When Love is in the Air...

It's that time of year again when the world goes soppy, and love is in the air!  Roses quadruple in price, and chocolatiers are working over time.  Come on all you lovers out there - rather than spend a fortune on Valentines presents why not pull on a pinny and cook a lovely dinner for your better half?

Try this super simple but extremely yummy salmon dish for Valentines Day from my long time friend Mary Holloway. The flavours are to die for – and are perfect for a light meal or entree. Every time I’ve made this dish everyone asks for the recipe. The ingredients are for four, but if dining à deux then halve the quantities!

Recipe by Mary Holloway

4 portions salmon fillet 

2 tspn finely grated ginger root
1 tblspn sherry or wine vinegar  
8 tspn sugar
4 lemons juiced (zest first & keep zest 
from 2 lemons for garnish) 


4 large strawberries thinly sliced
2 c neatly sliced summer fruits (peach, nectarine, plum, cherries)
cracked pepper
Crème Fraiche to garnish
1/4  c mint leaves – sliced

Combine the lemon juice, ginger, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan. Simmer until the mixture is reduced to a syrup and set aside to cool. Blanch the lemon zest in boiling water, strain and set aside. 

Place the Salmon skin side up on a papered tray and bake in the oven at 180 degrees until medium rare. Prep fruit for salad.

Place the cooked salmon on a plate, and neatly arrange sliced fruit over the top with mint leaves, Crème Fraiche, and a little cracked pepper. 

Pour over nearly all the syrup except for 1 tblspn full. Return this to a high heat until a thick syrup is achieved. This should take less than a minute. Toss the blanched lemon zest in the thick syrup and arrange artfully on top.

Serves 4.


Recipe by Donna Hay

125g butter
¾ c (165g) white sugar
1½ tblspns brown sugar
2 eggs
c (100g) plain (all-purpose) flour
c (35g) cocoa
⅛ tspn baking powder
cocoa or icing sugar, for dusting

Chocolate Mousse Filling
100g dark chocolate, melted over saucepan of simmering water
2 eggs, separated
50g butter, softened
1½ tspns brandy
1 tspn caster (superfine) sugar

To make the chocolate filling, combine the chocolate and egg yolks, one at a time, in a large bowl and mix well.  Add butter and brandy and mix until smooth. Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and beat until glossy. Fold quickly through chocolate mixture. Refrigerate until set.

Preheat oven to 170°C (340ºF). Beat the butter, white sugar and brown sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Sift over the flour, cocoa and baking powder and fold through. Grease ¼ cup-capacity heart-shaped cake tins. Pour in the mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until just set. Cool in the tins.

To serve, trim edges from cake hearts and halve horizontally. Sandwich together with the chocolate mousse and dust with extra cocoa or icing sugar.  Serve with whipped cream and raspberry coulis.

Makes 6 - 8 hearts - ¼ cup capacity heart shaped cake tins.


All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2013


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