I am guessing there will have been a lot of red roses on order this past couple of days for the weekend – Valentine’s Day will soon be here again!
Seems like just a blink since last year but here we are in February 2016, and I have just realising it has been three years now since I started this wee column up!
It’s completely mad sitting here looking back over everything that has happened in that time and thinking on all the changes but thank you for reading and following the recipes and most importantly, baking the recipes that are featured.
I can’t believe I missed out talking about Pancake Tuesday in last week’s paper. It has crept up so quietly and quickly that I didn’t even realise until one of the kiddos at school asked could we make pancakes.
Unfortunately I couldn’t with her class because I teach them on Fridays. I hope you all still had the recipe from last year – love the thick, fluffy pancakes doused in lemon juice and even more sugar. Oops!
So we know what that means now – just six weeks until Easter. It is very early this year, but I don’t think there is any reason to complain.
Here’s hoping the weather picks up a little bit before then though, so we can get out into the garden and get some more wee jobs done to it. But back to this weekend.
I’m sure there are plenty of romantics who have all sorts of treats planned, or maybe you would just rather have a weekend like any other.
CHOCOLATE CARAMEL TREATS
Whatever you prefer, I don’t know too many people who would turn down a little chocolate caramel treat!
The ones I have here this week have been turned into hearts (see tip of the week) – if you aren’t making these for your other half then you can just leave them as rounds instead.
But if you do feeling like treating that someone special, then why not try these bitesized sweet hearts.
• 200g plain flour
• 100g cold butter
• 25g caster sugar
• 1 egg
• Half a tin of ready made caramel
• Milk or dark chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 170C (fan).
2. Combine the flour and butter until they resemble breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, and finally the egg. Work it through until dough is formed.
3. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
4. If you have a mini muffin tin, use it – or else use a normal bun tray. Cut rounds to fit inside your tin. Shape like hearts (see tip).
5. Pierce the base of each case with a fork, and bake for 10 minutes until pale golden brown. They will still be soft to the touch.
6. Using a piping bag, pipe the caramel three quarters the way up the case. Let it settle.
7. Meanwhile melt the chocolate. Using another piping bag, pipe chocolate to the top of the case. Pop into the fridge for a couple of hours to let the chocolate firm up.
TIP OF THE WEEK
Use a marble, or a few dried peas, or baking beans to make the heart shape – tuck it into one side and the case will bake around it. Slip a bit of greaseproof between the marble and the pastry so they don’t bake into it!
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