CUPID’S EDIBLE CREATIONS
Impress your other half this year with one of these romantic Cupid-inspired recipes.
Pink Lady® Apple Roses
2 or 3 Pink Lady® apples
Juice of 1 lemon
50g melted butter
1 sheet ready roll puff pastry (thawed)
2 tbsp cinnamon
3 tbsp caster sugar
Icing sugar to sprinkle
- Slice your apples in half and remove the core but keeping the half apple intact.
- Thinly slice your apples and put into a microwavable bowl with the juice of a lemon (to prevent browning and to make the apples more pliable). Cover with cling film and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes to soften. Leave to cool.
- Open up your puff pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface. Cut lengthways into 6 even strips.
- Brush each strip with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and caster sugar.
- Start at one end of the pastry and place your apple slices half way up the pastry (so you can fold the pastry over later). Place the apple slices along the pastry overlapping slightly as you go. Leave a gap of few centimetres at the end to stick the pastry together.
- Fold over the bottom half of the pastry and roll from the end that you started placing the apples first. Lightly press the excess pastry to seal together.
- Place into a lined muffin mould.
- Cook in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at 180°c or Gas mark 4.
- Cool on a wire rack, then sprinkle with icing sugar to finish.
Divine Chocolate Valentine’s Tart for Two
1 pack ready-rolled all butter puff pastry
100g Divine 70% Dark Chocolate
100ml double cream
1 tbsp honey or golden syrup
1 tsp double cream + sprinkling of granulated sugar
3-4 medium strawberries
60g Divine White Chocolate
50ml double cream
Icing sugar or chocolate shavings to decorate (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC (200ºC Fan).
- Unroll the puff pastry and trace a heart shape with a knife (or pencil) scoring the pastry but not cutting all the way. Cut out the shape you traced and transfer to a heavy tray lined with baking paper. (You will probably get two small hearts out of one packet of pastry – you can keep the rest for another use or make two tarts).
- Score a 1cm border on the inside edge of the heart, then prick within the border with a fork. Brush the edge of the tart with a little double cream and sprinkle with a little granulated sugar.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden.
- Gently press down the middle of the tart to flatten the area you scored and leave to cool completely.
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat-proof bowl.
- Put the double cream and honey in a small saucepan and heat until small bubbles appear around the edge – do not allow to boil.
- Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave for two minutes.
- Use a balloon whisk to gently stir the chocolate, starting from the centre of the bowl and slowly increasing your motion outwards until the chocolate is melted and glossy. Leave to cool slightly.
- Once slightly cooled, spread enough chocolate ganache inside the pastry to fill the tart.
- Hull the strawberries then slice lengthwise from the top down. Cut a small ‘v’ at wide end to create a heart shape. Decorate the tart with the strawberry hearts.
- Chop the white chocolate into very small pieces and place in a heat-proof bowl. Gently heat the double cream and pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand and then stir gently until the chocolate melts. Leave to stand until the chocolate cools down slightly but is still pourable.
- Drizzle the white chocolate over the tart and sprinkle with a dusting of chocolate shavings or icing sugar.
A little Trex, for greasing
1 medium egg
2-3 drops vanilla extract
75g caster sugar
100g Trex, at room temperature
200g plain flour
Pinch of salt
50g polenta or semolina
250g icing sugar
Pink food colouring
- Position the oven shelves towards the top of the oven. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/Gas Mark 6. Lightly grease two baking trays with a little Trex.
- Beat the egg, vanilla extract and sugar together using a wooden spoon.
- Put the Trex into a mixing bowl with 150g (6oz) flour and the salt. Beat together with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the egg and sugar mixture. Add the remaining flour and polenta or semolina and mix together to make a smooth dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured worktop and roll out with a floured rolling pin until 5mm (1/4 in) thick. Use 2 or 3 different-sized heart-shaped cutters to stamp into biscuits. Transfer to the prepared baking trays.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes until light golden brown. Cool for a few minutes on the trays, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Mix 75g (3oz) icing sugar with a little water to make a stiff icing. Pipe carefully around the edge of the biscuits using a small icing bag fitted with a fine plain icing tube. Leave to set. Mix the remaining icing sugar with a little water and 1-2 drops of pink colouring to give a pale pink icing. Spread over the biscuits one at a time, so that it reaches the piped edges. Leave until set.
Plum Beautiful Cheesecake Tarts
6 individual bought pastry cases
6 South African Flavorking plums, pitted and thinly sliced
100g cream cheese
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 passion fruit
20g light muscovado sugar
Fresh mint, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC, fan 160ºC, Gas Mark 4.
- Put the pastry cases onto a baking sheet. Share half the sliced plums between the cases.
- Beat together the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon zest, caster sugar and egg yolk. Spoon into the pastry cases. Bake for 15 minutes, or until set.
- While the cheesecake tarts are baking, put the remaining plums into a saucepan and scoop in the flesh from the passion fruit. Add the muscovado sugar and 3 tablespoons of water. Simmer gently for 3-4 minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Serve the tarts while barely warm, with the plum and passion fruit mixture spooned on top, decorated with mint leaves.
Cook’s tip: If you like, use one large pastry case instead of individual ones – though you may have to bake this for a few minutes longer to set the cheesecake filling.