Valentine's dessert recipes
Money Can’t Buy You Happiness Brownies
Makes 18 squares
Prep 40 minutes, plus overnight chilling
Cook 55 minutes
Best kept in the fridge for 3–4 days
For the brownie base:
250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
250g dark chocolate
4 medium eggs
280g soft dark
1 teaspoon instant coffee mixed with 2 teaspoons hot water
120g plain flour, sifted
30g cocoa, sifted
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon plain flour
150g dark choc chips
For the nutty centre
1 x 450g jar of dulce de leche
200g chopped mixed nuts or hazelnuts
½ teaspoon salt
For the top:
300g full-fat soft cream cheese
100g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon plain flour
cocoa powder for dusting
I don’t think I need to elaborate too much on these, do I? I am always in search of the best brownie, and I figure if you can’t find it, make it. So here it is: a triple chocolate brownie, with a layer of toasted chopped nuts encased in dulce de leche, then topped with a zesty cheesecake mixture and baked again. I rest my case.
Put the butter and chocolate in a small pan and melt gently, stirring occasionally until the mixture is liquid. Set aside to cool.
Line the base and sides of a 20 x 30 x 5cm brownie tin with some baking paper so that it comes 1cm above the top of the tin, and lightly grease.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 60°C/gas 4.
Add the eggs, sugar and cooled coffee to a large mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is light, thick and fluffy. This should take 5 minutes with an electric hand whisk. (Adding the coffee really enhances the flavour of the cocoa and you won’t even be able to taste the coffee itself.)
Pour in the cooled melted chocolate and whisk until the mixture no longer has any streaks in it.
Then add the sifted flour, cocoa and salt and mix until you have a glossy batter.
Mix the teaspoon of flour with the chocolate chips in a bowl before mixing them into the batter until they’re well dispersed – this trick will stop them sinking to the bottom when you bake the brownies. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level off the top. Bake for 25 minutes.
While it is baking, toast the nuts in a large non-stick pan, stirring until they are a deep golden brown.
Put the dulce de leche in a bowl along with the toasted nuts and the salt, mix and set aside.
As soon as the brownies are baked, take them out of the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin. As soon as they have cooled, spread the sticky nut mixture over the top and pop the whole thing in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Adjust the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3½.
Make the cheesecake top by mixing the cream cheese, sugar, egg, almond extract, orange zest and flour together really well.
Spoon and spread into an even layer over the nut mixture and pop into the oven for 30 minutes.
As soon as the cheesecake is set in the centre, allow to cool totally and leave in the fridge overnight. The wait will be worth it!
Dust with the cocoa, take out of the tin and cut into squares. Eat, eat, eat!
Taken from Nadiya Bakes
by Nadiya Hussain
(Michael Joseph, £22.00). Photos by Chris Terry.
Bake our easy jam tarts and they'll instantly become a family favourite – plus, you can make them in less than half-an-hour if you use ready-made pastry.
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
125g butter, chilled and diced, plus extra for the tin
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped (optional)
100g jam, fruit curd or marmalade of your choice
Put the flour, butter and a pinch of salt in a bowl and rub them together with your fingertips (or you can pulse these ingredients together in a food processor if you have one). When the mixture looks and feels like fresh breadcrumbs, stir in the egg and vanilla seeds, if using, with a cutlery knife. Add 1 tbsp cold water, then start to bring the dough together in one lump with your hands – try not to knead it too much. Add 1 more tbsp of water if it’s not coming together, but try not to add more than that. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Butter a 12-hole tart tin, then dust your work surface with flour. Unwrap and roll out the chilled pastry so it’s about the thickness of a £1 coin, then use a straight or fluted round cutter to cut out 12 circles, big enough to line the holes in the tin. Dollop 1-2 tsp of your chosen filling into each one and, if you like, cut out little pastry hearts (perfect for Valentine's Day) and pop them on top.
Bake for 15-18 mins or until golden and the filling is starting to bubble a little. Leave to cool in the tin for a few mins then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Prep 25 minutes
Cook 18 minutes
Taken from BBC Good Food
Prep 1 hour
Cook 10 minutes
Perfect as a homemade gift for chocolate and prosecco lovers. Rich, melt-in-the-mouth chocolate truffles with a hint of our favourite tipple
For the filling
150ml double cream
25g unsalted butter
100g dark chocolate , finely chopped
50g milk chocolate , finely chopped
For the coating
150g milk chocolate
icing sugar for dusting
Put the cream and butter in a saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted and the mixture starts to simmer. Put both types of chocolate into a large heatproof bowl then pour the hot cream mixture on top of the chocolate. Leave to sit for a minute or two then stir until all the chocolate has melted, finally stir in the prosecco. Chill the mixture for 4 hours or overnight if you can.
Line baking trays with foil. Pipe the mixture, shaping into 25 small balls on the trays. Now put the trays in the freezer for 1 hr or until you’re ready to serve them. Put the milk chocolate for coating into a heatproof bowl and heat in the microwave until melted, stirring after every 30-second blast. Alternatively set the bowl over a pan of simmering water to gently melt the chocolate. Drop a frozen truffle into the melted chocolate and turn it over with a spoon to coat it, then place back onto the foil-lined tray. Repeat with the rest of the truffles. The coating should set in about 5-10 mins.
Once set, dust a plate or bowl with icing sugar then roll a truffle around on it to coat. Repeat with the rest of the truffles, re-dusting the plate when necessary, then place into boxes or on a plate to serve.
Taken from BBC Good Food
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
Try making this classic Italian dessert with delicate vanilla and a fresh strawberry topping. The perfect light sweet for a chilled summer gathering
2 ½ sheets gelatine
400ml double cream
60g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
fresh strawberries, to serve
strawberry compote, to serve
Add the sheets of gelatine to a bowl of cold water and soak for 5 mins.
Pour the milk and cream into a saucepanwith the sugar and vanilla seeds (to scrape the seeds out of the pod, use the back of a knife). Stir to combine and bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Take the gelatine out of the cold water and squeeze out the excess, then add to the milk mixture. Stir until completely dissolved. Tip into four ramekins and place in the fridge to set for at least a couple of hours.
To serve, turn each ramekin upside-down onto a serving plate. If the panna cotta won't drop out, carefully dip the ramekin in a bowl of warm water to loosen it. Serve with a drizzle of strawberry compote and sliced fresh strawberries.
Vanilla panna cotta
Taken from BBC Good Food