lifestyle

Three delicious dishes to share with loved ones

Show them (or yourself) some love this Valentine’s Day with these indulgent recipes from Le Creuset.

This month, we’ve teamed up with Le Creuset to make your foodie dreams come true, with three comforting dishes to fall in love with. Whether you’re treating your sweetheart, your family or yourself this Valentine’s Day, get ready to indulge with these specially selected recipes.

PAELLA RISOTTO – serves four

  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200 g fresh chorizo, cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 500 g prawns, cleaned and shelled
  • 12 large mussels, cleaned well
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 40 g grated parmesan
Method
  1. In a saucepan, warm the chicken stock over a low heat. Once it starts to simmer, remove from heat and season to taste. Add the saffron threads and cover.
  2. In a large pan, melt the butter then add the onion. Sweat the onion over a low heat until translucent – around ten minutes. Add the rice and stir fry for five minutes over a high heat.
  3. Add the wine to the pan and stir until almost completely absorbed. Stir in the saffron-infused stock a ladle at a time, waiting for it to be absorbed before adding more.
  4. In a separate pan, heat up the olive oil and sear the chorizo until golden brown on all sides. Add the prawns to the pan and toss to coat in the chorizo oil and absorb its flavours. Keep the pan on the heat for just a few minutes, until the prawns are cooked.
  5. Once almost all of the stock has been added to the risotto, stir through the parmesan and add in the mussels with the last ladle of stock. Season well. Cook until the mussels open and discard those that haven’t opened.
  6. Add the chorizo and prawn mixture to the risotto. Garnish with a sprig of parsley and serve.

RED VELVET CHOCOLATE CAKE – serves 8-10

For the cake:

  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 40 g cocoa powder
  • 240 ml rapeseed oil
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 30 ml red food colouring
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 100 ml strong coffee, cooled
  • 240 ml buttermilk
  • ½ tsp white wine vinegar

For the icing:

  • 125 g soft butter
  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 500 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

For decoration:

  • 100 g white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 50 g dried cranberries
Method
  1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 180 °C. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Mix the oil and sugar together. Add in the eggs, food colouring and vanilla essence and beat well.
  2. Beat the coffee and buttermilk together in a mixing bowl. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients and half of the coffee mixture to the egg mixture and combine. Add the vinegar to the remaining coffee mixture and add this along with the rest of dry ingredients to the rest of the mixture. Mix well.
  3. Grease a Le Creuset Heart-Shaped Casserole. Pour in the cake mixture and bake for 15 minutes at 180 °C. Turn down to 160 °C and bake for another hour. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  4. To make the cream cheese icing, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add half of the icing sugar and mix well. Add the rest of icing sugar and vanilla and mix again. Refrigerate until needed. Once cooled, cut the cake into two layers. Spread half of the icing on the bottom layer, place the second layer on top and ice. Alternatively, dust the top with icing sugar and decorate with chocolate shards.
  5. To make the white chocolate and cranberry shards, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted. Spread the chocolate on a lined baking tray and sprinkle the cranberries over. Once set, break into pieces and use for decoration.

ROSE PETAL CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CAKE – serves 6-8

For the cake:

  • Spreadable butter, for greasing
  • 150 g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 125 g spreadable butter, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp Greek natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp rosewater
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g raspberries

For the decoration:

  • 100 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • Handful of raspberries
  • A few pink rose petals
  • Icing sugar (optional)
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
  2. Position an oven shelf in the centre of the oven. Grease the Le Creuset Cast Iron Heart Casserole and line with baking paper.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the caster sugar, spreadable butter, eggs, Greek yogurt, rosewater, and vanilla extract. Use a wooden spoon to beat the mixture together for 1–2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Fold in the raspberries, squashing them a little as you go. Spoon the mixture into the prepared casserole and level the top.
  4. Bake for 45–50 minutes. To test if the cake is cooked, insert a fine skewer into the centre of the cake, it should come out clean, if it doesn’t, cook for 3–5 minutes more. Place the casserole on a cooling rack and leave until the cake has cooled completely.
  5. To decorate the cake, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, make sure the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Drizzle over the cake and sprinkle a few raspberries on top. Just before serving, scatter a few pink rose petals over the surface and dust with a little icing sugar.

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