Jan 12, 2011

SSG Manor Gets Frocked Up. Donna Hay's Super Easy Brownie Brandy Truffles

It's Extreme Makeover at SSG Manor today.  I'm hosting a little (my first) Proper Dinner Party.  My little brother H is in town and I thought it would be nice for his friends to come to our house for a meal before doing whatever it is that youngsters get up to after dinner these days.  Drinks?  Coffee?  Dancing?

I've taken to the decoration aspect of entertaining like a duck to Ikea sponsored water.  Inspiration and aspirations to be India Hick's Australian cousin found me in the Ikea Marketplace the other day.  It may have been my free percolator coffee courtesy of my Ikea Family card but who am I to question the source of my artistic energy?

There was potential in every corner of The Manor.  That drab area over the shoe cupboard?  A Jo Malone fragranced installation of black pebbles, a large glass vase and a candle.

Our wedding candle holders from Georg Jensen make their first public appearance next to the fruit bowl.

Our Tiffany & Co crystal vase - ditto.  Oh the shame of its debut with.... FAKE flowers.  The real flowers where I was doing the groceries were so uninspiring.  I was forced to trip the plastic fantastic.

I might not have the music sorted for the evening (thinking of just playing the music channels from Foxtel and trying not to hyperventilate when George Michael gets played, he's in Sydney at Whale Beach as I type....) but we have a room fragrance burn list.  I'm starting with Jo Malone's Grapefruit and then Jo's Wild Fig & Cassis for later on in the evening.

The front porch / She Shed has also been touched by Ikea - again.  I found these candle lanterns.  Weather permitting, I'm going to light them and place them at various points on the porch.

There was heavy duty cleaning of the coffee table.

Which is now dressed up for  tonight.  Planning to start with oysters and sashimi.

The much neglected dining table got its annual wood treatment.

I'm planning to fill the vases with water and light floating candles on the top.

Am I ever going to get around to the food?

All the recipes are tagged and the shopping is done.  I felt somewhat better about leading my normal life and frivolously holding a dinner party tonight by being able to make my donation to the Queensland Flood Relief Effort at Woolies today.

I remember reading somewhere that having a few home made elements to the food at a dinner party can make up for all manner of sins (such as fake flowers and a cheats dessert involving fresh fruit, prosecco and glasses) so I made some truffles last night.  Readers, they are SUPER easy and if you liked the Rum Balls I blogged about in December, these will go down a treat too.

The recipe for Donna Hay's Brownie Brandy Truffles can be found in 'No Time to Cook'.  

All you need are chocolate brownies, cocoa and brandy.  I should have gone the extra mile and tracked down that super rich and dark cocoa, it really does look better.  I ended up making a batch of brownies to use in the recipe. I think Donna Hay has her own brand of brownie mix too but I love good old Betty Crocker.

Deconstruction is the basis of these truffles.  Brownies are made to be crumbled.  It was fun doing the crumbling.  The recipe called for 1 cup of brownie crumbs to make 12 truffles.  I used my whole batch of brownies to make 20 or so good sized truffles.

Simply add 2 teaspoons of brandy per cup of brownie crumbs and then mulch all together with your hands.

Finally, coat your truffles in cocoa / coconut or icing sugar.  See what I mean about the cocoa not being dark enough?

It's pretty sticky work and the cocoa dissolves on contact with sticky fingers so I used kitchen gloves to handle the cocoa coated truffles.  Refrigerate until they harden and enjoy!


  1. Everything looks fabulous! Loving the T & Co vase!!!! Looking forward to reading a full report tomorrow! X

  2. Lovely, SSG! Can't wait to hear how it all went.

  3. Sounds like it will be a special night. Loving the table runner and candles etc.


  4. God that was a soothing calming post. Your home looks lovely. Thankyou for your text-I am fine. But we are all very anxious re the peak at 4am. Loving my Tiffany piggy bank xxx

  5. Hope it's going well! I'm sure it is - it looks just beautiful. I used and loved the rumball recipe you posted pre-Xmas (my son ate most of them and keeps asking when I'll make them again).

  6. Hi girl...
    I love your style...
    And I am such a sucker for white candles...
    Note to self; will purchase some today:)

    Maybe green:)
    Have a great evening

  7. Wow, your brother is such a lucky guy. Wish you were my sister :)

    I'm sure your dinner party was amazing, you've put so much thought and effort into it. Don't know how i'm going to be able to resist making those brownies, they look amazing.

  8. Your table looks gorgeous. Thank you so much for the other vinegar tip, I want to try it but need to figure out when to put the vinegar in the washing machine as it's a front loader :/

  9. Mez: I just put mine in the pull out powder / softener shoot. I just read somewhere that I also needed to add BICARB to the washing powder.

    I will do a post dinner review soon. It was great fun.

    SSG xxx

  10. Beautiful!! Candles and Georg Jensen - hey your dinner party doesn't even need food. x


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