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valentinesfood1

Salt and Pink Peppercorns Heart Shaped Chips with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Prepare raspberry vinaigrette by crushing a few raspberries and tossing together with a little sugar and Sarson’s Malt Vinegar. Peel and cut King Edward or Maris Piper potatoes into 1/2cm slices then soak for 30 minutes in water. Use a cookie cutter to cut heart shapes out of soaked potato slices. Drain and boil in salted water for 5 minutes until just tender. Drain and pat dry with some kitchen paper. Heat peanut oil for deep-frying to 180ºC and fry in batches for 5 minutes until golden. Serve hot, sprinkled with salt and crushed pink peppercorns accompanied by raspberry vinaigrette

valentinesfood2

Passion fruit bellini cocktails

Ingredients

1 passion fruit
250ml chilled rosé Champagne or sparkling rosé wine
2 tbsp orange liqueur eg Cointreau

Method

Halve the passion fruit and scoop the flesh and seeds into a small sieve or tea strainer. Press with the back of a spoon to extract the juice then place in the fridge along with 2 Champagne saucers or flutes and leave to chill

Pour the sparkling wine (or Champagne) into the glasses then add the liqueur and 1 tsp of the passion fruit juice into each glass – the wine will foam rapidly as the passion fruit is added

 valentinesfood3

How To Make A Heart Box Cake by Molly Bakes

Ingredients

50g cocoa powder

200ml boiling water

100ml full fat milk

115g self raising flour

1tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

¼ tsp salt

125g unsalted butter, softened

150g golden caster sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

Raspberry buttercream

50g fresh raspberries

125g unsalted butter, softened

250g icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract

2tbsp milk

To decorate

450g dark chocolate, callets or finely chopped

450g milk chocolate, callets or finely chopped

You will need:

One slate slab (you can buy slate placemats for £10), placed in freezer for two hours

 

Method

Grease and line two 25cm heart shaped baking tins

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line three 25cm round sandwich cake tins

Place the cocoa powder into a heatproof bowl. Pour the water into the cocoa and stir until smooth, leave to cool slightly before adding the milk. Stir to combine

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually and cream for another 5 minutes Mix in the vanilla extract

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for one minute between each addition

Gently add half the flour and mix in until just combined, add half the cocoa mixture then repeat

Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared heart shaped tins

Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a cocktail stick inserted into the center comes out clean

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely

For the buttercream

Use a fork to mash the raspberries and set aside

Beat the butter until smooth and creamy, add the sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy

Beat in the vanilla

Add the raspberries and beat until combined. Beat in the milk

Level the cooled cake, place the bottom layer onto a cake board or stand and spread a thick layer of buttercream over it. Place the middle layer on top and repeat, spread a thin layer of buttercream over the top and then the sides of the cake covering completely. This is your crumb coat and will be covered in fondant

Set aside any remaining buttercream

To decorate

Using a pencil, trace round the heart, the outline of your cake tin onto some parchment paper

Now draw a second outline about a centimetre outside the first outline. Cut round the outside edge with scissors and set aside

Melt and temper the chocolate

Pour half the chocolate onto a sheet of parchment paper and spread thinly and evenly into a rectangle. Leave to set

Once completely set, place the outline of the heart onto it and use a sharp knife to cut the outline onto the chocolate

Spread a small amount of buttercream onto a cake stand or cake board and place this large heart over it to form the base of the cake

Spread another small amount of buttercream onto the chocolate and place the crumb coated cake over it. Set aside

Now cut the inside outline of the heart and repeat onto the set chocolate. Place on the top side of the cake

Remelt any excess chocolate and add to the remaining melted chocolate

Remove the slate mat from the freezer

Pour some of the chocolate onto the mat

Spread the chocolate out thickly and evenly with a tapered palette knife

Allow the chocolate to harden until it feels dry to the touch, this will happen quite quickly

Trim the edges of the chocolate with the palette knife and scrape them away

Quickly cut a long strip about 7cm wide. The strip should be around 2cm wider than the depth of the cake

The chocolate will not yet be completely hardened and should be easy to bend gently but will set quickly

Stick the palette knife under the chocolate at a slight angle. Lift the chocolate strip while it is still flexible and working quickly bend the strip around one side of the cake, starting from the bottom point of the heart cake and finishing in the top centre

At this point you will need to remelt the remaining chocolate left on the slate mat and repeat for the other side of the cake

You will now have a beautiful chocolate box cake to place all of your truffles into

Recipes extracted from CHOCOLATE by Molly Bakes, published by Square Peg. Photography © Georgia Glynn Smith

 valentinesfood5

 Love Hearts

Pretty as a picture, these pastel meringue hearts make a stunning finale to a Valentine’s dinner à deux. For more delicious recipe inspiration visit www.tasteandsmile.com

Makes: 2 pairs

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

 

For the meringues

60g (2½oz) Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Golden Caster Sugar

1 large egg white, about 30g (1¼oz)

Squires Kitchen mint green paste food colour for the filling

65ml (2½floz) double cream

110g (4oz) jar cherry compôte

Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Icing Sugar, for dusting

Squires Kitchen crystallised natural whole roses

You will also need 2 baking trays lined with parchment paper, a 8cm (3¼”) heart-shaped cutter and a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan180°, 400°F, Gas 6

Using the cutter, draw 4 heart shapes with a pencil on the 1 of the sheets of parchment paper, spaced apart as the meringues will spread a little. Turn the paper over so you don’t get pencil on the undersides of the meringues

Tip the sugar onto the remaining baking tray and spread it out in an even layer. Warm through on the middle shelf of the oven for about 3-4 minutes or until the sugar feel hot to touch and has lightly coloured, stirring once. Don’t let it caramelize. Pour into a small bowl

Reduce the oven heat down to its lowest, 110°C/Fan 90°C, 225°F, Gas ¼

As soon as the sugar is ready, using an electric mixer, add the white to the bowl and whisk at high speed until it is light and foamy, for about 1 minute. Slowly add the hot sugar, a dessertspoon at a time, and continue whisking until the mixture has cooled and is very thick and glossy. Scrape down the sides halfway through. This will take about 5 minutes

Using a fine skewer or toothpick, add a little of the colouring, briefly whisk again and check that it’s the colour you’d like, if not, add some more

Use a little of the meringue to stick down the paper on the baking tray. Spoon the mixture into the piping bag and pipe the heart shapes

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 55-60 minutes. The meringues are ready when they are crisp on the outside and the bases are dry and not at all sticky. Turn off the oven and leave them to cool in the oven for a few hours or overnight

To assemble, lightly whisk the cream, divide between half of the meringue hearts, spoon on the cherry compôte, then top with the remaining hearts. Arrange on plates, lightly dust with Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Icing Sugar, decorate with the crystallised roses and serve

Make-ahead

The meringues can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and stored in an air-tight container

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