Valentines Cocktails & Mocktails – Strawberry inspired Bellini

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Christmas is over, and in a flash, I see all that is romantic and lovely in the shops awaiting the lovers of this world to embrace the season.  Not to be outdone by the festivities, even though I’ve been with my husband for *cough* 32 years this year (I know, I know; I don’t look it do I, but I was VERY young when we met! HAHA!) I jumped at the challenge work with the Central England Co-Operative and create a Valentine’s Day Cocktail (or non alcoholic Mocktail).   What I did end up with is one very tasty and very versatile drink which can be made either way, to your preference. Just a few simple ingredients and you have a delicious drink to toast your loved one.  Here’s how:

One Bottle of Cava (Sparkling Elderflower and White Grape juice for the non-alcohlic version).  Alternatively you could choose a bottle of Prosecco.

1 Lemon

One punnet of strawberries

A little bit of caster sugar

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Chill your Cava (or Elderflower and Grape juice) until very cold.

Using a very sharp knife (I love mine from I.O.Shen), slice up 6 ripe, juicy strawberries and add these to a mini blender with a squeeze of lemon juice and 2tsp caster sugar.

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Blitz until you get a smooth syrup.

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Pour the strawberry syrup into a champagne flute up to about 1/3 of a glass.

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Top up with Cava (Elderflower and White Grape juice).

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Slice a strawberry to decorate your glass.  It’s always pretty to leave the leaves and stalk on as decoration, don’t you think?

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Enjoy with a cheeky square (or several) of Co-Operative Fair Trade Truly Irresistable Ghana milk chocolate with toffee and red Himalayan Salt.

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Much love and cheers to you all!
imageRosie xx

I was provided with vouchers from the Central England Co-Operative to purchase the ingredients to create my cocktail/mocktail.

Summer Lavender Meringue

Such a simple to make dessert that anyone can make, though so many shy away from.

I’ve made one today using some lavender sugar that I made, and am sharing my recipe with you here.

4 egg whites (8tbs Two Chicks pasteurised egg white)
225g (8oz) lavender caster sugar
5ml (1tsp) cornflour
5ml (1tsp) white vinegar
2.5ml (1/2tsp) vanilla extract
Gel paste food colouring (optional)

Preheat your oven to 130C

Draw a 9″ circle onto some baking parchment, then turn it over.

Line a baking tray with the parchment.

Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

Sieve the caster sugar to remove the flowers, return these to the jar to flavour more sugar.

Gradually add the caster sugar, a spoon at a time, whilst continuing to whisk.

Mix the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla together then fold into the meringue mix (add any paste colouring at this point too, if desired).

Spoon half of the meringue mixture onto the baking parchment and spread out to fill the circle you previously drew on the reverse.

Spoon ‘dollops’ of the remaining mixture around the edges of your meringue base to become a ridge.

Place in your preheated oven for 90 minutes.

Turn off the oven, leaving the meringue in there with the door closed until cold. This can take about 3 hours.

Serve with whipped double cream and and fresh summer berries.