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February 2024 – Featured Recipes by Lucie Wilson

Let’s Create and Bake…

Whether you are looking for inspirational, seasonal recipes and cooking tips or fun activities to enhance your crafting passion and skills, members can enjoy a wealth of resources to create culinary delights in the kitchen and beautiful crafts for the home, all of which help promote better physical and mental well-being.

Meet our own WI Member Marvels, Lucie Wilson (Hampshire Federation) and Gillian Cain (Bowes Belles WI, Tyne & Wear South Federation), who each month will share with you a snippet of their food and craft wisdom…

 
Hello February!

I hope you are all well and had a lovely January? Did any of you try making my Irish Cream Tiramisu? If you did, wasn’t it amazing? I have got some more amazing recipes this month. I love, love, love these recipes and I hope you do too.

The first is to celebrate Pancake Day. I have made some cinnamon crepes with a vanilla mascarpone cream, seasonal fresh berries and all drizzled with melted chocolate. Oh my goodness me, these are truly delicious and can be eaten for breakfast or dessert or maybe even a snack if you are feeling indulgent and why not.

My second recipe is not only delicious but uses the same vanilla mascarpone cream and melted chocolate so you won’t have any leftovers. They are my Valentine’s pink love heart macarons sandwiched with the delicious vanilla mascarpone cream and finished off with velvet like melted chocolate. Yum!

My third and final recipe for this month is my sweet chilli jam. You may not have tried this before but it is so simple and quick to make and is unbelievably good with all kinds of cheeses and cold meats. We had it on Boxing Day with our cold turkey and gammon and it was truly scrumptious. It is sweet yet sour and all with a slight kick of heat. This is also amazing in a brie and bacon panini I must say.

I really hope you enjoy making these recipes and I hope you have a lovely February. See you all in March!

 
 
Recipe 1

Cinnamon French Crepes with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream, Seasonal Fresh Berries and Maple Syrup

 

Ingredients

Crepes:

125g plain flour

2 medium free range eggs

275ml-300ml semi skimmed milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp caster sugar

Butter-for frying

Vanilla Mascarpone Cream:

250g mascarpone

250ml double cream

30g icing sugar

2 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract

Seasonal fresh berries-to serve

Maple syrup-to drizzle

 

Method

First make the vanilla mascarpone cream so it can chill in the fridge. Whisk the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form. In a small bowl, gently mix together the mascarpone and vanilla bean paste. Add mascarpone to softly whipped cream and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens and firm peaks form. Spoon into a bowl and chill for 1 hour.

Sift the flour with the ground cinnamon and sugar into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, pour in the egg, then slowly whisk in enough milk to make a smooth batter with the consistency of single cream.

Set aside to rest for at least 20 minutes. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, melt a little butter to cover the frying pan.

Add a small ladleful of batter, then tilt the pan to swirl the batter evenly over the base.

Cook for 1-2 minutes until the pancake is set, golden underneath and coming away from the pan at the edges. Loosen the pancake with a palette knife, then flip and cook for a further 30-60 seconds until golden on both sides. Slide the pancake onto a plate, then repeat until all the batter has been used up. Serve the hot crepes with the mascarpone cream and fresh berries and drizzle over a little syrup. Serve and enjoy.

 
 
 
Recipe 2

Valentine’s Pink Love Heart Macarons with Vanilla Mascarpone Cream and Chocolate Drizzle

 

Ingredients

Macarons:

4 egg whites-room temperature

160g granulated sugar

160g ground almonds

170g icing sugar

Pink food colouring

Filling:

Vanilla mascarpone cream from pancake recipe-to fill macarons

100g melted milk chocolate and 100g melted white chocolate-to drizzle

 

Method

Line x2 baking trays with greaseproof paper. Place the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor. Process until just beginning to clump. Sift well and discard any bits that won’t pass through the sieve. Set aside. Whip the egg whites until they’re the consistency of soft peaks. Continue whipping while slowly adding the granulated sugar. Whip to a stiff meringue. Fold the dry mixture into the meringue. Add the food colouring at this point.

Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain circle nozzle. Pipe the macarons onto your baking trays in love heart shapes. When all your macarons are piped, whack the baking tray on your work surface a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. Let the macarons dry at room temperature until dry to the touch. Approximately 1 hour. Don’t skip this step.

Once they are dry, bake the macarons in the oven at gas mark 2 1/2 until they stick a little bit to the trays. This can be anywhere from 10-14 minutes depending on your oven and how crowded the macarons are on the tray. Let the macarons cool completely before removing from the trays. Pipe the vanilla mascarpone cream into the centre, sandwich the macarons together and press until the filling just starts to show around the edges. Drizzle over a little melted milk and white chocolate and then serve for a delicious accompaniment to your morning coffee on Valentine’s Day.

 

 

 

Recipe 3

Sweet Chilli Jam

 

Ingredients

150g-x10 cayenne chillies

250g red bell peppers

50g fresh ginger-peeled and chopped

500ml apple cider vinegar

1kg jam sugar

90ml lime juice

1 level tsp salt

 

Method

Slice and chop the chillies and peppers, remove seeds and white membrane. Place into a preserving pan or large saucepan and add the ginger. Add the apple cider vinegar and place on a medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes on low.

Whizz with a stick blender until you have a puree. Add the jam sugar, lime juice and salt. Keep on a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Boil rapidly for 3 to 4 minutes and remove from the heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then ladle into clean sterilised jars. This is amazing with cheeses and cold meats.

 

 

 

Shopping list for all 3 recipes

Check your cupboards first as you may have a lot of these already

 

125g plain flour

x6 eggs

300ml semi skimmed milk

Ground cinnamon

250g block butter

250g mascarpone

250ml double cream

200g icing sugar

Vanilla bean paste/extract

100g milk chocolate/100g white chocolate

Seasonal fresh berries

160g granulated sugar

160g ground almonds

Pink food colouring

150g-x10 cayenne red chillies

250g red bell peppers

50g fresh ginger

500ml apple cider vinegar

1kg jam sugar

90ml lime juice

 

 

Meet Lucie

Hi, I’m Lucie and it’s very lovely to meet you. I’m your food and cookery baker, maker and writer and I love creating new and exciting recipes for you all.

I am 22 years old, a WI Supporter and I live in Hampshire with my mum and our beautiful cats. During my childhood I was brought up around food as my mum was a cookery teacher for schools and as soon as I was able, I had a wooden spoon in my hands. My dad was a very good cook too, but he sadly passed away from dementia when I was 8 years old. I have 3 sisters, but they weren’t too interested in cooking, so me and mum would spent hours in the kitchen baking and creating together. Still to this day me and mum spent a good few hours every week shopping for ingredients and then cooking delicious things together. I think time spent cooking as a family is really important, whether it’s like me and my mum or a father and son, brother and sister, parents and children, it is wonderful to simply spend time with the ones you love and for an opportunity to develop new skills.

Food is a massive part of my family; I am part Italian, so we take food very seriously and that means no pineapple on pizza and no mushrooms in a Bolognese! I simply love food and I do truly believe that cooking or baking can really help your mindfulness and invoke a calmness that can help relax you and focus the mind. Baking is also really good fun and I have so many amazing memories spent in the kitchen cooking and creating and the occasional icing sugar snowstorm game.

I am also a massive animal lover. We have 3 beautiful cats, and they are so joyful and so full of beans. I am also a huge formula one fan. I just adore Lewis Hamilton and never miss race. So much so that my keys have got 4 mini formula one tyres on them as well as cats and cupcakes keyrings.

I really do love creating and baking for you all and I hope you enjoy my recipes and have as much fun making them as I do. 

 

To read more of Lucie’s fabulous blogs, visit www.theWI.org.uk/MyWI