The 'Original' Creative Crafting Magazine written by Crafters, for Crafters

Creative Crafting magazine began in August/September 2009, when a group of crafting friends on the Creative Connections network decided that it would be a good idea to raise awareness of the crafting community. From this point they started work and the first issue of Creative Crafting was published in October 2009 and the last was June 2014.
Now we are bringing you everything crafty from the home and beyond.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Kitchen Capers - The Food of Love

Kitchen Capers - The Food of Love
Published in Issue 21, February 2013
Written by Gill from Personal Space Interiors
Nothing says 'I love you'  quite like a romantic meal, especially if it has been lovingly prepared by that someone in your life. So this Valentine’s Day, why not avoid the busy and overpriced restaurants and treat your loved one to a delicious meal at home. I’ve made this meal rich and indulgent, yet super quick and easy to prepare. After all, there are far better ways to spend Valentine’s Day than being a slave to the kitchen…

Valentine’s Dinner for Two
Roast duck and potatoes with blackberry and port sauce
Broccoli and green beans with toasted almonds

Chocolate pots with chocolate melting moments

Roast duck and potatoes with blackberry port sauce: serves 2

This couldn’t be easier; it practically cooks itself. You can make the blackberry port sauce in advance and just warm through to serve.   
  • Two duck breasts
  • 500g good quality roasting potatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g fresh blackberries
  • 1 heaped tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 200ml ruby port
  • 20g butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 220oC (425oF, gas mark 7)
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into small chunks (around 2.5cm)
  3. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes in well salted water and drain thoroughly
  4. Preheat a skillet or oven proof sauté pan over a medium-high heat
  5. Use kitchen paper to dry the skin on each duck breast thoroughly. Slash the skin on each duck     breast several times using a very sharp knife.
  6. Place the duck breasts skin side down in the hot pan and leave for 5 minutes until the skin has a rich golden brown colour and the fat has been released.
  7. Turn the duck breasts skin side up and add the potatoes to the pan, turning them thoroughly in the duck fat
  8. Cook in the hot oven for 15 minutes, turning the potatoes during cooking for an even brown
  9. Keep the potatoes warm and let the meat rest for 5 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper     before serving on warmed plates.
  10. For the blackberry port sauce, place the blackberries redcurrant jelly and port in a small sauce     pan and simmer gently until the jelly has dissolved and the port has reduced a little. Taste for sweetness and add a little sugar if required then whisk in the cold butter for a beautiful glossy finish.
Broccoli and green beans with toasted almonds: serves 2

These lovely lightly steamed vegetables cut through the richness of the duck, and the almonds add flavour and texture.
  • One small head of broccoli divided into small florets
  • 150g trimmed green beans
  • 50g flaked almonds
11.        Toast the almonds in a dry pan until lightly golden brown and set aside
12.        Steam the broccoli and beans until just tender; around 5 minutes
13.        Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice, and toss the almonds through before serving

Chocolate pots with chocolate melting moments

Make extra melting moments as these have a habit of disappearing very quickly! The chocolate pots will keep happily in the fridge for a couple of days. The melting moments will keep in an airtight container but they will begin to lose their light as a feather melt in the mouth quality, so don’t make them too far in advance.
  • 75g good quality dark chocolate and 50g good quality milk chocolate
  • 125ml double cream
  • 20g butter
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsps rum or brandy - optional
14.        Grate the chocolate finely
15.        In a small saucepan, warm the cream to a gentle simmer and whisk in the grated chocolate until melted.
16.        Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, salt and rum if using
17.        Spoon into espresso cups or small serving ramekins
18.        Cover with cling film and refrigerate until needed. Remove from the fridge for an hour before     serving.
  • 125g very soft butter
  •  50g icing sugar
  • 50g cornflour
  • 25g cocoa
  • 100g plain flour
19.        Preheat the oven to 180oC (oF, gas mark )
20.        Sift the dry ingredients into the butter and beat with a wooden spoon. The butter must be very soft for the mixture to combine properly.
21.        Roll walnut sized pieces of the dough into balls, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and flatten with a wet fork. This recipe should make around 20 biscuits.
22.        Bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and lightly cracked on the surface.
23.        Carefully transfer to a wire cooling rack using a palette knife and leave to cool and crisp up.
24.        Serve three melting moments with each chocolate pot and store the rest in an airtight container.

I hope you enjoy my recipes. Why not follow my blog for other foodie treats