Sizzle in the Kitchen this Valentine's Day

Everyone knows the way to a man's heart is to whip up a show in the kitchen, so tie on your apron and let your buns do the talking!

 

As students still feeling the purse pinch following Christmas, ditch the expensive, fancy-schmancy restaurant & cook up some fun and filthy love at home! Here’s our round-up of five delicious homemade treats to impress your beau or simply to sweeten up your single status…

 

1. Spreadin’ the Cheesy Love

Gather together: 

  • 1 pre-made pizza base, if you’re feeling lazy
  • Favourite basic tomato sauce: tin of passata tomatoes, herbs, clove of garlic
  • Freshly grated mozzarella cheese
  • A good handful of your favourite cheese, grated e.g. cheddar, parmesan, gorgonzola…
  • Variety of tasty toppings - tomatoes, sweetcorn, pepper, pineapple, ham, pepperoni, BBQ pork

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C, 350°F, gas mark 4. 
  2. Pop a pizza or baking tray onto the middle shelf to preheat whilst you get crack-a-lackin’ making your pizza.
  3. To make your tomato sauce, mix together your tin of passata chopped tomatoes, garlic, dried italian herbs, salt and pepper over a medium heat on the hob until they start to simmer. Pop this off the hob to cool slightly.
  4. Next up, prep your toppings by grating your selection of cheeses and cutting up your array of veggies into bite sized chunks. Set these aside.
  5. Time to get your pre made pizza base or roll out your dough and set it on the surface ready to garnish. Grabbing your sauce, spread it all over the base so there’s a decent covering over the entire pizza. Sprinkle on your mozzarella cheese and then layer up with your selection of peppers, ham, chicken etc.
  6. Finally, top everything with a final sprinkling of your favourite cheese, transfer onto your preheated pizza tray and bake in the oven for roughly 8-10 minutes or until golden and bubbly. 

Recipe based upon: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4683/pizza-margherita-in-4-easy-steps

If you’re feeling really fancy, try making your own pizza base from scratch using this fool-proof recipe: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/2122/quick-and-easy-pizza-dough.aspx

 

2) Cupid’s Love Bug Krispies

Bright, Fun, Crunchy and hard to say no to!

 

You’ll need:

  • 150g Rice Krispies cereal
  • Pack of small mixed marshmallows
  • Pinch of salt
  • 42g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles
  • Pack of sugar love hearts
  • Melted white chocolate
  • Dash of pink food colouring

Directions:

  1. Line a rectangular baking tin with some greaseproof paper - this will make it easier to lift the Krispies out later.
  2. Measure out your butter and melt over a medium heat in a pan, adding in your pinch of salt, drop of vanilla extract and your marshmallow mix. Keep stirring this mixture together over the heat until the marshmallows have softened and melted completely.
  3. Measure out your rice krispies and pop these into a mixing bowl. Taking your marshmallow mix off the heat, pour it all over the rice krispies and give it all a big stir until everything is coated well. Add in some sprinkles for some colour or even a tiny splash of pink colouring to really get into the mood of the day.
  4. Pour your mix into your lined tin and squish it all down so that it is all compressed together with no lumps or bumps in sight. If it takes your fancy, whilst the mix is still slightly warm in the pan, gently press in some love hearts into the mix so they’re nestled in amongst the gooey goodness.
  5. Pop into the fridge to cool for an hour or so & once done, lift the slab out of the tin. Either cutting it up into square slabs or going all out with a heart shaped cookie cutter, divide it all up and top with a drizzling of melted white chocolate. Voila!

Recipe based upon: http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/983695/funfetti-conversation-heart-rice-krispies-recipe

 

3.) Sex in a Pan

Sink your teeth into something sinful, rich and down-right dirty.

 

Grab yourself the following:

 

Cookie dough base…

  • 225g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 160g soft brown sugar
  • 150g salted butter
  • 200g chocolate chips

Middle chocolate medley…

  • Pack of Oreo biscuits
  • Pack of Rolos, Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • Chocolate spread e.g. nutella

Fudge brownie topping…

  • 100g butter
  • 60g plain flour
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a baking dish with greaseproof paper.

