It may not be your favourite holiday (heck, you may not even consider it a holiday), but nonetheless it’s here. Instead of shelling out your hard earned cash on sparkly do-dads and blingy thinga-ma-jigs, consider doing something a bit less tangible.
My family, friends and I have always shown our love through food: cooking dinner with a partner, surprising a friend with a box of homemade treats or even treating a parent to a breakfast of burnt toast in bed. The time, care and love that goes into making someone a meal or creating a unique experience together ultimately trumps a flashy, expensive gift.
Whether you’re planning a special brunch, hosting a Galentine’s Day bash or preparing an intimate night in with your partner, these three recipes are guaranteed to lift everyone’s spirits this V-Day.
PASSION FRUIT CHEESECAKE CREPES
I don’t know whether it’s their French origin or the fact that you can customise them to anyone’s liking, sweet or savory, but crepes just scream Valentine’s Day brunch to me. These light, vanilla-scented pancakes take minutes to cook and are rolled up around an intoxicating blend of cream cheese, sugar and passion fruit pulp. They’re then topped with fresh pomegranate seeds – a fruit symbolising fertility and love – and a pretty dusting of icing sugar.
This is an elegant brunch to serve anyone on Valentine’s Day to show you care about them. But that person doesn’t have to be a partner; I’m sure your mother, your grandparents or the neighbour who walks your dog would be happy to sit around your table and partake in these scrumptious crepes.
In the recipe video below we feature Solidteknics cast iron skillets. These incredible pans are constructed from single forged pieces of metal. They’re designed with durability, functionality and user experience in mind and are backed by an amazing multi-century guarantee. Our test demonstrates that not only is the pan easy to handle, as it isn’t as heavy as a traditional cast iron pan, it also feels very durable and comfortable. It cooked the crepes rapidly with a perfectly golden exterior and crispy edges.
We’re excited to be exclusively launching Solidteknics in the UK at the end of next month! Keep your eyes peeled for more information and in the meantime you can check out the large range of Solidteknics skillets available on our USA site.
Serves: 10-12 crepes | Time: 25-30 minutes
- Prepare the filling by mixing together the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla and passion fruit pulp in a small bowl until smooth. Cover with beeswax wrap and refrigerate until it’s time to serve.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, milk, water and vanilla. Crack in the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the salt and whisk in the flour in two stages, making sure to beat out all of the lumps.
- Place the Solidteknics skillet over a medium heat and allow to come up to temperature. Using a measuring up, ladle out 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and swirl it around to coat. Cook the crepe for 2 minutes, or until golden brown, on each side. Remove from the pan to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.
- To serve, lay one crepe on a plate, spread 2 or 3 tablespoons of the filling mixture on top and roll the crepe up. Top with pomegranate seeds, powdered sugar or any other fruit you desire. Serve immediately.
- 90g softened cream cheese
- 2/3 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 passion fruit, pulp only
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 1 tbsp raw cane sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- pinch salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- pomegranate seeds, for serving
WHITE CHOCOLATE & STRAWBERRY BLONDIES
Flying solo this year? Got a few friends that are single as well? Invite them over! Pop some bubbly, whip up a batch of these white chocolate and strawberry blondies and settle in for a 1990s Julia Roberts marathon. No Galentine’s Day is complete without a major sugar coma to go along with your hangover and blondies are the perfect vice.
These delightful morsels are made using only eight simple ingredients: butter, raw sugar, eggs, salt, pure vanilla, flour, fresh strawberries and chocolate. They’re also a one-bowl wonder, making clearing up afterwards a breeze. And the most important bit? They’re absolutely heavenly. The slight tang from the strawberries complements the sweetness of the white chocolate and the gooey, buttery blondie base.
In the recipe video below we feature Baker’s Secret bakeware. Baker’s Secret is a brand under the World Kitchen umbrella – they also own BMO brand Corelle. They make durable, non-stick metal bakeware that is priced reasonably and comes with a full lifetime warranty. During our test, we found the pan baked the blondies quickly and evenly and they also slid out smoothly thanks to the non-stick surface. Look for this pan and other Baker’s Secret wares on the site soon!
Serves: 9-16 squares | Time: 35 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and lightly grease the corners and edges of a Baker’s Secret 8 x 8 baking tray with butter.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until emulsified. Add the egg, vanilla and salt and whisk to combine. Stir in the flour until the batter is very smooth, then fold in the strawberries and chopped chocolate.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and evenly smooth the top, making sure the batter reaches all sides of the pan. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and start to pull away from the pan. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool on a wire rack.
- Once the blondie has cooled, remove it from the baking tray and drizzle with the melted chocolate. Cut into squares and enjoy!
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 3/4 cup raw cane sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
- 1/2 cup chopped white chocolate
- 1/4 cup melted white chocolate, for garnish
CHOCOLATE-COVERED STRAWBERRY CAKES FOR TWO
If you’re planning an intimate evening in with your special someone, I’ve got the perfect dessert to accompany your immaculately grilled steak and pinot noir. These adorable cakes were inspired by a traditional Valentine’s Day treat: chocolate-covered strawberries.
These cakes are super easy to make, which is fantastic for when you’re running around trying to prepare everything else and yourself before your guest arrives. The batter and prep work can even be made ahead of time, so all you have to do is pop them into the oven to bake when it’s time for dessert! This recipe makes two individual rich chocolate cakes that are filled and topped with fresh strawberries. A decadent treat that any chocolate lover will swoon over.
In the recipe video below, we feature Sophie Conran’s ramekins. These beautiful porcelain pieces are designed by Conran in the UK and are the perfect addition to the modern kitchen. All of Conran’s oven to tableware is made to last and be passed on through the generations; it is exceptionally robust and exudes a classic elegance. Suitable for microwave, oven, freezer and dishwasher use, these pretty pieces will add a touch of splendor to your kitchen. Look for these ramekins and more from Sophie Conran’s collection on the site soon!
Serves: 2 | Time: 35-40 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and lightly grease and dust two Sophie Conran for Portmeirion ramekins with butter and cocoa powder.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, egg, milk, vanilla and salt until combined. Stir in the cocoa powder and flour in two batches until incorporated and then fold in the chopped chocolate.
- Pour 1/4 of the batter into each ramekin. Top each with 1-2 tablespoons of the strawberries and the remaining batter. Smooth the tops and bake for 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.
- Top with sliced strawberries, vanilla ice cream or a dusting of icing sugar. These cakes can be served warm or at room temperature.
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/3 cup self-raising flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup chopped milk chocolate
- 2-4 tbsp diced strawberries