Valentine’s day is just around the corner, wow your loved one with our easy, but impressive menu. The following is a simple but delicious menu to get you into the right mood.

Parma-wrapped Baked Fig 
An incredibly sensuous fruit, fit even for Cleopatra.
6 figs
Handful flaked almonds
Greek honey
Parma ham
Salad leaves
Balsamic syrup

  • First, heat a dash of olive oil in a pan, throw a handful of flaked almonds in with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of Greek honey
  • Fry until the almonds turn golden brown, spread on a plate and leave to cool
  • Quarter your figs (3 per person) without cutting through all the way and wrap half a slice of parma ham around the base of each
  • Stuff each fig with half a teaspoon of mascarpone and drizzle lightly with more honey.
  • Bake on 200C for 7 minutes
  • Serve on a bed of salad leaves, top with the almonds and drizzle with balsamic syrup

Smokey Salmon with Avocado and White Chocolate Sauce and Asparagus Smokey-Salmon

Avocado is the true forbidden fruit of the Aztecs. Asparagus, meanwhile, is packed with potassium, calcium and vitamin E. Richard Burton (Hollywood’s ‘greatest lover’) referred to them as a ‘lascivious’ vegetable.

2 shallots
White wine
Green & Blacks white chocolate
1 avocado
Double cream
2 salmon fillets
Smoked paprika
Olive oil

  • Start by preparing the sauce:
  • Heat a dash of olive oil in a pan and add 2 finely chopped shallots with a large pinch of salt and cook until translucent
  • Add 200ml white wine to the pan and boil until reduced by half
  • Throw in 100g Green & Blacks white chocolate (there are vanilla seeds in it!)
  • Add the flesh of one avocado, chopped, 100 ml of double cream and chopped chives
  • Blend until smooth and keep warm
  • Sprinkle two salmon fillets with a generous pinch of salt and sweet smoked paprika
  • Heat a large dash of olive oil in a frying pan until smoking and add the fillets
  • Brown the salmon on both sides and then bake in a preheated oven (180C) for 15 minutes or until the flakes of the flesh are well defined and the fish feels springy to the touch
  • Serve with pan-fried asparagus (dash of olive oil in a hot pan and a pinch of salt for 6 minutes)

Chocolate and Hazelnut Truffles Truffles

Chocolate was often deemed sinful by the Church until 17th Century. The perfect finish

200g Double cream
200g dark chocolate
3 tblsp Hazelnut liquor
Clotted cream
Chopped hazelnuts

  • Warm the double cream in a pan
  • Break up the dark chocolate into a food processor and, whilst it is running, pour in the cream
  • Add Frangelico (hazelnut liquor) and a spoonful of clotted cream
  • Keep in the fridge overnight (or at least for 3 hours) and roll into truffles in the afternoon before your dinner (for extra crunch, roll in chopped and toasted hazelnuts)