is some ideas for Valentines Day
2 shop bought meringues heart shaped
For the filling and garnish
4 passion fruits
120ml/4 fl oz double cream
1 1/2 teaspoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons tinned pineapple pulp or crushed pineapple
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
Cut three passion fruits in half and scoop out the
centres into a sieve, set over a bowl.
Force the pulp through the sieve, pressing hard on
the seeds, and discard the seeds.
In a bowl beat the cream until it holds soft peaks
and fold in the pineapple and passion fruit juice with
the sugar until just combined.
To make the garnish cut the remaining passion fruit
in half and scoop out the seeds, reserving them.
Arrange a shop bought meringue heart on each of 2
plates. Top the meringue hearts with the flavoured whipped
cream and garnish with passion fruit and pomegranate
Around Valentines you can often find heart shaped
meringues otherwise just use normal ones.
CREAM WITH ORANGE SYRUP
115g (4oz) pistachio nuts, shelled
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange liqueur
4 tablespoons caster sugar
600ml (1pt) double cream
5 egg yolks
1 tablespoon orange water
115g (4oz) golden caster sugar
300ml (1/2pt) orange juice
Place the nuts, brandy (or orange liqueur if using),
caster sugar in a food processor and grind to a paste.
Place this mixture in a saucepan with the cream and
bring to almost boiling point. Remove from the
heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes
Beat the egg yolks in a bowl, pour on the cream and
whisk to combine
Return the pistachio cream to a saucepan over a low
heat and stir until thick, do not allow to boil
Pour into two flat soup plates or four ramekins and
allow to cool then refrigerate until ready to eat.
Meanwhile heat the orange water, add the sugar and
orange juice into a saucepan and bring to the boil,
cook until slightly reduced and syrupy, allow to cool,
strain. Spoon the orange syrup over the surface
of the pistachio cream, when ready to serve
If you do not want a coarse texture you can strain
the nuts out, that is up to you
Orange water or orange flower water will be found
in the baking section in your supermarket or you can
Makes at least 40
175g/6 oz soft brown
4 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoon black treacle
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground
half teaspoon ground
2 pinches of nutmeg
1 orange, rind of
1 lime, rind of
200g/7 oz butter
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of
450g/1lb plain flour
Heart shaped cookie cutters
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Place the first nine ingredients in a saucepan
with 1 tablespoon of water and stir cover a low heat until just
Remove the above mixture from the heat and allow to cool slightly before
whisking in the butter and bicarbonate of soda.
in the flour and beat until smooth. Cover the surface of the dough with
clingfilm and allow to rest for 30 minutes to firm up the
roll out the dough to 1/6 inch/2.5mm and cut out using a heart shaped cookie
cutter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Transfer the gingerbread to a lightly greased baking sheet and cook in batches
for 10-12 minutes depending on your oven or until firm.
Remove from the oven and leave the gingerbread on the baking tray for 5 minutes
to cool slightly before transferring them to a wire rack for further cooling.
As the gingerbread cools, it will become firm and more crisp.
Drizzle the hearts with Lemon Icing by using the back of a desertspoon and leave
8 tablespoons sifted icing sugar
2 tablespoons lemon
1. Combine the icing with the lemon
juice until smooth.
FRUIT AND NUT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
4 large dates,
25g (1oz) sultanas,
1 tablespoon dark
55g (2oz) walnuts, finely
1 tablespoon cocoa
115g (4oz) plain, good quality
15g (1/2 oz) unsalted butter, cut
into small pieces
1 medium free-range egg yolk
30ml (1fl oz) double
25g (1oz) dates,
1. Place the dates and
sultanas in a small bowl with the rum and set aside to soak for at least 2
hours. Place the walnuts in a heavy-based frying pan and lightly toast, tossing
occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Once cool enough to
handle toss in the cocoa powder and set aside.
2. Break the chocolate
into a heatproof bowl and melt over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave
on high for 2-3 minutes. Allow the chocolate to completely melt before stirring,
then add the butter and continue to stir until the butter has melted. Remove
from heat, allow to cool slightly.
3. Beat the egg yolk and
cream and add little by little to the chocolate mixture, fold in dates and
sultanas, then beat with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes until well combined. Cover
the bowl with clingfilm and chill for at least 2 hours to allow the mixture to
4. Using a melon baller,
scoop out balls of the truffle mixture and roll in the toasted walnuts. Place
the truffles in mini muffin cups. Store in an airtight container in the fridge
and bring out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to eat