I always feel going out on Valentine’s is a bit strange. I remember as a teen venturing out with my much older boyfriend (erm, me just 17 and him, ahem, 27… how to give your parents minor heart palpitations) and sitting in a restaurant marvelling at how all the couples looked like they hated each other. They sat in silence. Staring into the abyss. Of course now I realise they were probably just tired parents, relieved of their kids of the night.
So I am not going to write you recommendations of places I have stayed that are especially romantic, or bang on about amazing restaurants with candles for light and repressed waiters shuffling backwards for fear of interrupting a proposal.
I am especially not going to list all manner of heart shaped items that the one you love might like to keep, because heart shaped things are really not very me. (Oh okay, I’ll list a few). Instead I am giving you a list of my very best bakes. Because in my book, Valentine’s day baking is the ultimate show of love. Time spent creating something unique is worth way more in love points than a box of heart shaped chocolates filled with sickly pink strawberry cream. I hope there’s something you and your loved one like. Have a lovely Valentine’s day, attached or not.
For the savoury lover
What about this beery walnut bread for serving with cheese? Or how about a stuffed picnic loaf to take on a cold winter’s walk?
Or perhaps a very moreish cheese and onion quiche?
For the chocolate fiend
You could try this old fashioned chocolate cake. Or maybe they’re more into white chocolate so how about these blueberry, lemon and white chocolate cupcakes?
Or there are these incredibly easy, no mixer required, chocolate cupcakes.
For those who like their bakes heart shaped
Try these heart shaped chocolate sandwich biscuits or these heart shaped chocolate cupcakes where you don’t even need a special mould. (Just some marbles or foil).
For the meringue obsessive
There’s so much to choose from. What about these Eton mess cupcakes? Or coconut blueberry pavlovas? Or pecan banoffee pavlovas?
Or a jelly and ice cream meringue roulade?
For the almondly types
I made these Bakewell inspired cupcakes in the first week of the Bake Off and they’ve been a firm favourite ever since. Or there are these lemon and almond breakfast rolls for a romantic start to the day.
Or how about my personal favourite? A Bakewell tart complete with the best behaved pastry I’ve ever made.
For the cheesecake chooser
There’s a no bake caramel popcorn cheesecake for those looking for an easier option. Or either a baked lemon cheesecake traybake or a ginger Caramac baked traybake cheesecake.
For the pie monster
What about a double crusted cinnamon apple pie with gallons of custard? Or an orange meringue pie?
Or something a little less sweet like a slow cooker beef bourguignon pie?
For the Francophile
Macarons obviously! Try my trouble shooter fail safe recipe.
For the biscuit dunker
For a hearty cookie try these peanut and raisin oaty cookies. And these chocolate and hazelnut oaty cookies are similar but slightly different.
For something a little daintier and more involved try these lemon button biscuits. (You don’t need a button cutter – just a straw).
For the fruit fan
Try these easy banana and custard cupcakes. Or for a non cakey option try this passion fruit mousse.
Or try this incredibly easy puff pastry wrapped peach.
For the Valentine’s dieter
This skinny cardamom and orange tea loaf is almost completely fat free and delicious too. Or for something bite size and cute try these meringue kisses.
For the egg free
This fudge is incredibly easy to make (it uses marshmallows) and is spiked with orange and cinnamon, though you swap the flavours if you wish. Or for something a little worthier make these tropical bars.
For the gluten free
This gluten free chocolate coconut cake is really moist and moreish. Serve with ice cream and melted Bounty bars. On the chocolate theme, these GF brownies are a winner too.
For the dairy free
These cookies are dairy free and perfectly chocolately. Leave the ginger out if you prefer.
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Loved the tips – there’s even a gluten free one, much appreciated! Gonna bake some of these on the weekend <3
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