Jasmine’s 5 Valentine’s Day Bakes You’ll Love

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If there was ever a brilliant excuse to do something a little special in lockdown, it has to be Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re baking for your sweetheart at home or want to deliver a lovely treat to your nearest and dearest, I’ve rounded up some ideas to brighten up your weekend. Lemon Basil Almond Drizzle Cake This cake is a firm favourite from East by West (page 95). This is a lighter take on a classic lemon drizzle, with a beautiful freshness from the basil. It’s made using a base of ground almonds and tapioca. Chocolate Raspberry Muffin Volcanoes The ultimate Valentine’s Day recipe, these muffin volcanoes are ooey-gooey and oh so delicious. They are not too sweet but just sweet enough thanks to sticky jam and dark chocolate. I make these using a gluten-free flour mix. Blackberry Apple Ginger Buckwheat Cake A mouthwatering cake that’s vegan and gluten-free — what more could you ask for? Delicious for a special breakfast hot out the oven or an afternoon tea, I love the t

Beetroot Quinoa Risotto

How To:

1. Ideally soak the quinoa overnight or for 8 hours in double the volume of filtered water with a pinch of salt. Drain and rinse thoroughly before cooking

2. Preheat oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan assisted/gas mark 5. Wash and quarter the beetroot. Roast for 30 – 40 mins until tender (we use a knife and fork to handle the beetroot to avoid pink fingers or wash your hands immediately to avoid a pink stain!)

3. Meanwhile, peel & finely dice the onion(s). Peel & finely chop, grate or crush 1 large or 2 smaller garlic cloves. Wash the thyme, pick the leaves off the stalks

4. Wash the celery. Finely dice it. Heat the butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry until softened for 8 mins, stirring occasionally

5. Add the garlic, thyme and celery to the pan. Fry for 30 secs. Add the quinoa. Squeeze in the juice from ½ the lemon. Add 600ml of water. Turn up the heat to bring to the boil, then turn down to a medium simmer. Leave to cook for 12 -15 mins until the quinoa is tender. Try a little and if not tender, leave it to cook for a few mins longer. Add more water where necessary to stop the quinoa drying out

6. Meanwhile, prepare the parsley oil by peeling 1 garlic clove, washing the parsley and putting them both in a blender. Squeeze in the juice from the other lemon half and blend everything together. Transfer to a small bowl for later, but don’t wash the blender out.

7. When the beetroot is tender, remove from the oven, leave until cool enough to handle, then peel off the skin as best you can (some skin is fine, be sure to get the knobbly harder ends off). Blend to a purée (in the same blender) with approx 4 tbsp or so of water, just enough to get it moving.

8. When the quinoa is cooked, stir through the beetroot purée. Season. Leave to simmer for 3-4 mins to warm it through, then turn off the heat. You might want to add another ladle or so of water if the risotto is getting dry as the quinoa will continue to suck up any liquid (it depends on your preference if you like your risottos a bit wetter or less so)

9. While the risotto simmers, crumble or chop the cheese. Gently fold it through the quinoa. Check the seasoning. Divide between two serving bowls. Serve each bowl with a drizzle of parsley and lemon oil.



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