LOVE IS IN THE AIR
Chocolate love letters ‘satay’, with (from left) salt and pepper, bunga kantan, crushed love letters, lime zest, hazelnut, poppy seeds, chilli flakes, pistachio, chilli flakes, and sesame seeds. Photos: RAYMOND OOI/The Star THE modern love letter is a crispy, crunchy scroll inked in chocolate and strawberry. And Julie’s Love Letters are justifiably popular – with every tin you open, you will find their hallmark freshness and quality ingredients.
They are great for everyday munching and when it comes to special occasions, they can be jazzed up to more than meet the needs, too.
When a more “atas” dessert is called for, impress your guests with a plated dessert like a strawberry charlotte, a recipe made easy by using Julie’s Love Letters with strawberry cream as the base.
Then you can create your own riff on the classic charlotte with any flavours you fancy. Like a charlotte with a bunga kantan and lime cream cheese mousse filling, to create the perfect ending to a festive feast of rendang and ketupat.
And for the young and young-atheart, Julie’s has you covered as well. The love letters with chocolate cream are just fun to dip into ... more chocolate. And whether you want to call this recipe chocolate satay or sticks, is up to you.
It can be served like a DIY chocolate fondue, where you dip the love letters into pots of molten chocolate and then coat them with toppings of your choice. It works brilliantly with a chocolate fountain, too.
Both the recipes can also be prepared ahead and kept chilled, leaving you plenty of time to enjoy the festive occasion with loved ones.
CHOCOLATE LOVE LETTER SATAY
Makes 24-30 sticks
200g white chocolate
200g dark chocolate
24-30 Julie’s Love Letters with chocolate cream
Topping chopped toasted pistachios or hazelnuts chopped bunga kantan lime zest crushed Julie’s Love Letters blue poppy seeds dried chilli flakes freshly ground black pepper and coarse sea salt grated coconut rose petals, etc
To melt chocolate
Roughly chop the white chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Do not let water come into contact with the bottom of the bowl. Allow chocolate to melt completely.
In another bowl, repeat the process with the dark chocolate. You can also melt the chocolates by zapping them briefly in the microwave oven.
Dip love letters into melted chocolate, then coat with preferred topping. Set aside upright in a rack to allow chocolate to set. Serve chilled.
LIME AND BUNGA KANTAN CREAM CHEESE CHARLOTTE
Makes 6 charlottes
For the strawberry compote
200g fresh or frozen strawberries 40g sugar
For the base
70g crushed strawberry love letters 30g melted butter 20g brown sugar
For the mousse
150g cream cheese
50g caster sugar
1 lime, zest and juice
6g bunga kantan, chopped
4g gelatin powder, soaked in 20ml water 200g UHT cream, whipped to soft peaks To assemble and plate
24 strawberry love letters some love letter crumbs, for garnishing bunga kantan petals, for garnishing lime zest, for garnishing
To prepare strawberry compote Combine the strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool, then chill.
To prepare the base
In a small mixing bowl, combine the crushed love letters, melted butter and sugar.
To make the base, place 20g of the mixture in a 7cm ring mould. Press down lightly to compact the mixture so that the crumbs hold together. Repeat to make six bases. Freeze until hard. To prepare the mousse
Using an electric mixer or wire whisk, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add in lime juice and bunga kantan.
Zap the gelatin in the microwave oven for a few seconds until dissolved – you can also do this on the stovetop.
Add the gelatin to the cream cheese mixture and mix well.
Lastly, fold in the whipped cream and transfer to a piping bag. To assemble the charlotte
Break each of the 24 strawberry love letters into three segments using a pair of scissors – snip them into uneven lengths for a more interesting look.
Remove the base in the ring mould and arrange the love letter segments around the ring – if you use a 7cm ring mould, you will need 12 love letter segments.
Pipe in the cream cheese mousse and return to the freezer to set. When set, slide a flat spatula under the charlotte to dislodge it, and remove the ring mould.
You can keep the charlottes frozen until serving time. They keep well in the freezer for one week. To plate
Remove charlotte from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes.
To serve, place a charlotte on an individual dessert plate. Place some strawberry compote on the plate and decorate with love letter crumbs, bunga kantan and lime zest.
You can also top the mousse with the strawberry compote.
Make a lime and bunga kantan cream cheese charlotte, for a very pretty plated dessert to wow guests with this festive season.