woodpeckers – you can’t mistake the sound of their cackling laugh. At this time of year of course, when the weather is cold, if you put out some nuts and seeds, you’re likely to attract lots of birds into your garden.

Pant is quite rural, with fields, rocks and hills all around, so it isn’t surprising there is quite a lot of wildlife, but we’re sure that, wherever you live, you see wildlife too and we’d like to know more.

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If you’ve got a photo you can send us too, that would be great and we can put it on the website. Just tell us where it was taken (and, for copyright reasons, please make sure it’s your own photo!)