Love is in the air

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Forget the flowers, show your love this Valentine’s Day with these homemade treats…

The celebration of Valentine’s Day originally began as Saint Valentine’s Day, a feast day in honour of the early Christian saints named Valentine or Valentinus. It was not until the high Middle Ages that the day became associated with romantic love, a notion which was made popular through the works of English author Geoffrey Chaucer.

It is also thought the reason Valentine’s Day came to be celebrated in the middle of February was not only to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death, but in an effort by the Roman Catholic Church to ‘Christianise’ the pagan celebration of Lupercalia, a festival dedicated to fertility.

Today, Valentine’s Day is marked across the world in various incarnations. In Japan, women give chocolates to men, including female office workers to their male co-workers; lovers in Singapore are most likely to be the biggest spenders according to GE Money Asia; while according to the American Greeting Card Association, around 45 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent across the US each year, the second largest number after Christmas cards.

So, with a little help from the humble cookie cutter, why not make your lover’s Valentine’s Day a little more special this year. As author Alan D. Wolfelt once wrote, “Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.”

Start with a romantic breakfast of Love Heart Corn and Cheddar Fritters. Delicious topped with sour cream and tomato salsa, these fritters will turn a simple brunch into a Valentine’s treat.

“Valentine’s Day offers the perfect excuse to indulge in delicious food and our recipe ideas are sure to leave even the toughest nut feeling sentimental,” said Amanda Menegazzo, Food Communications Manager at Dairy Australia.

If you’re looking for a decadent dessert to round off a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner then these Chocolate Pots with Crushed Caramel Peanut Popcorn are perfect – both creamy and crunchy in every bite.

So, roll up your sleeves and turn your gesture of love into a delicious dish this Valentine’s Day!

Love Heart Corn and Cheddar Fritters

Ingredients

  • 1 ½  cups plain flour
  • ½  cup cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups canned sweet corn kernels, drained
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup picked parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 200g sour cream or natural yoghurt, for serving

Method

Combine flour, cornflour, baking powder and seasonings in a bowl. Whisk eggs and milk together, add to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Batter will be thick.

Add corn, cheese and spring onions to the batter and stir until just combined. Mixture will be stiff.

Heat a non-stick frypan with a little oil. Place lightly oiled 8cm heart shaped cutters in frypan and spoon 2 heaped tablespoonsful of batter in each. Fry until golden before turning over and repeating on other side. Drain on absorbent paper.

Combine tomatoes, avocado, spring onion, parsley and oil in a bowl.

Serve fritters topped with tomato salsa and a generous dollop of sour cream.

Chocolate Pots with Crushed Caramel Peanut Popcorn 

Ingredients

  • 30g butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 1 cup cooked natural popcorn
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped roasted peanuts
  • 400g chocolate mousse

Method

Bring butter, sugar and honey to the boil in a heavy-based saucepan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Cook until mixture is golden in colour.

Remove from heat and stir in the popcorn and peanuts. Spread onto a baking-paper lined tray and allow to set at room temperature. Roughly chop.

Sprinkle half the popcorn into individual glasses or dishes and then top with chocolate mousse and remaining popcorn.

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Kira has a passion for politics, and enjoys puzzles, bad jokes and cuddles with her cat.
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