Plan an extra special treat for you and your loved one with this delicious 3-course Valentine’s Day Feast – featuring goat’s cheese hearts to start, steak and sweet chilli beetroot mash for your main course and a decadent raspberry & white chocolate tart to finish.
Each course can be prepared ahead of time so all you need to do is bake your hearts, and cook your steak and serve.
Whatever your plans, these three festive Valentine’s Day recipes will help you host the perfect romantic night in.
Blackberry and Goat’s Cheese Hearts
Serves: 2 – 4 Prep time: 35 mins
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 15g (1/2 oz) butter
- 2 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 150g (5oz) blackberries
- 3 stems fresh thyme, leaves torn from stems, plus a little extra for garnish
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 12oz packet (or 375g) ready rolled chilled puff pastry, or defrosted if frozen
- Beaten egg, for glazing
- 100g (4oz) goat’s cheese, cut into 4 thin slices
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan), Gas Mark 6. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring until softened. Add the sugar and fry for 5 minutes, stirring more frequently until lightly browned.
- Mix in the blackberries and thyme then season with salt and pepper.
- Unroll the pastry then cut 4 heart shapes, transfer to a wetted baking sheet and prick the centre of each heart with a fork, leaving a border about 2cm (3/4 inch) all the way round. Create your heart approximately 5×5 inches by cutting into the pastry with a knife, or create a template from baking paper or a piece of card for uniformity.
- Brush the pastry with beaten egg then pile the onion and blackberry mix in the centre of each pastry heart. Bake for 10 minutes until the pastry is well risen and lightly browned.
- Top each with a slice of goats cheese, a few extra thyme leaves and some salt and pepper. Bake for 4-5 minutes more until the cheese has just softened and the pastry is cooked.
- Meanwhile, fork the vinegar, oil, sugar and mustard together in a bowl to make a dressing. Add a little salt and pepper then the salad leaves and raspberries and gently toss together.
These tarts are great as a starter or a main course – arrange one heart per starter serving, or use two for a main.
Serve it with a side salad of mixed rocket, spinach and watercress, along with a handful of raspberries for garnish. For dressing simply mix together 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon caster sugar and 1⁄2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Drizzle over the salad and serve.
Cook’s Tip: Draw a heart shape on some parchment or a piece of card and cut out, and use as a template to keep all the hearts the same size.
Steak served with sweet chilli beetroot and potato mash
With its hot pink hue and fiery beetroot kick, this lavish mash recipe won’t fail to impress, especially when served up with fillet steak and fresh green vegetables. A great winter warmer, and perfect for a Valentine’s Day feast.
Serves: 2 Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes
- 400g mashing potatoes
- 4 sweet chilli cooked beetroot
- 2 fillet steaks
- 1tsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp Crème Fraiche
- salt and pepper
100g broccoli, steamed & tossed in lemon juice and olive oil
What to do
- Peel the potatoes and cut each into 8. Put them into a large pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- While the potatoes cook, chop the beetroot into quarters and season the steaks.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and when it’s very hot cook the steaks for 3-4 minutes on each side (longer if you want them well done). When the steaks are cooked to your liking, put them on a warm plate and set aside to rest.
- Once the potatoes are just tender add the beetroot to the water and simmer for 2 minutes longer. Drain the water away and add the crème fraiche to the pan. Mash everything together well until you have a smooth pink mash. Season to taste.
- Slice the steak and serve with a dollop of mash and the steamed broccoli. Pour any meat juices over.
Raspberry and White Chocolate Tart
Finish your Valentine’s Day feast off with this delicious – and easy! – showstopper. The creamy white-chocolate filling and sweetness of the berry work beautifully together for a dessert that’s rich and decadent without being too much.
Serves: 6-8 Prep time: 20 minutes (plus resting & set time) Cook time: 20 minutes
For the pastry
- 110g plain flour
- 55g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes
For the filling:
- 400g white chocolate
- 200ml double cream
- 50g unsalted butter
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 400g raspberries
What to do:
- Make the pastry by whizzing the flour and butter in a food processor to form fine crumbs. Add just enough cold water to bring it together, just two or three tablespoons should do it. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5.
- Lightly grease a 23cm tart tin and roll the pastry into a circle big enough to line it. Don’t worry if it cracks a little, just patch it up in the tin using a little water if you need to stick it together. Prick the base all over with a fork, line with baking paper and baking beans and bake blind in the oven for 20 minutes until crisp. Remove the pastry case from the oven, take out the baking beans and allow to cool completely while you make the filling.
- Make the filling by breaking up 350g of the white chocolate and adding to a heatproof bowl, along with the double cream, butter and vanilla. Set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and allow the chocolate and butter to melt, stirring frequently until you have a thick shiny sauce. Pour into the baked and cooled pastry case and put in the fridge to set firm, about an hour.
- Once set, remove from the fridge and decorate the surface of the tart with the fresh raspberries, either in a pretty pattern or randomly, as you like. Melt the remaining white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Using a teaspoon drizzle the melted chocolate over the raspberries.
Cook’s tip: Save yourself some time and use ready-made shortcrust pastry from your local supermarket, or better still a ready-to-eat pastry case. Look out for ready-to-eat individual pastry cases stocked in larger branches of Marks and Spencer Food.