Valentine’s Day – February 2015

Here are a list of recipes from our first event – Valentine’s Day

Cake Feb11

Sweet Manhattan Valentines Chocolates


110g Whipping Cream (approx. 150ml)

130g 74% Ecuadorian Chocolate 

70g 45% Peruvian Chocolate

15g Butter

35g Cocoa Powder

25ml Haig Club Single Grain Whisky

1tsp Sweet Vermouth

3 Dashes Woodford Reserve Spiced Cherry Bitters

1tsp Luxardo Marachino Cherry Syrup (from jar)

Orange Peel Twist


1. Bring cream to boil, tip in chopped chocolate and mix well, until chocolate is melted and mixture is shiny. 

2. Add butter and mix well.  

3. Add Whisky, Vermouth, Bitters and syrup and mix well (using a spatula works best).

4. Leave in fridge to set (about 4 hours minimum, can be left for days if necessary).

5. Once set, using a tsp, take a blob out and rub in palms of hands to create a ball. The heat from hands should melt the exterior a little. Roll in cocoa powder. Once rolled burn the orange peel a little and spritz over the chocolates.

Should make around 15-25 chocolates, size dependent.


 100g Icing Sugar
200g Plain Flour
50g Cornflour
50g Ground Almonds
250g pack cold Butter, cut into cubes
50g Glace Cherries – finely chopped
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
8 tbsp Cherry Jam
1. Heat oven to 160c. Sift the icing sugar, flour and cornflour together in a bowl.  Stir in the ground almonds and butter, then rub in the butter until smooth. Stir in the chopped glace cherries and almond extract, and bring together to form a dough.
2. Roll out on a lightly floured surface, then stamp out biscuits using a heart shaped cutter.  Keep re-rolling the trimmings until all the dough is used.  Transfer the biscuits to baking trays with parchment and bake for 10 mins until pale golden.
3. Using an upturned bottle top or similar, press gently into the centre of each biscuit to make a round indent.  Spoon in a little jam and return to the oven for 2 mins. Remove and cool on a wire rack, before dusting with icing sugar to serve.


Strawberry Milkshake Layered Cake (recipe from Lakeland)



5 x Eggs
275g Self raising flour
275g unsalted Butter
275g Caster Sugar
2 tsp of Baking Powder
2 tbsp of milk
food colourings (pink,red & purple)


200g Sugar & Crumbs Strawberry Milkshake Icing Sugar
100g Unsalted Butter

Strawberry frosting to cover cake
Pink Sugar Glitter
Milk & White Chocolate Hearts for Decoration
1. Put your oven on at 180 degrees to preheat. Grease your 5 layered cake tins.
2. Break eggs into a food mixer or bowl and whisk gently then add the rest of the cake ingredients except food colourings and mix until the mixture is smooth and all well mixed together.
3. Divide mixture into 5 bowls and here the fun begins with the food colourings. I started with pink then added some red to make a darker pink and then some purple, to make the darker purple I add some red to the purple.
4. When you are happy with your colours pour them into your 5 cake tins and place them evenly spaced in the oven for approx 18minutes – test with a skewer when time is up. Your skewer should be clean after each cake test.
5. Remove from oven leave to cool for 5 minutes then turn cakes out and let them cool on a wire rack.


Hidden Heart Cake (recipe from BBC Good Food)


For the cake:

2 x 175g unsalted butter

2 x 175g golden caster sugar

6 large eggs

2 x self-raising flour (sifted)

2 x 1/2 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp cocoa powder

2 x 85g ground almond

2 x 100ml milk

3 tsp vanilla extract

28ml bottle red food colouring.

For the Icing:

100ml double cream, 200g milk chocolate in small pieces, 50g unsalted butter, pink sprinkles.


1. Heat oven to 140c fan. Grease a 900g loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper. Cream 175g butter and 175g sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat 3 eggs and pour in, a little at a time, mixing after each addition.  Sift together 140g flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder and the cocoa, then fold into the butter mixture along with the almonds.  Combine 100ml milk, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and all the food colouring and add to the batter, then mix until evenly coloured.

2. Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 1 hr 10 mins in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack.  When cool cut the cake into 4cm slices.  Using a 5cm cutter, stamp out the hearts (remaining cake can be used for something else).

3. Repeat step 1 to make a second cake mixture – you won’t need the cocoa or food colour in this batch.  Pour 3/4 of the mixture into the prepared loaf tin.  Push the bottoms of the hearts into the batter in a tightly packed row.  Spoon over the remaining mixture, covering as much of the hearts as possible. Bake for 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean.  Cool for 10 mins in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. For the icing, gently heat all the ingredients over a low heat unil combined.  Leave to cool, then chill until needed.  Spread over the cooled cake and decorate with the sprinkles. keeps for 3 days in a cake tin.


