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Berry special Valentine cake

There's no need to buy a special cake tin to make this extra special cake, a large Swiss roll tin or roasting tin will work fine with a homemade paper template. Makes 8 slices Preparation time: 40 minutes Cooking time: 15-18 minutes Ingredients Cake layers 175g (6oz) soft margarine 175g (6oz) caster sugar 150g (5oz) self-raising flour 25g (1oz) cocoa ½ tsp baking powder 3 eggs Filling 100g (4oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces 200ml (7fl oz) double cream 150g (5oz) raspberries 225g (8oz) strawberries, hulled, sliced A little icing sugar, sifted Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas 4. Grease the base and sides of a 25 x 38cm (10in x 15in) Swiss roll tin or roasting

Raspberry and hazelnut shortbreads

The shortbread can be made in advance and then served on the night. Generously filled with vanilla-flavoured whipped cream and fresh raspberries these make a dainty dessert. The biscuits are also great served with yogurt or ice cream. Makes 6 servings Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Ingredients For the shortbread 100g (4 oz) hazelnuts 175g (6 oz) plain flour 50g (2 oz) caster sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 150g (5 oz) butter, diced For the filling 200 ml (7 fl oz) double cream 2 tablespoons icing sugar, plus little extra to decorate ½ teaspoon vanilla essence 300g (11 oz) raspberries Method 1. Toast the hazelnuts under the grill until lightly

Mother's Day Pulled Pork shoulder and plum compote recipe

Sweet spiced pulled pork with plum compote for Mother's Day Serves 6, with leftovers Cooking time: around 6 hours Ingredients 1.6kg (3lb 4oz) shoulder of pork (remove the rind and set aside) 2 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tsp each ground cinnamon and ginger 11/2 tbsp dark brown sugar For the compote 175g plums, stoned and chopped 175g cooking apples, cored, peeled and chopped 25g (1oz) butter 25g (1oz) light brown sugar To serve 1kg (2lb 4oz) new potatoes 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle 12 plums, halved 500g (1lb 2 oz) purple sprouting broccoli A knob of butter 1. Preheat your oven to 220°C (fan 200°C), Gas Mark 7. Line a

Valentine's Day Pulled Pork Pot Pies

Valentine's Day Pulled Pork Pot Pies Serves 2 Preparation time: around 30 minutes Cooking time: around 2 hours Ingredients 2 x 150g (5oz) pork shoulder steaks, trimmed 1 tbsp olive oil 2 shallots, chopped 1 carrot, chopped 1 celery stick, chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tbsp plain flour 1 tbsp tomato purée 200ml (7fl oz) hot chicken stock 200ml (7fl oz) cider 1 tbsp chopped thyme A little plain flour 100g (31/2oz) puff pastry 1 egg, beaten 1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan 150°C), Gas mark 3. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the shallots, carrot and celery over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until starting to turn golden. 2.

Blackberry or strawberry macaroons

These pretty patisseries make the perfect gift. Put them in a box lined with non-stick baking paper and decorate with a lacy paper doily tied with a ribbon.Makes 20 Preparation time: 40 minutes Standing time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 20-22 minutes INGREDIENTS Macaroons 6oz icing sugar 4.5oz ground almonds 3 large egg whites 3oz caster sugar A little violet or pink food coloring To finish 3oz blackberries or strawberries 4oz butter at room temperature 5oz icing sugar Preheat the oven to 275ºF and line 3 baking sheets with non-stick baking paper. 1. Grind the icing sugar and ground almonds

Goat's cheese and raspberry truffles

Who said truffles had to be chocolate? These creamy treats speckled with raspberry are great served straight from the refrigerator and perfect for cheese lovers.Makes 16Preparation time: 15 minutesChill: 1 hourINGREDIENTS5oz rindless French soft goats’ cheese1 tsp runny honey½ tsp vanilla extractA pinch of salt3oz raspberries10z pistachio nuts, finely chopped1 tbsp raw cacao powder1.Add the goats’ cheese, honey, vanilla and salt to a bowl and fork together until mixed. Break up the raspberries with the fork and lightly mix into the goats’ cheese mix. 2.Scoop heaped teaspoons of the mixture on to a small baking sheet to make about 16 mounds. 3.Spoon the chopped pistachio nuts on to one saucer and the cacao

Raw chocolate mousse

Chocolate lovers can share something sweet with this healthy raw dessert.Makes 2Preparation time: 15 minutesINGREDIENTS1 tbsp coconut oil1 avocado1 tsp water2 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder2 tbsp agave syrup or 1 tbsp honey (or more, to taste)Raspberries or blackberries, to serve1. Melt the coconut oil in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of hot water, then transfer to a blender with the avocado flesh and water and whizz until very smooth.2. Add the cacao powder and agave syrup or honey and whizz again until completely smooth. Taste and add a little more sweetening, if required.3. Put the mousse in a dish for two

Shortbread hearts with berry fruits and cointreau

This recipe makes approximately 8 shortbread biscuits, which can be made a couple of days in advance and stored in an airtight containerMakes 8Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 10-15 minutesINGREDIENTS75g fresh hulled strawberries and raspberries, mixed and rinsed2-3 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier4 tbsp double cream2 tbsp icing sugarSprigs of fresh mint to decorateFor the shortbread hearts6oz plain flour2oz caster sugarGrated zest of 1 orange4oz unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, 375°F, Gas 5.2. For the shortbread, sift the flour into a bowl, stir in the sugar and orange zest and rub in the butter until

Chocolate heart fondant with a strawberry and mint salad

This gooey chocolate fondant is a sure way to melt your loved one's heart this Valentine's Day.INGREDIENTS6 large fondants; 14oz chocolate 140z butter 14oz caster sugar 4 eggs 4 egg yolks 14oz plain flour A little extra butter and flour (60g each) to lubricate the mould 14oz strawberries 1/2cup strawberry coulis 10 sprigs of mint METHOD1) Take your moulds (heart-shaped or round) and brush inside with the extra butter so that it is completely covered, pour in the flour and roll around the mould, gently tap out the excess flour, leaving you with a non-stick mould. 2) Pre-heat your

Sweets for your sweet: 5 Valentine's desserts that say 'I love you'

Whether it’s something to share, a show-stopping dessert or a simple sweet treat, these deliciously tempting desserts will wow your someone special this Valentine’s

January 2016
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March 2016