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Sweet love: Try our Valentine’s paired cocktail and desserts

There’s nothing more likely to get you in the mood for love than someone making a special effort. So for Valentine’s we thought we would bring you something extra special to tantalise the tastebuds.

I got together, with super chef Jay Beeley of Stockport cookery school Black Apron to bring you some paired desserts and cocktail for your special day.

We decided on a delicious Lychee and Rose Millefeuille with Jasmine Anglaise and Strawberry Sorbet (pictured) or the much simpler Meringue Fruit Salad. These have been paired with a Pink Grapefruit and Rose Collins, featuring Lanique Rose, London Essence Jasmine and Peach Soda, Pink Grapefruit and Strawberry Shrub.

Lychee and Rose Millefeuille with Jasmine Anglaise and Strawberry Sorbet

Italian Meringue

Ingredients

266g Caster Sugar

66ml Water

100g Egg Whites

2 tsp Lemon Juice

Filling

Sliced lychee

Whipped Double Cream

Jasmine Anglaise/Thick Custard (see recipe below)

Garnish: Dried Rose Petals

Strawberry sorbet (shop bought is fine)

Jasmine Anglaise

Ingredients
  • 320 ml thickened cream
  • 60ml whole milk
  • 2tbsp Twining’s Jasmine Tea – 1 tea bag
  • 85g caster Sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
Method
  1. Combine the cream and milk in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the Jasmine tea bag, turn off the heat and let it infuse for 15 mins before straining to remove the teabag.
  3. In a bowl whisk your sugar and egg yolks until pale yellow. Then start adding the cream and keep whisking.
  4. Return the mixture back to a heavy base saucepan and turn up to medium heat. Keep stirring making sure it doesn’t stick. Cook until it coats the back of the spoon.Pass mixture through a fine sieve and chill before using.

Italian meringue

Method

1.Put the sugar, water and lemon juice into a small saucepan over a medium heat with a thermometer resting in the liquid. Start to slowly whisk the egg whites either in a stand mixer or with a hand-held electric whisk until just starting to foam.

2. Heat the sugar until it reaches 121°C then slowly pour into the egg whites whilst still whisking. Turn the whisk up to full speed and whisk until cooled to room temperature – the meringue is now ready to use.

3. Next, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and brush with vegetable oil, divide the meringue equally between the templates (of whatever shape you like) on top of the baking paper. Using a palette knife, spread the meringue in a thin, even layer, smoothing it right to the edges of your template.

4. Sprinkle some dried rose petals then bake the meringues in the lower third of the oven for 45–50 minutes at 90°C, or until they will lift off the parchment cleanly and have completely dried out. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

5. Once cool prepare the fillings. Slice the lychee nice and thin, pipe a small amount of whipped cream in a circle to hold the Creme Anglaise in the centre.

6. Layer three garnished meringues and leave one plain for the top, top with Strawberry sorbet. Decorate accordingly.

Meringue Fruit Salad

Meringue Fruit Salad

Ingredients

266g Caster Sugar

66ml Water

100g Egg Whites

2 tsp Lemon Juice

Melon (balled)

Raspberries (Sliced)

Strawberry Coulis (shop bought is fine)

Basil

Method

1. For the Italian meringue put the sugar, water and lemon juice into a small saucepan over a medium heat with a thermometer resting in the liquid.

2. Start to slowly whisk the egg whites either in a stand mixer or with a hand-held electric whisk until just starting to foam.

3. Heat the sugar until it reaches 121°C then slowly pour into the egg whites whilst still whisking.

4. Turn the whisk up to full speed and whisk until cooled to room temperature – the meringue is now ready to use.

5. Spoon 2 tbsp of meringue into the centre of your plate, make a well in the middle with the back of your spoon and place in your fruit.

And now for the cocktail…for those who don’t know, a shrub is a fruit-based syrup, usually mixed with vinegar, to create a delicious, tangy flavouring for drinks. Here’s how to make it to form the basis of our Valentine’s cocktail.

Pink Grapefruit and Rose Collins Cocktail

Ingredients

25ml Lanique Rose

12.5ml Fraise de Bois Briotett

50ml Grapefruit juice

12.5ml Strawberry Shrub (see method below)

50ml London Essence Jasmine and White Peach Soda

Strawberry Shrub Recipe (for 500ml): 12 Strawberries (hulled) 175ml White vinegar, 200ml (2:1 sugar to water) Gomme, 150ml Water, 15g Black pepper, 25ml Balsamic vinegar.

Method: Simmer the above shrub ingredients on a low heat until the strawberries have broken down, then strain and chill.

Cocktail Method: Shake the shrub and all the other ingredients together, except the soda.

Strain into a glass with fresh ice.

Top with soda. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit.

Hank Hughes-Lundy
Hank Hughes-Lundy
Hank has a wealth of experience and knowledge in Hospitality, specialising in the drinks sector. He runs a consultancy business, Big H Hospitality and is a hospitality tutor for Barfection, enthusing our next generation. You will always find him in the kitchen at parties mixing a mean cocktail.

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