Celebrity MasterChef contestant Lisa Faulkner knows full well that food is the language of love. So, what better way to woo your beloved on Valentine’s Day than with these stunning choux hearts?
MAKES: 8 Hearts
OPTIONAL Top Tip:
If berries aren’t your thing use whatever fruit you prefer… mango and passion fruit, for example.
For the choux pastry
90g (3oz) butter
360ml (10½fl oz) water
110g (4oz) plain flour, sifted
3 whole eggs, beaten well
500ml (17½fl oz) double cream
400g (14oz) mixed fresh berries
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Put the butter and water in a medium saucepan, add the salt and sugar, and bring to the boil. Ensure the butter is melted.
2. Remove from the heat, add the sifted flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan. Return to the heat and cook for 2 minutes until the paste is pale. Cool a little.
3. Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, incorporating fully with a wooden spoon after each addition. The mixture will go glossy then back to dull. Add the eggs until the mixture is shiny again and it just drops off the wooden spoon.
4. Cool the mixture for about 10 minutes. Put in a piping bag and pipe heart shapes on to a baking sheet dampened with a little water.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes then reduce the temperature to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3, and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until golden.
6. Pour the cream into a chilled bowl and whisk, either by hand or with a hand mixer, until stiff peaks form. This may take a few minutes. Be careful not to overwhip your cream. As soon as you have firm peaks you should stop.
7. When cooked, turn the hearts over and pop back into the oven for 2 minutes to dry out a little. Split each heart in half horizontally and then spoon or pipe the whipped cream on the base. Top with the other half and fill the centre with the fruit. Serve immediately.