Monday, February 13, 2012

A sweet idea for Valentines morning

As Valentine's day approaches I relish the opportunity to be unashamedly cliche and 'rosemantic' as my bf calls it. During my last year in America I spent literally hours lost in the aisles of heart shaped, red, pink and white Valentine's themed candy, chocolate and cakes etc. There is something so wonderfully ridiculous in the escapism that occurs around holidays. This is no ordinary day; this is a day of love, of expectations, of grandiose gestures and last minute offerings for forgiveness and yet, in fact, it is just another day.

For a great many years I disliked the day, I thought that it was invented and intended as a money grabbing event for peddlers of meaningless bunches of over-priced flowers and boxed chocolates, perhaps it is. But these days I think it is an opportunity to remind the one you love in little wonderful and perhaps cliche ways that you think they are amazing and that they are so loved. I personally believe that these little gestures should be frequent and random but I understand that it is all to easy to fall into a routine where you take each other for granted. Therefore I welcome any day that reminds and encourages people to show there love.

This year I intend to show my special someone my appreciation of them in a series of little gestures stretched out over multiple days. This started today with a Valentine's themed breakfast of homemade raspberry heart-tarts with pink lemonade icing.

Raspberry Heart-tarts with Pink Lemonade Icing

Short-crust pastry

225g plain flour
50g Icing Sugar
100g cold butter
Approx 3-4 tbsp of cold water until the dough has reached a smooth texture

Sieve the flour and icing sugar together, cut in the cold butter. Work this with a food processor or with you hands to achieve breadcrumbs (if you use your hands cool them using cold water before working). Slowly add the water mixing vigorously to achieve the smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour.

Pink Lemonade Icing

200g Icing sugar
2 drops red food colouring
2-3 drops lemon flavouring
1-2 tsp water until texture is smooth but firm

Sieve the icing sugar and add the drops together and the water slowly mixing constantly. Put icing into an icing bag to pipe.

Preheat your oven to 200/400/gas mark 6. Roll the dough into a 1/4 inch think and cut heart shapes using a large heart cookie cutter. Put a large spoonful of jam in the centre and cover with a second heart. Dab the edges with water and close along the edge using a fork to achieve a stitch pattern. Egg wash if you like, for these tarts I decided not to egg wash as I wanted the rough appearance, I think it looks a little more like material somehow. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes on a lined baking tray. Let them cool on a wire wrack.

Using your icing bag pipe whatever message you like...

Then brew your coffee and enjoy!

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