How Sweet It Is…
They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so why not surprise your loved one (guy or gal) this Valentine’s Day with one of these heart-themed recipes? Whatever you choose, we’re sure it will make a ‘love’ly impression.
NORDIC HEART WAFFLES
350ml whole milk
100ml Greek yogurt
350g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla sugar (or use seeds from 1⁄2 pod)
1⁄2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
100g butter, melted, plus 50 g, for brushing
Heart-shaped waffle maker (available from amazon.co.uk)
Vanilla Skyr/quark and tart berries topping:
300ml skyr (Icelandic cultured dairy product) or natural quark
1⁄2 vanilla pod, seeds only
2 tbsp icing sugar
200g mixed fresh berries
In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk and yogurt. Add all the dry ingredients and finally, add the melted butter. Whisk until you have a smooth batter, taking care not to over-beat. Leave to stand for at least 15 minutes before using.
Heat up the waffle iron and brush it lightly with melted butter. Add enough batter to the waffle iron to almost cover the surface (but not quite, or it will overspill), close the lid and cook until golden brown. This will take a couple of minutes. Repeat until all the batter is used. Note that as when making pancakes, the first one of the batch is never as good as the rest! Eat them immediately or they’ll go soggy.
For the vanilla skyr/quark and tart berries topping, whip the skyr or quark for 1 minute with the vanilla seeds and sugar. Serve a dollop with each waffle and then sprinkle the berries on top. Note that skyr and quark are naturally sour in taste and you may want to add extra sugar to taste.
Recipe from The Scandikitchen by Bronte Aurell; published by Ryland Peters & Small; photography by Peter Cassidy
Dark Chocolate, Whisky, Strawberry & Almond Hearts
For the biscuit base:
20g butter, melted
60g almond cookies, crushed
1 tbsp maple syrup
For the chocolate yoghurt:
250g FAGE Total Greek Yoghurt
1 tbsp Stevia sugar sweetener
125g dark chocolate, melted
Fresh strawberries, sliced
Flaked almonds, toasted
Mix the melted butter, crushed cookies and maple syrup together and press evenly into 2 heart shaped individual moulds.
Whisk the Stevia, whisky and yoghurt together, fold in the melted chocolate and fill the heart moulds on top of the biscuit base. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
Turn out the desserts and press the toasted flaked almonds to the sides of the chocolate.
Slice the strawberries, cover the top of the dessert and serve.
CHOC CHICK’S HEART MELTING EASTERN SPICE RAW CHOCOLATES
Makes approximately 30
1 level tsp ground cumin
1 level tsp ground coriander
100g CHOC Chick organic raw cacao butter
6 tbsp CHOC Chick organic raw cacao powder
3 tbsp raw honey or Sweet Freedom
2 tbsp rose water
1 handful pistachio nuts
Shell the pistachio nuts and chop finely. Set aside.
Set up your bain-marie on the hob over a low heat. Add the ground cumin and coriander to the bowl and stir occasionally. After three minutes, melt the cacao butter into the spices. Next, whisk in the cacao powder and honey until completely combined.
Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the rose water. Divide the mixture into small baking cups or chocolate moulds and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios. Chill in the fridge or freezer until set.
HEART SHAPED CHOCOLATE BOX CAKE
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
50g fresh raspberries
125g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
450g dark chocolate, callets or finely chopped
450g milk chocolate, callets or finely chopped
Truffles or decoration of your choice
You will need:
One slate slab (you can buy slate placemats for £10), placed in freezer for two hours
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line three 25cm round sandwich cake tins and two 25cm heart-shaped baking 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 centre 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.
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 the chocolate and pour half 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 and 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
150g plain flour
Pinch of salt
2 tsp Tate & Lyle Caster Sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, blended with 3 tbsp hot water
A few drops of vegetable oil
150g strawberries, halved
Lyle’s Golden Syrup, for drizzling
Put the flour, salt, caster sugar, eggs and milk into a mixing bowl and whisk together to make a smooth batter. Pour about one quarter of this batter into a separate bowl and beat in the cocoa mixture to make chocolate batter.
Put the chocolate batter into a squeezy bottle (you could use a rinsed-out washing up bottle for this). Heat a non-stick frying pan and add a few drops of vegetable oil. Remove from the heat. Using the squeezy bottle, carefully ‘draw’ a heart shape over the base of the pan. Heat gently until just set.
Ladle plain batter over and around the surface of the heart shape. Cook lightly until the batter just sets on the surface, then flip the pancake over to reveal the heart shape on the cooked side. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then turn out onto a warm plate. Make 4 pancakes like this, keeping them in a warm place as you make them.
Serve the pancakes with strawberries and blueberries, drizzled with syrup.
Cook’s tip: Get creative! Draw several heart shapes with the chocolate batter before pouring in the plain batter. Or ‘draw’ whatever you like!
Meringue Love Hearts
For the meringues:
60g (2 1/2 oz) Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Golden Caster Sugar
1 large egg white, about 30g (1 1/4 oz)
Squires Kitchen mint green paste food colour
For the filling:
65ml (2 1/2 fl oz) 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, an 8cm (3 1/4”) 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 one 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 feels hot to touch and has lightly coloured, stirring once. Don’t let it caramelise. Pour into a small bowl.
Reduce the oven heat down to its lowest, 110°C/Fan90°C, 225°F, Gas 1/4.
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.
The meringues can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and stored in an air-tight container.