If your behind like me and wanna do a quick bit of romantic baking – here’s a couple of recipes!
So quick run to the supermarket and get some ingredients!!
Pretty as a picture, these pastel meringue hearts make a stunning finale to a Valentine’s dinner à deux.
Makes: 2 pairs
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
For the meringues
60g (2½oz) Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Golden Caster Sugar
1 large egg white, about 30g (1¼oz)
Squires Kitchen mint green paste food colour
For the filling
65ml (2½floz) 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, a 8cm (3¼”) 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 the 1 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 feel hot to touch and has lightly coloured, stirring once. Don’t let it caramelize. Pour into a small bowl.
Reduce the oven heat down to its lowest, 110°C/Fan90°C, 225°F, Gas ¼.
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.
These adorable pop-in-the-mouth cupid cakes will undoubtedly set hearts aflutter.
Prep time: 1½ hours
Cooking time: 10 minutes
For the chocolate cakes
20g (¾oz) cocoa
2¼ tbsp boiling water
40g (1½oz) unsalted butter, softened
25g (1oz) Lyle’s Golden Syrup
75g (3oz) Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Golden Caster Sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp milk
60g (2½oz) plain flour, sifted
½ level tsp baking powder
2 rounded tbsp smooth apricot jam
For the fondant icing & decoration
250g (8oz) Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Fondant Icing Sugar, plus extra for rolling
4-5 tsp water
Squires Kitchen red paste food colour
You will also need 2 x 12-hole mini cake tins lined with paper cake cases, a 4cm (1½”) round fluted cutter and 3 tiny heart-shaped metal plunge cutters, available from Squires Kitchen.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan160°, 350°F, Gas 4.
In a small bowl mix the cocoa and water together with a wooden spoon until smooth, then add the butter, Lyle’s Golden Syrup, Tate & Lyle Golden Caster Sugar, the egg and milk and beat well. Sift over the flour and baking powder and mix well to make a thick batter.
Spoon the mixture into the cake tins to slightly more than half full. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 9-10 minutes until risen and they spring back when lightly pressed in the centre.
Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Sift the Tate & Lyle Fondant Icing Sugar into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the water, a teaspoonful at a time, and stir with a wooden spoon until it is too stiff to stir any more. Roll the icing into a ball and turn out onto a surface lightly dusted with Tate & Lyle Fondant Icing Sugar and knead for a few minutes until it becomes completely smooth, soft and pliable. If it feels too dry splash with a very little cold water and carry on kneading until the water is absorbed. If it’s too wet, dust the surface with extra Tate & Lyle Fondant Icing Sugar.
Divide the fondant icing into 2. Colour one batch with red adding dots of colour in several spots with a toothpick and knead well until the colour is evenly blended. Continue until you get your desired shade. To keep your hands stain-free, wear food-safe disposable gloves until you have finished working with the red fondant. Leave the other batch white.
Lightly dust the surface again with Tate & Lyle Fondant Icing Sugar and separately roll out both fondants to about 3mm (1/8”) thick.
Using the fluted cutter stamp out 9 circles, and lots of little heart shapes, from each of the red and white fondant icings.
Put the apricot jam in a small pan with a splash of water pan over a low heat until melted then lightly brush over the tops of the chocolate cakes.
Place the circles of fondant of top of the cakes and very lightly press down so they stick to the jam. Decorate the tops with contrasting little hearts, decoratively sticking them on with a dab of Tate & Lyle Fondant Icing Sugar mixed with a very little water to make a ‘glue’. Arrange on a plate and serve.
Make and freeze the undecorated cakes in a lidded container up to 2 weeks ahead.
The fondant icing can be made up to 1 week ahead, wrapped in cling film and stored in the fridge.
Recipe credits: These recipes were used with Tate & Lyle Sugars, for more yummy recipes check out www.tasteandsmile.co.uk