Treat Time: Easy Sweets To Make For Your Valentine
Treat Time: Easy Sweets To Make For Your Valentine
Looking for a no-fuss Valentine’s Day gift? The best way to say ‘I love you’ on February 14th is with one of these delicious sweet recipes.
Chocolate, Raspberry & Meringue Cupcakes
Makes 12 Cupcakes
For the cupcakes
175g plain flour, sifted
30g cocoa powder
185g caster sugar
½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
75g dark chocolate, chopped finely
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 medium free-range eggs
120ml cold coffee
105ml vegetable oil
For the raspberry filling
1 bag of frozen raspberries
¼ cup caster sugar
For the top
100g softened unsalted butter
225g icing sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons whole milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 shop bought ready-made meringues
3-5 tablespoons of the raspberry filling (ingredients above)
Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases.
(Make the cupcake mixture first). In a large bowl, tip in all the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, mix all of the wet cupcake ingredients, along with the eggs. Combine the dry mixture with the wet and stir until there are no lumpy bits. Transfer the mixture to a jug so that you can pour the cake batter in to the cupcake cases easily, filling them about ¾ full. Bake for 20 minutes.
(Next, make the raspberry filling). Cook the frozen raspberries and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat until the mixture has reduced and gone jammy, about 20 minutes.
(Next, make the topping). Beat the butter in a large bowl for 3 – 4 minutes until it is pale and fluffy. Add the icing sugar in two stages, beating for 2 – 3 minutes in between. Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat for a further 3 minutes until the buttercream is light, white and fluffy. Mix in the raspberry goo and stir but no too thoroughly. Break up your meringues in to small nuggets and stir them through the buttercream.
(Finally, the assembly). When the cupcakes are cooked and cooled, use an apple corer to gently remove the centre and fill with raspberry goo. Using a spoon, pile the topping on top of each cupcake and drizzle with raspberry goo.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark4 and line a muffin tin with eight paper cases.
Melt the butter in a small pan, then leave to cool for 5 minutes. Tip the sugar, cocoa and flour into a food processor and whizz to get rid of any little clusters of sugar that are sticking together.
Scoop a little of the mixture into each muffin case, then lightly press a white chocolate truffle in the centre. Spoon over the remaining mixture, making sure that the truffles are covered.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the mixture has firmed up. Leave to cool.
Once the muffins are cooked and cooled, it’s now time to decorate. Tip the butter and sugar into a large bowl, add the vanilla and beat with an electric hand whisk until smooth. Thinly spread a little of the vanilla mixture over the top of the cakes to cover them, taking the icing down the sides to meet the paper cases.
Beat the cocoa powder into the rest of the icing, put in a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe hearts onto the top of each cake. Add a chocolate heart to decorate for the final flourish.
85g each milk and dark chocolate, broken into squares
1 – 2 long, thing, plain grissini
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
100ml double cream, at room temperature
Mix the caramel with the salt, divide between 2 small glasses and chill.
Melt the milk and dark chocolates together in a glass bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Snap the grissini into short lengths and dip each end into the chocolate to coat a little. Sit in an airtight container lined with baking parchment and chill to set until ready to serve.
Stir the double cream and milk into the remaining melted chocolate until smooth, then scrape into a jug. Slowly pour on top of the caramel, around the edges first. Chill the pot for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
To serve, scatter a little more sea salt on top of each pot, then add one or two sugar-tipped grissini.
Recipe via BBC Food.
Chocolate Floral Shards
800g white chocolate
Natural food colouring in pink and violet
Pink sugar crystals
Melt the white chocolate.
Line your baking tray with white paper, make a make-shift separator out of some more paper and place across the middle to stop the two different colours of the chocolate from merging.
Separate the melted chocolate into two dishes and add the pink food colouring to one and the violet to the other.
Pour the chocolate into the baking tray – using the paper to separate. Smooth with a flat spatula so the mixture is even.
Remove the petals from your edible flowers, and, while the chocolate is still in a liquid state, sprinkle the flower petals over the top of the chocolate.
Next, add the sugar crystals and dried strawberries.
Place the baking tray in the fridge for around 30 minutes or until the chocolate has set.
Once hardened, remove the slab of chocolate carefully from the baking paper and cut into shards with a knife.
Melting Middle Truffles
Makes 40 Truffles
½ 450g jar dulce de leche/caramel toffee
100g dark chocolate, chopped
2 x 200g bars milk chocolate, chopped
142ml double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
85g cocoa powder, to coat
Make the middles first. Heat the dulce de leche in a pan for 1 minutes until warmed and runny, then stir in the chopped dark chocolate and leave to melt. Stir until smooth. Cover a dinner plate with cling film, oil the cling film well, then tip the mix onto it. Cool, the freeze for 2 hours or until very firm.
Put the milk chocolate into a bowl. Bring the cream to the boil in another pan, then pour it over the chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes, then add the vanilla and stir until smooth. Cool, then chill until set.
Peel the caramel from the cling film and snip into thumbnail-size pieces (wet kitchen scissors work best here). Spread the cocoa powder over a large baking tray. Take a heaped teaspoon of the truffle mix with cocoa-dusted hands, poke in a caramel chunk, squash the mix around the caramel to seal, then roll into a ball.
Put onto the tray, then shake to coat in the cocoa. Repeat with the rest of the mix, then freeze, or chill if making less than 3 days ahead.