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The Fresser

If you're cooking for love, don't spare the hearts (and flowers)

I love a bit of kitsch, and for Valentine's Day, my heart tins and cutters will be getting plenty of use.

    Valentine's Day has become an over-the-top consumer-fest created by marketing men to promote a buying frenzy. 

    However, I find myself (14 years after meeting Mr F) in somewhat of a quandary. Back in the day, Mr F and I would heartily ridicule the idea of one day a year when you're forced to turn on the romance: "Why would we sit in a restaurant like all those other suckers?" we'd smugly sneer. "You should be romantic all the time!"

    Fast forward a few years as two became three, and a fourth fresser joined the fun, and before we knew it, we were too tired to run baths and light candles. The bunches of flowers faded, date night disappeared, and before you could say 'romance is dead', it was six feet under. We've become the stereotype. Our two smaller people had sucked romance clean out of our lives. 

    We still cannot join those crowds chewing their way through the set menu tonight 14th February — that remains a step too far — but Mr F will be cooking for me. A Mr Fresser-cooked meal is as rare as a Megan Markle bad hair day, but he's a jolly good cook, so I'm looking forward to my supper, and to sitting together at our table and remembering where it all began.

    To celebrate, and to treat the mini Fressers, i'll be baking something heart-shaped. I can't resist a heart cutter/tin/mould and nothing gives me more pleasure than a kitsch plate of heart-shaped goodies, whether they are biscuits, brownies or fudge. Here are a few ideas that may inspire you:

    First on my list would be this gorgeous cake from Annabel Karmel. Who could resist all that gooey chocolate and cream as well as the pretty rose petals?

    GBBO semi-finalist, Stacey Hart can be guaranteed to come up with something blingy and girlie, and her brownie cookie heart as demonstrated on her YouTube channel is perfect. (Excuse the screenshot image, but you get the general idea.)

    Photo: Louise Shrigley

    Or I may go back to one of my JC favourites:

    These rose petal shortbread cookies are quick and pretty. 

    Or you may prefer to try this cute salted caramel sweetheart fudge 

    Photo: Lisa Roukin

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