‘French Macarons’:

4 large egg whites (or 5 small)

1/3 cup or 70g caster sugar

1 3/4 cups 230g pure icing sugar

1 cup or 120g ground almonds

A tiny pinch of salt

food colouring (optional)


1. Place egg whites and caster sugar in a bowl and mix with electric mixer until stiff enough to turn the bowl upside down without it falling out, continue to whip for 1-2 more minutes.  How long this takes will depend on your mixer.

2. Add food colouring if desired and continue to mix for a further 20seconds.

3. Sift the ground almonds, icing sugar and salt twice, discarding any almond lumps that are too big to pass through the sieve. Fold into the egg white mixture. It should take roughly 30-50 folds using a rubber spatula.  The mixture should be smooth and a very viscous, not runny.

4. Pipe onto trays lined with baking paper, or silicone trays and tap trays on a table firmly (this prevents cracking) and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Check if one comes off the tray fairly cleanly, if not bake for a little longer (make sure you are using non-stick baking paper or they will stick).

Ganache for the filling:

100g chocolate
30ml cream

Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for a minute and then stir. If it is not adequately melted then microwave for 20 seconds and stir – repeat until smooth. Allow to cool and thicken before piping onto macarons.

‘Heart Shaped Double Chocolate Brownies’:


250g (9oz) butter, plus extra to grease

250g (9oz) dark chocolate with at least 50% cocoa solids, broken into pieces

100g white chocolate, broken into pieces

4 medium eggs

175g light muscovado sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

75g plain flour, sifted

¼tsp baking powder

1tbsp cocoa powder, sifted, plus extra to dust

100g pecan nuts, chopped

A pinch of salt

A little icing sugar to dust


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) mark 6. Grease and line a 20.5cm (8in) square tin with greaseproof paper. Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Put to one side.

2. In a separate bowl, melt the white chocolate over a pan of simmering water, making sure the base doesn’t touch the water. Put to one side.

3. Put the eggs into a separate bowl. Add sugar and vanilla extract and whisk together until the mixture is pale and thick.

4. Add the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, pecan nuts and a pinch of salt to the bowl, then carefully pour in the dark chocolate mixture. Gently fold all the ingredients together using a large metal spoon to make a smooth batter. If you fold too roughly, the chocolate will seize up.

5. Pour the brownie mixture into the tin. Spoon dollops of the white chocolate over the brownie mix, then swirl a skewer through it several times to create a marbled effect. Bake for 20-25min. The brownies should still be fudgey inside and the top should be cracked and crispy.

6. Allow to cool in the tin. Transfer the brownies to a board and cut into hearts using a heart shaped cutter. Gently sift a little icing sugar over the top

‘Heart Shaped Cake Pops’:


4 eggs

125g granulated sugar

125g cup plain flour

Half tsp baking powder

Juice of one lemon

100g white chocolate

100g milk chocolate


1. Beat egg yolks for ten minutes till light and fluffy (less in a mixer)

2. Beat egg whites till firm and dish can be turned upside down.

3. Add sugar to yolks, beat till light, fluffy/foamy. Add lemon juice, sift flour twice then fold the flour and whites (do not beat) into the mixture.

4. Pour the mixture in heart shaped silicon trays. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and bake for 20 minutes. Once cooked leave to cool.

5. Next melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. Once it starts to cool down spear each heart with a stick and dip into the chocolate. Leave to cool and harden.

6. Next melt the dark chocolate as above and fill a piping bag with the cooled down chocolate. Using a thin nozzle pipe patterns onto the pop cakes and leave to cool and harden.


Marshmallow Cupcakes ( from Hummingbird Bakery )


120g plain flour

140g caster sugar

1½ tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

45g unsalted butter, at room temperature

120ml whole milk

1 egg

¼ tsp vanilla extract

12 medium pink marshmallows

200g mini marshmallows

For the frosting

1 quantity vanilla frosting

Edible glitter, to decorate

A 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) gas 3.
  2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
  3. Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
  5. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. Put the medium marshmallows in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave until melted and smooth.
  7. When the cupcakes are cold, hollow out a small section in the centre of each one and fill with a dollop of melted marshmallow. Leave to cool.
  8. Stir the mini marshmallows into the vanilla frosting by hand until evenly dispersed.
  9. Spoon the frosting on top of the cupcakes and decorate with edible glitter.


Passion Fruit and Raspberry Baked Cheesecake



300g Digestive Biscuits

140g butter (melted)


275g golden caster sugar

6 passion fruits

1 tsp cornflour

900g full fat cream cheese

4 tbsp plain white flour (sifted)

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 large eggs

200ml soured cream

Raspberry Hearts:

100g raspberries

25g golden caster sugar

1 tsp cornflour


1. Heat oven to 180C (fan oven). Line a tin (I use a loose bottom tin) with baking parchment. Put the biscuits in a food processor and whizz to a fine crumb. Add the butter and whizz again to combine. Empty the biscuit/butter mix into the tin, press down firmly with the back of a spoon to cover the base, then bake for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, remove and leave to cool.

