10 sweet ways to celebrate Valentines…

A way to a man’s foodie’s heart is through their stomach!! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, put on that apron, get your mixing bowl out, get stirring and turn up the heat!!!

Here’s 10 ways how…

1.  Almond and Orange Garibaldi Biscuits:

If you give these a go, they’ll be in your recipe book for life (…puts trumpet away)!

Ingredients: (makes 3 batches)
100g unsalted butter room temperature
100g caster sugar
225g all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon almond flavouring
½ large egg
grated rind of a small orange
handful of currants
pinch of salt
caster sugar for sprinkling

Method:
1) Mix together the butter and caster sugar.
2) Add the almond flavouring.
3) Slowly add the ready mixed egg.
4) Stir in the grated orange rind and currants.
5) Sift the flour into a bowl then add baking powder and salt.
6) Slowly stir in the flour to the mixture.
7) Once the dough is almost together, transfer to a bowl and knead for about 1 minute.
8) Cover in cling film and chill in the fridge overnight (or in the freezer for about 10 minutes).
9) Preheat the oven to 190°C.
10) Roll out the dough and cut out 4 different sized hearts x 3.
11) Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
12) Cook for no longer than 9 minutes.
13) Allow to cool.
14) Sprinkle with caster sugar.
15) Stack and decorate with a red ribbon.
16) Enjoy x

2.  Melon Hearts:

Little touches can make everyday things taste so much sweeter.

Recipe not provided for obvious reasons!!

3.  Red Sugar Hearts:

These aren’t just any sugar lumps, these are vanilla flavoured, heart shaped sugar lumps!

Ingredients:
100g white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons water
red food colouring

Method:
1) Mix together all ingredients into a bowl.
2) Spread out onto a flat surface.
3) Cut out mini hearts using a cutter.
4) Allow hearts to set (place in fridge to speed up process).
5) Add to a serving bowl.
6) Enjoy x

4.  Whole-wheat Biscuits:

A digestive biscuit with a wholesome bit of love.

Ingredients: (makes 24)
100g unsalted butter room temperature
100g caster sugar
225g whole-wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla flavouring
½ large egg
pinch of salt
3 cups icing sugar
6 teaspoons milk
6 teaspoons corn syrup
food colouring and toppings of choice

Method:
1) Mix together the butter and caster sugar.
2) Add the vanilla flavouring.
3) Slowly add the ready mixed egg.
4) Sift the flour into a bowl, add baking powder and salt.
5) Slowly stir in the flour to the mixture.
6) Once the dough is almost together, transfer to a bowl and knead for about 1 minute.
7) Cover in cling film and chill in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
8) Preheat the oven to 190°C.
9) Roll out the dough and cut out heart shapes.
10) Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
11) Cook for no longer than 9 minutes.
12) Allow to cool.
13) Mix together icing sugar, milk and corn syrup. Add food colouring at this point if you wish.
14) Top cookies with the icing and any edible decorations of your choice.
15) Enjoy x

5.  Salted Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bark:

Chocolate is the trademark Valentine treat and it doesn’t always have to be predictable.

Ingredients: (makes 6 to 8 hearts)
100g 70% Chocolate
handful sliced pistachios
rock salt

Method:
1) Get a saucepan fill 2/3 with water and bring to the boil.
2) Place a bowl that sits comfortably on top of the saucepan.
3) Break up the chocolate into chunks and place into the bowl.
4) Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
5) Once the chocolate has melted, spoon the melted chocolate into heart shaped cutters.
6) Sprinkle over the sliced pistachios and allow to cool.
7) Do not remove the cutters until the chocolate is almost solid.
8) Once cutters are removed, sprinkle with rock salt and place in the fridge.
9) Enjoy x

6.  Meringues:

Crack open your sentimental side and whip up some of these.

Ingredients: (makes 6)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
60g caster sugar
60g icing sugar

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 110°C.
2) Separate egg whites from yolk and discard the yolk.
3) Add egg whites and lemon juice to a bowl.
4) Whisk until no longer transparent.
5) Whisk in caster sugar.
6) Fold in icing sugar.
7) Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
8) Spoon out 6 heart shapes.
9) Bake for around 1 1/2 hours.
10) Allow to cool.
11) Enjoy x

7.  Rose Flavoured Fudge:

Sweetness overloaded, you’ll just smell the words ‘I love you’ with these.

Ingredients:
400g evaporated milk
350g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter
2 teaspoons rosewater

Method:
1) Add all ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil.
2) Keep boiling, ensuring to stir continuously.
3) After about 20-30 minutes the mixture will begin to thicken.
4) Set aside for 2-3 minutes to sit.
5) Add rosewater and stir.
6) Transfer to a dish.
7) Allow to set for 15-20 minutes.
8) Cut out hearts.
9) Enjoy x

8.  Chocolate Cake:

The ultimate way to score ‘brownie’ points!

Ingredients: (makes 18 slices)
300g sugar
165g all purpose flour
100g cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
100 ml full fat milk
300g butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Icing sugar to dust

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2) Cream together butter and sugar in a bowl.
3) Mix egg, milk and vanilla extract together in a separate bowl.
4) Stir into the main mixture until smooth.
5) Sift cocoa powder and flour in another bowl, add salt, baking soda and baking powder.
6) Fold in the flour mixture to the main bowl in 3 parts.
7) Add to a 12 inch cake tin.  Line with greaseproof paper.
8) Bake for 30-35 minutes.
9) Allow to cool.
10) Cut into squares.
11) Dust with icing sugar to create hearts.
12) Enjoy x

9.  Nutella Puff Pastries:

Pain au choca-who?  Try these pastries for breakfast and impress your Valentine forever.

Ingredients:
ready rolled puff pastry
Nutella
milk
icing sugar

Method:
1) Preheat the oven at 220°C.
2) Cut out 12 hearts.
3) Lay 6 hearts out evenly on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
4) Spoon in 1 1/2 heaped teaspoons of Nutella (or enough according to size of heart).
5) Top with the remaining hearts.
6) Use tines of a fork to frame the edges.
7) Brush with milk.
8) Bake for 10-12 minutes.
9) Dust with icing sugar.
10) Enjoy x

10.  Scones with Clotted Cream and Jam:

Go high-end and be romantic with style.

Ingredients:
225g all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
40g butter
2 tablespoons sugar
110ml milk
pinch salt

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 170°C.
2) Sift flour, add baking powder and salt.
3) Mix flour and butter together until breadcrumb like texture has formed.
4) Add sugar.
5) Add milk slowly until all the mixture comes together.  You may not need all the milk.
6) Knead for about 30 seconds.
7) Roll out until around 1/2 inch thick.
8) Cut out hearts.
9) Brush with Milk.
10) Bake for around 12-15 minutes.
11) Enjoy x

x

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