Tuesday, 9 February 2016

V Day

Sound the klaxon, Valentine's Day is fast approaching!

I'm not going to lie, Valentine's Day is not my favourite holiday on first appearance. But after careful consideration and after looking at endless rows of chocolate, there is something pretty sweet about getting the chance to build a little hamper together for a loved one.

St David's Cardiff gave me the chance to work together with Tiger and John Lewis to create a little Valentine's Day hamper. As I'm currently riding solo I thought this was the chance to create a pack for what will be my Galentine's Day weekend.

Matching socks, photo frame, marshmallows, almond dragées, I <3 You chocolates and heart tea lights - all Tiger | Charbonnel et Walker truffles and Hotel Chocolat Valentine's Goody Bag - John Lewis

Valentine's Day doesn't only have to be about about being with your boyfriend or girlfriend. In fact as far as I'm concerned spending it with your best friends is the way to go. My friends are a constant source of laughs and so I like to give them back a little. What better way to start the weekend of love then with lots and lots of chocolate and novelty gifts?

I like to pride myself on my brunch abilities so hosting a Galentine's Day brunch with the contents of the hamper is most certainly on the cards again this year. 

Heart straws, napkins and heart cake picks - Tiger | Slate heart coasters and heart slate place mats and champagne - John Lewis

All you need for a successful valentine's brunch is some flowers, patience and the perfect pancake recipe. 

To make my beautifully simple staple pancakes, you will need a silicone heart shaped egg ring and the following:
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp caster sugar (optional as the caramel sauce is sugary)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 175ml milk
  • M&S salted caramel sauce 
1) Sift your flour and baking powder into a bowl with the optional sugar (I skip this ingredient as I don't like the pancakes to be too sweet).

2) On low heat pre heat a non stick dying pan.

3) Add in your eggs and milk to your dry ingredients whisking it all together so that there are no lumps and everything is a smooth batter. You might need to add a little more milk depending on how you get on.

4) Once the pan is hot place your egg ring in the centre and gently spoon two to three spoonfuls of the mixture into the ring making sure the mixture is spread evenly.

5) Cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture begins to bubble a little before flipping and cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside on a plate in a pre heated oven to keep the pancakes warm.  Repeat until you run out of mixture.

To make the pancake stacks simply stack them, spreading the top of each pancake with a little (or a lot) of the caramel sauce. Skewer with a cake pick to keep it all together. I also made a quick homemade raspberry coulis (raspberries and honey - into a blender and done) to balance out the sweetness of the caramel. Garnish with fresh fruit and serve with iced coffee and chilled champagne for dessert. 


Everyone is happy and you look like Nigella Lawson. Win win.

Let me know if you end up loving this recipe as much as I do. Especially let me know if you've used it to woo someone, I'd love to know if this humble little recipe is the start of something wonderful!

If you are also riding solo like myself for the big V Day, just remember that your friends will always love you and that on the 15th chocolate will be half price. It could always be worse!

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