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Sweet treats for your loved one this Valentine's Day

Love is in the air . . . so pour your heart into these tempting recipes.

It’s that time of the year when love is in the air. Pour your heart into an easy dessert and create your very own love story this Valentine’s Day with these tempting recipes.

Sweet Basil and Strawberry Shortcake Dessert

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

For the strawberry:

500g strawberries (2 punnets), very ripe

3 Tbsp caster sugar

2 Tbsp sweet basil leaves, plus extra for decorating

For the shortcake:

1 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch baking soda

1 Tbsp caster sugar

pinch salt

¾ cup thickened cream

For the cream:

1 cup thickened cream

1 Tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

METHOD:

Stem the strawberries. Take half the strawberries, chop roughly and place in a large mixing bowl. Crush with a potato masher until it's a chunky wet pulp. Slice the remaining strawberries neatly and add to the mix, along with sugar. Slice basil leaves and add to the mix, stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200C fan forced. Sift together plain flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. In a large mixing bowl. Add cream and gently stir until it's just combined. Place mix in a baking paper lined square brownie tin or round cake tin. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, break roughly into inch sized cubes

Place cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form.

Take serving glasses and split half the shortcake amongst them, then top with half the strawberry mix, and half the cream. Repeat with remaining halves. Garnish with a few extra Sweet Basil leaves.

— Courtesy of Yates

Berry Chocolate Cake

Serves: 10

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 30-35 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

3 handfuls fresh berries

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons melted butter or oil

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 cup lukewarm water

For the chocolate icing

1 cup of semi-sweet or dark chocolate, cut into chunks

4 tablespoons of butter

¼ cup Greek yoghurt

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 180°C on fan bake. Grease a 22cm cake tin with oil or butter

In a medium bowl sift the flour and cocoa, and mix in sugar. Add the baking soda and salt

Mix in the melted butter or oil, vinegar and water until you have a smooth batter

Pour the cake batter into the tin and bake 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean

Cool cake on a wire rack for around 10 minutes before removing from the cake tin

To prepare the chocolate icing, melt the butter in small saucepan over very low heat. Once the butter is melted add the chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from the heat and mix in the Greek yoghurt

Allow the icing to cool and cover the cake. Top with berries and serve.

— Courtesy of www.5aday.co.nz

Sweet Basil and Strawberry Shortcake Dessert. Pictures supplied
Chocolate cake with berries