It was called pampepato and it was going to be the answer to all my Christmas present woes. I'd found the recipe for this medieval Italian treat - a kind of panforte - and bought all the ingredients. I set aside an afternoon in my tumbledown kitchen and imagined all the grateful recipients sighing with joy as they bit into their handcrafted festive treat.
Then I took the finished products out of the oven.
"Oh," my flatmate said, peering over my shoulder. "It looks like a whole lot of cowpats."
I've since learned that Christmas plus stress plus the best will in the world will not necessarily equal success. By this stage in the game it's far too late to make chutneys and jams, but you can make this - a no-cook, no stress body scrub. And your friends and family will love you for it.
Chocolate Olive Oil Body Scrub
I snitched this recipe from Melissa at Tiny Happy, who has a really gorgeous blog about the things she makes for her shop. I've changed the proportions a tiny bit and added cinnamon for a bit of festive spice. It's moisturising and exfoliating (especially good for getting rid of dodgy fake tan streaks) - and possibly the most waistline-friendly way to get a serious chocolate hit. Enjoy!
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup brown sugar (not raw sugar, unless you have the hide of an elephant)
1/2 cup cocoa
Mix everything together until well combined. Add a little more oil or sugar to get the consistency you desire - it should be a nice blend of grittiness and viscosity. Pack into a small glass jar and decorate in a festive fashion.