Surprise and delight that someone special by whipping up a scrumptious evening meal, thanks to Siúcra and Catherine Fulvio.
Duck with Redcurrant Sauce, Watercress and Orange Salad is the perfect flavousome main, sure to make your Valentine’s tastebuds tingle.
Finish it off with Rhubarb and Chocolate Parfait or Lemon Tartlets for the perfect indulgence!
Duck with Redcurrant Sauce, Watercress and Orange Salad
2 x 150g duck breasts, skin on
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground 5 spice powder
For the marinade
1cm fresh root ginger, grated
1 orange, juice and zest of ½
200ml red wine
4 tbsp Siúcra Rich Dark Sugar
For the redcurrant sauce
100g redcurrants, washed and take off the stalk
60g Siúcra Light Golden-Brown Sugar
1 star anise
(Plus retained marinade – see method)
For the salad dressing
1 medium orange, juice and zest
½ lemon, juice only
1 tsp Siúcra Caster Sugar
1 tbsp chopped chives
100ml extra virgin olive oil
100g watercress or any other of your favourite lettuce leaves, washed and trimmed, to serve
2 oranges, peeled and sliced, to serve
To prepare the marinade:
Combine all the ingredients together and stir well.
Score each duck breast with a sharp knife and rub with the cumin and 5 spice powder.
Place them into a bowl and add the marinade over, leave for 2 hours.
To make the dressing:
Add the orange and lemon juices and zest into a bowl together with Siúcra Caster Sugar. Add the chives and pour in the olive oil and whisk very well. Check the seasoning, add salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside
To cook the duck:
Remove the duck from the marinade, retaining the marinade. Pat duck dry then place it, skin side down, into a cold frying pan and cook on a low heat initially to melt some of the duck fat. Then increase the heat to medium to get a crispier skin. Turn the duck breast over, reduce the heat and cook for a further 5 to 6 minutes, until tender. Remove excess duck fat (use for roast potatoes) but keep the cooking juices. Remove from the pan, cover, keeping warm and rest them for 5 minutes.
To prepare the redcurrant sauce:
Place the redcurrants, with the Siúcra Light Brown Sugar and star anise into a saucepan and leave to simmer very slowly for about 10 minutes.
Separately pour the marinade into a saucepan and bring to the boil, boil for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid, stirring from time to time and then simmer for about 4 minutes. Pour this into the redcurrant sauce.
Pour the duck juices into the redcurrant sauce and stir well. You may need to add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Arrange the salad leaves and orange slices onto plates and spoon over some salad dressing.
Slice the duck breasts at an angle, arrange on half of the orange salad. Spoon the redcurrant sauce over and serve.
Rhubarb and Chocolate Parfait
Makes 2 to 3 depending on the size
For the roasted rhubarb
200g rhubarb stalks, trimmed and cut in 4cm lengths
½ tsp ground ginger
1 orange, zest and juice
120g Siúcra Caster Sugar
For the chocolate parfait
100g dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp Siúcra Golden Caster Sugar
100ml cream, lightly whipped
For the cream
3 tbsp Siúcra Icing Sugar
4 tbsp rhubarb (from the roasted rhubarb) or pomegranate juice
Pomegranate seeds, to decorate
Mint leaves, to decorate
To prepare the rhubarb:
Prepare the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Place the rhubarb on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Sprinkle over the ground ginger, orange zest, orange juice and Siúcra Caster Sugar and leave to roast for about 12 minutes or fully cooked (this will depend on the size of the rhubarb stalks). Leave to cool completely.
To prepare the parfait:
Melt the chocolate and vanilla extract in a bain marie – (bowl over simmering water). Place the egg yolks into another bowl over simmering water and whisk, adding the Siúcra Golden Caster Sugar and whisking until light and fluffy. Cool the melted chocolate and take the egg sugar mixture from the heat. Cool slightly and then combine with the cool melted chocolate and fold in the cream.
Spoon the parfait into 2 pretty glasses and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours to set.
To prepare the cream, lightly whisk together the cream, Siúcra Icing Sugar and rhubarb or pomegranate juice together until soft peak. Spoon into the set chocolate parfait.
When ready to serve, spoon the cold roasted rhubarb on the top and sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds, decorate with a mint leaf on top of each.
Makes 6x 10cm tins
For the pastry
190g plain white flour
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp Siúcra Icing Sugar
1 egg yolk
2 -3 tbsp cold water
For the candied lemon slices
1 lemon, sliced
200g Siúcra Caster Sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
For the filling
160ml lemon juice and the zest of 2 lemons
120g Siúcra Caster Sugar
180ml double cream
1 egg white, beaten
Siúcra Icing Sugar, to dust
“M” template (for mother) – or heart shape
To make the pastry:
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the Siúcra Icing Sugar. Add the water to the egg yolk and mix well. Add to the flour mixture. Bind together, adding a little more flour if the pastry seems sticky. Shape the dough into a ball, flatten slightly and wrap in cling film. Leave in the fridge to rest for at least 1 hour.
To prepare the candied lemons:
Place the lemon slices, sugar, lemon and water into a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring to ensure the sugar has melted, then reduce the heat and simmer for 12 to 14 minutes until the lemons are slightly translucent and the rind in softened. Stir from time to time. Remove from the heat, place the lemon slices on parchment paper and leave to set.
To line the tartlet tins, brush 6 x 10cm loose base tins with melted butter and dust with flour.
Roll out pastry until 5mm thick, dusting the surface with a little flour. Cut out circles of pastry and press into the base and up the sides. Leave in the fridge for 20 minutes before baking. Then line each tin with parchment paper and fill with baking beans.
To blind bake the pastry:
Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven of 190°C/170°C/gas 5. Remove the baking beans and lining. Brush with egg white, return to oven for a further 5 minutes, keeping an eye on it.
To make the filling:
Place the eggs into bowl, add the Siúcra Caster Sugar and whisk until combined. Add the lemon juice and zest. Stir in the cream and whisk lightly.
To bake the tartlets:
Pour mixture into partially baked pastry case, bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until tartlets are just set in the centre.
When ready to serve, decorate for the frosted lemon slices and on the last minute, using the “M” template, shake Siúcra Icing Sugar in the middle of each tartlet to form the “M” – serve immediately before the sugar melts into the lovely lemon tartlets.