Michelle Darmody: Cake and cookie recipes to whip up this Valentine’s weekend

Michelle Darmody: Cake and cookie recipes to whip up this Valentine’s weekend

Get the whole family involved with this recipe for Vanilla and Rosewater Biscuits, or show off with a special cake

Cakes and sweets aplenty this Valentine’s Day for your sweethearts!

Sat, 11 Feb, 2023 – 21:02

It is the time of year to be unapologetically cheesy and kitsch, to pull out the heart shaped sprinkles, the cute biscuit cutters and the red and pink ribbons. Valentine’s baking is all about fun. These cakes and biscuits can be shared with your loved ones, to show how much you care.

The biscuit recipe can be made by all of the family and the decorating can be as intricate or as relaxed as you like. The biscuit dough keeps well in the fridge for about a week, or you can freeze it.

There are a variety of food colourings available, liquids, gels or pastes, both natural and synthetic. Many baking shops, and supermarkets sell icing pens, but there are instructions included here for how to make your own. It is important to add the lemon juice to the icing very slowly, as you do not want it to be too runny. It will need to hold its shape when pipped. When in doubt add sparingly and test it a few times.

Orange and Raspberry Heart

recipe by:Michelle Darmody

If you can’t eat raw eggs, substitute with pre-pasteurised egg whites that are either available in a liquid or as a powder that you reconstitute with warm water.

Preparation Time

30 mins

Cooking Time

1 hours 10 mins

Total Time

1 hours 40 mins

Ingredients

  • For the cake:

  • 250g soft butter

  • 300g golden caster sugar

  • the zest of 4 oranges

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 300gself raising flour, sieved

  • 160mls freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 2 tbsp raspberry jam

  • For the icing:

  • 75g soft butter

  • 150g icing sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp beetroot food colouring (or another type of red food colouring)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 170°C. This cake mixture will fit in a heart shaped tin which is about 8 inches wide. Grease your tin very well, making sure the butter coats it completely. Add two heaped teaspoons of flour and toss it around inside your tin until all of the butter is coated. Tap out any excess flour. Set aside in a cool place.

  2. Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and zest until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs until combined, adding a spoonful of flour if the mixture begins to separate.

  3. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until combined. Add in the juice until a smooth batter is formed.

  4. Scoop the mixture into your tin and bake for about an hour or until a skewer comes of clean. Once the tin is cool enough to handle tap it a few times on a hard surface and shake it gently. Invert the tin onto a large plate and gently tease out the cake. Allow to cool completely.

  5. To make the icing, beat all of the ingredients until light and fluffy and almost doubled in volume.

  6. Cut the heart in half and fill it with the raspberry jam. Coat it in the icing and add your sprinkles.

Vanilla and Rosewater Biscuits

recipe by:Michelle Darmody

These sweet and delicate cookies are perfect for your Valentine!

Preparation Time

1 hours 30 mins

Total Time

1 hours 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 100g butter

  • 100g of golden caster sugar

  • 1 small egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 tsp of vanilla essence

  • 1 tbsp of rosewater

  • the zest of 1 orange

  • 250g plain flour, sieved

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder, sieved

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line two large flat baking trays with parchment.

  2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then slowly mix in the egg, vanilla extract, rosewater and the zest. Mix the flour and baking powder until completely combined and gently beat them into the dough.

  3. When the dough is starting to come together, turn it onto a clean surface and knead it lightly into a ball. Wrap it in parchment and leave it in the fridge for an hour or two.

  4. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 4mm in thickness and cut out your hearts. Place them onto the prepared trays.

  5. Bake for about eight minutes, or until they are starting to brown. Once cool enough to handle place onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  6. Decorate your biscuits with the icing pens or simply paint on some icing instead. Leave in a warm place for the icing to harden.

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