2. While the base is cooling, empty the contents of the 6 passion fruits into a sieve and sieve the contents into a bowl so you are just using the juice and not the pulp or black seeds. Put 25g of golden caster sugar and the passion fruit juice into a small pan. Mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp old water and add this to the pan. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat, the mixture will bubble, continue to stir the mixture over the heat till it begins to thicken and represents thick pouring caramel consistency (if you don’t keep a close eye on this it can burn very quickly). Set aside to cool.

3. Repeat the last step with the raspberries in a separate pan. Ensure you sieve the raspberries so you are just using the juice and combine with 25g caster sugar and cornflour and water mixture. Heat and stir till it represents thick pouring caramel consistency. Set aside to cool.

4. In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese with an electric whisk until smooth. Add the remaining golden caster sugar (250g golden caster sugar) and whisk again. Add the flour, vanilla, eggs and soured cream and whisk until smooth and well combined. Lastly fold the passion fruit mixture into the cream cheese mix.

5. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the biscuit base till it is the same height as the sides of the tin.

6. Using a teaspoon or the handle end of a fork, drip very small blobs of the raspberry mixture on top cheesecake. Start in the centre of the cake and spiral the dots out from this spot. When complete you should have a spiral of red spots on top of your cake. Then using a cocktail stick and beginning with the centre circle, run the cocktail stick through the centre of each spot, don’t lift the cocktail stick out until you finish the last circle.

7. Bake for 10 minutes at 180C, then lower the heat to 90C and bake for a further 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for 1 hour, then leave for 1 hour more with the oven door ajar. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours (even better – overnight).

8. And then…Enjoy!!


Cupcake with a Heart (from Cupcake Jemma)


For the Hearts

200g Soft Unsalted Butter
200g Caster Sugar
3 Large Eggs
50g Self Raising Flour
150g Plain Flour
1 tbsp Whole Milk
1/2tsp Vanilla Extract
Pink or Red Food Colour Paste

For the Cupcakes

125g Soft Unsalted Butter
125g Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs
125g Self Raising Flour
1/4tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 1/2tbsp Whole Milk
1/4tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Buttercream

175g Softened Unsalted Butter

150g Plain Icing Sugar

150g Raspberry Ripple Flavour Icing Sugar

Freeze Dried Raspberry Crumb to decorate


1. First, we’re going to make the pink sponge for the hearts in the centre of the cupcakes. Preheat your oven to 160c and grease & flour 2 x 8″ loose bottom tins. In a bowl place 200g Caster Sugar and 200g softened Unsalted Butter and beat for 3-4 minutes until really pale and fluffy (you can do this in a food mixer or with a hand whisk).

2. With the whisk on medium speed, add your 3 eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between adding each to ensure it has been fully combined. Your mixture should be silky smooth by the end.

3. Now sieve in 150g Plain Flour and 50g Self Raising Flour straight into the bowl and fold gently until thoroughly mixed in (you can do this if you have the specific setting on your mixer or by using a spoon).

4. In a cup, mix 1tbsp Whole Milk with 1/2tsp Vanilla Extract and stir well before adding a small amount of food paste and stirring again before adding it to the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl before folding gently to ensure the colour is mixed all the way through.

5. Pour an even amount of the mixture between your 2 tins and level with a palette knife. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Once done, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 20 minutes.

6. Once cooled, remove cakes from  the tin and using a cake leveller or serrated knife, carefully remove the crusty top of your sponges. With a small heart cookie cutter, press out 12 hearts (you may not need all of the second sponge). Leave the heart shapes to one side.

7. For the cupcake mixture, preheat your oven to 170c and sieve 125g Self Raising Flour, 1/4tsp Bicarbonate of Soda and 125g Caster Sugar into a bowl along with 125g Softened Unsalted Butter and 2 large Eggs.

8. Start your mixer on a slow speed beat your mixture, increasing to medium speed for 1 minute. Take your speed back to slow and add 1 1/2tsp Vanilla Extract into the mixture and increase the speed back to medium for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and give the mixture a good mix, taking care not to knock the air out.

9. Using a tablespoon, scoop an even amount into each of your baking cups and then press a sponge heart into the middle of each cup, pressing it down to the bottom. Make sure that you put each heart in at the same direction so that you’ll know where they are after they’re done! (I put a very small mark on the outside of each of the baking cups). Bake for around 18-20 minutes until done. Allow to cool completely

10. Finally, make your buttercream. Place your softened Unsalted Butter in a bowl and beat for 2-3 minutes until it’s pale and fluffy. Now add your plain Icing Sugar and beat again for 2-3 minutes before adding your Raspberry Ripple Icing Sugar and beat again for 2-3 minutes (start your speed low and work up to medium to avoid an Icing Sugar cloud descending on your kitchen!). Place your buttercream into a piping bag with a large round nozzle and pipe onto each cupcake. Sprinkle some Dried Raspberry on top to complete.




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