Romantic Desserts To Treat That Special Someone This Valentine’s My Baba 3 February, 2017 Food, Recipes Smoked Salt Chocolate Fondant Ingredients: 100g (3 1/2oz) dark chocolate 15g (1/2oz) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing 1/2 tsp cocoa powder 50g (2oz) caster sugar, plus extra 1/2 tsp 1 egg and 1 egg yolk 15g (1/2oz) plain flour 1/2 tsp smoked salt Method: Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water. Set aside while you prepare the pudding moulds. Grease 2 pudding moulds. Combine the cocoa powder with the extra 1/2 tsp caster sugar and use to dust the inside of each pudding mould. Put 2 discs of nonstick baking paper into the base of each mould, then put in the fridge until ready to fill. Cream the butter and the sugar together. Beat in the egg and yolk, then add the flour and smoked salt. Beat in the chocolate until completely smooth. Divide the mixture between the moulds and bake for 10 minutes. Turn out onto plates and serve immediately with crÃ¨me fraÃ®che or raspberry ripple ice cream, if you like. Tip: You can make this pudding ahead – make up to the point where you fill the moulds, then cover and keep in the fridge for up to a day in advance. Cook for an extra 2 minutes from chilled. Vodka, Strawberry and Basil Sorbet Ingredients: 750g (1 1/2Ib) strawberries, hulled 150g (5oz) golden granulated sugar 1 lemon, juice only 1 tbsp vodka (optional) handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped Method: Put the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and vodka (if using) in a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. Stir through the basil. Pour the mixture into the chilled bowl of an ice-cream maker and churn until the blade stops. Spoon into a pre-chilled ice-cream container, cover and freeze for 4 hours, or overnight, until solid. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, pour the strawberry mixture into a shallow container and freeze, uncovered, for 2 hours, or until the mixture is beginning to frm up. Whisk with a balloon whisk to add a little air and break up any ice crystals that are forming; return to the freezer. Repeat, whisking once an hour for the next 3 hours, then cover with a lid or clingflm and freeze for 4 hours, or overnight, until solid. About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, put the sorbet in the fridge to soften a little. Serve in scoops. Red Velvet Brownies Ingredients: 200g (7 oz) dark chocolate 135g (4 1/2oz) milk chocolate 185g (6 1/2 oz) slightly salted butter, diced 275g (9oz) soft light brown sugar 3 eggs about 2 tsp red food colouring (amount will depend on the brand you use) 85g (3oz) plain flour 40g (1 1/2oz) cocoa powder For the frosting: Heat an oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and line a square brownie tray or baking tin with non-stick parchment. Roughly chop the dark and milk chocolate and set aside 150g (5 oz) for the topping. Put the rest in a small pan with the butter and sugar then heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Once the chocolate is melted, remove to a mixing bowl and cool slightly. Clean out the pan and use it to melt the rest of the chocolate then set aside. Stir the eggs, one by one, into the melted chocolate in the mixing bowl then add the red food colouring until the mixture is a deep red colour. Sieve over the flour and cocoa powder, fold to combine and pour into the prepared tin. Pour the melted chocolate from the pan onto the surface of the brownie in four evenly spaced lines and use a toothpick to create a ripple effect. Bake on the middle shelf for 25 mins, adding a few minutes more if you prefer firmer brownies. Cool in the tin for about 10 mins then remove and cool on a wire rack. Beat the soft cheese, vanilla, icing sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Once the brownies are cool, trim off the edges and cut into nine even squares. Spread with the icing using a palette knife, keep chilled once iced. Tip: To make these extra special, use a heart cutter to stamp out hearts from pink or red royal icing and stick one in the middle of each iced brownie. Valentine Cookies Ingredients: 250g butter, softened 320g sieved plain flour 125g sieved icing sugar 1 tablespoon milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Method: Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas mark 3. Mix butter in a mixer until light, add remaining ingredients. Knead until velvety. Roll one-half of the dough at a time to about 6mm thickness using the smallest amount of flour possible. Cut out and bake on a lightly greased baking tray for 12 minutes. Cookies will be almost white when cooked. Valentine’s Honey Fool Ingredients: 2 tablespoons orange blossom honey 3 tablespoons dry, fragrant white wine 2 teaspoons cognac ¼ of a lemon 150 ml double cream 2 teaspoons flaked almonds Method: Place the honey, wine and cognac into a bowl. Finely grate in the zest (you need 1 teaspoon in total) and squeeze in the juice. Stir well, cover and chill overnight. Just before dinner, pour in the cream and whisk until bulky, then allow to chill again slightly. Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat. Serve the honey fool in wineglasses, sprinkled with the toasted almonds. Dairy-free Chocolate Truffles Ingredients: 300 g dairy-free dark chocolate 3 tablespoons coconut oil 240 ml light coconut milk 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste , or vanilla extract 1 handful of desiccated coconut 1 handful of mixed nuts , such as pecans, hazelnuts and macadamias 2 tablespoons cocoa powder Method: Chop the chocolate into small pieces, then place into a bowl with the coconut oil. Heat the coconut milk in a small pan over a low heat, then pour into the bowl and stir gently to combine – it’s important not to mix too quickly. Stir in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. Cover the bowl with cling film, then place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours. When the truffle mixture has almost set, toast the desiccated coconut over a medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly golden. Tip onto a plate, then return the pan to a medium heat and add the nuts. Toast for around 2 minutes, or until golden, then leave to cool for a few minutes. Finely chop, then place onto a second plate. Spread out the cocoa powder onto a third plate. Using a teaspoon, scoop out little balls of the truffle mixture and roll in the palm of your hands, placing them onto a tray as you go. It’s totally up to you how you decorate them – roll the balls in either the toasted coconut or chopped nuts, or for a simple finish, roll them in the cocoa powder. Return the decorated truffles to the fridge for around 10 minutes to firm up, then serve. Chocolate Love Cake with Cherries and Booze Ingredients: For the cake: 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 100 g butter , softened 100 g caster sugar 1 free-range egg 100 g self-raising flour ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ tin black cherries , drained 2 tablespoons hazelnuts , chopped For the chocolate sauce: 1 tablespoon butter 142 ml single cream 75 g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) , broken into small pieces 1 splash brandy, rum, Amaretto or Baileys Method: Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 and grease a small ovenproof dish (23-25cm) with butter. Mix the cocoa powder with a few tablespoons of boiling water and stir until the mixture is lovely and smooth. In another bowl or a food mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light, then add the cocoa mixture, egg, flour and baking powder. Mix it all together really well, pour into your ovenproof dish and sprinkle the cherries and hazelnuts on top before putting in the oven for about 25 minutes. While your cake is baking, make your chocolate sauce. Place the butter in a small pan with the cream and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and add your chocolate pieces to the pan. Give it all a good stir and then leave it for 5 minutes so that the hot cream can melt the chocolate. Add a splash of your desired alcohol and stir until thoroughly combined. To check if your cake is ready, give it a bit of a jiggle and if it doesn’t wobble too much then it’s done, if not, give it a few more minutes in the oven. Once it’s ready, pour your warm chocolate sauce all over the cake and either share it right from the dish or serve it up on two small plates with vanilla ice cream or double cream. Delicious!