  1. To make your chocolate chip base, cream together the butter and sugar and slowly add in the egg, salt and vanilla extract. Next, sieve in the flour until the mix is all creamy and plop in your chocolate chips.
  2. Spread out your cookie base into the bottom of the prepared tin until it’s covering the entire bottom.
  3. Next up, get your Oreos and either placing them in lines across the cookie base or crushing them up, cover the cookie base. In between the gaps, randomly place some rolos or some chocolate of your choice such as broken up pieces of Reese’s cups. If you want to go one step further and make it even more rich, spread over a layer of chocolate spread such as nutella or some popping candy chocolate spread.
  4. Once done, set it aside and get started on making the fudge brownie topping. Beat together the eggs & sugar until smooth. Next, melt your butter over a medium heat and add this to your egg mix along with the cocoa powder. Mix together until there’s no lumps, drop in some vanilla extract and then slowly sieve in your flour. Once this is all smooth and creamy, add in your chocolate chips and then dunk this into your pan, completely covering the cookie base and Oreo/ rolo medley.
  5. Place this all into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the brownie layer crisps up and begins to crack on the surface.
  6. If you can resist them, let them cool completely in the pan and then cut them up into bite-sized squares.
  7. To serve, pile them up in a bowl, add several scoops of vanilla bean ice cream and a sprinkling of raspberries and indulge to your hearts content. Diet is a word that is not welcome when it comes to these.

Recipe based upon: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dessert/ultimate-chocolate-chip-cookie-n-oreo-fudge-brownie-bar.html

 

4.) You’re the Bomb

What you’ll need:

  • 4 small ramekins
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 85g plain flour
  • 55g butter
  • 170g tin Nestle condensed milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp espresso coffee powder (dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water)
  • 350g melted dark chocolate
  • Cocoa powder, for decoration

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and place a baking sheet into the oven to warm through.
  2. Grease your ramekins with melted butter and dust with cocoa powder.
  3. Cream together the butter, condensed milk and sugar until creamy and smooth. Gradually beat in the whisked eggs followed by the vanilla extract and the expresso coffee powder.
  4. Next, add in the melted dark chocolate and then slowly sieve in the flour until everything is mixed in well, velvety and thick.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins and bake them in the oven for 10 minutes on top of the preheated baking tray.
  6. Immediately run a knife around the edge of the ramekins and turn over and out onto a plate to serve.
  7. Plop a scoop of freshly whipped cream or vanilla bean ice-cream, add a thinly sliced strawberry to garnish and melt into the chocolate creaminess of love.
 
5.) Bananas for You

Ingredients:

  • 3 whole bananas
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Handful of slivered almonds
  • Melted chocolate sauce, to serve
  • 2 scoops of vanilla-bean ice-cream

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet over a medium heat on the hob and melt the butter until it starts to sizzle and turns a golden colour. Add in the soft brown sugar & mix together until its all bronzed and caramel-y.
  2. Peel your bananas & keeping them whole, add them to the buttered sugar mix in the pan and leave them to turn golden, slightly soft and coated in a a layer of the sweet butter-sugar sauce.
  3. With a pair of tongs, keep turning the bananas for about 3-4 minutes, until they are soft and caramelised on all sides. Next, remove them from the heat and pop each banana onto a separate serving dish to stand for several minutes.
  4. Take a knife and slice up each banana at an artistic angle into three equal-sized portions.
  5. In the same pan that you toasted the bananas in, wipe up any excess sugar sauce and then pour in your slivered almonds, ready to toast. For about 2-3 minutes, heat the almonds and stir them constantly until they turn a golden brown colour. Once done, take them off the heat.
  6. Grab your bananas and top them each with 2 scoops of vanilla ice-cream. Drizzle some honey over, pour some melted chocolate on top and then garnish with a handful of toasted almonds. Dig in and swoon.

Recipe inspired by: http://www.couponclippingcook.com/brown-butter-banana-dessert/