Chocolate and red wine hearts from Richard Hughes

This month’s Richard Hughes of  The Lavender House in Brundall shows us how to make chocolate and red wine hearts.

Once in a while you come across a recipe that you know will go on to become a standard in your repertoire. Even we professionals, who cook every day of the year, have a catalogue of standby dishes that we know will get a fantastic reaction and are always pulled out of the pantry when you need to impress. As a restaurant builds up a following they then become famed for their signature dish, and I’m sure it’s the same for any home cook. My mum is always expected to produce her Eccles cakes when I go to visit, and, if she hasn’t made them, I’m sure she gets the same disappointed reaction from me as is the case if someone visits the Lavender House and finds the iced peanut butter parfait isn’t available, The Pigs has sold out of the eight hour slow cooked shoulder of lamb or the Assembly House pastry shop has sold out of sea salt caramel chocolates! It takes an age to find these dishes, then you’re with them for an age! I’m sure we have unearthed another gem with this month’s recipe. Even better as Valentine’s Day is on the horizon is the fact that it combines those two great aphrodisiacs; chocolate and red wine! If you’re feeling romantic you can cook them, as we have here, in heart shapes moulds. If you’re more greedy than amorous, make one big cake. (On second thoughts, one big cake will probably improve your chance in the lottery of love!)

Richard is the chef proprietor of The Lavender House Restaurant at Brundall. He holds regular cookery demonstrations and suppers at the restaurant. Call 01603 712215 for more details.



125g softened butter125g caster sugar2 medium eggs150ml red wine125g plain flour1 tsp cinnamon� ground tsp cloves1 tsp cocoa powder1 tsp baking powder65g dark chocolate chips or coarsely grated chocolate50ml water30g caster sugar125ml red wine1 small jar redcurrant jelly